Sunday, September 10, 2006


Early this summer, Rand McNally came down from the tip-o-the-mit, spent the night, and the next morning we headed south for west Tennessee and MAMBM. "Me And My Big Mouth is Roger's" annual NetScum IRL and it's been growing bigger every year. This the first MAMBM for both Rand and myself.

For those who require need an explanation, there's a few hundred motorcycle-riding NetScum out there using the net's resources  to talk about Harleys, politics and life, and to arrange in-real-life parties all over the country.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

The Man Cave

Our new Michigan home had an old, two-story carriage house. It was built back when 2x4s were 2" by 4", there wasn't a square corner on it, it was dark, drafty, uninsulated, the roof leaked, and it was freakin' cold when winter winds started to blow. But, the downstairs had plenty of room for bikes, a shop for me, a potting area for Mary, and the upstairs had lots of room for storage.

The house needed a new roof and siding, and we decided to give the garage the same treatment. So, we sided it with vinyl over blue-board, and replaced all the old-broken-down windows. That keeps the rain out and cuts down on the drafts.

Over the summer, my Dad and I will finish insulating upstairs and down.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Wrench Report - Installing Cruise Control:

Come on out to the barn and fish a cold one outta the bottom. Picked up a Cruise Control Kit for 2004 FLHT/C/CI (p/n 77196-04) yesterday. Planned to install it the next day, but figured I'd saunter out to the barn just to, you know, check out all that's involved. A few hours later she was buttoned back up with another black box in her belly.

I guess this is pretty specific as it's for the 2004 model year only, but it might give you an idea of how relatively simple of an install it is. As always, IMNSHO, YMMV, and FYYFF.

The install has three basic elements - installing the Cruise control module, replacing the right handlebar control & harness, and installing the switch/lamp, but they are mostly simple bolt on and plug in procedures.

Installing the module involves pulling the battery, removing the air breather, pulling the left side cover, and moving the fuse box and cable bundles out of the way. The module bolts to the outside of the battery box after snaking the throttle cable to the throttle assy where it clips right on. An existing 10-place receptacle plugs into the module.

The instructions are pretty specific about routing the cable - Right up to the point it says "between the cylinders" Lots of stuff between those cylinders, and I found myself poking around a bit till I figured out where it had to end up.

Replacing the handlebar control and harness was easier by skipping ahead and removing the fairing cap to make room to route the 10-place connector. Again, it just plugs in. The instructions say to use the friction shoe from the old unit, and to slip it onto the point of the adjuster

screw ... There is no adjuster screw, the old one doesn't fit, the owners manual implies that models w/ cruise don't have em, and the current crop of Ultras don't have em. [shrug]
Installing the switch/lamp on the fairing cap involved getting the ignition switch off and slipping a few pin terminals into the fairing switch connector.

Three hours later, I was buttoning her up. The next morning, I took her out to perform the "Cable Lash Initialization." Basically, an electronic cable adjustment, and one of those hold this button whilst starting the bike, pat yer head, rub yer belly, and wait for the computer to go through a few cycles kinda things. A couple of seconds later, revs increased a bit, backed down, the indicator light on the speedo changed from green to red and I was done.

I hopped back on and headed north on US 31. Played with setting speed, increasing & decreasing speed, tested foot brakes & hand brakes, reduced throttle manually, hit resume ... Everything worked as advertised.

Oughta facilitate putting some miles on her this summer.

82 FXR "Tennessee Stud"
04 FLHTCi (Conv) "Night" (Redux)