Saturday, June 23, 2007

Installing RB Racing LSRs on the FXR

About a year and half ago, I was looking for an exhaust system to replace the crappy, worn-out drag pipes on my 82 FXR. Not many good options out there for shovels any more. I found RB Racing's web site and was impressed by their description of their 2 into 1, 3" collector system and CNC-machined turbo venturi to get the exhaust moving - all designed to produce more torque in the 2000 to 4000 rpm range. I ordered a 1 3/4" LSR system from them with their silver ceramic finish.
During the order process, they informed me that they stopped making brackets for shovelheads, and that would be on me. The 82 has a rear rubber mount, and some systems are hung from the tranny. I figured I'd figure that out.

Several months later, I got em. Took 'em out to the garage to mount 'em, and found the mounting point was neither near the transmission, nor the rear rubber mount. In fact, it rested against the swing-arm pivot bolt. R&B agreed that wasn't good, and agreed to make a new set with the mounting point adjacent to the rubber mount.

So I waited ... and waited ... made lots of calls ... and waited ... A year later, they showed up!

These are some good-looking, well-made pipes. The silver ceramic finish is gorgeous, it compliments the polished aluminum, supposedly helps keep the heat in and will not discolor. We'll see.

I hung em on the bike, and they fit perfect. I spent a few hours designing a cardboard mock-up for a mounting bracket. I took the mock-up and the bike to IXL Machine Shop, they made a few measurements, and 4 hours later it was ready. And it fit perfect. All the angles were right on, and all the bolt holes lined up perfectly. They even painted it!

Some smart folk have criticized the design, predicting one of the welds will crack, and I can see that possibility ... May have to go back to the drawing board on that one.

In the meantime, I bolted it on, fired her up, and went for a ride. The LSRs have a great sound. They're not quiet, but they aren't as loud as some. I could feel the increased torque in the lower rpms, she pulls like a mule, and feels more responsive to throttle. I took her to Al's American Iron in Grandville, MI for rejetting and dyno-tuning. I rode outta there with a big ole' smile on my face!

Chilly BS#226

Thursday, May 10, 2007



Apparently, seeds that were planted years ago, found some fertile place in my imagination, as I began to think and read a lot about fly fishing. The idea of wading a river as it winds through the wilderness, surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of nature, and casting dry flies towards rising trout appealed to me on many levels.

Jerry Dennis' book "River Home: An Angler's Explorations" fueled the flames. A reflection of his expanding definition of home, to include the waters we fish and the woods we hunt. Mostly stories about fly-fishing tho. His stories are often transcendent, and, as a whole, they offer a glimpse into the lore and craft.

Cliff Hauptman's book "How to Fly-Fish" lists the basic gear a beginner needs to fish for trout, and Google helped me find reviews on the latest gear which meets those specs. I think I found the best value in a rod and reel which will be both suitable for learning, and will grow with me as I gain experience . I took a trek to Great Lakes Fly Fishing, and bought a Sage Launch 9', 5wt pole, and a Ross Cimarron Large Arbor Reel. They loaded the reel for me, and I signed up for a four hour, on-the-river lesson.

Tom was my instructor/guide. We drove to the nearby Rogue River, which is one of Michigan's "Blue Ribbon" trout streams. As we waded upstream, Tom scooped up various larvae and talked of the lifecycles of of the various flies and bugs which make up a trout's diet. He attempted to correct the bad casting habits I developed whilst teaching myself, and showed me the roll cast. We kept trying different flies till we started getting some strikes. Finally, I landed my first trout. A 10" brown.

But, it was I who was hooked ...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Send Lawyers, Guns & Money!

Snowing here in the great white north, so I decided to avoid the idjits on the interstate and take the nice, quiet, country roads home. I had my Jeep in 4wd and was takin it easy on the slickery road when an oncoming idjit started swerving, lost control, and came into my lane. I had a 10-12' embankment on my right and headed for it in a last (pardon the pun) ditch effort to avoid a head-on.

Did I mention the roads were slick? I didn't avoid the head-on, but I did end up at at the bottom of the embankment. My front, left wheel got shoved up into my compartment, both air bags deployed, My left foot and right leg hurt and I was a wee tad shocky. No neck pain, didn't hit my head, knew what day it was ...

Couple of guys stopped, called 911 and directed traffic. Cops here are cross-trained as first responders. They checked me out, called an ambulance and a wrecker, took the report ...

The other driver apparently had no injuries. Howsomever, they took me to the ER to check me out. X-rayed my foot and found two non-displaced fractures. Got a consult to see a podiatrist and a script for vicodin.

Pretty sure the Jeep's totaled. Will go see the old girl tomorrow, take a few pics, clean her out. She's a 97 with well over 100k miles on her, so I'm wondering what the insurance company will do for me. I suspect I'm gonna be replacing her with something used - and probably still incur a monthly payment I don't have now.

Then there's that part-time job at which I'm on my feet all day ...

Tomorrow I find out what all this means in a "No-Fault Insurance" State