Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Baby Steps…

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

I’m slowly getting my pre-trip checklist done. My new tires arrived via UPS Thursday. Pretty amazing considering I ordered them out of CA Wednesday morning. I received an email Thursday morning informing me that my order had been sent to a “fulfillment center,” obviously some local distribution point — probably in Houston. So this morning I’ll be pulling off my wheels and taking them to have the new tires mounted and balanced. (No, I don’t mount my own tires anymore, especially since the rear one is tubeless and I don’t know anything about properly breaking the old bead or setting the new one.) I’ll pack the bearings an install new brake pads prior to putting the wheels back on.

I got the bike inspected yesterday, so now I’m legal. (Yay!) I only have about 15 miles left on break-in, so when my buddy Blair is available — probably next weekend — we’ll install my new Andrews EV27 cam, my new Timken cam bearing and my Screamin’ Eagle Heads. I got a sweet deal on the heads. They normally retail  for nearly $1000 — I bought mine from Blair with just about 1000 miles on them for $200, plus he gets my stock heads when we pull them off. (He’s going to use them to experiment with porting and flowing on.) I still have my Mikuni HSR 42 carb and my SE Stage 1 breather, so these additions will complete the package. Well, except for exhaust. In that instance I opt for form over function. The most efficient exhaust system for my bike would be a 2 into 1 system, but I just don’t think it looks right on a Harley. I’m not trying to win any races here and I’m not willing to sacrifice aesthetics for maybe a 2HP gain. Nope, called me old-fashioned on that count. But, I had this same setup with my old motor — minus the SE heads — and I was very satisfied. I’m anxious to see how much better it will be with the performance heads

Home again

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Well it was a hell of a weekend. We hauled ass to my mom’s house in Daphne, AL Friday night– me in the BigAss truck and Jodee in her car — so that I could meet up with the guy from TN that bought my truck on Ebay. Got there about 4AM, slept till 8:30, got up and had breakfast, met the guy with the truck, got the money. Cooked out ribs, drank better than half a fifth of Jameson, went to bed at 11PM.

We passed a good time with family and friends. I always have a good time at my mom’s house, and it was really good for Justin to get to visit with her and Buddy. It’s just too bad that the visit was so short.

Got up at 4:30AM, packed up the OL’s car, left out at 5:30AM for Temple, TX, home of Horny Toad HD where my bike was waiting with the new reman motor. Got there right at 4PM as they were closing, but that was OK. I had already called and the service manager had arranged for the parts guy to get the bike ready for me. He knew I was coming and would have waited if I was late. Paid him, got the bike and left by 4:20. (BTW, a VAS is a “Vehicle Attitude Sensor,” which I have always called a Cam Position Sensor — $170.) Went and fueled up and headed home. I noticed that the speedo only worked intermittently, and I suspected that there was a wire pinched under the tank. The 109 mile ride home only registered 57 miles on the odometer. When I got home I pulled the dash to look under the tank, and this is what I saw:

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See anything wrong with this picture? Yeah, two of the four terminals have no nuts on them. I had no nuts of the proper size, brass or otherwise, (my nuts were too small…) and all the parts stores are closed. So, for lack of two small nuts, I’ll not be riding my bike with the new $3000 motor tomorrow. Has any HD shop EVER done a job right the first time?

I snapped a couple of quick pics. I’m going to bed early tonight, like as soon as I hit the “Submit” button. I still gotta put the “new” factory seat on that I got off of Ebay, and my new Maltese Cross mirror which is the same as the one I broke in my last accident. The handlebars still suck, but that will have to wait until after this summer.

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BTW, notice that install job on the seat strap? Another fine piece of professional HD work.

Welcome to Norton’s World

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Hello, and welcome to Norton’s World. I started this blog mainly to chronicle my trip this summer. I’ll be riding my 1998 Harley from south central Texas, across New Mexico and Arizona, through Nevada, California, Oregon and on to Washington to visit family and friends. I will return home via Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, back through New Mexico and finally home to Texas. I’ve never been out west before, and I hope to document many natural wonders that I will be seeing for the first time. I’ll have my laptop with me so I can post from the road. I’m no stranger to long road trips by motorcycle but at 5670 miles round trip, it will be my longest.

I’ve been carefully planning for several months, and am now in the final planning stages. I originally planned to camp but decided instead to stay in motels. I’ll be 16 days on the road and I have a lot of miles to cover in that time. In fact, I have a litany of excuses for not camping but hell, “I just don’t feel like it” will have to suffice

My bike has about 78,000 miles on it, but it is fresh out of the shop with a newly re-manufactured, (not rebuilt) motor in it. After the break-period, I will install my secret performance modifications which will void the warranty on the factory re-manufactured motor. No matter, I have enough confidence in the Harley Evolution motor that I figure if it gets through the break-in period fine, it’s good for 100,000 miles. I would not have bothered with replacing the last motor if I had not had to deal with a previous owner’s error for the last 65,000 miles.  But that’s a long story… maybe we’ll get into it later.