Friday, December 31, 2010

Last ride of 2010

I just can't believe this freakish warm weather this week! Usually it's in the 20's and 30's with a little snow and some ice on the ground by now, but yesterday was incredible! December 30th 2010, no snow, no ice, and a high of 65! This time around the weatherman actually hit the forecast pretty close so I was prepared and got out of the house at decent time.

While my sporty isn't quite where I want it, I figured yesterday would be a good time to scour the local indy shops to see if they may have some used goodies lying around. The 1st two were closed, the 3rd, Prairie Hawg, was open but no used sporty stuff around and I did find an oil filter for Jimmy's Yamaha project at the 4th one, Motorcycle Supply.

It was also a good shake-down run on my sporty as I've been working on her alot over the holiday break (see previous posts). The biggest changes were getting rid of that silly stock pull-back riser and mid-buck bars, switching to 5" straight risers and 25.5" drag bars with a 15* pullback, and of course getting rid of the stock shocks and switching to Burly Slammer 10.5" shocks. What a huge difference!! The handling is much more responsive than it's ever been, definitely an improvement! I absolutely love the new lowered stance, more comfortable for me since I'm a little on the short side at 5'8" with 32" inseam, I can flatfoot her at stops with ease. Like an idiot, I was in such a hurry to get out and ride yesterday I forgot to grab the spanner for adjusting the pre-load on the Burly's. The softest setting is not good for me and my 200lb frame! I'm also going to have to find another dual element light bulb for the LowBrow Customs tail light. While the marker light is plenty bright, the brake side is almost non-existent, not good, but I think it'll be an easy fix with a better bulb.

After getting some good riding in I met up with my son, Jimmy, in Wamego. He was riding home for New Years so we hooked up there and rode the last hour home together. I couldn't ask for a better final ride of 2010 than sharing miles with my son. It was dusk when we met in Wamego, the wind switched to being out of the north, and the temp dropped from 50 to 30 in a matter of about 20 minutes and I've got to admit that I wasn't as prepared for the cold as I should've been. That was one of the coldest rides in recent memory, stopping about every 10 miles or so to let our hands warm up on the warm jugs of our scoots, then haul ass for another 10. It was truly an adventure, dark, freezing, painful, yet fun all at once. Even when we pulled into a gas station close to home for one final warm before the last miles home, our hands numb and hurting, we were still smiling. The woman working, Amber, a friend of ours, obviously felt sorry for the frozen riders and the coffee was on the house, thanks Amber!! There were also some locals there that knew us and we just re-enforced their belief that those Fickbohm's just ain't right.  Maybe we aren't or maybe we are, either way it doesn't matter to me, you get one shot at life, live it, enjoy it.

Some poser shots from the ride-

I'd like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and may 2011 bring many smiles and miles!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cut it!

I love getting boxes in the mail! It usually means parts and more garage time, nothing beats garage time in the winter. Yesterday my box from LowBrow Customs showed up-

Time to get busy! This is the last time you'll see this-

Lookin' a little nekkid!

For the most part this was a fairly simple mod, with one exception, actually cutting a perfectly good rear fender, lol! As some of you probably know all too well, I'm a cheap-ass! There's no way I'm going to spend money on a chopped rear fender when I'm perfectly capable of cutting it myself so out came the 4.5" angle grinder and cut-off wheel. While this is not the perfect way to cut, it does work very well. I taped off the area to be cut to minimize paint damage, drew out the line I wanted, and went to town!

Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

Time to get my new tail light mounted-

Now to wire it and finish it up. The wiring isn't hard, having a slight color-blindness disorder makes the 12v test light my best friend for this. I went through and identified all the wires, soldered and heat shrink insulated all connections, and finished up the job.

Not a bad hack job for a bout 4 hours of work, lol!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


WooHoo!! More progress! After a road trip to Road 6 Customs in Geneva, Nebraska (more on them at- Road 6 Customs ) it was back into the garage for some more work on the sporty. (I have got to come up with a name for her, lol!) Now my main mission in going to Road 6 was to get their adjustable lowering kit, why a lowering over shocks? I'm a cheap-ass, that's why, lol! Well we made it up there and got the kit, a full tour of the shop and he offered a great price on a set of new Burly Slammer shocks. I declined and my wife and I headed to downtown Geneva to grab lunch at the Overtime Bar & Grill, great food! While my wife and I are talking about why I chose the kit over the shocks she said, "Just quit being such a cheap-ass and get the shocks! It's gonna ride better and you'll be happier" Not too many guys have a wife that is that understanding, I'm very lucky indeed! So we headed back to Road 6, took back the kit and got the shocks.

As soon as we got home I headed for the garage for the install, very simple. About the only catch was belt tension, dropping to a 10.5" shock allowed some slack in the belt. No big deal, tighten her up a bit and the difference was unreal!



How's it ride? I don't know, but I'll know tomorrow, it's supposed to be a great day for riding. I do know it's low enough that my wife, at 5' tall, can flat foot it! While I was out there, I decided something else needed changing as well. The reflectors on the front fork tubes had to go. All in all, she's coming along quite nicely.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


As the 1st year with my Sporty draws to a close, I've got to admit that I like this bike much more than I thought I would. She's given me almost 18,000 trouble free miles, more smiles than I can count, my 1st trip to Sturgis, and of course the "wind therapy" that we all need. This past year has also given me a lot of time to get to know her, do my research, and figure out what direction I want to go with my mods. I like bobbers and lane-splitters more than any of them. That's not to say I don't like long-chops, pro-streets, and stockers, but for my 1st sporty build, it's going to lean very heavily towards a bobber. Now I know that what I'm going to do wouldn't be considered a bobbers by purists, but I could care less. To me the point of building your own, is to build what you want, something that reflects you, not to please anyone else. Mine will be very bobber influenced, lol!

The wrenchin' began on Christmas Eve. One of the 1st things I wanted to change was bars and risers. I don't care for the stock mid-bucks or the goofy curved riser at all. I like things simple, so off they came.

One of the bad things about doing it this way is that the top clamp also houses the speedo and idiot lights. In HD's infinite wisdom they decided to make the top clamp for the customs with a different hole spacing than the others so finding risers that would re-use the top clamp and look good was near impossible. After not finding anything that I liked I said to hell with it. I stopped by the local indy shop, Cowboys, to see what they had. After not finding anything new in stock I asked if they had anything used. A set of 5" straight risers were found with a 25.5" drag bar attached to them. Not perfect, but in nice shape, $50 later they went home with me!

There were no holes or dimples in the bars so I had to run the wires internally. Don't let anyone bullshit you, this sucks, it's not necessarily that hard, but it still sucks. A slight color blindness issue played hell with me, see previous post, lol!

The finished product-

Tonight, Jimmy headed back to KC, I figured I'd go clean up the garage a bit. While I'm out there I'm thinking I really don't care for that mirror, it looks ok, but you can't see a damn thing out of it. Those 5" straight risers gave me alot of clearance between the tank and the blinkers at full lock, I wonder...........

Yup!! Plenty of room!!

I like it! Plenty of room between the tank and mirrors lock to lock and very good visibility, plus it keeps the top nice and clean, I like it!! Yes Jimmy, you can have the other mirror, lol!

It's definitely far from finished, I need to figure out how to clean up that bunch of wires in-between the risers. I'm also on the hunt for ideas on how to get my speedo and dummy lights back on the cheap, but so far no good ideas and it looks like I'll be stuck spending the green for a Joker side mount speedo set up. My new tail light got ordered today so next weekend it gets mounted along with a generous rear fender chop!

There's alot more in store for her over the winter!

 Jimmy, thanx for hangin out, drinkin beer, helping out the ol' man when he needed it, and just for being there. It was a great Christmas!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Lesson learned......

Don't try to splice a bunch of wires drunk, late on Christmas eve, with a red-green-blue color blindness disorder. Things don't work right....ugh....
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Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas at our house.

Christmas at our house is anything but normal. While we did exchange some small gifts, our Christmas is more about spending time together, relaxing, and just enjoying what we do have. Unfortunately, our youngest son, Jayson, couldn't be with us for the holidays, but at least he is safely back in the states after finishing his first deployment in the Navy. We are looking forward to seeing him next month!

After enjoying an awesome Korean dinner my wife headed for her favorite chair for a movie while Jimmy and I headed for the garage for some wrenching on our scoots. I had picked up a used set of risers and drag bars for my sporty so it was time for the install.

Now the bars I got weren't dimpled or drilled so I had to drill them and run the wires internally. What a pain in the ass!! The drilling was easy, but try having to cut the wires, fish them through the bars, and then solder 12 fricking wires just sucked! After fighting with that it was time to finally put everything back together. I'm thinkin' "man, this looks sweet!" Then I went to check all the functions and the damn right turn didn't work!! Shit!! After several times of taking it apart and putting it back together it finally worked. I'm very happy with the results, now to figure out how to mount the speedometer.

While I was working on mine Jimmy was working on his project, an '81 Yamaha Xs400 that he plans on building into a cafe racer. He got to rebuild carbs tonight, better him than me, lol!

I'd like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and may you share it with those that are important to you!
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Gotta luv winter......

NOT!!! I guess I shouldn't complain, so far it's been very mild with just light dusting of snow yesterday. Today it's 46 and sunny, roads are clear, time to ride!! I didn't get as many miles on as I wanted, but it was still awesome to be in the wind! Last ride of the year? I hope not!

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