No! You can’t have her…


I know that it’s a big sales game. Get folks to trade in their bikes for bigger / better / newer / faster / niftier / whatever. They get to sell the old bike for more than it’s worth and they get to turn over lots of equipment.

I got that call today. “Hey have you heard the new bikes are ready?” Or rather “Hey wanna play the sales game with us?”

I’m not quite ready to turn Sonja over just yet. I haven’t done any real long distance on her yet. The longest trip was just a couple hundred miles over a weekend.

Hell, I still need to cartoon-ize the bike and photo-hack the picture into one of my WoW screen shots of a toon on one of the motorcycle mounts.

Sometimes good intentions are blindsided by life…

A while back, I mentioned that I’d gotten the Sportster running again. In that same post, I mentioned fluids and hoses needing replacing. I also made a grand statement that she’d be ride-able the following weekend.

Don't get cocky.
Don’t get cocky.

Yeah, I got cocky. I had to go and make a big deal about riding her again. Yeah, things happened, parts weren’t readily available, other things came up that prevented me from tending to her. So fast forward 2.5 months.

I did the things with the stuff to the bike and she’s street worthy again. I’ve been driving her to work the past 2 days. HUGE FREAKING DIFFERENCE between the Sportster and the Road King. Going from an XL to an FL is an easy change. Things just go slower. Going the other way is a huge culture shock. I’ve gotten used to the laid-back ways of the big bike.

I think the best analogy would be imagine spending your time around a 10 year old golden retriever, then visit a friend with a Jack Russell puppy.

I’m enjoying the hell out of the Sportster. It’s been too long.

She’s alive…


Saturday was fairly routine. Wake up. Go to Kung Fu. Do miscellaneous things around the house. Chill out for the evening.

One of the things I did around the house was dust off the Sportster, put the new battery in her and take her out for a test ride. I was surprised that she just started right up. The bike had been sitting untouched for almost 2 years (I know, “BAD OWNER!”, but the RK is sooooooo nice to ride). All her fluids need to be changed out (the brakes were spongy as hell). Her fuel lines need replacing too. In other words, she’ll be fully street ready by next weekend.

I’ll keep my swamp, thank you! Otherwise entitled, “you poor New Englanders”

I’m ride the scoot every day. Today was one of the colder days we’ve had this winter. Not the coldest, just one of the colder.

So far this season, I’ve only put the chaps on once. Otherwise, just doing my normal winter bundle on the torso has been sufficient. Then I read stories of how the north east has been buried in 72 inches of snow over the past 2 weeks. I know a couple of bikers in parts of New England. They’ve had their bikes “winter-ized” for just over 4 months now.

As I’m driving to work this morning, thinking “Wuff! This is chilly,” my brain shuffles over to them. So, I sat a little snugger in the seat, squared my shoulders, took a deep breath and thought “This is for you, my snow-bound buddies.” Suddenly, it didn’t seem nearly as cold as it had just a few moments earlier.

Sea-legs = Saddle-butt

I went on a cruise a couple weekends ago. This cruise to be exact.

This was both my first multi-day cruise and my first time leaving the 48 continental states. So I had absolutely no clue what to expect.

It was 5 days 4 nights to the Bahamas and back. I spent one day at the port of Nassau and one day on a private island. There were quite a few bands playing around the clock. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

That is until I started going stir-crazy from the confinement. By day 4, I was ready to be home. I’ve decided that I am going to look for 3 day cruises in the future.

Once I was on dry land, I learned what “sea-legs” are. I was actually quite concerned that it would affect my ability to ride my motorcycle. Typically, when your equilibrium is compromised, you’re advised to not get on a motorcycle. However, it didn’t phase me at all. Apparently, if your sea-legs aren’t touching the ground, the equilibrium goes back to normal. I’m not sure if that is normal for most people, or if I am just a freak of nature. At any rate, I’m not complaining.

Bigger isn’t always better

So, Sonja is only 1.25 years old. It’s in the shop a second time for the automatic compression release mechanisms. I’m actually of the mindset that I’d like the ACR removed, and the heads machined for manual compression releases. Forcasting, I count 11 ACR replacements between now and the end of the warranty.

I wonder if I approach the service writer with this info, if they’ll just skip the next ARC replacement and go with the machined heads?

There’s also the part of me that’s just hoping this isn’t a recurring thing and just a fluke. Though, that part of me knows better.

Not so much rocking and a whole lot of rolling….

So, I realized I never followed up after my bit about the odd vibrations Sonja was suffering from. It turns out that there was nothing wrong with the ignition/fuel mapping. The torque curve was sweet, the HP curve was nice and linear, and the AFR was damn near spot on.

The issue was a change that the MoFo MoCo made in the compensator sprocket setup. A change that introduced a gap in an area that takes a ton of abuse. Harley’s fix: a shim that sits between the bearing and the sprocket. Relatively quick and painless fix.

The end result? I’m finally riding on a big twin again (vs. the epileptic with tourettes that I’d been riding for quite some time now).

At any rate, here’s Sonja…

My little lady