Mar 13, 2013
Mar 12, 2013
I figured it’d be fun to work with a bud in the garage like the old days so I called Andrew to see what he was up to and am so glad he was able to hang because, as we found out, this ended up being a two-person job for sure. Maybe not next time, now that we know what to do, but that was definitely too much for one that night.
We spent a little while hmming and hawwing, trying to make sense of the manual to figure out where the electrical disconnects were for the hand controls… We removed the battery box, poked around in there for a while before deciding that we did indeed need to lift the tank.
The fuel pump petcock has a nice, clean and easy quick-connect that stops the gas from pouring all over the floor should you need to disconnect with gas still in the tank. The front crossover fuel line? Not so much… We both got covered in gas but eventually rigged up a system using a funnel and some 5/16″ hose to drain it without getting any more all over the bike and ourselves.
After that, it was just a matter of disconnecting some of the electrical run through the tank itself (fuel gauge, spedo, etc.) and then she came up nice and easy.
So all the control’s electrical runs into these ports in the frame neck (which are usually half-covered with rubber grommets) and then out under a plastic cover above the engine. It’s not entirely clear in the manual but once you figure out where all that goes, everything gets a lot easier.
Aside from powdercoating the fork sliders and trees, one of the main reasons for all of this work was to replace the top triple tree from the stock tree to one from a 2007 FXD SuperGlide without integrated risers so I bought one and had it stripped and coated with everything else.
The powdercoating job was great but some made it’s way into tiny threads on the bottom of the stem – it’s ok because I didn’t think to tell Rob and I doubt that he even saw that hole. I was able to clean out the top few threads with a knife…
…and then chase the rest with a screw. Pushing forward and then backing out to remove the powdercoat a few threads at a time. Patience is a virtue.
It was starting to get too late so we decided to button up for the night and just hand-tighten everything together so I can go back in with some loctite and a torque wrench later in the week.
We rerouted the electrical through the trees, hit everything with some dialectric grease and reconnected everything under the frame.
Goodnight Nurse! Thanks again to Andrew to lending a hand – I know that to experienced builders all this doesn’t seem like much but for a couple of guys figuring it all out as it goes, it’s a fair bit of a work and I’m glad I’ve got a great crew up buds willing to lend time and experience.
Mar 11, 2013
Spring is in the air and anyone who knows me knows how much FOMO I’ve got in me so if we have one nice day and I can’t ride I’m going to lose my fucking loofah!
Last Sunday I spent a day tearing down the bike which for the most part, was pretty straight forward with a few hickups.
One of the challenges with new bikes, especially Harleys, is that they don’t make anything easy for you. Sure, I like not having all of the wiring inside the headlight (like on vintage Hondas) but that means that they have to hide it somewhere else – in this case that means all the controls are routed through the triple tree, into the frame and then back out under the tank where you can access the connections. So, take the tank off, right? In order to do that you need to disconnect the electrical running through the tank itself as well as the fuel connector between the tanks and yadda, yadda, yadda…
So I left that alone for now and just set to removing the things that were relatively easy, or so it would seem… Within 5 minutes of disassembly I’d managed to strip a bolt that was heavily loctited – fortunately Janky Jamie was able to hammer in a torx bit with a deadblow hammer and wrench that fucker out.
After that it was pretty smooth sailing…
…until I hit a wall at the end of the day (which was a Sunday so stores closed early) when I realized that I needed a 12mm hex head ratchet bit – the biggest any of us had was 10mm and as I found out the next morning when I went on a tour of the local hardware and automotive store, that was the biggest any of them had as well.
I’d taken Monday off work to get all this stuff off to powdercoat so not being able to get the fork sliders off was starting to become a huge pain in the ass so what does a shoemaker do when he can’t get something down? He calls in the pros… I called up Frank The Tank who said he had a bit of time to help me out so I loaded up the zipcar and headed over to Solid Cycles.
As it turned out, Frank didn’t have the long reach 12mm needed so we hopped in his truck and bought one. Then he realized I’d never be able to get these things back together without a 49mm fork seal tool so he called up his distributer and bought one… All the while refusing to take payment for just helping a guy with a seemingly simple task. In the end the fork seal tool he bought was missing parts and Frank is a perfectionist so he went to a machinist and fucking made one! What a guy…
Then he asked where I was going to take everything to get powdercoated so I said Jetkote, just because I don’t really know anywhere else so what does he do? He hops in the car and takes me to meet Rob who has a shop around the corner who took care of everything for a great price. If anyone needs Powdercoating done in Toronto let me know and I’ll get his info.
While I waited for the powdercoat I set to task running a Scotchbrite treatment on my rear turn signals & new mirrors. These are some before and after shots of both.
I could probably stand to run over the mirrors with a finer grit and clean up them up a bit but whatever… Because my work hours are pretty hectic during the week, Frank went and picked everything up for me and reassembled my forks for me.
I seriously can’t overstate just how much Frank helped me out on this; doing a bunch of heavy lifting, offering crucial advice and helping set this young pup on the right path. If anyone reading has a Harley and needs a solid mechanic/builder to take care of it for them – hit up Solid Cycles.
Next up – reassembly.
Feb 28, 2013
I’ve always been of the mind that Kickstarter and similar crowd-sourced funding resources were the exclusive domain of “inventors” for product specific launches but recently my thinking has changing as I realized that crowd-sourced funding gives small businesses, regardless of format or offerings, opportunities to expand in ways that traditional funding methods never could.
One of my favorite Toronto brands (which also happens to be run but some seriously fucking amazing people), Klaxon Howl, is looking to expand into the expensive and competitive NYC market and we all have the opportunity to help them do just that and get yourself some pretty rad “rewards” at a discount for lending a hand so I figured “why the hell not?” and encourage you to do the same.
I’ve bought a few things from Matt, Lena, Bram & crew over the years and everything I have gets worn weekly, if not daily, and has held up like few others would have. I treat my clothing badly and wear it like it’s meant to be worn so if it can survive me, it can survive anything.
Feb 26, 2013
Once I got the jack, I realized that I needed to get some Dyna Lift Adapters because the oil pan sits lower than the frame on one side. On top of the fact that there is no longer an H-D Dealer in Toronto, all the ones in neighboring cities were out of stock so I needed to order them in and wait…
In the meantime I decided to take a bunch of parts off and give them the Scotchbrite treatment like I did with my Joker Machine Air Cleaner & Emblems as most of the things I wanted to Parkerize couldn’t be on account of their material.
Headlight Trim Ring before:
It’s a subtle but rad effect.
While I was waiting and just doing little jobs some parts started to flow in from Town Moto, eBay and various other online sources.
Lowbrow Customs now makes one that is pretty close and looks/feels like a great quality light (also available at Town Moto), but something about that nearly black lens and the adjustable neck on the Black Beauty is just too nice for me to forego.
I think once the fender has been coated black this thing is going to be the tits! I’ll likely get Frank The Tank to install it again because Harley has a reasonably complicated wiring system as it relates to the tail light and rear turn signals… More complicated than I’m prepared to deal with right now, anyway.
One of the things I never loved about the Street Bob (post 2007 and pre 2013) is the integrated riser top triple tree but finding OEM ones from the right years can be difficult and this one from Loner Industries is a little pricey (and apparently now out of stock anyway) so I ordered the top tree from a 2007 FXD Superglide which will apparently fit without modification and a set of Biltwell Slimline Risers which are pretty sweet.
I’ll have to strip and powdercoat the top tree but a bunch of other parts, including the lower tree and fork sliders, are going that way anyway so it shouldn’t be too costly. Now that I’ve got my jack set up properly I can start stripping the rear fender and the front-end to ship them off to Byers Bush at which point I’ll be able to start reassembly within a week, likely. Just waiting on my new Progressive Rear Suspension and with any luck she’ll be back on the road before the nice weather hits!
Our work is never over.
Feb 26, 2013
Most of my favorite memories growing up were hitting the mountains with my family in this rad old tent-trailer my folks had – every summer we’d pack up the family and drive across this great country of ours and beyond. We’d camp at Banff, Jasper, though the BC Rockies and eventually to Switzerland (obviously in a rented camper) where we hiked to the glacier lake at Oberhornsee.
It’s been a long, long while but the call of the mountains never leaves you. I’d been doodling these mountains and laurels on my arm for a while so Dan did just the same…
…and got to work!
Feb 26, 2013
“We’re doing a tech night in February on Thursday the 28th. For this one we’re going to go over some simple mods like changing your turn signals and handle bars and different options for wiring and troubleshooting some of easy to solve problems that can arise when doing this kind of stuff for the first time. We’ll start at 7pm and go until we’re done.”
More info here.
Feb 26, 2013
When I watched Pretty Sweet a while back, one of the things that kind of surprised me was how much I dug the opening song, Synthesize by Maximum Hedrum. It felt like some sort of weird Sabbath worship electronica and I couldn’t stop listening. It now makes total sense because I just found out that this is a new project from Derek Green of Sepultura. I knew there had to be a banger at the helm.