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And So It Begins

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  • And So It Begins

    Last summer I got a 2005 XL1200R and rode it through 44 states between mid May through mid October. In the process, I thought about what changes I wanted to make to make the bike a better traveling machine. I’ve been buying used parts on FleaBay toward the improvements. The process is now beginning. I’m going to put a 4 1/2 gallon Custom tank on the bike which necessitates a different seat. I bought cast wheels to replace the spoke wheels, and I bought a Hepco & Becker saddlebag mounting kit for a Honda for short money which has to be modified to fit the Roadster. (H&B doesn’t make a mounting kit for my bike.) If I can afford it after I finish these mods, I want to put better shocks on the rear and new springs and maybe Gold Valve Cartridge emulators in the forks. When the bike is done (for now) I'll put up Before and After pictures





    An Exciting Evening


    Yesterday was busy with humdrum details of getting settled in. I won’t bore you with the specifics; I will say that it was a good and productive day. I got home in the late afternoon, busied myself with getting things sorted out, fixed dinner and settled in for the evening. I looked at the calendar and realized that it’s only a month or so until Glitch Badness (a rally in Georgia that I’m going to), and I need to get the Custom tank painted. I called Vern in Tennessee and confirmed that he’s still willing to paint and fix the dents in it for me and had a nice half hour conversation about motorcycles, BBQ and great rides in his neck of the woods (Now, I’m really looking forward to going!). That left me pumped up about the upcoming summer. After that phone call, I played on the computer for a while, then decided I’d track the cast wheels I won on FleaBay. The last time I looked, they were in Willington, CT and scheduled to be delivered on Thursday. When I went to the FedUp tracking site, it said Delivered. So I went out to the garage, and sure enough, they were there! it didn’t take me long to open the boxes and take the wheels out. They were well packaged and looked even better than the pictures on eBay. That got me pumped up even more. I had received a gift certificate to Dennis Kirk as a gift, so I went to that website and ordered a new set of tires to put on my new wheels. The Transformation of the Roadster is beginning! Next, I have to get a turn signal relocation kit and get the bag mounts fabricated. I think tomorrow, I’ll go over to the Harley shop in Leominster and order the kit and the new seat. My current seat won’t fit with the Custom tank. Fortunately, H-D makes a Sundowner seat for the Custom. It’s the same seat, but with a shorter “Nose”. My savings are going quickly, but they were there for this project. By the time I’m done, I’ll be broke again, but with the bike set up the way it should be. I am really getting psyched up for this!
    You can't put a price on Worthlessness.

  • #2
    Re: And So It Begins

    Glad to hear you are making progress on the little sporty.
    Rick B
    NE Oregon
    Freedom Cruisers Riding Club
    Patriot Guard Riderssigpic

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    • #3
      Re: And So It Begins

      Would love to see some pictures?

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      • #4
        Re: And So It Begins

        Originally posted by Qdog002 View Post
        Would love to see some pictures?
        Right now, I could show a couple of wheels sitting on the floor and a gas tank sitting in a wheelbarrow. Once it comes together, I'll take some pictures. It's not going to look a lot different, but it should work and feel a bit better.
        You can't put a price on Worthlessness.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: And So It Begins

          Settling Down?


          I’ve had a lot of conflicting thoughts running through my mind the past couple of days. I’m getting the urge for settling down which is in direct opposition to the urge for going. I still plan to do some long rides this summer, but I’m getting tired of living on the road without a home. The base of this is the fact that I’ve moved in to the apartment that was just my mailing address. While I still tend to be a Loner, I’m splitting the apartment with my cousin. He’s quiet and easy to get along with, so I think it will work out. However, it does take away a bit of money that I would otherwise use for traveling. Now I’m trying to figure out how to have my cake and eat it too.

          To quiet the war going on between my opposing urges (and it’s a hotly contested war), I think I’m going to do an abbreviated version of last year’s travel. There are still places I want to see, and things I want to attend. I’m going down to Georgia for Glitch Badness for April 1- 3; On the way down, I’m stopping in Tennessee to visit with Vern and to put my new gas tank on the bike. Vern’s doing the body work and painting the tank for me. After the rally, I’m going to swing up to North Carolina and visit with Grace and Steve (my sister and Brother in Law), then I’ll come back to Hudson.

          I have a very interesting trip planned for this summer. I’m going out to California to visit with my brother Tony. Along the way, I’ll make stops to visit with friends and family. I’ll stop and see David and Jack in Cincinnati and Sue in Colorado, possibly Tootal (his badweb name) near St. Louis and Matt and Lorraine in Iowa. After visiting with Tony, I’m going north into Canada. I want to see Banff and Jasper National Parks, then swing back south into Montana and hit Glacier National Park again. I really want to ride the Going-To-The-Sun Road in its entirety. That’s as much of the trip as I have planned so far; and it’s not cast in stone. The people I want to visit I may stop on my way west, or on my way east, or maybe even not see them at all; depending on circumstances (They might not be home when I’m passing through, or have other commitments).

          I also want to attend the West Virginia Buell Rally that Mark puts on every year. I went for the first time last year and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Plus, I have to get more of that amazing pulled pork that was for dinner on Saturday night.

          I don’t know which races I’ll get to attend, but I’ll get to some, I’m sure.

          There are quite a few things I didn’t get to accomplish last summer that I would like to do this year, but I don’t know if I can get to them all. That might just be a good thing. It will give me something to plan for next year.

          I guess the idea is to have more places to go and more things to accomplish than I possibly can get to. That way, I won’t have time to get bored.

          The Tramp is still there; He’s just gotten a bit older and he likes the idea of having a home to come back to.
          You can't put a price on Worthlessness.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: And So It Begins

            Good stuff on the training schedule.

            I don't know you so huge grain of salt out here in the cheap seats, but FWIW: "Loner?" I don't think so. People and relationships are always prominent in your ramblings. You say tramp, I might say transient. Either could work. Better than loner.

            If I were a betting man, I'd put higher odds on you being happy with something mobile with a roof that can still support your bike habit, than I would on something with a foundation. Pull behind motocamper, old bus with a ramp for the bike, pickup camper and bike trailer, I couldn't say. Something not too big or expensive that can move around as a lily pad for your bike excursions, but holds more than your saddlebags and doesn't need to be completely packed up every night.

            Good luck feeding all the beasts.

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            • #7
              Re: And So It Begins

              Priorities


              There are changes I’m making to the Roadster, but Time and money are making me take a hard look at what gets done when. The Gas tank is on its way to Vern to have the dents fixed and to be painted. That was my top priority. I also bought the correct Sundowner seat to go with the tank, so comfort won’t be an issue. While I was at the Harley shop, I bought a turn signal relocation kit, so I can get the saddle bag frames modified to fit on my bike. I have the cast wheels out in the garage. They’re going to get new bearings and rotors and tires. Plus, I want to put better suspension on the bike.

              I already have a new drive belt and rear sprocket waiting for me at the Shop. Don in Buffalo turned me on to a site (D2moto.com) that has brake pads at a ridiculously low price for all three calipers. ($37.79 and free shipping. That’s less that the MSRP for just the rear pads from H-D) They’re probably made by slave labor in China, but I’m poor and can’t afford the luxury of paying three times as much. The brake rotors are under $90.00 each from JC Whitney. That's over $40.00 less each. I’m squeezing the nickel ‘till the Buffalo sh*ts.

              Even so, I have to prioritize the changes. If I wait to put the new wheels on, then I’ll get more use out of the tires that are on the spoke wheels. So if I hold off on buying the wheel bearings and rotors, then I’ll have enough to buy a Monotube cartidge kit from Progressive Suspension. And, while I’m going to get the saddlebag mounting brackets reworked to fit my bike, if I use the soft bags a little longer, instead of buying the hard bags now, then I’ll be able to get the Progressive 412 shocks.

              So; the changes will happen in this order; Gas tank and seat are in progress. Turn signals will be relocated as soon as I get a warm day, then the mounting brackets and the bike go to the welder’s. After that, I’ll do the suspension, then the wheels and finally I’ll buy the bags themselves.

              It should all be done before I head for California this summer.
              You can't put a price on Worthlessness.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: And So It Begins

                Big bird, I've thought of that for myself. Truck camper pulling my enclosed trailer around and using that setup as a base camp. I was out on the West coast of California north of Huntington by the ocean were they had all these campers park along the beach. Actually stop and talk to a guy that had a older truck camper. Said he lived out of that full time and is a local from the area. Said he only payed 300.00 a month for that spot. He pick a good spot because there was a outside shower close by. I can't think of the name of it though. Might be able to stumble onto it again. Maybe someone here might know of it. I was just riding around. Do remember I was off the beaten path and went underneath a railroad bridge and I turn right which took me to a dead end an notice all the different rv's along one side of the road. That's when I stop and chatted with that guy. Couldn't imagine a better view to wake up to every morning.

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                • #9
                  Re: And So It Begins

                  Just a word/warning about those cheap brake pads ....

                  I have seen friends that wanted good brake pads, but didn't want to pay the $115 for a full set of OEM pads from Honda, so they got the EBC 'Organic' set for $66 and figured they got 'a steal'.
                  Such was the case with a close friend of mine, even though I cautioned him about them when I installed a full set on his bike, just before he trailered his bike down to Florida for a couple of months during the winter.
                  When he was back in very early spring for me to install a new set of tires on his bike, I took a look at his front pads and they were less than a hair from the pad's backing plate. I asked him how many miles did he put on while down in Florida and it was barely over 5,000 miles!! He was totally shocked to see how worn down they were and was lucky he didn't ride any further or he would have needed new discs!
                  I sent him over to the local dealer to get a set of OEM pads to put on as I wouldn't allow him out of my shop with pads that worn.
                  He learned a lesson in false economy that day.
                  Ya, the pads may be cheaper, but when you have to replace them 3-4 times as often as a set of OEM pads (never mind labour charges and the amount of down time!), where's the 'deal'!
                  Ken - 1992 Honda GL1500 Aspencade 2013 Victory Cross Country Tour
                  Camping Styles - tent camp off of bike - 2013 HF Cargo trailer - 2011 Aspen Sentry
                  "It's never too early to plan and never too late to go!" - Dusty
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Re: And So It Begins

                    You're 100% right. I'm letting my inner cheapskate get out of control. The funny thing is that I know better and I'm ignoring my own past experience.
                    I bought a set of DP brake pads for my Buell Cyclone back around 2002 or so. The package was clearly marked For Race Use Only, but I put them on my bike anyway. I will say that the bike stopped even better than with the stock brake pads, but in 3,000 miles, the pads were worn out and the brake rotor was junk.
                    My bike currently needs brake pads and the rotors are showing some wear. I'll use these pads for the time being with the laced wheels, then, when I put the cast wheels on, I'll get a set of stock pads for the new wheels.
                    You can't put a price on Worthlessness.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: And So It Begins

                      I've had good luck with lyndall brake pads. Cleaner and get the mileage, I don't by the higher end ones spoke with them and was recommended to go with the "z" pads. Don't know if they are cheaper than oem but way cleaner and quieter.

                      http://www.lyndallbrakes.com/


                      Russ

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                      • #12
                        Re: And So It Begins

                        The full time RV life can be done very cheaply. Most areas have free dump sites where you can fill back up with fresh water. Nat Forest areas are free camping in unimproved areas, small fees in improved campgrounds. Like Crusty found out, there are many city and state parks with minimal fees. Many have time limits, like 5-10 days, so be prepared to move around a bit.

                        Look up the Boondocking sites for ideas and places to stay. If you want to see it in action, visit Quartzite, AZ during the winter. Thousands of RV's boondocking out in the desert.

                        The other nice thing about an RV is when you visit people you aren't in their house full time. When we visit the kids we put the trailer in their driveway.

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                        • #13
                          Re: And So It Begins

                          Originally posted by flruss View Post
                          I've had good luck with lyndall brake pads. Cleaner and get the mileage, I don't by the higher end ones spoke with them and was recommended to go with the "z" pads. Don't know if they are cheaper than oem but way cleaner and quieter.
                          Russ
                          A+ on the Lyndal "Z" brake pads ... I'm sold on 'em ... Been running them on our Harley's for years. Long lasting, dust free, and exilent stopping power.

                          G
                          sigpic
                          I've done so much with so little for so long ... Now I can do nearly anything with almost nothing.

                          .

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