There were some moments of angst throughout the week, but as I sit here on Sunday night and reflect back on the past seven days I’m thinking it was a pretty good week in many respects.
Monday was a BMW R1100S day, which is to say my work week started with a trip to the office on the BMW sporting its new rear tire. I had to remind myself to be careful on corners until the tire gets scuffed-in, but other than that a pretty uneventful ride to and from work. As noted in my previous blog entry, I made a stop by my local H-D dealer on the way home to pick up the replacement Derby cover for the one they damaged during my 1,000 mile service and that was a bust. Oh yeah, still waiting to hear back; not good.
Since I was at the dealer, I also stopped by the showroom and to check-out the H-D branded rain suits. My 3-year old FirstGear Rainman pants have started to leak in the crotch and need to be replaced, for the 3rd time in 10 years. I checked up the rain suits at my BMW dealer and other than the FG Rainman pants, everything else they had on hand had pants that would melt upon contact with the hot exhaust on our Harley’s. I figured this would be something H-D’s rain suits wouldn’t have a problem with.
I found some pretty nice pants — an older model of Harley’s “classic cruiser” rain gear — and amazingly I ended up getting the Small size, given these would just be worn over jeans. I have some other rain gear for use in cold weather that’s big enough to fit over my insulated winter gear. One of the gals from the clothing dept. that Debbie and I are friends with pointed out that they had a small-size jacket that matched the pants and gave me a mark-down on the gear, so that worked out well. More in a minute on how well the gear works….
That was about it for Monday. Yeah, H-D squeezed a few more bucks out of me, but their gear is typically pretty good quality so I’m OK with that!
Tuesday was another BMW day; I just really enjoy riding that bike. It feels more like a 600cc bike than a 1,100cc model given how nimbly it handles. Not a ton of horsepower, but just enough hp and torque to keep it fun. Tuesday ended with on an-time departure from work so that I could join Miss Debbie for tandem bicycle ride after work.
Wednesday was a Harley-Davidson Wide Glide day. Sadly, the Wide Glide will probably never see another road trip and will be relegated to daily commutes to work when the weather’s nice, poker runs when Debbie isn’t with me, or just running errands when I don’t feel like using the BMW. I still think about selling it, but the used market is awful and with an Average NADA value of $13,500 (low value / trade-in of $10,500) there’s no way I’d be able to get enough of my sunk cost out of to feel good about the deal. Well, that and the bike is just such a blast to ride solo and looks killer with its Performance Machine chrome wheels and other little tweaks that I’ve made! So, because I can, I’ll just keep it + the BMW + the Road King. But, that’s it! No more big bikes!!
Thursday was another Wide Glide day that saw me headed home on time so I could do a tandem ride with my sweetie after work. About the only thing that was noteworthy was a boneheaded mistake I made when ordering a new set of Custom Dynamics amber turn signal LEDs for the Wide Glide: I checked 1156 when I should have checked 1157. Oh well, they’re always good about returns and have awesome folks working customer support so no big deal. The Wide Glide’s original amber LEDs were donated to the Road King, hence the need for replacements. I have a pair of white 1157 LEDs, but they just don’t offer as much day-time visibility as the amber LEDs.
Friday was a Road King day, and I’ll be darned if I know why. This was probably the last time that I’ll take the Road King to work: juice just isn’t worth the squeeze. Commuter duty is just not what you want to subject a high-end motorcycle to if you can avoid it. With the other two motorcycles in the garage, I can clearly avoid it, eh? Friday also brought a re-order of a second Condor Pit Stand so that both the Road King & BMW can be parked sitting upright with the front wheels locked in a wheel chock. The Wide Glide sits on my J&S motorcycle lift, so no need for a 3rd Condor!
Friday night was the typical Finally-a-Friday at On the Border with our friends and partners in crime / motorcycle riding buddies David & Deb. We had a grand time, as always. FWIW, finally making acquaintances with David & Deb in May of 2011 after just waving “hi” them across the bar for nearly 8 years is truly what became the catalyst for our entry into the Harley-Davidson motorcycle world: that’s been right up there with our entry into the tandem cycling world in terms of opening up a whole new world of friends and social outlets. Speaking of which, after OTB we headed over to Jimmy Mac’s to visit with a group of friends we met through David & Deb’s introduction of us to the band Pretty Twisted. It was Karaoke Night with Sarge East spinning the tunes and we had a really good time. We stopped in to see another friend who was playing with a band at Paddy’s Pub and scarfed down some chili-cheese fries on the way home, making it a rather full night. It also made getting up at 6:00am so we could make an 8:00am bicycle fund raiser ride the next morning a bit of a challenge!
Saturday was supposed to start with a 66-mile tandem bicycle ride at the Beautiful Backroads Century (BBC) ride in nearby Cartersville, Georgia. However, an unavoidable rain storm put the kabash on that idea. However, despite the rain, I decided to ride the BMW over to Harley-Davidson of Atlanta (HDA) to pick up a bike cover that came in for our Road King as it would give me (a) a chance to ride and (b) a chance to test out my new rain gear. The 40-mile round trip ride was pretty nice: I actually enjoy riding in the rain and cold weather. As you might guess, I was about the only patron at HDA who rode-in which garnered the ubiquitous “way to go/you’re nuts” accolades from the folks at the dealership. As for the rain suit, it did a really good job in the light rain. However, the combination of heavy rain on the way home + the sport bike riding posture / position of my legs + the way I positioned the sleeves over my gloves (vs the other way around) caused some water to make its way up the sleeves and down the outside of my left leg. I think I know how to “fix” both of those conditions once we’re on the Road King, so I’m good to go.
The rest of Saturday was something of a quiet day given that it rained all the way through until dinner time. We headed over to Loco Willy’s in the truck for dinner: Ahi Poke; yummy! Our friends David & Deb joined us (well, OK: technically David & Deb discovered Loco Willy’s and we’ve since joined them) and we had a grand old-time talking over a wide variety of subjects. One of them was David’s interest in a ’04 Road King up for sale at Earl Small’s H-D. He was thinking he might be able to do a bike-for-bike trade with his ’05 Deuce and maybe some boot based on similar used price values / asking prices. I wasn’t as optimistic but suggested he hit up our friend Doc to see if there was a deal to be had. Shortly after 8:00pm we headed out to Hiram, Georgia where Pretty Twisted was playing a gig at a small biker-bar called the Cove from 8:00 – 11:00pm. We had a great time dancing, hanging with friends and packed it in around 11:30pm, noting we once again had a cycling event “the morning after” on Sunday.
Sunday started a bit like Saturday in that the first step at 7:00am was checking the weather to see how it was shaping up for the tandem bicycle ride over in Tucker, Georgia. It was a bit cool, very damp and a layer of fog was sitting on most everything so we decided to pass on the tandem ride at 9:00am and, instead, do our own ride around 11:00am. We had a good ride and hopped on the Road King around 1:30pm and went in search of food & football via some local twistie roads so that we could also get in some Harley seat time. We ended up back at Loco Willy’s for wings and had a good time.
I should note that I attempted to salvage the stock “Hand Adjustable Premium Shock from Harley-Davidson” on our Road King by taking out 1/2 of the pre-load. No dice, it was still about as compliant as a brick. So, a new set of Bitubo shocks are still on the short list of “must haves”; the front fork upgrade to AK20 cartridges is still a wild card. Darn shame that H-D can actually put good equipment on their top of the line bikes.
After Willy’s we headed over to Earl Small’s H-D so I could ask the parts guys for a painter referral. I was pretty sure they’d have someone in their vendor list who does Harley paint and they did. I’d like to get the heat deflectors and perhaps a second docking station mount painted Crushed Sapphire. Sure, its pure vanity… but I guess I’m vain.
When we arrived at Earl Small’s we noticed that David & Deb’s Deuce was in the parking lot with their helmets on the bars, suggesting they were at Earl’s checking up on the trade-in deal David had in mind. As I feared, Doc had to use the “low retail” value for the trade-in value of their ’05 Deuce which was about $3k lower than the average retail / price point that David had in mind. So, the deal was DOA. I was a little surprised that the deal didn’t have a little give-and-take, but that’s the way used M/C sales seem to work. It was a bummer, to be sure.
After that we headed back home… the long way! It was a great ride and I was 7 for 7 on days aboard a motorcycle for the past 7 days!
Before putting the bike up I did check the engine & exhaust temps with my handy-dandy IR temperature sensor. I’d checked the BMW and Wide Glide exhaust manifold / header temps earlier in the week and still needed to get the Road King values:
- BMW = 250°F / 280°F
- FXDWG = 320°F / 320°F (Rear cylinder)
- Road King = 356°F / 405°F (Rear cylinder)
Yeah, that’s pretty hot.
Anyway, looking forward to another good week on the bikes: every workday that begins with a ride to the office on a motorcycle is always a better day because of it!