Blue I came home back in August 2013 and accumulated nearly 19,000 miles by the time she was done-in by an errant motorist during Biketoberfest in Daytona on 16 October 2015. She was a great bike that carried us to Daytona, Florida 4 times, Panama City Beach, Florida 4 times, Gatlinburg, Tennessee 2 times, Knoxville & Nashville, Tennessee and even all the day down to Key West, Florida.
Blue II came to us with just over 2,400 miles on the odometer in November 2015. Sadly, we’ve only been able to log a little under 7,600 miles on her since then. Well, then again, we didn’t even really start to ride Blue II until January 2016 but still… we’re a bit down on our mileage. That said, Blue II has made the trek down to Daytona and Panama City Beach twice and has also carried us down to Key West this past July. What’s missing from the mileage are the once frequent trips up to the Georgia mountains with our friends David & Deb and local rides closer to Atlanta. We skipped the Spring Bike Week in Daytona this past March as well, which would have added another 1,000 – 1,200 miles on the odometer. But, she will be taking us down to Panama City Beach in just a couple of weeks, so with that on the horizon and Blue II approaching 10,000 miles it’s time for a little attention.
The service manual calls for a litany of checks at 10,000 miles, most of which I performed when she first came home with 2,400 miles on her clock because she’d basically not been ridden in over a year: bye-bye old fluids and let’s be sure everything else is copacetic. But, here we are at 10,000 miles so prudence dictates that I check the box on all of the required items. On the bright side, there’s nothing that needs to be done at 10,000 miles that an owner with just a few tools and some mechanical know-how can’t accomplish at home, which is where almost all of the maintenance on our motorcycles gets done.
Now, it just so happens that Blue II’s Dunlop D407 tires are pretty much shot due to cupping. There’s a lot of tread mileage left on the tires, but for some strange reason Dunlop uses a tread pattern that invites severe cupping for anyone who tends to be a bit aggressive in their launches and stops: that would include yours truly. I’m guessing Blue II only made it to 8,500 miles before the cupping became really noticeable since I didn’t log the first 2,400 miles: Blue I’s tires were shot at 7,200 (rear) and 9,000 (front). Anyway, there’s no way that we’re going to spend 5 hours riding at highway speeds being treated to the vibrations and noises that come from cupped tires so I’ve ordered up a new set of Metzler 888’s for Blue II from our friend Tim the parts manager at Harley-Davidson of Atlanta. Hopefully I won’t regret trying to save $125 by opting to try the Metzler’s before the more expensive Michelin Commander II tires that will also fit up to the Harley CVO touring bike rims. Leave it to Harley to come up with a really odd size and load rating spec that, up and until a few years ago, only the Dunlop D407 could meet. The Metzlers should arrive on Wednesday so, with any luck, I may be able to get them installed Thursday afternoon or on Friday. Relative to the 10,000 mile service interval, this also means quite a few things on the checklist will also get taken care of as the tires are changed, e.g., drive belt inspection and tension, brake wear, bearings, etc.
As for the other things on the checklist, fluids are the most costly items; seriously. Some of it is self-inflicted since there are certain types of fluids that I prefer to use on the motorcycles, such as:
- $11/quart Mobil 1 V-Twin 20w-50 synthetic oil: it takes like 3.2 quarts to refill a CVO 110 cubic inch motor with an oil cooler, or $44 for oil plus another $10 for the oil filter: all told, about $55.
- $15/quart Redline Primary Lubricant and it takes about 1.3 quarts of that, or another $34 unless you happen to have a partially used quart of the stuff back at home.
- $19/quart Redline 80W Transmission Lubricant which, thankfully, it only takes a full quart.
- $10/tube of multipurpose grease for the head tube / steerer tube bearings.
Yeah, so how about that, a little over $110 in fluids alone. All of those will get changed after the tires are installed, at the same time I do all of the other 10,000 mile inspections and checks.
But, with all of those things taken care of I can feel pretty confident that Blue II will be all set for the first road trip of the year when we head to Panama City Beach on 6 May. It’s only a 325 mile ride down, but we’ll probably put another 200 – 250 miles on the bike while we’re in Florida so good to have fresh fluids a little before that 10,000 mile mark instead of just after: I’m pretty OCD in this regard.