After arriving back at home on Sunday night after our 450-mile motorcycle ride home from Daytona Beach and visits to Loco’s and Mulligan’s we began the process of sorting out and putting away all of our luggage and gear. Rain suits needed to be properly dried out as nothing seemed to fully dry-out down in Florida, all of the various gloves, over-pants, heated gear and what not needed to go back in its proper place, our clothing needed to go into the wash and then it was time to decompress a bit. No, the bike did not get washed immediately; that could wait until Monday night.
Back to work… and honestly, as much as I think about retirement I’m reminded that I really do enjoy doing what I do, the people I work with and believe our work is still very meaningful. But, all of that said, in the back of my mind I was thinking I should have taken another day off to catch up on things back at home. Regardless, I made it through the day but knew I’d have a few things to do once I arrived at home, the most important being getting the Road Glide washed to remove three days of being constantly blasted by salt water mist carried off of wave tops by the non-stop 25mph winds we enjoyed in Daytona.
I moved the bike into the center bay and put it up on the J&S lift so I’d have good light and lots of room to work: it’s great having a drain in your garage! As I got into it, I was amazed at how filthy the bike got. Moreover, how much damage the salt air did to the unprotected aluminum, copper and steel parts on the bike: the Ventilator wheel’s polished aluminum trim surfaces were trashed. Washing the bike took a good hour, but it took another 2 hours with my small, hand-held “electric scrubber” to undue some of the damage to the wheels: there’s another 2 good hours left to go on just the wheels. I have yet to figure out what to do about all of the smaller parts like nuts and bolts, copper washers on the brake system and shifter linkages, power outlet housings, etc, that are also showing signs of corrosion.
After getting the bike off the lift and back in its proper parking space I burned some mid-night oil and replaced the temporary DC power outlet I’d velcro’d to the front of the gas tank that provided power to my cell phone with the more permanent one I’d purchased off of eBay. Hopefully, it will truly be waterproof: time will tell!
After work my evening was consumed mostly by home-banking, getting my Daytona blog mostly written and other non-motorcycle stuff. Well, I say that. One of the things on my to-do list was to gather up all of the manuals, receipts and miscellaneous small parts and tools that I still had in the garage for the BMW R1100S and then mail them off to Andrew, the buyer as promised. So, Tuesday night was something of a scavenger hunt.
However, the big news for Tuesday was making the decision to go ahead and purchase a used set of chrome “Slicer” wheels from a private seller that I’d found on Craigslist. Seeing the beating my stock wheels took in Florida I was reminded why I’d swapped out the steel spoked wheels on the Wide Glide for chrome wheels so it was a no brainer, especially since the seller’s asking price was only $700. Mind you, each of these wheels sell for $700 and the relatively new tires — if they’re still good — are worth about $300. As for their history, the rims came off of a 2015 Road Glide Ultra CVO with about 11,000 miles of use and supported the exact same 130/80 x 16″ front & 180/65 x 17″ rear tires we have on our Road Glide Ultra. The tires were purportedly replaced just a few thousand miles ago and in good condition. Anyway, after confirming the wheels would be a direct swap I went ahead and closed a deal with the seller via IM.
The only other notable items was the a realization on Tuesday that our Harley-Davidson Finance account didn’t seem to exist. A couple of phone calls and emails later over the course of a few days seemed to suggest something fell through the cracks; however, all should be resolved: thanks y’all and y’all know who you are.
The big item on my checklist for Wednesday was making sure Killer Creek Harley-Davidson would be able to take in the Road Glide on Saturday to address some warranty issues; they included:
- A strange harmonic sine-wave sound above 50 mph that I suspect may be an overly tight drive belt based on a Service Bulletin.
- A sloppy front end which is probably something that can be adjusted out with a little more preloading on the steering head bearings.
- Some stalling and decel popping/backfiring which may need an ECU update.
- Infotainment system issues that can probably be resolved by a software update.
- An annoying rattle that is coming from the back-end of the bike; no idea what it might be as I’ve checked everything.
- A bent jiffy stand heel tang; it is what it is.
- Some type of overspray on the rear cylinder heat shield that I was not able to remove with conventional chemicals that I’ll let the dealer attack with more aggressive methods, e.g., superfine steel wool.
Not all that unusual for a new Harley, which is both reassuring but sad in that most of us who have bought new Harley’s before know to expect less than flawless products. So the plan is to drop the bike off on Friday afternoon so they can work the issues off by Sunday afternoon and we can pick it up on the way home from North Georgia. Therefore, and in anticipation of dropping the bike, I spent a little time getting the Road Glide ready to go into the dealer by cleaning out the stuff that didn’t need to be on the bike during the service visit and I also finished-up the Daytona blog.
I also got it in my head on Wednesday– after reading some early reports from friends who headed down to Panama City Beach for Thunder Beach and just some beach time – that Debbie I really needed to get in some beach time as well. The weather in Daytona was definitely not conducive to walks on the beach or anything else on the beach unless you were willing to be wind and salt water blasted, so we never scratched that itch. The Oysters at the Oyster Pub were also pretty disappointing and, well, there’s just something about a few of the places we like to frequent in Panama City Beach.
Debbie really liked the idea so we’re now watching the weather forecasts for Panama City Beach to see if we can’t find a weekend when they’re calling for sunny skies with light winds and temps in the 80’s so we can make an impromptu ride down on the Road Glide.
Thursday wasn’t all that eventful, other than getting the care package for the BMW R1100S mailed off to Andrew and then going down to Mableton to pick up the used CVO wheels after work.
Nice guy and it was pretty much a win-win for both of us. I got a set of really nice, lightly used chrome wheels for the Road Glide that will be easier to care for ½ price and he was able to get them out of his garage and make a few bucks to off-set the cost of his new wheels.
When I got them home and gave them a good look the rims were in excellent shape. The front rims came with brake rotors that were in good shape, but the rear wheel would need the brake rotor, cush drive and pulley from the stock wheels.
The tires were a bit of a different story. The front tire looked to be in pretty good shape; however, the rear tire was starting to show early signs of cupping, something the stock Harley-Davidson / Dunlop D407 tires are notorious for. I went through two sets of the D407s on Blue I, our 1st 2013 Road King CVO, and a set on Blue II, our 2nd 2013 Road King CVO. I got smart and put the Metzler 888’s on Blue II and they’ve been great tires thus far.
Anyway, looking at the tires I knew I had three options:
- Just put them on the Road Glide and get as many miles out of them as I could before the noise and vibration from the rear tire cupping become intolerable.
- Get out my belt sander and knock down the ramps that were created by the uneven wear on the opposite side of the tread cuts; not exactly the best way to get a well-balanced tire since the cupping isn’t exactly symmetric in the 1st place.
- Just be happy with what I paid for the rims and buy a new set of Metzler 888’s for the new rims so the ride quality would be as good as new.
Still chewing on that one….
But I did start to give the rims a good going-over with some polishing compound that will be followed by a couple of coats of Zaino to ensure they don’t end up being mistreated by the salt air they’ll encounter on our future Florida trips. That took me well into the evening.
The big item on Friday’s schedule was having Debbie meet me over at Killer Creek Harley-Davidson so I could get the Road Glide dropped off for the aforementioned maintenance items. We targeted 3:00pm as our meet-up time as that would, in theory, get us back on the road and headed home before the traffic really got awful. It also would allow us to pick up and take home the stock exhaust mufflers that came off the Road Glide three weeks ago which CJ had stashed on her special shelf. Not sure I’ll ever need them, but it seems a waste to chuck a perfectly new set of exhaust mufflers.
While I was at the store I went ahead and ordered a 2017 touring bike service manual for the new bike. Holy smokes, it had an MSRP of $129.00!! I think my last touring bike service manual for the 2013 Road Kings was $89.00. Oh well, at least I was able to apply my 10% discount to the purchase and get that price knocked down a little bit. Oh, and it had to be ordered… which was actually true for the last two manuals I purchased. The irony here is, Harley-Davidson gives away full-color, high-gloss parts and accessory manuals that are more costly to produce than their service manuals by the truck load. Yeah, well… I guess they’d rather have you buying parts that the service department needs to install than figuring out how to maintain your own bike.
We had a little bit of traffic to deal with in a couple of spots on the way home, but nothing that awful for a Friday afternoon. Back at the house we tended to a few minor things before heading over to Loco Willy’s around 5:30pm to begin our Finally a Friday celebration.
When we arrived at Loco’s the bar was actually a bit empty; could it have been the cold temperature? And, no…. I’m not talking about the 67*F outdoor air, I was referring to the temperature inside the restaurant which had to be close to 69*F since walking outside didn’t feel all that different. Good thing Debbie and I both wore long sleeves and took jackets along, as we needed every bit of clothing we had. Deb and David – mostly David – was also bundled-up for most of the night. So, in addition to being really chilled just sitting at the bar in what we call the tropical zone – where you aren’t being bombarded by cold air coming from the A/C ducts in the ceiling – we also found that the bar keeping staff was a bit cold too, which was really odd. Now, to be fair, Brian nor Billy M. were working which definitely changes the vibe at Loco’s. However, Christian and Lindsay were on hand along with two other part-time bar tenders whom we’ve found to be awesome. However, for whatever reason the bar keepers seemed to be spending more time interacting with each other than with the guests as the bar. So, yeah… weird night where we ended up leaving early and just headed home to relax ahead of a full day on Saturday.
As expected, the weather turned nasty Saturday with temps falling into the 50’s during the day and then heading down to the 40’s with a steady drizzle or light rain falling all day. This is why I opted to drop the Road Glide off on Killer Creek on Friday afternoon instead of on our way to the mountains on Saturday: no sense in giving the shop an extra dirty bike to work on.
This allowed us to get a few things done on Saturday morning as well, which was nice. I made a much-needed trip to Costso and had a few things I needed to do out in the garage, never mind getting our clothing together for a visit to our small resort in the mountains for the annual Halloween dance on Saturday night. We weren’t wearing costumes, per se… just dressing up a bit more than we would for a night out at a club around the house but still had to make sure we had all of the bits and pieces needed to make those outfits work.
I think it was around 11:30am when we finally headed north, stopping at Applebee’s for a healthy lunch on our way. It was about 2:00pm when we finally arrived at the resort and after stopping to check in at the front office the owner, manager and our friend Jeff asked if we’d be willing to act as judges for the Halloween contest that night; suffices to say we were happy to do so. Once we were down at the main parking lot we were a bit surprised at how few cars there were and then, once in side the sports bar, at how few people there were there. However, it seemed like we knew quite a few of folks in the bar and that made for a very nice afternoon spent watching college football and visiting with friends before dinner at 6:00pm.
While I was watching football and multi-tasking on my computer we heard from the service folks at Killer Creek. Strangely enough, they called on Debbie’s phone number not the one that I’d given them. I have no idea how they ended up with her number but, thankfully, she had her phone with her which is rare. The bottom line appeared to be, given the weather they wouldn’t really be able to do much with our Road Glide until Monday since several of the items would require road testing. Therefore, and assuming nothing would require parts that had to be ordered, the bike should be ready to go by Tuesday or Wednesday. I did detect a little push back on some of the things I had written up. However, I’m confident it will all get addressed as Melissa is definitely in our corner and the owner & GM, Dan, is a good guy too.
After dinner we headed to our hotel so we could freshen-up and get dressed for the evening. As mentioned, we weren’t doing costumes although a lot of folks would probably think I was in costume with my semi-formal kilt, tweed kilt jacket, vest with lack dress shirt and tie: it was a good look. Debbie was, as always, looking amazing in one of her one-off dresses. Once we arrived back at the resort we were amazed at how crowded it was, probably the largest turn out we’d ever encountered. Jeff met me as we entered the lodge to give me my official pad and pen for recording contestant numbers and noted this wouldn’t be an easy job: the costumes were amazing! We had a great time being judges as it forced me to get out and about to make sure I could see what everyone was wearing and it was, indeed, a challenge to narrow my list down to just the top 10 individual, couples or group costumes. Beyond that, we just had a great time visiting with friends, dancing and of course having pizza at midnight. We were out well past our bedtime, but, it was worth it!
We opted to skip breakfast at the resort and headed for home on Sunday morning, having slept in until around 9:00am. I think we both had a short burst of energy in the morning that waned a bit after getting all of our weekend luggage unpacked and what not by noon time. However, after a short nap I was able to get up and going for the afternoon and knock-out a few small chores around the house.
1st up on my list was getting a new task light installed over my bicycle & motorcycle workbench, noting I’d killed the last one by making the mistake of plugging a heat gun into what looked like an outlet. Yeah, well… it was actually just a plug for ganging other low-voltage, LED light fixtures and the current that the heat gun pulled pretty much “smoked” the light fixture’s electronics. I opted to replace it with a more conventional light fixture and had that installed and wired-in less than ½ an hour: it actually took me longer to go and get the thing than it did to re-wire and install.
After that I spent the better part of the afternoon deep cleaning the second-hand rims I’d picked up on Thursday night. Again, seeing how the salt air beat up the brand new stock rims on our Road Glide I didn’t want to risk seeing similar damage done to these new-to-us wheels. As my defense against that and as a lesson learned I figured I’d remove the brake rotors, etc. so they could get a thorough cleaning and then a couple of coats of Zaino polish/wax to seal them from the elements. Yup, that was the one thing on the new bike that didn’t get the Zaino treatment: the wheels.
I think it was close to 6:00pm by the time I had that done, during which time Debbie had woken up from her afternoon recovery nap and gone out shopping for some groceries. As has become something of a habit for us, I deep-fried some hot wings and fries for a dinner at home: just perfect for a cold and wet fall evening! After cleaning up the deep fryer and kitchen after dinner I was reminded that I needed to shut off the outside water feeding to our hose bibs as the temperatures were expected to drop below 32*F. After that I listed a couple of excess parts from the motorcycle on eBay, part of a fall clean-out project that I’ve had on my list for a while.
Yup, it’s time to start clearing the house of all the “stuff” that’s been collected over the years that really no longer serves any purpose other than taking up space. High on that list are the ping-pong table that has been sitting in the garage unused for several years where about this time every year Debbie and talk about getting it out but never do so: it just takes too much effort to back out the cars, fire up the kerosene heater and setting up the table for what amounts to about an hour of play. Once again, if we only had a basement or an out building with a playroom. On the bright side, we’re pretty sure we can “loan it” to the kids as they definitely have room for it in their unfinished basement.
Also high on the list of things that need to go are those extra motorcycles: the Honda F6B and the Road King CVO. Of course, as soon as I say that I find myself with the Road Glide in the shop such that I “need” the Honda F6B for Monday’s morning commute. And, well, I continue to struggle with the idea of parting ways with Blue II now that we’ve a long-term issue with the compensator fixed, new tires and a fresh tune that has the engine sound and power perfectly dialed-in. Ugg…
Anyway, as always there’s a huge to list out there that just seems to keep getting longer that will keep us/me busy over the fall, winter and next spring:
- Finishing a ceiling and bead-board siding repair in the garage
- Getting the Road King CVO sold
- Getting the Honda F6B sold
- Selling off all the extra motorcycle & bicycle parts
- Getting the fall yard work done for the season
- Finishing the annual gutter cleaning
- Repainting the upstairs hallway ceiling
- Cleaning “stuff” out the house
- Ripping out and replacing the shower stall in our master bath
- Repainting the front guest bedroom
- Repainting our master suite
- Putting down new carpet upstairs
- Repainting the bonus / exercise room over the garage
- Finishing the backyard landscaping
- Having the sink-hole damaged driveway repaired
- Figuring out where to live when we retire