Down to counting the months on one hand

Five months until Alaska.  Back in August, I made the determination to jump on the Ultra, and go up north on a little bit of an adventure.  Since making this decision, I have now hit the halfway point to the departure date.  Five months have passed, five more to go.  Can count the months on one hand now, and I have watched the countdown clock on my computer slowly tick down to the time I’ll be pulling out of the driveway.

Tick, tick, tick…

I have regained a hole on the belt due to the exercising and watching of what goes in my mouth, but the last couple of weeks have found me trading a bad head cold with others, dealing with -45 wind chills, the holiday season, and not much motivation to work out as a result of all of these things.  Tomorrow, I’m back in the gym again.  However, not a week has gone by in which I have increase in weight…been very lucky to slowly keep losing, or maintaining the previous week’s number.

The Mistress has been getting some work done here in my own garage.  After finding an unbelievable deal on a Garmin Zumo 660 waterproof GPS, a few hours went by as I permanently wired it to the bike.  Instead of running a cable back to the battery under the seat, I simply tapped into the extra switchable connection that is unused and hanging out in the headlight loom.

Before applying the shrink-wrap

Been trying to figure out how to permanently wire in the heated gear connection, which was going directly to the battery.  Thought about buying something like the Blue Sea 5025 fuse panel, but I don’t have any place to install it since I have other things already taking up the space that it would require.

Digging through the Harley service manual, I found a schematic showing a unused accessory cable located in front of the battery compartment under the seat.  Had to dig for it…it was between the gas tank, frame, and battery tray.  It can be controlled from the accessory switch on the dash, by the key ignition, or can be wired hot all the time.  I’ll wire it to the accessory switch on the dash, since it sits there unused all the time.

In the middle of the pic, with a protective cap on it
A trip to Harley this Sunday morning found me the only customer in the store…and walking out with a 2-into-1 wiring harness adapter (HD P/N 70264/94A).  Our local HD dealership doesn’t maintain great stock of parts, so I was not surprised to find that the three components I needed to make up the other side of the Deutsch connector was only available by special order from them.  I came home, and ordered from a place online that will have it here Tuesday…and much cheaper.  I did get the adapter installed in about four seconds though, and it just waits for the ordered pieces to come in so I can wire in the heated gear connector into a quality permanent solution (more pics to come when that work gets done later).  Thought about just cutting the Deutsch off and splicing…but figured in this area, I’d do it “right”.
First there was one…and now there are two

Just got done this afternoon replacing all the speaker wires and connections for the stereo, speakers, and amplifier.  I had previously replaced the junk 20 gauge stock wiring with 18 gauge; this time around I upgraded to 16 gauge and ensured that everything is rock solid with crimping, solder, and shrink-wrap.  Overkill…but that is the way it should be done on such a vibration-prone motorcycle.  Have one more cable to swap out, then will focus on the CB wiring to see if there’s a short there that can be replaced easily.

Got the gear I need pretty much, and have trimmed weight and items I was planning on taking.  I’ll throw up a post with exactly what I’ll be taking along, in case anybody else is interested.  I’m anal about researching everything before I buy, so I think that I have found the best gear possible…at least for the amount of money I was wanting to spend.

>Enough for now.  Time to get dinner going.

-41 degrees and a frozen dog

Every summer, while out riding in the extreme heat over 100 degrees, you’ll hear many other people “complaining” about how hot it is outside.  In response, I tell each of them to appreciate it because colder weather will appear in just months.  Many people reply that they cannot wait.  Well, for all of you naysayers of warm temperatures, your wish has been granted no matter where you live in the United States.

It’s currently 8:39 in the morning, here at the Crossroads of America, in the glorious state of Indiana.  Scanning through all the local channels on the tube, each reports that it is currently -13 degrees with a windchill of -41.  Looking out the front window, I see a  four foot drift blocking the end of the driveway.  The dogs had to use the bathroom earlier, so I already played that little boy from A Christmas Story (not Ralphie) and bundled up like the Michelin Man…all to make a pathway through large drifts in the backyard to carve out a spot for the impatient dogs to go.  By the way, it is cold enough for a German Shorthair Pointer to freeze to the ground if they stand still more than ten seconds emptying her bowels.

Worn out from being a canine Popsicle

It’s so cold, you can take a cup of boiling water outside, throw it up in the air, and it immediately turns to snow.  Go try it…if you are having the same temps we are right now.

It is unfortunately way too cold to work in garage today on the Ultra.  The electric heater would not keep up with the temperatures I would like to have; heck, our gas furnace is barely able to keep the Winter Freeze from entering the house.  So, not continuing work on the Harley will just have to wait.  I did manage to get the Zumo 660 weatherproof GPS installed and permanently wired into the bike several days ago, but that is the extent of the work since the bike has returned to my garage (blame the football games on TV…they kept distracting me from working).

So, time to bundle up again, and see what the snowblower can do with the large drift in the driveway.  If I complain how cold it is, will that make summer come back any sooner?