Another milestone is reached…major work is D-O-N-E!

Been a busy week, with two visits in the past seven days over to see my far-way, but not forgotten, Mistress.  She’s been up in the air, wheels off the pavement, waiting for her Master to come back and continue with her much needed upgrades.

The first visit was in the now-to-be expected temperature range of about twenty degrees.  The salamander propane heater got a workout this day, as the degrees on the outside thermostat continued to drop as the work continued on.  In fact, the heater was up so high, we again ran out of heat in the middle of a task.  We braved on, disregarding the slow numbing of our hands and faces as we worked.

The old tire was frozen on…blast with heat, he says…
The spoons came out, and we pulled on the tire and fought it off the rim.  It was much easier than the back tire we had done several weeks ago, but still worked up enough sweat to realize we aren’t eighteen years old anymore.
New tire getting prepped to go back onto the wheel
Once more, the spoons were used to coerce the rubber back onto the steel.  While again easier than the back wheel, the cold wasn’t helping and we fought it long enough to warrant a hot chocolate break as the prize for our success.
Four spoons at the bottom, two rim protectors on the left side

Old-school tire installs with plastic protectors and steel spoons are for those that are seeking some physical misery in their lives.  Of course, the accomplishment of “beating” the change-out by doing it with no mechanical equipment does leave one feeling a little prideful.  So yes, the torn up knuckles, the expense of valuable energy for long periods of time, and the grunting and cussing were all worth it.  Everybody should have to do this once; it makes you appreciate how invented technology has made our lives so much easier!

The bike got new wheel bearings, a manual balance (which actually was very easy, as it required just a couple of wheel weights), and both sets of front brake pads replaced.  The pads went on last night, where the temperatures were more tolerable at around 45 degrees and settling down to around 35 by the time we finished for the evening.



With everything re-installed the bike now has all its major upgrades finished!  A lot of hours went into this with Mitch and I slowly but confidently ensuring that every single step was properly completed.  The local independent motorcycle shops charge $60-75 an hour, and the local Harley dealerships charge anywhere from $75-100 an hour for upgrade work such as we have done.  By doing it ourselves, I was able to save well over a grand, I know it got done right and everything is torqued down to manufacturer’s specs (something the dealership neglects to do many times), and I can boast that I helped do the actual work.
All back together, minus outer fairing and seat.  And no longer on a lift!
So, what’s left to do before the bike is completely done and back together?  Well, now I enter my realm of knowledge…electronics, audio, and vehicle networks of wires, capacitors, and voltage readings.
  • CB radio is not working correctly, so that’s going to get some dedicated diagnosing time
  • The audio system was upgraded a few years ago, and it’s time to re-do the connectors, speaker wire, and do some maintenance on the amplifiers that power it all.  That’s at least 4 hours work in itself.
  • The Garmin Zumo 660 I picked up for nearly a steal needs a affixed permanent home on the bike so that needs to be determined and installed.
  • The above require the gas tank get removed so the wires can be hidden underneath.  While doing such, I’m moving previously ran wires at the same time to also become more hidden.
  • The connection to the battery for the heated gear needs to be installed.  Probably the easiest thing to do, the wiring will be reachable under the seat, but hidden when not in use.
  • All the fluids get changed in all three holes. Oil, transmission, primary.
  • Other maintenance things, like new spark plugs and oil filter, will find a home on the upgraded Harley.
With Christmas coming, family appearing at the door soon, and just needing to take a break, we decided to shelve the work for around a week or so and recuperate a little.  I have a big smile on my face realizing what I have learned tearing apart the front and rear of the Ultra, and cannot thank my buddy Mitch enough for his patience and guidance.
So, happy holidays to all.  I’ll be back here soon.

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