Back half finished (me thinks!)

“Half” the bike work is now completed.  At least the rear of the bike has been 95% assembled, and we did not have any bolts left over.  It almost looks like a bike again.

Them sure are some purty shocks there!
The Mistress…almost back together

One of the upgrades I did previously to the bike is to remove the “quick release” pins that hold on the saddlebags, and replace them with a harder to remove unique torx head bolt and locking nut (both stainless steel and rustproof of course).  Since I have been riding and meeting people, I have heard many stories about people losing their saddlebags to a thief when parking the bike for a night.  Heck, on YouTube, there’s a video of a guy showing how to steal them…in less than five seconds…even with them locked onto the bike.  So, I made them a little harder to steal.  Since I have not cleaned up the back of the bike yet, I left the saddlebags and one of the side covers off at this point.

Oh yeah…seat is off, due to the fact I want to do some electrical work on the Ultra either while at my friend’s place or back home.  Have not decided where to do this yet, so the large cushion remains off.

The one curious thing that comes to mind so far about this work:  Why does Harley-Davidson recommend that most of the bolts we accessed were designed for only “one time usage” and should be replaced?  Most of these bolts are Grade 8, some of the strongest forged pieces of steel imaginable.  And the size!  Some of these bolts are thick, thick, thick!    While not cost prohibitive, everything does cost something and replacing all the bolts adds up over time.  $2 here, $3 there can amount to over a hundred bucks on bolts for the work we are doing on the Ultra in just this round of upgrades alone.  So, we replace bolts like the rotor bolts since those are a no-brainer…but reuse the rear sprocket bolts.

As seen in the last posting, we had to remove the Vance & Hines Monster Ovals exhaust pipes to do all the required work on the rear.  Both Harley and V&H recommends never reusing the same set of exhaust clamps once they have been removed from the bike.  The cheap person in my family, me, has reused them probably five times as I upgraded from one exhaust to another, or to remove the pipes to do other necessary work.  They have always worked well being reused with no exhaust leaks appearing.  But…since I was buying other replacement bolts, I bought the new muffler clamps as well.  eBay is full of motorcycle bolts for sale that were once used…and people are buying them…so guess where my used bolts will be going when I get time?

I need to get the Ultra out and ride her for an hour or two, to check out all the work we have done.  It would suck to do all the work on the front too, then end up with a wobble, noise, or vibration that’s hard to troubleshoot where it is originating from.  This way, only half the bike would have to get torn apart to try to fix any issues.  Saturday has us already busy with other commitments.  Weather for Sunday looks like 65 degrees; a very nice warm up and definitely doable riding temperatures!  However, they are also forecasting a 90% chance of severe thunderstorms (BOOOOOOOO!)  If I have to ride into a thunderstorm to get somewhere, I will (and have, many, many times).  But nobody (including me) really has any interest in pulling the bike out of a garage to face lighting, wind, driving rain, moms on cell phones not paying attention while they drive, and possible hail or worse.  So, the chance to climb on top of the Mistress after a week at work that had some high ups and low downs, and get some lovin’ back, is probably not going to happen unless the forecast significantly changes.

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