Last night saw the second round of work on the Ultra get performed. Mitch has the skills, the tools, and most of the equipment needed. And…he believes in being thrifty, like me. Some of the work being accomplished could be done easier by taking the parts to a motorcycle ship and having them do the work. But, that defeats the purpose of going cheap and doing it ourselves, doesn’t it?
It did not seem like a bunch of work got completed last night, but in essence, quite a bit of laborious work was to be had. With no tire machines to remove the tire from the wheel, we had to improvise using a little known technique to “bust the bead’’. This consists of using miscellaneous parts found around the garage and using a lot of leverage and muscle.
A steel bar and some wood, tire removal tools
In conjunction with the tools above, tire spoons are used to separate the rubber from the steel. This requires a lot of muscle, aggravation, and a few choice words to be thrown around during the process. After about 45 minutes, the tire was free from the rim.
Next step was to get to the wheel bearings. The last thing I want to happen out in the wilderness of next year’s trip is to have a wheel bearing lock up. With over 30,000 miles on the Ultra, it would be good preventative maintenance to check them out while we had the wheel off the bike. We pulled them with the help of a wheel bearing tool, and compared them to the new replacement ones I had already purchased. Heck, if pulling them out, might as well just stick new ones back in there. The old ones were in fairly good shape, but they did have a little side to side play in them that is indicative that they “may” start having problems soon enough. I am glad we took the time to check them out and go ahead and replace them.
Old on the left, new on the right
Filthy wheel, no bearings
Watching Mitch take out the old bearings and insert the new ones was interesting. I’ll get to do it when the front tire gets done soon enough. The tool just puts them into the hub of the wheel so that they seat perfectly.
The last step for the night was to get the tire reinstalled. Using tire spoons once more (they are curved and round at the end like a spoon, and measure about a foot long), we again used our fatiguing, aging muscles to defeat the local motorcycle shop out of their $20 fee to mount the tires by machine. Mitch even has a portable balancer that allows for the tire to be balanced and wheel weights installed.
Round and round it goes
Next visit to work on the bike will result in my actually starting to clean the grime off the parts as we start putting the back part of the bike back together. New rear pads had been installed several months ago, so we are getting close to actually finishing up the rear needs of the Harley.
The work saga is on hold for at least a week…as both of us have other life needs to attend to over the next several days.