All Right! Nothing huge, but I hope for some good pics and a decent Ride Report, enjoy.
It seems like saving vacation is almost impossible after starting a new job, so after a year of doing nothing ADV, it is definitely Time for a little Adventure Ride.
Heidi (cavegirl) thinks I’m a little weird, every so often she will tell me “You know you’re different,… don’t you?” I think I’m like everyone else, I like adventure and I like fun. Maybe this ride will shed some light on the topic, because I’m sure everyone likes this type of stuff… ?
Transforming your own motorcycle from one mode to another is a joy to the highest degree, especially when you are modifying it for a specific ride. A company out in Oregon, custom made me a king/queen seat from a 1972’ XL photo I sent them years ago. It’s a great seat and it will transform the cavebike back to it’s roots as an ‘adventure chopper’. Oh Yeah!
The aluminum adventure bags have to come off “they won’t look right with the king/queen seat” cavegirl tells me. I have to agree, and plus the width of the aluminum panniers cause my rear to wobble at high speeds, 83MPH or greater, and that is no fun when riding solo, going fast is part of the joy, right!
Now that’s a cavebike, the only thing missing is a set of knurly dual-sport tires, but that will be another ride.
Our old leather saddlebags are small and warn out so I pick up a set of extra large bags, on sale for cheap. Proof again that ‘ya get what ya pay for’, everything is cheesy, chincie and poorly constructed. And Heidi does not like all the studs, I thought it made the bike look old-school but she says they look dorky. When the studs started rusting after the first week, I had to agree, studs suck. But at least these bags are larger, I can ride faster if I feel the need and they make the bike look more ‘cave’ like, those are the important things, right. ?
OK, time to get serious, the bike needs more work and I’m the guy who is going to do it.
A hunk of my fender fell off and that was holding the license plate on. You can see the holes for the stock license plate holder above the tail light, but that uses up valuable backpack space. I fabricate a lightweight holder made out of aluminum flashing material and strapped that to the blinker assembly. As long as the blinkers stay attached, the plate should stay attached, plus I like the way it looks.
Performing maintenance, fabricating parts and modifying a motorcycle that will take me on an adventure is a joy that is hard to match. Riding a new motorcycle, something that only ‘other people’ have worked on cannot be as much fun as the way I do it, I’m sure!
The saddlebags are already sinking into the shock springs so a plywood bracket to keep them out and away should do it.
The grass needs cutting but this is more important (and fun). The tires arrive. I have two sets of wheels, the wheels from the crashed Sportster I bought for the motor and the original wheels. Changing my own tires is an empowering feeling. I know I can do a tire on the road if I have to because I already have done it at home many times. When you are far away from home and help, it’s a comforting feeling knowing you can to do it yourself, where ever.
I bought an inexpensive cycle-jack and now do all my own tires. Of course changing my own tires only adds to the joy of the Zen Motorcycle Maintenance experience and makes me feel happy knowing the job is done right. Saving $50 every tire change doesn’t hurt either.
I’m not sure if soap is needed to break the tire bead but I have lots of soapy water and it can’t hurt. A good thing to keep in mind as you’re changing a tire is that if it is hard and you have to cuss, you probably are doing something wrong. Slow down, think about what you are doing, and then do it.
The logs are to prevent bending the disk. The bead breaker in the photo is the best tool for changing a cycle tire: www.happy-trail.com
. It comes on all my long adventures, if I have to stick in a tube or fill the tire with grass and leaves, I can do that on the road, anywhere.
It’s all about technique, although I don’t recommend sneakers for breaking the bead, I should be wearing my boots.
These are the tires Heidi and I installed in Panama City Panama. It’s nice to see them side by side while thinking about all the miles we rode together. I love motorcycle tires.
A cycle-jack is the best tool.
After seeing how badly warn the rear beaks are, I decide to replace the front pads also. When I tell Heidi about the warn breaks she immediately gives me crap “What where you thinking! of course the breaks should he replaced after Panama!” I must have been in denial, maybe not wanting to think about it, the ride being over. But I feel a new spark now, like this is what was needed, a new ride, a new purpose to ready the bike and myself for adventure. I have the tingle back inside now.
All right! new tires, new breaks, everything lubed, large saddlebags. cavegirl and I enjoy an evening around the campfire talking about ride logistics, preparedness and riding protocol. I love these pre-ride talks we have. When she is riding along it’s at a different level but when I’m solo she acts as if she has the same vested interest, meaning the successful completion of the ride and me returning home. Everyone should have a riding partner like Heidi (cavegirl)