Click "Blog" above to see my latest posts. Click on any picture to see a larger version. Click "Older Posts" at the bottom to go to the next page. Feel free to comment on any post.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Carb Cover Installed

After getting to a stopping point on the carb cover installation a few days ago, I had two options:
  1. Remove the air cleaner assembly and carb to loosen the throttle/idle cable bracket properly and hope I don't mess up gaskets, o-rings, and such along the way
  2. Just bend the thottle/idle cable bracket out of the way and bend it back when I was done

I went the easy route (#2).  I was able to get the stock cover off easily after bending the bracket slightly with needle-nose pliers.  Many thanks to members of the XL Forum for the tip.

Here is my new carb cover installed:

I love the way it flows with the rocker covers.  I want to get socket cap screws to replace those that came with the cover.  The tiny buttonheads seem way too easy to strip.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

200th Post!

I've reached 200 posts and Gophers and Cheese is still not quite a year old.  I started this blog in March 2010, have enjoyed maintaining it, and hope to keep it going for a long time to come.

The 2011 riding season is just around the corner.  We just need a few days above freezing to melt some snow and one good rain to wash the salt, sand, and chemicals off the roads.  Personally, I can't wait but I'm not quite ready.  My Road King needs new tires and my Sportster's winter projects are far from complete.  Friday's high is 32° F and it's been a long time since we've been in the 30s.  It's a good sign of things to come and great motivation to finish my projects.

Last year, my first ride of the season was March 6th.  In 2009, my first ride was February 8th (just two weeks away!!!).  I'm excited to see what 2011 brings but, like I said, I need to get going if my bikes are going to be ready.  I can't believe it's almost February!

Monday, January 24, 2011

More Parts Arrived

I really like ordering stuff from Dennis Kirk.  Since they are located only an hour north of Minneapolis, anything I order typically arrives next day even though it ships standard UPS Ground.

You can also buy stuff in-person at their warehouse although the process is a little strange (because they are primarily a catalog dealer) but it's really great for trying on a bunch of helmets.

Because I am in the progress of a tank lift and wire tuck, the coil and spark plug wires are much more visible than they were.  To dress it up, I went with Candy Red wires from Magnum Shielding.  I went with red because my tank will eventually be red & black.

I also picked up some 1/4" and 1/2" Roundit Wire Wrap (6' length) from Kuryakyn.  This will hopefully help tidy up my wire tuck without having to cut any wires.

Since I had to cut the clamp that held the gas line to the petcock, I got some cheap worm clamps.  I might get some fancy ones later but these should work.

I'll get to my brake pedal repair job eventually but I knew I needed a replacement shift peg since I plan to (once again) cut off the "meat tenderizer" pedal and drill & tap the lever to accept a shift peg.  It makes the levers much more symmetrical.  My grips and pegs are all from Kuryakyn.  Once day I'd like to switch them all over to Hippy Killer Garage ruby metalflake but not yet - too many projects already.

I picked up a few other miscellaneuos items too including some spark plugs.  I normally run standard H-D plugs but have only heard good things about NGK so I got a few.  I got the basic ones, not the iridium ones.  Both the Sporty and Road King take the same size, which is nice.  I love the warning symbol on the side.  I think it means not for use in airplanes or powered parachute / powered hang gliders.  That's really specific.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Carburetor Cover

Because of the tank lift and wire tuck, certain parts of the bike are much more visible than they were before and, honestly, the stock black plastic carb cover looks like crap.  I've reached the point that I don't like adding chrome do-dads for the heck of it anymore but this is an exception.

I found this great NOS chromed billet aluminum cover on eBay.  I don't think it's manufactured anymore.  It's a Landmark "Pearl" CV carburetor cover (part # LM000-95).  I think it will flow really well with the ridges in the rocker boxes on the motor.

I thought it would be really easy to replace but I should have known better.  The four screws that hold the stock cover are easily accessible and are very easy to remove.  However, there is a bracket for the throttle wires that has two mounting points, one of the four cover screws (small red arrow below) and a screw on the side of the carb (large red arrow below).

Without loosening the bracket, you cannot get the carb cover off and the bracket screw that goes into the side of the carb is not easily accessible at all.  Maybe there's an easier way, but I am pretty sure I have to remove the air cleaner and carb to get to this screw.  In the process of removing one of the three bolts that hold the air cleaner filter on, I stripped one of the heads.  It took a while to finally get it free but I did it without any collateral damage.  Frustrated, I decided to finish the job later.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Winter Progress (Or Lack Thereof)

At the start of winter, I had a relatively small (but ambitious) list of projects that I wanted to complete on the Sportster before Spring, mostly centered around changing my gas tank:
  • Change tank (seal & paint)
  • Change seat (because of tank change)
  • Change risers & clamp (because of tank change)
  • Relocate Speedo (because of tank change)
  • Shave Forks (remove fender tabs)
  • Repair damage caused by fall on ice
    • Replace rear brake lever & bolts
    • Replace mirror
    • Replace or sand/re-paint front brake lever
Clearly, the list above wasn't challenging enough so I have added the following projects to it:
  • Repaint rear fender and relocate flying eyeball emblem
  • Repaint horn cover
  • Fabricate custom indicator light mount
  • Tank Lift (includes making custom brackets)
  • Wire Tuck
  • Relocate ignition (includes making custom ignition bracket and chopping coil bracket)
  • Change spark plug wires
  • Change carb cover
  • Extend gas tank vent hose since new tank has different location
  • Change valve stem caps on air shocks
It went from being an ambitious list to a very ambitious list.  Here's my current status on each project:
  • Tank: Stock tank removed, new tank purchased, not sealed or painted yet
  • Seat: Done!
  • Risers and Clamp: Done!
  • Speedo: Speedo removed, clamp purchased, backplate ordered
  • Forks: Not started
  • Repairs:
    • Rear brake lever & bolts: Purchased lever, shift peg, and bolts.  Painted bolts.  Need to chop lever to use shift peg.
    • Mirror: Received as gift
    • Front brake lever: Not started
  • Rear Fender: Not Started
  • Horn Cover: Not Started
  • Custom indicator light mount: In progress (very time consuming)
  • Tank lift: Done!
  • Wire Tuck: In progress
  • Ignition: Brackets done, just need to figure out how I want to secure and hide the wiring
  • Spark Plug Wires: Done!
  • Carb cover: In progress but is more difficult to replace than anticipated
  • Vent hose: Not started
  • Valve Stem Caps: Purchased
I won't consider sealing or painting the tank until it gets a little warmer.  I will probably save the fork-shaving for last since it's only a "nice-to-have" mod and can be done anytime.  Everything else needs to get done before I can ride.  I realize Spring is still a while away but I have a lot to do.  My current focuses are the indicator mount, the wiring, and carb cover.  Progress has been steady but slow.  I'll get some fresh pics up soon.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bearded Lady Motorcycle Show 2010 - Part 6 - Color

As promised, here is a color version of my last post.

After this, I'll get back to sharing what's been going on with my winter Sportster mods.

For now, enjoy one last dose of summertime bliss...

All my recent re-posts from the Bearded Lady Motorcycle Show have inspired me to go back and review all the photos I took that day and I have pulled together another set.

These haven't been posted before.

I think it's important to call out that there were a handful of cool cars in addition to all the amazing bikes.

The crowd was about as diverse as they come - young, old, singles, couples, bikers, non-bikers, club members, and people in costume.

Here are some motorized bicycles.  I think these would be fun to ride.

These old-school trikes always remind me of rides at a fair.  This one could use a little TLC.

Yamaha chop:

Here's a nice pair of shovelheads...

And I'll end with a bike I've seen lots of places including The Joint, Maiden Rock during the Flood Run, and even the Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis.  It's the Mowercycle (aka Mowasaki).  It's a motorcycle/lawnmower hybrid and it always draws a crowd.

It's cold now but the snow will melt eventually and, before you know it, it will time to ride and enjoy great shows like this one again.  I can't wait.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bearded Lady Motorcycle Show 2010 - Part 6

All my recent re-posts from the Bearded Lady Motorcycle Show have inspired me to go back and review all the photos I took that day and I have pulled together another set.

These haven't been posted before.  I'll give you the black-and-whites first and then post color ones.

I think it's important to call out that there were a handful of cool cars in addition to all the amazing bikes.

The crowd was about as diverse as they come - young, old, singles, couples, bikers, non-bikers, club members, and people in costume.

Here are some motorized bicycles.  I think these would be fun to ride.

These old-school trikes always remind me of rides at a fair.  This one could use a little TLC.

Yamaha chop:

Here's a nice pair of shovelheads...

And I'll end with a bike I've seen lots of places including The Joint, Maiden Rock during the Flood Run, and even the Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis.  It's the Mowercycle (aka Mowasaki).  It's a motorcycle/lawnmower hybrid and it always draws a crowd.

It's cold now but the snow will melt eventually and, before you know it, it will time to ride and enjoy great shows like this one again.  I can't wait.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bearded Lady Motorcycle Show 2010 - Part 5 - Color

More fun and sun from this past July...

Here is the original post:
Bearded Lady Motorcycle Show 2010 - Part 5

Here is the full-color version:

Yes, more pictures from the 2010 Bearded Lady Motorcycle Show...

As promised, my second favorite bike was this Yamaha. It has a gold flake tank, yellow headlight, and looked great in the sun.

Check out this Sunbeam.  I like the headlight.

Foot clutch, hand shift.  Fenders are for sissies.

A great Ironhead.  The bubble shield is blue and goes perfectly with the helmet.

Hard-tailed Triumph.

Dyna springer.

Nice Shovel.

Great details.

Love this Sporty.

Don't touch the headlight.

And finally... a Shovelhead with a message.

When the Bearded Lady shows her hairy face in Northeast Minneapolis next year, GO!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bearded Lady Motorcycle Show 2010 - Part 4 - Color

If you need another dose of sunshine, here's another re-post.

Here's the original post...
Bearded Lady Motorcycle Show 2010 - Part 4

... and here's the full-color version:

Yes, I have even more pics from the 2010 Bearded Lady Motorcycle Show...

While I revealed my favorite bike in Part 1, I'll save my second favorite for Part 5.  For now, just enjoy Part 4.  Part 4 consists of 4 pairs of bikes.

A pair of Triumphs...

A pair of Harley Shortsters (X-90s)...

A pair of Harley Sportsters...
Shiny!

Sweet speedo mod:

... and a pair of Ironheads...

I'll post the last set of pics tomorrow...
Click "Older Posts" to go to the next page.