Other Hobbies?

Re: Other Hobbies?

Postby mreeter » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:53 am

10ovr wrote:
mreeter wrote:
Packgrog wrote:Oh yeah, for anyone that might have been curious...

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Yes, I'm a great big dork with my big white helmet. But hopefully I'll be a bit more visible now that I've quieted her down by switching to quieter OEM mufflers (I already got a complaint from a neighbor about the noise, which clued me in that the mufflers this came with had been modified to be noisier).


Don't make fun of yourself for wearing a good helmet. Your chances of survival are much better with it than some POS Skull Cap. Nice ride btw.

Yup ATGATT ,,,,,loud pipes save lives ,,,,LOL,,Nice looking bike,,,,


EXACTLY, and kudos to Packgrog for installing some sane exhaust on his Sporty.
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Re: Other Hobbies?

Postby Packgrog » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:29 am

Hah! Yeah, I will never ride without full gear. And I consciously chose the dorky white helmet to improve my chances of being seen by drivers. I could not, however, bring myself to wear highlighter yellow (hi-viz). That's a step too far down The Dork Path even for me. :P

And like I said, the only reason that I even found out that my pipes had been modified was because 1) a neighbor complained to the HOA, and 2) my rear muffler was loose and flopping around weirdly while idling so I took it off to replace a missing clamp, posted a photo looking down the muffler, and people mentioned that they'd been modified since you shouldn't be able to see down them if they're stock. Switching to unmodified (used) OEM mufflers with the baffles intact not only made the bike significantly quieter (though not exactly QUIET, as it is still a Harley), but also dramatically improved low-end torque. I noticed the improved ride immediately. Turns out that these engines need a certain amount of back pressure to operate properly, especially at low RPMs. It greatly improved my confidence in the bike for low speed turns, and greatly reduced the shaking I experienced at lower RPMs. I still wear earplugs, but it's now more because of the wind noise than the pipes themselves.

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I'm learning a lot from the maintenance efforts of getting this older (2003) used bike back into proper condition. Changing the oil was easy. Cleaning the fouled spark plugs and dumping a can of Seafoam into the tank with some fresh gas helped it start actually running with fewer misfires. Removing extra parts like the sissy bar helped improve handling, and learning to always check the tire pressure before a ride after dropping the damn thing on my first attempt to ride it all helped.

My skills are improving, but slowly. I took the MSF course 2.5 times now (had to drop out first time due to illness, got the license the second time, third time was just a refresher when I won the bike), though sadly the 300lb tiny Japanese bikes did not adequately prepare me for the 530lb street tractor that I wound up with. I'd hoped that my more recent MSF course would have had the Harley Street 500 in the fleet like in my prior class, but I guess that's only if you take the class at a Harley dealer rather than at RevZilla. I did feel pretty confident after the most recent course, but then on my first neighborhood ride I screwed up a turn, had a low-side wipeout going about 15mph, and thanked myself for buying full protective gear as I walked away with just a bruised forearm from the armor and slightly wounded pride.

While that alone wouldn't have messed with my head much (live and learn, right?), not TWO HOURS later while driving to Doylestown on Rt 202, the wife and I witnessed a fatality of some 20-year-old kid on a Sportster he'd just bought that day having had a head-on collision with a Subaru. We didn't witness it happen. We were about 10-30 seconds too late for that. Hell, any sooner and it could have been my car he plowed into. It was the kid's fault: he didn't look properly through the curve (similar to my screwup on my low speed turn earlier). He also was with a larger group of Harley riders, NONE of them wearing a stitch of protective gear, and despite being the newest rider, was for some reason stuck in the back of the group (newbies should be in the middle according to what I've read). I feel terrible for this poor kid. It also rattled me hard, and wiped out my confidence.

So I've been taking it slowly ever since, to build up my skills and make maneuvers as instinctive as possible before daring to get out into any kind of traffic. Monday night was the first time I dared getting out of my neighborhood for anything other than gas. I'm getting there. But my only haste is boredom with my neighborhood. And yeah, ATGATT all the way. I may look like a dork, but I've always been a dork, and I'd rather be an intact dork than stylish roadkill.
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Re: Other Hobbies?

Postby 10ovr » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:23 am

My dad put me on a motorcycle at 6 years old,, So thats 56 years of rideing ,,Over 2 million mile in my log book,,But my Knees are starting to go and its time to move on,,,,So Im back to Mini's ,,Just finishing up my 88 mini and getting her back on the road,,, Funest car you well ever drive ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ImageIMG_1460 by Tim Morgan, on Flickr ImageIMG_1462 by Tim Morgan, on Flickr
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Re: Other Hobbies?

Postby Packgrog » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:53 am

@10ovr that looks awesome! I'd love to mess with small, old cars, but my lack of garage and near total lack of mechanical knowledge (changing the oil on my Sportster felt like a huge accomplishment and is probably the easiest damn thing imaginable) makes that impossible. Also lack of funds. The upcoming bill for replacing my bike tires is making me uncomfortable.

But yeah, that mini looks fantastic! I'd love to mess with something like that, or get an old VW Golf or Rabbit and fix that up. I had a '79 Rabbit back in college. I was a rusted out piece of crap, but good god was it fun to drive... when it worked. :P Maybe some day when I just can't ride anymore. For now: learning to ride is the fun new world and intro to super-basic mechanical work.
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