Monday, February 15, 2010

The Past; Good or Bad?

The past is something that can help or haunt a person. Every individual is different and their past experiences define who and what they are. It can be a good or bad thing depending on one’s outlook.

In my past I was always a risk taker. As was the case when I was about 10 and my dad had warned me I had better have the yard mowed when he got home. He arrived to find me standing in the driveway and the yard unmowed. “You need to take me to get a gasket kit for the lawnmower,” I announced as he got out of the truck. I explained that the mower wouldn’t start and I took it apart to fix it. When I say took it apart I mean totally took it apart, down to the crankshaft lying on the shop bench. He walked into the shop with me and after surveying the mower in pieces asked if I had bothered to check the gas. Of course I……..hadn’t checked the gas. That is why I had to tear the thing apart. He took me to get the gasket kit and explained in clear language the yard had best be mowed even if I had to use a pair of scissors by the time he got home tomorrow. Of course I put the mower together, filled the gas tank, and mowed the yard.

Kind of like the possible lifter issue with Petunia. Willy D said it was an easy 10 minute job to pull the lifters and check them. Well, when you never did that on a Harley it takes more than 10 minutes. But, I did pull them out, went over to Big D and Ann’s to get Big D’s opinion, brought them home and reinstalled them, and Petunia lives. A bit more consternation than when I was 10, but the result was about the same. The lifters are OK, Petunia runs, I can adjust adjustable lifters, and the noise isn’t as bad as I thought last week. Go figure.

Then there are those pesky relationship issues that old adults deal with. I have been divorced for going on eleven years. The ex and I are on friendly terms and I even occasionally fix things at her house for her. In that time I had a six year relationship with someone I thought I would spend the rest of my life with, but she had other plans. So, I have spent the larger part of the past two years drowning in the past and what might have been. That was until nine months ago when Linda came into my life. She is cute, funny, a great person, and I fell in love with her. During the process of the last nine months I have struggled with my feelings from my past and how they influenced the me of today. Linda has taught me that I am capable of overcoming my past and of loving again. Because of Linda I am willing to live in the present and future again. That is why I choose Valentine’s Day to tell Linda I truly love her and asked her to be my wife. I am pretty lucky because she accepted my proposal even with all of my warts and faults.

The past can bury you or make you a stronger person. I’m not ready to be buried and Linda has shown me that there is plenty to look forward to. There are many miles of adventure ahead of us and for that I am grateful. Today, not only am I in love, but I am looking forward to sharing the rest of my life with my friend and partner in crime. For me the past is the road to the good stuff.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Luck Isn't In My Favor

I have been enjoying riding Petunia with the new setup and things were going well. I have been dialing her in and everything was looking good and then Tuesday when I started her up I noticed an intermittent clicking sound coming from the valve train. I didn’t ride her Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday because of a cold, but took her to the indy shop that put the S&S cams in. He said it sounded like the lifters, but without taking them out he wouldn’t know for sure. I asked if they had been replaced last May when the cam was installed and he said no because they were OK at that time. Now he can’t get to it until the 23rd of February and I can’t ride her because I don’t want to blow the motor if it is the lifter and it comes apart.

Maybe it is time to get a backup bike and put in my garage. Maybe a rice burner, I hear thes bikes are nice;

Friday, February 5, 2010

New Orleans You Just Won The NFC Championship What Are You Going To Do Now

We are gonna have 5,000 hairy legged ol boys put on dresses and have a parade!!!!!

Buddy D Parade from Cottage Films on Vimeo.

Who Dat say they gonna beat dem Saints?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Time to Start Playing With It

Because the TunderMax seems to be working, and I don’t bowl on Wednesday, I decided to begin playing with the adjustments. One of the benefits of this system is every time you change something you save it and if it doesn’t work you just click on the last one that did and reload it.

My rational for getting this system is to be able to have Petunia run and obtain a decent number of MPG while cruising on the highway. The factory AFR, air-fuel-ratio, is 14.8:1. The default on the ThunderMax is 13:1 across 32 monitoring points. This is what that looks like in the program;

I don’t want to go as high as 14.8:1, so I will try 13.94, between 2048-3328 RPM, and run it for a week or so to see how it runs. That means getting out while hitting some open roads and giving it time to dial in the new points. The new AFR at cruising RPMs looks like this;

The yellow markers are the original AFR and the red is where I moved them to.  To make these changes you have to move each point separately on the first page and then simply cut and paste on subsequent map pages.  Now it's off to school and wait for 3:27, so I go for a ride.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Preliminary Report

I think Dave just might be on to something when he wrote, …..this is why I insist on keeping my bike as stock as possible. I don't need high performance or tweaking or anything like that. I just want it to run. I was well past that point of stock and like his friend with the softail I have spent a ton of money to get nothing more than an ill running, obnoxiously loud, piece of crap. The stock exhaust is long gone and to replace it was more than I was willing, or maybe I’m just stubborn, to spend. So, last Thursday I put on a set of Bub 7 2 into 1 exhaust and a ThunderMax ECM with auto tune.

I really liked the Bub 7s on the first start. They have a nice tone and don’t blast my ears at highway speeds. The installation was very simple, fit and finish are perfect, and I can’t see the single exhaust outlet from my favorite perch on top of Petunia.

The ThunderMax was even simpler to install than the exhaust. Truly a plug and play system with plug it in, connect to the computer, start the bike and let it warm up, go for a ride. Couldn’t be any simpler……..right? Well it does come with a 195 page installation manual. I only got to page 96 before I went out riding. Freeway, blasting away, in and out of traffic, accelerating, slowing down, accelerating, Petunia running like a newly fed pig, and then FLASH….missed the speed camera loops when I swung out to make a pass. I looked down and the speed-o-meter said 72. Got home and looked at the manual and seems the module was set with the wrong code for my bike. Might have been closer to 92 than 72, but without all that noise it didn’t seem that fast. I’ll know in a couple of weeks when I get the Love note in the mail.

Anyway, after 400 miles and a couple of easy adjustments this is the report from the ThunderMax.

I'll do some more riding and give a more detailed report with video of the sound and looks on the latest 'new' modifications to Petunia.  Just for the record, counting the original stock set, this is the fourth exhaust system and fifth set of mufflers.  It will also be the last.  At least that is my opinion this morning.