Monday, January 27, 2014

Back to Road Ready

Updating Petunia is nearly complete.  I had known for awhile I needed to change the fork oil, but removing the fairing caused me to wait.  Then adding the Brembo brakes on the front made it a necessity from a safety perspective.  Every time I hit the brake lever the front end would take a dive.  That and on several occasions the front end would feel like it was washing out when I cornered at speed.  I thought about changing from the Harley single cartridge left fork, but instead I changed to the Progressive Monotube Fork Kit.  Riding Sunday afternoon was a treat with this new front suspension.  No more nose drive when braking, no front end drift, a very solid feel when cornering, and a general solid feel to Petunia's ride-ability.

Because of the fairing removal to get the forks out it was time to address the faded, bleached out inner fairing.  Searching the options I went with a color matched painted inner fairing.  Here is the before and after comparison.

I had been riding for almost two years without sound as the radio went out.  It was time to change that and I opted for a Sony radio with Hog Tunes speakers and a tweeter bar.  I also wanted to change the yellow lights in the tach and speedometer.  According to Harley when these bulbs go out you have to replace the entire unit.  Once removed I found both to be sealed units.  Searching the net I found and he changed out the old yellow lights with blue and I changed to blue leds for the other smaller gauges.

Now I just have to make time to get out on the road and exercise Petunia.  Going to have to get to some local attractions to show what this great winter weather looks like out here in the desert.


  1. Very, very cool mod w/the lighting and nice job on the fairing! Looks fantastic.

    It was nice to discover Progressive springs when my front end was partially disassembled. I was thinking that I should do something after the sidecar was put on.

    Now time for a road trip!

  2. How about a ride to Yuma? We're going this weekend for a couple days. Arrive Fri and leave Monday. How far is that for you to ride?

    You know I took my Ninja in for brakes after I saw you last year and found I had zero rear brakes! I never dropped her again after that, so I think all of those drops had to do with uneven braking; it was all front, no rear. Once I got new rear brakes, I could stop so much easier! Ha ha!!

    When you're a new rider on a used bike, you just don't know. I guess I know now. :)

    Glad Petunia is ready to roll! Sounds like you are too!

  3. Paul:

    I love the lighting. With that inner fairing installed, your bike looks like new.

    must also be nice not to have the nosediving anymore, probably safer when cornering too not to upset your weight transfer

    all we need now are photos of your rides

    Riding the Wet Coast

  4. Love the look of the color-matched inner fairing and the new lights. But having that new front suspension is going to be killer in the corners.

  5. Richard; I didn't do the painting. A fellow in Florida, Harley Painted Fairings, did it. I went that route because he was cheaper than a painter here and he is an expert at painting the plastics.

    Tina; Yuma is only 140 miles. I will see if I can get someone to watch my dog.

    Bob; Looks like the first ride might be just a couple of days away.

    Steve; Coloring matching the inner fairing does make it look new. I look forward to learning how the new forks change the handling in twisties.

  6. I rented a Glide for our southwest trip in September and the one major complaint I had was the wishy-washy front end. It never felt all that solid and would dive like a pelican chasing a fish every time I hit the brakes. With very few miles on it I assumed it was designed that way. Nice to know there's a good fix out there if I ever win the lottery and get to upgrade.
    I like the look of the dash too with your mods. Very nice.

  7. I like the new light mods- that color's gonna look cool at night

    BTW I am the Blogger formerly known as 'I Am Road King'- I'm on Wordpress now if you'd like to link

    Ride Easy

  8. Really like the looks of the blue lights. Nice job.

  9. Really like the looks of the blue lights. Nice job.

  10. Barry; Happy to reconnect!Wondered what happened to you.

    Trobairitz: Thanks, the blue lights are great!

  11. I guess you’ll never pay another Dealer for shop labor. Didn’t this whole rebuild start with a bad brake line or something like that? I think this is the point where you build a cheap basket-case, just because you can, sell it and do another one. I think you’ve caught the ‘addiction’. And by the way this build has turned out; you’re very schooled at it. You’ve learned well Grasshopper. I second the motion, we need pictures. How about the pig, still using it?

    Question: Lower left gauge, is that air temp? Doesn’t look like one.

  12. Canajun; Haven't ridden a newer one, but for the best parts of the new mono tubes are only 5 ounces of oil and the lifetime warranty.

    Willy D; Lower left gauge is oil temp. Changed that out about 5 years ago. The pig pen is sitting in the garage and I've done a little work on it also. Might be putting it back on to take the shop dog on the road with me. At least that will be the excuse I use. Has nothing to do with getting old.

  13. hello,
    nice, prepare for riding again?
    keep your great hobby