Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pigpen Updates

Seems like reattaching the pigpen is one thing after another.  Nothing major, just things that probably were needed anyway.  After 500 miles with the pigpen I realized at 65 mph and higher the clutch was slipping and the rig would not pull on upgrades.  Checking into this I found that with the added power of the motor update and the weight of the pigpen the clutch spring may have been to weak.  So, I replaced it with a heavy duty clutch spring today.  Yes, it is going to take some getting used to the added strength needed to operate the clutch now, but Petunia pulls the pigpen a lot better now and sixth gear is now usable.

 When I added the turn signals to the pigpen I was worried about the power draw and swapped over to all LED lights on the 6 signals.   They blinked faster then they should, so I put in a plug and play load equalizer to correct that problem.

Driving the rig gets easier every time I take it out.  I am still making adjustments for Dexter and he is getting better about riding.  Next project is to remove the seat and install a platform that will lower him seven inches into the tub.  That will get him out of the wind and allow him to move around more.

I have also ordered a new set of triple trees from an 09 Tri Glide to make the steering easier at speed.  After talking with a couple of people, changing out the front geometry will make a huge difference in the handling.  The Tri Glide triple trees cost a third of the other option and are really a stock Harley option.  Hopefully this will be the end of upgrades and I can spend some of this garage time on highway time.  I believe that may start with a weekend ride in just a couple of days time. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Just When You Think You're Done

Saturday was spent adding turn signals to the Pigpen.  Removing the carpet from the inside walls, drilling holes, running wires,  soldering the splices together, then success it all works, using spray adhesive to reattach the carpet and the job was done.

Sunday was scheduled as a day to go riding.  So, off I went at about 9 AM heading Northwest toward Wickenburg and wherever the road took me.  That was until about 10 miles down US 60 when I tried to downshift stopping for a red light.  Shifting is something I barely even think about as it is an automatic reflex after all these years.  Automatic until your heel tries to shift and nothing happens.  Foot searching and there is nothing there.

Turning right to make my way slowly into a gas station, stopping on the shady side, I discover a stripped shift shaft.  The outside splines had given me a problem a couple of months ago about 50 miles from home at my niece's house.  I fixed it enough to get home and repaired it the next day.  Today the inside spline decided it wanted to play and somehow pulled completely out of the shift rod lever.  Luckily I had put the tool pouch back into the bike where it belonged and had enough tools to make a repair enough to get back to the house.

Petunia is now sitting in the garage waiting for the new shift shaft that hopefully will be delivered in about three days.  Funny how the local Dealer doesn't have the part in stock and needs to order it, but the online Dealers have it ready to ship.  On the bright side I was close to the house and made it home with little effort.  On an even brighter side I am typing this while listening to the thunder and rain pouring down outside.  It is pouring off the roof and I can still hear it beating on the roof and windows.  Wouldn't be riding today anyway.

Wednesday Update:  The parts arrived today and after half an hour in the garage Petunia is road worthy again.  Just a short ride to check the shifting and it feels a lot better, more positive and neutral is easier to find.  A little later tonight or tomorrow afternoon and I will take her on a longer jaunt to get a better test.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Relearning to Drive a Hack

Today was Dexter's introduction to riding in the Pigpen.  To say he tolerated it would be an exaggeration.  We rode to the dog park where he had fun.  We walked around the lagoon.  Back at Petunia  I took him off the leash to put the harness on him and he ran off to a tree and layed down in the shade.  I walked over to him, sat down, and he crawled on my lap.  I put the harness on him, walked him back to Petunia, and buckled him in.

This was not his happy face!

Riding yesterday the 17" windscreen on the Pigpen acted like a sail and the wind buffeting around my ear was uncomfortable.  Today, after the dog park, I cut down an old windscreen to 7" and replaced the taller one.  

Cutting down the windscreen made a huge difference!  There was no buffeting up around my ears and the drag was noticeably reduced.  I also took the toolbox I was using for ballast out.  I realized yesterday I just wasn't using enough muscle to make Petunia turn.  Maybe even riding a bit scared to turn.  With no ballast today all went well.  I did realize I wasn't slowing enough when making turns.  I was trying to turn at about 30 mph and that wasn't going to work.   

Heading out in the 107 degree temperatures of Arizona I used the opportunity to test out the HyperKewl Evaporative Cooling Vest my nephew and his wife gave me.  Soaking it for 5 minutes and then wringing it out I hit the road.  It worked great!  I was cool and could feel the cooling effect of the vest.  After riding for almost 90 minutes it was still very comfortable in these temperatures.  I will have to say that to continue to ride I would have had to stop and resoak the vest to remain comfortable.  Still, I am very happy with its performance.

The relearning process has just started and I am looking forward to continuing to become comfortable with driving a hack again.  During the process I have to make the decision if I need to install an EZ-Steer or Tri-Glide triple tree to help with the steering.  Time will tell.