New Ride In The Stable

Back in 2011 I bought my first Harley Davidson motorcycle. Before that I’d never been a huge fan of Harley but there was always one bike that my eyes lingered on a bit longer when I saw it. That bike is the Road Glide. I picked up a 2007 and have really enjoyed riding it the last 3 years. Last year Harley announced there would be no 2014 model year for the Road Glide. I was more than a little pissed off until I found out the reasons behind it. They took the year to completely redesign the bike from the ground up.

I was just glad that the “ugliest bike in the world” was coming back but I had no intentions of upgrading. I read reviews and articles about the upgrades and it seemed like the bike was going to be awesome. But still no intention to buy one. That all changed about a month ago when I went to my local dealership and saw one in person. I went in on a Thursday after work and by Friday morning I’d made the decision to put money down for them to hold the bike for me. By 3pm on Saturday I was pulling out of the dealership on my new bike. I’ve got just over 1000 miles on it so far and to say that I’m pleased with it is an understatement. And now some pics!


The New Ride

For those that don’t follow me on FB and/or Twitter, back on Memorial Day I added a new pony to the stable. I bought a Harley (insert gasps and various snide comments here, I’ll wait….)

Since I sold my Jeep in February I’ve been a single motorcycle kind of guy. The entire time I’ve been worried about what I would do if my current bike broke down or I attempted to make upgrades over a weekend and didn’t get things buttoned back up before work time. I knew that I didn’t want to go back to 4 wheels, I’m actually *really* enjoying being 100% motorcycle. It makes some things difficult but I’ve found ways around the hard parts and I’m managing quite well.

I finally decided that I wanted another bike and I wanted a Harley (see above to post gasps and various snide comments kthxbye). For those that know me I’ve talked a lot of smack about Harley. My personal favorite comment about The MoCo is “Harley is the greatest clothing and accessory company to every put a motorcycle out”. Funny right? Well, I thought so..Anyway, I do them credit for marketing. Man can they market that bike. Looking at the bike I have (more on that later) and one that was made in 1999 I would be hard pressed to tell the difference just by looking at them. Slap a new paint scheme on the bike and limited to no mechanical improvements and Harley calls that a new model year. Brilliant marketing, shitty for someone looking for new features.

Thanks to many visits to a local bookstore who is well stocked on “American Bagger” magazines I developed a crush on the Road Glide model Harley. There are simply so many options and accessories and ways to customize the bike that the bug to get one just kept growing and growing and growing. After several months of internal debate I pulled the trigger and picked up a 2007 Road Glide. The bike is used with over 44k miles on it…Due to a colossal mix up at the dealership I was able to pick it up for a great price and get a full 4 year warranty on the bike.

Having a second bike has really taken a lot stress off me, stress that I didn’t fully realize was there until it was gone. Now I can mess around and take things apart and not worry about being stranded.

I’m looking to start buying parts and slowly customize the bike over the next few years…Luckily parts are plentiful and moderately priced. So if anyone is looking for gift ideas let me know and I’ll point you towards the correct wish list.

On to the pictures!

Bike the day I picked it up:

Two bikes together:
two bikes

I haven’t been able to find any pics on exactly what I want..But it’s going to be blacked out with a big front wheel with air ride that let’s me drop it all the way to the ground so I won’t need a kickstand.

I’m working on another post comparing my 2 bikes but I need a bit more ride time to get used to the new(to me) bike.

Until then….

Paint Project

If you know me, you know I don’t like chrome…at all…I took my windshield apart a while back and had it powdercoated black. I loved the look but since I had no place to keep my bike UV rays faded the paint really quickly and it looked worse than it did when it was chrome. Last week I ripped it apart again and tried something different this time. Instead of using paint I picked up some truckbed liner. For those unfamiliar it’s a textured paint that hardens and should withstand the abuses that a truckbed sees. It’s also fairly UV resistant.

Still together
still together

First coat done
1st coat

Second coat done
2nd coat

I’m going to let this coat dry and I may do a third coat. I’ve found that I really enjoy the process of cleaning, prepping, and painting all the bits. I seem to remember there are other colors of bedliner so I may get creative and see what comes out :-)

More Space!!

In November of this year I’ll have had my bike for 3 years. Throughout that entire time I’ve had space issues with the stock saddlebags. It had always been more of an inconvenience and really only affected me during camping trips on the bike. When I sold my Jeep a could of months ago I ran into some issues I hadn’t really thought about…Grocery buying, secure storage, etc..After much thought I decided to drop the bucks to get some high quality hard bags that are lockable. I ended up getting the Corbin FleetLiner Saddlebags.

I finally got them installed today and these things are *huge*. And since it’s taken me an hour to type this little bit, I’ll stop and post pics now 😀

One side done:
one side done

All done and open:
all done

I Hate Rust

Now that I’m 100% two wheels I’ve had some rust on my bike that’s been bothering the hell out of me everytime I ride. I thought the pieces were just shitty chrome covers but turns out they’re not actually covers..I decided I would sand the rust off with some 200 grit sandpaper and the hit it with some bed liner paint..Think Rhino Lining for truck beds..It’s textured and drys to a really hard finish. I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Rusty and Nasty

Sanded and not so rusty

Taped off ready for paint

The finished product

Not Such An Angry Post

So, the last post was made while I was in a pretty bad mood. I thought about deleting it but it is what it is. In other news I’m coming up on two weeks on 2 wheels. So far I’ve ridden home in a *really* bad thunderstorm and had some very, very cold mornings but overall it’s been good.

I’ve run into some limitations with being 2 wheels only. Grocery store runs suck. I can only shop for a couple of days at a time. I’m looking into a few ways to get around this including buying dry goods from Amazon and meats from Schwan’s. I’m not sure it will be economically feasible to have things delivered. The grocery store is on the way home and other than my intense dislike of shopping I really don’t have a good reason to pay the delivery premium.

I am finding that the bike is setup ok for long trips but not so much for daily riding. I’ve got a list of thing that I’m going to need to add/upgrade to get it to a good point so I feel completely comfortable.

Saddlebags – I have the stock Suzuki saddlebags on the bike. They are decent size wise but they don’t lock. Normally that’s not a problem since when I’m on a trip I’m either with the bike all the time or I don’t really care if what I have in the saddlebags get stolen. I’m looking for locking saddlebags and something with a bit more room than the stockers. So far I’ve found two options that I’m considering:

Corbin Hardbags


Leatherlyke Saddlebags

There’s a huge price gap between the two different bags. The Corbin hardbags have a size advantage on the Leatherlyke’s which are roughly the same size as the bags I have now. I really like the Corbin’s better than the Leatherlyke but the price gap is a hard thing for me to overcome. Both are lockable and waterproof. But the size advantage of the Corbin’s is very desirable since I will be using them to carry groceries and I’d be able to store my laptop in them instead of bungee’d in my backpack to the back of the bike.

Lighting Upgrade – The nature of my job requires me to work late some times. This turns into riding backroads home, in the dark hoping critters don’t jump out in front of me. So far I’m planning on upgrading my headlight to a higher output bulb and getting a lightbar, which will add 2 more lights up front. Something like:

Suzuki Lightbar

Seat – This is something I’ve been meaning to upgrade since I bought the bike, but I’ve just never gotten around to it.. I want a seat that drops me down a little bit into the bike as well as having a back rest for those long trips. The last trip I took to Orlando ended up being pretty uncomfortable on the stock seat. I’ve found a couple of different seats I’m thinking about:

Corbin Dual Tour Saddle


Mustang Two Piece Vintage Touring Seat

Tires – I’m riding ~40 miles a day to and from work now so tires are going to be a biggie. Typically motorcycle tires are made of softer rubber than normal car tires to promote “stickiness” or grip. I’ve been reading a lot of forum posts and have seen some folks only getting ~1000-1500 miles out of their tires. Well, at roughly 400 bucks for a set of tires that’s simply unacceptable for me. My riding style isn’t that aggressive and with my last set of tires I got ~10000 miles out of them. I’ve looked at several different brands from Avon, Metzler and Bridgestone. Bridgestone were the tires that came with the bike and they seem to give me a good balance between grip and wear.

There are several other things that I want to do but those are cosmetic and will be done after everything else is done. As far as an order of precedence, Saddlebags will be first. Then the lighting upgrades and finally the new seat.

Taking the Time

If you don’t know that I’m a huge Sons of Anarchy fan then you should really crawl out of the hole you’ve been living in. On Tuesday nights at 10pm my world stops and I sit down to watch this wonderfully crafted masterpiece.

The creator/writer/producer is a man by the name of Kurt Sutter. If you been watching FX network for a while you may have heard of him as he was one of the writers for The Shield, which was formerly on FX.

In his latest blog post Mr. Sutter points to an article on why most network scripted show suck. In my opinion the article is dead on and Kurt’s comments are dead on as well…Jay Leno recently moved from the Tonight Show to another show, *exactly* the same as the Tonight Show. Where’s the innovation?

Another thing that fuels my passion for this show is that Kurt is a blogger. And he also has a twitter account and actively engages with the fans of SoA. I totally respect him for that. I can’t pretend to imagine what it’s like to be a writer/creator of a hit TV show but I’m pretty sure it takes a lot of time. I applaud him for making the time and giving back to his fans. I know it makes me want to do whatever I can to promote the show.

If you haven’t seen SoA yet it’s in its second season. I would *highly* recommend buying the first season on dvd. The cast commentary on the episodes and the extras make the set totally worth the price. I think they can also be purchased from iTunes so you can catch up with the current season.

Buell Shuts Down

Erik Buell announces the shutdown

I have to say I’m not really surprised by this…Seems HD has always hamstrung what “innovations” Buell could make..I think if they turned him loose and throw some money into developing a new engine they could have a have a bike to contend with the imports…But, that’s not going to happen now…Such a shame…Way to go MoCo..

I Want, I Want, I Want, I Want!!

I’ve never been a real fan of bikes like those built by OCC. Don’t get me wrong they are awesome machines and I’ve seen one in person and they truly are art..But I don’t want to pay that much for a bike that I’d honestly be afraid to take out..

I found a site a few years back after the Discovery show “Biker Build-off” when they had a British bike builder named Russell Mitchell. He owns Exile Cycles. As he said on one of the shows he said to a guy that he could have any color bike as long as it was black. Every bike he builds is extremely clean and has a very industrial look to it. All the controls are usually hidden in the handlebars and the front/rear tires are ridiculously huge..I’m a fan..My bike now has a 150 front and 240 rear and I’ll never go back to skinnier tires..

I asked myself what would be a dream bike for me? Only one came to mind..Meet “Fat Bloke”

Fat Bloke

Ready to paint this bike goes for 30k…Ready to ride is 50k…If I had the money there would be a pic of a Fat Bloke with yours truly on it ;-). More pics can be found at Exile Cycles