Sunday, April 19, 2020

More Refreshing – Walnut, CA – 18 June 2018

18 June 2018 – I’m still refreshing my motorcycle. Today, I’m going to start with changing the oil, oil filter and adjust the counter balance chain. That’s hardly noteworthy other than I did it. The second thing I’m going to tackle is trying to straighten the right-side saddle bag mounting frame. It got bent by falling over three times during my trip to South America. This frame has never been taken off the motorcycle since I put it on in 2008. Hopefully I will be able to get the nuts and bolts loose without twisting them off. News flash, I was able to get all the fasteners loose without damaging them. Here comes the funny part. I have nothing to hold the frame where it needs to be bent (no vise) and no hammer large enough to bend it if we beat on it. We devised a plan. We supported the frame where we didn’t want it bent and left the area unsupported where we wanted it bent. I had my brother stand on the supported end of the frame and I would stand on the area where I wanted it bent. I would drop down with all my weight and spring the frame. I did this till I realized if I’m not careful I could twist or break one of my ankles. My feet were slipping off the frame at odd angles and sometimes I almost turned my ankles. If you ever cranked an old kick start Harley-Davidson, that’s the way it worked. You bump the piston up on compression, then stand on the kick starter crank, drop down and at the same time straightening your leg out turning the engine over one compression. It was all about dropping my 200 lbs. /91 kg., straightening my legs some and forcing the frame to bend. Our process wasn’t very scientific but it bent the frame back to near original shape. That probably took 25+ tries. The saddle bag hung much more vertical than before. Before we semi-straightened the frame, the bottom of the saddlebag was visibly closer to the rear wheel than the top. I bolted the frame back on the motorcycle and used Blue Loctite to lock the nuts. I was happy how that came out using our caveman tactics.

Next, I have to repair the lower left gas tank mount. Somehow the mount cracked off my radiator frame during my travels. I suspect vibration was culprit. That 10 gallon gas tank is great for having gas in remote areas but it has some draw backs. I will list a few: It makes your motorcycle 30 lbs. / 14 kgs. more top heavy. I also affects your kickstand negatively. You have to use a right side kickstand to keep it from falling over to the right. That’s really is unhandy. Parking on uneven roads and surfaces is horrible. Anyway, I remounted the gas tank so I could start thinking how I could make and remount a new bracket. It took some thinking but I came up with a plan. I drilled a new hole in the radiator frame which lined up with my existing bracket. I went down to the hardware store and purchased a nylon spacer, bolt, washers and nut. I bolted the bracket on and lined it up with the tapped hole in the gas tank. I shimmed out the gas tank end of the bracket with washers and tightened it down to the gas tank. It looks like it will work. I removed the gas tank again until I receive my “J” nut from Bert’s Mega Mall. Then I can put on my top mount. Once I get my top motor mount in place then I can put my gas tank back on. That pretty much wraps up today.

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