Monday, October 18, 2010

New Tire Looks and Feels Good

Oh baby, that new tire sure looks good on you. How about a little ride? Hmmmm.
Took the rear wheel off on Friday night, took it to the shop to get new tire and tube installed Saturday morning. Spent a dern couple of hours cleaning all the road grime from the rim and getting the beginnings of rust off the spokes with GoJo Orange pumice hand cleaner. Checked my brake shoes and have plenty of shoe left, surprise surprise. I had to use my six ton floor jack to get the bike up to pull the wheel then tethered the bike to the garage rafters for security with ratchet straps. Under the frame I stacked wood for it to rest on like the old days. I bet it looked like I was about to gut the Rat to the neighbors. When I strap something down you can rest assured it's not going anywhere until I'm done doing what I gotta do.

I learned back in engine and frame/drive line school that when mounting a tire to line the little paint mark up with the valve stem. This should put the wheel in balance so you don't need those fugly weights. I watched as Rick, at Three Stooges Cycle, took my old onion skin tire off and mounted my new Plenty "O" Tread tire on. He turned the tire to line up the marks, put in a new tube too, filled part way with air then let it out before filling it back up. I tossed him a twenty and off I went. When I got home I cleaned up the wheel assembly before remounting on the bike. So Far so good.

Moving to the front wheel I removed it partially to install the new speedometer gear on the front wheel. The book said to remove the wheel completely but as Dave would say "PPffftttt" on that mess. Working the wheel down just enough so the rotor was still between the brake pads I removed the old gear - which fell apart in two pieces - and put on the new gear. Remounted and secured front wheel after checking that the gear was working and turning the speedo cable. Grabbed the wife to come make sure the gear didn't get mis-aligned while I tightened the nut on the axle. Ahhh perfect.

Damn how time flies. I took the tire to the shop at nine a.m and finally got done with everything by eight p.m. Guess I was having to much of a good time and lost track of the time. I took my time getting the rear wheel assembly back on to run true and way to much time cleaning the rim and spokes. Made sure the chain was running straight then checked it for correct tension. Turn the wheel until the chain gets to it's tightest point, mark top of tire with piece of electrical tape. Turn wheel so tape is at bottom of wheel and check tension, return wheel to top position with tape mark and adjust chain at the bottom half way between sprockets to have close to 1/2 inch of upward movement.

Sunday going for a shake down run but right off the bat my brand new run/off rocker switch breaks. Take off the hand controls and cut that switch off and put in a toggle switch instead - easier to work with gloves anyway - (One of those nitrous switches with the cover on it would look killer bitchin here) and vvrrroooommm I'm off. But wait! What is that sound? A strange whirring sound coming from the engine. I ride less than a half mile and return home. I park the bike in the driveway - in gear - and turn off the key but not the toggle then get to looking around. For some reason I suspect the new starter. My son comes home and we chit chat a few minutes then back to the bike. I want to bump the starter so I reach over and turn the key and HOLY SHIT! the bike lurches forward trying to start without me pushing the start button. I catch Rat before I dump her. After all is said and done it turns out my wire posts on the toggle were shorting against the handle bars under the switch housing. Fixed that and went for a ride and all was fine. Got home and noticed my back tire and freshly cleaned rim covered in oil on the right side. Well, the oil is good for the tire side wall anyway so I rub it in with a rag what I can't get off. Cleaned off the rim again and adjusted my chain oiler. Go for another twenty five mile jaunt and return home. Ahhh she's running good and the new tire is a tad scrubbed and roughed up. I get home tonight and make a run for the M/C shop to pay for the tube they forgot to charge me for. She seems to be running and rolling great now and the back tire is in perfect balance.

The speedometer works again to my relief so now I can watch my speed and guage my fuel usage. Yeehaww! But I do have a short in my turn signals so I'm going to yank the front ones off and splice the back ones into my rear brake somehow. But later on that.

1 comment:

FLHX_Dave said...

Awesome! Ride on! I'm going to need a new rear tire sooner than I anticipated. It rained here over the weekend and I was having fun doing flat-track style power slides around the town. When I got home I realized that I burned quite a bit of tread off the rear....yeah....dumbass.

But it was great moving down the street at 10mph while my engine is bumping against the rev limiter! It was an awesome wet I gotta save up for a new tire....dumbass again.

congrats! Happy trails.