Archive for April, 2011

Now I know what is better then a Harley-Davidson…

Posted in Harley-Davidson with tags , , , on April 27, 2011 by bleiglass

Since over a year now I am riding my Harley-Davidson Road King Classic, I joined the local Hogsback Chapter UK, and developed a new reputation for my photography.

What a year, what a great experience, what a ride. This year will be even better, with ride-outs nearly every weekend, and HOG rallies taking me to distant places like Biograd in Croatia.

And now I finally know what is better then a Harley-Davidson… its two Harley-Davidson’s.

As some of my readers may know, I am commuting since many years using a scooter, first a Yamaha 250 Majesty, presently a Piaggio 400 MP3.

My big Road King Classic is not suitable for a daily ride through the busy, crazy and stressful streets of London during rush hours. It’s a 40 mile roundtrip each day, and I am tired of commuting, and hope that by replacing the Piaggio, which I liked very much, with a Harley-Davidson some fun can be put back to this daily mad routine of mass commuting.

A Harley-Davidson as commuter bike? You do not see many of them in London, scooters rule the roads at 8am in the morning, with speedy 500cc courier bikes from Japanese makers dashing between them. Some venture out on their Ducati or BMW Tourer when the sun is shining, but they get quickly stuck once its conjested.

Here a time lapse video I took some time ago…

(it gets challenging at 2:25 🙂

My head tells me: keep the scooter! But my heart won, and I went on to design my perfect

Harley-Davidson Commuter Bike.

to be continued… read then more about criteria, selection and customisation

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Sorry for my irregularity

Posted in Harley-Davidson, HOG with tags , on April 20, 2011 by bleiglass

Some of you may have realised that the frequency of my posts is less then impressive this season. I must admit, I am distracted, still devoting time to matters around my Road King classic, but unfortunately not finding enough time to write as many blog entries as last year, clearly not as many articles as I would like to write.

But the day has 24 hours, an the week only 7 days, so in trying to find the right balance between my Harley-Davidson centred activities and interests is becoming a challenge.

Adding to this is some positive news I received few days ago from my local HOG Chapter, the Hogsback Chapter UK:

So please forgive me if the frequency of posts in this blog will not reach the levels of last year, but rest assured that I stay committed to my Road King Classic and this blog.

ABCD – Will You Take Part?

Posted in Harley-Davidson with tags , , on April 13, 2011 by bleiglass

Maybe you would like to join in with this…..

A Bloggers Centerline Day, or ABCD, will take place on Sunday 1st May 2011.

The plan is to inspire as many bloggers as possible to go outside and take a photograph of themselves on this day, wherever they are in the world. The photo can be creative, arty, contain more than one person, be in any type of location and can contain anything else you like. It must however contain the centerline of a road and at least part of you, the blogger.

There are 5 rules….

Rule 1 – the picture must be taken on 1st May 2011.

Rule 2 – the picture must be of yourself, and you must be a person that publishes a blog. You can include whatever else you like in the picture, including other people if you wish.

Rule 3 – the picture must include the centerline of a road.

Rule 4 – you should publish the picture on your blog on 1st May 2011, along with a few words about the picture and why you chose that location or pose.

Rule 5 – when you have posted the picture on your own blog, put a comment on http://garysusatour.blogspot.com/2011/04/abcd-will-you-take-part.html and include in that comment the address of your own blog post containing your own picture.

Note: The picture above from Hogsback Chapter UK does only fulfil one of the 5 rules (#3), thus I fear it would be disqualified. But watch this space on May 1st.

Gary France will then pick his favourite photos and publish these as being the winners. There will be a prize of $100 awarded to the overall single winner, as chosen by Gary.

In order to get this event known as widely as possible, please copy and paste this posting onto your own blog, including the title. Please do that today!

As a reminder to yourself to take the photo and post it, put an entry into your diary for 1st May 2011.

Let’s see if we can get as any people to join in as possible.

Has you brain left the ride?

Posted in DIY, Harley-Davidson with tags , , on April 8, 2011 by bleiglass

It’s the regularity – even of a loud obnoxious or deep thumbing noise – that causes your brain to stop paying attention. In scientific language it’s called habituation. And when your brain enters the habituation zone, even a loud noise can fade into the background, but still can cause physical pain.

That’s it, my Vance and Hines Quiet Baffles (VH21931) are now installed. The exhaust sound changed, but did it change for the better?

I think so, but as with most changes, this is a compromise, although a very necessary one.

The raw, brute deep note is gone, officially the decibel noise level is reduced by 3-5 db. That does not sound like much on paper, but it is very noticable, specially in idle, but also on the monotonous highway. Your neighbours will love the quiet baffles, as will your head.

Without them, the Turn Down mufflers are clearly great fun for a short weekend ride, but my recent round trip to Wootton Bassett, over 200 miles, was over the limit. Back home, my head was uncomfortably humming even hours after my return, and the cause was clearly the wonderful raw low frequency bass you do not really hear, but clearly feel.

I think these 200 miles were the limit my ears, brain and head were willing to accept, and as I plan much longer daily rides this season, there is no way around the quiet baffles.

Actually “quiet” is the wrong word, I would call them comfort baffles, as they are not really quiet, but more comfortable for longer rides. And that is what at the end a touring bike like the Road King Classic is all about.

You loose a tiny bit of the show-off factor, the one even appreciated by bystanders when 30 or more Harley’s ride down the village roads, but then again, you just loose just a bit of it, and have the chance to remain sane.

I was considering removing the baffles on occasions, for certain “exhibition rides”, where the show factor is more important then the ride itself. But consider this: a muffler is the home address of all the culprits for aggressive metal corrosion. Heat, extreme temperature variations, aggressive chemicals in the air, dust of all sizes, humidity and evaporation, you find in the mufflers a toxic mix contributing to the most aggressive climate on earth. No metal can really remain undamaged for long, and specially delicate screws to hold the pieces together suffer most. So if you plan to unscrew and re-fix your quiet baffles in weekly intervals, prepare for disaster, as the screws will most likely not survive more then 10 cycles. If you really plan this change frequently, prepare for new high quality screws, like stainless steel A4 grade ones, which are used in the similarly hostile marine environment.

I got quickly used to the new, more comfortable sound, and I do not really miss the raw beast that was barking at me earlier, as it is still there, just not right next to my ear.