Sunday, March 30, 2008

SYRRUP (Show Your Roundness Round Up) RTE

Today Gail and I hosted the annual SYRRUP ride at Parker’s Maple Barn. Gail decided she wanted to ride pillion today and shoot some pictures from the back.

Eight Rounders showed up on 6 bikes. Considering the snow, ice on the ground and in the roads it was a very good turnout.

The day was bright and sunny with temps in the 40s. Good thing too as my electrics decided not to work. I found a bad connection while we were waiting for our table and I was able to get them going but Gail and I didn’t need to plug in for the ride home.

It was a long wait as Parker’s Maple Barn was jammed so we hung out, told lies, jokes and listened to our stomachs growl. Finally after an hour and 20 minutes we were able to sit down and I just could not resist the Parker’s special. Mmm Food porn...

So after brunch (it was now afternoon) we hopped on the bikes and headed out in our different directions for our rides home.

The ride home was a fairly uneventful except for an icy patch on the road out. It was a butt pucker moment that faded fast in the brilliant blue sky and bright March sun.

Speed Safe!

Home Wrenching: Variable Pressure Clutch Upgrade

Back about a month ago, I installed a rider back rest and did a clutch upgrade on the bike. I also replaced my bumper cover on the cage. Not a bad weekends work.

The clutch modification/upgrade was to install a Variable pressure clutch kit to give me almost a lockout clutch at high RPMs but allow an easy pull for stop and go situations. It was a fairly simple mod. Start to finish it took me about an hour including changing out my primary chain case fluid.

The VPC works because it has these weights that add increased pressure to the pressure plate to supplement the spring pressure by centrifugal force. The higher the RPMs, the higher the centrifugal force, thus higher pressure added to the pressure plate. I though it would be a worthwhile modification to supplement my heavy duty clutch friction plates and SE heavy duty clutch spring. I ask a lot of my clutch with all the Sherpa duties that I need to do. Not to mention I like to explode out of tolls at WOT. Gail got me addicted to this. If I’m going to pay, I might as well get some enjoyment out of it.

The parts in the kit
VPC, base plate and cap screws with washers

I started by draining the primary chain case fluid. Nothing in the directions said to do this but it was due so I decided to get it done while I was there.

After fluid is drained center bike upright on bike lift

Remove passenger foot rest.

I had to put all the slack in the clutch cable at the adjuster.

Then remove the derby cover.

Next the Clutch spring retainer came off

I had to loosen the primary cover screws because the clutch spring pinned against the cover when I took the retainer off. This is where changing the fluid came in handy. I don’t know how you could do it with the cover bolted down. I didn’t need to remove it, I just backed them out about 3/8”.

Bend the base plate (from the kit) tabs slightly to match the contour of the clutch pressure plate.

You don’t have to remove the spring just pull it up a bit and slide the base plate through the center of the spring and place against pressure plate.

Put spring back in place.

Install VPC where old Spring retainer was using the new allen cap screws provided. Don’t forget your blue Loc-tite. This is a Harley after all and loc-tite is an HD’s best friend.

I then adjusted my clutch as per HD’s instructions.

Cut out the derby cover gasket like below. I used the old one as it seemed in great shape. I don’t have any leaks so it went ok. The gasket is pretty tough. I used an awl to start a hole in the center than sheet metal sheers to cut out the center. Piece of cake.

Refill Primary Chain case with fluid

Reinstall Derby cover and Passenger foot rest.

Check for leaks

Then the fun part… Test Ride!

The VPC worked as advertised. The clutch pull at idle and low RPMs was reduced. Neutral was easier to find with less clunking through the gears. At higher RPMs the clutch pull was elevated a bit but still not bad at all and the clutch locked in with no slippage. I tested it with hole shots, burnouts and a little wheelie off the line. Still no slippage. IMO this is a worthwhile upgrade.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Mother nature is cruel.
Today is my birthday, I'm 39 for the 4th time. Guess what mother Nature brought me today? 2-4" of snow,
wow . Thanks, do you have a receipt for this? I don't like the color. I always buy myself a little something for my birthday. This year I acquired a Creative Zen 4GB mp3 player and an 8gb SD-HC card for it. So far I love it. It has a nice big screen that has enough resolution and speed to do movies. It charges quick and seems to last through what I need to do with it. The menu is fairly intuitive and the buttons make sense. I picked up a skin and screen protector on Ebay for short money and now I'm ready to take it on the road. I really like to listen to music when I ride and audio books at the gym. This gives me the versatility to do it all in one player with room to grow. I purchased it from with free shipping for around $80.00. The SD card from Ebay for $33.00 including shipping.

The Rounders annual SYRRUP Ride to Parker's Maple Barn is on Sunday. It looks like the weather will be ok, just a little cool. I'm really looking forward to it. I just need to keep from ordering the ridiculously large Parker's Special.

Mmm Parker's special......

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fog Video

I took this video last fall riding behind Gail on the Mohawk trail. It was a good thing we knew the road well. Hairpin Turn came up pretty fast.

Easter Ride

Easter is winding down and the kids have gone to their mom's house. It was a marvelous Easter with family and friends. Now there was an opportunity to grab a quick sunset spin. I have a new backrest on my bike and I was looking forward to trying it out some more.

New backrest.
Hmm, I think the Easter Bunny has been here. It was nice of him to leave me this snack. :)
Easter Visit

I thought I would just take a quick spin over to Hollis. I saw this nice Apple Orchard on the way. It looked like a nice photo op.
It won't be long before the apple blossoms will be out
Apple Trees

Silver Lake State Park
Silver Lake Park

These benches soon will be used by beach goers enjoying a nice lunch.
Silver Lake

You have to watch out for Frost Heaves this time of year. These warnings help.
Frost Heaves

Amherst Country Club. Still too much snow for golf.
Amherst CC

I started losing sun fast and the temperature was dropping. It seemed a good time to call it a day. It was a short ride but pleasant just the same. Did you catch the egg in each picture?
Happy Easter All!