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  • Featured Image What Tools Do You Carry to Get You Home?

    As I was riding home today, I passed another rider who was no longer being powered by an engine. He was hoofing it and pushing the bike in the middle of the road trying to get it the last couple feet and into the gas station. I turned around and met him at the pumps. After our brief intros, I asked him if he was simply out of gas or was there another problem? He hoped it was just the gas but, after filling up, there was still no start.

    I keep a small bag of tools and an even smaller bag of expertise on me at all times while on the bike. I looked and listened and with a small adjustment, my new friend’s bike fired right up and he was able to get home! I fired my monster up and took off the barely one mile to my own house. As soon as I turned into the “hood”, my bike just simply shut off. I played with the ignition as I coasted as far as I could and not a thing lit up. Of course I came to a stop at the one house with the shirtless teen playing basketball and listening to rap music. I was burning up in my leather jacket but, gladly pushed my denim black burden a few houses down to begin assessing the issues.

    It turned out that one of my battery terminals had rattled loose.. again… I’d have been pushing that 900 pound bike the half mile to my house had I not had a few simple tools.

    I keep the tools stashed in a small bag I put on the swingarm. It’s a great spot. Out of the way and no one notices it, which helps keep me satisfied that no one will find it and want to explore the contents.

    Secret Tool Bag

    Inside I keep at least a few tools that might help me get home. I have a phillips and flat head screw driver, a wrench that fits the rear wheel belt sprocket bolts that have a tendency to come loose, two adjustable wrenches so I can adjust lock bolts such as on the clutch cable and a Harley specific multi-tool. I also keep extra items to help myself like the shop rag and flashlight. I also always carry at least one extra lighter and a small knife.

    For a long time I kept no saddle bags or any way of holding extra stuff on my bike. After some time and a ton of miles later, a bag of some sort for ease of carrying at least a few extra items was necessary. I purchased a small, hand-made leather saddle bag that was specifically designed to be low profile. Inside I keep a mini socket and wrench set, motorcycle jumper cables, a few wire connectors, a super mini multi-tool and some electrical tape. Almost all of these items have helped me in some kind of way on the road.

    Tools

    Of course, there will always be some fixes that will not be able to be repaired on the road but, shouldn’t you be prepared for the ones you can? What items do you carry that have helped you on the way?

    Peace, Grease and a Life of Ease,

    ~Juggernaut



  • Featured Image H-D St. Bob Ignition Relocation; What Should Have Been, Part 2

    Yes, there are ways to do this. There are pluses and minuses to every method. The method shown keeps the original ignition/fork lock on the neck in place and maintains the fork lock function the way it always was. The downside is this will require a separate key that turns on your new ignition.  Some, get the new ignition made keyed to match the original so both the neck, fork lock and ignition use only one key. This lets you avoid having to carry two small, different keys in your pocket.  There are also full kits to order and you get all the components together at one time and ready for installation.

    Some variances of installation will still require you have to have the specifically made tool to remove the actual ignition and, a new key position indicator washer thing because most get messed up during removal. And, like I said in Part 1, some folks just order new dash panels for Wide Glide models with the ignition point already installed. The list could go on and on.  Go whichever route you would like. The option I’m describing requires little, if any, extra effort compared to all those other options. The best part is the cost is significantly less. Period. Do the research and figure which option suits your wallet. I’ll be just fine and comfortable carrying one tiny key for ignition and one for the fork locks.

    If you are going the same route as me, there are other ways to mount the ignition to the dash as well. Some show they drilled the bolt holes right through the top of the dash and mount it directly onto the dash itself. A lot of others have been seen doing it similar to what I’m doing here, creating a mounting plate to use as a stand for the ignition. To be honest, bolting the ignition right onto the dash would have been easier but, also will create 4 more holes to seal against water and would have the top of the bolts visible right on the dash. If you’re cool with looking at four bolts around your ignition and want an easy assembly, by all means, go that route.

    Pickin’ up right where we left off;

    9 template10 pattern trace

    The next step is to take a sheet of paper and your dirty hands. Set the paper on top of the mounting area and press down, making an exact outline of your mounting surface. Make sure to press down where all the bolt holes are. Take your template and cut it out, set it on your aluminum, mark it and cut it all out. I used a drill for the bolt holes and put a bit of electrical tape around the outer edge to protect against sharp edges.

    11 mock up

    Once it’s all cut out, set it all up for mock-up.

    12 prep for placement13 Mock up stand

    Place some two sided or rolled up masking tape on the aluminum ignition plate you made. Put the dash back on in the correct position while holding the ignition unit in the cut out ignition hole. Once everything is in place, set the ignition unit down on top of the masking tape. It’s now in position for you to mark the holes for the ignition unit. Drill the holes out and mock up the new ignition stand using the bolts and screws etc. as shown in the pic.

    14 Lengthen Wires

    Mock up everything again to ensure proper placement of the new ignition set up and start making measurements of how much wire you will need to add to the ignition wires. Don’t add too much extra wire because it will get crowded and messy under the dash real quick.

    15 Fitment

    Make sure to get the wires lined up correctly to the correct posts of course. Then solder the wires back together.  Do the heat shrink and wrap thing and you may need some extra electrical tape and/or tiny zip ties to hold the wires together neatly. Or, be a slob if your into that sorta thing, I don’t care…

    8 Grommet16 Dielectric

    Place in the grommet, add some dielectric grease to the end of the ignition and stick it all back together.

    18 Finished

    Check to make sure it works!

    19 check

    If you have any questions on anything just let me know or leave a comment and someone may chime in to help offer you a solution. This is a must-do mod for St. Bob owners. This is how things should have been from the start!

    Peace, Grease and a Life of Ease,

    ~Juggernaut



  • Featured Image H-D St. Bob Ignition Relocation, What Should Have Been; Part 1

    Anyone who has a Harley-Davidson Dyna St. Bob like my ’07, knows the pain in the ass it is to turn that sucker on! Yeah, it’s kinda nostalgic to have the ignition on the neck but, it soon gets tiring. Most Harley models have an  ignition on the top of the gas tank, on the dash portion. It’s nice, you can put in the key, turn it on, take the key out and have access to turn your hog on right in front of you and in hands reach. Basically its key-less from there unless you want to lock it.

    The St. Bob though, has the ignition is on the neck. This involves turning the bike on before you get on and you leave the key dangling from the ignition. Its a bit hard to fumble with the key when you have thick winter gloves on. And, you have to get off the bike to turn it off or lean over the tank and hope your jacket doesn’t scratch it in the process. I’d always hit the kill switch on the handlebar, get off the bike and take off my gloves, glasses, helmet etc and then forget the damn ignition. Even after riding this thing daily and for thousands of miles. For my birthday this year, all I wanted was a new ignition.

    If you are confident enough in your skills to locate the ignition wires (always have a manual for your model), cut and solder wire and cut through the dash on your expensive two wheeled mistress, then, this mod is for you. If you can’t confidently locate and solder a wire or, would simply not like to mess with it, you can always bring to the shop and let me do it for you!

    If your game to get it done, here is a picture tutorial on how I accomplished mine:

    A couple tools used:

    Metal snips, 2 inch diameter hole drill bit, 4 flat bottom screws and 12 nuts with 4 lock washers, a few inches of extra wire, wire heat shrink, a piece of paper for a template and a small sheet of aluminum. I used electrical tape and a few zip ties to keep the wires together and neat. I ordered my new black ignition from ebay.

    5 tools needed

     

    First, disconnect your battery then start taking your dash all the way apart. Basically disconnect every wire and take out the little neutral light indicator. It’s easy and pretty self explanatory.

    1 dash disasemble

    From there, you are going to have to pull the little plastic wire protector/deflector out to gain complete access to the ignition wires. You may have to loosen up your fuel tank to get your hand in there. The deflector is located under the gas tank, on the bottom of the frame backbone, on top of the front cylinder, by the bike’s neck….(didn’t get a pic, sorry) Anyway, once its removed you can pull most of the wires out from there, you may have to pull other wires out of the neck from the inserts on the neck by the ignition. Getting the wires out and back in are really the hardest part of this whole ordeal.

    2 wires pulled out

    Now, you will have to get your big fat hand inside the neck from the bottom, where you pulled out the plastic protector insert. The ignition wires are mounted onto the left side of the inner neck wall. It has a little tab they may hold it in place but, mine came out easy with a light tug.

    3 wire location 4 wire located

     

    Get the ignition wires pulled out and routed through the left side wire insert area on the neck. You will see the other sets of wires leading to the dash of your bike coming out of there. Your going to have to add some length to the wires in order to make this work.

    Before we add wire, we need something to measure and mock up to. So, get ready to cut your dash. I have seen others that mentioned that they purchased a dash for a Wide Glide and just hooked it all up to that. That is a couple hundred bucks I’m not going to spend when I can just cut a hole and insert a rubber grommet.

    There are three random raised lines in the center of your dash under the neutral indicator light bar. Find the center of the center line and mark it as your pilot hole spot. Take your 2 inch diameter hole drill bit and drill it out!

    6 Find the center 7 Cut hole

    I used a Dremel to sand down the sharp edges then put some electrical tape around the edge so not to scratch up my ignition during mock up because the rubber grommet had not arrived yet. I ordered a grommet from www.cableorganizer.com. I could not find one ANYWHERE! So, I picked out exactly what I needed online and had it delivered to my door. Cost about 5 bucks delivered. Make sure you order the grommet at 2 inches total diameter. Not 2′ inner diameter or the outside diameter will be too big. I used a 1/8 grommet width.

    8 Grommet

    This will keep you busy for a minute, check back for part two in just a few days.

    Peace, Grease and a Life of Ease,

    ~Juggernaut



  • Featured Image Travel Tools

    20140926_150109

    So, your going to be traveling. Your a hundred miles from home and one of the bikes in your conga line breaks down. What did you bring to fix that sucker on the side of the road? AAA card? Or, did you come prepared to make a simple fix on the road? What did you bring?

    Once again, this is just my kit. Bring anything you believe may save your ass in a fix. Bring any items you may think are specific to your bike that you may have laying around. I always keep extra spare parts handy.

    Every bike on the road has nuts and bolts, wires and lights and a rider. You can do every bit of maintenance on time and even check the small things and still have a failure of some kind while on the road. At least pack the simple items that could fix those items that you know every motorcycle has.

    You don’t have to be a full on mechanic to do some simple fix that may get you running again. Anyone should be able to see a missing or loose bolt and tighten it. Anyone should be able to twist two wires together and wrap with electrical tape. Just don’t forget to disconnect the battery first…

    Aside from small tool kits with sockets and wrenches and adjustable wrenches what else might you need? Judging by the above pic, I probably carry too much or not enough.

    I have a fold up multi-tool with torx and hex extensions specific to H-D, needle nose pliers for crimping and getting into those hard to reach places, flat head and phillips screw driver, flashlight for night fixin’, shop rags, lighter, extra nuts and bolts specific to items that commonly rattle off, electrical tape and motorcycle jumper cables.

    But those are kinda obvious. What else may come in handy and is relatively small to carry?

    tools, wiring

    How about zip ties, a few extra inches of wire, wire connectors, fuses and wire posts? This fits in a small plastic baggy and could be invaluable for when a wire gets fried or falls and rubs on your rear tire.

    20140926_151554

    20140926_151617

    I carry most of the small items shown in this small swing arm bag I mounted with zip ties. Its small, out of the way and barely noticeable. In fact, no one has ever seen it until I pointed it out.

    The wrench and socket kit are small but still too large to fit in the swing arm bag so I put them in my little saddle bag. On the other side of the bike.

    It’s kinda hard to see in the top pic but, under the electrical tape is a plastic baggy containing a couple of extra turn signal bulbs and an extra headlight. That wont stop you from getting home but, may keep you from getting a ticket or seeing at night.

    Think this is overkill? Not enough? What do you think is essential that I forgot? Any clever items that helped you along the way? Tell us about it in the comment section!

    Peace, grease and a life of ease,

    ~Juggernaut



  • Featured Image Motorcycle Trippin’

    I read a few motorcycle related blogs and forums, I know, imagine that. But, what I often see on forums are questions about what to bring on a motorcycle venture.  I’m going to do my best to  address some of these questions from my own experience and opinion and bring some pics to the table for you hard learners to see.

    What these pics contain are just most of the stuff I brought. It’s not the ultimate collection, it’s not the mandatory collection. It’s just what I thought I might need. This post, I’m covering the what I need for every day life and comfort.

    To set the stage, I’ll begin by telling you a bit about the trip. Myself and 3 other guys left from Lawrenceville, Ga and traveled about 375 miles to a small island off the coast of Florida by Pensacola to an area called Fort Pickens. We spent two days at the campgrounds there and then packed up for 215 miles to New Orleans. We stayed in a hotel there that was over 200 years old! After two nights in NOLA, we went back to Fort Pickens for a night to break up the miles for the long road home.

    I wont address what clothes to bring. With all the handy tech., you should know the approximate weather and should know what you need for yourself in that area. Pack light and find clever ways to get your stuff cleaned if you have to. (we each bribed the hotel lady to run our stuff through the washer and dryer while in NOLA).

    20140926_141900

    Here are some essentials just for everyday living. Of course, everything will need to be placed into something. Just for this trip, I got a motorcycle back pack at good ol’ Wally World for $35. It was inexpensive, slips over and secures to by back rest, and was a great buy. Sleeping bag, Bed Roll, lightweight small tent, soap, a bit of fist aid supplies, cooking pots. TP, flashlight, etc.

    Whats not shown is the small camp body towel I brought. It is kinda like a large sham-wow.. it did the job and was cheap. I also can not stress how much i use the every day, common, cheap and gangster cotton bandanna. I always have at least three of these things near by. I use them to cover my face and head, soak with water and wrap around my neck to cool me off, use as a soft wipe to get gas leaked on my gas tank during fill up, hand towel, wash cloth, etc. I use these things for all kinds of stuff.

    I made the mistake of thinking that I could get a cheap tent. I knew better but, figured that a tent would last a few uses and then I could throw it away if I had to and not care too much. Well, the tent leaked, and it rained… A LOT! Don’t be a cheapskate in this area. You just may come out of your trip looking like a prune. In fact, just stay away from anything made by Ozark Trail…

    You can however, use whatever cheap bedding that is appropriate for the weather and fits safely with your travel pack. A lot of folks can be seen of using the classic Mexican blanket (shown top left). One night I just used my denim jacket and was fine. The small blue bag labeled “cocoon” sitting beside the flashlight is an REI product. It’s an over-priced but awesome inflatable pillow. It cost about $30 (which was as much as my crappy tent) but, was completely worth it!

    I brought some small cooking pots that uses several pots and a cup that can be stored all within itself. This is a common camping item and can be found anywhere. To the right of the cooking pot you can see a bag full of tin foil. I used every bit of that tin foil for cooking. Very easy to use to prep food on, wrap food up, and throw it in the fire to cook then throw away. I’ve always called this a “silver turtle” because of the way it looks.

    food, silver turtle

    The “silver turtle” pulled out of the fire. Once rolled up with the food inside, just throw this sucker directly on the camp fire coals.

    food, turtle inside

     

    Inside the turtle, you have potatoes, onions, carrots, broccoli and a hamburger patty all cooked and steamed inside together! Damn good!

    Other essential items that you may not think of are: trash bags (waterproofing, carrying items, make-shift rain gear, over the head suffocation device, etc), toilet paper, rope (clotheslines, tarp hanging, equipment securing and securing annoying drunk campers…) flashlight, snacks, soap and a first aid kit. My first aid kit consisted of stuff I had around the house just placed into a plastic baggy. That is what I do for a lot of things. If you already have the items, just stick them in a bag to make your own kit. Screw wasting money on over priced first aid kits containing just band aids and alcohol swabs. Hell, just a bunch of plastic baggies came in handy on this trip.

    pack

    Make sure everything packs up secure and then waterproof!

    pack, rainproof

    During each trip you will refine the gear you bring. Some items may work and others not. You may find a need for something that I don’t need. What is your essential to pack “every day life and comfort” items?

    Next post, I’ll cover tools and emergency items to keep your bike on the road.

    Feel free to post your opinions in the comment section. What do you bring? What did I miss?

    Peace, grease and a life of ease,

    ~Juggernaut



  • Featured Image SHINY SHOVEL

    Going to throw out some info real quick to give a quick update on my shovel project and show you how you can really bring some old aluminum back to life.

    Im polishing up the rocker boxes by hand. It takes time and elbow grease but its damn worth it and saves the roughly $200 to get them professionally polished.

    Go to your local auto parts store and get some wet to dry sandpaper. The grades I used were 600, 800, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500 and 5000. Next, get some real good aluminum billet polish such as Mothers brand.

    rocker start

     

    as you can see, the rocker boxes are 34 years old. This crap wont come off with just a simple polish wheel, its in the metal.

    Start with the 600 grit, get it wet and start sanding.

    rocker first step

     

    This first sanding might get you scared a bit. Dont worry, just make sure you get a good even sanding. Keep going, stepping up the grades as you go.

    rocker box mid way

    The pic above is at roughly 2000 grit stage. As you can see, its getting better. Keep stepping up the grit until you get to at least 2500. Then I finish it off with 5000 for the real fine finish.

    rocker box finish

     

    Finally finish with the Mothers polish to bring out the shine. I was loosing light by the time I took this pic but as you can still see, its a whole lot better than the original.

    I only did the front part of this one rocker box. To really get the job done best, you should probably take the rocker box off the bike and get every nook. That will come next for me.

    What methods have you used to get a showcase shine on your old parts?

    ~Juggernaut