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Monday, February 12, 2007

Wind Therapy

It is about time I could ride! First ride of 2007 and it's already February!

As one of my friends "politely" reminds me--"Christine, this IS Colorado, remember?"

Oh yeahhhhhhhhhhh...

Saturday was the February meeting of the Mountain Shadow Riders and no matter the temps, I was riding my motorcycle. As long as I had a clear road, I was getting out on two wheels.

Lucky me!

Saturday dawned as a cold morning--there is still snow on the ground in my yard and patches here and there, but I did have a clear path--so bundling up and cranking my Harley was the plan of the day. Thank goodness that I only had a 20 minute ride, LOL!!!

The morning started cold, but the afternoon warmed up nicely, so another short scoot was on deck: to the showing of motorcycle training videos. It was MSR movie day and training videos was the plan. What a better way to start the riding season of 2007? Training videos!

Sunday was another nice day and I did get a chance to get out for a scoot with my friends. We managed a putt out to Canon City, lunch at a local pizza shop and then back home. The ride scratched the itch quite nicely--however, typical with all addictions--the need was only filled temporarily!


Well, at least I can't complain about not have ridden yet....and I do appreciate the fact that I don't live in New York!!

It's warming up, folks, and lots of stuff planned for this year! Can't wait to ride or write about them!

Keep The Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hated Heated Harley Handgrips

My heated grips don’t work. They keep blowing fuses. In the electronic/electrical world, it means one of three things: a short, a bad ground, or broken component. The hunt is on.

Of course, the first thing I looked at was the grounding…upon inspection and change out of the grommet end for the wire…the ground looked fine. Tightened the grommet end on the frame and put in a new fuse. It held, until I turned on the ignition. Pop! There goes a fuse.

Next was the wiring…that means tracing the wiring back under the tank and looking for a pinch or bad kink. Looking at the wiring…it looked fine. The only wiring I have not looked at right now is the internal wiring in the handlebars or the connections to the grips themselves. I have, however, decided that the issue is going to be there simply because there is no where else for any issue to be.

Soooooo it looks like the grips will come off (and while I’m at it, I’ll be replacing the clutch-side control bracket that I broke last year. I’m not looking forward to this job as the task of getting the grip off the throttle side is a pita. Yes, that flatbread, you know??

At any rate, after looking at the various options I have available, I’m finding the most cost-efficient way is not to get the Harley Shop to do the diagnostics and buy replacement parts. Only “working parts” are the grips themselves, and the wiring, right?? Wiring is okay, so it must be the grips. Or perhaps the wiring in the grips. For the shop to chase down the problem, order me the parts is going to be more costly than just buying a new set of grips and doing the reinstall. Sounds like a reasonable thing to understand….except the reputation of Hardley Davidson Heated Handgrips have a high failure rate. Do I want to deal with this again in a year, and then the next year?? NO!

Instead, my friend sends me a link to the Dual-Star Mylar Heaters. The heating element is on a mylar pad that the installer sticks to the handlebar and then puts the grip of choice on. Had some good reviews, bad reviews and middle of the line reviews so I decided to keep looking.

Paydirt! I found a source of hand grip heaters for ATV’s and snowmobiles…..and the little module goes inside the bar and I can use whatever grip I want!!! Enter Polly Heaters. Polly Heaters are heating modules that go inside the bar. Held on by little clips, this little gem heats the metal of the bar, then the grip. I’m intrigued!

I’ve learned that some wrenches put insulation on the end of the heating module to contain the heat at the grip--not the entire bar. The installation would be straightforward—like my installation of my Harley Davidson Hated Heated Grips. I do lose the six levels of temperature settings…but who am I fooling….when I rode my grips were either off, 6 (for wide open heat) or 3 (for medium heat)….The Polly Heaters have 3 temperature settings: off, low, high.

Here’s the kicker (really there are two). The first being that the Polly Heaters only cost $31.00. Secondly, I can put ANY grip on my bike…and the one I want are the ISO grips!

For about $100 can get this on my bike….versus the $250 for the Hardley (yes, I'm aware of the typo) Grips that might last one season. I love them, but they are sooooooo unreliable, I’m going elsewhere….

So, that’s my workaround and I hope to have all the parts in and ordered within the next few weeks. If we have a garage party install….everyone interested is welcome to join us….

That’s my hated heated grip story….don’t buy them ‘cause the are worth flipping anything. And with a 90 day warranty….it’s doubly not worth it!!!

That’s my rant for the day…..

Keep The Shiny Side Up!!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

It's A Wrenching Story

Most of the snow is gone...just in time for more snow this weekend.

The forecast swings from snow/no snow on an hourly basis, so I am going to quit paying attention to the forecast.

Instead, it was warm enough to tackle some bike I did.

First off was to strip the old Harley Davidson saddlebags. To make "room" for the new ones!!! Whoooohooooo!!! That is an easy enough task...but the story is quite young!

Then, on to the electrical. I needed to take a look at my grips, my lovely Harley Davidson not worth 12 cents heated hand grips. I'm still blowing fuses. Looking for pinched wires...nope. Looking for some fluke of an improper ground...nope. Looking on the internet for suggestions. Well, the consensus is to not buy Harley Davidson heated handgrips. Too late.

A call down to the local HD shop reveals that any approach to the problem is going to cost me more dollars than I want to pay. More money to figure out what is wrong than just buying all new grips. Do I want to shell out another $180+ dollars? No!! I put everything back together and go on to the next issue....

My 12 volt outlet that I broke a few months ago. That was an easy fix and the plan was to put the new outlet in my saddlebag so interchanging the various electrical equipment would be easy. and not require a seat pull.

Easy enough and done!

Now, getting the saddlebag brackets back on was a challenge. Seems that the bolts are now too long because my bolt-on saddlebags are off. Back to the old bracket bolts and some old fashioned elbow grease allows for the installation of the saddlebags. Don't let me fool you, those brackets took some time to get back the bike gods did not want to cooperate!

However, it was done and the new bags are on! I like them very much!!

The remaining "pending" item was the floorboard. Seems I lost my bent nail somewhere. Thankfully, Joe was helping me and he got the bolt in and put on! I guess he had the magic touch whereas I did not!!

At this point, the bike is back together and ready for riding. I just need decent weather to ride in. Looks like it is not going to happen *sob*.

Until then, I am searching for an alternative for my over-priced, short-lived Harley Davidson heated hand grips. I've got a work around and I'm doing the research. The full story will be posted tomorrow...

Work accomplished and out of the way...I got a set of genuine Harley Davidson saddlebags to sell....

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Monday, February 05, 2007

Parts, Parts, Parts: Going Broke Saving Money

I found out recently the has moved into the automotive parts business. Good news is that there are discounted motorcycle parts and stuff to be found!!! Whoohooo!! Going broke saving money, LOL!! If you were not aware of Amazon's new foray into this industry, you do now.

You can also go broke saving money!!!

Regarding motorcycle parts, I'm not sure how extensive Amazon's inventory is, however, I did find the K&N air filter kit that I was looking for--discounted almost 20%. However, be careful...some of the OEM Harley Davidson items were more expensive at than at the Harley Davidson site!!

Now, if I could only find my Wiley sunglasses that are somewhere lost in my house.......

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Superbowl and Motorcycling

What happened to January? Somehow managed to fly by even with ZERO ride time!! Groundhog Day (and Phil did not see his shadow) and the Superbowl.

Yay for the Colts and the wonderful time I had watching the game. It wasn't the Saints, but there is always next year, right?

Somewhere along the line, I did squeeze a motorcycle ride in. Unfortunately, it was not my motorcycle(s) nor was I the rider. Yes, I was on the back!

Yesterday I did get a chance to get out and ride on the back of one of my friend's bike. It was nice to be out--even with borrowed riding gear, high-heeled boots, and no ear protection. It was a very short scoot--just down the road a bit. It was, honestly, still too cold. I had the offer to ride my friend's bike on my own, but with too many potholes, no riding gear and too much sand down, I wasn't going to risk a potential drop. One thing to drop my own bike--quite another to do that with someone elses.......

As of yesterday, I still have much ice on my circle. Today, with high temp of 57, it will melt, however, there is snow forecasted this upcoming weekend. Will it ever end?????

It will, unfortunately, not soon enough! I was looking forward to riding down to the MSR Chapter meeting, but it looks like it won't happen at this point. Well, I'm going to say that I don't plan on riding, and if the weather is clear, I'll get a "happy". Better than anticipating the ride and then being disappointed, right?? LOL...

I know someone out there is riding...please ride a few miles for me, willya??

Keep The Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine