Sunday, 12 July 2009

Well that wasn’t so bad.

Another rainy day (gawd I’m sick of this weather) so I figured it was a good time to try and put the pieces together. And so off to the garage.

The first order of business was to sit and contemplate the job ahead. This took about an hour and involved a beer, a cigar, a shop manual, lots of starting at the bike and all the bits and pieces, and some good tunes on the CD player. Now many (spousal units especially) would view this as “wasted” time that could otherwise be spent more profitably helping in the garden. This is a genetic problem that cannot be solved, so it’s best to ignore it entirely.

Eventually the vision formed and it was time to start the disassembly. This is the phase when you realize that a human being is no match for an assembly line robot that torques every nut and bolt to at least 500-ft-lbs. That, combined with a liberal use of LocTite, meant only one thing - impact wrench. Eventually everything was off, with the utmost care taken to not scratch anything chromed or painted, in other words everything, so those parts can find a new home via eBay.

Then it was on with the new.

The quick-detach sideplates for the luggage rack and back rest went on in no time. I had all the parts I needed except for a couple of spacers that were quickly made from some scrap material laying around. (I could have waited until tomorrow when the fastener shop was open, but this way the job is done today.)

The forward controls were a bit more complicated. Here too I had to make some spacers and a nylon bushing so that everything fit nice and snug with no excess play. The bigger issue though is that in order to remove the original shifter link one must either disassemble the complete primary drive side, or cut the shifter link off the shaft and take it out in pieces. The latter option is obviously a one-way street; there’s no going back if I change my mind. And I didn’t have all the gaskets, various seals, and special tools needed to  pull the drive side apart, so I compromised. The old shaft is still there, but it’s held in place with a quick-tie so it won’t rattle or jam the shifter mechanism. Not ideal, but certainly good enough for the time being until I’m convinced I won’t be going back to mid-controls. Then I can decide on hacksaw versus major surgery.

So it’s done. Except for the absence of a back rest, the changes are not that obvious, but should result in a more comfortable ride. Now if it would only stop raining long enough to find out.

HD with forwards


  1. What, no rain gear? Sorry to hear about your crappy weather situation. The forward controls do look nice.

  2. Danny, lots of rain gear, just a shortage of desire :{

    Yes, I do like the look of the forwards and they seem pretty comfortable (garage riding only). Only time and a long ride will tell though.

  3. And as for the weather, the forecasters are now saying warmer, drier weather is on the way.
    Of course they said that in June, and before that in May, and before that in April.
    But hope springs eternal, so I guess I'll believe them this time.

  4. Mr. Motorcycle, I think I will too. After all the main reason I went to them is because I was tired of dragging my feet off the highway pegs every time I had to shift or brake.

  5. i think it looks great. although you are more trusting of that temporary fix than i might be ;) i love forward controls. after having mids and heel/toe shifter, and converting them both to forwards, personally i know i will probably always have forwards now... i hope that you enjoy them.

  6. Good job buddy.
    Enjoy the ride and tell us what you think of the difference and whether it makes any

  7. Ms. M, Baron - thanks for the comments. It seems weather and work are conspiring to keep me from riding for the next day or so, but as soon as I get a chance to try it out I'll post an update for sure.

    And Ms. M. - the only reason I used a quick-tie is I was out of duct tape, but I'm sure ity will work just as well ;)

  8. Your bike looks great! The bags are a nice match for your bike. Sounds like you go two-up, so the backrest is needed, but I actually like the look w/o it.

  9. Lance - yeah it's nice to have the option to throw the backrest and rack on when I want to carry a passenger or extra luggage, but leave it off the rest of the time.
    I'm actually now in the market for a solo seat to finish it off.

  10. Just found your blog, great read, and I love your bike.Hope the weather gets better for you, we have it too hot here!! Linda

  11. Linda, thanks for stopping by (all the way from Turkey!) and the compliments.
    I suppose complaining about the weather is one of those things that defines us as humans - too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, too "weathery".


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