5000 mile service and I’m trying a new gear oil in the Street Glide: Red Line’s V-Twin Transmission Oil. It is absolutely the strangest color of anything I’ve ever poured into a mechanical device - a bright pinkish-red. It looks sort of like iridescent Pepto-bismol.
I’ve ridden maybe 100 miles now, since the change. So far, everything seems OK, but I’m in that period of kind of hyper-vigilance where I’m listening for any odd or unpleasant noises. What I’ve noticed is that there are a lot of noises coming from an air-cooled, OHV twin. Most of them are probably completely normal but…like I said, I’m now listening hard…
"What’s that whirring sound on decel in third gear? Was that there before? Wait! Is that a tapping sound? Where’s that coming from?"
What this comes down to for me is a process of acceptance. I have to accept all those strange little noises or I’ll drive myself crazy. Eventually, I’ll grow used to the noises again and it will all sink into the background of consciousness. In the mean time, I just keep telling myself…
"Those are just normal sounds. Let them be. If its a real problem, it will get louder and/or something will break. Then, we’ll deal with it."
Thirty years ago this summer…
I disassembled my 1977 LeMans in the little space behind my house in Baltimore. The engine and gear box were lugged down into the basement. I replaced a bunch of seals, rebuilt the clutch, and installed the factory “racing” B-10 camshaft.
A friend from work sprayed the frame, tank, fenders, and side-covers with red Imron paint - super-toxic and super-durable. She still looks good all these years later.
On a warm evening in June, all the parts were re-assembled in the backyard. About halfway through, I thought to record the process with a cheap polaroid camera. The results languished in a shoe-box (what else?) for many years, until I scanned the disintegrating images into digital eternity.
The other memory is of that first test-ride of my newly recreated motorcycle. I stopped at a gas station in Pikesville to refuel and the the bike starter refused to function. A blown fuse was discovered and ultimately traced to the small harness running to the stop/tail light. In rush to finish and ride, I had never secured the strand of wires. The rear tire made short work of the insulation and as soon as the brake switch went on - poof- out went the fuse. The started circuit was wired through this same fuse .(Hey, there are only five fuses total on the whole bike.)
Its been a hard little summer, so far…people getting sick, people getting hurt, work, bad weather. There seems to be no time in-between to ride. Wonder if I’ve clocked 1000 miles combined?
And now, the days grow shorter and shorter…
I’m depressing myself. I think I’ll just go ride in the fog.
Freaking Oil Leak! I’ve been chasing a mysterious oil cooler leak on the Street Glide for a couple pf weeks now…finally got it nailed down.
I must have damaged the cooler return hose last fall , fighting the oil filter off. It was leaking on the underside, running down the backside of the hose, and pooling in the cooler shroud.
A piece of 3/8ths fuel line substituted for the original helped pin-point the problem. I have the new one in the truck and will put it on at first light today.
Just when I was thinking (hoping) that spring is really here…S-N-O-W peppers the weather forecast over then next seven days!
I’m trying to maintain my usual cheery demeanor, but this really has been a long, oppressive winter.