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ยท Loves All Motorcycles
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Before moving to bikes, I got my hands dirty maintaining, repairing, and modifying cars. I'm generally known in my car communities for making fixes and mods on the cheap. Though, I suppose I'm most "popular" for making a solution for something that the car's engineers apparently didn't consider.

It's been fun having this translate to motorcycles...albeit as you'll read today, there's certainly a learning curve.

The previous owner of my Buell Blast fitted a car "turbo" muffler to the bike to make it more quiet. Indeed, the bike was quiet enough that I could operate the bike in my condo complex without waking all of my neighbours. However, on my way back from Chicago Pride I learned that his mounting methods weren't the best.

I hit a very tall bump in the road that caused the muffler to scrape. It wasn't the first time I've bottomed out a vehicle on Chicago's roads, so I didn't think anything of it.

The next day I found myself taking a fun ride after work and heard some horrific scraping. My brain always assumes the worst, so I thought my gearbox had died. When I got home I discovered that the muffler's mounting had been sheared off and it was only in place by some oxidation that had it stuck to the header pipe.

The main bit holding the muffler on was a thin strip of bent metal clamped onto the muffler. When I hit that bump on the expressway it must have sheared the strip off. Here's what it looks like after I removed the muffler.

It *almost* looks like he took the stock muffler bracket and had it cut up to hold the new muffler.

At any rate, I decided to have some fun and get the bike to sound like something other than a lawnmower.

I got a Thrush 24210 overnighted to my condo and mounted it directly to the frame using a clamp. The sound is amazing! When you aren't giving it "the beans", it's as quiet as the turbo muffler and the bike idles better, too. But when you hit that throttle, it sounds like a mean Harley and a dirt bike had joined forces. I was advised not to mount the muffler that way because the vibrations would eventually cause the header pipe to crack.

Another Blast owner advised me that the lack of flex is why even the stock mufflers will crack in short order.

So of course, I put on my car modder hat and decided to find a solution. I got a pair of sportbike muffler hangers. They appeared to be the perfect mix of "secure the muffler" and "give the muffler some room to move a little". Fitment worked well and looked very clean. Sure enough, the vibrations that plagued my mirrors was also gone. Neat!

Yesterday I was going to do an endurance test by riding out to Milwaukee, help a friend do his car's brakes, then get to Lake Michigan at sunset for a photoshoot of the bike by the beach. Well...that last bit didn't happen.

Somewhere passing MKE, I hit a small bump as the road surface transitioned to grooved concrete (that prefab stuff you normally find on bridges) and soon after I heard a "FWHOOP!" sound. After temporary bewilderment, I checked my left mirror and saw a cute red tube changing lanes on its way over to the shoulder. Oof. My bike was suddenly horrendously loud and traffic was way too thick for me to stop, so I surged forward. I looked at the bike's reflection as some cars passed me, both mounts were still there (barely) but both were missing their screws. The engine's vibration probably shook them loose.

After unsuccessfully finding a replacement muffler and finishing my friend's brake job, I had decided to rescue the old muffler. There was no way I was going to ride 70 miles with a crazy illegal bike at nearly midnight. It took me roughly 5 passes of the section I was riding on to find it, but I was successfully able to recover it. No damage occurred aside from some deep scratches from its 70 mph skid into the shoulder. I tied it to the back of the bike, rode to a petrol station, then made an emergency fix to get me home. Took this pic this morning. It was an ugly fix, but it did the trick in not making me a police magnet!

Lesson learned? I'm positive that part of the problem is the fact that I'm not what you'd call "strong". Locktite those bolts!
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