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What did you do with your bike today?

893703 Views 12256 Replies 560 Participants Last post by  gunsmoker
Me and my lady went for a nice ride on the Street Glide to a nice restaurant in Evansville, Ind. It has been a beautiful day.
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Loaf1212, you may feel more secure with your new chain and lock but the truth is a battery powered cut-off grinder will cut through any chain or lock in seconds:eek:

A small tow truck can put chains around your ride, lift it up and drive off in a few minutes.:thumbsdown:

At the yearly Sturgis rally in South Dakota, lots of bikes were and are being stolen by thief's just rolling the bikes into their own garages when no one is looking---proven:thumbsdown:

If they want it, they will get it.:D

They'd better hope I'm not walking back to the bike and see them at the time, or they will certainly "get it."
I work nights so summer and DST are great for me getting up after a day's sleep and riding.

Today I rode from my house in Lawrenceville, GA up to Helen GA. Helen is a fun place. It was a logging town in decline that resurrected itself by becoming a replica of a Bavarian Alpine town. The place is full of great German restaurants and pubs and such. I had a nice dinner and then rode back. Fun time. :),_Georgia

149 miles and change round trip with a lot of very rural twisties. :)
I could accept that, if he wasn't a direct witness to the incident. That's definitely a factor.
I'm confused as to what you expected, and why. What "incident?" I mean, sure, the guy pulled in front of you and you almost crashed. But you didn't, and they saw that too, presumably.

I always stop or do the thumb question thing myself but in this case I'm not sure but I probably would have ridden on to. What would you want, me to stop and offer to help cuss at the guy who's now two miles away?

Sorry, I really don't mean to be flippant, but what would you actually expect someone to do and why should they stop because you almost wrecked, but didn't?
Not today but this past weekend - I was busy all day Monday with work and it's been raining since so that counts, right? :D

I have some sciatica problems and find my back bothers me after an hour and a half or so, so sometime back on the advice of a friend who has used them before I ordered a custom backrest for Pro-Tech. When I first installed it I found that it sat WAY too far forward for me. I wrote Harold at ProTech with photos, and he sent me new brackets that moved it back to the right place. I finally got them on this weekend. Fits well now. One short ride I managed Sunday before it looked like the sky was about to open up showed me that it affects handling more than I'd have thought and will require some getting used to, but really feels good on the back. I think I'll like it.

I also finally got around to putting on the bigger bags I've had for a while. The tiny ones that came on my bike are disproportionately small. I kept expecting to see hoards of tiny clowns climbing out of them to circus music playing, or something. With a small tool kit and rain gear in them there was enough room left for my other keys and such but that was about it. I wanted some I could use for a small grocery run, or to pack a few clothes and toilteries for an overnight along with the usual. I may have overdone it, as I joked these could carry that, plus maybe a meal or two and a small yak to ride if the bike were to break down. :D Probably about what I need and just look big compared to the old ones. People have commented they like the looks of the bike better with these.

While I was at it I cleaned up some truly ugly temporary wiring I had done for the power outlets I mounted on the bars for my phone/GPS and made that look nice and clean now too.


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I expect someone to check things out. Make sure the rider didn't suffer some sort of injury ( like a sprained ankle, or something ), or if maybe they're having some sort of panic attack, and need someone to talk them down. Even if there's nothing you can effectively offer, it's nice to know someone cares enough to stop.

I know if I ever see someone even have a near miss, and they stop, I'm stopping with them. Nothing I'm doing is too important to check up on a fellow rider.

And I really don't think that's unreasonable.
Ok. I guess I might have stopped thinking maybe something broke on the bike in the skid. It's not that I'd mind stopping to help, and I always do or offer if I see someone stopped, I just don't think it would have occurred to me, and it might not have to them either.
Perhaps oddly enough, I would have certainly stopped if I did NOT see it, because I wouldn't know why you were stopped. But seeing it I'd figure you just were catching your breath or composure.
Fair enough, and I'll be sure to remember it and stop if I ever see anything like that. :)
Went out and put just over 70 miles on my V-Star 650. I just replaced the stock seat and Protac backrest with an Ultimate Seat and backrest. My friend who so highly recommended the Ultimate said to give it a while for my butt to adapt. I will but it's mixed so far.

It's comfy at first but after about 1:20 my hips and back were hurting and really hurting by 1:40 where I can go 2:30 or so on the stock seat and Protac. We'll see. It sits 1" lower and 1" forward compared to the stock seat. The lower CG makes a noticeable and beneficial difference in handling, especially at slow speeds, and being 1" closer to the bars with my "short for my height" arms is also an improvement, a bit more relaxed flex in the elbows, but being an inch closer and farther forward with respect to the footboards and foot controls takes some getting used to. I feel my legs a bit scrunched up. Though I do seem to be adapting to that, the seat has a 14 day "try it, ride it, return it if you don't like it" guarantee.

I also had just put the highway pegs on and, though I'd ridden since, not really out on the road where I could try 'em out. They're nice for extended open country cruising, especially now that my legs are otherwise feeling scrunched up! I've moved them up a couple of inches on the engine guard since this photo I took last weekend.

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Hmm, never occurred to me to locktite those bolts but I suppose I could, once I find the position I really want to keep.

I did locktite the back of my gascap. The gascap on the V-Stars is kind of odd, and has two screws in the back that hold the parts together. They are prone to back out. Mine had always been kind of "fiddly" and I finally googled it and read about the problem. If one falls out (generally into your tank) the cap becomes like mine, "fiddly" to remove and secure. If both fall out your gas cap falls apart. Sure enough, one of mine was missing, and when I tried out a half helmet (I normally wear a modular but dropped it on the visor and scratched it recently, was able to ride it home and replace the visor but it got me to thinking to get a cheap but approved "get me home if that happens again worse" one, so I got a half helmet) and, sure enough, with my ears uncovered now I can hear the screw rattle in the gas tank under braking. I replaced it, locktited them both, and will fish the old one out with a magnet eventually.
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Good luck with fishing out that screw. my 650 Vstar gas cap did that too ( i think they all do) , I did get it out eventually but it was an 'interesting' exercise in frustration first.
Well AFAIK it doesn't really hurt anything, just rattles. I'm sure there's a screen or more that prevents it from plugging the fuel flow. So I'll see. If I get it out, fine. If not, I have a rattle I can't even hear in my normal helmet.

BTW I got a nice polite PM suggesting it looks like my bags are on backwards. Maybe they are, but there's more to it than that. When I got them the documentation specifically said they could be mounted either way. I tried them the other way first, not because I was really sure which way was "right" but so I could reach the little side pockets from the seat. Problem was that no matter what I did they didn't sit very level and, worse, the right one tended to get too close or actually on the upper pipe. I know they're a bit large for the bike but I do plan some weekend trips. At any rate, I reversed them and they set better, but I also found a different way to tie them off. I discussed it yesterday with a friend who suggested they looked "odd" to him only because he's used to seeing them the other way "but not bad." Plus one more factor - as evenings get shorter I've put big square patches of black reflective tape, that's gloss black until lights hit it square on and then really lights up with reflections, on what is now the "back." If I reverse them the openings will be in the back and there's no good way to put nearly as much surface area of the stuff on the back, provided I want to keep it, and I do think it's a safety advantage.

So I've decided to just leave them as-is at least until spring. Then I may revisit it.

What I'm doing with it (to get back on topic for the thread) is going to be riding all I can to see if I get used to that seat or need to send it back. :)
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I had the shop check my wheel balance and also give the bike a quick inspection since a friend and I are planning a long weekend (departing on Wednesday, get back Saturday night) up to the part of east TN we are from (Tri-cities - he's from Gray, TN and I'm from Elizabethton.) That was earlier this week. The back was ok but they balanced the front wheel and that took care of the annoying vibration I was getting at highway speed. Being my first bike I just thought it was normal riding a "smallish-for-speed" V-twin at highway speed until several other V-Star 650 owners told me it wasn't so I had the balance checked. It used to start becoming noticeable in the 50s, annoying in the 60s, and by 70-75 I couldn't read road signs until I was right on top of them. After the balance I took her up to 85 and the problem is gone. It's smoother at 85 by far than it used to be at 70.

Then this weekend I installed a Trucklite LED headlight. This is the same one Kuryakyn sells as their Phase 7 for $299, but is $160 from Amazon. I LOVE this thing! It has a brighter "hot streak" - not exactly a spot - right in the middle of the pattern which I can see might not be ideal for use in trucks and Jeeps where a lot of these are, but on a bike it shines right where the wheel will go without evasive maneuvers. It's such a huge step up from the stock halogen it's almost unbelievable. The low beam is probably 60 - 70% better (doesn't shine farther out without realigning but is wide, brighter, and cooler color temperature) and the high beam - holy midnight sun Batman!

Then today my friend I'm doing the ride with came over and we installed an under body LED light kit, like the one he has on his Vulcan 2000. It looks cool, but way more important anyone who doesn't see you with these things on is asleep at the wheel. The thing has an astounding number of selectable colors (via a tiny fob sized remote) not all of which are legal everywhere. It has several blue for example, which isn't legal anywhere that I'm aware of. My bike is red and looks good with the red setting, which is legal here in Georgia as long as it's not flashing, but not legal, flashing or not, up in TN where we are going. My friend's Vulcan is blue and silver so he can't use blue and settled on green, which is legal everywhere, or everywhere we checked anyway (the southeast where we'll ride.) There are also various flashing and fading modes.

After we finally got it done we rode to a near by great Mexican restaurant and I bought him dinner for his help.

Oh BTW - on the left side we did mount an LED strip to the gas tank. We didn't want to, but spent a half hour trying to figure out how to get some mounted reasonably close to that area so it looked somewhat symmetrical with the other side. There just isn't. On the other side we have them around the fixed part of the breather but there's nothing equivalent on the left. So removing the tank for work will require snipping two zip ties and unplugging that one, then plugging it back in and re-zip tying to replace.

No way I could post all the photos I've take, which still isn't all the colors, but here's his bike and mine parked in the parking lot, both on green. (I am not too close to the van behind, that's a camera illusion, I was well inside the white line. I pulled in first and got over to leave him room.)

Some more photos of my bike in my driveway tonight with green and red activated, and with new headlight on, though it just doesn't do it justice just shining against my house like that.

Oh, I may reverse the bags finally, since these lights really mean the reflector patches I have on the backs of them are, if not redundant, at least not doing so much. I can put smaller patches on the new "front." Yes, I know they look backwards right now. Long story. ;)


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Some with red setting:


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New Trucklite 272270C headlight, on low and high beam:


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Funny but I had commented to my friend yesterday, when we thought we'd get done with time to ride, that "and if it's night when we get back, fine, I've got my new eyeball-blaster and I'll be riding a Christmas tree!"

The times we will need to be riding (both of us work night jobs and neither is going to get up for a morning start, though he's much better at jerking his schedule around than I am) more than I'd like of the TN trip will be after dark. I do think it's a real safety advantage. You just can't fail to see THAT.
Never heard of Ride-On until now. In any case I didn't know for sure what the problem was, and still wasn't 100% sure there WAS a problem. It felt very different from my experience of out of balance wheels on cars or even out of true bicycle wheels. It was a sort of high frequency buzz which didn't seem like what such imbalance would cause, but in any case it's fixed now.

I compared a lot of headlights. This comparison video (by a company that sells most of the better ones) was informative:

The JW Speaker seems better, but is considerably more expensive (it's the same as the Harley Daymaker, but costs less than the HD.) The Trucklite seemed very good for the money.

The "Christmas tree" lights draw very, very little. I have a handlebar mounted USB power double power outlet I use for GPS and it has a voltage readout. As a test I left the "Christmas tree" lights on in the garage for over three hours, on full brightness. I didn't even know they had dimmer settings at the time but I found that function later. The voltage dropped from 12.5 to 12.4 and the bike fired right up after that three hours.
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The first site we found, and were relying on, that said red was legal in GA, was wrong.

It's a mess of state laws to sort through on underglow, but it seems for my upcoming trip amber in GA and green in the other states we'll be going through is ok.

The laws were almost all written before such things existed. They need to be standardized and simplified. After some frantic googling and reading the actual state codes though, we seem to have it sorted for the states we'll be in.
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