Friday, April 26, 2013

Kentucky Derby Balloon Race

There are Derby festivities every day for the two weeks leading up to The Kentucky Derby. One of my favorite events is the Great Balloon Race. The night before the race they bring out all the balloons and have The Balloon Glow.
 Families come out and mingle with the balloonists and right before dusk they inflate the balloons.
                        You can get up real close and even reach out and touch some of them.
                                            The heat up the balloons and wait for nightfall.
                         A half an hour later when it starts getting dark the have the balloon glow.

                                            And as you can see, it's not just for kids.....

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Building my custom 103 twin cam motor

Riding the kind of miles that I do on a motorcycle is a true test of durability. I also an known for riding across country only to pull my luggage off and enter it in some sort of hill climb, flat track race, drags ( on and off road) or some other abusive competition. For this reason, in the past I have kept with a somewhat stock Harley Davidson crate motor. But that was an Evo. Now I am going to run a Twin Cam.  I have let others learn for me on what works and what doesn't with a twin cam. First of all the cams run off of chains which have tensioners. In 2007 Harley redesigned the tensioners to last a little longer but still not near good enough for me. The easiest fix is a gear drive and get ride of the chains.
For this procedure, I choose Andrews gears. They have been making quality gear sets forever and the price was very reasonable.
Another improvement that I am doing is a Feuling oiling system that comes with new oil pimp, lifters and cam plate. It comes with a redesigned pump that moves more oil, more return oil scavenging and makes motors run cooler. All these benefits AND it even increases horsepower and torque.
Just look at difference in the stock cam plate and the Feuling High Flow cam plate. This is the only way to go.
 Another "fix" that I am doing to replacing the roller bearing in the cases with a Timken Bearing conversion kit that I got from JIMS. They make the complete kit so you can do it yourself. I like the idea of bike shops being able to do this work in house without out sourcing it to a machine shop some where else.
These are just a brief description of the main things that I am doing to the my new motor. For an in depth explanation the complete build, check out the two part ( 2 issue)Cycle Source Tech Tip on this engine build.  The first installment will be out in next months issue.

Friday, April 19, 2013

just a few of the custom parts for my new bike

 Ron Finch helped me twist this insane frame and then Frank Kaelin put the neck back on the frame. there was a lot of welding and grinding involved. Due to changing the geometry of the back bone, the top motor mounts had to be changed too.

I decided on going with the old style center located top motor mount. I made these that are welded on the frame side by side but decided to have a little fun with them first. Do I look like the Pringle Man?

The voltage regulator also had to be relocated but since I'm not having all the radio and lights that a stock Ultra Tour Classic has, I opted for the old tried and true 32 amp volt pack that I can buy anywhere if it ever fails. I had to make a stand to mount it clearing the new frame twists.  This is what I came up with. I fabbed it up and welded it myself. It isn't the prettiest and it didn't actually MAKE the cover of Cycle Source but I proud of myself all the same.

My good fiends in New Brunswick, Canada, Paul Walsh with CPN Custom Designs and Donnie Dort with Dragon Powder Coating came up with this 1 of a kind derby cover for me last fall as a surprise when I showed up for the Wharf Rat Rally in Digby, Nova Scotia. I had been riding an Evo then and now I was switching to a twin cam which runs a different style derby cover. Being the great friends that these two are, what you see is the brand new 5 bolt pattern derby cover that they just machined and then powder coated for me. They will mail it down to me this week. Those guys are the best!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My ride to Alaska in 1998

This is also a picture supplement to my book- Pages 41-51
In 1998 , I decided to do a ride like no other. Miami to Alaska wasn't far enough so I went to up state New York for the Harley Rendezvous first then back down to New Orleans and then out to the Grand Canyon.
Up the Coast of California, camping along the way
stopping at some great vistas of the Pacific Coast
and then Canada. I took a short cut through the Cassier Hwy and rode 750 miles of gravel roads-
and through the Northern Territories of the Yukon
After crossing into Alaska I rode 2000 miles around the interior going to Fairbanks, Anchorage, Seward and the Denali National Park. When I got back to Miami 6 weeks later, I had logged on 17,300 miles. Not a bad trip but I couldn't wait to get started on my next one! These are the pictures for pages 41-51 of  my book, "Bean're Motorcycle Nomad".

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Million Mile Bike is taking shape

I've been working on my bike for almost 3 months. It seems like a long time but considering what I started with- a totaled 2010 FLHTC, I think I'm doing just fine.
When I look back at this I realize how far I have came, it is hard to believe. I've had a lot of help and I would be no where close to where I am without the help from Frank Kaelin with Kaelins Custom Cycles keeping a watchful eye over me and helping me out every time I get in over my head which is often.
As my bike was taking shape, I walked into the shop and as I saw my bike inside the door. Noticing the Klock Werks sheetmetal and dash, I knew this was heading towards true custom status. I loved  the way the bike was taking shape and how soon, I would be riding not only a supper cool chopper but one even better then my old purple beast.
My bike even got a whole lot cooler when I installed my drop seat kit from Bagger Werx . Included in this kit was the cool side covers that you see. They are really going to look good with the purple candy over heavy metal flake.
Of course the custom Corbin seat that came with the drop seat kit just really put the icing on the cake. I'm ready to spend many hours burning up the freeways in that that saddle! Now, time to it all back apart and send everything up to Ron Harris at Chop Docs Chopper  in Michigan where he is going to apply his own brand of candy paints, Kandy King for that special purple that I am looking for. Stay tuned for more as I plan to have this finished this month but that includes building a complete power plant and drive train from scratch.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Basket Run

Louisville, Kentucky has an Easter Basket Run every year that I have been fortunate enough to attend for two years now. The run is designed for bikers to bring Easter Baskets to less fortunate families.
 When the Easter Bunny showed up, the kids didn't even notice the hundreds of roaring  Harleys pulling in. They knew the Bunny was there with gifts for them all.
More then two truck loads of baskets were collected at the starting point and brought with the parade of bikes.

The beauty of this run is that unlike most toy runs and other benefits, the children are waiting for us at the end and these gifts are given to the children there. There is nothing better then seeing the smile on a child's face when they receive a gift.
 The Bunny made sure that all the kids there got something.
It is a great feeling to be involved in something like this so if you get a chance to support something like this, don't pass it up.
And if your town doesn't have anything like this, get one started. Remember, it's for the kids, but you may just find out that you enjoy it even more!