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Monday, May 16, 2016

How to get a red light to change to green on motorcycle

I have been wanting to do a blog on the subject, because so many people think it's the weight of the vehicle that trips a light. That's not the truth. The sensor is looking for metal to trip the switch.  Here's a great article, no reason to re-write it or try to get pictures on my own. It also contains a link to the AMA site with state-by-state motorcycle laws to include red light laws,

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Broken LeatherLyke Bag Fix - 1500 Vulcan Classic

So my LeatherLyke bags broke again. I fixed this back in 2003, so that was a pretty good fix. There was a bit of sheetmetal, some fiberglass mat, bondo, and spray paint. The weird thing is that the right bag has broken twice for no apparent reason at all, but I have actually slid the whole bike on top of the left one and it's fine. Anywho, this isn't an original idea for a fix, but I figured I would show my take on it for what it's worth.

Drill out the rivet that holds the strap that holds the hair pin clips. One end of that strap is already broken anyway.

One of the bigger things I wanted to show compared to MarkT's write-up is that I bought some clecos to make the alignment and fit easier and nicer. I'm also going to use 1/8 inch rivets.

Another note of difference between the Valkyrie LL bags is that the Vulcan has another fender strut bolt right here.

A little brown bag template action.

I hogged out the basic shape from 22 gauge steel. I drilled one hole through the metal and bag and set a cleco. I then drilled a second hole through both and set a cleco. That's when Scott "Hotsauce" really got to work for me.

He marked the shape better and started to shape it up.

I must say if you're going to do any sheet metal work then you need the three piece Wiss snips for sure, not cheap ones.

He's been watching a lot of Full Custom Garage, so now he really knows how to build stuff.

Once the outer piece was shaped up where we liked it, another hole and cleco was placed near the damaged area.

An inner piece was shaped to fit and transfer drilled for the clecos and eventually rivets. The large hole location was marked as well. This piece was only a few inches long. The fender bolt clearance spot limited the length, but it should be enough.

Centerdrill the inner piece.

Now cleco the outer to the inner and transfer drill the center hole of the large hole to the outer piece.

We used the biggest bit we had on hand to drill the large hole. It was not big enough of course, but we can fix that too.

Carefully dremel out the large hole to match the bag.

Repeat those steps for the inner piece.

Take apart, rework, again, and again until the grommet fits.

And make sure the holder and bolt fit, too.

Lay out the rest of the rivets.

I had to adjust the pitch and offset a bit because of the fender bolt clearance spot. I was thinking that I would omit that bolt and not need a hole in the sheetmetal to clear it.

I drilled and dremeled the front hole to size.

A little black paint to keep the rust away.

Oops, I thought I could omit this bolt, but it does help with the sissy bar.

The trick is locating it correctly. I put the clecos, grommets, and holders in place.

Then I removed the clecos. I figure the grommets had things close enough.

Luckily I had a spare (blacked-out) fender strut on hand.

I put the bolts through the bag and fender strut then transfer punched the center location of the last hole.

This hole doesn't need to be as large as the mounting holes it just needs to clear the head of the bolt.

Finally getting down to the rivets. I figured I wanted to use some black silicon to seal around the rivets.

The high temp isn't needed, but the black will blend in.

Fit one cleco.

Pack the broken area with silicon.

Place several clecos and start with the rivets.

For the rivets without the inner piece I used the rivet washers to avoid pulling through the plastic.

Looking great. I will let the silicon set up over night though.

Two standard 5/16 washers are perfect for pushing the holders out just enough to clear the rivet heads.

Paracord, it's the new duct tape or something like that. I made a new lanyard for the hair pin clips.

I routed the lanyard like this so that I wouldn't pull the pins accidentally while loading the bags.

Good to go. Hopefully I can get about 70,000 miles out of this fix, too.

Note Taking for Group Riding

I have a friend, Pibb, that takes notes and journals every day and every ride. The Every Day Carry (EDC) Community is huge on carrying small notebooks and I have taken to carrying a Field Notes book with a cover that Joker made for me.  I generally only write down reminders, to do lists and addresses, but it is very handy to have. All of this to make a point on how good notes taking can improve group rides and long rides. 

Smartphones and GPS are great, but very prone to getting broke or going dead.   Here is what I am thinking. Carry a riding notebook, especially on a cross country group trip. The first thing you need to write down in your notebook is your emergency contact. That will be huge if(God forbid) you get hurt. The next thing you need is your addresses and phone numbers of any stops or rally spots. I always write a plan for the route that I can see while I ride(example, example), but having more notes and numbers is always good. The next thing that could be very helpful is getting the phone number and emergency contact of everyone that’s riding with you. Having everyone’s number is great if you lose somebody on the ride. Also I have a ton of riding buddies from the internet that I don’t even know their full legal name or even who to call if(God forbid) they get hurt on a ride. It’s also really cool to have phone numbers to call all your best friends from the internet later.

I plan on carrying a Rite in the Rain mini side stapled notebook and Trekker Space Pen for all my long rides and day trips in the coming up. The Rite in the Rain should hold up better to sweat and rain, than a regular Field Notes stapled notebook.