Friday, July 31, 2009

Stebel Nautilus Air Horn relocation

 I had installed the Stebel horn in the factory location.  Even though there is just enough clearance for it, I decided to go ahead and relocate it under the swing arm where I know if will be out of the way and more hidden.  It's not quite as loud, but it still does the job.

Front wheel swap

I have come to appreciate the retro look of the VTX S model vs the C model (what I got vs what I was originally looking for).  However, I'm a little leary of having to deal with tubes if problems arrise on trips, etc.   I picked up a C model front wheel to test out how I like it on the bike.  The S/R model front wheel (what I had) was a 17" x 3.5" wheel with a 140/80-17 tire.  

Now, I could have bought an R wheel, which is the same size as the S wheel, but without spokes (or tubes of course).  However, that wheel is about 80-85% solid, and I prefer not to deal with that solid a wheel in wind, etc.  The C model wheel is a more open (and imo more attractive) design and is 19" x 2.15" and runs a 110/90-19 tire.  This should also improve handling.

All the spacers, etc are the same size between all the models (thank goodness Honda was smart!), so I just swapped over the rotor, spacers and dust caps to the "new" wheel and tossed it on.  

Here is a picture of the 2 wheels side by side, and a shot of the bike with the new wheel.   If I end up liking this setup after a few rides (as I'm sure I will), I will acquire a matching rear wheel as well (same size between all models, just no spokes/tubes).



More Pictures are here as well.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hondaline Tall Backrest

When I bought the bike it already had a very nice Cobra sissy bar & back rest on it.  However, since I added the Mustang seats, the passenger backrest was a bit small and low.  I found a good deal on a used Hondaline Tall sissy bar & back rest, so I picked that up.  Once I went to swap them out, I found that I would need some spacers and bolts that didn't come with my used purchase.

My good friend Bob machined up the proper spacers for me, and I ran around over the course of 2 days finding the proper bolts.  It seems that 10mm x 1.25 thread in the length and type I needed was semi-hard to find.  Much easier to find 1.50 thread.  Anyhow, today we got the parts switched out and all is well.

Marty is happier now, since the new backrest is +4" taller then the Cobra setup and the back pad is at least 2x the size as well.

Here is a before and after picture, with the new seats and backrest(s) - click for larger picture


More pictures are here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mustang Two-Piece Vintage Wide Touring Seat

Mustang seems to be the primary preferred manufacturer for seats for cruisers.  I have been debating on buying one new, and found a decent deal (~$400) for the 2-piece setup ($450+ retail)

Found someone about 200 miles away selling a like new (sold his VTX and had only 1 multi-state ride on it) Mustang Two-Piece Vintage Wide Touring Seat with Driver Backrest (part #79327). After talking a few times.... we decided to meet half way Saturday night at 5pm.  The seat is setup like the one in the picture.

I now own (and have already installed) the seat.  Picked it up for a very fair $400 (usually sells for $650+ since it also has the backrest). 


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday ride on the VTX

Posted up and got some people that were interested in a ride today, so I led a ride through the normal Wolf City loop.  We had a good variety of bikes! 

  1. Honda VTX-1300S (mine)
  2. Suzuki DL650 - Vstrom (Bob and his wife)
  3. Harley (Clay - sorry, dont remember model)
  4. KTM Duke 690 (friend of Clay's)
  5. Honda Goldwing (Mark)
  6. Honda 600RR (Todd)

Weather was great this morning... even a touch cold going over the lake.  We stopped in Blue Ridge for lunch on the way back.  Good food as usual!


Maintenance, etc.

Well, it was a touch "cooler" (not 104)  here yesterday (Friday) so I decided to take the bike to work on do some maintenance and other stuff I wanted to do. The bike now has ~8600 miles on it.  Tossed the bike up on the jack and started.

1) first up was an oil change. New K&N oil filter and Mobil1 15w50 oil.

2) New plugs. Went with the intention on using the factory NGK's, but they were not in stock so I went with the Champion 810's. Set the gap and swapped em out.

3) Pulled the air cleaner and gave the K&N a good cleaning and fresh oil

4) Had planned on pulling the carbs and giving them a once over, and also double checking the jetting. But ran out of time with other stuff I had going on as well. This will be done next time

5) Had also planned on checking the valves, but again, ran out of time today. Will do next "cool" day

6) Did a quick wipe down of key areas with Original Bike Spirits (old spray Honda Polish).

I also worked on swapping out the Cobra brackets and passenger backrest to the Honda Tall backrest and brackets.  However, it didn't come with any spacers, which appear to be required.  So, I have a friend (thanks Bob!) working on machining me some spacers.  So for now... no passenger backrest, but did put the bags back on.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Scala Q2 Multiset - Bluetooth communications

Found a real good deal on a Scala Q2 Multiset and picked it up last week.

Set it up on my HJC AC-12 helmet and it's working quite well.  Used it on a few rides interfaced to my mobile phone and I've been pretty impressed.  I can hear conversations very well, even with earplugs in (just adjust the volume).  People seem to be able to hear me well as well with virtually no complaints.

We haven't gotten Marty's new helmet in yet, so testing the driver to passenger communications part hasn't been done yet, but I have to assume it will work as well or better then the mobile phone functionality. 


Saturday, July 11, 2009


My brother in-law Jason was off Friday so I lead him on one of the Wolf City routes.  Took off around 9am and stopped at good ol Luna Azul for lunch in Leonard.  I hadn't been out there in a while, so was a good ride.  Clocked right at 150 miles per the odometer on the VTX.

Today there was a North Texas Riders Meetup group ride, so figured i'd meet some new people and go.  Nice group of people, but the ride was so-so.  Standard cruiser route I guess, barely any back roads and a bit slow for my tastes most of the time.   Guess this will be a good group for riding with when Marty is with me (which is the point of the VTX anyhow).  Clocked 179 miles this morning, and stopped for lunch to talk, etc.



Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Installed Stebel air horn & SAE power

I had bought 2 Stebel Nautilis compact air horns a few years back.  Had one installed on the F4, which was quite nice.  Never did anything with the second one.

Well, the VTX got it installed on it today.  Definately a nice improvement!  Here's a little video demo of the horn

Also installed an SAE power connector on the bike which I tucked up under the tank on the left side of the bike.  This is perfect for plugging in a battery tender, heated gear, or using it to power other 12v devices on the bike.


Friday, July 03, 2009

New Bike for 2-up Riding

Okay... Iknow I'll catch crap from my sport bike and sport touring friends, but here goes.I picked up this 2003 Honda VTX-1300S for 2-up riding with Marty (wife). She prefers this style of bike as a passenger. I had been looking for an 2004-2006 1300C model, but this bike came up and the deal was right so Ijumped on it. Bought today with ~8600 miles on it. Mods already on the bike when purchased Factory front floor boards Factory Toe/Heel shifter Factory wide brake pedal Chrome Driveshaft...

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DRZ Repairs Needed

Well, Ihaven't ridden the DRZmuch at all in the past 9 months or so. Inoticed at the end of the season last year that there was a ticking sound that was a bit unusual. Power and everything still seemed fine however. Ifigured it was the manual cam chain tensioner that needed adjusting, and I'd put it off until the next season.Well... in April or so Ibrought the DRZ up to my office/shop space and did an oil/filter change and attempted to adjust the cam chain tensioner. Well, two problems. 1) Barely...

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