Well, yesterday I snuck away from work a few minutes early (not really snuck . . . they owe me more time than anybody cares to calculate) and set to work on The Dragon.

First up, pull the rear wheel and get to the Goodyear store before they closed. I run a big, fat, juicy car tire on the back of my machine for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is this one:

I can go to the tire store and get a tire. Seems simple doesn’t it? Yet, Avon and Dunlop are both having production/delivery problems and this summer (once again) rear tires for the Valkyrie are hard to come by…some folks waiting as much as 6 weeks for one…

Anyway, the old tire was pranged (technical term) in the sidewall and so had to be replaced instead of repaired. Too bad, it still had about 60% of it’s tread left (I’ve run around 20-25K miles on that tire).

You folks think I’m kidding when I tell you The Dragon talks to me? Heh. Last fall, on my way back from the Route 66 run she plainly told me, “Hey boss…I…uh…may have a drive line problem. I’m okay for now, but you may want to order a couple parts.”

I got home, ordered some parts that seemed likely to have suffered from the abuse I’ve been dishing out for about 90,000 miles now, chucked them in a box, and figured I’d inspect the entire driveline when I had to pull the rear wheel.

So that was the next job. Pull the final drive, change the rear wheel shock dampeners and wheel bearing dust seals, and check out the shaft, pinion joint, and u-joint.

The pinion joint was shot.

The Dragon, somehow managing to look dignified even half torn apart and with me rooting about in her nether regions, simply mumbled, “Told you so.”

I grabbed the spare driveshaft (the male part of the pinion is integral to the drive-shaft), the new pinion cup, and a handful of tools and got to work.

It was a 100 degrees here yesterday afternoon. The afternoon sun shines right into my garage at this time of year. It took me a couple hours of work to repair, clean, and lube everything, and I was soaked in sweat, even my jeans to the knees, by the time I was done.

But I got to ride. Saw some friends for a late burger, took the long way into Dallas to yack at another friend (Hi Dan!), and took the long way home.

Got home around 3:45am. 250 miles on the clock.


Oh, and I swear on the nipple rings of that chick at the truck stop last night that:

I. Will. Install. Air-conditioning. In. My. Garage.


I’ll see you on the road.

Daniel Meyer

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10 Responses to Heat…

  1. Phil the Token Jeep Guy says:

    Gotta love the combination of overly-sensitized nipple rings and overly-cooling AC in the summer.

    Ahyeah.. good times….

  2. Shawn says:

    Damn I wish I paid attention to my Uncle when he used to fix bikes / cars. Now that I’m older and have all the toys I find I can’t keep them running without shelling out big money. Do you think it’s possibile for someone who is NOT handy to learn how to be?

    Your gonna have to have an “Ask the Dragon” section on this website. 😉

  3. Shawn, if you are looking for help with a Valkyrie, you can’t do better than these folks. (you can ignore those of us who put funny letters after their names)(or you can visit the general board and find out why, and even what they mean)

  4. therapist says:

    Shawn…I was not real mechanically inclined, but with a shop manual, basic tools and the help of the Tech board, I have done all my own work on the Valk. She has never been back to the dealer since purchased new. It takes me a lot longer than most to complete the work, but it gets done, and done right. The bonuses are, saving money, peace of mind, and a close, personal relationship with your Valk. That last part can come in handy if you run into trouble on the highway.

  5. Kenn says:

    I sold my ’87 H-D FXRS. I am putting a Yokohama Competition M compound, Advan A048, 205/55/16 on the rear of my ’99 Tourer I purchased 2 weeks ago. What do you suggest as a sticky tire for my 17′ front rim?? I would like to see in “sunlight bright” daytime and nightime pictures of Front/Rear and sides of bikes from people that have added auxilliary lighting on their bikes (some clode-up shots too) Thanks, Kenn (ken_ward4@hotmail.com)

  6. Daniel Meyer says:

    Yes, anybody can become “handy.” Some experienced help is always a jump start. The Texas VRCC for instance, has “wrench days” where we all meet somewhere, swap lies, eat hamburgers, and eventually, get around to working on bikes. That gives the experienced a bit of a hand, and the inexperienced some time to learn in a somewhat safe environment (somebody will be around to help you put the thing back together at least).

    For the Valk my favorite front is the Avon Venom R…I’m running a Dunlop E3 at the moment, which was cheaper and seems a decent tire (a lot of the guys swear by it) but as for me, the jury’s still out…it seems to lose a lot of it’s good characteristics with some miles on it. (of course, I’ve only run one).

    Daniel Meyer

  7. Phil the token Jeep guy says:

    most definitely you can learn to be handy. My teacher was economic necessity.

    5 years ago I was at a complete loss as to how to replace the engine in my Blazer. I could not afford to have someone do the work, and could not afford a replacement vehicle. Now here we are 5 years later and I’m fabricating my own suspension for my Jeep as well as doing a drivtrain swap and repowering from gasoline to diesel- and then I’m going to run off of vegetable oil!

    Yes it’s a 4X instead of a Bike– but the principles are the same, and I’ll have a scoot shortly 😉

    If you can read and follow directions, use basic hand tools, and understand the principles of how something works, you CAN do this on your own! I suggest buying a quality shop manual, reading the bits on shop safety and torque specs first, and then following along as Dragon stated above.

    With gasoline engines, knowing the Power Triangle– Fuel/Air/Fire– and how they all must work together, will help you to troubleshoot and resolve most issues, particularly if you’re not dealing with EFI.

  8. I read this article “The Dark Side” (every word) and sent the link to my daughter and my sister in law. I was impressed. I have no idea if they will be. If they aren’t, they should be. Thanks for such an enlightning article. If we rode, I’d be on him like a flea on a hound to do it. The money part does make a diff to me although I am guessing if you have to ask what it costs you can’t afford a motor cycle in the first place.

    Have a great weekend,

  9. rainewalker says:

    For the Valk my favorite front is the Avon Venom R…I’m running a Dunlop E3 at the moment, which was cheaper and seems a decent tire (a lot of the guys swear by it) but as for me, the jury’s still out…it seems to lose a lot of it’s good characteristics with some miles on it. (of course, I’ve only run one).

    My boy’s dad runs the VenomX.

    Sad to hear you let go of an FXRS…we had one, and it was my favorite.

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