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.