I mentioned in the first article I posted about the new bike that I needed to replace the handle bars. I did quite a bit of reading about this process, even read through a very verbose walk through of the process. Every thing I read about this process said you need to get either new grips or new weights for the grips because the stock 1300’s won’t work with the RSTD bars. My bike has after market heated grips. I asked the guy I bought the new bars from if the grips I have will work with them and the said they should be fine. Worse case, I get the bars on and they don’t work…so I’m waiting a couple of days for grips. We didn’t have practice yesterday (wednesday) and I was all worked up about fedexing the paperwork and checks for the house sale to the realtor (I’ll type up this story one day) so I had time and needed the distraction.
The process didn’t look too difficult, but it was my first time through it and I didn’t want to scratch anything. As the article suggests, I did drap an old blanket over the tank so things don’t get scratched or dented up. I started unbolting things in the order it tells you too, and much to my surprise everything came off fine. The grips were a lot easier to get off than the article says they’ll be. I am assuming it’s because the guy that put them on did a piss poor job of glueing them down. I ended up bolting the bars on and taking them off a couple of times. The article mentions one piece who’s cable isn’t going to be long enough to slip on the end of the bars after they are attached…turns out there were a couple of pieces. I snugged things down and climbed on the bike to get them adjusted where I thought they would be comfortable. It might be a little bit of a process to get them in the position I want…but I’ll need to put some miles on the bike before I know they needs to be turned. While I was bolting things together I would stop occasionally and fire up the bike, rev it, flip the switches…just to make sure things were working. Turns out the grips are weighted fine..which was a relief. It wouldn’t have bothered me too much to spend the 60 bucks on grips, but waiting a few days for them would have been annoying.
After I bolted things together, I sat down and was really surprised just how much of a difference there is. These new ones will let me sit back and up right quite a bit more than the old ones. Since I was working on the bike, I decided I would change the oil as well. I don’t know what kind of oil they had in the bike, but it was shifting ridiculously hard. It clunked into 1st and 2nd like a grain truck. I had problems with this on my 650, and changing to the Rotella t6 made a huge difference. I’m hoping for the same out of this bike after things get worked to all the areas. The oil is a little more expensive than the regular stuff, but we’re looking at 20 bucks compared to 15 bucks per change. It seems to me if it’s clunking less it must be better for it…so that’s pretty cheap insurance. I doubt I’ll put on more than 5k miles a year…so I’ll only change the oil once a year.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a change to test ride the bike last night. As I was working on it, I pulled a muscle in my back. Given my advanced weight I do have a bit of back problems. I had a cramped muscle there for a few days that I expected would work itself out…but apparently it decided to just pop (or whatever it does). I’ll be fine in a couple of days I’m sure. It looks like it’s going to be wet for a little bit, so the couple of days shouldn’t be a big deal.
The next thing I’ll need to do is loosen up the drive belt. It is whining when I give the bike power and from what I read that indicates it is too tight. If it was too loose there would be more of a chirping sound. I looked at it briefly last night, but I was running out of time to work on things. I also need to have the valves adjusted. I’m not entirely sure if I want to do this on my own or not though. I’ve read through some stuff….but I’d have to tear quite a few things apart to get to it. I’m sure it would cost me a few hundred bucks for shop time though. Maybe this project can wait for winter when I’ll have days on end when I won’t be able to ride.