Monthly Archives: October 2011
You can bet your ass I’m going to take that new Rocket III all over the place. I’m looking forward to blowing out the Travelogue section of this here revamped version of my website. I have two semi-epic rides in mind for next year, one centering around the SouthWest Triumph Festival in Prescott, AZ, the other around the Kootenay Raid in Nelson, BC. The exact routes are still up for change, but here is the general idea. For the former I want to swing out to Riverside to visit my dad. For the latter I want to swing up to Edmonton, AB, to visit friends. Timing is also an issue. Not sure if the “swing” portion of the trip will occur before or after the event in question.
This trip could be in essence a reversal of my 2007 trip, with a little side trip to Prescott. But if I have the time a run up the coast could be very cool. Or down the coast, as it were, depending on which direction I do the loop. I tend to think I would do California after Arizona. The SWTF happens mid-late Spring and I would want to do a straight shot south if the weather is sketchy. My first SWTF experience in 2008 was the last time I road in snow, over Monida Pass on I-15.
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Alberta-British Columbia Loop
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As far as my other bikes, Reboot will be a local/commuting/backup machine, and Bollox may not leave the Helena Valley under its own power again.
The Rocket has landed! And it is stunning.
Just got back from its maiden voyage under my care, a bit over 60 miles around the Helena Valley. Did 90 up MacDonald pass without blinking…
I can’t believe people hot rod these things. My Rocket friends are already telling me which pipes and air cleaners and gadgets and EFI tunes to get. The stock 140HP is going to take some time to get used to. I’ve already had the rear tire break loose a few times and it’s a little disconcerting coming off 10 years riding a bike with 790cc and a bit over 60HP. I nailed it in a parking lot in first gear and I swear my eyeballs bounced off the back of my skull and I got a headache when they, and my brains, slammed against the front of my skull on deceleration.
The dealership was awesome. Between the time they shot the photos for the ad and sold it to me, they noticed a fine crack in the windshield near a screw hole and replaced the windshield. Thing is, the regular windshield is no longer available so they put on a summer screen (read: much shorter). This offers virtually no protection so as nice as it is I will probably look into another Windvest or see if the one on Reboot can be adapted. But that has other ramifications—the factory driving lights are mounted to the stock windshield brackets, so they’ll have to be relocated (I am NOT cutting the wires!).
The heel-toe shifter has to go. That is all. I contacted the dealership to see if they could source a used stock one. Failing that, ebay or the forums.
I hit the DMV to register it right after I left the office and got the vanity plate “FRIAR.” My backup choice is “FR1AR.” Cost me $134. Since they are permanent tags and they don’t take into account engine size or year, it actually cost me less than Reboot, because I had to pay the extra $30 to get a sixth letter.
The dealership was awesome, part two. I couldn’t start the bike after it was unloaded from the truck this morning. I googled it and read all kinds of horror stories about jump starting them and such, but I took a chance this afternoon and used the jump pack. In the interim the salesman (owner’s son) emailed me back today, even though the shop was closed, and said they were afraid the battery might be a little weak from sitting so long and they’re sending a new one for free. Gulf Coast Cycles in Ft. Myers, Florida, is awesome.
I’d be lying if I said it handled as good as my Americas. I think that’s physically impossible. That said, it’s really close, and you don’t really think about the fact that you have well over 700 lbs. under you rather than 500, and an engine bigger than most small cars. But it does, in fact, stop on a dime. Once I hit both brake and thought I’d launch myself over the handlebars.
And another thing…
…aw screw it, I’m going riding again… I might have more thoughts later.
Rode home from a friend’s house in the dark, still on delivery day. Plenty of lighting but the headlights need a bit of re-aiming, pointing down too much. The driving lights throw a lot of light to the sides, which is great for rural roads at night. The engine and radiator throw off a lot of heat which will be a pain over 90 degrees but it helps keep the legs warm at 60. Speaking of warmth, there is a spot for the factory heated grips switch next to the driving light switch. Might have to look into that. The highway pegs are nice, but I need to move them back about an inch. Adjustment is limited so I’ll have to rework the mounting points to get them just right.
So far I want to add the following:
- 3M paint protection film (full) kit (Update: went with just the kneepads and tank pad)
- Knee pads (Update: acquired)
- Tank pad (Update: installed)
- Factory gas gauge (Update: looking for a deal)
- Factory clock (Update: looking for a deal)
- Rear license/turn signal cleanup bracket (Update: acquired)
- Clear turn signal lenses (Update: installed)
- Driver’s backrest (the stock touring seat isn’t bad–will probably just run with the biker’s friend bag for that) (Update: installed)
- Ditch the heal-toe shifter for a regular shifter (I might try what a BonnevilleAmerica.com member did and trim down the heel peg) (Update: tried a regular shifter, hated it, getting used to the heel-toe shifter, may still trim the rear lug down)
- Some sort of rear pegs so I can move my feet back occasionally and maybe even stand up (Update: design in progress)
- Windvest (windshield) (Update: installed)
- Cup holder (that’s right, I said it, and a chrome one, not that black plastic POS on Reboot) (Update: installed)
- A GPS and/or a mount for my Droid (Update: ordered)
- EXHAUST NOISE–this thing is way too quiet (I don’t care if it makes more power, I just want to hear something), probably go with the full Jardine 3:2 exhaust system (Update: looking for a deal on TORs)
- The stock leather saddlebags are nice, but I love my Tsukayu hard bags on Reboot. They won’t fit with the stock exhaust so once I get the Jardine system, I think some Tsukayu Jumbo Strong bags (with rear support bracket) is in order. (Update: keeping stock bags for now. Only Leatherlykes will fit with stock exhaust)
- I should probably get a radar detector…