The sun really does come out tomorrow (220 miles)

Looks like the rain stopped. Forecast is for rain at 1000ET. If I head out now I’ll beat the rain.

New Orleans is out since it would be a pretty miserable place in pouring rain. Maybe I’ll go through it on the way back.

Quick check of the bike (air, gas, tires, etc.) and off I go! I’m trying a new app (Relive) recommended by a biker buddy, will post the route if it works for me on this first go.

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Here’s today’s track, consider it a dry run.

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Packing is the hardest part…

Last October I had to pack for a 6 day CA>FL relocation. I had to bring 2 sets of clothing for the road trip, and 5 sets of work clothing for work. I didn’t think too much about how I packed, so I wasn’t able to get to my rain pants during the trip. #ouch

Now I’m packing 5 sets of clothing for a 3 week road trip vacation. This time I’m a little smarter. All socks/briefs/t-shirts are wicking (no cotton!), and I’ve got my rain suit packed in an easy to get to location, and a 3 weather upper for the Northern states where it might get cool/cold.

I don’t plan to ride at night, because unlike in October when I just needed to get there quickly, this time I’m in it for the scenery, enjoy nature, and have fun. This time I called Geico to make sure they were aware of the trip (amazingly no rate increase, just a “wow enjoy!”).

Its almost 1am and I’m updating my blog, shouldn’t I be sleeping? Shouldn’t I pack those last few things, so I’ll only need to shower, get dressed, and hit the road? Myea, I probably should.

My guess is it’ll rain tomorrow, since it rained all day today, and its gonna rain for the next few days…so I need to get moving early tomorrow to get to the Mid West sooner than later. 🙂

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So where are you going on your trip?

Waypoints! Two years’ vacations worth of them. Hope to hit all of them in the next 3 weeks. 🙂

Arizona

Sedona
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sedona,+AZ+86336/@34.8697395,-111.7609896,11z

Horseshoe Bend
https://www.google.com/maps/dir//Horseshoe+Bend+Parking+Lot/@36.879509,-111.5105057,15.08z

Grand Canyon
https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Grandview+Point,+Grand+Canyon+Village,+AZ+86023/Horseshoe+Bend+Parking+Lot,+Page,+AZ+86040/@35.9947934,-112.0072275,13z

Upper Antelope Canyon
https://www.google.com/maps/search/Upper+Antelope+Canyon,+Arizona/@36.8776579,-111.4063987,13.17z

Colorado

Rocky Mountain State Park (loop 14 & 34)
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Alpine+Visitor+Center/@40.4102867,-105.744501,13.41z

Colorado National Monument (Scenic Rim Rock Drive)
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Colorado+National+Monument/@39.0575219,-108.6938999,15z

Idaho

Shoshone Falls
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Shoshone+Falls+Park/@42.5934978,-114.4028691,17.49z

Montana

Logan Pass
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Logan+Pass/@48.6569284,-113.9692364,10.11z

Montana and Wyoming

Beartooth Highway
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Beartooth+Hwy,+Montana+82414/@44.9615908,-109.8897611,9.64z

Nebraska

Toadstool Geological Park and Campground
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Toadstool+Geological+Park+and+Campground/@42.5281798,-104.0020733,7.96z

Nevada

Valley of Fire
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Valley+of+Fire+State+Park/@36.487393,-114.570493,13.11z

Las Vegas (cheap hotels!)
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Las+Vegas,+NV/@36.1246738,-115.4551869,10z

New Mexico

White Sands National Monument
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Alamogordo+%2F+White+Sands+KOA+Journey/@32.8511898,-106.2594752,11.62z

Ship Rock Campground
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ship+Rock+Campground/@36.6895741,-108.7112184,18.52z

Oregon

Hells Canyon
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Copperfield+Campground/@44.8794083,-117.1864422,9.66z

Crater Lake
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Crater+Lake/@42.9415361,-122.1773804,12z

South Dakota

Sturgis
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sturgis+Harley-Davidson/@44.3953611,-103.7639079,10.48z

Crazy Horse Monument
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Crazy+Horse+Memorial/@43.8357937,-103.6330292,15z

Mount Rushmore
https://www.google.com/maps/place/13000+SD-244,+Keystone,+SD+57751/@43.8766478,-103.4584532,16.5z

Tennessee and North Carolina

Cherohala Skyway
https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Cherohala+skyway/35.3670695,-84.3002515/@35.3474073,-84.1512321,11.4z

Utah

Bonneville (Speedweek!)
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bonneville+Speedway+Road,+Utah+84083/@40.7625049,-113.9348824,17z

Bryce Canyon
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bryce+Canyon+City,+UT+84764/@37.623462,-112.2066482,12.79z

Delicate Arch
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Lower+Delicate+Arch+Viewpoint/@38.7341916,-109.5023333,17z

Utah/Arizona

Monument Valley
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Monument+Valley+Navajo+Tribal+Park/@36.9974024,-110.1042684,16.01z

Washington

Mount Rainier
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mount+Rainier+National+Park/@46.7768004,-121.7552675,14.12z

Wyoming

Yellowstone
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Old+Faithful/@44.4604826,-110.8303317,17z

Jackson Hole
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Jackson,+WY/@43.4745759,-110.8107026,13z

3 days before heading on the road – gear time

Getting my sissy bar reinstalled for the trip. This trip is going to be significantly longer than my October cross country trip. So I decided to switch from my very awesome Saddlemen S3500 to a more weather resistant Biltwell Exfil 80. Both come with a rain cover, but this time I’ll be doing more camping so had to rethink my storage options. Added a Biltwell EXFIL 11 to the gas tank, and a Biltwell EXFIL 7 to the fork.

After spending weeks deciding on a three season jacket, I decided to go with the Alpinestars Andes v2 Drystar Jacket (10% Veterans discount at CycleGear). Took it out today, it passed the warm weather test. 🙂 Lots of vents, and includes shoulder/elbow padding.

alpinestars-andes-v2

I spent months looking for motorcycle jeans that would fit me, wasn’t having much luck. Then I stumbled upon Draggin Jeans, who make jeans for “bigger men”. Well, alrighty then! I ordered two pairs of jeans in two sizes, and ended up returning the smaller pair. No, I didn’t go up one size, they told me to go with the bigger size due to the kevlar lining. 😉 Tried them on, perfect! Washed them an they’re ready for Saturday!
draggin-jeans-big-men

Since I’ll be camping this trip, decided to leave my favorite Harley Davidson boots at home and instead picked up a pair of KEEN Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots (5% Veterans discount). Learned long ago, gotta go with something that’s waterproof…plus Keen wide toe box always fits me well. 🙂

keen-boots

Avoiding cotton like the plague, picked up half a dozen pairs of their Instinct 2.0 Over-The-Calf Crew Socks while I was there. Decided not to over spend on underwear, so went to Walmart to get some Jockey wicking boxer briefs, and some Fruit of the Loom wicking t-shirts. Figured 6 pairs of each should cover the trip, since I plan to camp out as much as possible to save money, then when I stay at a hotel I can wash/dry the stuff without too much of a hassle.

Stay tuned for…Danali D2 2.0 install and Gasbox Sissy Bar reinstall…

COUNTDOWN: 21 days left

Thanks to Florida’s “use it or lose it” law, I have 21 days before the beginning of my 3wk road trip!

Planning my road trip to wherever is a lot of work. The route is the easy part. Avoid cities. Camp wherever possible to save money. Blog every day. Hope for good weather, be prepared for the worst weather.

For emergencies I have my Garmin inReach Explorer +, which supports GEOS (24/7/365 search & rescue), so if the shit hits the fan out in the middle of nowhere I’ll be able to get help. Paired with Garmin Earthmate iOS app and you’re ready for anything.

IMG_6498

I picked up an REI Co-op Quarter Dome 1 tent and footprint, and a Big Agnes Dumont SL 30 sleeping bag (had my eye on it – who would’ve thought the price would go down 50%?!). I couldn’t believe how small these items were. The bag will easily slip into the sissy bar bag, the tent will have to be strapped on the outside.

I have no idea what route I’m taking, except that I plan to avoid states that don’t have a reciprocity agreement with Florida (sticking to the blue states).reciprocity

The biggest issue I have right now is I need to put my sissy bar back on to mount the sissy bar. This means my Pelican saddlebags will only open to 45 degrees. #firstWorldIssue

I’ll have to call Anarchy Motorcycles to schedule my 30,000 mile maintenance a little early,

Hello WordPress…goodbye Bluehost

I’ve been using donmontalvo.wordpress.com for years, and have been planning on transferring donmontalvo.com. I got an alert from Bluehost that my domain auto payment went through on July 5, so now I have a 60 day wait before I can transfer.

Not happy.

easter-bunny-fight

I needed to get this done now so I called WordPress and was told I can use an A-record for now, until the 60 wait is over. At that point I’ll be able to complete the domain transfer. They helped me set things up in less than 10 minutes:

Changed nameservers to:

NS1.WORDPRESS.COM
NS2.WORDPRESS.COM
NS3.WORDPRESS.COM

Set A records to:

192.0.78.12
192.0.78.13

I’m a happy camper. I’ll be happier once the domain transfer is complete, so I can get rid of Bluehost once and for all.

If you want to blog, there’s only one game in town…WordPress (personal opinion).

cosmo-kramer-shocked

Dakota Digital MLX-3012-K

Whether its a car, or a motorcycle, speedometer design is important. When I bought my 2017 Harley-Davidson Dyna Street Bob (FXDB), the dealer upgrade the gauge so I could more easily see the RPMs. I love the upgraded gauge.

Or should I say I loved it. It had an issue fogging up in humid weather. Noticed it from the first month when I was in California, and the issue persists today. I called Harley-Davidson but didn’t get a response.

I did some research, and found this can happen to any speedometer, but folks who bought a Dakota Digital gauge have reported it doesn’t happen to them. Not sure what the difference is, but I’ve had enough of being on the highway and not being able to read the digital numbers at the bottom of the gauge.

Whether I’m checking the time, or the trip mileage, the fog in the gauge made it unusable. I decided the cost of a speeding ticket, or the inconvenience of running out of gas warranted looking into an alternative.

Looking through the Dakota Digital site, I found the model I need for my motorcycle is MLX-3012 (chrome) or MLX-3012-K (black). I was pleasantly surprised to find that every retailer was out of stock. To me, that means its a hot item!

I called Dakota Digital and they pointed me to Dennis Kirk, who had a couple in stock. Ordered it, should be in by Saturday. The instructions say its a straight swap, not sure yet if I’m going to risk doing this on my own. FWIW within a few minutes of ordering mine, the second one flew off the shelf.

It isn’t the prettiest display, but the numbers re huge, and you can customize colors, criteria to display, etc., and amazingly offers a Bluetooth app to manage these things!

Can’t wait, will post a full report once I get this baby installed and give it a whirl.

[UPDATE] Device arrived, installed it but it’s raining so didn’t get a chance to take photos of it installed yet.

The unit appears to be made of cast aluminum, and machines do the edges are smooth. Excellent workmanship.

The Harley-Davidson upgraded unit is a lot lighter, appears to be make entirely of plastic.

UPDATE: It’s installed! I set all the display items to white. There are a ton of possible display items, and colors, and even inverting the center of the display (for a white box and black characters). For now I’m displaying voltage, gear, and time. Very happy with this baby!

IMG_6477

Rainy weekend mods

It was raining a few weeks ago so I did a couple mods that were on the back burner. I had Anarchy Motorcycles replace the derby cover.

20190624_mods.png

A month or so ago I swapped out the old chrome engine guard and highway pegs, I finally got a chance to circle back to replace the Harley-Davidson pegs with proper Kuryakyn Longhorn Offset Highway Pegs.

IMG_5750.jpgIMG_6329.jpgIMG_6261.jpg

Gas cap and gauge recap…apparently Arlen Ness gauge wasn’t CAN bus compatible. So replaced with Harley-Davidson, and couldn’t be happier.

IMG_6266.png

 

Fuck off love-bugs; hello Memphis Shades

Why_i_went_with_bigger_size

Having survived my first love-bugs season, I decided it was worth moving up from a 14″ to a 17″ windshield. I put that on the back burner because I wasn’t ready to spend another $400 on a Harley-Davidson brand 17″ windshield.

Then someone on hdforums.com pointed me to Memphis Shades‘ site, where you can buy a replacement windshield, while recycling the mounting hardware. I was ecstatic, since I’m a huge fan of Harley-Davidson’s fork clamps that leave nothing on the bike when detached (vs Memphis Shades’ unsightly clamps).

holes

A 17″ replacement windshield set me back $92 plus shipping. A couple days later, I spent an hour or so swapping the windshield. Boom! I had 3″ more clearance. As an added plus, the headlight cut-away gave me more options for raising/lowering the windshield. So I could lower it and be 2″ higher than the 14″. After playing with the placement I ended up 2.5″ higher than before, which is perfect.

The Memphis Shades windshield is made of Lucite Acrylic (harder to scratch; easier to shatter), where the Harley-Davidson windshield I’m swapping out uses Hard-coated Polycarbonate (harder to shatter; easier to scratch, although they coat theirs so not really sure).

Harley-Davidson’s windshield is about 10-15% darker as well, probably due to the material. I would say maybe it is age too, but I do remember when I installed it that it had that bit of density. The Memphis Shades windshield is as close to transparent as you can imagine.

Density_comparison

Memphis Shades windshields is about 30% thicker than Harley-Davidson windshields (took a close up of them side by side).

IMG_6433

So I had to move to the next longer bolt size, from .75″ to 1.0″, which meant I needed to use counter sunk washers for the nuts to set properly. I have to admit, the counter sunk washers do give it quite a custom look.

IMG_6431_screws.png

If you have a Harley-Davidson windshield and plan to go to the next higher size, or lower size, or even if you’re just replacing a scratched one, go with Memphis Shades, you won’t be sorry. 🙂

I’m forking shocked

This was also on my “kick the can down the road” list, but front shocks really should have been one of my first mods, along with the rear shocks. Not much to report here, except they weren’t cheap, but they make a hell of a difference in several ways.

First, the decision came down to Progressive Monotube Kit and Legend Axeo cartridges. The difference between the two, well, I rode both on different bikes, so no conclusive way to tell a difference.

So I relied on reviews on as many sites as possible. The Progressives had a handful of complaints, nothing earth breaking, but a little bit concerning. The Legend had only one complaint, that there is no way to adjust without disassembly.

Progressives were $400, and Legends were $750. I usually try to go with the cheaper choice, but the negative reviews for the former led me to go with the later. Whether there’s a difference between the two in terms of performance, I’ll never know.

But I’ll rest soundly knowing I went with the one that had the best reviews.

IMG_6388

Key West weekend

I felt like getting away last weekend, but didn’t want to go too far. I wanted scenery but I also wanted to avoid crowds and expensive hotels. Someone suggested riding to Key West, and I realized it is the most southern part of the continental US.

IMG_6236

The solo trip was awesome. About half the ride was between Key Largo and Key West. The experience of riding across the ocean on a man made bridge was quite a thrill.

To prepare for the ride I removed my saddlebags and sissy bar, so I could fix the broken my left rear fender bracket. The front part snapped, so I ordered two new ones. Well when the new brackets came in, I decided they were crap (sorry Harley-Davidson!) compared with the ones that came with the 2017 Street Bob. :/

So I went to Lowes and bought a few stainless steel bolts, and came up with a much stronger solution. While I was at it I removed my sissy bar, and mounted the Pelican bags about 1.5″ higher. I noticed there was a bit of rub and wear where the shocks came up against the Pelican bags, so it was good to move things. Might miss the sissy bar though. ÂŻ\_(ツ)_/ÂŻ

This trip also helped me iron out some GoPro issues, such as constant power, mounting it high, keeping it level, dealing with multiple SD cards, and which SD cards to get. Learned a lot. The trip was fun, I plan to go back again in the Fall if the weather is nice.

I’d post some of the GoPro video but that would mean upgrading WordPress account. Um. Nope. 🙂 Well, here’s a screenshot of the 2.5 hour ride from Homestead, FL, thru Key Largo, to Key West. The best stretch of course was Key Largo to Key West, a bit over two hours each way…two very mellow and relaxing hours.

IMG_6228

 

I’m shocked

I have no idea why I waited so long to do this. The dealer told me “you’ll want to upgrade your shocks at some point”, and I guess I didn’t think about it until after my cross country relocation. Fast forward a few months, and after researching, studying, and asking folks who have upgraded shocks on their FXDB.

I decided to go with the Progressive 490 Sport Series (12.5″). Cheaper than some of the other brands, and it gives the rebound adjustment I wanted. Not bad for $679 retail (I actually got a lower price after Veterans discount) at JP Cycles in Daytona. I had them installed by Anarchy Motorcycles in nearby Winter Garden.

After spending a couple weekends dialing it in, I can confirm that the dealer was right. No upgrade makes for a more comfy ride than getting better shocks (rebound adjustment for the win!). They look nice, but they’re definitely not “bling”. 🙂

progressive-shocksIMG_5936IMG_5927

Out with the old, in with the new…

My engine guard had been an eye sore for the past year or so when I bought it at Harley-Davidson in California. I needed something for a long technical ride I was going on, but the only one they had in stock was the grandpa styled oval-ish chrome model. It fit, but man it was fugly.

I finally broke down and ordered a Lindby Customs, Inc. Multibar in black.

It took me two weeks just for the research alone. Lindby states on his site this bar is only good for mid-controls. Ok…so I have Harley-Davidson’s further-forward controls that move my feet roughly 2″ forward.

foot-controls-image.png

I pinged Lindby and they strongly advised that I don’t buy the Multibar, since they are ONLY for mid-controls. Their reason, your feet might hit the Multibar, since it mounts to your forward-controls holes on your frame.

I spent a week doing all kinds of measurements and calculations, and finding riders on Dynas who had the Multibar installed. Several had further-forward controls and had plenty of space, even with size 10-12 feet! Heck, I wear size 8 so I took the chance.

I’m glad I did, there’s PLENTY of space, no way in hell my feet would ever hit the Multibar, even if I have my highway pegs extended. So happy I took the plunge!

An ape walked into a bar…

I’ve spent the past few months trying to decide what I’m going to do for ape hangers.

After sitting on 100+ Dynas (with owners’ permission of course!) I decided I need 16 or 17″ bars for my hands to be at shoulder height (when sitting properly <wink>)…ended up going with 16″.

Southern Cycles is handling the install as I type. The bar is a HardDrive Fat-Z. I wanted the width to be 32″ or less, these are 31.5″ wide.

I’m having the front signal lights relocated to the fork, and the silver mirrors replaced with black mirrors, mounted under the bars.

Here are a couple of pics of the technician doing the install.

Will polish off this post once I’m on the road with the new ape hangers. 🙂

BrBrBrBrBr!!!! Loud pipes!!!

Ok, time to get those Vance & Hines Straightshot slip-ons replaced with something that sounds better (read: louder).

After spending a few weeks researching, observing, asking, hearing…decided on the Vance & Hines Hi-Output 2-into-1 Short in black.

Southern Cycles in Apopka handled the install, they were the only shop able to source the pipes. They did a beautiful job, the pipes look great!

Next on the list, 16″ ape hangars and Linby Custom Multibar…stay tuned…