Fuck off love-bugs; hello Memphis Shades

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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).

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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.

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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”. 🙂

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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.

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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…