July 1, 2007
Today, I rode out to Joe’s Cycle Shop in Dayton to test ride the largest production cruiser on the planet, the Triumph Rocket III, a 2300cc triple cylinder monster. ( Not counting Boss Hoss motorcycles, that use the 8200cc Chevy V-8 engines).
The first thing I noticed was that the bike has A LOT of power. At 704 lbs dry weight (320 kgs), the Rocket is lighter than several full dresser HDs and puts out a peak 140 bhp @ 6000 rpm and 147 ft. lbs of torque at 2500 rpm. As I let out the clutch slowly, I could feel the latent power in the engine, requiring just a flick of the throttle to unleash. I’m sure I could have popped a wheelie if I wanted to. The triple cylinder engine sounds good, very different from a V-twin. The seat is taller but I could flat-foot on both sides. The bike was surprisingly nimble for its size and handles very well. I would definitely want to own one some day!
By the way, if you have a Triumph dealer in your neighborhood you should go and test ride the Rocket. After you test-ride the bike, you can enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win a Triumph Rocket! See the Triumph USA website for details.
May 4, 2007
Got my new Nolan N102 Com helmet. Its a flip-up helmet, has a sun visor, and has inbuilt bluetooth capability. Its awesome! Haven’t tried it out while riding yet. Hopefully, the noise levels will be lower than my current cheapie helmet that I got from ebay.
April 26, 2007
The weekend weather was great for riding and Angie and I made a little trip to Bardstown, KY on Saturday. Bardstown is about 150 miles south of Cincinnati and we took US127 to get there. It didn’t seem like there was much going on when we got there at about 5 pm. After setting up camp at the My Old Kentucky Home state park, which is also a golf course, we headed into town to find dinner. The obvious choice was the Old Talbot Tavern, which has been in business since 1797. We were expecting a tasty southern meal but were disappointed. The fried green tomatoes were a bit too salty, the pork chops were just ok and the salmon was bland. For the price we paid ( $50 for two ), it was not quite worth it. The evening was spent by the campfire drinking beer.
I had planned to do a couple of hundred miles of riding around Bardstown before heading back home, but we ended up doing only a small, 50 mile loop, stopping at Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home in Knob Creek, 5 miles south of New Haven and the Heaven Hill Distillery Bourbon Heritage Center. (By the way, they don’t do bourbon tasting tours on Sunday). We were back in Bardstown for lunch and chose an artsy little cafe called Java Joint on N. Third St (highly recommended!). After an excellent and inexpensive meal from the brunch menu there, we rode back to Cincinnati on route 127.
The cruise control device worked well on those long stretches when we were cruising at 70mph on the Blue Grass parkway. But bike needs a new turn signal bulb and the gear-shifter is getting sticky again. I plan to install a Zerk fitting at the shifter pivot, so that I can lube it without taking it apart every time this happens.
April 18, 2007
I installed the Universal Vista throttle lock yesterday and got a chance to test it out. While its not a true cruise control that holds the speed constant, this is a clever device that could prove to be very effective in relieving wrist cramps on long rides. There were more expensive options available, including electronic cruise control systems, but I wanted something simple and cheap. I’m not a big fan of interstate cruising anyway, so I would be using the device only on those flat, long stretches of interstate when I need to get somewhere fast. When set, the device holds the throttle at its position, but it can be easily overridden manually in case of an emergency. I’ll get a chance to test it out on the interstate this weekend on the trip to Bardstown, KY.
April 2, 2007
The last couple of weeks have been quite busy. Two weeks ago, I had started a rejet project on Angie’s Honda Shadow VLX. To make a long story short, the rejet went smoothly but the bike wouldn’t start! On seeking advice on some forums, a mechanical genius suggested that the intake hose clamp might not be sealed properly. Sure enough, the following week, when I readjusted the hose and tightened it, the bike started right up! I then re-rejetted my bike as well. It had been running a little rich and I had to put in a smaller main jet to fix that. I think I’ve got it exactly right this time, but I’ll need to ride some more to establish that. Speaking of riding, last weekend, I rode with some of my Harley riding buddies to Madison, IN. It was a great day to be out riding and we put about 175 miles on the clock.
I received my Tour Master gear on Thursday. Everything fits well and looks great. The jacket is thoughtfully designed and very comfortable. I got a chance to test it out yesterday and I was very pleased. Today (Sunday), I did another 100 miles, this time with the inner liner of the jacket taken out. The jacket has plenty of zippered vents for air flow on hot days. (Pictures soon!)
One of the simplest mods one could do on the bike is putting reflective tape to increase visibility at night. I had ordered some black reflective tape (made by 3M) a while back and I finally got around to pasting a couple of pieces on the back end of the saddlebags and sissy-bar. They blend in very well with the black leather and are not visible during the day but at night, they glow very brightly when light falls on them. The picture below was taken in the garage.