I have a brand new bike!

November 14, 2006
Well, not really…..I should say its almost like having a brand new bike! I finally got around to making all the performance modifications I wanted to on the bike. The rejet kit and air filter had been gathering dust for several weeks. I also wanted to drill and de-baffle the exhaust pipes, not just for a better sound but to open up the exhaust a bit, since I was going to put a K&N filter in. ( The idea is to let more air in by using the K&N filter, mix it with more gas in the carburetor by replacing the jets with bigger jets and then open up the exhaust for gettting all the gases out quickly).
On Saturday, my brother and I finally started working on the bike around noon. We drilled out the pipes using a hole-saw and broke the baffles off to open up the exhaust. Resisting the urge to start up the bike to hear the new sound, we then removed the tank and opened up the carburetor. Changing the jets is not really a difficult job- if you know what you are doing. Fortunately, I had printed instructions and pictures from this site. The rejet went pretty smoothly, except for the panic attack I had when I thought I had lost a tiny ‘O’ ring in the carburetor. I replaced the stock main jet with the 155 main jet from the Dynojet kit and also replaced the jet needle and spring. Dynojet does not provide a pilot jet, instead they recommend backing out the mixture screw 3.5 turns. By the time we dropped the K&N filter in and put the tank back on, it was almost 6:00pm. I was quite nervous when it was time to fire up the bike. Had we missed something? Did we put the carb back together properly or were we going to hear horrible, grinding noises and see black smoke and sparks?
It took a couple of tries for the gas to get to the engine but once it fired up….man, what a sound. The de-baffled pipes sound a lot better ( and louder!) than stock. I took a ride around the block and right off the bat, I notice that the throttle was more responsive.The real test would be the mid-range and top end response, but it had gotten cold and dark by then. Happy that at least I hadn’t screwed it up, I reluctantly parked the bike for the night.
On Sunday, I went to my first NFL game ( The Cincinnati Bengals vs the San Diego Chargers). It was a great game, but the Bengals lost. This morning (Monday) I finally tested the bike for a couple of hours on some local back-roads. I must say I am extremely pleased with the results. It feels like there is more torque in every gear and the throttle response is phenomenal-snap it open and the bike takes off like a scalded cat. Ok, so I still can’t pop a wheelie, but gimme a break, its a 600lb cruiser!
After the test ride, I let the bike cool down and then used some Blue-Job to restore the discolored chrome on the front cylinder header pipe. Blue-Job actually works-the chrome is almost back to its original luster. Now that the bike is not running lean ( i.e. high air to fuel ratio), the pipes won’t get so hot and discolor again.
Its mid-November but riding season is not yet over for me. As long as there’s no snow or black ice out there, I intend to ride!