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Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Harley rides again!

I have never, EVER, had a desire to be a Harley-Davidson owner. Back when I bought my Honda Shadow 1100 it was more durable and more cost effective. Now granted I didn't like how quiet it was so I did buy aftermarket Cobra pipes to make it not sound like a sewing machine.
So back in May of 2009, my dad calls and tells me if I come get Elwood (a 1979 H-D "Fat Bob" 1200) he will give it to me free with signed title and all. I asked why and he told me he had another Harley and Elwood was beating him up too badly. If I recall, this was the fastest time I had ever said "Yes" so far in my life. Understand, my dad was the original owner, then my uncle took care of it for many years until his arthritis prevented him from riding it, then my dad got it back. Now I own it, and when I registered it in Colorado and Texas, I learned very quickly to put Sta-bil in the gas or start the motorcycle every 3 days.

I will praise the LORD all my days for the grace of being a gearhead and enjoying the time to work with machines and tools to create things. It makes me a better steward of money and resources.

Over these last 3 years I have learned a lot about how my dad and uncle took care of this motorcycle. For example, they (I really don't know if it was dad or my uncle) put a drum brake on the front tire because it's less expensive that replacing a disk rotor and caliper brakes. As a result, the speedometer doesn't operate. They also put a headlight on it that is really designed for a car, because H-D charges $50 for a head lamp and when I replaced the head lamp it was $20 at the auto store. They also put in a battery made to start ATVs, but it starts Elwood and is half the cost of an official H-D battery. I also learned how to wire a horn to the motorcycle so that it would pass Texas vehicle inspections, and it did. Barely.

So who am I to not follow in a fine line of "finaglers"? (if that's even a word; similar to what hackers are to PCs). This is my latest work: a homemade luggage rack for less than $40!

I started with 2 galvanized L-brackets, 2 eighth-inch by one by 12 inch drilled bars, and 1 eighth-inch thick by one by six inch drilled bar. The hardest part of this project was drilling through the sissy bar, which is half inch thick chromed steel. The picture above is the start.

Here is the luggage support pictured above, all put together.

I cut the base support out of 1/4" acryllic. With what's left my wife is going to get some shims for a machine she uses to make her cards (seen here).

Done! It took about 4 hours of time and less than $40 to do this (we already owned the luggage bag). Is finagling a word? I hope so, otherwise I don't know how else to describe my tendency to finagle. Take care and God bless!

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