And the projects begin…

I finally decided to tackle a project I had been avoiding but needed to accomplish that involved removing the top shelter on my Goldwing. It isn’t simple, but if you are organized and careful it isn’t too bad. Since I’m writing this afterwards, I would say that removing the top shelter should take 15-20 minutes after having done it once.

I removed the top shelter and the first task was to run 12v wiring to power my Garmin 2610 gps. I know there is 12v power available at the left pocket, with plenty of current available, but I wanted to be able to turn the gps on without turning on all of the accessory circuits as well. Also, I needed uninterrupted power for an LED voltmeter that uses such a small amount of current that I will leave it on all the time. It will be nice to use at the voltmeter to get an early warning of battery problems before you wind up stranded. Installing that is another project, I’m sure that’s a surprise.

Second task was to adjust the slack out of the cruise control cable. I tied string to the 8 and 10mm open-end wrenches so that I could retrieve them if they were dropped and I marked the top of the adjuster barrel with a sharpie pen so I could easily count the number of turns. I had read several posts about this adjustment and the consensus was that 3-4 turns was about right. I decided to try 3 turns and that was right for my bike. Before the adjustment, the speed would drop 6-8 mph and then climb back to the set speed.

Third task was to put a shield over the cruise control actuator. There is a medium-pitch sound in the audio system when the cruise is active that changes pitch when the cruise is maintaining the set speed. Basically, this makes the audio system unusable when the cruise is active – on a long trip this is exactly what the audio system is for. I made a shield out of thin sheet aluminum and cover the edges with self-adhesive weatherstripping since the edges are sharp. There are a lot of wire bundles around the cruise control actuator and I don’t want my shield cutting into any of them – nothing good could possibly come from that.

I positioned everything and buttoned it back up, hooked up the gps, and headed out to test my wrenching. The gps works well and will be a useful addition on a long trip. The cruise works just as it should, engaging and maintaing the set speed without any noticeable drop in speed. Why this can’t be adjusted properly I don’t know, as the volume of forum posts indicates it is a common problem. However, I was only 2 for 3. The cruise still causes noise in the audio system. Maybe my ground connection on the shield wasn’t good, or maybe I should wrap the audio system wire bundle in heavy aluminum foil to provide additional shielding.

First ride of Spring

I took the first (OK, three rides, actually) ride today. The thermometer passed 70 on the way to 75 and that was just too much of a temptation to resist. The first trip was to the post office, where a wireless PCI card for my Powermac was waiting – a useful trip even though it was a 25+ mile ride and the post office is only 4 miles from home.

After the first ride I decided to complete a mod that I had planned to finish over the winter. There are bumps molded into the trunk bottom whose apparent function is to align the trunk lid, but they will quickly wear through the paint. I ordered some 3/4″ diamater self-adhesive teflon discs from McMaster-Carr (page 3327, item number 7801A33) and today I applied them on the trunk lid where the lid contacts the trunk bottom. Others have made similar changes and their reports over time indicate that the teflon works well – trunk closes properly and no paint wear.

The second trip was to the hardware store to get a replacement bulb for the reverse light on my F150. The hardware store is about 6 miles away and this trip was about 35 miles. Apparently I’m incapable of going directly to and from a destination.

The third and final trip was to a wide circle of asphalt that I use for figure 8 and slow turn practice. I spent 30 minutes practicing slow-speed handling and re-familiarizing myself with the clutch, brake, and throttle. That kind of practice leads to good control and precise handling, even at very low speeds where most riders are not as proficient as they should be. More riders should practice slow-speed maneuvers – their riding at all speeds would improve.