moto then and now

September 2008

Today I put on a couple $10 LED turn signals to finish up all the stuff I really wanted to do to the moto. It's taken a year and a half, and a couple of experiments, but I really dig how it looks right now. When people look at it they are never sure what I've done, but like my brother-in-law always says, it's the subtle changes that make the difference. I'll agree with that. So, without further ado, the list of what I've done:

Up in the redwoods, no changes yet.

The first, and probably biggest, job was the fender eliminator. It was one of the bigger jobs because I also switched out the taillight at the same time. So, fender eliminated, taillight switched to a Clear Alternatives integrated taillight with a blue lens (so cool looking on my bike), and rear turn signals removed. I think next I switched to bar-end mirrors to get rid of the buggy-antennae look of the factory mirrors. The next biggy was the exhaust. Switched that to the stubby Delkevic can, which involved cutting off the factory exhaust. I had to cut through metal. That may be no big deal for most of you, but I felt like I should be wearing a hardhat. Felt manly that day. Next I switched my headlight out for the dual Dominator headlights. That too was an ugly job with trying to figure out what to do with all the extra wire that was hidden behind the headlight. After asking advice on the SV riders forum I settled on stuffing the wire into a project box from Radio Shack... The new headlights only lasted about a month before it kind of sunk all the way in that the dual headlights don't look good without some windscreen and I am not a big fan of windscreens. So then switched back to the original light.

Just last week I had a local dealer install the new Suburban Machinery handlebars which are lower and closer to the front of the bike. Makes you really feel like you're riding a rocket in that position (wow, never realized how gay that sentence would sound). I let the dealer do it because this was, yes, a cosmetic change, but also a change to something that if installed incorrectly, could end my life pretty quick.

Everything done, but dirty.

Everything done, new angle.

Today I put those signals on and I feel like it really looks the way I want it to, barring some rust and a dent or two, but those all add some nice character. And none of this would have been possible without the counsel and advice of my fellow SV'ers (Alex, Rob and Sean) and my bro-in-law. The only stuff I really long for, moto related, now is gear: some sick Vanson leather jacket and maybe a pair of lightweight, hiking boot looking, riding boots... It may not be a Ducati or brand new and shiny even, but I love this bike. So fun to ride I sing in my helmet.