Friday, May 15, 2009

"Chuck for..." Taking A Harley Break

Due to some re-thinking of logistics this blog will be taking a break Friday and Saturday and the logistics have to do with laptops and cement mixers called Harley Davidson. This map shows where I'm going from (Baker City) and to (Salem) and some idea of the topography. The other day I reserved a nice room complete with WiFi so I could do some blogging for my loyal audience on my laptop. My bike is clean of the additional features many big bikes have, things like windshield, faring, suitcases, highway pegs, you know - stuff. I have over-the-seat leather saddle bags sort of like horse back saddle bags that only go on the bike for trips requiring gear.

I have room to strap the laptop on board in its carry case since I am riding solo. My concern is the 40 cubic inches each cylinders in the V-twin with pistons going up and down fore and aft in a 45 degree V. The problem being that there are no countervailing forces in the equation of mass in motion. The upshot is that it has Harley shake at an idle and engine vibration at speed - thus the reference to cement mixer. Over 5 hours of sustained vibration could be very hard on something with rather delicate moving parts included in its design like a laptop. My body won't tolerate more than about 2 hours of high speed travel vibrations at a time and I'm even more dubious about the lap top so it stays home. No laptop means no blogging so you're on your own for a couple days.

I'll try to make up for it by taking the nice and very capable digital camera and shooting some cool pictures. There will be two Harleys in this little jaunt of several mountain ranges and pretty much 300 miles of two lane riding. George, my pal, will be riding a 2003 Anniversary Deuce and I'll be on the 1998 Super Glide. The Deuce is a large frame low slung bike and the Super Glide is a medium frame semi-low riding bike and the Deuce has a somewhat larger engine and his is also clean of add-on creature comforts. The style of both bikes is commonly called cruiser versus either sport or touring. Either is capable of running over 85 miles per hour all day long but they lack rider saving accessories like windshields and fairings and luggage capabilities. The Deuce has a counterbalanced engine which seriously reduces engine vibration that the Super Glide didn't have at the time of build.

I don't scoff at other people's non-Harley bikes, they suit their owners tastes and needs as the Harley does mine. Harley Davidsons are what they are and there is no sense owning one if you don't want that because they are aggressively just that. There are some other V-twin builders and their bikes have the same characteristics and they sure aren't for everyone. The big V-twins aren't high revving motors, they are torque monsters - the Super Glide will happily idle along at 35 mph in top gear (5th) and accelerate without bogging. There is a reason going for a ride on a Harley is referred to as going for a putt - they will happily burble along at engine speeds other bikes simply won't tolerate. There are a lot of riding philosophies just as there are a lot of bikes and I break the wind with my body and do my bug killing personally which would drive many people crazy and the only music going on is the roar of the V-twin (and it does). The bows to civilized riding are fenders and turn signals - I am very much riding a bike not driving a car and that is what I want to do.

Some of the really great riding is available around here and any of the "Chuck for" crowd that'd like to go for a putt are cordially invited to do so - a standing invitation and it needn't be a Harley, just able to keep up. See ya in a couple days...

1 comment:

Phil said...

Q.: How can you tell if a Harley rider is happy?

A.: Check his teeth for bugs.

Sounds like fun, Chuck. Be safe.