Might as Well...
Sunday, May 6, 2007
Might as Well
Spent the last couple of weeks doing regular maintenance and trip prep on the Harley.  The cylinder base gaskets were starting to leak oil.  Typical of Harley engines with 15,000 miles.  It was only going to get worse.  Taking it to the dealer was out of the question (previous experience).  So I decided to tear the engine down, pull the cylinders, and replace the gaskets.
Then the might-as-well mentality set in.  Since the bike was apart, I might as well change all the gaskets.  Harley already had a lot of performance parts, so a set of Andrews high-performance cams and a Screaming Eagle high-performance ignition system were installed.  Of course, I didn’t want to have trouble on the road, so I installed a fresh set of Metzeler tires and a fresh battery, too.
Not done yet!!  Installed an alarm system with a proximity sensor and remote pager to protect the bike, cameras, computer, and luggage while at a restaurant, sightseeing, or in for the night.  With the sensor energized, no one can get closer than five feet to the bike.  After flashing lights as a warning, the alarm is triggered -- lights flash, the siren blares, the bike is electrically disabled, and the remote pager alerts me!!  The alarm was a little difficult to install on a Sportster, but, with a little creativity, everything mounted under the seat with some custom fabricated stainless brackets.
Also decided I might as well add a 12-volt power plug, so cell phones, cameras, and computer can stay charged while driving.
Final might as well: Installed a detachable windshield.  I don’t like the look of a windshield on the bike.  Just doesn’t look cool!!  But, for the trip (6,000 miles), I thought windshield would lessen the fatigue of 6 to 8 hours a day at 70-80 mph.
Then it hit me -- Cathy and I need to be able to communicate while driving.  Might as well get an intercom; it’s better than her hitting me on the helmet when she needs a rest stop!  After trying a few inexpensive wired intercoms we (I) decided on a pair of more expensive (of course) bluetooth wireless Interphones from Cellular Line in Italy.  The noise-cancelling headsets work well up to 90 mph. The best part is that I can answer my Palm Treo phone that’s stored in the saddlebags with just a, “Hello” while driving.  
Cathy’s new MacBook with wireless broadband lets us stay online for the trip.  I love technology!
After about $2,000 of might-as-wells, “Harley” is road tested and ready.  But are we?