tygr's new ride

2000 Fat Boy - Stage 1

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June 2010 - 11.6K miles at purchase. The first stage was acquisition. I had been looking for a couple of years, mostly at 2002 Road Kings. '02 was the best year for the RKs with the beefed up swing arm components and the last year with the good crank bearings. I had put down a couple of bids on eBay and looked at a few decent deals, but nothing had panned out. Then a couple of circumstances kind of forced my hand.

The first thing was the big ride coming up in September. My krewe will be doing another Rush concert tour by motorcycle, catching the last four shows of the Time Machine Tour in Dallas, Atlanta, Tampa, and West Palm Beach. That kind of ride is doable on a borrowed or leased bike, but it isn't like riding on your own machine that is totally setup for you. I needed time to get a bike and get into it.

The second major factor was the end of my old 1986 Kawasaki Vulcan 750. The cam journals in the rear head have worn out and the bike is not worth the cost of a repair. With the Vulcan down I had to have a ride even if I had to borrow the money.

The search radius expanded and I started looking at pre-'03 RKs back to '99 and Softails back to 2000. I definitely wanted a carbureted Twin Cam on a platform that was close to stock. I didn't want anything that looked crazy or had a bunch of stuff done to it. I've always liked the look of Softails and missed out on a Springer that ended up in a bankruptcy sale. I used to have Softail Springers at the top of my list. Then I saw the '00 black Fat Boy with the stock pipes and it was love at first sight!! (o;}

Now I can start from stock and slowly but surely make the bike my own. Well...not TOO slowly! The summer will pass by in a flash. The bike did come with lots of nice bling: extra chrome, custom seat cover with matching passenger backrest cover, heel/toe shifter with jeweled linkage, battery tender terminal, detachable sissy bar, quick detach windshield with bag, matching saddle bags, engine guard with road pegs, locking fuel cap, and collectible winged logo visors on all the lamps.

2000 Fat Boy - Stage 2

mid-June 2010. The stock bars couldn't come off quick enough! I went with Heritage bars and they are infinitely better. I looked at some mini-apes as well but didn't like them as much. Jay gave the bike a complete service at his shop. HD Syn3 for engine, primary drive, and tranny. New oil filter and spark plugs. Replaced stock air filter with K&N. Lubed and adjusted cables, brakes, clutch, etc. Replaced kinked jiffy stand spring. Adjusted primary drive chain tension. Replaced petcock with new later model which is more reliable. Installed tachometer. New pair of Dunlop Elite 3 tires. The date marked on the battery indicated two years old. It tested fine, so there's still some life left.

Somebody had put a 190 jet in the carb which was otherwise untouched. No wonder I only got 38mpg riding up! With the K&N breather and everything else stock with no baffles in the pipes, we go with a 180. Jay did some needle and spring work, and it runs much better. Got 42mpg on the ride back down. I couldn't see behind me, though! Stock mirrors were replaced five days later with HD long stem chrome mirrors. I like the way they look and I can see behind me better than ever.

The toolbox cover was rattling, so a bit of trim was added in a couple of spots to get things tight and quiet. Inside the tool box was an empty bag. A new tool kit is scheduled for the next stage. The seat strap was removed. All it did was get in the way and get twisted up. I think the seat looks better without it. I took the aftermarket chrome backing plate for the license tag off the Vulcan and moved it over. With the plate bolted into the backing and chrome frame in four places, the lower two bolts through the mounting bracket and the top clamp in place, the license tag is a tank. No way it rattles or splits! A new two-piece set of HD luggage was passed along at cost. Thanks to Jay for that and the gremlin bell.

2000 Fat Boy - Stage 3

13 August 2010. I got up to Jay's shop in the late afternoon. The job for this Friday evening was getting the cam plate off and prepping for the new components. On Saturday, a Screamin' Eagle 204 cam set was installed and all the bearings were replaced along with the tensioners. Now I have the good Timken roller bearing and better quality components all around. The tensioners showed normal wear. The new ones were obviously beefier and again the quality is better. No worries here!

The second major component was a Thunderheader. The heat shields didn't match so we went without for the time being. A Dynojet Thunderslide kit was installed in the carb, and the stock plastic fuel fitting was replaced with a brass one. Now my TC88B has a K&N air filter, Thunderslide, Thunderheader, and SE204 cams. Nice!

Other mods & adjustments: The front end was a bit dippy so the fork oil was changed with 30 weight. The rear end was way too soft so Jay firmed it up. I yanked the stock passenger footpegs off and replaced them with the chrome & rubber HD bar & shield highway pegs. A new pair of matching jumbo pegs went on the engine guard. Floorboard extensions from HarleyGoodies.com were installed. A new toolkit was loaded into the chrome toolbox. Some oil had been leaking from under the rear rocker box, so a new gasket was installed and Jay went ahead and replaced the front one, too. No more leak!

Naturally, the rains came just as we were ready for a shakedown on Saturday night. I putted around between the drops. The real test came Sunday. OH, YEAH!!!! I named my ride Lopin' Lupe'. She sounds like a hot rod and she runs like a hot rod. Me so happy!! (o;}

The lump of the lobe is directly proportional to the length of the lope.

21 August 2010. I met my brother in Ponce de Leon on Saturday morning and we had a great ride through the country up to Jay's. The mission for this weekend was installing heat shields on the Thunderheader (they fit this time!) and a final tune-up on the dyno. I was getting low 30s for mileage and we can do better. After four dyno runs Lopin' Lupe' was dialed in at 81hp and 91ft-lbs. I'm very happy with that from my 88 with stock pistons and no head work. Mileage up around 38mpg. Now I just need to lose about 100lbs and that figure will get very respectable as well! (o;} A new set of spark plug wires was installed with the originals kept as backups. I also picked up a new HD shop manual and parts book and some Wurth supplies (brake cleaner, spray lube, etc.) that Jay uses in the shop. Now I'm setup for maintenance and minor mods and repairs at home.

8 September 2010. The last pieces are put in place on the scoot to get ready for the big Rush Time Machine Concert Tour By Motorcycle coming up at the end of the month. First, I installed a run/brake/turn kit. As the bike comes stock, the rear turn signals are just that and nothing else. With the kit installed, they function as running lights, brake lights, and turn signals. Now I'm much more visible from behind at night. Second, I put some velcro on the ends of the straps of my new Leatherworks saddlebags. I love the extra long straps that allow you to strap something on top of the bags if needed. Unfortunately, the ends of the straps just hang under the bags and they were already drooping. The velcro fixed them right up. Now I'm ready to ride!!