Archive for September, 2012

22
Sep
12

Life’s little curves and bumps in the road…

Being it’s been at least a year since my last post, I’m guessing those of you who’ve been checking in are wondering what’s been going on with the Pro-Tour ‘S’. Let me start with what’s been going on with me – Last September I was diagnosed with Prostate cancer and in November I had my prostate removed. After the surgery we found that there were remaining cancer cells, so I had 39 hits of radiation therapy to ‘clean up’ those remaining cells. My latest PSA test is indicating that the radiation did the trick – Thank God! I’ve always been a faithful person, and never lost faith that He would get me through this! Guys, if you’re 50 years old be sure to start having annual physicals and if your PSA results are anywhere near 4.0 don’t convince yourself “It’s nothing” – look into it further and make sure! Prostate cancer is very curable IF CAUGHT EARLY, because it’s usually a very slow moving cancer.

 

OK, now about the Pro-Tour ‘S’ – The powerplant in this one is 100% S&S and we had an issue with the tappets making noise once the bike was warmed up. After having my buds at S&S dig into it to figure out what was happening with it we found that the bearings at both ends of the cams were part of the culprit and were replaced with bushings. Harley uses bushings in stock XL engines as I understand it. The second thing that we found while running the bike on the dyno was that the return oil was being ‘shotgunned’ to the rear of my oil tank and although I had a single baffle in the tank the oil wasn’t aerating enough and was causing unaerated oil to return to the engine and that was getting under the tappets – making the pushrods “loose” and causing the top end noise after warm up. So to fix that I cut open the oil tank and created a baffle that forces the oil to move over quite a bit of surface area to aid in the aeration process. These two upgrades so far seem to have fixed the issue.

 

The whole cancer thing got me backed up about 4 months deep so I went for the first (relatively) ‘long’ ride on the bike last weekend for the annual Fall Flood Run. I put 140 miles on and I have to admit I wasn’t confident that the seat pads I created were going to be very comfortable as thin as they are, being only ½ inch thick. But to my surprise, I felt that they were quite comfy, especially for a 230 lb. hunka hunka burnin’ love that I am! I think the combination of the 3/8 inch of Impact Gel coupled with the deep seating position AND the longer wheelbase are the keys to the comfort of this bike. That being said, I believe another ½ inch of foam under the Impact Gel could improve the seat comfort even more for much longer rides – 500+ miles in one day. Also, this particular bike having a gnarly 100+Horsepower engine RIGIDLY mounted certainly isn’t what one would choose for a touring set up and even at that I couldn’t believe how comfy the bike felt at 65-75 mph – I’m really looking forward to the first time I ride a rubbermount version! Keep in mind I’m pretty spoiled in that the bike I’ve ridden since 2004 WAS a rubbermount FXR based custom bagger, so it’s not like I haven’t ridden comfortable bikes, and have nothing to compare this to.

 

Now, speaking of the NEXT bike… The reactions I’ve seen from the people who’ve sat on the Pro-Tour ‘S’ is 100% positive regarding the deep seat position and the low center-of-gravity. When I tell people to bring the bike up off of the kickstand, they expect it to have a heavy feel and are astounded at how easily the bike is to pull up and how light the bike feels. The thing I’ve noticed that people cringe on a bit is the price of this version of the Pro-Tour ‘S’ – so I’ve got a “Generation 2” in the works! Without going into a lot of detail Generation 2 will keep the chassis modifications but I’ll eliminate the clamshell and have a more traditional fender/separate saddlebag scheme in mind that will allow the bags to be detachable, which means for those on a tight budget OR those who would like the chassis mod WITHOUT saddlebags will have that option available to them. In other words, we can do this in ‘stages’ for people on a tight budget – and my preliminary guess is that the entire package with saddlebags and all will be about half the cost of this original Pro-Tour ‘S’ I’ve chronicled here.

 

Right now the bike has about 300 miles on it and I plan on adding another 1000 or so before we run out of season here UNLESS someone buys it first. I need to sell it before I can get neck deep in the Generation 2, OR if someone out there wants to be the first with a Generation 2 on the rubbermount XL platform and already has a bike to convert they’ll get a smokin’ deal for letting me use their bike during the creating process. I’m thinking around $20,000.00 for this first Pro-Tour ‘S’ is a pretty fair price when you consider the engine alone was $7000.00. Call me if you’re interested!  That’s it for now – more to come soon! Thanks all for stickin’ with me!!