I’VE BEEN THROUGH THE DESERT ON A HORSE WITH NO NAME
Now that’s a pretty paint scheme!
A couple of years on with the 1340cc FXR2 Harley and now its time to start lOOking again and
now from the same dealer there is a drop dead gorgeous “special” that they have prepared for
bike week. I gaze longingly at this beauty and about 2 weeks later wander down there again to
maybe investigate a deal? Lo and behold it’s got a sold sticker on it!! I say nothing, look it over
one more time and leave cross with myself that I hadn’t come to a decision earlier.One month later I’m back in the dealership to talk to my friend Jim Wagner about trials when
I notice the “special” is still there and the sold sticker has been removed? Make the usual
enquiries and it turns out the buyer couldn’t get the finance ….hmmmmm!
At home before the mods, snakeskin seat, shotgun pipes, braided cables, special paint
Two days later the deal is done, I get more for the FXR than I paid from the same dealer and
I’m on the new machine. Love the color, don’t like the forward controls, and I have a couple of
minor mods that I liked from the FXR so I have them planned to do when I take it in for the first
Service time and in it goes and now there is a special deal on the “1550cc” conversion kit as
that was the way the engine was designed but then CA decided is was not allowed in their
state so ALL counter balanced engines had to be downrated to 1450cc! For $1000 Harley will
replace the barrels and heads back to 1550 and the warranty is still good. Now that’s a cheap
deal. Apparently it is a lot smoother and performs much better so that is being done along with
my other planned extras.
The service writer notes all the scheduled work and just as I’m walking away the Harley men
say, “Oh by the way have you thought about putting Baisley Heads on?”
They explain that as the bikes in pieces it’s a one for one swap and no extra labor charges.
They show me the difference, one will take a clementine through the inlet and the other a full
jaffa orange!…. “Ok let’s do it”
…….”Oh, Sir, if you are going to run these heads on this motor you should change to the bigger
Mikuni as the stock carb won’t be able to keep up, and you should change to the bigger spark
system and then you will have a real winner.” Having agreed to all that lot on their advice I’m
about to set off in the car with all the other stock parts when I’m told “By the way we will have
to change the Petcock as well as the stock one can’t match the fuel flow to the carb”
Ready for Brenda, big seat,backrest,luggage rack…… not forgetting the Vance&Hines pipe
the BIG motor, big mikuni, new air cleaner etc, etc
3 days later and $3500 poorer I collect the bike along with the Vance & Hines 2 into 1 pipe,
which apparently gives another 10 horses, and off I go…….. very impressive! and in traffic it
feels like you are taking a badly behaved labrador for a walk and it is constantly pulling………
the slightest tweak of the throttle and it will be off!
Under headlamp turn signals
Towards the end of the “running in” period I’m coming up the big police free hill out of Rio
Verde and elect to see what I have under me. A couple of downshifts and a fistfull of power
……. WOW! 60+ in second, take it up to about 85 in third and change up to 4th and on passing
90 both feet lift off the forward pedals as my boots are now acting like aircraft wings in this
ridiculous 45 degree posture. Well remember that for the future and must lock my boots under
the shifter and brake pedal for any “hi-speed” riding.
Some time later the Harley crowd decide to do the “River Run” and I join in as I’ve never been
to any of these big rallies so time to experience one before comments are passed. We leave in
a group of 5 including one Novice rider who doesn’t really want to ride faster than about 60mph.
2 of the group want to ride at around the 85-90 mark so there is bound to be some friction. By
mid morning on day 1 the fast group are beginning to get on my nerves as they keep shooting
off at high speed and then as you crest a rise in the middle of the desert there they are by the
roadside having a smoke 2 miles from a village with a bar! No sooner have we stopped and lit
up and they are away again only to stop in “that” village and refuel? Some time later we have
to stop again as “Super Rider” has filled up with low octane fuel and his bike is “pinking”…….
well what a surprize!…… now we try and stop at every shed, garage, store he can find to try
and buy an octane booster.
Say nothing! …… and now we ALL stop at the same place for a late lunch with just about 60
miles to our nightstop. On leaving the lunchstop “Super Rider” and friend remark that they might
see us at the destination as WE can’t keep up. I know, I know, I should have let it go but ……………..
We come up to a T junction and with no traffic I let them go and give them about a 100 yard
start…… Right then! we will see WHO can’t keep up, and with that the Horse with No Name is
released and off we go, up through the box and catching up pretty quickly on the “pair” who
have stabilzed at around 90, change into 4th at 95 and lock tootsies under the rear brake and
toe in under the shifter ……… a “S” turn through their offset as I change into top and let her
have her head and rocket away from them……… I look down to see what the speed is and can’t
see the needle? as I slow I see the needle pointing straight down at my vitals and the 120
indicator is in the 4 o’clock position!!! It transpires there is no end stop on a Harley speedo so
speed for this dose of insanity remains unknown. However after this demo the “pair” rode in
harmony with us for the rest of the journey.
Matching(nearly) His & Hers
Another ride, another bar
Post Jerome and back in Prescott
The Deuce completes 7000 miles in Arizona with multiple runs to Jerome for the “bends” and
after several seat changes she has to go as the passengers rear end can take no more and
she is spoilt by the luxury of the BMW K1200LT. One final bash around the Ouray loop out of
our place in Dolores (available to bikers) up through Telluride down to Placerville, the big
sweepers to Ridgeway and then the straight road into Ouray before tackling all those mountain
bends and drops crossing over to Silverton. From there more bends down to Durrango then
the fast ride back to Dolores through Mancos and all the hi-speed sweepers. Once round in
each direction was the plan but Madam’s rear end said otherwise and so it became a one way
mission! …….and the last for the Horse with No Name, but we shall call him DEUCE.
Somewhere on the Ouray Loop
Smoke & refuel stop in Ridgeway
No guardrail and BIG drops, Ouray-Silverton
The last ride on the Deuce
That’s IT! my ***** has had enough!
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