Riding, Wrenching, and making my ride my own.

Ive never been happier to open a package than I was yesterday when this came in the mail.
I may or may not have squealed when I saw it.

I am a nerd at heart and love to learn.
Thats the joy of riding and wrenching on a Harley. They were made for guys like me who like to do some of their own maintenance and improvements.

As soon as the ride was delivered to me I was thinking of oil changes, filters, spark plugs and wires. I had already decided to change the pipes and air cleaner, then put it on a tuner and get the specs set for a hi flow air cleaner and pipes.

Im not the only one. Most Harley owners put their bike up on a lift and start taking off parts almost immediately. Thats the way Harley wants it to be.

They make one bike for all riders. That means seat height, bar height, and foot position need to be adjusted if you’re over 5’7”.
This is no big deal because they make options for all of these things. It’s as easy as looking up the parts that fit your make and model on Amazon and buying a cheap part.

I have a few different parts suppliers I choose from, but for convenience I often find the part on Amazon. Yes they’re often cheap Chinese parts, but if the price is more decorative and it fits… who cares what country its made in.

For actual mechanical parts and direct fit pieces, I use a parts provider like JP Cycles or Dennis Kirk where I can find either OEM or custom parts made specifically for my ride.

I bought a used 2012 HD Street Glide with 50K miles on the clock. It’s candy apple red AKA “mid-life crisis red” and I got it for my 50th birthday in a couple months.

Mind you, this is October and my birthday is mid December and temps are dropping daily out here in Southern Colorado.

I had been searching for a ride for months. I had settled my heart on a number of different rides, a number of different times, but no one of them made me want to move heaven and earth to have it.

I though I had found that “one” a couple times, but it was based on price or convenience but not desire. I was looking for a deal so it wouldn’t hit my pocket too hard.

Inexpensive motorcycles are always easy to find….. If you want a Japanese motorcycle, or a motorcycle 20+ years old. You can especially find a low price on a high mileage Harley, but that requires immediate maintenance and upgrades to overcome the age, wear, and older technology.

I wanted something 10-15 years old, under 50K miles, and in the color red. I found a few in the color I wanted but not the year. I found the year but not the color. I also found the color, the year and the mileage, but at a 3-4hr distance away.

I was looking for a unicorn, and even found a few, but the logistics in acquiring them were difficult. From sellers who don’t communicate well, or at all, to dealerships who don’t want to talk or deal over the phone, but instead just want you to come in and test ride.

Thats fine and good and definitely something I wanted to do, but I couldn’t just drive 4 hours away if I wasn’t sure there were at least 3-4 options to choose from once I arrived.
….and dealers don’t post prices on the rides you really really want.

I found what I wanted but the seller wasn’t responding because of personal issues. I found another option but couldn’t swallow the price for the age of the ride. It was really pretty though.

I put a deposit on a ride that was $5000 more than I wanted to spend and would need to find financing. I didn’t want to make payments and suffer debt just to have the ride I wanted for my birthday. Besides that wouldn’t leave any money behind to do the upgrades I wanted to do.

Y’see…. This isn’t my first rodeo and after riding for a number of years, I knew what I wanted. I focused mainly on the specs. I did research to familiarize myself with what Harley did to their rides in each model year.

I learned that the lower prices I was looking for were all rides from 2000-2010 with miles 50K and higher. Since I wanted a 2010 or newer with less than 50K miles, I knew I was going to be paying $10-$15K.

I had seen a red 2012 Street Glide with just barely over 50K miles. It was 3-4hrs away so I kept it on the bottom of my list for a couple months.

When I went to make my final decision the bike was still available, so I looked deeper into it and called the dealership. They were really cool to talk to and deal with. One of the techs gave me some insight into the ride and consoled my fears of what I considered high miles.

After a short chat I felt that knowing feeling creep up into my belly and said “This is the one”, so I put down a deposit and arranged for shipping.

In 15 minutes I had gotten further conversationally with this dealer than I had with any of the other sales. They set me up with shipping and we made arrangements to wire funds and secure the deal within the next 2 weeks.

Nothing perfect falls into place without a few hiccups. After ironing out those issues and managing my patience, I took delivery under the cover of darkness and had my birthday dream ride exactly 2 months early.

Now I get to spend the fun riding, until winter sets in. Then me and “Big Red” can sit in the shop over the winter and upgrade what needs upgrading.

Stay tuned for the upgrade parts list and plans for what Im going to do to my new baby.

What do you upgrade, change or replace on your ride to make it yours?
How long do you wait before your put your ride under the knife and make those changes?

Enjoy the ride! …and keep it shiny side up of course

Published by joelweston14

I am a jewelry designer and graphic artist... An artist and creative in general. I believe the ability to create something is the first spark to changing the world we live in. I aspire for a higher way of living where we all excel and succeed. I can not succeed if we do not succeed.

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