Sunday, April 8, 2012

Changing the fork oil agian and joining The Darkside

There has been a lot of activity here this week. Devon and I finalized our route which we will post about a little later.  I also had someone reach out to me this week for help with changing the fork seals out on his Yamaha Dual Sport.  I met up with him and we had them changed out within about 2 hours (there was quite a bit of talking involved).  I really enjoy helping others out with their motorcycles.  

Based on some feedback I received from my friends on the forums I frequent, I changed the fork oil out again.  It was recommended that I use 15wt oil over the 10wt.  The 10wt will work, and it felt just fine; however, the front suspension of the bike will be getting quite the workout where we are going.  It was suggested we go with the 15wt oil because as the 10wt gets hot as the performance of the anti-dive valve may not be so good.

I have ordered a ton of parts for the bike this week as I am planning to do a major maintenance within the next couple of weeks.  I ordered a drive shaft dust boot as I discovered mine has a tear in it.  I ordered the one for the Honda Valkyrie as it will fit the Goldwing and is mote stout.  This piece sits at the front of the swing arm on the right side of the bike and will be replaced when I grease the splines of the drive shaft.  The  dust boot is part #9 in this image:
For many months, I have been considering doing a Double Darkside conversion to our Wing but have been apprehensive about it because I have not been able to ride a Wing that has been converted.  For those of you who are scratching their head wondering what a Double Darkside conversion is, it is switching the rear tire from a motorcycle tire to a car tire then taking a rear motorcycle tire and putting it on the front rim going backwards.  From my research on line, the car tire provides better traction, a smoother ride, and lasts a lot longer than a motorcycle tire.  The reason for putting a rear tire on the front is simply that they last a lot longer.  You may be asking why the rear tire on the front is run backwards, well the reason to is due to the tread pattern, front tires are made to have stopping grip and rear tires are made to have forward traction grip, so by running it backward it gets the stopping grip rather than the forward traction grip.

Anyway, on Monday I received a message from a member of a forum that I frequent.  He had just completed a Double Darkside conversion on his Wing.  He invited me over to look at his bike so I can see what the set up looked like.  I contacted him and we spoke about the conversion and his experience with it thus far.  We set up a time for us to get together which we did on Thursday.  I was very impressed with this gentleman, he was blessed with a keen mind, an eye for detail, and hard core mechanical abilities.  He had just finished replacing his steering stem bearings and showed me a tool me made out of some scrap metal to tighten the stem nut (this requires a special tool from Honda unless you have the know how to build your own).  He also showed me his beautiful 1976 Goldwing that he restored.  Perhaps when I visit with him again, I can get a photo of it to post to the blog.  You have to see this bike, he did a fantastic job on it.

We had quite a nice visit and discussed the conversion extensively.  He even let me ride his Wing.  I really could not tell any difference in the handling of the bike other than it seemed to track more true and it sat about 1/2 inch higher than normal (the car tire is about an inch taller than the stock motorcycle tire).  At that very moment, I felt the power of the Dark Side and made the decision on the spot.  The only problem was that I do not know how to take the tires off a Goldwing.  I can do this on a KLR 650, but the KLR is an extremely simple machine with everything exposed and a chain rather than a drive shaft.  I asked my new friend if he would be willing to help me with the conversion, the greasing of the drive shaft splines, and the replacement of the dust boot.  Without hesitation, he said yes.  This is why I love the motorcycling community, there are so many folks out there willing to help and share their knowledge. 

As we do the conversion, I will take photos and post the procedures to the blog page.  I ordered the tires on Friday evening as well as Dyna Beads to balance the tires.  You may be asking what tires did I order.  The rear car tire I am gong with is the Austone Taxi Tire.  This tire is a European tire used on, you guessed it, taxis.  It is a 100,000 mile tire with 6 ply side walls and seems to be one of the most popular choices amongst Goldwing 1500 Darksiders.  For the front, the choice is the Michelin Pilot Activ Rear Tire, size 130/70H-18.  Hopefully I will have the tires this week.  Once I have them, I'll get with my new friend to schedule the service.  I can't wait to learn how to change out the tires and grease the splines.

Talk to you next week,

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