What’s coming up?

Some of the guys I ride with have been talking about doing an “Iron Butt Ride.” This is riding 1,000 miles in 24 hours. There is an association called the “Iron Butt Association” that certifies these types of rides. I did an Iron Butt ride a couple of years ago. To me, it didn’t seem that difficult. We started at 4:00 AM in the morning and finished just after midnight that day.

Anyway, we may be planning an iron butt ride in September.

For next year I’m planning on a trip to Alaska, the only state I have not ridden my bike in. Once done, I can check that one off my list. I’ll probably do this one in July, as I understand the weather and temperatures are best in July for the northern areas.

My VTX now has over 74,000 miles on it and seems to run better than when I bought it new. I have replaced both front and rear bearings, and of course have kept clean fluids in it. I did learn a valuable lesson last year when it comes to maintenance and up keep of my motorcycle. I had the dealer do a full service on it in the spring of last year. When I got my bike back, the mechanic had forget to screw in the rear caliper bolt (It was just hanging there), the axle bolt was finger tight, as well as the final drive bolt. On top of that, I discovered that when they replaced my flange bearings, they forgot to install a critical sleeve inside the flange bearings. So when I swapped out my rear tire this year, I discovered that my flange bearings were in pieces. I replaced those bearings, along with buying a new sleeve, myself.

So my valuable lesson learned is this: “Never trust anyone else to care for your bike, except yourself.” I purchased a service manual years ago and have taken care of all my own fluid changes, tire changes and now bearing changes. I don’t think that all dealers are bad, but you just don’t know which ones, and when they will hire some high school drop out to work on your bike. I put a new air filter and spark plugs in it every year, whether it’s needed or not. Just seems to run better in doing so.

You don’t get many chances for mistakes on a motorcycle and live through them, so I would rather trust myself with my life and bike than someone else. In addition, I’ve learned a lot about my bike and how to maintain it. I’ve gotten to where I know the sounds of my bike, and when it doesn’t sound right, and what to do to fix or adjust it.