Mis-Adventures of a Hoosierbilly Motorcycle Tramp

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by JB2, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Joel - Yeah I thought we were thinking different things when I saw the pic you sent me of the bar-ends. :D

    I adjusted the handlebars and levers yesterday but didn't get out for a ride. Way too much going on in the shop at the moment. I will probably be working in the shop all this coming weekend but I can see light at the end of the tunnel and possibly by the 3rd or 4th week of September I might be able to get away for a weekend ride. It'll be nice to see the two Scramblers side-by-side and see if we can't get them all muddied up. :thumb

    BTW, when I rode it home Saturday morning the first thing I did was slap the tankbag on the tank but I couldn't agree more about the first scratches on a new bike. Eventually it happens.
  2. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Well if you live in my neighborhood you'd know that as of this writing it is still raining... it started Thursday morning. Bill, my new friend who is from England but has lived stateside for 20 years suffers the same disease as the rest of the inmates here. We met on Craig's List. He bought three of the bikes I saved form the salvage yard. He bought them roughly 5 weeks ago but came yesterday to pick them up. I was sure happy to get the room.

    As a side note I sent him to this thread when we first met. He seen the Scrambler along with the pricing Yamaha dealers were offering on them and went out and bought TWO of them! Actually, he purchased one for a friend in the U.K. who comes to America to visit. So now he has his own bike to ride when he is stateside.

    I'm not sure how much of the bikes he bought you can see in the trailer-shot or the background shots in the shop but they aren't much to look at... at least right now. Selling off vintage Japanese bikes means you'll probably meet some very cool & interesting folks along the way. Bill is one of those guys and cheerfully gave the ADV salute for this thread. Maybe we can get him to join and post?

    [​IMG]

    With the weekend washout in progress I switched my time back into the house and shop. There were a couple of small items I wanted to take care of on the Scrambler so late yesterday evening I treated myself to some shop time with my new squeeze. This piece of wire is a heel-guard for the exhaust system. Part of getting the ergos right for me is losing this. I've caught my pant-leg on it several times now. I see why Yamaha put it there... the brake pedal is so close to the peg that it makes you rest your foot turned outward at a 45 degree angle. It has to go.

    [​IMG]

    The bike has 4-3/8" of clearance on the left between the shift-peg and foot-peg. I can easily keep my foot pointed straight forward and under the peg. It feels natural.

    [​IMG]

    However, there's only 3-7/8" on the right between the brake-pedal and the foot-peg. If I try to keep my foot straight on the peg then I'm riding the brake. I can't get the toe of my boot under it so it hangs off to the side meaning the toe of my boot is the first thing than scrapes the ground. I see a solution but it's not in my weekend budget of time. For now I'm happy to get the heel-guard gone.

    [​IMG]

    Nothing screams modification and fabrication quicker than a cut-off wheel! :happay

    I removed the peg and slipped a shield in behind to protect the bike then I removed the tab that the guard was mounted to.

    [​IMG]

    After removing the tab and finish sanding the foot-peg bracket...

    (Note: The groove left behind is the locator for the return spring)

    [​IMG]

    ... I touched up the bracket and reassembled it. Looks like it was born that way.

    [​IMG]

    Next I chased the fork reflectors off the bike. :2guns

    There wasn't quite enough room to get the bolts out of the fork. I could have taken the front wheel off but letting the air out of the front tire was quicker and a lot less work. Then I took a bar clamp and compressed the sidewall ever so slightly and the bolts came right out. Viola! :nod The right side was an easy affair because it just held the reflector bracket. Bolts out, bracket and reflector gone, instant success!

    [​IMG]

    The left side was a little different. It was a reflector bracket and front brake-hose retainer all in one... well not quite. It's a two piece deal and Yamaha in their infinite wisdom knew I'd be dissecting this bike so they made the bracket as a brake-hose bracket primarily meaning the reflector bracket was a weld on item that could be easily removed. Thank you Yamaha! :thumb

    [​IMG]

    Center-punch the two spot welds. Drill the reflector bracket off. Sand to smooth out the locator dimples and the part of the spot weld left behind...

    [​IMG]

    ... then paint and reinstall. Looks like it was born that way.

    [​IMG]

    I'm hoping to get some miles on it soon and get the brake pedal issue resolved. Then that monstrosity of a license plate bracket has to go... it needs a skid-plate, grips and bar-ends...

    I really wasn't going to do much to this bike but now I realize I am just getting started. :*sip*

    I'm really happy with this bastard-child of a bike. At least sanitizing the overall look has been easy and cheap.

    [​IMG]

    Bill, if you're out there you really should join up and post.

    One of the gems I found during all the shop time is this one from Tyler Childers. If you have traveled Eastern Kentucky then you know this song. There's a reason why I keep myself surrounded with so many motorcycle projects... keeping my nose on the grindstone keeps me out of trouble... well except for with the wife. :lol3



    Stay Tuned!
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  3. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Good stuff.
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  4. Prior

    Prior Been here awhile

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    Jb2,
    Great stuff. I showed young Weston pics of the shop and he's giddy to build ours. We may need to come visit and learn some fabricating and paining skills. I don't think we'll fill it with vintage bikes, but a few of those and some tractors will do well

    I've always enjoyed the music links you post and send in emails. This weekend we were in downtown Winston and saw a poster for a Reckless Kelly show at a newish venue in Winston. $17 for a ticket, I'm sure it'll be a great show. Thanks for the friendship over the years, the rides and the music!
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  5. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Alex - In my mind's eye I can see a young Weston with a pair of goggles, leather apron and a set of smoke-wrenches(acetylene torch) he's getting ready to light so he can remove bolts from an old tractor. :D

    There's always a bed made up in the guest room and time to show you and the young Prior anything I can pass on to a new generation at our home. But, you knew that already. Weston is a very lucky young lad and a gearhead at heart with a dad that will nurture the burn. :thumb

    Hope to see ya all soon. I owe Mom and the Franklin gang a trip to NC. I can't say when but when I do you will be one of the first to know.

    JB2
  6. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    In the spirit of a fellow inmate I am "Still Wandering Indiana". In fact it was that very inmate who set up today's ride, thanks Joel. :thumb

    The plan was to meet around nine-ish in Frankfort, IN to go in search of some twisty roads and maybe even some gravel roads. Frankfort is about equal distance for both of us, me heading west and Joel heading north. It was 47 degrees when I left at 7:30am this morning. 74 miles later when I arrived at the Downtown Diner I think my knees were frost bitten. It was the only part of my body, except my fingers within a few miles of there, that got cold. Joel pulled up less than ten minutes after I arrived. I was anxious to get inside, shake the cold and get some groceries in me.

    I had posed the question if he had any destinations in mind and neither of us were real familiar with the area. I got out the trusty Back Roads Atlas and went in search. I found Tippecanoe Battlefield just north and west of Frankfort and picked the best back roads I could find to get us from there to Battleground, IN. Me, being an anti-GPS kind of person, wrote down turn-by-turn directions and cut that grid from the atlas and stuffed them in the tankbag.

    I honestly took several photographs outside the Downtown Diner but my new camera is temperature sensitive. I thought since I had it in the diner for over an hour that it was fine but none of the half dozen images I took were there when I got home. :loco Maybe Joel will drop in an image or many to complete the story in photos. :*sip*

    Wildcat Creek has three branches that all dump into the Wabash River so I tried to find as many river and creek crossings as I could find hoping to come across an iron bridge or two. We only found one but it was cool. It is a one-lane, iron bridge that crosses the Wabash River on IN225. It has a traffic light at both ends and even though the bridge looked fairly new it still had that aura, that presence that says "cross me to find out what's on the other side". There wasn't really a good place to park the bikes to get them in the shot but there was a pull-off at the top of the hill so we stopped there.

    I started to walk back down the steep incline to shoot the bridge. On my way down I heard a Harley coming up behind me and he slowed, it may have looked like I was trying to find something that fell off the bike. He stopped and asked if we needed help and I let him know with the raise of my camera that I was just taking photos and thanked him. You have to understand how gorgeous this day was and how timing is everything. I had the bridge in view and seen he had the red light so I started running down hill. Almost as soon as I picked up my pace the light turned green so I fired off a couple of shots, on-the-run, and believe or not got a decent one. This is the kind of day it was.

    [​IMG]

    When I walked back up the hill I discovered that we had pulled off at a historical marker, the original site of Prophet's Town. Joel had already scoped out the area while I was chasing the photo.

    [​IMG]

    I snapped the only picture of our bikes that I got today...

    [​IMG]

    ... just before Joel moved his over to this gate to take a picture of the new Triumph. Doesn't this road say "ride me"? :super

    [​IMG]

    We were betwixt-&-between on whether or not to go down that road since it wasn't marked. It was the first real gravel road we had seen. Hell, we had even been on one called "Farmer's Gravel Road West" that was paved? :scratch About that time a nice woman out walking her dog told us a little bit about the property and that yes, the road did go back a ways and it was all gravel or dirt. She wasn't sure if it was open to the public or not but the gate was open and there was not a single "Keep Out" or "No Trespassing" sign to be found... so we went.

    The road went back just over a 1/4 mile and ended in a field with a turnaround. It was a road that I wished was about 75 miles longer but we got some gravel in, and some field riding in too!

    My trusty internal GPS took us to Battleground but not without me double checking my intentionally twisted up route. When we got there Joel's low fuel light had just came on but we figured so long as were staying close to town we'd head for the battlefield first then get gas. His cell phone GPS said gas within one-point-something miles. So off to the battlefield we went.

    [​IMG]

    There were several sign boards around the park that all mentioned something about the battle and its relationship to the lead up of the War of 1812.

    [​IMG]

    The official marker.

    [​IMG]

    The gate into the actual battlefield.

    [​IMG]

    The monument memorializing the battle and William Henry Harrison.

    [​IMG]

    I took this one for a good friend that goes by Hillbilly Ed who is from Eastern Kentucky. He traces his bloodline to family members who fought in this war and the Civil War.

    [​IMG]

    In my misunderstanding of the Back Roads Atlas I took a foot-trail for a road. We left the memorial park in search of the battlefield and rode right by it but we made it all the way down to Prophet's Town State Park. It was a very nice cruise on a twisty road getting back into the park but admission was $8.00 per vehicle with no breaks for motorcycles. ARRRGH! The time was getting near that we needed to be heading home so we opted to ride back into town to get gas... only there was no gas. I think there "used" to be gas, but not no more. :(:

    Joel used his trusty cell phone GPS to get us lost but thankfully we found gas in the town of Brookston, IN which is about ten miles or so north of Battleground, IN. With both tanks full and time running out for each of us we pointed the bikes southeast back towards Frankfort.

    At this point I didn't really know where I was going. I was just trying to stay a course to the south and east until we stumbled upon Frankfort. I don't like using maps so we went from "knowing" to following our front wheel. The SCR950 front wheel led us to a really grand road, probably the best one of the day. Once on the road I pulled over so we could swap bikes and off we went again on each other's ride. Joel insisted I lead.... not a good idea. :D

    It was a twisty piece of road and I was on someone else's brand new Triumph Street Scrambler. His is a 900 but the wheelbase is shorter and the rake is slightly less than the Yamaha. On the first turn I nearly scraped a peg but within a few turns I had the rhythm of the 900 down and was flogging the corners. Okay, not flogging, but I was having some very conservative fun... just ask Joel. The Triumph Scrambler is a very nimble bike, with a great seat! After I got home I found this road is called Tyler Road.

    We had made it through an entire day without a single run-in with a cager. BUT, just as I crested a hill on a large sweeper turn a joker in an SUV decides they can beat me turning left onto the roadway. What made the situation even more scary is that they stopped half way out, in the middle of the road. WTF? Even though I had slowed enough to make up for their mistake I still had to go into the oncoming lane to get around the front of their vehicle. My next worry was Joel coming up behind me. Surly he's close enough they'll see him too? Nope, out they came directly in front of Joel only he had already had a front-row-seat to my deal and had slowed enough to give them passage.

    We escaped that episode without anything but a pucker in the seat. At the next intersection I pulled over so we could be on our own bikes in case something did happen. Wrecking someone else's brand new Triumph just did not appeal to me...

    ... even if it was the joker's fault in the SUV. :bash

    We stair-stepped our way towards Frankfort cutting through the east side of Lafayette. I knew IN26 was just south of us and wanted to start our trek east there. At the intersection of IN26 and IN39 we pulled into a gas station to say our goodbyes and point our bikes home. While we were there a gentleman and his daughter pulled in on a V-Rod. There is always something genuine about a kid's smile when they get off a motorcycle. They really have fun and she'll never forget those rides with dad. I know I haven't. We talked to the owner for a bit while looking over the V-Rod then all said our goodbyes.

    Joel, it was a great day and thanks for talking me into taking a day off in the shop. The weather, the roads and the people we met were all great. My ass hurts from the 2X6 seat Yamaha put on the bike but my trip-o-meter says I had done exactly 236.0 miles for the day. Its nearly broke in now and soon will need its first oil change. Even though it is as crude as a buckboard wagon I love this Yamaha. I think she even likes me? I know it needs a seat, BAD. Yes, its a parts-bin bike but the girl speaks to me and I haven't had a bike like that in a long time.

    When the SUV decided to play chicken this afternoon I thought of this song right away. Ride safe out there folks, nobody is looking out for you except you!

    Turn this one up!



    Stay Tuned!
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  7. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    What a great day of riding! Cold riding after a long summer of hot humid days, great diner food in a small town, several cups of coffee to warm up, new bikes, getting lost and finding a way back.

    Jim did a great write-up and captured the day with some nice pics.

    I had to learn a while back to "ride your own ride." That came in handy today when we switched bikes. :rofl Jim keeps a lid on it most of the time, but he is a hooligan at heart. We swapped bikes and he took off in front of me. I was trying to adjust to where his shift lever was (and a pair of stiff boots that I wore to avoid ventilated boots on a chilly day) so he got a bit of a lead on me. He would have anyway.

    At one point I saw Jim hanging off the right side of the Triumph leaning the thing over and then the trees blocked my view. So when he says, "Conservative..." I just figure one of us needs a dictionary--and it isn't me. :lol3

    I did pull up close enough that I saw the SUV incident and slowed way down as I figured the driver was going to see the gap as an opportunity to pull out. Can't always see smart, but stupid can be pretty obvious.

    In defense of my GPS...nevermind. Jim told me to take lead in our quest to find gas and I did what I do. Get lost.

    Usually I have to figure it out and get home and I do it pretty well. Never had to spend more than a day or two on a "three-hour tour." Good thing Jim took lead when we switched bikes again or I still be wandering in Indiana.

    The SCR is really a fun ride. I guess all motorcycles are, but I can see why Jim likes the bike. I was pleasantly surprised by the seat, but I didn't spend more than 10 minutes on it. My immediate impression was how much the foot position reminded me of Jim's KLR. I saw Jim pop up into a standing position several times during the ride. I thought it was to hit some bumps, but it may have been to get off the seat. The SCR makes it easy to do, so why not?

    Plenty of grunt in that bike. Proof again that you don't ride the spec sheet, you ride the bike.

    Great day for riding and enjoying the waning days of summer.
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  8. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    And a great song choice in Jim's report!
  9. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Joel - I kept looking last night hoping you had posted something on your thread. I know you took pictures at the Downtown Diner(hint). Its always interesting to me to see two different reports on the same ride. I like and learn a lot from seeing another's take-away from a day in the wind. I get to see the stuff I missed. :D

    I especially am fond of your comment that you don't ride a spec-sheet, you ride the bike. I couldn't agree more. If I was buying off the spec-sheet the Yamaha would not be in the garage. I still contend after owning numerous bikes that the deciding factor in any motorcycle purchase is emotional. If the bike speaks to you, buy it. Everything else can be resolved.

    Your Triumph is a better corner carver by far than the SCR950. Your seat is to die for compared to the SCR. From what I could tell there wasn't a lot of difference in the overall power & torque. I think both bikes have their pluses and minuses but each speaks to us in a way that we spent money to own them so... kudos to Triumph and Yamaha.

    Waiting on your thread update... :*sip*
  10. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    I won't be able to get it until this evening. Didn't get a lot of pictures, but will post something.
    Off to work...
  11. jim a

    jim a n00b

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    Great read wish I could have joined you
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  12. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Gentleman Jim - Yeah I wished you were there too. I'm sure by now Joel is wondering who this Jim is from Puyallup, WA. :D It ain't like I don't talk about all the adventures we been on. :thumb
  13. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Don't look now, but that ain't a noob!

    Enjoyed your trip North, Gentleman Jim! That was an adventure!
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  14. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Joel - Gentleman Jim does a lot of rides others talk about. I think his Tenere' is an '11 or '12 and it has over 90K miles on the clock.
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  15. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    I finally got around to doing some more upgrades to the SCR the past two weekends and actually got in a short ride to seal the deal and find out what 12 fasteners and a few accessories can do for the bike.

    I started with the factory skid-plate and "Adventure" pegs. Four new screws and two pivot pins if you're counting fasteners. Both are items that I think should have been a part of the original bike but I will say they are reasonably priced and easy to install. :thumb

    [​IMG]

    Next was the K&N air filter which amounted to four screws. I would have taken a picture but everyone knows what it looks like. :1drink

    Then it was time to change that terrible seat the bike was born with. One fastener for the side cover and one for the seat. Viola!

    [​IMG]

    Then I took it out for a spin just to see how everything gelled... or not with the bike and me.

    The very first thing I noticed was the space between the shifter and the peg had changed enough that I had to really angle my foot further to get a toe under it. Simple adjustment and that will be first on the list of things next to do. I didn't gain anything on the right side with the brake pedal. Fabrication is the only solution there and it's coming soon.

    Regarding the Corbin seat; I did appreciate the drop in the seat height even though it was only and 1/2". What I really like is the shape and it isn't trying to split your arse in half like the stock seat. This is my fourth Corbin seat and all have had the Carbon-Fiber style leather in the seating area because it keeps you planted. It's grippy! No more sliding forward on the tank plus there's room to move around as the road gets long. The end result is I think I can go 500 miles or more in a day now. I also like the fact that it emulates a cafe style tail section and removes any thought of adding a passenger. It will also allow me to fabricate a luggage rack that will set over the rear tire instead of hanging off the back.

    Of course there's no testing the skid-plate until I can take it off-raod to spit some gravels at it but it looks like it will work. It at least protects the very vulnerable, forward facing oil filter.

    Last but not least is the K&N. The cheapest way to improve performance on any engine. I could tell a difference the first twist of the throttle but it also magnified a problem in the ECM programming. Without much reduction in throttle position it chops off hard, way too abruptly. It is hard to find the perfect roll-off and it's even worse with the K&N. But damn the punch in the pants on the pipe is a ton better. It's obvious the ECM will need a trip to Ivan's Performance for a flash. That seems to be the trick. Coming soon.

    So, overall I'm happy with the money spent. It was a lot more work to remove the reflectors, stickers, passenger pegs and the exhaust heel guard than it was to install these updates. Lot's more coming soon since spring is just around the corner. While I've been busy helping others with their projects I have followed @Signal 13 and @radianrider respective threads since they're both from Indiana. Both are farkling bikes, one is doing a Himalayan and the other a Street Scrambler. Different bikes, different riders, different approaches but they all will be getting dirty off and on the road around the Hoosier state and beyond.

    [​IMG]

    While I was away from my own projects I increased my CD collection... ARRRGH! :fpalm At any rate, I found The Steel Woods and this song sounds like anyone who writes here... you know the basic wanderlust that makes us travel. Then I found this video while I was researching "Scramblers" and the Steel Woods song had a real video to go with it. See what you think.






    Stay tuned.
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  16. Signal 13

    Signal 13 Been here awhile

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    Can’t go wrong with comfort mods like the seat and pegs. Of course, doing so during the winter lull is a great way to pass the time. Looking good!

    I thought about upgrading the air filter on my bike, but I did so on my Jeep back in the day and was never able to tell if it was worth doing so, so I’ve passed on that thus far.

    My wrist injury is still keeping me off the bike, which sucks because the weather was great yesterday, but I’m hoping I’ll have good news on Thursday when I see the doc.

    Hope to see you at one of next year’s rides, and until then, I’ll continue enjoying your thread here.
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  17. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Bike looks good, JB2. Always good when money spent is well spent. Took me a couple of tries to get my SV seating issue worked out, but the Triumph seems good to go with the stock seat.

    Great videos. Put the Steel Woods tune in my Chordify list of favorites to learn how to play.

    May have to add the line "If we never go we will never know" to my signature line.
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  18. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Signal 13 - Yep, I read where you had some issues with your wrist. Hoping the best for ya. I like the way you went full-on Army Corps of Engineers with the camping/off-road aspect of the Himalayan. Probably not the direction I will go but I really admire the way you jumped in a took your bike to the place you needed it to be. The SCR is a whole lot more street than dirt and I gave up camping years ago but going off-road is on the horizon.

    We need to get together with a few others who lurk here from Indiana. Some of the roads you guys did on the Loose Nut Ride are within the capabilities of the Yamaha and I'm looking forward to getting her dirty.
    Signal 13 likes this.
  19. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Thanks Joel. The Yamaha will take a little more massaging to get it perfect for me but it is well on the way. I will still say I have only ridden one other bike that I immediately felt comfortable and brave on from the first time I let the clutch out... my '96 S2 and your Street Scrambler. That is one wicked little corner carver you got there. If I weren't lusting for another v-twin and the dealer network hadn't left the state I very well could have been on a Triumph instead of the Yamaha. :nod

    Cool too that you found the line in the song that ties it all together. Backatchya!
  20. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    I worry about the dealer aspect as well. There is a service bulletin out and I have to take it to Louisville or Cincy to get the work done.

    Already sort of dealt with the issue (clutch cable rubs on wiring loom around the headstock,) but I'd like the official fix.

    Halfway looking for another commuter car and have actually considered a Transit Connect so I could haul the thing if needed. Probably won't follow through on that, but...
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