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Sunday, February 24, 2013

13 Days and Counting – Daytona, We’re on the Way!

Funny how the last few weeks of an event I’m really looking forward to seem to drag by like molasses in Minnesota in January. Of course, the two or three days just before will go like wildfire when I realize all the crap I’ve forgotten to take care of!

But I’m hoping that’s not going to happen. I'm taking the new 2013 Limited to Daytona, so I have new tires and new…well, new EVERYTHING! breakdowns are way, way down in probability. And even if something OD’s, the Harley Ultra Road Warranty (or whatever it’s called) will take care of me. Or so they say in the sales brochure.....

I'm excited that Linda and Charlie are meeting me down there! They’re both like family to me, but the best part is that we have the greatest travel agreement ever. We can all go someplace…the same place…and even have the same lodging arrangements, but past that, it’s a come-and-go-as-you-please agreement. We’ll certainly do some stuff together, but there’s no itinerary or schedule. It worked great for us in New Orleans and Sturgis, and it’ll work fine in Daytona too.

Mike, Eric, Dan, Gina, Ashley, Caroline, DeAnna, and Robert will be down there too, and who knows who else I’ll run into. I hear from my favorite daughter, Marianne, that meeting anyone at a specific time and place during Daytona Bike Week is a fantasy due to traffic, plus all the fun distractions that can lead a person astray, so the best we can hope for is something like “Boot Hill, Main Street, Thursday evening”, or maybe the “Broken Spoke on Rt 1 this Saturday night”. Perfect!

There's actually a rumour circulating that Robert will be celebrating a big birthday down there, but I ain't giving up any numbers! Happy early Birthday, Robert!

I'm taking a little time-out during the festivities for a little house-hunting, figuring there just has to be a way to get year-round riding time on my calendar. Heck, maybe something with a garage that’s suitable for a little motorcycle-oriented machine shop. Who knows what might happen if I find something. Me? I’m fucking sick of the rat race, not to mention the DC traffic which is now rated the worst in the US, so I'm motivated.

I also have a date with Dan Kite, the world's best pin-striper, to get him to apply his magic touch to the Limited, making this the third bike Dan has done for me, with Joker and the Road King being the first two. If you want nice work done, track Dan down at any major bike event. At least say hi to him and his wife Gina. Awesome people!

In related news....

I did a little preparation of the new Limited for the ride back, and for our future road trips. In spite of a big price tag, I sprung for the Harley Road Tech version of the Garmin Zumo 665 GPS unit. Rather than go with a bar-mounted unit, I sucked it up and bought the fairing mount, figuring drilling holes in the brand-fucking-new fairing would only hurt for a little while. I was right about that, thankfully. (Ask me about that again if I ever trade it in….)

I won’t go in depth about the install, a la the Joker series of posts, but I will say that getting into the wiring harness on a bike with less than 400 miles on it took some thought. My buddy Jeff held my hand (well, not literally) and the instruction manual through the whole wiring process, and Jeff probably got sick of hearing me ask about wire colors and pin locations repeatedly. Sorry for driving you nuts, Jeff, but thanks again for your help!

Serious Pucker Factor Right About Here....Just sayin...

The Mount is Mounted

Jeff aka "Gadget"

 After getting it wired, we figured out pretty quick that one of the connections wasn’t right, but  5 minutes of re-reading got us back on track, and after re-plugging in a connector or two, we had it right. The GPS plays through the speakers, and cuts off the audio for new directions. And the XM radio works fine too, though it’s a mystery why, for all that fucking money, it was still necessary to run a wire out to the external aux jack in the face of the radio.

Speaking of speakers, while the fairing was apart, I replaced the factory speakers, front and rear, with Harley Boom Audio speakers which make a LOT of difference. Nice.

After all that fun, I took the bike out for a 70 mile shakedown cruise, figuring if the wiring harness was going to go up in smoke, I'd prefer that to happen nearby instead of trapping us down in Daytona. Wait! I might have to give that a little more thought......

But the ride was uneventful, nothing went up in smoke, and we are ready to rock Daytona! Stay tuned!



  1. Now that you are two riders up it's a new learning experience on packing and where to stuff it. You will also start buying creature comforts for you better half like arm rest with cup holder.

  2. :-) I suggested arm rests, but Leesa passed on them, saying she'd feel more comfortable without. A cup holder might be on the agenda, though! come to think of it, I haven't put mine back on either. I took that and my (never used) highway pegs off the Road King before the trade, and never put them on the new bike.

    Packing? Now that's another story. I can no longer carry a half a bike's worth of spares, and instead will have a blow dryer, make-up kit, and two outfits for every day we'll be there! Barely room for an extra pair of jeans, boots, and 113 tshirts. And my toothbrush.

    See you there, Bro.