well, it’s a start

20Nov05

this week has been a big one for my VTR 250. on tuesday, i had a new headlamp and tiny clean turn signals installed. the headlamp is one dwight had found for ducati monsters. because my bike shares the same design as the monster, honda copied many aspects, including the spacing and location of the headlight mounts, so the new headlamp fit in them perfectly. the only problem is that there was no room for bolting on new turn signals on the mounts once the headlamp was installed. and worse, it turns out pretty much all the wiring for my entire bike was headquartered inside my old headlamp. so now i have this hot – i mean HAWT – lookin new headlamp on my bike with this huge rats nest of cables underneath it. it’s so good and so bad. but even so, the front of the bike looks much more aggressive.

the back is super streamlined now that it has nice little blinkers too. and then yesterday we cut off all the spare plastic below the license plate, further tightening up the rear end. it looks really good now.

finally the most important change. yesterday after 3 separate attempts, jim and i were able to successfully install a fox shock meant for a hawk in place of the old busted non-adjustable shock that used to be on there. it looks great and rides even better. SO nice. the old shock has been useless since the day i got that bike, so i had never ridden on anything good. riding down the 101 last night with the new shock on was so confidence inspiring. i found myself going alot faster than i would have with no fear of whether i could handle what was coming up. it’s just miraculous. but geez what a production. if anyone ever wants to upgrade the suspension of a new style (mine’s a 1999) vtr 250, let us know and we can tell you what you need to know. there’s some tricks and one stupid little mod you have to make for it to work.

pics of everything on my mac.com homepage

so now i have to

  1. come up with a way to hide the hideous rats nest of cable below the headlight. jim has some ideas of stuff we could fab. he just wants an excuse to make something cool out of aluminum.
  2. find cartridge emulators to replace the front shocks or have aftershocks find them and do the work. now that the rear suspension is so good. the crappy front will start to wear on my nerves.
  3. extend the kickstand now that the bike is taller than it used to be and is leaning over at a scary angle. although it’s possible afterchox will help me lower my bike a bit again and take care of that problem.
  4. re-correct a problem fixed once already. yesterday while doing the suspension work, we unwittingly re-introduced this awful rubbing sounds that sounds like my rear brake disc is out of true even though no such thing can be the case. o’hanlons fixed the problem once before, i just need to figure out what they did and fix it again.
  5. and then figure out whether i put more dough into the VTR with a new exhaust system and maybe a paint job or just call it quits, say that’s good enough, and start putting money away towards a new bike.

no matter what. i’m keeping the VTR. every improvement i make, i love that bike even more.

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