June 14, 2008
So I popped a pair of our new struts on my Sportster tonight. Found out you might have to clearance the bottom boss, depending on where your axle is on the swingarm. I took each strut to the grinder for about 30 seconds and they bolted right up. You could do the same thing by adding a washer to the inside on top and bottom, it would space them out just far enough to clear the washers on the axle. I wanted them tight, so I just carved a little off and it's all underneath so you can't see it at all.
So, how's it ride? I gotta admit I've never really liked struts, but I've never ridden with them either, I had just judged by looks and philosophy. Seemed like the worst of both worlds - bad looks of a swingarm bike and harsh ride of a rigid. Well, shows what I know. As struts go, these have to be some of the best looking ever. And as far as riding, well, it changed everything. I've ridden rigids and swingarm bikes aplenty, but I've never been able to do a before and after comparison like you can with struts. I love the predictability of a rigid in the corners and the bouncing over rough stuff while you are on the throttle is hard to beat. I already had the lowest shocks possible on this bike, but the struts lowered it another inch or so, making the weight transfer shift rearward so it just feels like it's hooking up better and the front end feels lighter. Not a bad deal, no matter how you slice it.
I also added some cool new clear grips from Kutty at Hippy Killer Garage. Found out you can't safety wire those like soft grips. After a few miles, the wire cut right through 'em. Looks kinda cool anyway, so I'll run 'em like this. Also made a new throttle cable since the old one was fraying and with McGoo's special mods this prototype (notice Quick Steel keeping the stop-pin in) billet throttle snaps like a pro-prepped motocrosser. Snappy throttle and rigid ass end = more fun to blast around. Sometimes the simple mods are the best...