TWO WHEELS OR THREE?
This is in response to questions I have received concerning converting a bike to a trike. I discovered there is more to it than I originally thought. Here is what I discovered.
1. SUSPENSION- Most companies have independent suspension, called ISS or you can get a fixed axle. ISS in my opinion is the only way to go on our tore up roads. It can handle the pot holes, ruts and other uneven road conditions.
2. BRAKES- You can have either a single disc mounted in the middle of the axle or dual disc, one on each wheel. Dual will certainly give you better braking but will add more weight and additional cost for mor parts.
3. V.I.N.- Your bike has an id number that shows it was manufactured with two wheels. DMV will have to figure how to deal with that problem. My local DMV office had no clue on how to correct the VIN, possibly and assigned blue tag.
4. WEIGHT- The extra weight, depending on various options you choose, will affect your braking, handling, and acceleration. Do you have enough power to handle the trike.
5. RAKED TRIPLE TREES- Since you will be steering instead of leaning, the rake and trail will have to be corrected. This is done by changing the triple tree. Do you have a fairing? The triple tree is located in all that mess.
6. REVERSE- Yup, you will need reverse to back the beast up. Two options are available, and electric motor or a gear you install on your current tranny.
7. EXHAUST- All 10 kits i checkout need to have a modified exhaust system. If you have a stock exhaust, an optional extension is available. How many of you have a stock exhaust?
8. WHAT FITS WHAT?- All companies make conversion kitsfor touring models. Do you have a Softail, Dyna, or V-Rod? Your selection will be limited.
Many years ago I had an old Harley 45 flat head Servicar. Times and bikes have changed but my friends have not. If you have a trike with extra room they will be glad to help you fill up the extra space. Jackets , sleeping bags, souvenirs, and of course the much needed beer. The good side being, once they drink the beer they forget what they did with all their stuff. I aquired an extensive collection of forgotten goods, some of which I still have. Oh yeah , going on a long trip, you can carry the extra gasoline. Maybe a newHarley trike would be the way to go, not for me yet.
Make room for your tool bag, I've seen some problems lately that could have been repaired easily with a few simple tools. You don't need to carry as many as I do, but a basic tool bag or tool roll in the bottom of the saddle bag could make your trip easier.
HARLEY'S E.F.I. HEAT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Newer Harley models with electronic fuel injection(EFI) use a four stage system to manage engine heat in extreme conditions.
PHASE 1 At 266 Degrees F. the engine temp sensor signals the engine control module(ECM). The ECM will gradually slow down the engine idle speed until the temp. drops or the idle speed reaches 900 RPM
PHASE 2 If the engine temp reaches 293 degrees F the ECM will reduce idle speed until the engine cools or idle speed reaches 800 RPM.
PHASE 3 If the engine temp reaches 322 degrees F the ECM richens the air-fuel mixture to provide additional cooling and advances the spark timing 10 degrees.
PHASE 4 If the engine temp reaches 331 degrees F the fuel injector pulses (2 out of 8) are randomly interupted. The air drawn in and expelled helps cool the engine. Since there is no combustion your bike will act as if it misfires. The fourth stage only happens when your bike is not moving.
If needed, the engine idle speed will increase during all phases to keep the battery charged.
I have only reached phase 4 one time, in Death Valley, in July. I noticed my bike was running very rough. The bike was so hot it melted the stock reflector on the frame by the front exhaust. My digital temp gauge which is very accurate showed engine oil temp at 303 degrees F. The heat management system worked as advertised.
THE AMERICANS MC NEWSLETTER
BY BROTHER FINLEY