Some of the work for this strip was done while listening to music by Widespread Panic and, later, James McMurtry.  McMurtry’s music also accompanied me while working on the shovelhead today.  I managed to replace my primary chain, clean and sand my clutch plates, adjust my clutch and reassemble it all in just 90 minutes.  Some of this was due to a complete lack of the kind of “What if I’m too dumb to do this right?” procrastination and doubt that used to characterize my mechanical efforts.  Not really a tough job, really.  And the results are awesome.

Some weeks ago a reader gave me a great deal on a Hayden M6 primary chain tensioner.  Installation is a piece of cake, but I still had some chain slap and poor shifting going on, which told me I had a pretty serious loose spot in the chain.  My wife was kind enough to pick one up for me last weekend at San Jose H-D, so it was a matter of finding the time to do it.

Before I do a wrenching gig like that, I get it built up in my head that I’ll be up to my elbows in grease and parts for the better part of the day.  Which was true at one time because I simply didn’t know what I was doing and didn’t really have the right tools.  Now I have a lift, a bike dolly (wide open for jokes, bring ’em on), and a pretty decent batch of tools.  And a garage.  And a fan. And great music to go along with it all.

So now the shifting is so smooth I’m sometimes not sure I’m in gear.  A few days ago you could hear me shifting gears for blocks away.  If I ground gears, we’re talking miles.  Today, smooth as silk, and I can actually find neutral at a stop light without much trouble at all.

Next I’ll be putting new fork seals and a Progressive lowering kit in my front end.  Probably also an easy job, but since I lack one of the central tools for it, I’ll probably get Bobcat to come over and help out.  That dude knows his way around a wrench.