Our Motorcycles Give Us Good Days and Bad Days


There are not many times in my life that I can say that I was disappointed in my motorcycle.  I can usually find a positive spin on any bad situation especially when a motorcycle is involved in the equation.  Today was more about dissatisfaction in myself rather than anything else.  I felt frustration at the fact that I was not able to complete a project on my bike by a preset deadline.  My optimism proved to be my down fall.  So the frustration should really not be projected towards my bike because the Harley was kind of an innocent by standard in my sad story.   The goal was to relocate the rear turn signals on my Dyna FXD and then install some Lockable Hard Bags on the bike.  Well to make a long story short what could go wrong went wrong and what should have gone right did not.  The mission was a failure and I am still unsure what I did wrong.  The bike sits in my garage half finished.  The turn signals will not work and the hard bags will not fit appropriately on the bike.  I even swallowed my pride and asked someone much more mechanically proficient then myself to assist.  We spent two additional hours trying to solve the issues without any solutions found.  Luckily it’s still February and old man winter will be around for another month so I have some time to remedy the mistakes (there is that positive spin).

I have reflected on the project and am happy that I attempted to do the work myself.  Please understand that I have absolutely no mechanical ability.  My wife cries when I begin to fix something myself because she knows the chaos which will ensue from the endeavor.  My intentions are good but my abilities are poor.  If I could do it over again, I would have gone to a Trade School such as Motorcycle Mechanics Institute rather than college.  I could have learned on my own what I learned in college but as much as I try cannot self-teach the ability to Wrench.  Back in the day we would complete an After Action Report on any mission, in hopes of squashing any bad habits and to build upon what we did right.   Below is a list of items I could have done better to improve my chances of completing the project:

Make sure I have the proper tools and equipment to do the job.  This was a big problem.

Set a more realistic time frame to complete the job.

Read the directions prior to completing a task.  The lack of reading the directions would have prevented wires being cut that should not have been.  I also would not have had to repeat so many steps because I failed to do it properly in the first place.  My dad used to say, “If all else fails read the directions”.  I was born with the inability and or yearning not to read directions.  It’s kind of a family motto.

Get a heater when working in subzero degree weather in an unheated garage.  It was so cold out there that it was hard to manipulate the tools.  My ears were so cold that one of them fell off and I had to super glue it back onto my head.

Well now I am off to fix the problem on my bike which I unfortunately caused.  It’s tough cleaning up my own mess.








About twotiretirade

Keeping the faith of fanatics who feel fired up for anything motorcycles. It’s all about the journey and the philosophy of riding on two wheels. Let’s bring alive the truly unique culture of motorcycling and never let the ride leave the fibers of our being. View all posts by twotiretirade

8 responses to “Our Motorcycles Give Us Good Days and Bad Days

  • Stevie D

    Don’t worry man, you’re not alone. Over a lifetime, I’ve accumulated quite a toolkit, but never the thing I need when I’m getting desperate. Unfortunately, I spent my early years riding old BSA’s and spanners and sockets that fit them are slightly different sizes from those for the Harley. Just another of those trials we have to face in life.

    • twotiretirade

      Stevie, Thanks, I glad I am not the only one who gets myself into these situations. I had a Honda Shadow prior to my Harley and none of my shadow’s tools seemed to fit the Harley either. I spend most of my time just trying to find the right tool to fix the problem and it doesn’t matter the one tool I need is the one that my dog ate or my kid threw down the toilet.

  • thoughtsontheatre

    Love this! Still have yet to get my own bike, but it’s on the list.

  • Tony and Sarah

    The thought of you glueing your ear back on with super glue had me laughing out loud – thanks for that! I can certainly relate to the lack of mechanical ability, luckily I have a wonderful husband who is much better at it than me. I make good tea, so it’s a fair swap.

  • nwroadrat

    “Read the directions prior to completing a task.”

    You and me both man. I’ve braved the oil once. Checking the battery and I’m getting brave to do the air filter in a few weeks…

  • mtnairloversview

    I love my naked bike….makes quite a few things easy to maintain, ie oil and antifreeze. I also absolutely love the fact that even when I leave it sitting in the garage for more than 8 weeks, and then finally roll it out when we have a relatively warm day, it still starts. Ah love that feeling. But maintenance aside, it’s all about the ride and as long as you are enjoying yourself when you are on two wheels, then that’s what it truly is all about.

    Oh and I think I’ve done that super glue trick, but with my fingers. 😉

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