Day 4: Final Bike Preparation
I knew as this Alaska Adventure drew near that I needed some service on my bike, but wanted to put it off for a while and get as much mileage as I could out of previous services. So, after more than 1,000 miles on the road since leaving Maggie Valley, I spent much of the day without my bike as Alef’s Harley-Davidson in Wichita had it on a lift in one of their service bays.
Service item number one was a rear tire. I probably could have gone another 2,500 miles on the tread I had, but decided I didn’t want to look for a tire in the Yukon and didn’t want to take a chance it wouldn’t last until we reached Alaska and the Harley dealer in Fairbanks. So with 3/32 of tread left and 7/32 scattered on roads between Florida and here, I replaced the old Dunlop tire with a new one. Now I have 10/32 of new tread and that should easily get me back to North Carolina.
Item number two was a complete fluid change and general “5K” routine maintenance service. They drained the old AMSOil and put shiny new oil in the engine and chain case. Then they drained the old transmission fluid and put in new. Unfortunately they didn’t have the transmission oil I usually use, but the brand they put in should be adequate to get me to Alaska and back. I’ll replace it with Severe Gear when I’m back in Florida.
Item three was unexpected. The service writer called about an hour after I surrendered the bike to their care and told me that my rear brake pads were worn to about 1 mm, well below the point where they should be replaced. Did I want them replaced since they already had the rear tire off? Easy answer. Yes. I don’t know for sure but I think this is the first time the rear brakes have been replaced in nearly 70,000 miles, so I got my money’s worth. Last year, the same dealership found a rear wheel bearing needed to be replaced before I circumnavigated the Rockies, so I think they’re doing a good job watching out for me.
Total damage today: $750. One round piece of rubber, some slick stuff, and some skinny brake pads. The price of riding a Harley-Davidson is high, but it’s a price I’ll pay for a while–at least as long as I can keep riding.
Mark also replaced a rear tire, but he had already had major routine service before leaving Orange Park. Both of our front tires bear watching, but they still have more than half the tread life left and should be good enough to get us back home. If not, we’ll replace them when needed.
We spent the rest of the day hanging out at my brother’s place, enjoying his hospitality. Other than telling lies about growing up Frobish, we didn’t do much. Nice to just relax a little.
Nothing caught my photographers eye today, so no pictures tonight, but I’ll try to find something of interest tomorrow. We’ll get an early start in the morning–about 7 a.m.–and try to get to our Aurora, Colorado, destination 500+ miles away by 3 p.m. so we don’t have to spend another long day baking in the hot Kansas summer sun.
The day off was good, but I can’t wait to get back on the road again.