Wednesday, June 15, 2011

OK, Here’s The Deal

I told you that I was excited about a project involving my Harley Softail Motorcycle and that I would tell you all about it soon.  I’m not finished with the project yet but I just have to tell you about what I’m doing.  I’m turning my Harley into a TRIKE. Yep, my two wheeling day's may soon end. I’ve been thinking about a Trike for several years, especially since they have gotten so popular. You see more and more of them all over the country. They tell me something about the “Baby Boomers” coming of age.  Well, that puts me quite a few years OVER the age!  LOL!

It took me a while to convince myself that I wanted (needed) a Trike. I thought, "now that’s not Bike riding….they can’t steer that good because they can’t lean".  But as I continue to get older, I’m smart enough to realize that my balance is not going anywhere but downhill from here on.  These bigger bikes are somewhat hard to balance , especially at slow turns and especially when you have a passenger.  I have tipped over a couple times with Ms. Pat on the back. It was always when I was stopped or nearly stopped and didn’t hurt either of us or damage anything. However, it has made Ms. Pat a little reluctant to ride.  My son let me know that he felt it would be a good idea for us to get a trike. Sometimes you just have to listen to those young folks, especially when they are 54 years old….Smile 

Anyhow, after a lot of research and looking at Trikes, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want a full-blown trike. Number 1, they are quite expensive and Number 2, I don’t ride that much anymore. The "not riding much" is a stickler. You get out of practice and along with getting older every year, that makes it even tougher to control a Motorcycle. I have had to make a few decisions lately that I really didn’t want to make. One of those is I’m leaving my Bike here in SD when I go South because I don’t want the hassle of hauling it around anymore and this is where I enjoy riding the most. So, hard as it was, I bit the bullet and decided to leave the motorcycle here.


As they say, this getting old isn’t for "sissies".   Well, it's true and I’m not kidding and it's not easy either. This last year has really been tough on me. I have had to realize I just can’t do a lot of stuff I used to do and I’m going to have to plan on less and less.  I know a lot of you say, "OH, you're not old" or "you're only as old as you think you are", etc., etc.  Let me say this, your age in number of years may be irrelevant but one day you're going to have to come to grips with it. That time has come for me. I’m not giving up, not by a long shot. But I am slowing down, LIKE IT OR NOT!  I've still got a little get up and go in me, how much is the question. I’m going to go as long as I can but I hope I can recognize that I have to do what I HAVE to do when the time comes. Like I heard an old guy say the other day “I was taught to respect my elders but lately I’m having trouble finding any”!  That’s me!!!

Anyhow, I have decided to put a “real simple” Trike Kit on my Harley. One that I can take off quickly if I want to and ride without it or leave it on.   It's called a Voyager Kit…..
prtec_2_   
This is a picture of a Heritage Softail just like mine with the Voyager kit installed. Mine won’t look this fancy but it sold me on the Voyager. If I want to spend the money for all the accessories on this one, I can but I wanted to start simple.
DSC_3380
It came in this big crate.  It took me an hour to get it out of the crate and although It was used, it was like new.  I bought it from a Harley dealer in California.   It was shipped by truck to Custer.   OK, lets see, where do I start? I better read the instructions again……
DSC_3367
Here I have my bike blocked up, so this is close to how it will fit on my bike.  Hmmm.....that doesn’t look so bad. I decided to hold off on starting the installation and first take the Bike into the Harley dealer in Rapid City for it’s 10,000 mile inspection.
 
So in the not too distant future, I may have a Trike to ride.  It will be interesting to ride up to a stop sign and not even have to put your foot down.

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!!

Thanks for stopping by.

Mike

This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

13 comments:

Karen and Al said...

Our friends converted their Harley to a trike several years ago and love it. She is a lot more comfortable riding with it and he gets to take more rides :)

I think you are smart to realize it may be time to hang up your two wheels. You can still enjoy the motorcycle and be safe! Good for you. I never knew those kits existed...it looks pretty cool.

Sam&Donna Weibel said...

That will be one sharp Harley when your finished, you are right about not liking to face up to the fact that you are slowing down, but you have the right attitude. Even young people slow down, Be3 safe out there. Sam & Donna...

Randy and Pam Warner said...

Looks like a great idea and a fun project.

Sue and Doug said...

the important thing is to be a safe rider and feel the wind on your face..two wheels or three ?..good for you either way!!!

Malone said...

What a great idea! I hear you about the balance thing, Even at 65 I am noticing it. I have a 47 year old daughter who loves her Harley. Wonder if she and her husband will someday think about doing this.

Rod and Loyce Ivers said...

When I was over at the HOG rally last week, I looked at all the Trikes lined up in a neat row. I even commented on them in the blog. And of course it is in your mind that someday this will be the cycle of choice. But like you say the price is staggering. Looks like you have found the perfect way to see if your future lays in trikes. And you have the four wheelers down in Arizona, so I'm not sure you would ride on the roads there anyway.

If the trike becomes your thing, you can always trade for one of those new expensive deals later on.........

THE BAYFIELD BUNCH said...

I didn't know those Trike kits existed either. What a great idea that is & what a common sense decision you have made. I'm assuming your rear Harley wheel is still your drive wheel & the kit with two external wheels bolts on somehow around the end of your bike. I'm still OK for balance yet but I can sure understand how nice that firm stablilty would be. I always appreciate a guy's honesty & your approach & thought process to making this decision & to the aging process itself is so refreshing compared to a lot of the usual guys cavalier macho attitudes that seem to prevail. Some people face reality head on & deal with it & some prefer to live in a fantasy world. Good for you Mike, now get out there & get that kit installed!!

Rene' and Jeanette Genereux said...

The best part about your thoughts on aging and motorcycling is the neat solution to trike out your Harley. It allows you to continue to enjoy the freedom while feeling the sure footed stability that the trike will offer. I look forward to your thoughts once you've completed the install and have been out on the roads.

squawmama said...

Looks like you'll be riding a long long time!!!
Have fun & Travel safe
Donna

Jeannie said...

Good for you! Thanks for the honest heart to heart about getting older. I'm in denial at the moment, but you gotta think about things like that and prepare yourself mentally and physically for the time when you have to change what you do or how you live. Looks like a COOL solution!

Debbie Goode said...

Yes, as we age...life becomes all about the compromises we must make to "keep on, keeping on" we all get there. I think you will love your new trike!

ain't for city gals said...

OMGosh ...we are neighbors!! We are building a house right up the road from North Ranch...milepost 265! Looking forward to reading your past and future posts!

Carol and Johnny said...

I need to show this to Johnny. We did some serious Trike looking back in January. The docs were talking about amputating Johnny's leg and giving up the feel of the wind in his face wasn't an appealing option.

Then we found another doc who said he could fix the broken leg and surgery was completed the end of March. Recovery has gone well and he decided it was time to get back on the motorcycle so we headed back to Austin to pick it up with a trailer.

In the process of loading the bike on the trailer they both fell and he put a big gash in his leg and hit his head and back on the concrete driveway. One ambulance ride, an emergency room visit and 17 stitches later he's feeling pretty lucky. The bike appears to have escaped without injury.

I think you have the right attitude. Realize with age comes both benefits and some stuff that's not so fun and keep looking for ways to live life to the fullest. We'll have to see if a Trike moves back into our future. If so, your solution looks like it might be a good fit. Thanks for sharing both the hardware and the thought process.