The 2004 ST met a cruel demise with a tree (stupid tree). A nice slick laid down by someone draining their boat's oily bilge resulted in an unrecoverable low side. Luckily I was uninjured. The 04 ST was still a great bike at 160,000+ but I found a suitable replacement in a slightly used 2007 ST. The old fuel cell was good but a bit shy on capacity so a new fuel cell has been constructed. I've added some HID lights with custom brackets and a set of Denali LED lights that are just as bright as a set of 55W halogens but only use a fraction of the power. The new ST is setup with just about everything the 04 had on it. I'll be adding a new set of fork springs and a new rear shock with help from some friends. Adding in a cellular amp is in order but we'll see what the results are before deciding to keep it for the rally. There's tons of little things to do and I'll try to keep this updated as a reminder to myself to get all of this work done.
So it was actually warm this weekend and I took the opportunity to rip into the bike. I removed the entire front fairing and forks. The forks will be rebuilt at an undisclosed location south of the border in the next couple of weeks. I've also put out some feelers to try and get the new cowl stay set up with the relay bracket that I had on the old one. The relay bracket extends the stock one to allow 5 more relays that operate the switches for the police version of the right hand control on the bike. Nevermind all those wires... doctor's orders.
(2/23/2011) Well Rick was nice enough to put aside some of his cool side projects to weld my relay bracket up last night which I'm very grateful for. THANKS RICK!! So the cowl stay will be going in and I can start mounting up the spaghetti of wiring again. This is the police version of the cowl stay which has struts to reinforce the mirror brackets so that you can mount auxilary lights off of of the mirrors. I'll be looking into modifying a set of police light brackets to see if I can add a lower mount to them. That way I'll be able to mount the lights up the same way I have in the past. The police brackets were donated by MAC who shipped them all the way from Italy. Thanks MAC_JD from ST-Owners.com
My friend Jonathon and I spent a solid day troubleshooting my intercom and GPS issues. The Zumo 665 leaves a lot to be desired but I'm not willing to switch to something else as my main entertainment systems. As a GPS is falls a poor second to my Garmin 2610. After all the troubleshooting we determine that the MC cradle was the cause of dropping XM signal and random noise issues. The cradle houses a lot more electronics than you might think. I disassembled the cradle and used dielectric grease to help keep the gaskets sealed as I believe the old one somehow became comprimised by water because it would only happen when it rained. I made sure also that the contacts have dielectric grease on them also to keep the contacts fresh.
Mr. Jeff Byrdy (Birdman) was nice enough to take some time over a winter weekend to rebuild my front forks and spend a little time educating me on how to do it even though I know nothing about suspension. Jonathan, Scott and I went down to Jeff's and spent a few hours installing a new set of progressive springs. The rear spring was done by Rich Reid up in Minneapolis. So hopefully we won't have a repeat of losing the rear shock over the last half of the rally like in 2007. Thanks to all of you that spent time helping me get ready for the rally.
A lot has transpired since February. My schedule has been just nuts but I have managed to piece together the bike and get it in running order. I managed to get bluetooth working on the GPS and phone which is a big relief. Had to factory reset both of them, again, to get them to play nice. I mounted up some defensive systems along with a cellular amp setup that works quite nicely. Linda Tanner at customtankbags.com made up a rally book for me along with a nicer version of the trifold system I've been using. There's been tons of little things but the biggest addition will be an Acer Iconia W500 in the rally book on the tank bag. It is a tablet PC and the capacitive screen will work through the clear plastic. The one thing is that it is not very visible in direct sunlight but I don't plan on needing it a ton and can view it quickly when stopped to get the big picture.
These are couple shots of test for the cellular amp. You can see about a 5dB jump in signal strength from on to off. I used an app called Open Signal to measure the signal strength and it works great. Plus it's free. Sitting in the garage it took my phone from 2 bars to 4. So overall I think it's worth keeping around. So when I'm going to make a call I can turn on the amp to boost my signal and prevent dropped calls.
These are some shots of the bike as it sits right now ready to go. I ran the Bonzai Rally this past weekend placing 2nd overall and 1st in Expert. So there's a few tweaks to make but basically the bike is ready to roll.
The box is a box I had custom made and then I lined it with packing foam. It fits the rear wheel perfect and hopefully it will be undamaged shipping it.
Well we'll see how everything goes from here. Thanks again to everyone that helped the cause. I'm grateful to you all and will try and hold up my end of the bargin.
Well again I've debated on asking for donations but every bit helps. 2007 was a cause for me to thank lots of friends who helped me in so many ways. Although this rally will be different you always have to be prepared for the unexpected. Thanks again to everyone that has helped me over the past years and the years to come.
I'll advertise sponsors here as entrants are not allowed to have any advertising on themselves or their bike during the event of people/organizations that have made donations to their cause. This is an Iron Butt Association rule for the rally. So with that I will use this space to acknowledge those who have helped me prepare for this rally.
Thanks to everyone that donated and even those who thought about it. :)
If you donate please make sure to include your mailing address and your screen name.
These are vendors that I have used over the past 9 years that I think are worth mentioning. Their products and customer service are some of the best in the motorcycle industry.
These people have helped me in many ways to prepare for this rally. Their friendship and support means a lot.
If you have donated to my ride and do not see your name on this list please contact me and let me know. I have made an effort to keep accurate records but things happen and I may have missed someone. If I have it is out of error and not intentional.
Thanks again for stopping by and checking in on my progress. So far the amount of support I've received has been great and humbling. I just hope I'll be able to hold up my end of the deal and perform well during the rally. Either way I'm sure that it will be the experience of a lifetime for me.
The one person I cannot forget to thank is my lovely bride to be Cindy. She means the world to me and I could not do this without her support.
This ride is dedicated to my friend Terry Hammond who was the creator of the Moonshine Lunch Run. Terry passed away suddenly this past fall and is sorely missed by thousands of Moonshine attendees both far and wide. You can read the article published in Rider Magazine a month after Terry passed away. It's too bad that he could not have been here to see it as Terry's legacy IS the Moonshine Lunch Run. I hope to see every one of you there someday. Rest in peace my silly and kind hearted friend. Terry was a die hard fan of LD Riding and is memorialized at the Iron Butt Circle of Honor outside of Gerlach, Nevada. If you get the chance please stop out and remember our fallen LD riders. Ride safe and God's speed.