Saturday, May 8, 2010

Her Majesty's New Shoes (Part 1 of 2)

It was quite a busy few days as I make headway into getting the bike road-ready.

As of this week *The Duchess is now titled and licensed in my name. I removed the stock rearview mirrors (Mickey Mouse ears) as they were pretty much worthless and destroyed the vintage appearance. According to Virginia state law at least one mirror is required to be mounted, but for safety I will be adding two bar end mirrors. Much more authentic and they look way cool.

A week and a half ago I ordered a new shoe for her Majesty from DomiRacer because she had a broken rear heel, and it arrived in the mail this week. I had seen videos on YouTube and had read on the Enfield community forum that changing the rear tire is cake. I figured this could be a take home project I could handle. And it was...almost.

After watching this video I figured I'd need the aid of a friend:

But then on Thursday David Blasco posted this video to his blog and I became convinced I could do this myself:

Friday afternoon I began work...which lasted all of five minutes before I realized that I did not have the correct heads for my lug wrench. Four back-and-forth trips later (yes, FOUR!) to Auto Zone and Wal-Mart and I finally had the correct tools.

Here I am with my gear spread across the parking lot. It's really inconvenient not having a garage. I had to remove my saddle seat as there wasn't enough clearance to unhinge the rear fender.

All of this is going on underneath the seat.

And a closer view.

After having unscrewed one of the nuts holding the fender in place.

Fender pops up easy now.

Cotter pin and castle nut.

After removing the cotter pin...

You remove the castle nut, you remove the axelrod and...

The tire rolls right out.

Another view...using the old shirt to protect my exhaust pipe.

Boom. Tire.

And now the extremely unpleasant part...tire and tube removal.

So I gave the new tire mounting the ole college try, I really did, before I grew completely frustrated and decided to take it to a motorcycle shop to have it professionally mounted and balanced. Part of the difficulty of the installation had to do with the upgrade in tire size from stock to custom... 3.50 x 19 to a larger 4.00 x 19. Not the right tools and too much hassle.

Day 1 wrap.

* I just started calling her by this one day, the monicker stuck, and I like it.

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