Harley Davidson, Motorcycle, Motorcycle Blogs, Motorcycle Riding Enthusiast

Bells Vibrations

Bells Vibrations

 I have always been curious about Street Vibrations but pretty much have avoided the area.  With good reason, two years ago at the Nugget a fight broke out between two notorious MC rivals. The Hells Angles and The Vagos, when San Jose Chapter President Jeffrey “Jethro” Pettigrew was gunned down by Vagos member Ernesto Gonzalez.

Due to my profession I have always thought it best to avoid places with a high number of criminals during my family time. This year our friends who are current and retired law enforcement invited my husband and I to meet up with them. We decided to be open minded and give it a shot. Our friends went up on Thursday and was able to get in a some local riding. Andy and I went up on Saturday morning at the butt crack of dawn.                                

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Another friend of ours “Bernie” who recently retired from E.D.S.O. rode along with us on his third bike in as many years. The beautiful 2014 water cooled Harley Davidson. I guess when he bought the 2013 Harley Davidson he didn’t know Harley Davidson was going to come out with a water cooled Ultra Limited.

The ride up was amazing, we took Hwy 50 up through South lake Tahoe. It was stinking cold, I even wore my Cortech cold weather riding gloves and my hands still froze off. Bernie on the other hand has heated grips, which he pointed out at least a couple times. Andy immediately started researching heated grips, we both liked the Harley Davidson brand. Andy liked the fitment from a mechanical view of installation, I like the ease of use and the look. Of coarse, they are my favorite color “Chrome” but what I like the most is the dial to turn them on and to control the temperature is on the grip. A lot of the aftermarket versions have a separate dial which attaches to the handle bars, I’m not a fan of this application as its isn’t as clean. 

When we reached Reno, Andy and I peeled off to check in at the Hyatt Hotel at the air port, being as it were last minute arrangements, it was all that was available. Bernie headed to the festivities down on Virginia Street. When we arrived at the Hyatt Hotel it was a happy surprise, the entire Hotel is smoke free and practically brand new. The room was huge, more of a suite with a small kitchen, office work space, a beautiful sectional which had a queen size pull out and a 42″ flat screen television. Most of the rooms down on the strip were an average $289.00 per night with a two night minimum, the Hyatt was only $159.00 for the night without a two night minimum. 

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Our friends ( John and Cathy, Gary, Albert and Brian) who we were meeting were on a local ride touring the Cat Houses. To kill time Andy and I headed over to Virginia Street to check out the vendors. I was really looking forward to this, but unfortunately only a few lived up to my expectations. Such as Cycle Smith, Arlen Ness, and my all time favorite Carl Brouhard Designs, http://www.brouharddesigns.com.  I’m always on the look out for quality suppliers for my online store Bells Cycle Shop.

Shopping is thirsty work! Andy and I sneaked into Silver Legacy and skirted around the casino floor and headed straight for Brew Brothers. I love this place, they have a really yummy wheat beer. Whenever we start planning a ride to Reno, I immediately start craving Brew Brothers Wheat. We each had a beer and shared a pizza and back to shopping, gathering inventory list for Bells Cycle Shop. We headed over to the Nugget to check out the vendors there, but when we got there we were told by a very apologetic security guard that there weren’t any vendors. I’m not sure who or why they decided not to have vendors there, but I was bummed.

We met up with our friends, but unfortunately not all them made it back. There was a miss-communication among the riders and while one of the riders was making a u-turn another rider was looking over his shoulder and collided with the rider who was making the u-turn.  The passenger of one of the bikes was taken to the hospital with a broken ankle where she had to have surgery to pin and plate her ankle. Accidents can happen at any time to any one, this is why its important to have your ride planned out ahead of time. Additionally, Andy and I have bike to bike communications with the Scala Rider for last minute changes. I love it, not only for the safety aspect, but also I love talking to Andy while we are riding, to point out the beautiful scenery or to say heads up for the car next to you, or a road hazard or simply to say did you see that sweet ride. 

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When we met up with John and Cathy and Company it was at the out side Pavilion at Harah’s for a cover band concert “The Synnan Lynard”.  John and Cathy are really good friends with the bass player, so we ended up in the front row spot. We had a blast, great music and great friends

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Andy and I had planned on taking the long way home, by heading out to Virginia City and then drop down into Carson City and catch the 395 south to I 88 west. When we woke up mother nature had different plans for us with gale force winds. We decided not to go to Virginia City and to go straight down 395 to I 88. I hate straight line riding, so when we got to I 88 the fun really began and Mormon Immigrant Trail is absolutely beautiful. With most rides, not all, but most rides, the funnest part of the ride is right in our neck of the woods. I love love the twisties and Newtown Road between Pleasant Valley and Placerville has plenty to get into.

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I am happy I have finally experienced Street Vibrations, but I believe “The Ride” to Street Vibrations is what it is all about,

Bells Vibrations..

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The Itch part 2

946.5 Miles, 15 Counties,  3 Nights, 7 Riders, 5 Bikes

THE ITCH WAS SCRATCHED

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In “The Itch part 1” I described our plan to ride to my home town “Mariposa” for the Labor Day weekend. My home town fair is the big event for the year. Its more like a class reunion and a family reunion all in one.

We had planned on a three day trip, with the first night at The Black Oak Casino in Senora, CA. The next morning taking Hwy 120 into Yosemite National Park.  Then taking Hwy 140 back down into Mariposa for the next night and the fair. On Sunday we were going to continue South on Hwy 49 to Hwy 41 to the South entrance to Yosemite National Park and out to Hwy 120 for the last night back at Black Oak Casino.

Unfortunately,  The Rim Fire closed Hwy 120 and the smoke was so intense I had to stay in doors for a couple days, and I was approximately 200 miles away.        Photo

We decided to make a last minute change in our Labor Day Weekend ride. Kenny Kenny our very own personal camp counselor jumped into action and worked his magic.

We decided to head North to try to escape the smoke from The Rim Fire.

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We met up in our neck of the woods, in El Dorado County to kick off the ride. We headed North on Hwy 49 through the Auburn canyon. Our first stop to fuel the riders and the bikes was in Truckee, CA. We made it to the first stay over in Chester, CA by 9:30 pm.

We were all in need of something cold and wet, but if you have ever been to Chester you know how tightly they roll the streets up. We were not deterred, we all set out on foot to locate a watering hole. After a little walking we decided on the pizza house “The Volcano Grill”. The Blue Moon  neon sign really caught our eye’s. We settled in and ordered a round of Blue moon’s, which we all drank in record time. When we started to order another round, the owner informed us there were only three left. At first I was going to wrestle for one, then I told the owner he needed to run to the store. Luckily, he had a great brew on tap by Lassen Brewery.

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Saturday morning after giving Kelly a hard time, how all the Harley’s were surrounding his Kawi to keep it safe, “It was scared of the dark”. We set out to cross California, but first we wanted to go through Lassen National Park.

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I have never been there and it was such a treat. My son went for a hike with his Aunt Amy, Uncle Kelly and Uncle Kenny Kenny. When he got back he said it was “Totally Worth It” Which in teenager speak he was saying thanks for dragging him along and strapping his butt to the back of a Harley for three days with no video games.

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We headed north on Hwy 89 to Hwy 299 to Burney for lunch at Gepetto’s Pizza,

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My sweet hubby surprised me with a new Harley Davidson perforated leather jacket and a Harley Davidson cooling vest. It came in handy on this trip across California because it was hotter then hell.  What is so cool is you can re-hydrate the vest at any time and oh my it feels great when it is stinking hot.

On the other side of Redding, CA we continued on Hwy 299 to Weaverville, CA. This stretch of road was a blast with a lot of twist and turns. My husband, Sissy and I screamed up the hill, while Kenny Kenny and Kelly likes to cruise. Once we got through the twisty’s we slowed down and re-grouped. Our next stay was at the Weaverville Victorian Inn, it was kind of a dump, but was one of the funniest nights. We got there early enough to hang out and enjoy the pool.

After a yummy and very filling  breakfast at the Saw Mill Diner in Weaverville we followed the Trinity River on Hwy 299. It was so beautiful the whole way to Hwy 101.photo (5)photo 1 (1)IMG_0338photo 2photo

Our goal was to get to Eureka, CA to have lunch at Lost Coast Brewery (I’m just wondering, has anyone noticed there is a theme here, our destinations often times includes Breweries).  Lost Coast is one our favorites, Andy and I stumbled onto it while we were on our honeymoon about a hundred year’s ago, before brew pubs became so popular. We arrived at about 1:00 pm, this visit took about three hours because the kitchen was so backed up.

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We really wanted to get to the next stay before dark but lunch set us back. We followed Hwy 101 south taking a small detour through the “Avenue of the Giants”.

We  jumped on Hwy 1 and made it to the coast just in time for the sunset.

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We were able to get Fort Bragg just when it was getting dark. We stayed at the Sand and Surf, which was amazing. The clerk checking us in went above and beyond. There was a small mix up, we forgot to call ahead to let them know we were arriving late and to reserve a roll away for our son.  The only rooms available were King Beds, the clerk hunted every nook and cranny of the hotel and we were in luck. Out of the three nights in Motel’s, Notel’s and Hotel’s this was the best night sleep.

We were all checked in and now we were starving, we all jumped back on the bikes and headed into town. We landed at North Coast, yes another brewery. For me, this time it was more about the food, last time we were in Fort Bragg we ate there and they make awesome pizza. The beer happens to be pretty yummy too!

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Monday we were heading home, I was particularly excited about this because we were travelling home by way of Hwy 128. It is my all time favorite route to ride. The scenery is from lush dark forest near the coast, to the north end of Napa’s wine valley, to the rugged dry and hot mountainous terrain near Lake Berryessa. We experienced cool weather with an early morning marine layer on the coast, to almost a hundred degree temps in the Napa Valley, and when we entered the last of the fifteen counties we rode through, we were riding through a rain storm.  After we split off in our different directions for home, some of us rode through a hail storm.

946.5 Miles, 15 counties (El Dorado, Placer, Nevada, Sierra, Plumas, Tehama, Shasta, Trinity, Humboldt, Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, Yolo, Solano, and Sacramento). 3 nights Chester (Best Western), Weaverville (Weaverville Victorian Inn) and Fort Bragg (Sand and Surf).

7 riders (Andy, Babyman, Sissy, Kenny Kenny, Kelly, Amy and Bell) and 5 bikes (Road Glide, Street Glide, Dyna Low, Herritage, and the infamous Kawi).

THE ITCH WAS SCRATCHED

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Tutu Ride

Addicted to Riding!tutu ride 5

My husband bought his bike brand new last July,  and now he has 19,500 miles on his bike. I bought my last bike used on April, 15th, and it had 4800 miles on it when I bought it, after this last ride I have just over 10,200 miles on it. 

I have two points to this opening statement:

First, We think of all kinds of reasons to take the bikes out.  You know, “Oh darn! we’re all out of milk, we need to go into town to get milk”  or  The Harley Davidson store has some new bling we just need to look at. 

Secondly, we put a lot of miles on our tires. Which gets me to the Tutu Ride. We were in line at the local Harley Davidson store to get my husband a new front tire. He was probably over due by a couple thousand miles, but still 19,000 plus miles for a front motorcycle tire is pretty awesome. So there we were in line and there was another husband and wife riding enthusiast in front of us. She was wearing a purple tank top which showed off a beautiful tattoo. I had to ask her if the purple Street Glide with flames on was her’s. (this is the exact bike I almost bought when I ended up buying my first bike, The Road King).  She (Cathy) answered yes and her husband turned around and noticed the star I wear around my neck and asked if I was Law Enforcement. I answered proudly of my family member who is in Law Enforcement. Cathy and her husband (John) are both Law Enforcement, so we had a couple things in common and hit it off. We chatted for about an hour while my husbands new tire was being installed. Before we went our separate ways John and Cathy invited us to a Law Enforcement sponsored ride called The Tutu Ride which benefits the Special Olympic’s.

I love how this has evolved into what it is today. A young Law Enforcement Officer “Smity” who has been involved with the Special Olympic’s for quite a few years was planning a fund raiser a few years back. He was coming up with all kinds of idea’s and at some point said “If I raise $5000. for the Special Olympics I will ride to Southern California on my Harley wearing a Pink Tutu”. Smity and 5 others rode to Southern California wearing their Tutu’s”.

Each year since, the Tutu Ride has progressed in the amount of rider participation. Last year the Tutu ride had up to about 30 riders.

This year with the help of some fellow Police Officers and Cycle Gear, there were over 50 bikes.  What an amazing group of people, out doing what we all love doing and raising money for a great cause.  

I have to add, this was one of the best organized rides I have ever participated in or have heard of. Partly because of the organizer’s and partly because of the riders. The organizers are motor cops who have great skills and demonstrated them during the ride in keeping the group in a tight pack and the lanes clear. The riders did a great job with maintaining speed, space and staggered formation.

My husband and I had so much fun meeting new friends through John and Cathy and the Tutu Ride.  

Most definitely the best excuse we have found to ride.

We are truly Addicted to Riding. 

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Got the Itch

Clearly, I’m an addict! 

Its Wednesday morning about 6:30 am, I’m at work already. I’m in a semi crappy neighborhood on surveillance. I should be paying closer attention to the subject at hand and all I can think about is the next ride.

As with most people we have busy schedules with work, domestic chores, family, the usual stuff that makes the world go around and interferes with your ride.

Thursday rolls around after work and we had to scratch the itch. Just a little ride into town grab a bite and an adult pop.

Hwy 49 into Placerville, CA is so fun, some nice turns and banks to roll through.

There’s a place in old town called “The Brick”, it’s where Lil Mama D Carlos used to be. They have good food, cold beer and great service. The bartender is an Auzi who is a world traveler and quite the character.  Running into friends is a treat and in a small town, pretty common.

Friday is here and the itch for a nice long ride is not just getting to me, as they say “Birds of a feather flock together”.   Sissy texted me “What doin” our code for;  want to ride?  my response is “wondering what you doin”,  which means: do you want to ride tonight?

Its set we meet is Sac to ride out to Rocklin to “Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar B Que”. Can’t really be on a diet at this place. Beef Brisket, Fried Chicken, Bar B Q Ribs, Biscuits (the biscuits are almost as good as my Oakey biscuits my mama taught me to cook). The beer is ice, ice-cold.

So, these little rides are scratching the itch but we want to hit the road for a nice long ride. Planning it is part of the fun too, We all participate in the planning and coming up with idea’s for the next ride, but Kenny Kenny is our camp councilor. He organizes the accommodations better than any of us and finds great deals.

My home town fair is coming up and I haven’t been there in years. I love it because its like a family reunion and a high school reunion all wrapped up together.  Mariposa is a small town just outside of Yosemite National Park.

The plan for our next big ride is taking Hwy 49 south to Sonora for the first night. On the next day we continue on Hwy 49 to Hwy 120 to Yosemite National Park to Hwy 140 and down into Mariposa. We should to Mariposa early enough to enjoy the pool before we go to the fair. On Sunday we will take Hwy 49 south to Oakhurst and then to Hwy 41 back into Yosemite National Park to Hwy 120 to head back to Sonora for our last night of the ride.

Close to 400 hundred miles is a nice ride, but not very long considering we often ride 350 miles on our day rides. The significant part of this ride is the terrain, the winding two lane Hwy’s and the elevation fluctuations. The elevations are from around 1800 feet at Placerville and Sonora to about 10,000 feet over Tioga Pass. Then back down to about 2000 feet in Mariposa and back up to 10,000 and again back down to 1800 feet. All the fluctuations are grueling on the rider but also to the air-cooled bikes.

None the less The Itch will be Scratched

The Itch part two will be published after the ride.

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Hubby, Sissy, Kenny Kenny and at the camera

Hubby, Sissy, Kenny Kenny and at the camera

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Lucille's Smokehouse and Bar B Que

Lucille’s Smokehouse and Bar B Que

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SF Road Trip

SF Ride

SF Ride

Close to end of the school year my son had a field trip at Marine World in Vallejo. My husband and I are a little paranoid due to our professions, so we decided to take a ride to San Francisco to be close, “just in case”.

I prefer to take the back roads but we wanted to get down there, so we jumped on I-80 heading west. We thought we would mix it up and we shot down I-680 to be able to catch I-780. When we got to I-780 we were moving along pretty good in the fast lane. Andy was kicking back on his highway pegs and I was giving my left hand a rest, when we both almost crashed going about 70 mph. We crossed over an over pass and at the transition was a huge bump. Both Andy and I left our seats and in mid air Andy was trying to get his feet back to his foot boards and I was trying to get my left hand back to the handle bar. Obviously, we were both successful but it scared the crap out of us. 

We have a wireless communication system by Scalarider G9 to be able to talk to each other on our rides. I think we rode the next two miles talking about the bump and how it threw us off our seats and maybe we should stop to use the bathroom.

After we got back onto I-80 going through Berkley, traffic was a nightmare. It still amazes me how much more you see when you are on a bike. We saw every dumb knuckle head driver in the state of California all heading for the same location, San Francisco.

One of our favorite places to go in San Francisco is the Beach Chalet Brewery. Its located at 1000 Great Hwy. San Francisco, CA. They kind of have Artsy Fartsy food, but they have great beer. The only thing is its a one beer limit for us, the alcohol content is pretty high.

Oh darn! we have to sit and look at the gorgeous ocean view long enough so we don’t feel the affects of a great beer.

We headed north up the Great Hwy towards Presidio, and the weather was a awesome, the fog was just starting to roll in over the Golden Gate.

I was dying for a Fog City Diner burger down off of Embarcadero, we decided to get in the thick of things and drove pass Pier 49. People were every where and I was about to lose my patience with people when we finally got there. We found a great parking place, got every thing all locked up, only to find out they were closed for remodeling. Luckily, I have few or twenty pounds on me and wasn’t in immediate danger of starving to death.

Our next choice was Gordon Biersch, we weaved our way through the parking garage and got up stairs to find it too was closed for construction.

At this point I wasn’t sure what I wanted more, food or a beer, my mama used to say ” My belly thinks my throat was cut”.  It turns out, we took the hint and left San Francisco in search for food. We ended up clear over in the Delta at BJ’s. They have Great food and a great Hefeweizen.

After being replenished, we were on the road again and it was time to have some fun. The Delta has beautiful waterways and twisty levy roads.  

We made it home in time to pick our son up from school. When we confessed to him we went to the city so we could be near in case he needed us, he just shook his head and said we were weird. 

Well, we had a lot of fun being weird. 

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SF Road Trip

SF Ride

SF Ride

Close to end of the school year my son had a field trip at Marine World in Vallejo. My husband and I are a little paranoid due to our professions, so we decided to take a ride to San Francisco to be close, “just in case”.

I prefer to take the back roads but we wanted to get down there, so we jumped on I-80 heading west. We thought we would mix it up and we shot down I-680 to be able to catch I-780. When we got to I-780 we were moving along pretty good in the fast lane. Andy was kicking back on his highway pegs and I was giving my left hand a rest, when we both almost crashed going about 70 mph. We crossed over an over pass and at the transition was a huge bump. Both Andy and I left our seats and in mid air Andy was trying to get his feet back to his foot boards and I was trying to get my left hand back to the handle bar. Obviously, we were both successful but it scared the crap out of us. 

We have a wireless communication system by Scalarider G9 to be able to talk to each other on our rides. I think we rode the next two miles talking about the bump and how it threw us off our seats and maybe we should stop to use the bathroom.

After we got back onto I-80 going through Berkley, traffic was a nightmare. It still amazes me how much more you see when you are on a bike. We saw every dumb knuckle head driver in the state of California all heading for the same location, San Francisco.

One of our favorite places to go in San Francisco is the Beach Chalet Brewery. Its located at 1000 Great Hwy. San Francisco, CA. They kind of have Artsy Fartsy food, but they have great beer. The only thing is its a one beer limit for us, the alcohol content is pretty high.

Oh darn! we have to sit and look at the gorgeous ocean view long enough so we don’t feel the affects of a great beer.

We headed north up the Great Hwy towards Presidio, and the weather was a awesome, the fog was just starting to roll in over the Golden Gate.

I was dying for a Fog City Diner burger down off of Embarcadero, we decided to get in the thick of things and drove pass Pier 49. People were every where and I was about to lose my patience with people when we finally got there. We found a great parking place, got every thing all locked up, only to find out they were closed for remodeling. Luckily, I have few or twenty pounds on me and wasn’t in immediate danger of starving to death.

Our next choice was Gordon Biersch, we weaved our way through the parking garage and got up stairs to find it too was closed for construction.

At this point I wasn’t sure what I wanted more, food or a beer, my mama used to say ” My belly thinks my throat was cut”.  It turns out, we took the hint and left San Francisco in search for food. We ended up clear over in the Delta at BJ’s. They have Great food and a great Hefeweizen.

After being replenished, we were on the road again and it was time to have some fun. The Delta has beautiful waterways and twisty levy roads.  

We made it home in time to pick our son up from school. When we confessed to him we went to the city so we could be near in case he needed us, he just shook his head and said we were weird. 

Well, we had a lot of fun being weird. 

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THE SEWING MACHINE

My last bike was a 2006 Road King Custom . It was a monster of a bike, it reminded me of the days of riding on the back of my boyfriend’s crotch rocket. We would ride from Sissy’s house in Milpitas to Santa Cruz over Hwy 17, our top speed was about 120 to 130 mph. The Road King handled like a sport bike but had the beefy feel of the Harley I love now that I am older and smarter.  Driving at a high rate of speed like this on a regular bases as I did when I was a kid is just crazy, BUT sometimes you just got to blow the carbon out.

The Road King Custom was Midnight Pearl and Chrome, the exhaust system was True Dual’s with Thunder Cones. Nice and loud but with a deep throaty sound, not the obnoxious rap rap sound.  I really loved the Road King, every where I went I received a lot of looks and even more compliments on it. It was very shiny, with the exception of the typical painted area’s ( gas tank, fenders, battery cover) it had chrome every where.

The sound of it also got people’s attention, the saying “loud pipes saves lives” is really true. People really don’t pay attention to bikes as well as they should and on more then one occasion a car started to pull right in front of me and I simply rapped my throttle to get their attention.

Then I found “THE SEWING MACHINE”, my 2010 Street Glide “Scarlet”. This is the bike I have always wanted, beautiful deep red, extremely clean and low miles. The only thing, the stock pipes with catalytic converter, it sounded like a stinking sewing machine and was hotter then hell on my right leg.

I started researching new head pipes and mufflers. My husband recently put new head pipes and mufflers on his brand new 2012 Road Glide Ultra. I really liked the mufflers he put on, the Monster Ovals from Vance & Hines, but the Head pipes, not so much.

My existing stock system was a “two into one”, in my opinion it looks dumb and sounded worst. I wanted my new system to be “two into one into two”. Which basically means the old system had two head pipes into one muffler. I wanted the new system to be  two head pipes into one into two mufflers.

The new system I went with is the Vance & Hines Power Dual’s, with the cross chamber and I was able to convert the exhaust system into “two into one into two”. The mufflers I put on is the Harley Davidson stock slip on’s. Mainly because we already had them in stock because my husband just took them off his new bike and it saved me about 700.00 right off the bat. Another money savings attribute with the Vance & Hines, all new Chrome Heat Shields came with the Power Dual Head Pipes. With the other systems I was looking at I would have had to buy heat shields for the left muffler side I added because I originally only had the one muffler on the right side. Just the heat shields would have been close to another 700.00.

I ended up having to pay for a licensing kit for the tuner my husband bought for his bike so I could use it on my bike. This was about 200.00, but if I had to buy one out right it would have been about 500.00. I also could have taken it to a shop and put it on machine that flash tunes, but this is also expensive and its just the one shot. The license I purchased is an unlimited use for my bike, it also allows us to diagnosis other issues with codes from the computer. Definitely worth the money.

I am happy to say “Scarlet” no longer sounds like a The Sewing Machine.

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Bell’s Ride

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