I have finally settled on a new exhaust slip-on for Raven. It has taken me 2 years now of looking and listening and searching in order to find something that looks good, is lower profile and the sound is deeper, but not much louder.
It adds a nice aesthetic and the sound is deep growling that never really whines no matter the RPM. And considering the NC700X is a low RPM motorcycle (Red-line at 6500) that means even at the top end, it is still growling along. While it is louder (I did not measure scientifically) it is not obnoxious or glass-shattering loud. I have been riding with it for a few weeks now, and love the sound.
Probably the one issue I have with the NC700 and long trips is having to unstrap whatever I have on the the pillion seat or undo the saddlebags in order to fill up. I like having the storage space in the frunk, and the gas tank under the seat keeps the weight low, but it adds nearly 10 minutes to a gas stop to unhook and redo the gear. So, there is a guy on the NC700 forums that fabricates rear racks that take the place of the pillion seat. Considering I never had a passenger, I figured why not. So, ordered the rack and a locking gas cap and got it mounted on the bike.
So, this past weekend was the 5th annual Kentucky Kickdown. It is a vintage motorcycle show that kicks off Friday night with a get-together at a local establishment (this year it was at LouVin’s home, Barrett Bar) with some food, drink and socializing and even some bike. Saturday morning, a bunch of us show up on site early, get the area set up and roped off for the show, which starts at noon. At 11 AM the bikes start rolling in. There is a showing and judging that will take place after 2pm and at 4 (or so) is the official “KickDown” and revving of the motorcycles. Sunday is the “ride out” get-together are Retro Wrench, our friendly neighborhood vintage shop. Click the “See More” link below to check out a video.
Lots has happened in the last few weeks, but very little of it had to do with motorcycling. Yesterday, however, I took Raven in to the dealer to have a few things done, as my riding time coming up was going to be few and far between. First, I needed the instrument cluster replaced as they put the wrong one on when the recall was performed last June. There was also a couple other things to have checked for recall status as well. But the biggest, was getting the 12,000 mile and the 16,000 mile services done. The 12K service included getting the air filter changed, and that required all the plastics to come off (no thanks, not for me) and since they had to do the same to get the cluster replaced, it was perfect. Saved on labor, having it done with the recall instead. The 16K service was mostly an oil change, but also a full brake system check, which is pretty important. I was expecting it to take at least a week, but I got a call this morning saying she was done. So Friday, being a 1/2 day, I will be picking her up early. All in all, excellent news all around.
So, now that I have a center stand on Raven, I can theoretically do my own light maintenance. As I do not need to do an oil change yet (another 4000 miles on that) I decided that I would get a few other things done: front and rear sprockets, chain and parking brake pads (more on those later). So, with reckless abandon, I started on the first maintenance adventure over x-mas week.
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As there has not been a whole lot of riding lately, there has not been a whole lot to report on. I have had to get the chain adjusted as it was very slack. I thought it was something wrong in the transmission, as it was knocking between 1st and 2nd and 2nd and 3rd. I called in to a friend of mine and went by his shop (thanks, Chad at Retro Wrench!) and got it properly adjusted. Hung out a bit, had some fun, felt very relieved that I was not going to have to go to the dealer for a repair, even though Raven is still under warranty. I am planning on going to Madison this weekend (Sunday, probably) to check out the Jefferson Proving Grounds, and then do a full clean and wax of the chain. I have gone ahead and started looking at a new chain and sprockets, and think I have found a set already. Doesn’t need to be done yet, but I also don’t want to be on the road when it does need to be done.
This bike fits the “ran when parked” perfectly. I got the scooter from my parents new back when I was like 14. In 2 years I had put over 2500 miles on it running around the neighborhoods in Middletown. The last time I rode it was when we moved to Prospect in 1990 (or so). I believe my dad rode it a bit after that as did my sister. So, this past weekend I got some help from a friend to get it to my house so I can see if I can get it running and useable. I do not think it will be too hard, as the motor is not seized up and will still kick over (but not start, yet).
This weekend I took Raven in for her 8000 mile service. Since the dealers in the Louisville area all had the “drop it off, we’ll get to it when we can” attitude, I had to go out of the area for service. So I went to a dealer in Lexington who has the forethought to offer appointments for scheduled maintenance. Imagine that – scheduling scheduled maintenance. I left the house at just after 7:30 AM on Saturday and rode out through a number of roads and towns south of I-64. I got to the dealer just before my appointment and went about looking all over the bikes they had in the store. I had 3 hours to kill, may as well sit on a few.