Born Free 2022

Currently, there are 43,000 miles on my Phantom’s odometer and she definitely looks the part. Earlier this year I thought about cleaning up my bike’s appearance. The tank is beat up on both sides and the paint is faded from multiple spills at the gas pump. It’s been dropped multiple times for various reasons. Except for one occasion where I was sideswiped by a guy that ran a red light every time I’ve been in a situation where an accident should have happened I dropped my bike instead of allowing a collision to happen. The point being, regardless of who’s at fault, how little or how much damage was done I’m not going to risk serious injury over some idiot’s distracted driving. Even in a situation where the other driver is at fault I don’t want to risk the time that would be wasted waiting to get my bike repaired. Meanwhile, I’m confined to driving an automobile.

Scenic shot in Jerome, Arizona. The oldest ghost town in the United States.

The last time I had my bike worked on, which was yet another situation where a guy ran a red light in a truck and I had to instantly drop my bike or risk getting plowed over, my tank sat on stands all primed up for 2 months until the paint came in. I had to wait another week before the tank was finished. Never again. My Vance & Hines heat shields are scraped up as well as my forks, forward controls and the rear tag mount is cracked in half from the sideswipe accident, which since contact was made and the other driver was at fault his insurance cut me a check.

I said all that to say this: I’ve been noticing for a long time dudes go to great lengths to make their bikes look ratty when all the road rash, dents and distressed paint damage on my bike is genuine. So, I’m going to leave her alone. The only work done to the bike is the second set of forward controls I had to put on the bike due to my spirited cornering on the curves on the popular Hwy 25 route that spans from Leeds to Vincent here in Alabama. The best thing I could have done was keep the original forward control set. I salvaged parts from the old forward control set and took the shift linkage from what was left over in the new forward control set and mated them together.

Jay actually played a role in this situation. The parking garage in our building is a dim, dark, dank, dirty space that is not conducive to wrenching on the bike. The plan was to get my bike upstairs in the loft, replace the linkage and be on my way. Well, it didn’t necessarily work out that way, so I got caught.

Adjusting the linkage on my extended foot peg assembly from the comfort of my living room.
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