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Discussion Starter #1
It is all Desert Tortoise's fault... After reading his posts about the Street Rod, I happened across one for sale locally, so thought I would check it out.:D It was at a camper/atv dealer, so I called and found out it only had 4200 miles. Asking price of $6495, so I looked up NADA book value which is $8900, and thought it would be the deal of the decade.:)
So I hop onto my Sporty and ride the 40 miles to the dealer. Then they expect me to buy it without riding it. Um, I don't think so. So a phone call by the sales guy, and he gets a dealer plate. I am pretty excited, thinking that I was going to own a Street Rod shortly.
I sit on it... sits quite high compared to what I am used to, but that is ok. I take off and find the footpegs (so-called mid controls,:confused: but I beg to differ, closer to rear controls as far as I am concerned)... and made up my mind before I made it out of the parking lot that this bike is not for me.:( I don't like riding while leaned forward and my feet shoved up my anal appendage.:eek: I don't ride sport bikes for a reason, and this is it. I literally was experiencing hip cramps before making it 200 feet across the parking lot. The bike ran good, braked good, and was pretty smooth across some rail road tracks, but no way could I ride in that position any length of time.:rolleyes:
I had intended on offering $6k for the bike, but after riding it, decided to walk away. They were basically begging me to buy it at $6k, I didn't have to make an offer. I really wish the riding position would have been more to my liking, because I love the sound and the looks of the Street Rod, and it would have been a more than fair deal.

Just goes to show, we all have differences of opinion. What works for one, doesn't work for all. Now if only I can find a reasonably priced VRod with forward controls, I think that would be more to my liking.:cool:
 

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Just goes to show, we all have differences of opinion. What works for one, doesn't work for all. Now if only I can find a reasonably priced VRod with forward controls, I think that would be more to my liking.:cool:

Usually doesn't take much to add forward controls. A number of after-market companies sell them for the V-Rod. Just sayin' :)
 

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What state is this bike in, heh, heh, heh. Maybe another orphan ......

Let me show everyone something. The position of the rider pegs on a Street Rod is in the standard position, what people rode before this cruiser craze got out of control. The rider pegs are directly below the front edge of the seat, right at the seat/tank (or in the case of a V-Rod it's not the fuel tank but the cover over the air box and fuses).




Now, no one would ever accuse an old BMW K75 of being a "sport bike", but look at the location of the rider pegs. They are in exactly the same position relative to the seat, and the riders butt, as they are on the Street Rod



Same thing for the old K100.




And, oh look, the foot pegs on this big trailie are in the same spot relative to the seat/tank junction and thus the rider's butt as those on the Street Rod.




No one would ever claim this big touring sled is a "sport bike" but look at the peg location relative to the seat.




Stude's comments reflect the biases of some American riders, but the Street Rod is very far from the riding position of a sport bike.
 

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I think that's because of Americans prefer cruisers that generally have forward controls.


But for a change first person to find fault with Desert Tortoise recommendation.
 

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Now lets look at the peg location on some true sport bikes. Also notice that on most sport bikes the hand grips are at or below the level of the top triple clamp, while those on the Street Rod and other standard/touring bikes I showed above are much higher.



The footpegs are behind the seat/tank or seat/airbox cover junction, and much higher too. Lets look at some more.




Again the pegs are high and further back from the seat/tank junction than you saw on the standards, and the hand grips are low, below the top triple clamp. The photos don't give a feel for the relative size of these bikes, but the Street Rod is longer than any of the BMWs I showed, longer than the FJR, longer even than a big Harley bagger. It's an eight foot long bike with a 68 inch wheel base.

On this Beemer the rider pegs are located back towards the middle of the riders seat



What I will say is that adding a bit of foam to the stock seat to raise it up and widen it a touch, for me at least, worked wonders for comfort. I basically had the butt pocket filled in to make a mostly flat seat, like bikes used to come with all the time (remember old Triumphs and Suzuki GS-1000s?). With a little more padding all the leg cramps went away.
 

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Speaking of GS-1000s, look where the rider pegs are located. Same place relative to the seat as those on the Street Rod.



Street Rod again:




Here is what the riding position looks like





It's a standard riding position. Not racy at all. With the windshield I can click off 600-700 mile days with no difficulty and with a reupholstered seat the bike is every bit as comfortable as my Beemers or the big FJR.
 

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Usually doesn't take much to add forward controls. A number of after-market companies sell them for the V-Rod. Just sayin' :)

It's not too easy to do on a Street Rod. You have to change the detachable frame down tubes, and that forces you do make a custom side stand because the side stand on the forward control bikes is much shorter. Those bikes sit lower to the pavement. If you use the other side stand the bike sits way over on it's side, uncomfortably so. You also will have some fun replumbing the brakes, and you need different radiator shrouds with cut outs for the forward controls.

Some R riders go through some of these gyrations to put some flip out forward pegs on their Rs, like the original Night Rod had.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, I can tell you I don't like the "standard" riding position.
I spent some time researching the forward control thing last night, and came up with exactly what you are saying. Not worth messing with.
I also looked at several pictures of the Street Rod with riders and it certainly doesn't look as extreme as it felt. When I hear "mid controls" I think of sitting virtually upright, thighs relatively horizontal, with your calves near vertical down to the pegs, like a Sportster for example. It felt like I had to lift my heels to my butt cheeks to get my feet on the pegs of the SR. And like I said, my hip started to cramp almost immediately. Felt like I was leaning forward much more than the pictures show on the 'net, too. Probably from being used to my Sporty with forwards... although a Sporty with forwards don't put my feet that far forward.
I can see where adding to the seat padding might make a big difference on the Street Rod, but I am not sure it would be enough to uncramp me. Maybe my legs are just too long. Speaking of the seat, it felt like it was carved out of wood, but then again I think most OEM HD seats are the same way.
I have to say, I am very disappointed. I planned on writing a check and bringing it home yesterday. I have been thinking about it all day today. Maybe I should have done some yoga stretches, and then rode it longer. Perhaps I would have gotten used to it.
By the way D.T., it is in Potsdam NY. I have contact info if you want.
 

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It's not too easy to do on a Street Rod. You have to change the detachable frame down tubes, and that forces you do make a custom side stand because the side stand on the forward control bikes is much shorter. Those bikes sit lower to the pavement. If you use the other side stand the bike sits way over on it's side, uncomfortably so. You also will have some fun replumbing the brakes, and you need different radiator shrouds with cut outs for the forward controls.

Some R riders go through some of these gyrations to put some flip out forward pegs on their Rs, like the original Night Rod had.
I had no idea. Much more complicated than the forward controls we put on my old sportster, that was just a bolt-on operation.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's a standard riding position. Not racy at all. With the windshield I can click off 600-700 mile days with no difficulty and with a reupholstered seat the bike is every bit as comfortable as my Beemers or the big FJR.
Now you have me pondering... There is no way I could take 600-700 miles a day on my Sporty. I changed the seat to a Mustang Solo since it is highly recommended, and it is much better, but I still get numb-butt setting in after a mere 40 miles or so, as opposed to 10 minutes with the stock seat.

How was your stock seat on your Street Rod? How much better after adding padding to the pocket?
Another question I have is how much of a PITA is it to adjust the valves? Approximately how long does it take to do?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, the sales guy called me this morning... and sweetened the deal on the Street Rod even more. So... it is now in my garage, next to my Sporty. And as Murphy's Law would have it, it is raining. I am going to ride it for while and see how I adjust to the riding position. If it doesn't work out, maybe I can make a few bucks on it.
 

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Well, the sales guy called me this morning... and sweetened the deal on the Street Rod even more. So... it is now in my garage, next to my Sporty. And as Murphy's Law would have it, it is raining. I am going to ride it for while and see how I adjust to the riding position. If it doesn't work out, maybe I can make a few bucks on it.

Congrats on the new bike ! Hope it works out for you.
 

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Well if Stude adjusts to the riding position then this thread is definitely going into the History pages for him with all those pics and advice....!!
 

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Well, the sales guy called me this morning... and sweetened the deal on the Street Rod even more. So... it is now in my garage, next to my Sporty. And as Murphy's Law would have it, it is raining. I am going to ride it for while and see how I adjust to the riding position. If it doesn't work out, maybe I can make a few bucks on it.
share some pics!
 

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Well, the sales guy called me this morning... and sweetened the deal on the Street Rod even more. So... it is now in my garage, next to my Sporty. And as Murphy's Law would have it, it is raining. I am going to ride it for while and see how I adjust to the riding position. If it doesn't work out, maybe I can make a few bucks on it.
That's awesome, glad to hear things worked out.
 

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Speaking of GS-1000s, look where the rider pegs are located. Same place relative to the seat as those on the Street Rod.

I have my 1982 GS1100GK Still a great bike!
 

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Now you have me pondering... There is no way I could take 600-700 miles a day on my Sporty. I changed the seat to a Mustang Solo since it is highly recommended, and it is much better, but I still get numb-butt setting in after a mere 40 miles or so, as opposed to 10 minutes with the stock seat.

How was your stock seat on your Street Rod? How much better after adding padding to the pocket?
Another question I have is how much of a PITA is it to adjust the valves? Approximately how long does it take to do?
Congrats on the new bike! The orphan of the red-headed step children.

The first time I tried adjusting the valves I spent over ten hours. I made a lot of little procedural mistakes so it was two steps forward, one step back, until I finally finished. I also needed a couple of better tools. The next time I was in an out in five and half hours. I have have the valve covers off in an hour and a half now. Be patient and take your time. It'll come with experience. If you get frustrated, set it down and come back to it later. Harley flat rates the job at 3 1/2 hours! At 5 1/2 I think I am working plenty fast.

Two tools you absolutely have to have are a long ball end 5 mm 3/8 drive allen socket and a really long, like 18 inches or longer, flat blade screwdriver.

Sears.com

The allen socket is to get at the valve cover screws. When you get the airbox cover and air box out of the way, you will see there are holes in the frame gussets and battery box you feed the allen wrench through to access the many valve cover screws. A couple of them are still tough to get at, so maybe buy a couple of different lenght allen sockets. Make sure they are ball end because you have to angle in at many of them.

The long screwdriver makes unscrewing the clamps securing the throttle bodies to their rubber spouts so much easier. It is very crowded inside the frame rails. The long screwdriver lets you feed the blade in from outside the frame, between the frame and the horn. Ah, much easier than trying to do it with a short tool inside the frame.

Oh yeah, for checking clearances buy the HD feeler guages. They make checking the clearance fast and accurate. The narrower feeler guage blade should slide through and the wider blade should not, it's a "go/no go" reading. If the wider blade slides through, then you have to measure the actual clearance, write that down, remove the cam (not so hard if you pay attention to the procedure in the Service Manual, double and then triple check basic timing before and after moving anything, and be sure to make marks with a sharpie on both the cam sprockets and the cam chain so you can see if the cam chain slips a tooth as you move things (saved my bacon doing that ! ). To determine the actual clearance, I will give you a tip an experienced V-Rod engine builder gave me. Find the thickest blade that will just fit through the gap between the bucket and cam. Go to the next thickest blade to make sure it wont go through. Add the thickness of the two blades together and divide that number by 2. That is your actual gap. Use that and the measured thickness of the shim you remove to determine the size of the shim you need. There are a couple of tear out sheets in the manual for performing the calculations, but I made my own and keep these with my service records.

Luckily the valves on V-Rods almost never go out of adjustment unless, like me, you fool around with big lumpy cams (expensive lesson that went bad :(, now I'm back to stock). Just get a good dyno tune and go riding.

Otherwise, read the Service Manual carefully all the way through several times and learn the procedure. That is what I did. No one held my hand. It is detailed and accurate. One of the joys of owning this bike is the outstanding Service Manual. If you ever used a BMW or Honda service manual, you will absolutely love Harleys.

As for seats, I am very happy with my repadded seat. That extra inch or so was just what my legs wanted. The stock seat is not very comfortable. I used a Sundowner Riders seat for a long time, but it locks you into one position. Now the seat is almost dead flat (just like the old days when motorcycle seats were big cushy benches) and a bit wider than stock for my wider than stock posterior :p . Later tonight when I am home I will try to find time to post a photo of the seat, and how the bike is set up for clicking off those 600 mile days.
 

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Two tools you absolutely have to have are a long ball end 5 mm 3/8 drive allen socket and a really long, like 18 inches or longer, flat blade screwdriver.

Sears.com

The allen socket is to get at the valve cover screws. When you get the airbox cover and air box out of the way, you will see there are holes in the frame gussets and battery box you feed the allen wrench through to access the many valve cover screws. A couple of them are still tough to get at, so maybe buy a couple of different lenght allen sockets. Make sure they are ball end because you have to angle in at many of them.

The long screwdriver makes unscrewing the clamps securing the throttle bodies to their rubber spouts so much easier. It is very crowded inside the frame rails. The long screwdriver lets you feed the blade in from outside the frame, between the frame and the horn. Ah, much easier than trying to do it with a short tool inside the frame.

As for seats, I am very happy with my repadded seat. That extra inch or so was just what my legs wanted. The stock seat is not very comfortable. I used a Sundowner Riders seat for a long time, but it locks you into one position. Now the seat is almost dead flat (just like the old days when motorcycle seats were big cushy benches) and a bit wider than stock for my wider than stock posterior :p . Later tonight when I am home I will try to find time to post a photo of the seat, and how the bike is set up for clicking off those 600 mile days.
Got this same lecture from him on the tools on a different forum. The tools are important. I needed no adjustment at 25K last year.

Though I got this screw driver...

SGD424BR, Screwdriver, Instinct Handle, Soft, Flat Tip, Extra Long, 1/4" tip, 28 3/4"

Take your time and don't get in a big hurry to been done. Working on them is part of the fun. Follow the feeler gauge advice as well.. we don't have a taxmanhog on this forum yet!

For seats, I just added an Airhawk on top of my seat, never had a problem after that.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks y'all. I will get some pictures, maybe tomorrow.

DT, thanks for the info. We have long winters here, so 5 or 10 hours is nothing in the grand scheme of things. I will be ordering a manual soon.
When it comes to motorized vehicles, I tend to gravitate toward the non-mainstream orphans (of the red-headed step child as you put it). My cages are a 53 Studebaker pickup and a 70 Galaxie 500, neither of which is really common. Might just as well follow suit with bikes.

I managed to ride it 25 miles today, but I need to get in at least a 100 mile ride to get a feel for long term comfort. I will gladly eat some crow if this turns out be better for distance riding.
So far, I am really liking the bike itself. I have always liked the VRod style of bikes. It is fairly tame under 4500 RPM, but above that... :D 120hp on a bike is cool. The brakes are WAY better than my Sportster (although I found the Sporty brakes to be sufficient). And the suspension... :) RR crossing that would bottom my Sporty out, no problem with the Street Rod, even with the rear shock adjustment on the lowest position. Then there is the exhaust note. Low rumble, just the way I like it. :cool:

Having ridden my Sporty with a sport windshield, I definitely want to look into installing one on the SR. Quick detach saddlebag mounting or other storage is also a concern that I need to research.

Got this same lecture from him on the tools on a different forum..
You must be referring the 1130CC forum.
 
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