Sunday, June 10, 2012

My Raider Refit has Begun!

I got the first step of refitting my Yamaha Raider for Motorcycle Touring done Friday afternoon.

After riding the bike for a couple of years with the leather Osprey saddlebags I decided that I needed to rework the setup.

The bags have served well, but as it turns out, the conditions I live in now are not made for the endurance of leather saddlebags. I just can't keep ahead of the abuse the weather puts on the leather bags that are exposed to the elements 100% of the time.

But, to change to the fiberglass hard bags I'm going to install, it required the replacement of the existing, factory exhaust pipes.

*Yamaha Raider with Factory Pipes*
 That dogleg in the pipes rises up so high it's pretty hard to squeeze in any sort of a hard bag with the size I want to go to.

That's the other thing working here. I wanted to enlarge the bags a bit to improve their capacity for Motorcycle Touring on my Yamaha sled.

I chewed on this for a long time... flopping back and forth from one style to another... and finally settled on the 3" Big Straights from Hard Chrome in the Black version.

*Yamaha Raider with 3" Big Straights by Hard Chrome*
Geeze... You'd think a guy taking a portrait of his most favorite motorcycle of all time would remember to pull the protective masking tape off the frame first! :)

But look at the difference in space twixt the pipes and the bags... I'm impatiently waiting now for my new Tsukayu Coner saddlebags to arrive!

That and the noise... I'm not real BIG on Loud Pipes... I was nervous about these being too noisy... So far? I'm happy. They've got a deep burbling rumble to 'em without that ear cracking edge. If you stay off the throttle in the "neighborhood" and keep your rpm down the neighbors have nothing to complain about.

On the Highway, where before I couldn't even hear the motor over the wind... I now have that nice, deep rumble that always tickles the giggles of a "Motorhead"... OK... so I'm a partial motorhead. So far it's a real pleasing note... needs be, I can swap the baffles for a "quieter" variety... but with the pipes being the long style, I think they'll ride just as they are.

I was a lil' anxious about going in the Blacked out "direction" but, already, I'm liking the more subdued style of 'em. Since I live in the "you can polish 'em or you can ride 'em" school of thought ... and sit solidly on the Ride 'em side ;) I think the black is gonna do better in that situation than chrome!

Riding the bike back to the rig from my kids place in Denver... I rolled up I-25. One of the first things I noticed was there seemed to be a bit more vibration. The second was that my fuel mileage kinda went to hell!

Geeze! And I thought it would improve a bit...

Then... I looked down at the speedo... Hmmm...

Ya think that maybe all those extra numbers I found when I looked at the speedometer might have something to do with more vibration and poorer fuel economy? :))

Took a roll up Poudre Canyon yesterday... at my more "normal" cruising speed and that idea seems to have been borne out... Mileage seems to be back in the 48-52 mpg range that I normally run. Guess I'll have to guard against the Thunder Induced Velocity!

Now that I "played" for a couple of days...

It's back to work for me now.


Donna B. McNicol said...

The new pipes TOTALLY change the look of the bike and both Stu and I love it!! Can't wait to see the bike after the new bags are on.

the_Wanderer said...

Love those blacked out straight pipes...form follows function..