It’s Alive! Sportster Project Fires Up

It’s Alive! The Evo fired up and made noise today! After nearly 6 weeks of drama and a lot of late nights in the garage … and a little cussing … I got the Sportster to fire up and idle smoothly. Now, there is still a ton of work to do since I have damn near everything taken off the bike, but the heavy lifting is done. Even more importantly, it’s going to be fairly warm and clear here this weekend, so I can get everything cleaned up and reinstalled for my testing on the road.

Now even though the machining is done, I’ve still got a ton of tuning, and based on how that new Mikuni bogged down when I bumped the throttle past 1/4, we might have some work cut out for us. Even more so, since I have a date with the dyno on March 5. A friend of mine who has built more engines than Honda is letting me use his shop for an afternoon and I’m really trying to pull 90 horses from this build.

I know, I know. That’s a power trip out of an 883, but I had a dyno’d 78 in the last engine and I’ve got more fuel and better flow through the heads now along with more compression – and the SuperTrapp should be good for a few extra ponies, too.

Right now some of you guys are looking at me like I’m speaking Japanese, and maybe I am. Nobody needs a bike that pulls that kind of power. 55 miles per hour is still the law on most of the roads I ride, and higher compression means that I really have to be careful of the timing and fuel quality.

Harley Sportster Project - Its Alive

But right now, let’s remember how it feels to open up that throttle on an empty road, no matter what kind of bike you ride. Feel the wind add a little lift to your helmet? Hear the exhaust echo through the hills? Here it “pop” down when you come off of a bunch of throttle and just let the bike slow down on its own? I’m writing that now, but feeling it when I look out in the garage and see my bike and the possibility of all the new roads it will take me down again.

Suddenly, all the time and money don’t seem that important to me and getting back to those days on a bike, with the sun warming the leather and the feel of the best motorcycle I can build sitting under me? Well, that’s why we all ride.

Spring is coming, my friends, and for all of us, that’s enough to know and be thankful for.

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