Archive for the ‘Product Review’ Category

Way back in June I purchased and installed the Harley Daymaker Reflector. Installation was, by my standards, quick and easy. The entire stock headlight and mounting ring had to be removed, and the new mounting ring installed (this is shown in the pictures). Once installed, the light plugs into the harness, and mounted onto the ring. The trim ring screws back in place, and voila, you have daytime at nighttime. Total install took less than an hour.

Verdict: I have ridden with these lights in direct sunlight, at sunset, at night, in fog, and in rain. And all I can say is, “What a difference a day(maker) makes!” These lights truly do create daylight at night. With the stock headlight, I often caught myself using the high beams when alone on the road, not because I wanted to, but because I needed to. With the Daymaker Reflector, there has been no need to use the highs. And on the topic of the high beams, if there is a weakness, it is in the high beam as it does not offer exponentially more light than the low. But I wonder, is it that the high beam is weak, or is the low beam that strong? I tend to side with the latter rather than the former. And the other drivers on the road tend to agree. Day and night I am constantly flashed to turn the high beam off… I would love to know what they are thinking when they realize they are my lows. This headlight provides an exponential increase in nighttime visibility and is well worth the money – especially if you can find it at a 20% discount from certain online retailers.

Couple this upgrade with the Custom Dynamics Dynamic Ringz and really let yourself be seen by the other drivers on the road.

Ride hard, ride safe, and enjoy every mile.

For those familiar with Harley touring models, you know that in 2010 Harley Davidson abandoned the large taillight in favor of two dual purpose brake lights and turn signals. Although it adds to the sleek look of the bike, it really allows for poor visibility to other motorists during daytime riding, especially on sunny days.  I have been told countless times by those I ride with that my bike is virtually invisible when I”m braking – especially in direct sunlight.

After doing numerous cosmetic and “performance” upgrades to my dearest Beatrice, I decided it was finally time to do something that could potentially save us both.

I ordered the Custom Dynamics Dynamic Ringz, LED brake lights, and load stabilizer online for $172 shipped. They arrived within eight days, and they took all of 30 minutes to install.

Installation in the front and rear is as easy as popping off the existing lens covers, unscrewing and removing the halogen unit, and inserting the LED unit. Pop the lens cover back on. Many choose, at this point, to run smoked lenses on all four lights. I chose to install clears in the front, and I kept my red lenses in the rear. I felt it was a better aesthetic fit for the bike. A flat head screwdriver is all you need to complete this task.

The load stabilizer was the longest and trickiest part of the install. The load stabilizer mounts underneath the bike’s side panel and connects into the main wiring harness. Positive and negative terminals also attach to the bike’s battery. Truthfully, this wasn’t an arduous process – once I located the main wiring harness. Connecting to the battery requires nothing more than a screwdriver, just do me a favor and make sure you properly feed your wires underneath the frame otherwise the seat will be resting on them. As you can surmise, I had to reroute my wires because I screwed it up the first time.  Syncing the lights and stabilizer are simple. A few left blinks followed by 10 or so right blinks, back to the left and done.

Front: The Dynamic Ringz convert the stock halogen turn signals to full time LED running lights and, when activated, amber turn signals. They have 48 LEDs on each insert. The outer ring of 24 are white, and the inner 24 are amber. The outer white ring is very noticeable to oncoming traffic (see pic below). At night, it does not light up the road too much more, as the LEDs are aimed straight out, but they do reflect brightly off of any reflective surface – for example stop signs, road paint, and the eyes of animals watching from the side of the road.

Rear: The improvement from my stock tail lights was remarkable. In direct sunlight daylight, the rear running lights are brighter than the stock brake lights. And the brake lights, when activated, are extremely hard to miss.  One of the first upgrades I made when I first bought the bike was the tri-bar upgrade, which converted the tri-bar on the bottom of the fender to running and brake lights. These new Custom Dynamics drown out the tri-bar brake light entirely. The photos below show the Custom Dynamics LEDs as running lights on the left, and as brake lights on the right.

Rear OneRear Two

The Verdict: This upgrade is a must for anyone concerned with increasing their likelihood of being seen by other drivers on the road in all riding conditions at all times of the day – the bike is highly visible from the front and the rear. It is a relatively low cost upgrade which requires minimal mechanical skills to complete.

Visit Custom Dynamics on the web.


Up Next: Harley Daymaker Reflector

Ride hard, ride safe, and enjoy every mile.


Ride hard, ride safe, and enjoy every mile.

For the last year and half or so, I have read, heard, and seen countless gripes about buffeting on a Street Glide. And for the last year and a half or so, I swore to myself and others that I did not feel any buffeting. Do I feel wind hitting me in the face as I look over a 4 inch windshield? Absolutely. Did it shake my head or make my ride uncomfortable and dangerous? Absolutely not. But in the back of my mind I always wondered how a new windshield would affect my ride.

The Design

Klock Werks owner, Brian Klock, designed the Flare windshield to help channel the air around the rider, while applying a downward pressure on the front of the fairing to provide better handling. Rather than write the information, here is a video by shield creator Brian Klock talking about the Flare design:

I have always put function over form, and the flare windshield is no different. Although I am not a huge fan of it’s looks, if it delivers on its promises, I can easily live and ride with the curvy design.

The Ride

In view of last Friday’s 450 mile run, I figured it was at last time to take advantage of the local dealership’s test ride program. I headed down to TSI Harley Davidson in Ellington and grabbed myself the Klock Werks 6.5 flare windshield. I brought it home, quickly swapped out shields (the three screw process is as easy as it gets), and immediately sat on the bike. As a tall rider, the 4 inch stock windshield is not in my line of sight at all. My initial thought when I mounted the bike was that the extra 2.5 inches were going to affect my visibility.

The first part of the trip was all highway riding and it took me all of 30 seconds to get used to the new windshield. I found the windshield worked well to limit the wind noise blowing by my ears, however it did little to reduce the wind that was hitting me behind the fairing. I was actually playing my stereo at 3/4 the volume I normally had it set to. And my initial claim was that I didn’t like it, but I would not change it out and I would give it a fair shake. 450 miles later, it had grown on me, but it wasn’t ride changing.

The Flare 6.5

Saturday morning I swapped the 6.5 for the 8.5 figuring the 8.5 might improve the areas the 6.5 was lacking. Much to my surprise, the 8.5 was intolerable at best. On the backroads and the highway I had wind hitting me from all directions behind the windshield and fairing. Head buffeting was at its highest I’ve ever experienced, making the ride increasingly more uncomfortable. As an aside, for those riders that utilize the 3 pouch windshield bags, the Flare 8.5 is designed to accomodate them.

The Flare 8.5

One thing I did not get to try with either of the windshields was 2-up riding. A common complaint from many riders seems to be the wind flow on the passenger. Truthfully, I have never heard this from passengers, only salesmen. Although I wanted to prove the truth or debunk the myth, the opportunity just did not present itself. Then again, my wife always says she gets no airflow sitting behind me, and I can’t imagine a windshield would change that.

The Verdict: Not Love at First Ride

If forced to buy a brand new windshield today, the 8.5 Flare is not the way to go for me. I found the air to be swirling behind the windshield, and perhaps due to the height of the air channels on the shield, I felt more buffeting from the sides out of the 8.5 than I did running both the 6.5 and the Street Glide stock shields.

This 6.5 inch screen was nice, but it was not love at first ride. Perhaps I was foolish to think all the wind would disappear entirely. And perhaps I was being even more foolish to think I wanted the wind to disappear entirely. The day of riding was in the upper 80’s and lower 90’s and I was baking on the bike. One thing I noticed, the swirling wind behind the fairing definitely wasn’t the same as the clean and cooling wind that hits you directly in the chest.

If the 6.5 was my full time windshield, I might learn to appreciate its benefits, but it did not provide me with enough of a positive change in wind feel to warrant the $150+ price tag at Amazon (the seemingly cheapest retailer at the moment including free shipping – eBay does offer it cheaper if you choose to go that route). I expect a major change for the price paid, and if the positives of the KW6.5 are few, then that may be money better spent else where.  I will not rule out the 6.5 entirely however, as I plan to take it out for a second ride at some point this summer.

In the future I also plan to try the Harley Wind Splitter, and would like to test the Long Ride Shields Ultra if I can find one (currently they don’t offer test rides), but for now, stock is the way to go.

To learn more about the Klock Werks line, please check out their website

Ride hard, ride safe, and enjoy every mile.

All over I have read how great Harley Goodies Floorboard Extensions are; but truthfully, I didn’t need them, my ride is comfortable enough. After all, it’s a Harley, it can’t get any better, right?  Yup, I was wrong.

I started the search for the floorboard extensions after I bolted on my passenger floorboards – the position of the passenger floorboards sat my wife’s feet tighter on the bike, cramping us just a little more than the passenger pegs. My search brought me to the Harley Goodies review page.  It didn’t take long to realize no one has anything bad to say about these products.  I composed an email to Tom, and sure enough, he got back to me that day letting me know that my model year (2012) is in fact available.

Although Tom got back to me, I did nothing with the information. Besides, we didn’t have an overnight trip planned for at least another month. Fast forward three weeks.  It was a Tuesday, the trip was on the horizon and I still hadn’t solved my floorboard problem. Rather than emailing Tom again, I called him. We spoke for 15 minutes about the differences and advantages of the product, he gave me a small homework assignment – check the thread size of the shoulder bolt on the 2012 bracket – and upon completion, I ordered the passenger extensions (chrome).  With a 2 week return policy, I also ordered a set of the rider floorboard extenders (black).  I wasn’t sure if I needed them, but figured they would be worth the shot.

As mentioned, that was a Tuesday.  They arrived that Friday from California (free shipping and cross country travel in 3 days?!?). I spent some time with the bike on Saturday installing them.  Installation was a breeze, although I admit, the original bolts were a bit difficult to get off because of leverage.  Tom recommended a 6 inch socket extension which I didn’t have.  I am sure it is easier with the proper tools!

Installation took about an hour for both rider and passenger extensions – the majority of the time was spent on the rider rather than the passenger extensions.  Instructions specifically dictated that the bike be taken on a slow test ride to assimilate the rider to the new riding position.  What better way to test ride than to go out for a sandwich!

After my ten mile jaunt all I can say is, wow!!! I was skeptical at first, but I am thrilled with the results. Tom put it best on the phone when he said, “they offer you more real estate.” And he wasn’t kidding. As a taller fellow, my riding position seemed more natural to me and I had plenty of room to move around on the boards. I have since been out a few more times and my bike has never felt more comfortable. The passenger extensions seemingly provide more room as two-up riding is less cramped.

Below are some pics after installation was completed.


Thank you again Tom!!!  This is one product endorsement I will definitely be passing along to fellow riders.

Manufacturer: Harley Goodies

Products: Rider and Passenger Floorboard Extensions

Cost: $46.95 and $39.95 for rider and passenger (Note: there is a discount for members of HDForums


Ride hard, ride safe, and enjoy every mile!

I learned a very valuable lesson the other day when I rolled Phee out of the garage – the value of a trickle charger.  I will admit, I have been a bit lazy.  My battery was very weak last year, and even with a charge it never seemed to recover.  Fast forward 48 hours, the battery has been replaced, and I’m itching to ride… needless to say waking up to dark gloomy skies wasn’t too promising.  And here I am on the couch thinking about a product I purchased at the store on Wednesday – Blue Away.

When I was picking up my battery, I asked the guy in the parts department what product he knew of that could get rid of pipe bluing.  Immediately he pulled the Blue Away out of the glass counter. “Personally, I haven’t used it, but everyone swears by it,” he said. I picked his brain a little further and decided I’d give it a go.  Of course, then I looked at the price.  $17.50 for a 2.5 oz bottle… although I thought about it for a brief moment, and joked about not showing my wife the receipt, I left the store with the Blue Away with hopes it would do the trick.

As visible in the picture below, the bluing of my pipes isn’t too severe, but if the product works, it will be well worth the money. [Note: it is not an easy task to photograph chrome in the daylight]

(Blued pipes before)

During a break in the rain, I pulled the bike out of the garage, cleaned up the pipes a bit to remove any dirt/grime that happened to accumulate on my last ride, crossed my fingers, and got to work on the bluing.

Armed with two soft rags I opened the bottle, put about a blot the size of a dime on the rag, and began rubbing it into the pipes in circular fashion as one would a normal polish (any directions on the bottle are covered by the store’s label so I followed the directions I found on the internet) and then buffed it out with my second rag.

The first buff produced negligible results at best, but I wasn’t prepared to call it quits.  A second and third application yielded much better results.  The problem area on the pipes has, for the most part, disappeared; there still remains a small area of bluing that was very difficult to remove.

Not visible in any photo were a few passenger boot marks on the pipes and two winged-creatures that met a painfully warm demise when they  flew into my pipes.  I have not been able to remove them with any traditional polish.  The Blue Away removed both boots and bugs  with very little effort – even less effort than it took to remove the bluing.

Although the results are primarily positive, the Blue Away did cause minor swirling on my pipes.  I have tried to buff out the swirls, but to no avail.  My rags were soft polishing rags, they were clean, and there was no dirt or grime on the bike when I started using the Blue Away.  A quick Google search shows I’m not alone. While I don’t like the swirls, they are not too much of an eye-sore, and they are covered by my passenger floor boards 90% of the time.

(Blued pipes after)

Blue Away works, but it is not the magic elixir it is hyped to be. Perhaps my mind will change if I choose to apply it again in a few days and see if it removes any more of the bluing. But please, I urge you to proceed with caution as to not cause further damage to your chrome… or your bank account.

Ride hard, ride safe, and enjoy every mile.