Wednesday, August 7, 2019


  Tension-the state of being stretched tight. Under the primary cover of most Harleys is a big ass chain that runs from the engine crankshaft to the clutch/transmission. For some reason I had a bad feeling about the plastic tensioner that takes up the slack in this chain. I know I've looked at it before because I have a memory of replacing the clutch in this bike at one time. I don't keep records except for the occasional note scribbled on the wall in the garage. I always thought this blog was my record keeper but trying to search for stuff is difficult.
 Right after typing that last sentence I googled this blog name and the word clutch. It took me directly to a post I made almost exactly one year ago where I replaced the clutch. That was seven thousand miles ago. I knew last year was a slow year for mileage and this year probably will be too due to a lot of time on the sportster.

 Pulling the primary cover is pretty easy. A shift lever, front and rear floor boards and then the cover bolts is all that has to come off. 

 I was happy to see the magnet on the drain plug was clean. I was also happy not to find any plastic from the tensioner. I don't know why but I thought this thing was gonna be damaged.

 Once I saw that everything was in good working order I could relax. If I would have not looked in here and then gone on a week long vacation, there would have been no relaxing. Peace of mind cost me only twenty dollars in the form of a gasket. The oil would have been replaced anyway.

 Leveling the bike for topping off the fluid level was easy with my handy dandy bike jack. Thanks Christine!
 I also decided to change out the tranny fluid. No metal on this plug either makes me a happy camper. I use Redline synthetic oils and thats why this fluid looks the way it does. Please excuse the use of bitch mittens.

 All this fresh oil means its time for a test ride. My wife had just commented that I am about to head out on a bike vacation that requires full days in the saddle. I haven't had one day this year that even came close to a full day in the saddle. My first vacation day is a five hundred miler and she doesn't think I'm prepared for that. She may be right. I decided to ride up to the Harley dealer in Appleton for a part I needed and took the most direct route I could at 56 miles. This was only to ensure I got there before they closed. For the ride home I went way out of my way and made a big loop that turned the entire trip into almost two hundred miles. Sadly, my ass kinda hurt when I got home. Not good, only ten days till vacation.



  1. Doing a task like removing the cover on the primary to just assure yourself that things are alright is well worth the time and $$ for the peace of mind. Five hundred miles right out of the chute, eh? Sounds like a great trip!

  2. I've been doing this trip for about 19 years now. 500 sounds good but I used to do the whole 950 in a day. I guess I'm slowing down a bit.