Fixing a Hole.

I’ve been busy. Not with adventuring, but with adventuring-prepping. As I’ve mentioned, a trip to Deal’s Gap is in my very near future (where, sadly, there has been 3 motorbike-related deaths in the past 2 weeks). So, I’m missing the hiking trails, and I’m really missing putting the boat in the water, but this stuff is important. To me, anyway.

click for larger

click for larger

You’ll recall that part of the plan was to put a new hitch on the Jeep, so I could trailer the motorbike. Well, it’s done. And surprisingly, no major screw-ups. It was a project, though. Step one, I bought a tent, so I could work in the shade, or if one of the frequent pop-up showers occurs. Smart move. It didn’t rain (although it threatened), but the shade was awesome. Worth the 80 bucks.

Then, I had to take the entire back of the Jeep apart, and remove the factory bumper and the aftermarket hitch I added last year. Not a huge deal, just methodical. What was a huge deal was cutting a hole in the bumper fascia – you know, a big-ass hole in my still-practically-new-Jeep. This was one of those “you get one chance to do it right” things. Stunningly, I did it right. Not even a lot of swearing. After adding the new hitch, and putting everything back together, just a matter of doing the electrical work. Also not especially hard, just time-consuming. And, like the adding the hitch, everything worked on the first try – it was a chore, though, requiring taking apart much of the interior and dash in the exact right order, and putting it al back together in the exact right opposite order. Since I had to go to all that trouble anyway, I went ahead and did the wiring for a rear-facing dashcam, just like the one I have up front. The new camera will be here tomorrow, but I have no reason to think that won’t work.

I’m still toying with the whole brush guard & winch thing. I’d like to add this, but it’s just so flippin’ expensive – right around 2 grand, including installation. I may never actually need a winch, but that one time, it could save me if I’m deep in the woods. I dunno. Gotta kick that around some more.

cherokee-kl-front

I did go ahead and order some mudguards for the Jeep, as well. It’s one of those things that’s been on my list. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of variety out there, and it looks like they may be a little bit of a pain to install, but I’m all cocky now, so I’m sure I can handle it.

I art things.

I art things.

Then, there’s all the work on the motorbike. I’ve done so much recently, I can’t even keep it all straight, and the UPS/FedEx/USPS people must all think I’ve either hit the lottery or lost my mind (here’s a hint: I haven’t hit the lottery). The Mustang saddle, the Road Burner pipes, the luggage rack, the LED glow lighting; it never ends. My most recent additions have been the Kuryakyn floorboards (awesome), and I’m working on the forward lighting. I replaced the driving light bulbs (the small lights on each side of the main headlamp) with more powerful LED lights. I also added an LED light bar below the headlamp (not pictured), which I wired up to come on when I hit the “bright” switch. Really cool, if I do say so myself. Then, of course, things got complicated. I intended to add a very powerful LED light in the main headlamp, but the thing wouldn’t fit. LED mains have a heatsink, a fan and a ballast, and all of that wouldn’t fit in the Phantom’s bucket (the headlamp assembly). So, I have a new, larger bucket on order; everything will definitely fit in it, and it looks cool – it’ll just be a matter of whether or not I can figure out a way to mount it. We’ll see when it arrives.

There’s been a few other things – building out my tool kits (so I don’t get stuck on the side of the road), tinkering with my GoPro mounts, adding some leather brake/clutch covers. There’s one or two more things I’d like to do before the Dragon, but really, nothing else that’s necessary. So, within a few weeks’ time, I’ll be heading north – hopefully, not to become another statistic.

Link:
Jeep Hitch Install Photo Album on Facebook