Hitchin’ A Ride.

I’ve kinda been on a shopping bender lately. All the stuff I’ve previously mentioned for the motorbike (and the new drag exhaust will be here this Friday – evidently, it took longer to fabricate than originally expected; but it left LA yesterday), and stuff for the Jeep. Everything with the target of riding the Dragon in a month or so.

I made the decision that the aftermarket trailer hitch I bought last year when I first got the Jeep just wasn’t going to cut it. Sure, it works OK as a place to mount my mountain bike carrier, but if I’m going to pull an actual trailer with my actual motorcycle on it, something better is required. Plus – as I found out this past weekend – the aftermarket one just hangs too low; I drug it several times while crawling over rocks and stuff.

Aftermarket and factory.

Aftermarket and factory.

So, I ordered the factory hitch receiver, wiring harness and bumper fascia. As you can see from the (generic stock) photos, the factory hitch is so much better. It sits inside the bumper, versus hanging a good 6 inches below, and because of the way it mounts, it’s dramatically stronger. That said, it’s going to be complicated. The dealer was going to charge in the neighborhood of $700 to install everything; for that, I’ll do it myself. Basically, the entire back end of the Jeep has to come off, as well as many of the interior panels to run the wiring harness for the trailer lights (and because of that, I also ordered a hard-wire kit for an eventual rear-facing dashcam like I installed in the front so I can do it all at once). Not going to be easy, but I love a good project. I already received the fascia bezel; the hitch will be here today, and the wiring later this week. I’ve had many of my Jeep peeps ask me for a detailed post-mortem, so I’ll probably just document everything here.

pipes-622
But first things first. The new pipes for the motorbike. I’m excited to get them put on, not just because it’s another hands-on project for me, but it’s going to (hopefully significantly) boost the horsepower, which will be great on the Dragon. That, and they just look so much better than the stock chrome pipes. From what I’ve seen on YT, they sound better, as well.

Speaking of YT, this:

I bought some new GoPro mounts for the trip. A 360 degree swivel mount, so I can rotate the camera while driving, and a mount to put the camera on the new crash bars, for an interesting perspective. I’m pretty pleased with the results so far.

So, the next week is going to be busy with my projects, and superbusy™ with work. The big show is coming up, as well as a major evolution at the Dallas datacenter that’s too complex to explain, but is going to result in some all-nighters. Hopefully, by July, things will be back to normal, and I can start making concrete plans for my adventure. Fingers crossed.