Swingarm Under the Knife, er Grinding Wheel!

Southeast MA – Southern NH
Mon July 2

Following my NY in-state Saddlesore and just a few days prior to leaving for the Butt Lite in Kentucky, I realized that the Hankook V2 (car) tire I had on the bike wasn’t going to last the entire rally. I’d already purchased my next tire, a Goodyear Tripletred, which by all accounts should last around 50K miles (!). However, mounting it would require some slight modifications to the bike, i.e. grinding some  aluminum material off the rear swingarm of the bike to avoid rubbing the edge of the tire. Although this absolutely horrified me, it’s a known procedure and I’m lucky to have a couple friends who’d been through the process and had the skills and confidence to do the grinding work. So with only a couple day’s notice I headed up to New Hampshire with my new tire strapped on the back. The boards make it much easier to get the rear wheel off by getting the bike centerstand elevated higher than ground level.

After removing the wheel at my buddy Jeff’s place, I borrowed his truck to get the tire changed at the nearby and affordable Break’er Bikes Motorsports in Exeter NH. Despite the stiff sidewall of the newer tire, Jim was able to get me fixed up in 15 minutes or so, using the awesome hydraulic changer they have, and sent me on my way. I gave them a bit extra for their trouble, to keep the darkside karma flowing.

Back at Jeff’s place, he and Bob (former ST owner…) marked out the section on the swingarm and Jeff set to grinding away. After each grinding session, the process was:
1. Remove plastic bag/dust guard from swing arm.
2. Re-insert wheel with deflated tire into place.
3. Spin wheel to test.
4. Deflate tire.
5. Remove wheel.
6. Cover swingarm.
7. Grind some more! Repeat.

After a couple cycles, we added spraying black primer on to the swingarm as step 1, so we’d be able to see exactly where the tire was rubbing.

Jeff, a Yamaha rider, appeared to be having way too much fun at his task, grinding away on my poor Honda.

Eventually, no more rubbing was detected and my test ride around the block was successful, with no hint of any contact with the tire. Good to go for Butt Lite!

Many thanks to Jeff and Bob for helping a brother out on very short notice and on a Monday night! Bison burgers are on me!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

« Previous - Next- »
%d bloggers like this: