This Is Nuts and Bolts!

Now that I have established the story behind the Night Train I can now talk a little more about the bike. As a follow up I should mention that Trina was a little less than thrilled with the idea of me having a bike but she has slowly warmed up to it.

There was a minor setback when I took her on her first ride. We decided to go visit my brother to show him the bike (he is a bigger motorcycle guy than I am and for the record a much better rider). I slightly underestimated the length of the ride when I mentioned it to Trina. I thought it was maybe 4-5 miles. It ended up being over 100 miles round trip as we went to his work, his wife Darlene’s work and ultimately their house in North Phoenix (Trina swears it was south Flagstaff).

This might not have been totally bad except the Night Train Badlander seat is really designed for 1 since the rear seat is approximately 7 inches wide and maybe 1.5 inches thick. It was days before Trina could comfortably sit again. The good news is that the next year for my birthday she bought me a new and much more comfortable seat. She still has not gotten back on the bike to see whether it is more comfortable for her and that was 2 years ago.

Lately though she has gotten more comfortable with me and the bike. In fact for Christmas I received several accessories for the bike. This year I have committed to accessorizing my Night Train to finally make it more personal. I would have done this sooner but two shoulder surgeries and extended therapy minimized my time on the bike. Now though my shoulder is feeling much better and I plan to ride the Night Train a lot more.

So basically I am in the process of tricking out the Night Train. I want to leave as much black as possible on the bike mostly because I like the look of the blacked out parts. Things that aren’t black I am moving to chrome. My goal is to put enough chrome on the bike to make the black pop which in turn will make the chrome stand out. It is a balancing act. This week I am focusing on zinc fasteners, the bane of all bikes.

Zinc is cheap, zinc is strong, and zinc makes Harley riders crazy. I have a theory that Harley-Davidson uses zinc bolts and nuts because they have a dull look to them which will cause bikers to go into the dealership and pay $5 for a chrome bolt just so they don’t have to look at the drab zinc fastener. Well, it worked on me anyway. I have spent the better part of 2 days stripping off zinc bolts, nuts, and screws and replacing them with a chrome equivalent.

Trina of course thinks I am insane. “No one cares about whether a bolt is bright chrome or dull silver.” That’s not necessarily true, I care and since I am the one riding the bike I don’t want to look down at zinc. I’ve had to calm down a little though. You can get crazy if you replace every bolt. First it is stinking expensive and secondly it is a pain to get to some of these bolts.

Oh and that part about my shoulder being fine? Yeah not so much. It hurts like a mother bear and the twisting that accompanies twisting a wrench is about the worst motion I can do. So every time I replace a fastener it is a new adventure in pain. I keep telling myself it is going to be worth it and my shoulder keeps telling me not so much. Rocker box, transmission cover, derby cover, timing cover, and rear struts are about as far as my shoulder is going to let me go. I’m going to have to just deal with some zinc no matter how painful that may be.


  1. Jeff Blogs says:

    Who’s In Control?

    After a week of replacing nuts and bolts I have about had enough of that. It is time to turn my attention to some other part of the bike that doesn’t require so many iterations with a wrench. As I…

  2. Jeff Blogs says:

    A Fork in the Road

    The Night Train is really starting a transformation. The nuts and bolts swap were subtle but noticeable. The hand control changes were anything but subtle but again the look just seemed to work. There is definitely something to be…

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