I did a little work today on the Princess. Yes, I realize that Princess Peach is an odd name for a motorcycle and if you have to ask than it is better that you don’t know. The Vulcan 650 s stock is a fun, lightweight bike that handles incredibly well and is not something any motorcyclist will grown tired of anytime soon. The power band is wide and linear and the engine feels like it pull forever. However, there are some things that less then appealing.
The Vulcan S seat is okay at best. after over 1800 miles, though, it leaves the rider sore in all the wrong places. The bike has a horrendous rear end. A hunk of black plastic that looks like it was created by the mad designers at Ikea. The turn signals stick out like Dumbo ears and ruin the otherwise waspish profile that the bike is hiding.
I started the day with a quick seat change out. The new seat by Corbin is much firmer, providing a much better ride over long miles and is larger allowing the rider to move around a bit so as not to get a sore saddle. Corbin did a spectacular job with the fit and finish, though heavier than the stock seat it is a beauty to look at and an even finer thing to rest ones rump on.
Next up was new LED lighting. Have I mentioned how much I hate the lighting on this bike. Sure it does its job but it detracts from the overall look. I picked up LED rear brake and turn signals, front fork turn signals and a new LED license plate holder. All lighting came from Custom Dynamics. #customdynamics
Let me stop for a second and plug this company. Their customer service was top notch, every question I had was answered and I am an idiot when it comes to anything electric. Their shipping was fast and packaging and installations instructions terrific. What I really love is their “Posi-Tap” system. It is an incredibly simple system to connect wires without splicing, soldering, or crimping. A complete win for making installation a breeze.
As with any good build there were ups and downs. Stripping the bike was simple. Front turn signals and mounts came off without a hitch. The fender was fast to remove as was that hideous hunk of plastic they shoved on the end of this bike. However, there were 3 little bolts that needed to be removed along with a final hunk of metal. (see those there silver bolts on the back of bike in the picture? More about those later) After a quick hour of disassembling the bike, these three little bolts were a major set back.
All three bolts were stripped. Not a single Allen key would work. Taping the Allen Key did nothing. Hammering the Allen Key in did not work. No tricks were getting these bolts out clean and easy. In the end it was a job for an angle grinder. I took the grinder to the bolts and let sparks fly. (and I didn’t even burn the carpet) I was able to square the bolts off enough to use a wrench and hammer to get them to turn only to find out that they were held on by that hellish bonding agent known as RED LOCTITE. (this accounted for the only injury of the entire day, besides pride and sanity) Ten minutes per bolt with two men and finally we had them out. One hour disassembling the bike, two hours removing 3 bolts. DAMN YOU RED LOCTITE!!!
Finally we could install the lighting. This was quick and simple, at least as quick and simple for an electrical idiot. I was able to use much of the bike’s original wiring and keep from creating too much of rats nest. Using the Posi-Tap system the installation was plug and play. Testing and re-testing just to make sure.
The rear brake and turn signal LED combo is held onto the underside of the rear fender with a powerful adhesive. The front fork turn signals wrap almost 60% of the way around the front forks. Easy installation with the same adhesive backing aided by an inset metal zip tie to help hold them tight. A word of WARNING: these fork lights are BRIGHT. I mean like staring at a solar eclipse bright. Good thing I am seated behind them.
A quick reassembly, another quick test and Princess Peach had successfully undergone her first make over. I loved this bike before, but now it is like prom night! The bikes full profile is on show and what a show it is!
Total Hours- 5 .5
Disassembly hours- 1 (I am new at this)
Install Hours- 2
Hours spent Manhandling Stripped bolts- 2
Reassembly and clean up hours- .5
Number of systems installed- 3
Number of workers- 2
Number of breaks- 0
Number of injuries- 1
Band-aids used- 1
Number of technical disputes- 1
Number of times “fuck” was said- too many to count (mainly pulling the stripped bolts)
Choosing music while working- H20, Dropkick Murphy’s and Johnny Cash
Big thanks to Drew for helping with this build after working for 12 hours. He has certainly earned his There and Back Button! (Haven’t heard of these buttons? Just wait, you will!