Category Archives: Psyco Product Reviews!

Rock or Bust ACDC World Tour Review

Two weeks ago I went to see the Rock or Bust ACDC World Tour live in Greensboro, N.C. Like a lot of other long time fans I must confess to some initial trepidation about the new lead singer, but quickly decided that I had 2 choices; one was to go see ACDC with Axl Rose as the lead singer or to possibly never get to ACDC live at all. I spent a little extra and got me and Mrs. Psyco some decent seats on the club level and sat back and watched one hell of a fine rock and roll show.

<Rock or Bust ACDC World Tour stage>

Confession time, I really liked Guns and Roses almost as much as ACDC but when the sad news of Brian Johnson’s hearing problems surfaced it was kind of a blow and I figured that this was the end of ACDC, but they soon announced that Axl was to be his replacement and it made me a little skeptical. The early videos coming out of Europe weren’t too promising, Axl was sitting in a wheelchair due to a broken leg, and was still carrying some of the extra weight he had put on during his time away from the spotlight, plus he was still learning the band and it’s style.

Axl Rose on the big screen

Fast forward to the start of the U.S. tour and an entirely different man stepped out on the stage with the mic in his hand. The flab is gone and he was dancing around on stage and kicking it up in those ostrich skin boots like he never left the stage. All those girls who loved him so much back when he was the prettiest face in his music videos, when they see him now a lot of them will feel the same way again. My old lady has told me and all her friends at least a dozen times how good he looked. Now I realize most of you could care less about that part and think his singing sucks compared to Brian’s and I used to be one of you. Some of the songs sound different, on some of them he is able to pull off an almost exact duplicate of the original sound. Axl tends to perform the older Bon Scott tunes very well but his voice is not as gravelly and naturally capable of higher notes than Johnson’s so those songs tend to sound a little different but still very damn good. There are two song in particular that I feel he does better than any other vocalist the band has had. Axl belts out “Giving the Dog a Bone” just like it was written for him and my personal favorite by him is “Whole Lotta Rosie.” If you disagree, I don’t really care we can debate all day long whether or not Axl Rose is good for ACDC, one thing is certain, ACDC has been very good for Axl Rose.

Angus Young guitar solo

Now let’s talk about the front man Angus Young, after losing his brother Malcom, from the band due to health issues, Angus is the last of the original cast still in the show. And make no mistake about it he is the star. ACDC has had 4 lead singers, 3 drummers etc. but without Angus this band cannot exist. He is the front man, the audience knows this. Watching his long guitar solo, I realized that he feeds off the adoration of the audience, that it sustains him. But it’s not a one way relationship, you can tell that it is his mission to entertain you. Some have written (especially after he hired Axl) that he is only keeping this band going for the money, and while it is very lucrative, I can tell you right now, that he loves having the audience hanging on his every note, and that’s the real reason he puts on that schoolboy outfit, drags his old bones out on that stage and performs like a man possessed.

Of course Stevie Young and Cliff Williams put forth very dynamic performances in the background stepping forward occasionally for vocal duties but playing competently & professionally. Both are very impressive musicians and it would be great to see them getting into the spotlight a bit more because they really do their part to make the music special.

ACDC has had 3 different drummers but my favorite will always be Chris Slade. In addition to his time with the worlds best hard rock band, he has played an amazing variety of rock and pop music throughout his career playing with a number of amazingly diverse acts such as Tom Jones, Uriah Heep, Asia, etc. Chris is a true master of his craft and you can tell it listening to and watching him play.

Look regardless of how you think you may feel about the bands current line up if you love rock & roll there’s still no better band than ACDC, so cast your doubts aside and if you are still able to obtain tickets get your ass to the next Rock or Bust ACDC World Tour show, you wont regret it.

Rock or Bust ACDC World Tour

In Rock We Trust, It’s Rock Or Bust!

 

 

 

Install a Trailer Hitch

Almost Anyone Can Install a Trailer Hitch

I have a confession to make; at one time the very thought of putting a perfectly good running motorcycle on a truck or trailer was horrifying to me. But as I’ve gotten older my once hard core has become a soft chewy center. Crash damage, arthritis, and a growing disdain for any kind of suffering will do that to you. The missus & I will still do a bit of long riding from time to time, and I still scratch my head when I see a full dresser riding solo on the back of a tow vehicle. If said Goldwing or ‘Glide is surrounded on the trailer by some fine vintage machinery, choppers or hardcore sportbikes I can understand. Having discovered the joy of vintage motorcycle shows & swap meets it’s not unusual for me to take multiple motorcycles plus miscellaneous trade items, making a tow vehicle necessary. If I’m only taking one motorcycle or scooter capable of making the trip, to the show with no plans to buy or sell anything I usually just ride the darn thing because without riding what’s the point of owning a motorcycle?

<1982 C70 Passport>
One of my trailer queens.

Now let me make an apology to all of you old geezers that I used to pick on about your trailer queens. I am well on my way to becoming one of you and own a couple of motorcycles that I would never even attempt to travel on.

<Westin Trailer Hitch>
Westin trailer hitch

Let’s get on to the meat of this how to, my previous tow vehicle was a Chevy van that served me okay for a while but last year I sold it and acquired a nice low mileage 2010 Toyota Tacoma that was the plain Jane work truck of my dreams that I thought did not exist anymore. So I ordered up a Westin Receiver Hitch
hitch to fit it, along with a Reese T-connector kit for the trailer lights. Now let’s see how it was installed.

<Reese Trailer Hitch Connector>
Open up the package, and read the instructions. Then count all of the hardware supplied to make sure it matches what you are supposed to have. Next gather up all of the tools you need to match the bolts in the kit & on your truck, van, or SUV. While what is shown here is specific to my truck & hitch the vast majority of installations will be very similar to this. Buy your trailer hitch from a reputable manufacturer and read the instructions.

<hitch receiver hardware>
Don’t forget, read the instructions first!

Like most of them this Westin hitch receiver uses the bumper brackets to attach it to the truck. The instructions called for me to remove 2 of them on each side and leave one attached loosely. Work carefully and don’t allow your bumper to drop down suddenly as this could cause damage to your vehicle and or injury to you.

<bumper bolts>

 

<bumper bolts loosened>

Please make sure you take reasonable safety precautions when you are doing this. You will be handling large heavy awkward items over your head in a cramped space. It’s possible to install a hitch alone but it’s better if you have help. At the very least you need someone nearby in case it falls and beans you in the head.

<install a trailer hitch>
My truck also had the above tapped holes in the frame that were put there for the location of a trailer hitch, make sure that if your vehicle has additional holes like this that your hitch will use, that the holes are clean and the threads are good before putting the hitch in place.

<a good floor jack>
Since I was working alone a floor jack was called into action to support the receiver as it was lifted into place. For most of us a good floor jack is a necessity to install one of these alone.

install a trailer hitch
Line up the bolt holes and start all of the bolts. Do not tighten any of them until you have them all started securely. Once you have every bolt started in its own hole, then you may need to install some shims if supplied and realign your bumper so that it looks right.

use shims as needed
use shims as instructed

After the shims are in place and the bolts are all snug, check your bumper alignment again and adjust if needed.

torque wrench install a trailer hitch
Now it’s time for the final tightening of the bolts, grab your trusty torque wrench and tighten all of the bolts to the specified torque for your application.

<reese t connector toyota tacoma>
Now it’s time to move on to the wiring connections, Old timers will remember the bad old days when hooking up a trailer lighting harness meant cutting and splicing wires. Then came the Scotchlock connectors that made the job quicker but weakened any wire they were attached to and made it more likely that the wire would fail a few years down the road. Now everything is plug and play for most vehicles.

<reese t connector toyota tacoma>
The instructions called for me to remove the right rear tail light so I did.

tee connector install a trailer hitch
Then plug the Reese T-connector wiring harness in between the trucks harness and the tail light.

trailer lighting control box
The only part of the installation that required any drilling was to mount the control box. Be sure to paint the metal inside the hole and let it dry mounting the box with screws & lock nuts. Please note on some applications these boxes can be mounted directly to the receiver hitch without any modifications. One other thing to note, many modern trucks have composite plastic beds that do not conduct electricity well, so make sure that you attach the ground wire to a metal component that is attached to the chassis. Using outdoor rated UV resistant cable ties secure the wiring neatly allowing just enough slack at the end to work with all of your trailers but without dragging the ground.

Toyota Install a trailer hitch Westin
Now slide in your hitch and hook up your trailer & test everything. I have been using this Westin Receiver Hitch
for a year now dragging trailers all over the eastern United State and have absolutely no complaints about it. It was easy to install to. Even if you still don’t feel up to doing it yourself at least now you know what it takes to install a trailer hitch. See you on the road!
Peace Y’all

Install a Vista-Cruise Throttle Lock

For the last 3 or 4 months a shoulder injury has severely curtailed my riding and blogging. In addition to this I’ve had problems with numbness & tingling in my hands seemingly forever but simply wrote it off as the cost of working on a computer all day every day for a living. Using a Cramp Buster on the throttle helped, but once I hurt my shoulder it just wasn’t enough anymore.
Although sitting at a desk drawing pictures and filling out spreadsheets on a computer all day often leaves my hands & fingers sore whether I ride or not, some of the things about my main daily driver motorcycle greatly exacerbate the problem. To start with as part of the whole vintage/rat/survivor look it still had the original 35 year old factory rubber grips on it. While they really looked the part, these grips were rock hard and slick, to the point that I might as well have been gripping the steel handlebar directly. The bar itself was robbed from a 71 Honda CL450 and is one of the most rigid & indestructible off road handlebars ever made, this combined with the fact that it is clamped directly to the top of the triple tree with no insulation of any kind, sent the high frequency vibration of the engine straight up into my arms. In all honesty it was nothing that I couldn’t live with until becoming afflicted with bursitis in my right shoulder. Faced with the reality of not being able to ride more than a few minutes at the time, I decide that it was time to do something about it.

<vista-cruise motorcycle cruise control>

So I decided to replace the grips and install a Vista-Cruise Throttle Lock. This universal motorcycle “cruise control” is a product that I have used before on 2 other motorcycles not for pain relief but mainly for long distance riding and for riding no handed and other fun stupid stuff. This like most universal products may or may not work with your particular motorcycle, and it’s highly unlikely that it will fit any motorcycle without some modification. These throttle locks were designed around a typical late ’60s through mid ’80s universal Japanese motorcycle with dual throttle cables. Even then the instructions warn that some cutting or filing may be necessary to make it work. As you see in the picture below it would not fit up against the switch housing as delivered.

<vista-cruise motorcycle throttle lock>

So I had to file it to fit.

<universal motorcycle throttle lock>

Remove the least amount of material possible, & check the fit often. This is how I had to modify it to fit my 1980 Honda CB650, your bike may require something totally different. If you’re not comfortable with cutting & modifying a brand new part to make it work then you probably should not install a Vista-Cruise throttle lock. I recommend that you use a Brakeaway custom fit cruise control instead.

<universal motorcycle cruise control>

It is not really necessary to remove the grip to install the throttle lock but since I was replacing the grips anyway it is much easier. If you are not changing the grips you can just pry it back from the switch housing a little bit and fit it around the throttle tube as directed in the Vista-Cuise instructions.

<motorcycle throttle lock>

Once you have it fitted properly here’s the adjustment key that is supplied. Use it or a flat screwdriver to adjust the tension screw so that it holds the throttle in place when locked but allows it to return to idle as soon as you flip the switch up to unlock it.

<motorcycle cruise control>

Don’t forget the clear washer shown below that goes between the grip and the throttle lock to prevent the grip flange from hanging up on the side of the Vista-Cruise.

<vista-cruise installation>

I decided to use new Oury grips for the vintage look and proven vibration dampening abilities. Oury Grip has been in business for decades and have always provided a good product at a decent price. Just be sure to clean your handlebar and throttle tube well, then use a good handlebar grip glue to make sure everything stays in place.

<Oury vintage motorcycle grips>

The new grips are nice and soft so the handlebar buzz is greatly reduced, plus I don’t have to squeeze the throttle so tight to move it. Once up to speed in a place where I don’t need to accelerate or slow down too often just push down on the lever & lock the throttle. Even with the throttle locked you should still be able to move the throttle to adjust your speed as needed. One caveat that is worth mentioning is that you will not get true seamless “cruise control” action. This is a throttle lock if you start downhill the bike will speed up, going uphill it may slow down. On bikes like mine with four old mechanical carburetors and / or strong throttle return springs,  your adjustment to the lock may end up being a compromise. At low speed the leverage of the carb internals and return spring will gradually close the throttle. Once the throttle is opened far enough to negate this problem it will stay locked in place for miles of smiles.  It could be adjusted tight enough to hold at all speeds but then it would not return to idle immediately upon released. This is the single most important thing to remember, for the sake of safety it must always be adjusted so that when the lock is released the engine will return to idle just the same as if you simply let go of the throttle.

After a nice 100 mile test ride I am very pleased to say that my arms & hands felt great & I can’t wait for the next road trip!

<new grips on the assault scrambler>

It’s still the same old road running rat but with cruise control & nice new grips!

Products used in this post;

Dry Coat Rust Preventative Review

All of us who work with metal have a common enemy, rust insidious and seemingly unstoppable it creeps into all the places we don’t want it to be, destroying our hard work, valuable treasures & expensive raw materials. About a month ago I did a review of Metal Rescue rust remover from Workshop Hero. The product worked very well & I have been  pleased with it.

One thing we all know by now is that once you get the rust off of a piece of steel is that afterwards you have to keep it off. If you have ever removed rust from steel using any chemical method you may be familiar with a phenomena known as flash rusting. This occurs when you remove your rust free part from the solution (or the electrolysis bath), rinse it off and then leave it to air dry, only to find out that in a very short period of time, often well less than a day, the entire surface is covered in rust again. While there are a few finishes that actually  require a flash rust coating to work such as POR-15 semi gloss black chassis paint  & some gun finishing techniques, most of the time this is not desirable. Freshly machined parts are prone to flash rusting as well. In the past I have always just tried to coat all such surfaces with oil or grease to preserve them, and while this works it is messy, expensive & makes handling a pain. So when the fine people at Workshop Hero offered me a sample to test and to write about in this Dry Coat rust preventative review I jumped at the chance.

<rusty metal by motopsyco>

Just to keep thing honest & interesting let’s start by going out to the scrap pile and grab a rusty strip of 1/8″ thick x 1″ wide and cut six strips from it approximately 2 inches long. And then throw the strips into our bucket of Metal Rescue for an overnight soak. Yes this is the same solution that I used for the previous review, it has not been changed but it sure has removed a good bit of rust from various motorcycle parts.

<clean the rust off>

Compare this to the before picture the rust is gone, I rinsed the parts with water and patted them dry with a paper towel

<6 clean strips of steel Metal Rescue>

The plan for this little experiment is very simple to coat 3 of the strips with Dry Coat and allow to dry according to the instructions. Then I placed one coated test strip and one un-coated control strip paired together in 3 different locations around my property. This was on March 14th, 2015.

<metal recue dry coat rust prevenative review>

According to the company website it should give up to 2 years of protection from rust for steel parts stored indoors. The first two steel strips I left here in my office, literally indoors. The next two strips I placed on a ledge in the uninsulated, drafty humidity plagued old horse barn that I have converted into my workshop. Now this is definitely indoors out of the sun and the rain, but temperature swings cause enormous condensation problems that leave all of my bare steel tubing, rods, flat bar etc. coated in surface rust if they are not fabricated into useful items & painted quickly. If it can work here it should work at any other indoor location.

<out in a real workshop hero's workshop>

The final two pieces I stuck in a semi-exposed outdoors location. Let me be perfectly clear about one thing, this product is rated for indoor use by the manufacturer, if the coated strip rusts this is not a failure of the product, it’s just that an extremely curious cat wanted to push the limits. When I say semi-exposed, the two strips in the picture below are lying on the control enclosure of the solar panels that provide the lighting for my workshop. The solar panels are about 18 inches above them but they are exposed to the weather from 3 sides.

<dry coat test strips outside>

Just over 4 weeks later on April the 6th, 2015, I gathered all of the test strips together & photographed them. The parts that were coated with Dry Coat are on the right.

<workshop hero dry coat test>

I decided to flip the pieces over so you could see both sides.

<dry coat rust prevenative review>

Now lets look at some close up pictures. Here’s the samples that I left in my office. The part on the left is well on its’ way back to the original rusty appearance, but the part on the right is not. You can clearly see the pitting from the original rust before treatment, but not any new iron oxide formation.

<dry coat test sample 1 indoors>

This next sample is the one that I really wanted to check after a month in the old barn with a typical South Carolina late winter/early spring weather pattern. It is not unusual at this time of the year to have temperatures swing from 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit up to nearly 80 and then back down again in the space of a day or two. Of course when the frost melts in the morning it will sometimes look like rain inside of an uninsulated metal building. You can see the difference that this made when looking at the untreated part on the left, it’s a lot rustier than the control strip that was left in the house. Once again you can see that the coated strip is still rust free, even in the pits left behind by the previous rust that was removed at the beginning of this test.

<dry coat test sample 2 shop>

The outdoor test strips are next, the control strip on the left is quite rusty. The test strip on the right has developed a tiny bit of rust down in the existing pits in the metal. It still looks a lot better than the un-coated strip. Just remember Workshop Hero’s Dry coat is sold for indoor use and these last two test strips were just me satisfying my curiosity. The two pieces of steel shown here, have been rained on several times, and subjected to near daily freeze/thaw cycles. I am still pleased with the results and wouldn’t have problem recommending this product to anyone.

<dry coat test sample 3 outdoors>

I did download a copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet for this product so that I could see if there was anything in it that required any special protective equipment beyond the usual safety glasses and gloves. It is non toxic, non-flammable, and does not require any special disposal precautions. I didn’t see anything about welding two pieces of coated steel together so I contacted the manufacturer’s representative, and was told that they suggest washing any parts that are to be welded with soap and water first. The coating is 3 microns thick and probably wouldn’t interfere with most welding or cutting processes, but it would be wise to follow their guidelines.

So who needs this stuff? Obviously those of us who restore or repair old motorcycles, atvs, tractors & automobiles. Also machine shops, especially those of you who are storing & shipping items like re-bored steel cylinders, crankshafts, and other bare steel parts. Steel fabrication shops & o.e.m. manufactures of steel plant equipment, platforms, vehicle parts, or anyone else who stores bare steel either as a raw material or a finished product and needs an inexpensive solution for temporary prevention of rust, without having to deal with a hazardous material.

Both Metal Rescue and Dry Coat are available in a wide variety of sizes ranging from small bottles, 5 gallon buckets, 55 gallon drums and even 330 gallon totes for industrial users. As I said this is not permanent rust protection but it beats using expensive, messy, and hard to remove paints, oils and greases just to keep rust off of steel for a short period of time until you can use it.

Product recommended. I am going to place all of the test strips back in the places where I had them and will check on them over time. If anything changes I’ll be sure to let you know.

Metal Rescue Reviewed!

Mission Main Street Grants

<Workshop Hero's Metal Rescue>
Workshop Hero’s Metal Rescue

For this ‘Psyco product review let’s checkout Workshop Hero’s Metal Rescue
rust remover. In the past I have always used good old phosphoric acid for removing rust. In fact I have a 15 gallon tank of the stuff carefully stored away for cleaning old gas tanks & stuff like that. It really removes the rust quite well but it is also toxic, smelly and will corrode the base metal while removing the rust. To use it requires rubber gloves and eye protection.
Last year at the VMA swap meet in Eustis Florida, I bought a gallon of Metal Rescue from a vendor and brought it home, then I poured some out in a small container & dropped a couple of extremely rusty parts in it and left them overnight. The next day they were a little better but not as good as I hoped so threw them into the acid tank and stuck the Metal Rescue on a shelf under the workbench until last month (January 2015).
I’m in the very beginning stages of ruining a wonderful dirtbike by restoring it, so I decided to try the Metal Rescue on some of the chrome bits that really needed cleaning up. First I got a good bucket large enough to hold the parts with a good fitting lid to seal it up and poured the entire jug of rust remover into it.

<RUSTY TS185 HEAT SHIELD>
After waiting a day I opened it up and this is what I found, meh give it another day.

<METAL RESCUE  1 COLD DAY>
This is a picture of the same after 3 days, I am not a happy camper at this point.

<is this stuff gonna work?>
So I pick up the jug to look for a way to file a complaint and read the part of the instructions that says; “For best results, use at room temperature (68°F or 20°C) or above. Metal Rescue™ works optimally at room temperature (68°F or 20°C) and above, so it may require heating in cold temperatures.” Looks like using it in an unheated shop in January is out of the question unless you live closer to the Equator than I do or on the opposite side of it.
Determined to get my money’s worth out of this product I carried the bucket into the house and put it in the laundry room to warm up. When I checked on it the next day 90% of the rust was gone and on the fifth day of soaking the heat shield looked like this!

<Metal Rescue heat shield>

<Metal Rescue heat shield>
The rust was completely removed from both sides and I was very impressed. It probably would have helped a lot if I had read the instructions first. Since then I just keep this bucket of Metal Rescue in a safe place in the house. It is chemically safe with no hazardous ingredients and if you take care to ensure that no hazardous substances get into it, Metal Rescue can be safely disposed of in most sewer systems but check your local laws first.

<rusty ts185 headlight ring>
To give you an idea of how much I like this product, I bought some more and put it into the bucket with what I already have. With the solution at room temperature it took less than 24 hours to clean up this headlight ring to the condition that you see here. Plus I was able to leave it assembled with all of the plastic parts & springs while it soaked something you would not dare do with acid.

<Metal Rescue headlight ring >
The instructions do warn that if you leave plain steel parts in the Metal Rescue
too long that it will turn them dark after removing the rust. Plated parts don’t seem to be affected by this. The screws in the picture below illustrate this. Since I am going to be re-coating these screws it’s not an issue for me, but if you are restoring something that calls for a natural metal finish you should be aware of this.

<metal rescue screws>
What’s the bottom line, is it worth 25 -30 bucks a gallon? Yes, especially when you consider that if properly stored it can be used over & over combined with the fact that it is biodegradable and contains no VOCs, solvents, acids, bases or hazardous ingredients. Just be sure you read the dadgum instructions on the jug first. It really does work much better when it is warm.
Peace Y’all

A Tale Of 2 Valve Spring Compressors

I love cheap tools sometimes. My own personal collection is a mixture of top name brands and some of the cheapest shit you can find that actually works. Surprisingly sometimes the cheap stuff is better than the expensive stuff in some applications. It doesn’t happen often but occasionally it does. Most of the time you get what you pay for though and here in a tale of 2 valve spring compressors I’m going to show you a great example of this principle in action. As I started to tear down the head for the CM400 I am overhauling I realized that none of the valve spring compressors that I already own would work, 2 or 3 of them were for side valve engines, one was your typical auto parts store V8 compressor & the last one is a homemade thing especially made to work on old Honda 50-200cc dirtbike engines. Of course none of them would work, what I needed was one of the large C-clamp style tools with multiple adapters like all the shops that I used to work at had. So I came inside, fired up the computer and went shopping.

<cheap chinese spring compressor>

Of course I did not start out looking for the cheap stuff, my first search was for a genuine Motion Pro Valve Spring Compressor
but it is a bit pricey at around 100 bucks or so not including the Motion Pro Adapter and Bore Protector Set That being said if you got the money to throw around or if you are running a full time professional shop it is the best one to get.

Being in an experimental state of mind (okay that’s bullshit I am just a cheap bastard sometimes) I decided to try out this one that is all over ebay & Amazon for around $30 dollars shipped. It came in a nice molded plastic box with plenty of adapters for different size valve springs.

<valve spring compressor cheap junk>

<cheap tool bent>

Unfortunately the cheap thin wall tubing that it was made of almost immediately began to flex and fail without budging the valve spring in the slightest. All of the compressors of this style & price range had very mixed reviews on the various merchant websites where they are sold apparently they work on some engines with weaker springs but on this head it did not work at all and was in fact a complete & total failure.

<Have your balls ever fallen out?>
Have your balls ever fallen out?

To add insult to injury one of the balls that retains the adapters to the tools popped out of its socket

<valve spring compressor failure>

As you can see here this Stark valve spring compressor is now permanently bent and no longer fits back into it’s slot in the case. Back for a refund it went!

Enter the $46 OTC 4572 Large Valve Spring Compressor in it’s no frills cardboard box. Fancy blow molded plastic cases are nice, but really don’t make much difference if the tools inside don’t work. In this case the manufacturer decided to save money on the packaging and not the tool.

<good tool in a plain wrapper>

When I opened up the box there was a surprisingly heavy well made tool inside. It was very similar in style, metal thickness, and finish to the more expensive tools I have used in the past at various shops where I have worked. There were two other cost cutting measures one being that it only comes with two adapters for different size springs and that it only had a cup style tip for the clamping screw instead of including an interchangeable ball style tip, which actually works for better in most valve spring removal applications Below it is laid out with the rest of the tools that I normally use when it’s time to lap a set of valves.

<valve lapping tools>

Here is a shot of it in place ready to compress a valve spring. At this time I’d like to point out that you do NOT compress the valve springs by pushing on the large handle with the rubber hand grip. To get your initial setup pull the handle open to get the tool in place around the head and then push it closed. Then you adjust the adapter and the clamping screw until the tool is in the correct place. Then you turn the t-handle on the clamping screw to compress and release the springs. To move on to the next valve spring, first release the tension on the spring by retracting the clamping screw, and next you release the handle, move the tool to the next valve, close the handle, and once again use the clamping screw to compress the spring.

<OTC valve spring tool in action>

Repeat as needed until you have removed & reinstalled all of the valves as needed.

<OTC valve spring compressor>

Below you can see a fully compressed valve spring with the valve keepers removed.

<inexpensive valve spring compresser that works>

The bottom line? The OTC 4572 Large Valve Spring Compressor is worth the money. It may lack a full range of spring adapters and accessories, but if you don’t need all of those things this is a solid well made tool that will get the job done.

A Quick look at Harley’s Street 750

<HD Street 750>

I took a quick trip to Charleston S.C. this past weekend, mainly so could spend the gift certificate from Low Country Harley Davidson that I won at the Rockabillaque bike show, and so the Mrs. & I could have a nice romantic lunch at Gilligan’s restaurant in Monck’s Corner on the way. Low Country is a very well set up dealership with a large bike showroom that actually takes precedence over the boutique gift & t-shirt portion of the store. Yes the other merchandise is housed in an impressively sized store with a very upscale appearance, but it is clear that the bikes come first when you walk in.

There was one bike in particular that I wanted to check out, Harley’s Street 750 & 500 models. They had one of each with the 500 sitting at the front of the showroom and the 750 off to one side on display in front of a Christmas tree, at the entrance of the boutique.

<750cc of liquid cooled power>

Unfortunately, it was pretty well being ignored as most customers seemed to head straight to the baggers. Yet even with the improvements that created the liquid cooled “Rushmore” line of motorcycles the fact remains that this is the most advanced engine that HD has released since the V-Rod or the short lived Buell 1125. With liquid cooling and overhead cams it steps firmly into the modern age of motorcycling. I do realize that all of my fellow Japanese iron riders will yawn with boredom at the thought of a mere 57 rear wheel hp (as measured by Cycle World here), but when compared to other mid size machines with a similar design focus, based on unique or classic styling, beginner friendliness, and character it compares very well. Bikes such as the Triumph Bonneville, Moto Guzzi V7, and Honda’s new series of 700cc machines such as the NC700 have similarly modest horsepower. The folks that buy these machines are not after barn burning power, but unique styling combined with ease of use is the name of the game.

If these bikes were available through the rental program, I would rent one and try it out, perhaps I can snag a demo ride on one somewhere. After throwing a leg across it and sitting on it I really liked my first impression. Even though it seems small compared to all of the big bikes in the showroom, for a genuine vintage rider like me it seems perfect.

<the Motopsyco on Harley's Street 750>
the Motopsyco on Harley’s Street 750

Let me be totally 100% honest with you, I really do not like to ride cruiser or touring style motorcycles. Chrome don’t thrill me & I thoroughly despise floorboards, forward controls, and infotainment systems on motorcycles, after all when I ride a motorcycle I expect it to entertain me without any outside help. The street 750 &500 models will probably be available in other colors soon enough but the murdered out appearance of the current model really turns me on, as do the mid controls and the bikini fairing reminiscent of the 77 XLCR.

<Harley's Street 750>
Harley’s Street 750

I have the feeling that I could live with one of these in bone stock form at least through the first summer. But as soon as the wrenching season hit it would wind up with my laptop plugged into the first aftermarket injection controller I could find. Then I would have to dig up a wrecked CBR/GSXR something or another and con one of my machinist friends into helping me swap the forks & wheels onto it, along with some taller shocks & lower handlebars.

Yes I know the target market is beginners who are planning to move up to a big twin from Milwaukee, not nutcase rat/brat/cafe racer fanatics like me. This little twin is really cool, and I think it’d be fun to cut it up and make it into something KUSTOM! The only thing I wouldn’t change is the color scheme.
Peace Y’all