Monthly Archives: June 2014

Test Rode an Indian Chief Vintage

2015-06-13

A year later, and I’m still eyeing up the Indian. See TwoWheelObsession’s ride review of the 2015 Scout here. He did a really fantastic job of describing the nuances of his ride.

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A friend of mine and I trekked to Madison, Wisconsin yesterday and test rode a couple of Indians. I took out the Chief Vintage while my friend rode the Chief Classic.

Upon mounting the bike, its amazing balance was immediately apparent and striking. Swaying it side to side made this 111 ci bike (roughly 1820 cc) feel like a 350 cc, making me feel my ’06 102 cu Roadstar is a bit top heavy. The balance must have been designed by a master Katana sword-maker’s gentle yet oh so precise hand.

Indian_2014 Chief Vintage

[Pictured: 2014 Indian Chief Vintage, and me, with my shirt over my left thumb making it look like I’m cramming my hands down my pants. Picture by Anthony Sadowski.]

The acceleration was electric smooth with each gear stage instantly responsive. It actually seemed to gain torque as the revs and gears increased upwardly. Changing gears seemed a teeny bit clunky at first, but that may have just been me getting used to the difference between it and my own bike. By the end of the ride that too was smooth.

Slowing down, for a roundabout, to a momentary stop, inspired no wobbling feeling; the bike wanted to stay upright. I turned the fork and proceeded on with the turning-ease of a scooter. Later, coming to a full stop for a moment prior to going through a stop sign, I repeated the process, not putting my foot down nor feeling the need to do so.

We journeyed out in the country and really throttled them up, to higher RPM’s. I never ran out of oomph. The bike just wanted to keep giving. It was a phenomenal experience. Even the slow city driving was fun.

Will I be getting one? Not any time soon. I am still loving my 1700 Road Star Silverado and I do not need two cruisers, but if it’s ever time for me to replace her, one of these will be at the top of my list. The bar has just been set awfully high.

Added a Craftsman 1/2 hp Liftmaster Garage Door Opener for the 3’rd Bay

This past weekend I installed a Craftsman Liftmaster 1/2 hp garage door opener (Sears item number 00953915000), in my third bay, to compliment the 3/4 HP unit that has served me so well for the past ten years in the main bay. I bought it so the remotes could open either door, because the current opener has been virtually maintenance free (lubing of the track every three years), it is a belt drive (about $15 more than the chain model), and thus a bit quieter, and because aesthetically it looks similar to my pre-existing model.

I’m thinking the technology changed, over the past decade, because my older, visually identical units will not operate the new opener. This doesn’t bother me much, but it is mildly annoying. No one other than me needs to open that door anyway, and the interior and exterior wall-mounted openers will allow them to do that just fine. I’m not home right now or I’d dig up the manual or model number, of the older unit, and see if there is anything I can do. I haven’t tried to use the new openers, with the old opener, but if that works, I’ll swap out my and my wife’s openers and let our kids use the older opener only, only opening the main door. None of this is of any interest to you, my random reader, but you were forced to read it by virtue of your odd stumbling upon this blog.

Installation was more than simple, albeit time-consuming, as these things tend to be for me, what with triple-reading the instructions, reading ahead, reading upside down, reading with coffee, reading with Diet Dew, etc. It’s a process.

All the parts were included as well as a few spares for those pieces one is likely to damage the first go ’round of trying to piece them together. The instructions were great. There was just one section where it would have been helpful to know that a connection had to be oriented a certain way, and of course, I installed it the other way. That was a 90 second mistake to correct, so no big.

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I completed the operation myself, without aid. I mounted the one end to the garage wall, propping the motor on a step stool (shown below)…

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… after which I swung the other end up and propped it atop my ladder (shown below).

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From there it was quick work to attach the struts and attach them to the ceiling…almost. I needed to nail a 2×4, in between the ceiling joists, else make a run to the hardware store for strut extensions. Total add to the project: 15 mins.

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Running the interior wall-mount opener and optical-sensor wires was fun. I accidentally tacked in one of the [included] metal tacks too tightly, which penetrated the wire and caused a short, causing the door control not to function. This was easily trouble-shot using the legend for “what does the blinking light mean”, in the trouble-shooting guide. I clipped out the offending length of wire, patched in six inches of new wire (left-over from the installation), and all was well. I already own an electrician grade wire cutting tool, so stripping the ends was painless.

I recommend this model to anyone needing to open a single-wide door. For the double-wide doors I recommend the 3/4 horse model.