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02 Jun 08, 10:30 PM PDT, Flagstaff, AZ

Well folks, I am back on Route 66, was yesterday, am today, and will be tomorrow. My bike was in the shop all day. I got it back at closing time, only leaving enough daylight time to get to my motel for the night, on Route 66. As was the motel last night. As is Grand Canyon Harley-Davidson. Before I tell you about my bike, though, let me give you two Route 66 pictures. Do you recognize this one?

Or this one?

Well, think back to 1969 and "Easy Rider". The bikers needed a room for the night and saw a motel with a "Vacancy" sign. The guy in the door said there were no rooms, and suddenly the "No" above "Vacancy" flashed on. Well, these pictures are the motel and the "No Vacancy" sign from that "Easy Rider" scene. This is the "Pine Breeze Inn" in Bellemont, Arizona. The "No Vacancy" sign currently resides in the Route 66 Roadhouse Bar & Grill, next door to Grand Canyon Harley-Davidson.

Now back to the bike. Kyle, the owner of Grand Canyon Harley-Davidson, suggested I might want to have his people check the "cam chain guides" after they installed the two new fuel lines. It takes about an hour to do the inspection because you have to remove lots of stuff including an exhaust pipe. It is not a recommended procedure for any of the scheduled services, but Kyle recommends it be checked every 20,000 miles because of the damage he has seen, especially on the earlier Twin Cam motors, and especially with high mileage like I have now. Mine was manufactured during the first two or three months after introduction of that motor back in late 1998. I had always heard that you worried about checking this if you heard noises. Kyle says that is too late, the damage is already done. Want to guess how the inspection turned out on my bike? Right. I already had damage. They were surprised that mine wasn't making noises yet. Here's a picture of the two guides that came from my bike.

The one on the right is OK, but the one on the left is more than shot. The whole bottom portion of the orange-looking "shoe" is gone and metal is showing through. The chain was running against the metal, and that means big problems real soon. My cams were scored also. The oil pump had to be replaced because of all the metal filings. So, that's why the bike was in the shop all day. I plan to run about 100 miles staying in the Flagstaff area tomorrow before heading out into the desert to Monument Valley, just to make sure I am happy with the bike.

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