Took Forever, Part No. 2

So after 6 coffees (Smiley kept filling me up as he picked my brain about motorcycle electrics) the chopper started on the first kick and I hit the road again.  Stopped for fuel - took 1.2 gallons.  No leaks.  The clouds are swirling, wind comin' again so hard it's moving me around in my own lane.  Jacked up my speed to 65 on this two-lane-blacktop - I felt my Avon Speedmaster push a bit on some slippery white road paint as I accelerated off a high bank curve.  These up-sweeps are so loud - I wear those soft, yellow foam earplugs. Suddenly, it got louder still - I thought my pipe fell off, but it was my earplug squeezed it's way outta my right ear.  I know it's loud 'cause birds, bats, cats all take cover when they hear me coming.  Cattle seem annoyed too.  It sounds ok to me with the earplugs - like a small block Chevy with low gears and thrush mufflers.  At every stop & go, or turn . . . I try and shift smoothly - no grinding, no revving.  A jockey shift is not a ratchet shift.  The handle moves back for 1st, then forward for all other gears - and the handle stays where the gear is - so, high gear is all the way forward.  You reach down and forward to downshift from highway speeds.  You have to look at the road, not where the shift handle is.  You gotta "feel" for it.  Often times you grab a handful of air.  You can feel the shifter clutches engage.  You learn when to shift at the correct rpm - at the correct speed.  It's tricky.  I'm also dealing with a little shutter, or headshake on acceleration and deceleration when I remove my hand from the left handlebar to shift.  I tightened my Timken neck bearings a bit more and it helped - but it's still there - most likely due to an ill rake & trail factor mathematically.  I was about 5 miles from my next gas stop and I pulled out on a downside of a long, rolling hill to pass a semi.  The rpms came up and you could feel the main jet come in - just as the Sifton 412 started to pull.  It was awesome.  That roller bottom-end pan just kept pullin' . . . smooth as glass.  After 57 miles, I stopped in Brandon for 87 octane, yuk.  It took 1.5 gallons.

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