Iron piggy rides again!


THE WELL-TRAVELED IRON PIGGY slept in the back of the ’49 truck all winter; until today, when I found the status quo increasingly intolerable from a, you know, lackadaisical perspective. All she needed was a new throttle body and some reassembly work. Hells bells, man, it’s not as technically challenging as trying to slingshot what’s left of Apollo 13 around the moon.

Today I finally got focused, stomped on my personal ass clutch, got it in gear. After a few hours of cranking wrenches with frozen knuckles, piggy was back on the road where she belongs.


If you recall, this was where we left her in October, with disassembly/diagnostic work in progress.



Aha! Broken shaft in the throttle body.

Hit the play button below to hear how good she runs and sounds now.

I cleaned and rebuilt the fuel-injection module, new throttle body from Ocean State Harley-Davidson, couple of new sensors, fresh intake gaskets, then it was basic reassembly: plug all the wires back in, put the tank back on, air cleaner, charge the battery, dump in a gallon of gas….

When I was certain she was running properly I rolled her off the truck and went for a blast on the highway. We’ve had two days of high wind but it was dying down by the time I finished up. Low 20’s today but under a bright sun; that always makes it so much more pleasant to work with your hands out-of-doors in the winter. Huge difference.

The wind blew all the spent sand off the roads, which is good. Otherwise, by this late in the season all the rough edges have been honed away and you’re trying to grip the road through a carpet of tiny ball bearings.

I was planning to ride to Jersey City on Saturday but AccuWildAssGuess Weather is calling for snow. If that’s the case I’ll hang my head and go by car, bear the shame of two wheels too many.

Tony DePaul, March 19, 2015, Cranston, Rhode Island






About Tony

The occasional scribblings of Tony DePaul, 63, father, grandfather, husband, freelance writer in many forms, ex-journalist, long-distance motorcycle rider, motorcycle wrecker, motorcycle rebuilder, collector of surgical hardware, blue routes wanderer, outdoorsman, topo map bushwhacker, handy with a wrench, hammer, chainsaw, rifle, former photographer, printer, logger, truck driver, truck mechanic, jet fueler… blah blah...
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8 Responses to Iron piggy rides again!

  1. brad says:

    The love to the pigster is great… but good god. TWENTIES??? How in the name of all that wears a t-shirt can you live in that area. We had upper 70s today. I just got back from sitting on a patio drinking a delightful Reisling (or two) with Nicole until sundown. On the other hand, the bike sounds perfect, glad you have her running right.

    • Tony says:

      All relative, I guess. I just found out today that while I was camping in Maine in 15-degree weather a friend of mine was camping in Vermont at 20 below zero!

  2. Jon Brush says:

    Nice work. Gonna put the windshield back on or just poke a hole in that cold air your own self? Not quite spring yet despite the calendar. Ride safe.

  3. steve says:

    Sounds pretty dang smooth. Well, as smooth as a Harley gets anyway.

  4. Randy Pedersen says:

    It’s great to see the Iron Piggy running again but please as a lover of all engines that are flat and a person that bleeds Ford blue, please finish the stock bed for the ’49 :^)

    • Tony says:

      I hope to, Randy, but, oboy, it’s a daunting project. So much welding to do on the fenders let alone the box. I don’t see how I can get to it in the next couple of years. The good news is, I haven’t been stopped yet for riding around without fenders.

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