Hello folks, well I finally got around to installing my Luverne Lowering Links and Vance & Hines Slip On slash cut exhaust. I'll start with the Lowering Links. The main buggy boo with Luverne lowering links is the fact that you must mod the saddle bag supports by cutting the forward curved support and trim 1 1/8" then reattach the modded piece back to the saddlebag mounts. I used a hack saw to accomplish the cutting and automotive GOOP and clamps to temporarily set the modded support in place until I can get them welded out. Sounds hokey but between GOOP and JB weld I have performed miracles as I am sure some of you have too
. Next the actual attachment of the links is pretty straight forward PROVIDED that you pay close attention to the instructions. Take the time to read and re-read them. Tools that will come in handy 1) I got a pit bull motorcycle lift with my last bike so I have used it whenever I work on my Nomad or my last bike (Honda Valkyrie) that came sans center stand. Having access to a lift to be able to keep the bike vertical while working on it to me is more than making it easier its essential to safety. 2) 21mm & 22mm wrenches for the left side bolt and nut. 3) 17 mm socket wrench for the shock mount bolts. 4) Loctite.
The quality of the Luverne links and accompanied hardware are second to none. Expertly welded with a powdercoated finish of the links compliment my Nomad. Riding after the Lowering Links were put on is great. For us vertically challenged riders being able to plant ones feet at a stop or backing the 800 + lbs of two wheeled fun and suddenly finding loose pebble stones or gravel is a BFD. No detrimental handling or inadvertent grounding have been noticed so far in fact my seat of the pants "feel" is more confidence inspiring handling.
The Vance and Hines Slash Cut Slip On experience! Ok right off the reason most folks want aftermarket cruiser/ bagger exhaust is more of that blessed rumble missing from the nannystate muted tones provided by the OEM mufflers. In my case my Florida origin Nomad's mufflers also had a fair amount of surface rust on them so when those bitchin looking Vance and Hines slip ons at parts giant went on sale for 50 bucks less than usual, I jumped. Before the slip ons arrived I read the online instructions and saw the part about maybe not needing to replace the muffler gaskets IF the ones from the factory do not appear to be damaged so I decided to wait and look at the muffler gaskets before ordering new ones. Got the V&H slip ons and had already done the lowering links so I pull the left side oem muffler off and start looking for the muffler gasket. What I found was that the stock pipe actually slides into the muffler gasket that resides under the clamp has a flange that acts as a stopper so that the stock pipe can only go so far into the collector exhaust manifold. Do Not mistake this section for being the muffler gasket. The muffler gasket is literally pressed into the fluted section under the muffler clamp in both left and right sides. You will be able to extract the left side muffler gasket without damaging it too much the right side if you decide to put it out will come out in chunks. So I having thought that want I seeing was the muffler gasket ahead of the flange and then discovering that no that was not the muffler gasket, geez, I ordered a set of muffler gaskets via Amazon from a company called Caltric after putting the stockers back on for basically half the price of oem gaskets. Two days later viola the package appears with the wrong parts. Call them up after sending a missive to Amazon and Caltric photographic evidence of what they sent and got refunded (but according to them they do indeed have the correct part). During this debacle I bit the bullet and called the local stealers none of which to date has never stocked any part that I have needed but I figured I would try anyway. And for my sins one of them said they had the muffler gaskets. I made sure the parts dude knew the gasket I was talking about was the muffler gaskets not the exhaust gaskets that go between the cylinder head and header pipe. " Oh yeah man I got all you need I'm showing 4 of them". So I brave our wonderfully horrific traffic here in Northern Virginia get to the dealer. The tatted up hipster who I spoke to on the phone directs his trainee to fetch my muffler gaskets. The trainee comes back with....wait for it...exhaust gaskets! I tell him those aren't muffler gaskets then tatted up hipster trainer and trainee gather round the computer and both go downstairs and 5 minutes later the trainee (alone) appears to "take one for team" and tell me they don't have my parts. I told the parts trainee that I should've ordered the parts myself and left. Is it any wonder motorcycle dealerships in my area are dropping like flies? One week later a pair of oem muffler gaskets arrive and I get to work changing out the pipes. I do suggest changing the muffler gaskets btw. Although the physical act of changing out the mufflers is not challenging there are a couple things to help you if you do not have three hands which you will find helpful when you put the loose nut blocks under the V&H muffler brackets that attach to the saddlebag mounts. I did it alone using a box and folded piece of cardboard to support the muffler while guiding the new bolts through the rubber isolators into the V&H supplied nut blocks. All tightened up (and wiped down) ready to go.
The moment of truth has arrived. I hit the starter and my gawd is that my Nomad? Right from the start those slip ons put some real thudding to the ground that you can feel even at idle. It is loud and there is no getting around it. I was wondering if I had made a mistake putting these mufflers on and as I found out there aren't any returns on installed exhaust products. A further kick in the pants is that V&H does not offer a quiet baffle for these slip ons and referred me to Big City and they had no baffles for the V&H slip ons that they know of but asked me to measure the diameter of the header pipes to see if they had something that might work?
At speed the seat of the pants feel of my Nomads roll on torque after the V&H install is a noticeable improvement combined with the Ivanized ECU. At 40-60 mph my Nomad really stomps out power during acceleration and with the addition of the V&H slip ons sounds great abiet loudly. All that being said I will store my stock exhaust in case I decide to take a long trip. I will post pics soon.