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Am a little late to join in but air bag ride height adjustability can be had for well under $150. Simply pump up anywhere from 5psi to 35 psi when needed, deflate to 5psi for everyday driving. With a bit more budget an onboard air compressor can be installed & make ride height adjustments in a matter of seconds. However a simple manual bicycle pump can work just fine.
214391

Air Lift 1000 Air Helper Springs for Coil Springs - Rear AL61730
Air Lift 1000 Air Helper Springs for Coil Springs - Rear AL61730
$145.00
etrailer.com
Free shipping
For most items:
60-day return policy

Here is but one suitable example but you can easily spend 3 times as much.
https://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/aclk?
Air Lift 1000 Air Helper Springs for Coil Springs - Rear

Mating a pair of airbags inside the Porch's coils while clearing the brakes & stub axles could be a minor challenge though, simply measure I.D. of coils and choose accordingly.

Big advantages going back to a receiver carrier rather than a trailer are no more 55mph trailer speed limits in CA, very affordable entry cost, easy storing, easy turn around, easy parking, no inspection or trailer registration fees, you can explore new roads without fear of a dead end complicating or prohibiting a turn around.
 
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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
Am a little late to join in but air bag ride height adjustability can be had for well under $150. Simply pump up anywhere from 5psi to 35 psi when needed, deflate to 5psi for everyday driving. With a bit more budget an onboard air compressor can be installed & make ride height adjustments in a matter of seconds. However a simple manual bicycle pump can work just fine.
View attachment 214391
Air Lift 1000 Air Helper Springs for Coil Springs - Rear AL61730
Air Lift 1000 Air Helper Springs for Coil Springs - Rear AL61730
$145.00
etrailer.com
Free shipping
For most items:
60-day return policy
Here is but one suitable example but you can easily spend 3 times as much.
https://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/aclk?
Air Lift 1000 Air Helper Springs for Coil Springs - Rear

Mating a pair of airbags inside the Porch's coils while clearing the brakes & stub axles could be a minor challenge though, simply measure I.D. of coils and choose accordingly.

Big advantages going back to a receiver carrier rather than a trailer are no more 55mph trailer speed limits in CA, very affordable entry cost, easy storing, easy turn around, easy parking, no inspection or trailer registration fees, you can explore new roads without fear of a dead end complicating or prohibiting a turn around.
That is actually pretty bad ass.. I had the thought of getting a lightweight aluminum carrier; the one I had before was super freaking heavy at 97lbs.. The same brand aluminum one is 36lbs, over 60lbs lighter. That itself is like 15% less weight on the tongue. I just thought the steel one was bad ass cause it had a smooth flat track and 6' long ramp, pivoting wheel chock.. It is definitely a sweet ass carrier, if your vehicle can handle it. The Mazda cannot, lol. But a lightweight carrier with air bags in the shocks might work great.. I could buy both for the cost of the steel carrier I had ha
 

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2004 TW200, Jets 'n Shims, DGV2, Acerbis Guards, ProTaper KX, JNS LED BLK
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That is actually pretty bad ass.. I had the thought of getting a lightweight aluminum carrier; the one I had before was super freaking heavy at 97lbs.. The same brand aluminum one is 36lbs, over 60lbs lighter. That itself is like 15% less weight on the tongue. I just thought the steel one was bad ass cause it had a smooth flat track and 6' long ramp, pivoting wheel chock.. It is definitely a sweet ass carrier, if your vehicle can handle it. The Mazda cannot, lol. But a lightweight carrier with air bags in the shocks might work great.. I could buy both for the cost of the steel carrier I had ha
I've got an aluminum version hitch carrier that I kitted out with lights & extra tie-down beams. There are a few companies out there that manufacture these in aluminum - some better, some worse in quality/construction.

My .02 cents?

I'm not a fan of the aluminum rack: it's a bit weak when you start strapping the bike down. The wheel track part of mine noticeably deflected a bit (twisted) when bike was secured, and slightly drooped on the front wheel end from deflection.

I'd trust it as-is for smoother roads, but nothing rougher, or off-tarmac. The aluminum just isn't strong enough, or heavy enough gauge, imho. If you wanted to reinforce it with aluminum stock, you could, but really - should you have to?

If I had it to do over, knowing what I know now, I'd have actually gone the opposite direction you're considering & bought a steel carrier. I would have bolstered my rear suspension with in-coil air bags, or coil spring helper inserts to handle the increased tongue load. (Toyota Highlander). I of course, have neither alternate utility use for a trailer, nor place to store one. If you do, your 'rack vs. trailer' criteria may be different.

I don't remember the manufacturer of my rack. It's 5+ years old.
(Maybe someone's building more robust aluminum ones these days?) IDK. YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
I've got an aluminum version hitch carrier that I kitted out with lights & extra tie-down beams. There are a few companies out there that manufacture these in aluminum - some better, some worse in quality/construction.

My .02 cents?

I'm not a fan of the aluminum rack: it's a bit weak when you start strapping the bike down. The wheel track part of mine noticeably deflected a bit (twisted) when bike was secured, and slightly drooped on the front wheel end from deflection.

I'd trust it as-is for smoother roads, but nothing rougher, or off-tarmac. The aluminum just isn't strong enough, or heavy enough gauge, imho. If you wanted to reinforce it with aluminum stock, you could, but really - should you have to?

If I had it to do over, knowing what I know now, I'd have actually gone the opposite direction you're considering & bought a steel carrier. I would have bolstered my rear suspension with in-coil air bags, or coil spring helper inserts to handle the increased tongue load. (Toyota Highlander). I of course, have neither alternate utility use for a trailer, nor place to store one. If you do, your 'rack vs. trailer' criteria may be different.

I don't remember the manufacturer of my rack. It's 5+ years old.
(Maybe someone's building more robust aluminum ones these days?) IDK. YMMV.
I had the Black Widow 600lb motorcycle carrier and it was awesome. Heavy steel frame but a (relatively) lightweight extruded aluminum wheel track with a thin but robust 6’ steel ramp. Seriously a great carrier, but it was 97lbs alone. Relatively expensive at $300, but a top tier product. My car just isn’t made for that stuff. The hitch isn’t even a factory option, it’s aftermarket. And it’s really designed for things like bicycle racks. Your highlander is a true SUV, my Mazda is a crossover. I have also been thinking about the carriers where you just mount the front wheel and tow the bike behind the car.. would definitely reduce the tongue weight. Chew up my rear tire though.
 

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Buy a small trailer. You won't regret it.
 

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Deal too good to last. Nice trailer.
 
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You both missed it.

5x8 is a super useful size. I've had 3 bikes on mine. It's a tilt deck but I've never used that function. I built removable 2' sides for it too. I use it way more than I ever thought I would.
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
Attempted to solder an extension onto my pilot screw today. I have years of soldering experience, but never brazed silver solder before. Disastrous. The flux just burned and hardened, and no matter how long I held the torch onto the brass piece, the silver solder would not melt at the touch. I thought maybe my mistake was trying to use a butane pocket torch - not enough heat? But it was hot enough to char and ruin the flux, so I don’t know what the secret to this stuff is. Ordered 3 new pilot jets.
 

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I drilled a hole in my screw, then inserted a flex extension and epoxied it into place. It now mounts on my carb like idle adjustment does.
 

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Also, MAPP gas works much better for brazing.
 

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I drilled the hole using a small drill bit and a bench top drill press along with a drill vise and some wood blocks to prevent damage to the jet. It's soft metal and drills quite readily. The flex extension was from here;
Amazon.com: R&D Watercraft R&D Flex Jet Fuel Mixture Screw for 02-08 Honda CRF450R: Automotive
There was one listed 'used' for about $10 or so. I was hoping the jet itself would fit but it didn't. So I chopped it off and drilled a hole in my jet, then epoxied on. Bada Bing! Bada Boom!
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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
I drilled the hole using a small drill bit and a bench top drill press along with a drill vise and some wood blocks to prevent damage to the jet. It's soft metal and drills quite readily. The flex extension was from here;
Amazon.com: R&D Watercraft R&D Flex Jet Fuel Mixture Screw for 02-08 Honda CRF450R: Automotive
There was one listed 'used' for about $10 or so. I was hoping the jet itself would fit but it didn't. So I chopped it off and drilled a hole in my jet, then epoxied on. Bada Bing! Bada Boom!
View attachment 214530
For 10 bucks I would give it a shot, but at 30+ I think I will try out my idea once more. Got a mapp torch and some (hopefully) better flux, so I will give the brazing another go once my jets arrive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
So I received my Tusk scissor lift today. Even when completely compressed, the lift is about an inch too tall to roll under the dub. Luckily I am 6’6 and strong enough to manhandle the bike, so I can get it on the lift, but I will be working on a small ramp (maybe out of a piece of 4x6?) to just roll the front wheel on to; that should be enough height to roll the lift under the bike. The lift works great though, and brings the bike to a much better height to work on. Pictured is the lowest height you can set it to.
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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
DG exhaust came in the mail yesterday, got it installed today. Changed the main jet to a 130. Convenient as the carb is still off the bike while I wait for my replacement pilot jet.. Will report back on performance and sound once the jet comes in. I don’t expect much but I’m just glad to have the hideous factory exhaust off.

Polisport front fender arrived as well, and instead of being black with gray accent, it was black on black. Pleasant surprise as I plan on changing the plastics toall black eventually anyway. Fender looks great, size is good and looks athletic while not being too edgy.

Picked up a set of Tusk spring compressors and finally installed my ProCycle 19kg/mm spring. Wish it was another color other than blue, but it’s hardly visible anyway, so I don’t mind much. Will take the bike off the stand and test it out once I get the carb back on. Looks super beefy compared to stock. Now to address front suspension. Think I will go with progressive rate springs.

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Lookin’ good! Nice fender choice. See?

I think the same: The Polisport SM dresses the bike up with a more super-moto look, but the styling doesn’t cross any lines of being too edgy or angular to detract from the TW’s timeless look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
Got a few more things done today, but most importantly, I’m back on the road after 2 weeks!
Got my new pilot screws in the mail, made one last effort to silver solder my extension on to it and failed, so I said screw it (pun intended) and am just doing it the old fashioned way. Got the 130 main jet in to accommodate the new DG exhaust, set the pilot screw to 2.5 turns out. Holy smokes, maybe it’s just that glorious exhaust note, but sure I swear I feel more power. Rolling the throttle just rips now, the throttle response is magnitudes better. Quick blip and BRAAAPPP. Would love to swap rides with someone with a stock bike for a few minutes to really test if it’s different/improved.

Anywho, moving on. Got my shock reinstalled. Got the entire thing together and then found a weird rubber and metal washer on the ground. Then I found another on the swing arm. The hell are they? Took a look at the manual and realized they went on the lower pivot pin, so I took that back off and got them in place. Forgot about them after removal. First time sitting on it and very little sag, super nice. Went up and down the street curb a few times for some minor testing and it feels great. Not like a pogo stick any more.

Also installed my Dryspec heat shield to protect my plastics. What a PITA with the rubber protection tape that goes under the clamp.. Took a while to get it on but it looks great and is functional. Just wish it didn’t hide the DG emblem on the exhaust but I digress.

Last but not least, I replicated @robmcc ‘s tactical tool tube.
Find his thread here: Tactical Motorcycle Tool Tube
It turned out great. His recommendation for the MOLLE water bottle holder fit great with the 4” PVC. One major recommendation: do NOT paint the exterior of the tube like I did. The texture made it nigh impossible to get the tube into the pouch. Took about 20 minutes straight of pulling down on the pouch about 1/8 of an inch (or less), then rotating it a quarter turn and repeating the process about 200 times to get the tube in. It was THAT tight of a fit. If it were unpainted, there would have been much less friction. If you really want the blacked out look, just paint the top ~2 inches of pipe. That is all that will be exposed. The pipe is exactly 10” long, schedule 20 sewer drain pipe (this is a must; sch 40 will NOT fit), with a drain cap on the bottom (cemented on) and a 4” test plug on the top.

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Discussion Starter · #80 ·
Also on another note, I stripped out the welded-on exhaust mounting nut attempting to torque to 30 ft-lbs per the service manual.. should have known that was too much torque for an m8 bolt. Oh well. Drilled out the nut and put on a longer flangehead bolt with a washer and keep nut on the inside. Blue loctite applied as well.
 
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