Okay, so 400 miles or so on the t8.8 all thread stud and it's till running fine. I think we have a winner. the 3' rod cost something like $3 and I can cut about 15 replacements out of it. I'm thinking of making the offer to people who need studs, just send an SASE.
also, I tested out a theory. Instead of taking highway 14 back and forth to LA, I took a parallel, Historic Route 6 instead. so, instead of 2 hours of WOT, I could kick it down to 50-65 pretty much at my whim. The bike seemed happier, I was so much less beat up, and it felt maybe a little less cold. I took a single tank survey and got over 50mpg on the way down. I filled up in LA, but the tank hasn't hit the reserve yet. Currently over 40mpg, and that's on the 'climb 3000 feet' side of the trip.
took a little longer, but I'm thinking the benefits are worth it.
It is, and now that I have the route memorized it's not a matter of pulling out the iPhone to check which turn I need to make every couple of miles. It's easier on the bike, on my body and has fewer steep climbs and deep valleys. One string of stoplights is the only real issue. tha and it seems to take about 1/2 hour longer to traverse.