Sunday, October 5, 2008

Here comes the rain again...

It was a long dry summer and Friday was our first decent autumn rain. It now looks and feels as if fall is here.

I rinsed the dust off my rain gear during my ride home and I'm transitioning from warm weather gear to cold weather gear. It had been getting chilly in the mornings on my ride to work, around 38º and then warming up to mid 70ºs for the ride home. I am thankful for liners and layering, but I was packing my saddlebags full for my evening commute. The fall rains bring more consistent temperatures and I am able to wear the same gear for each commute.

The other two motorcyclists at my work stopped commuting on their bikes a month ago, leaving me to battle Mother Nature alone.

I am getting the same comments from them I receive every year, 'you're crazy, why put yourself in danger, the roads are slippery and it can't be fun to ride in the rain'. I can't hold it against them, some riders are just of the fair weather breed. I welcome the challenge and the opportunity to hone my skills required to ride a motorcycle in the cold and rain.

One challenge I encountered Friday night was a stalled motorcycle on the side of the road. My bike lost power and left me temporarily stranded on my way home. Now this is not something you really want to experience with a new bike at the beginning of the rainy season. Fortunately it wasn't dark yet, but I was dead in the water so to speak. I never used my truck so I sold it last year and our car doesn't have a hitch, nor do we own a trailer if it did. I am looking into roadside assistance for motorcycles, but this is not an easy task, some companies won't cover bikes and some towing companies won't touch bikes. I was lucky this time, I remember reading about this situation regarding our bikes on a forum, but couldn't recall the precise remedy. I waited a couple of minutes, fiddled with the petcock and she fired right up and took me home without further incident. Later I logged onto the forum and read that the fuel tank vent line runs under the bike in front of the rear tire and water will block this vent hose. The immediate solution is to open the gas cap relieving the pressure, the short term solution is to cut the end of the hose at a 45º angle which prevents water from forming at the end of the hose and blocking ventilation. The permanent solution is to install a vented gas cap.

Isn't it funny how a little gremlin can ruin your ride and further distance you from the car driving public. We can't just leave our vehicle on the side of the road, lock the doors and hike into town. We have got to be resourceful, mechanically inclined and maybe just a little bit humble, but I still wouldn't trade it for a cage.

Now to find AAA's phone number.

1 comment:

  1. I have AAA but haven't ever had to use it, knock on wood. To get motorcycle coverage you need the "plus" option.

    Once upon a time I had a Honda SilverWing. The actual motorcycle, not the scooter.

    It did the same thing but I was down by Diamond Lake. The thing sputtered and I thought it was out of gas. By the way, it was raining and hailing. I stopped at Diamond Lake for fuel. Nothing changed. Since the bike still ran, but really poorly, I limped it along. The sun came back out just outside of Roseburg. The bike ran well again.

    I thought the stator cover was leaking and sealed that up. No remedy there. Pulled the motor no less than three times trying to fix the thing. Finally I was squirting water from a hose onto the ground under the bike. It cut out. Finally figured out something similar to you.

    The carb vent tubes had gotten re-routed right in front of the rear wheel during a tire change. The wheel kicked up water into the tubes which starved the fuel flow. A simple act of moving the tubes solved everything.

    I felt such a fool that I could have mashed a brick onto my forehead!


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