How about another tale from the dark side?
I set up the trip months ago. My friend and I would trailer his and my Boss to Myrtle Beach for MB Bike Week.
Now it's the beginning of April, and my friend goes to the Hospital for severe abdominal pains. Turns out to be diverticulitus, and he has a huge infection. So he's kept there for 2 weeks while they give him massive antibiotics. That doesn't do the trick, so they decide they will have to operate. He comes through the ordeal very well. Only thing is, he can't make the trip to Myrtle.
He tells me I can use his trailer, but I don't have a vehicle to pull it with.
So, my brother in-law says he's going, and could pull the trailer with his truck. But he's only going to be there for a few days at the beginning, and has to be back on Weds. That doesn't work.
Then my UPS driver, who has a Harley, says he wants to go but didn't want to ride there from New York alone. So we decide to ride there together. We’ll leave on Sat, the 14th.
4 days before we are to leave, he tells me his fingers have been going numb, and his Doctor says not to go for that long of a ride. He's out.
Meanwhile, my bike is ready to go. My bags are packed and strapped to the seat/sissy bar.
Weds (the 11th) I decide to take a test ride to make sure everything is secure, and the recently installed Air Shocks are working as they should.
All seems to be fine, except I notice there is noise coming from the alternator. Sounds like a bearing.
OK...........not wanting to take a chance, I scramble around and find a speed shop near me that has the alternator I need. I get it and install it, with a new fan belt. Great. All systems go, except the weather forecast, which is "iffy" at best.
Friday (the 13th…..what was I thinking?) arrives, Sunny and reasonably warm………I decide to get on the road.
Starting out from Long Island, NY, I’m in the wind, and the bike is running great. The new Air Shocks are absorbing the bumps with ease and life is good.
I’m about 55 miles out, and on the Belt Parkway (three lanes of suicide road) just passing Kennedy Airport, when suddenly, the motor falters as if running out of gas. The Tank is almost full. The motor stops, and I coast over to the side of the road, and find a small spot on the practically non-existent shoulder to get off the road. The ground has an angle to it with the low side on the left side of the bike. I can’t put it on the side stand cause it will fall over. So I sit there, checking this and that. Switches are on, gas in the tank, battery voltage is OK. After about 3 minutes, I try to start it, and it fires up. Hmmmm………seems OK. I put it in gear, and off I go, for about 300 feet. Dies again. Coast back over to the shoulder. Same ground angle. I wait, but it won’t start again. I decide to try and push it to level ground about 10 feet ahead. My foot slips out in the sandy dirt, and the bike goes over on it’s left side. I turn the bars to the left, grab the left grip with my right hand, back to the bike, and grab the seat with my left hand, and try to pick it back up. With the angle of the ground, it’s like trying to lift a car. I feel a muscle in my back get strained. So I start waving my hands to passing cars in the hope that someone will stop. After a few minutes of cars zipping by at about 80MPH, a guy in a van stops and with great effort, we get the bike back on 2 wheels. He helps me push it forward to level ground where I can finally get it on the sidestand. He asked if there was anything else he could do, and I told him I could probably fix it. I thank him profusely for probably saving my life, and he went on his way.
I un-strap the luggage, and pull off the seat and side panels. Turn on the key, and the approx 2 month old Holley Red pump starts pumping. I start the engine. It runs for maybe 30 seconds and stops. The pump isn’t working. I have a small voltage tester with my tools, and find the pump is getting voltage, and the ground is good. Luckily, I also carry the small stock BH pump that came with the bike. After a bit of surgery, the spare pump is hooked up. I turn on the key, and start her up. I let it run, and all seems OK. I put the body work back on, and strap on the luggage. As I got on the bike, I could feel the muscle in my back telling me this trip was over.
Just too many things trying to prevent me from taking this trip. Maybe it was time to listen to that little voice in my head.
OK…………Uncle……….I Give Up!
Now it’s Monday night, and my back is getting better. Tomorrow, I’ll head out to the garage and put the Carter pump back in.
Myrtle Beach………………Maybe next year.