Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bike is READY!

Hallelujah!!  The bike is ready.  Most everything I needed to do worked out as planned, but there are always unsuspected surprises along the way.  Tires were installed on Tuesday; this is the first time I've had two new tires on a bike at the same time!  So, the rubber is good to go.  Other than spilling about half of the old transmission oil on the walkway, making a mess, the fluid changes and filter changes worked as it should.

Just after I put the fairings back on the bike and had it ready to check out, I noted that the Motolights and Hyperlites were not burning when the switch was on.  Damn!  So, I started diagnosing what was wrong.  A test lamp finally showed that the fuse block had no power.  Since there was no in-line fuse, it had to be the relay that had gone bad.  Simple to remove, and surely I could pick one up in an automotive store.

Went to Autozone and Advance Auto.  They checked every relay in stock, and the terminals on those did not line up with my plug.  Double damn!  I could replace the entire wiring harness for the fuse block, but I had done such a neat job installing it that I didn't want to undo and start over.

To the Internet to search for the relay.  Google is good!  Found the relay I needed, but it's offered by only one distributor in the USA, and, of course, it was located in California.  Went to order one, and immediately got an error message telling me that their minimum order was $15.  So, I ordered two.  Since it was Monday when I discovered the problem, and I'm leaving town this coming Monday, I had to do 3 day delivery to get it in time.  Shipping cost more than the relays!  Oh well, it's only money.

The relays were delivered today, as promised, and I installed a new one.  Voila, lights again!  I did an autopsy on the old one and found that water had seeped into it and shorted it out.  So, I installed the new relay in a different orientation to help keep moisture out.

Checked out the radio (which is what I had planned to do on Monday when I discovered the power issue), and it's working as it should.  If this stays true, I'll be able to talk to Gary, and he'll be able to talk to me as we travel.

We don't talk a lot, but it's important to know that one of us needs to stop, or if one sights something newsworthy along the road, it's great to be able to talk about it as we ride.  Most of the time, we're each listening to mp3 players or GPS.  Sometimes I'm talking on the phone.  So, we have lots of audio entertainment along the way.

Tomorrow morning the bike goes back to the dealer to have the final drive oil changed.  They like to change it after 600 miles of initial travel, but the bike was at the BMW rally in Pennsylvania when 600 miles came up.  Now it has about 1,300 miles.  Just a bit late...

The final preparation is to get packed.  I've started a packing list, and have begun making piles of stuff to pack.  From electronics (computer and Kindle) to clothes washing detergent, it all has to be identified and put somewhere on the bike.  I usually dedicate one side case to tools and bike things, the other to clothes, and the top case for electronics.  I also carry my Roadcrafter riding suit (aka Bumblebee) in a waterproof duffel bag in the seat behind me, for rain or cool weather.  Looking at weather forecasts, I'll never open the bag to get the bumblebee out!

Well, that's it for tonight.  Maybe one last post before heading out next Monday.  Maybe not.  Only way to know is to come back and look!


  1. I think bumblebee will stay in the bag, Mr. MacGyver.

  2. Sheila, I think you're right. But hope springs eternal that there will be cool and wet somewhere along the way...