Withdrawls

So today makes 7 days since the last time I rode my bike since the oil leak got bad…I’m going through withdrawls. Still no luck on tracking down the right hoses for it..I’ve narrowed it down to 2 manufacturerers Jardine and Baron’s Custom. I’ve sent both companies a picture of the oil filter relocation kit and neither one can give me a for sure answer. And since the hose replaces are $50 and $80 respectively I really don’t want to just throw money at both..Although doing it that way would still be cheaper than buying a new kit from either company..

The Dark Side

Picked up an iPhone on Friday…I feel a bit dirty by using it but I have to admit it’s a damn nice phone. I went to T-Mobile with the full intention of buying a G1 Google phone. 3 things, 1. They had no working phone instore to play around with..I’m a geek I like to play with technology before I buy it. 2. There is no 3G network in this area and won’t be until next December. I spoke with a guy who has one and he said it was slow but there was a fix going out this weekend that would speed it up. 3. The sales person that I talked to had some song blasting out of his phone, which was in his pocket, the entire time I was talking to him and it was annoyingly loud..

So I have an iPhone now…I have loaded it up with music and downloaded a few custom ringtones (The Knight Rider theme and the Imperial March)..So far I’m really happy with it…I also have a free app called Lightsaber which is freaking awesome…

Oil Leak to Oil Spray

As I said in an earlier post I had to cut my vacation short due to an oil leak on my bike. I found where the leak was and I used some teflon tape to patch it up. Well, this morning that leak graduated to a spray. I stopped to put air in my back tire no more than 2 miles from the house and before I got my kickstand down there was a puddle of oil under my bike. *sigh* Luckily I have been carrying a 2qt container of oil since I left MS last week..So I filled er up and limped back home.

By the time I got home it was halfway down again. So I’m trying to identify the type of oil relocation kit so I can order new lines and fittings to see if that fixes it before I drop 280 bucks on a new relocation kit. I’ve emailed the previous owner and he’s looking through his docs to see if he has that info..

I’ve also had to bump up a project I was hoping to save up for. I need a place to work on the bike. Currently I work on it in the front yard and that is just not a good place with all the grass and bugs and what not. So this weekend I’ll be buying the material to add a deck setup to our small storage shed in the backyard. Not ideal but since Feb when I last tried to buy a 24×24 metal building the price has gone from 5k to 7k. So while I’m saving for that it’s going to take a nice long while to get that much money and I’m pretty sure the price will only go up in the time it takes me to save it. So the deck is my only short term option.

Pics Finally Up

So I took a few days off when I got back to recover and I was lax on getting everything posted…Pics are finally up in my gallery and I’m working on a write up of the trip that I hope to have up in a couple of days..Until then I’m back at work and trying to catch up on 16 days worth of emails :-(.

The pics are not labeled yet and there are ~170 of them…

Bike Problems

The last night Brian and I were camping my bike developed a slow leak in the front tire. I was able to ride back to Brian’s house yesterday with no issue only having to air up once to top it off…Later last night Brian and I were trying to locate the leak by using soapy water and we found it. It was leaking by the valve stem. I say it was leaking because as I was  messing around with the nut holding the valve stem tight to the tire I over tightened and and caused the slow leak to turn into a fast leak so now the tire won’t hold air all.

So out comes the shop manual that I brought with me and we proceeded to take the front tire and wheel off the bike. Brian and Mary Jo were kind enough to let me use their vehicle this morning so I can take it over to a local bike shop that Brian frequents so they can hopefully fix it for me. I say hopefully because since I run spoked wheels I have to have an innertube. I’m hoping the inner tube can be patched or that I can find one in stock somewhere around town. Brian has just gone through this with his bike where the innertube wasn’t in stock  here and it took a week and a half to get a replacement. I don’t have a week and a half.

If all goes well I’m planning on getting on the road early tomorrow morning and super slabbing it back to NC. It’s 800 miles from here to my house according to google maps. I had planned on passing back thru KY and stopping at Ft. Knox where I was stationed when I was in the Army but with the problems i’m having with the bike I think it’s best to take interstate back and just shoot straight for home. Because honestly I passed through some small towns coming down that I would *not* want to break down in.

Current stats for the trip:

Miles Travelled: 1518 miles

Total Gallons of Gas: 32.248

Total MPG: ~47mpg

To be perfectly honest this trip has forced me outside my comfort zone on so many levels. Before coming down I had a little talk with my bike letting it know what I expected out of it.

  1. Smooth ride (so far so good aside from the shitty roads in SC and AL)
  2. No fluid leaks of any kind (fail..Have a small oil leak from the oil return line of my oil relocation kit)
  3. No tire or wheel problems (epic fail on this one since the bike is sitting on a jack stand with no front wheel atm)
  4. No more electrical problems (looks like the voltage regulator fixed the battery overcharging problem. Although there were several casualties of the repair. High beam of headlight blown, Right turn signal blown both front and rear, taillight blown, backlight for speedo blown, indicator light for turn signal blown, high beam indicator light blown. Most have been replaced with the exception of the instrument cluster.)

My first thought when all these problems started was to just rent a uhaul and tow the bike back. And that still may happen but I started this trip on two wheels and I want to do everything within my power to finish it on two wheels. Life is about taking on challenges and overcoming them. I used to be really good at that but it seems over the last several years since I got out of the Army I don’t challenge myself enough or I take the easy way out instead of dealing with it. So anyway I will be working to get the bike in running order today and hopefully set out tomorrow. There won’t be any SPOT updates today since I’ll be in Hattiesburg.  Not sure if I’ll get to update tomorrow if the bike gets fixed since I’ll be beelining back to NC. Check in with the SPOT pages and I’ll have tracking mode on if all goes well..

Update From The Road

Picked up Brian on Wed and we headed out to Gulf Shores early Thursday morning. We stumbled across the 37th annual international shrimp festival and beer…Our camp site is running a shuttle back and forth to the shindig so we parked our bikes last night and rode the shuttle and got shit faced drunk…There are pictures so once I find a better connection than the McDonald’s we’re sitting in now I’ll post them.

This morning we’re headed off to the U.S.S Alabama battleship and then back down to Destin FL. I’ve got the spot with me and I’ll be doing checkin’s and I’ll try to find a place on the bike to put it so tracking works.

Until Later…

Quick Update

Made it to Savannah GA last night around 9:30pm. Decided to get a hotel for the night. Today I’m heading out to Montgomery AL which should be ~364mi. Bike handled beautifully all day yesterday. Got really good gas mileage as well as passed through some really cool small towns. I did take a few pics and I’ll try and get those posted in today or tomorrow whenever I can find internet.

I did end up taking I-95 for a couple of hours last night. It started getting dark and country roads harbor deer and other animals that like to run out in front of you. So the last little bit to Savannah was on super slab and I will try to avoid it at all costs in the future..

On thing is for sure I will be getting a GPS for the next trip. This looking down at the map while riding thing sucks.

Couple of random thoughts from the ride yesterday:

  1. The town crossing over from NC to SC on 401 smells like feet…Like the entire town does
  2. People give you really strange looks when you put your bike in front of their “Welcome to <statename>” signs.. I’m looking at you SC!
  3. Riding interstate sucks ass no matter what state you’re in.

More later…

All Systems Go

Got a new battery installed this morning and then rode the bike back over to the dealership to have them check the charging system and make sure everything was where it should be. It seems that I did blow the high beam but I was able to pick up a replacement while I was at the dealership. I’m planning on heading out ~2p EDT. I did plan for a couple of hotel nights just in case I ran into really bad weather or something else unexpected. I plan on riding at least 400 miles today and then probably getting a hotel if I can’t find a campsite close by..

More to follow..Until then here’s the bike all packed up.

I pack lite

Update

Well…There is definitely something else wrong..I’m hoping it’s just a fried battery but even after 2hours on the battery tender it’s not charging. As soon as I take it off the charger there’s no power again.

I’m going to head to the dealership early tomorrow morning and try and pick up a new battery. Fingers crossed this will work. If it’s not the battery then it’s something in the electrical system which I can’t afford to have fixed and still go on the trip. So if the battery doesn’t fix it then the trip is over before it gets started..