After a long day of going over my bike on thursday(as well as wednesday) and getting it ready for my trip, Rich and I threw my old 3.5 gallon mustang tank on the backbone for some extra mileage between gas stops. It was sitting around my garage coated in primer, so I had it painted and sealed(supposedly) last summer and haven't used it since my Austin trip back in October of 2010, keeping it covered ever since it was sprayed. It looked good on the backbone and I felt good knowing I'd get further, especially in NYC traffic if needed.
Obviously, my foreplay didn't get her off, cuz my bike started shutting down on me east of Denver yesterday. To make matters worse, I completely smashed up my car thirty minutes before I left Denver. Not a good start to my day, but the ending would be just as bad in my opinion. My car is one thing - I drive a shit-box to support my bike addiction - my motorcycles are everything to me...
My bike started sputtering on me around 80 miles into my trip. So, I pulled onto an off-ramp and checked the bike over, trying to see any obvious signs of what was wrong. Nothing. Got back on the bike and blasted back onto the highway, only to have it start acting up again. Once more, I coasted onto an off-ramp and under an overpass to get in the shade. This time, I rang Rich and went over what was going on. He walked me through it and I fucked with the fuel system for a bit. Headed east again, but another 20 miles down the road, still no luck. Stopped in Limon, CO and went over everything again, cleaning my filter, blowing out my fuel lines to clear any debris, and adding some fuel injector cleaner. Another 45 miles down the highway, sure enough, it started up again. Pulled off in some shit-town, trying it all over again, this time draining the float-bowl and cursing at it(which doesn't help by the way). Finally, I gave up, figuring that I'd get further by heading back to Denver and having the shop to work in than to keep trying to diagnose it on the road. I was getting nowhere but further away from home. Heading back towards Denver, I got approximately ten miles before it shut down as I pulled onto an off-ramp once more. I was over it...
I called Rich and he came 300 miles round-trip to save my ass in the middle of the night. Talk about a friend, a damn good one. We got back to his place at 3am and I passed out on his basement couch. Woke up this morning and got to work on it right away. Checked the ignition, it was good. Checked for loose connections or an electrical problem, nothing. Then the two of us started in on the float-bowl, fuel lines, fuel filter, and that damn mustang tank. First off, tried draining the tank from the pet-cock, a slow trickle and that was that - problem solved. We continued to clean out the lines, filter, float-bowl, and pet-cock. Oh, and I put my narrowed sporty tank back on. That mustang was draining debris down my lines and clogging my shit up, not allowing the carb to get enough gas.
So, early tomorrow, I'm gonna try another attempt at this cross-country trip of mine. Unfortunately, I won't be able to do the Blue Ridge Parkway like I wanted, but, I don't give a shit. I was able to fix my problem and still have time to try again. This time, I'll be rolling 1,800 miles in three and a half days instead of 2,000+ in five and a half. Again, at least I get another shot and with a little luck, I'll be able to get to NY and do this camping/riding/drunken bro-fest known as the Gypsy Run.
If you never try, you'll never know. I may break down, I may hit horrible weather, I may crash? Hell, I may do all three, but that's the chance I take. I'd rather take that chance than sit at home, go to work, and live a normal life.
Here I go -
Thursday, with the 3.5 on the back-bone, ready to rock
Limon, CO - My second(out of three) try at diagnosing the problem. Full moon up above the gas over-hanging.
Flagler, CO - Where I finally gave up and waited for Rich to come save the day. Again, full moon bearing down on me.
Today at the shop, getting the problem fixed correctly
As always, a HUGE thanks to Irish Rich, my brother and best friend. I'll see you in two weeks.
5 weeks ago