Miscellany: Motorcycle, 2

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12/20/2012. Insured, registered, tagged. A day late after discovering that the registration had lapsed on my Civic and scrambling to get that squared away. Yesterday at the NC DMV I was told the BMW won't need to be inspected until the registration is renewed next year. Color me surprised, but why would I argue? (I'll tell you about the kindness of strangers soon, too.)

Today the weather is falling apart on us. I took the tag to Danny who pronounced the bike done. I tried it on for size and instantly abandoned any immediate plans to use the barbacks: it fits so much better! Really an inspiring sort of fit. I am paying for my enthusiasm tonight -- my left hip is not presently configured to let me sit astride a motorcycle, simple as that -- but at the time, it just felt great. The hand grips fell exactly where they belonged and my feet had an excellent grip on the Earth. Lowering the seat height by a silly inch made a huge difference even in my street shoes, and I can't wait to try it with boots. It felt so good, I entertained thoughts of riding it home myself -- there was hardly any traffic about and it wasn't far -- but when I lifted my left foot onto the peg as if I were reaching for a gear, I realized the folly of that plan. That was a very slow, very painful maneuver. It wouldn't do to have to reach for the ground or for a gear quickly, smoothly, or neatly. Plus, it's been 14 years since I've ridden, and I really want to put down plenty of miles on our protected neighborhood roads before reintroducing myself to highway wilds. So I asked if Danny would mind delivering the bike at his convenience. "If you're going home now, why don't I just follow you?" he said. And he did, just ahead of a cold, winter rain. It's just under 10 miles by US 70 and SR 1111.

A few issues: the headlight is out (it wasn't last week), and when the engine is hot, RPMs tend to stick high when the throttle is blipped. It doesn't so much "run up" as stick at the peak. All the cables and levers, cams, and springs appear to be transmitting throttle input to the engine cleanly, so Danny suspects an air leak around one or more of the fuel injectors. Spray some WD-40 on the O-rings at the top and bottom of the injectors and see if the tach responds. If it does, change the O-ring. Things may yet settle out, and the RPMs only stick when idling in neutral. Drag of the driveline brings them right down. The headlight is a simple H4 and the manual says it can be changed and adjusted without tools. We'll see.

I drove Danny home and then walked the bike back down beside the Honda. The buckles in the driveway made that tough and scary. At one point I honestly believed I was going to dump the BMW before I got it anywhere near where I meant to park it. I stood there for five minutes in a cold sweat -- couldn't raise the sidestand, couldn't push upslope -- before I decided to put the center stand down and pivot and drag the bike far enough from a "pressure ridge" in the asphalt to return it to the sidestand. "Top heavy" is a phrase which is very much on my mind tonight. Find a level spot to use routinely for parking. "Level" is a very small part of this property's description, but I have some ideas.

Need to put some fuel stabilizer in the tank, fire it at least weekly, and keep the battery tender on call. It'll wait patiently enough until I am ready to give it a go.

The cover my mom bought for this bike has basically rotted. I took a lesson from astronomy: a really good cover makes an effective observatory for my AT10RC. I infer that a really good cover will make an effective garage for my K75s. A robust, all-weather, waterproof cover is on the way -- it wasn't cheap except compared to what it will protect or to the cost of a brick and mortar garage.


12/22/2012. Excavated the BMW saddlebags and inside found the boots that came with the bike (nice enough, but not particularly adjustable, not a snug fit, but well worth cleaning up) as well as the tank bag, inner liner, two leather jackets and leather britches. The last are 34-inch waist -- them were the days, eh? -- so they are a ways from being useful. Not utterly hopeless, but let's say very optimistic. Likewise, the jackets, which are at least as poignant a reminder of a smaller age.

Miscellany for the first day of the new Mayan long count: The new cover should be here the day after Christmas. I need to go pace off some possible parking spots. One of Amy's FB buddies opines that she hopes I am preparing the bike in order to sell it because I am "too old for motorcycles." Bullshit. I am finally old enough. I need to find my copy of Eddy Harris's South of Haunted Dreams, a good book and especially interesting since I seem to recall that he was riding exactly the same bike. [Found, and yes, down to the color of the paint.]


12/27/2012. A couple of days ago, I discovered a new issue: the button that cancels the turn signals doesn't. I've been looking for my Deoxit (bought to improve contacts in the A-P electronics) to see if that might rejuvenate the right-side control pod where the cancel button lives. Ah, but today it's working; just exercizing the button seems to have done the trick. Alas. the headlight is still out. And I can't get the ignition to "catch" today. Good spark in all plugs, fuel pump runs, strong smell of gasoline after too much cranking, but only occasional "burbling" from the engine and no motorcycle noises. The battery started strong, began to fade, and I have it on a tender now. The new cover is here but not yet deployed; today was for drying things out. MRH offered garage space until I'm good to go. I'll take him up on it if needed.


12/28/2012. Another day, another bit of good news. After a night on the battery tender, on a sunny 42°F afternoon, the engine started. It wouldn't idle off choke at all and it didn't idle that smoothly on, but idle it did. After a few minutes, I could cut back to half choke. Cutting out the choke entirely always stalled the engine (the "choke" on the K75 is just a slightly open throttle). It's a cold-natured beast, with lots of digital testimony to the effect that it doesn't run all that well until thoroughly warmed up -- miles down the road -- so this may be par for the breed. Or I might need to adjust that screw Danny pointed out to me to give it just a little more gas at idle. And make sure the FI computer is solidly connected. And what's this I read about two full throttle deflections programming the electronics? Look it up in some canon and behave accordingly.


1/4/2013. The headlight I ordered from Amazon turned out to be an H4 all right, but a high wattage one (80/100?) rather than the 55/60 the K75's electrics expect. Maybe it would be OK; maybe it would not. Anyway, Autozone down the road in Valdese had the proper bulb (and the clerk said I missed Danny by a few minutes; which is unfortunate, as I need a consult). The fuel injector O-rings are here (same as used on a 318i), and I've added Sta-bil to the tank. Also, some electrical contact goop is ready to be applied to the bulb contacts, to the injector contacts, and to the spark plug connections. I haven't managed a sustained idle since 12/28; it almost catches, sometimes spins up just enough to disengage the starter, dies, then never offers to catch again. All with some smoke out the pipes, plugs are black and wet when pulled. The turn signals have been behaving well after I pushed and pleaded with the turn signal cancel button to please work once. It's worked very well ever since. Today it works as if nothing was ever wrong. Even when the engine doesn't fire, I practice with the signls (they turn ON on their respective handlebars, but both signals turn OFF with an upward jab on the right; if you make the same motion on the left you'll blow the horn).


1/5/2013. I made a good faith effort to pull the connector from the back of the headlight bulb. Tomorrow I'll try a flat-blade screwdriver instead.

I'm thinking the injectors are partially fouled which suggests some kind of on-going contaminanation because they were working well when the bike came home. I'm thinking of buying a set of injectors (they could be spares or the present ones could be cleaned and become spares), but I'm reluctant to change injectors if new ones will soon be compromised in the same way. Gotta talk to an expert.



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                   © 2013, David Cortner