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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"Hey Idiot!!!" Or "Those lights on the dash mean something after all"

The trouble started, as trouble is prone to do, days before it actually became a issue.

The battery light on my bike came on one day, shocking me into concern.  I had not gone down the road that far before it shut off...and I put it down to just a loose wire.  Or perhaps caused by the high humidity and rain that is part of daily life in Florida.

The idiot light stayed off for a day or two, making me think that I was correct in my assumption.   It stayed off till I had to go to work on Friday.  It came on...blinked, blinked....went off, stayed off, came on....blinked.   "Great, I'll have to get that looked at."

It stayed off on my ride home on Friday, again convincing me it was nothing.

I have to go to work Saturday morning and I jump on Kimmie expecting her to purr to life as she always has.  Nothing.  Nada.  Not even a clicking noise.  Sadly I was at work all day and didn't have a chance to do any work on her.   Even when I got home after 4, my day commanded other things.

There are reasons those lights are referred to as "Idiot lights."  So here I am on Sunday, testing the fuses.  I check the cables and ensure that they are nice and tight.  Nothing.  I had replaced the battery earlier in the year, so I doubted it was that.  I would still need a load test be be sure. 

That left a gremlin in the wires.   Somewhere there was either a short, or something in the wiring harness.  I don't have the tools, or the knowledge, to go searching for something like that.

I was also leaning towards a gremlin in the wires for another reason.  I did have power from the battery to the lights for a bit.  The bike just wasn't turning over, and then those lights faded.   Which to me indicated a issue with the ground wire.

Problem was...how to fix it.

So here I am, first thing in the morning, trying to explain to my roadside service company that sending a regular pick up truck will not work.  It needs to be a flatbed.  Also that you can not jump a motorcycle battery off of a car battery - while actually you can do this the car needs to be in the "off" position.  Why risk more damage to the bike if it's not needed?



As I sit here and write this two thoughts go through my mind.   First, I really need to look into switching insurance companies because the one I have is not serving my needs.  Two, it may be time to finally say goodby to Kimmie.  Well, three thoughts really.  I need to learn more about the mechanical workings of my bike.

I love her, I really do.  However ever since my accident back in 2014, it seems that Kimmie and I have not been on the same page.  She seems to have never really recovered.  It's been a slow litany of small annoying issues ever since then.     Tires and belts and batteries wear out, I understand that.  Things get loose, I understand that...but I try to keep up with the regular maintenance on her.  I try to keep her healthy.  It's a slow process of nickles and dimes that are starting to add up.

At this time I'm not sure what I want to do.   I am considering selling her if the repair costs to much.  Trading her in on a younger model...something in the 750 range I'm thinking, although I hate to take on another payment.   I'm three to five years away from being financially secure and I really don't wish to take on another debt.

Which leaves me two options.   Trade in for another used bike and all the possible issues that brings.  Or hold on to her for another two or three years and hope that her slide is minimal or that this electrical issue will be the end of it for a bit.  The AMA roadside assistance program would probably not be a bad thing to have in this case, and I am considering joining for that reason - and that I like the idea of putting a scooter on their Longrider program.  I've done 10,000 + miles in a year.  I can do it again but only if Kimmie wants to cooperate with me.

3 comments:

Trobairitz said...

I like the AMA idea. The main reason hubby is member is for the roadside assistance and it covers the family not just the bike. We're used it to tow the car before.

Dar said...

Poor Kimmie it seems her days are numbered, its always a hard decision to decide to upgrade to a different bike. What bike are you considering?

Robert Wilson said...

Dar - I've wrote about the Honda CTX 700 before, which would be my first choice. However Susan wants me to buy either a trike, a Can - Am Spyder or something similar. I have played with the idea of a Piaggio/Vespa MP3 before. Now I'm thinking this may be a happy compromise between the stability that Susan wants and the cornering that I seek.

My local dealer has one for sale that I hope to take for a test ride soon.