Archive for the ‘motorcycle problems’ Category

Running Out Of Gas

Thursday, October 5th, 2017
motorcycle by highway

Stopping beside the road is not always your desire.

I read an article some while ago that said, “Nobody runs out of gas any more, not with dash lights and other geegaws reminding you to stop and fill up.” Obviously, they weren’t talking about motorcycles.

Most motorcycles don’t even have gas gauges. What they do have is a petcock that you turn to Reserve when the bike starts to sputter. Then you know you had better find a gas station fairly soon. Presumably you know how much fuel your reserve holds, you know how many miles you get to a gallon, and that tells you approximately how far you can get on what you’ve got left.

My Kawasaki Concours does have a gas gauge, but it’s in a minority. And even that is only a half-way measure because it still has reserve and once you flip that petcock the gauge just registers Empty and you’re judging your range as you would on any other bike.

I have run out of gas. More than once, on both the Honda and the Kawi. And you’ll rarely meet a rider who hasn’t also run out, at least on occasion.

Now, riding with the OFMC I have never run out, for the simple reason that all my bikes have bigger gas tanks than any of the other guys’ bikes. They need to gas up long before I do so as long as I do the same I’m golden. And I carry a long plastic surgical tube so that if need be we can siphon gas from my tank to one of theirs, though that has never been necessary.

That fact is largely due to John’s experience on one of our early trips. He and Bill and I were blasting north through Wyoming on I-25, heading for Deadwood, SD, and I was in the lead. I noticed they had dropped back so I slowed down and after awhile I pulled over. The customary thing in this situation is to wait, with the assumption that they’ll be along soon. If they don’t come along soon you head back to see what the hold-up is.

So I sat there a while, too long, and turned back. I hadn’t gone far and there they were, going the direction I was now coming from, so I turned around again. We all pulled off and they filled me in.

John had run out of gas and hadn’t thought to flip to reserve, so he coasted to a stop. Bill pulled over to offer aid. They quickly deduced the problem, but even after John switched to reserve the bike wouldn’t start because the fuel line had been drained dry and he couldn’t get any gas to the carburetor. Most motorcycles don’t have fuel pumps, it’s simply a gravity flow system.

So they tried jump starting. We were on flat land and Bill pushed and pushed and pushed while John tried to get the thing going. Finally, about the time Bill was ready to die from his work-out the bike did start, and after he trudged his way back to his own bike they were finally on their way again.

Ever since then John is a total fanatic about getting gas long before he even reaches reserve. He also instructed his son, Johnathon, in this approach so a few years later, on another trip, when the bike Johnathon was on started sputtering he had no idea what was happening because he had never gone to reserve before.

Me, I hit reserve regularly. The only problem is when you forget to switch the petcock back to the regular tank when you gas up. Then, if you’re not paying attention to how many miles you’ve ridden, when the bike starts to sputter, guess what? You’re out of gas. Trust me on this, I know.

Biker Quote for Today

You’re a biker wannabe if you spend more time shining your bike than riding it.

Don’t Drop The Bike

Monday, June 26th, 2017
motorcycles lined up

Riding with buddies means you have assistance if you drop the bike. But sometimes you’re not with other riders.

One of the most annoying – not to mention embarrassing – things you can do is drop your motorcycle in front of the whole world. I’m not talking about going down, which is when you wipe out at speed. Dropping the bike usually happens in a parking lot as you’re trying to turn sharply with almost no speed. You lean the bike a little too far and suddenly 600 pounds of falling motorcycle overrules any thoughts you had of remaining upright.

The good thing about dropping the bike in a parking lot is that you have friends or at least helpful strangers to help you lift the bike back up. But sometimes it’s not that easy.

When friends can’t help

We were out on the first day of one of the early OFMC summer trips, and John was riding his brand new Honda Shadow. Bill was in the lead and as we passed a lake he spotted a dirt road running down to the lakeshore. Figuring it to be a good place for a break, he turned in and John followed, with me behind.

The road quickly got steep and rutted, not the type of thing we like doing on street bikes, but at this point we were committed. It was easier now to go forward than try to turn around.

Then John started losing it in a rut. The Shadow was leaning precariously and he had his foot down trying to keep it from going any further.

“Ken, help me. Help me!” he yelled frantically but I was dealing with ruts of my own and before I could do a thing to help John I first had to stop my bike in a stable location and get the kickstand down. John dropped the bike.

Fortunately I was there, we righted the bike, and rode on down to the shore, where Bill was wondering what was taking us so long. Riding back up we managed to avoid any mishaps.

When You’re Alone

Friends are great to ride with but sometimes you ride alone, at least I do. I was crossing Nebraska one day on U.S. 34 and spotted a farm road heading north from the highway that looked like a good place to stop and stretch my legs. I knew it had rained the night before but the ground look dry and firm. What I could not see was that it was only the surface that was dry, while underneath the earth was soaked.

There was solid gravel for about 20 feet away from the main road and rolling at about 3-4 miles per hour I hit the end of the gravel and my front tire splooshed into deep mud beneath what had appeared to be firm. In slow motion the wheel slid to my left and the bike and I went down to the right, with me dumped into the mud hole. There was no one else around.

Now, I know how to pick up a bike and I had done it before. You cock the handlebars as far as you can to the side it’s laying on, back into the saddle and tank, grip the hand grip and whatever you can get a hold of with your other hand, and then stand up carefully, lifting with your legs.

But I was in a mud hole. Have you ever tried to get firm footing in a mud hole? The first few times I’d start to stand up and my feet would slip and down we’d go again. I finally dug my heels down far enough to reach something a little more solid and did get the bike upright. I was now standing in a mud hole with my back to the bike. I had to very carefully turn around, very carefully throw my leg over the seat, and then hope the bike would start. It did and I inched my way toward solid ground until I could finally relax.

Then I turned around, got back on the highway and stopped at the first town I came to. I got a motel, ran the bike over to a car wash to get the mud off, and spent a good part of my evening cleaning mud off my leather jacket.

Given the choice between annoyance and embarrassment, I guess I’d choose the embarrassment. At least then you have someone to give you a hand.

Biker Quote for Today

Instead of trying to blend in and be like everyone else, I became a biker.

Tar Snakes By The Score

Thursday, July 30th, 2015
The OFMC at Glen Canyon

The OFMC at Glen Canyon.

There was one point on this recent OFMC trip where I think everyone would agree the riding was more than memorable.

We had just come through the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and were somewhere in the vicinity of Natural Bridges National Monument and we came upon a series of tight turns. This is normally something we who ride find delightful: tucking in, leaning first this way and then that and then back this way, maybe even scraping some hard parts if you’re on that type of bike. But in these very same turns we also encountered something we were not thrilled about: tar snakes.

Not just a few; they were like a spider web, going everywhere in every direction. Totally impossible to avoid. And right there on these tight turns where we were already leaned over, with not a lot of traction to spare.

Holy crap! Nothing to do but ride it through.

Of course that’s a lot easier to say than to do when you feel your front tire sliding out from under you only to then feel your rear tire going, while the front has stabilized. But stabilized only for a second because as soon as you’re past one there are three more in your path. And sometimes your front and back tires are sliding at the same time.

So we got through a series of turns like that and breathed a sigh of relief but just a minute later here was another series of turns with just as many snakes as the last time. Yow!

Of course, it was a hot day, so they were soft and oozing. There was not a single one of us who had encountered tar snakes that bad ever before. No one went down and no one got hurt but every one of us had a memorable experience that came up in conversation more than once in the next couple days.

Here’s a bit of advice I found on how to deal with them: Once on the tar snakes and leaned over go loose on the bars and don’t chop the throttle. Look for pavement areas that look to have less tar and try to alter your line/lean to get the front tire there. If possible cross the tar snakes at 90° or at angles never ride along the length of a tar snake.

Thanks to dirtrider for that bit of advice. And yes, that seems to be the consensus, don’t over-react, stay loose and ride it through.

Then of course, later in the day we ran into about 10 miles of new chip seal. Brand new chip seal. Not our favorite day of the trip.

Biker Quote for Today

Tar Snakes. Their bite is painful. Their laughter is silent. — RedWings

Prepping For The OFMC Trip

Thursday, July 16th, 2015
New tire on Kawasaki

Got a new tire--I'm ready to ride.

We leave tomorrow on this year’s OFMC trip and I’ve got a lot to get done. Right now I’m at Joel’s (Mountain Thunder Motorsports) taking care of the single most important thing on my list: getting a new rear tire on my Concours. The used Avon tire Jungle put on it three years ago when I got a puncture in my six-day-old Dunlop is just about shot. Time for another new Dunlop.

Then there’s so much more to be done.

Of course I have to pack, though that will be less of a job than it was for the recent trip with Kevin and Jeff. We camped on that trip but the OFMC does not camp any more. That lightens my load considerably.

All my electronic devices need charging. How many of these do you travel with? Here’s what I carry.

  • laptop
  • cell phone
  • PDA (a Palm–yes, antique, but I don’t have a smart phone)
  • digital recorder (good for quickly and easily capturing thoughts and details I might otherwise forget)
  • cameras (two)

I also want to get a haircut today. My hair is long enough that on this last trip a strand or two would often get loose in my face in my helmet, flicking with the breeze and tickling my face. And hard to effectively tuck aside.

And these things unrelated to this trip that just need to get done:

  • send an invoice to a client for services rendered
  • plant some more beans and lettuce in the garden
  • take my car to the car wash (I have a coupon for a free cleaning and it’s going to expire)
  • water the houseplants

Yep, busy day. But right now, here at Joel’s, I guess I’ll just read this March issue of Rider magazine.

As an aside, here is a useful resource from a biker lawyer on safe driving for motorcyclists.

Biker Quote for Today

You have 1/4-inch chicken strips? Wow, I’m so impressed!

A Bug’s Vengeance

Thursday, July 9th, 2015
Busted turn signal on a Suzuki V-Strom.

The only casualty of the fall.

Kevin and I were crossing Idaho on US 20 when I caught a big, juicy bug on my visor directly in front of my right eye. It left me effectively blind in that eye so I pulled over to clean it off.

I got off the bike and set it on the side stand, pulled out my cleaner stuff and sprayed the splotch of bug guts. While I was doing this Kevin pulled in behind me and got off his bike. Apparently he didn’t notice the bit of slope we were on, and as he released his grip on the bike it started to topple away from him. At the same time, it rolled forward just enough to nudge my bike and push it forward off the side stand. His bike crashed to the right and mine went down to the left.

I will forever regret that I didn’t have the presence of mind to pull out my camera and get a shot immediately of these two bikes on the ground and Kevin standing there with a dumbfounded look on his face wondering what the heck just happened. But I was too busy wondering what the heck just happened, and then we both jumped to get them both upright again.

My top bag was open so I could get the cleaning spray out, so all its contents were now scattered on the ground. The spot where I had sprayed my visor now had a patch of dirt and sand where the cleaner had picked it up as the helmet hit the ground. I had some clean-up to do. Yeah, that bug made me pay for snuffing its life.

The only damage was the left turn signal (in the picture above), which was busted. I’d call that a design flaw in the V-Strom. If the bike falls over one or the other of those is almost guaranteed to break. Kevin, who used to rent V-Stroms out of Gunnison, said it’s a $90 part and his customers were forever breaking them.

So he replaced them on all his bikes with a flush-mount set of signals that he said cost $15. His didn’t break. And he’s pretty sure he still has at least one of them that he took off one of his bikes, so replacement should be easy.

Just another day on the bike.

Biker Quote for Today

90% of my paycheck goes towards dirt bikes (the rest is just wasted).

Riding On (Unwarranted?) Faith

Thursday, June 18th, 2015
Bad Valve Stem

Not good.

I wanted to ride my Honda CB750 Custom to Loveland last week for the Steel Horse Sisterhood Summit but before I took off I figured I ought to check the air pressure in my tires. Turned out they needed a little air but what really disturbed me was when I saw how badly rotted out the valve stem is on the front tire. Holy crap, is this going to die on me today, and if it does, how dangerous will that be?

Now I would guess the more safety fanatic among us would have told me I was an idiot to even consider riding on it like that. My thought process went like this:
1. It has obviously been like this for a long time and so far nothing has happened.
2. The chances that it will go out on me today of all days is probably quite slim.
3. If I take it slow and easy then if it goes there will be less danger.
4. If it does go it will probably be a gradual deflating, so I can pull over the instant I detect something wrong.
5. And I really do want to ride the Honda today.

So off I went.

I preferred to stay off the highway as much as possible so starting off I went through town. As I was riding along it occurred to me that if I passed a bike shop I might be able to stop and get it fixed on the spot. And then I had an even more brilliant idea (Ha!), when I inevitably passed a car tire shop maybe they could do it for me. It’s just a valve stem after all, surely they’re all the same.

So I did stop at a tire shop but that guy just looked at me and shook his head. No, we don’t work on motorcycles. But it’s just the valve stem, I said, can’t you do that? And he explained that it would be necessary to lift the bike (we don’t have the right kind of lift for a motorcycle) and to break the bead (we don’t have that equipment).

You mean you can’t just yank the old valve stem out and insert a new one? (Can you tell I’m not much of a mechanic?)

On I went to Loveland. Taking it slow.

In Loveland I found that there was almost no sign of the Steel Horse Sisterhood so I figured I might as well head to the local Honda shop. There the guy told me yes they could replace the valve stem but it would involve removing the tire and they would not be able to get to it for at least an hour and a half. It would cost about $45. Or for about $200 I could get a whole new front tire.

This was tempting because this is the whole issue. Because I have two other bikes I don’t put that many miles on the Honda. The tires both have a good bit of tread left but they have been on the bike for 10 years. The rubber is starting to rot. They need to be replaced. Doing both would have been about $450, including new valve stems on both. Why the heck not do it right now?

Because sometimes I’m impatient. And in an hour and a half I could be home. And get the job done some other time.

So I rode home and the valve stem held out and all was well. Now I really do need to do something about these tires.

Biker Quote for Today

Keep calm and ride on.

Where Are My Dang Keys?!

Monday, December 1st, 2014
Kawasaki Keys

Try not to outsmart yourself when you stash your keys.

Do you ever get a little too smart for yourself? I certainly do sometimes, and did just recently.

We were planning a trip to California and while our neighborhood is very safe and I had nearly zero expectation that someone would break in while we were gone, I did nevertheless take a few security measures.

Normally I leave the keys to my motorcycles in a very convenient location and I always know exactly where they are. When I’m gone I’ve generally just stashed them in my sock drawer. Coming home I’ve always known right where to find them.

This time was different. I got the idea from somewhere that burglars will usually come into your bedroom and just pull all the dresser drawers out and dump them, in order to quickly determine if something is stashed there. I decided to put the keys somewhere else.

So we got home a couple weeks ago and it was bitter, bitter cold. There was no motorcycle riding going on at that point. Gradually it warmed up and it was very noticeable when one day I started seeing bikes on the street again. I had a lot of yard work I needed to get done so I held off on riding a little longer, until Friday of last week. Nice warm day; time to go for a ride.

OK, where are my keys? I checked about a dozen places, including my sock drawer, with no luck. Where the heck did I put them?

Then I remembered that I have always kept my spare keys in a pocket of my original leather jacket, and hadn’t thought to move them when I stashed the others. They were there and I went out for a really nice ride on the Concours. Plenty of time to find the others later.

Saturday was an even nicer day, sunnier and warmer. Time to take the V-Strom out.

Guess again. While I had the spare Honda and Kawasaki keys in hand, I never put the spare Suzuki keys on the same ring. I started tearing the house and the garage apart looking. Finally Judy said I ought to set a time limit and if I haven’t found the keys by then, take the Honda out. She was right and I did end up on the Honda.

Again, wow, what a great day to be out riding. One big reason I live in Colorado is so I can go out on great days like this in November, or December, or January, or even February.

But eventually I was back home again and now I had to get serious. What did I do with those keys?

I fished through the sock drawer again and again came up empty. I considered dumping it out just to be sure but was convinced I would have found them if they were there.

Below the sock drawer is the t-shirt drawer. I did pull that out and started pulling every shirt out and then (tinkle) a set of keys dropped out. And there they were, the rest of them. So much for my thoughts about the sock drawer not being a good place. How the heck was the t-shirt drawer supposed to be one bit safer? What kind of idiot am I anyway?

So now I’ve identified a number of truly better places to stash these keys next time I want to do that. And next time I’ll send myself a text message or something to tell myself where the heck I’ve put them. I’ll outsmart myself yet!

By the way . . . when I was out on the Honda I came across a guy on a Ninja stopped along the road so I stopped to ask if he needed help. He said he had someone coming with a pick-up but was hoping it would start on its own before then. He was thinking stator. He thanked me for stopping and I went on my way.

It occurred to me after I left that I wished I had thought to ask if he had checked the kill switch. There have been a couple times I’ve found myself sitting by the road because I accidentally hit the kill switch. Each time I sat there until that “Duh!” moment struck when I realized what it was. It makes you feel stupid but it’s one heck of a lot cheaper than replacing the stator.

Biker Quote for Today

Helmet not wore when go ride, and no damaging so far brain yet!

Running Out of Gas

Thursday, October 16th, 2014
Kawasaki On Pikes Peak

Just a photo illustration of the idea of being out there far from anywhere with the bike not running.

I ran out of gas on my way to work the other morning. I don’t know about you but that just seems to happen to me periodically. With no gas gauge on the CB750, just reserve, you never really know how low you are.

It wasn’t the first time.

This time around I had been riding in the hills the day before with the guys and switched over to reserve. I have a fair idea how far I can go once I switch to reserve and I calculated that I could get home and then get over to where I like to gas up on my way to work the next morning. I was heading west on Hampden just west of University when I learned that that estimate was wrong. I came sputtering to a stop at Gilpin. Don’t you just hate when that happens?

I was fortunate in this case. I rolled the bike a long block or so to where Old Hampden diverges from the main road and from there I just coasted down to the station I knew was nearby. I probably only lost 10, maybe 15 minutes in the whole thing and wasn’t even late to work.

But how many other times have I done something like this? I make fun of some of my friends because they freak out about gas when they’re just getting close to going to reserve. They never actually go to reserve if they can help it. I figure that’s what reserve is for; you hit the point where you need to flip that lever and then you start looking around for a station.

Sometimes I misjudge.

I think the first time I ran out of gas on a bike–it was the CB; that’s the first bike I ever owned and which I still own–I was out running around with a young lady I had designs on and apparently I had forgotten to flip back off reserve when I had filled up last. So I was expecting to need to go to reserve but then when the bike finally started sputtering I found the lever in the wrong position and the tank completely dry. We had a good walk that day. Nothing ever developed in that relationship.

There was another time when I was on the Concours with my wife and we had been out riding with a bunch of folks. Everyone parted ways down in Colorado Springs and we headed back to Denver on CO 83. Everyone else had gotten gas back in Florence but I didn’t fill up because the Kawi holds 7.5 gallons and I knew (I just knew!) I had enough to get home. Oops.

We were just a couple miles south of Franktown when we coasted to a stop in front of a farm house. It took some knocking but someone finally answered the door and they said yes, they did have some gas. We would need to push the bike all the way around the back of the house, up a bit of a hill, to where they had a tank. Shucks, I figured if we could just put a pint in an old coffee can that would be fine to get on to Franktown, but I didn’t want to argue–they didn’t seem exuberantly happy to be bothered by us. So we did, and paid them for a gallon and were on our way.

Another time Judy and I were on the Honda and I don’t remember how it was that we ran out but we did. We were somewhere up in Westminster or Commerce City and just came to a stop by the side of the road. Very quickly a guy in a car stopped and offered to help. He said he would take me to get gas. I got in and off we went and he explained that he was sort of a freelance roadway assistance program and he would sure appreciate anything I could give him for his help. Considering the situation I was glad to give him $20. He was glad to receive it.

Are those the only times? I don’t know; those are the only ones I can remember. Maybe my buddies aren’t so silly freaking out over getting near reserve. Maybe I should be a little more like them. Not a lot, mind you, but a little. I’ll bet it’s a long time before I run out again, though. It takes a while for memory to fade.

Biker Quote for Today

A motorcycle functions entirely in accordance with the laws of reason, and a study of the art of motorcycle maintenance is really a miniature study of the art of rationality itself. — Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Riders Helping Riders, Even In Cars

Monday, September 1st, 2014
Motorcycles On Pikes Peak

Bikes on top of Pikes Peak.

Motorcycles used to be pretty undependable. From what I gather, at least, breaking down alongside the road used to be pretty much an every day occurrence. If you were a rider, you were a mechanic.

Out of that reality a brotherhood developed where it was just unacceptable to pass by a brother alongside the road who might be in trouble. That ethos continues today, although I think it has gotten weaker. Bikes are more dependable now, you don’t have everyone looking at a rider alongside the road and thinking “that could be me” and stopping.

I know I’ve been stopped and very definitely having problems and watched in annoyance as other motorcycles went right on by. I particularly think about a couple BMWs one day . . .

The ethos seems to remain the strongest among Harley riders. There have been a number of times when I have had problems and a number of other times when I was just stopped to shoot some pictures. And more than one Harley rider stopped to check on me. I really do thank you guys.

Well it happened again Saturday but this time I wasn’t even on a bike. Judy and I were down in Colorado Springs for a wedding reception and we decided to drive up Pikes Peak. We were in my car.

So we got pretty high up the mountain and the car started dragging. It had no power at all. It’s fuel-injected so the altitude should not have been the problem the way it once would have been. But something was definitely wrong.

There we were just stopped on the road up the mountain; the car would not go forward. I had my flashers on but it took a while for the guy behind me to figure out that I wasn’t just stopping to shoot a picture or something, and he finally pulled around. We’re sitting there discussing what to do and a couple on a Harley coming down the mountain pulled into our lane and stopped directly facing us. We wondered what the heck he was doing until we saw that he was letting a car that had come up behind us get past.

Once that car got past the folks on the bike pulled alongside and asked if we were having trouble. You bet. So thinking quickly, I asked him to just block the road momentarily for us so I could roll backward and do a Y-turn and head back down the hill. Which he did, and as soon as we got pointed downhill the car was ready to run just fine. Had the gas just not been able to reach the fuel pump on this steep uphill?

We didn’t need any more assistance and after going a little ways we pulled over to assess the situation. The folks on the Harley pulled over and checked and we said thanks, we’re fine now, thank you very much. And they rode on.

That’s what I’m talking about. We weren’t even on a bike, they had no idea we ride, but they stopped to help. And they were on a Harley. Wasn’t there a slogan years ago, something like “You meet the nicest people on a Harley”? Kinda? Sorta? Well you do, even if you’re not the ones on the Harley.

Biker Quote for Today

Happiness is finding you still have more throttle.

Resolving the V-Strom Handlebar Problem

Monday, May 19th, 2014
V-Strom handlebars

This diagram will help you understand this procedure.

When I went to work on it Saturday morning I was surprised how quickly and easily I resolved the various issues with replacing the handlebar end weight that got busted off when the bike fell over a couple weeks ago. Here’s how it went.

First I had to figure out how to put the whole assembly back in and have it stay. I had speculated that the nut on the very end (#9 in that diagram above) must screw into something inside the bar. Nope. I shone a flashlight up in there and there was nothing at all. Then it dawned on me: That rubber stopper (#8) is sandwiched between the nut and that washer (#7). Put the whole thing together but don’t tighten it down too much, slip the whole assembly inside the bar, and then tighten the screw such that it compresses the stopper, making it expand outward until it forms a seal with the inside of the bar. Presto! Solid and secure.

Then I turned to the other problem: how to get the broken bolt out of the damaged side.

Looking at the assembly from the undamaged side, I could see that flush with the broken end of the bolt was the rubber insert (#5). Maybe I could just grab that with some pliers and pull it out and that would make it easy to grasp the broken bolt.

I first used some needle-nose pliers to grip it and pull. It seemed to be coming but when I released it it drew back in almost completely. Almost. I worked at it on the other side and once again it came out and stayed out just the barest amount. Going back and forth I got it out enough that I was able to grab it with some regular pliers and then I really went to work on it. I got a bit more out on one side, then a bit more on the other, until the whole thing slipped out. Then it was easy to grip and twist the bolt and as soon as the pressure was reduced on the rubber stopper that whole assembly slid right out.

I then had an issue removing the broken bolt from that thin metal sleeve (#6). At the outside end it was right where the bolt broke, and it got damaged, too. Ideally I would have gotten a new sleeve, but I didn’t have one and wanted to get this resolved now, not later. I stuck the thing–with the bolt still in it–in the vise and did my best to bring it back close to round so the bolt could slide out. That worked.

Then putting the whole assembly back together with the new bolt was troublesome, too, because of the misshapen tube. I worked on it some more with the vise and got it reasonably OK, and then tapped the end of the bolt to get it to go through. Some more shaping in the vise and it seemed acceptably good. It went together and slipped into the bar.

The next issue was that the handguard had ripped off when all this happened, and the inside end of the guard that used to have a hole through the plastic/rubber/whatever now was an open notch. But the bottom side was designed as an open notch and the outer connector was, too. I figured that in all three cases if I could just get that bolt to cover and grip a piece of the guard it should hold sufficiently well. It did. More success.

Then finally, with the handguard in the position it naturally fell into, the little throttle lock I use no longer cleared the guard. I experimented with twisting it into less natural positions and found one where there was no interference. I tightened the bolts securely at that point.

And the job was done. Now all that remained was to take the bike out for a test ride. I know, this is one of those “it’s a dirty job but someone has to do it” kind of things, but hey, I’m up to the task. And I’m not one to leave a job uncompleted. So yeah, if you saw someone out of a blue V-Strom Saturday it might have been me.

Biker Quote for Today

My favorite ride is the one I’m about to start!