Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Connie has Harley Envy

The joke used to be that HD’s were like drip coffee makers. Front fork oil drips, engine drips, transmissions drips, but alas no coolant drips. This past week I completed a 3200 loop with my friend Steve, who has a 2002 Road King. He has tastefully applied the obligatory chrome in strategic spots, has made some parts and adapted others for a truly one of kind HD. Here's a pic of Steve's Road King.
Well every time we stopped, someone come over to compliment what a nice looking bike he has and questions him where he got a particular part or piece of chrome. Of course Steve puffs up his chest up and lists out exactly how or where to get the stuff. My poor 2006 Kawi Concours listens to the people eww and ahhh about Steve’s RK. From time to time I say to them, but what about this bike, isn’t it nice. The people would look up and say "sure sure" and go back to drooling over Steve’s bike.

Right around the 4th day into our trip, it was a cool crisp morning in Tellico Plains, TN. This town is where the Cherohala Skyway begins. I decided it would be good to give the Connie a good warm up, so I insert the key, pull the choke back, and it roars to life. First idling around 700 rpm and in about 30 secs kicks into a full 3000 rpm rant. I pull the choke back a bit to slow it down to a 1100 rpm purr. I go about my business putting stuff in the rear trunk, repacking some clothes and other such pre ride stuff.

The bike is warmed up enough and the owner at the Hog Pit comes out to talk, so I shut the Connie down. A few minutes later the Connie is dripping some fluid from the bottom. Hey wait a minute it has a greenish hue to it, hey hey hey it’s coolant. Sigh, shit, where’s my RVRoadHelp card, and I wonder where the nearest Kawi dealer is. I lie down on the ground, looking thru the various opening in the fairing to see, if I can spot a leak someplace. Nada.

Pull a screwdriver and remove the 10 screws that hold the bottom fairing panel off. Nothing. Start the Connie up and lie under the bike to see if I can spot anything. Steve thinks we are gonna have to remove the next layer of fairing. He just loves to take things apart by the way. Bike is running and nothing. Shut the bike off and all is ok. Go figa.

The Connie has been listening to this ewwing and ahhing for almost a week now. Who has been running 75 mph and just purring along with the RK bearly (slight literary exaggeration) keeping up on the hill climbs. I could hear this little voice saying, “Geeeez RK, you have to downshift to make it up this little hill. Hey Willie, give it a little twist, I want to spew some exhaust on the King. Of course I comply and we quickly pull away from the RK. I can just see the Connie grinning with a chesire type smirk.

At one of our stops a passer by notices there appears to be oil all over the back of the rear rim. Of course I have to lie down to see it. It appears the rear end is leaking that stinky 80/90W hypoid gear oil. Another sigh and I turn to Steve and say, let’s find an auto part store. We are just getting ready to jump onto the Blue Ridge Parkway for a nice afternoon spin to Front Royal. I have to buy an adjustable wrench to check the rear fluid. Up on the center stand, we spin the cover off and Steve spins the wheel. “Looks like there is plenty of juice in here”, he says. Steve really likes to do this stuff . I said, “Well just to be on the safe side I will buy some oil and we will check it”. Get the stuff, cut the top off with the knife I bought 2 years ago and never used until now and Steve bends down and shoots some juice in. One small squirt and the stuff is flowing out the side. It is full. Back into the store to get a bunch of plastic bags to pack the 99.97% unused portion of the hypoid stuff.

About 9pm we decide to get off Skyline Drive and ride the rest of the way to Front Royal on regular roads. We have seen 5 deer and 3 bears on the BRP and SD and it is dark out.

Fast forward to Sunday morning. Crisp morning, re do the start up sequence ala Hog Pit morning. Yup small coolant droppings, the rear rim is still got oil on it, with a fresh drip on the side of the tire, and now it decides to leave some regular oil on the ground. This is the first time for the regular oil thing. Not much, just enough to make you give a sigh. Check the oil and it is ok. Geez, I just got this bike in September of 2007 and it only has 14,500 miles on it at this point. Thank god for 4 year warranties.

I really think the Connie had Harley envy and wanted to be complimented just like Steve’s bike. So for the rest of the trip every time we stopped I pleaded with the people to say hello to the Connie and tell it how nice it was. No drips for the rest of the trips. Go figa.! OH BTW This is my Connie.

1 comment:

PatnWilton said...

Hey Bill, I see you are keeping up the blog! This is great! I am having travel envy reading it. Oh, and be sure to be kind to Connie. Lots of complements. Remember, like Jade, Connie LIVES!