The Greatest Dad Ever!

Chris:

It’s Father’s Day and time to resurrect a two year old post. My Mom is no longer with us since this post. My Dad is still going long and enjoying life. Happy Father’s Day!

Originally posted on Chris & Donna's Motorcyle Journeys:

My Dad in the Marines during the 1950’s.

Happy Father’s Day to my Dad!  And a Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there.  I may be a bit biased but I happen to think I have the greatest Dad ever.  So why not brag about him?

My Dad is not a super hero but he is so much better.  From watching him and listening to him, I learned to be a man, husband and father.  I mean what more could you really ask for?  Ok, he did the same thing for my two brothers which makes him even cooler.  If you’re a reader of this blog you know that I’ll tackle maintenance and repair of the motorcycle on my own.  I’ve done the same with cars and home improvement projects all my life.  Where did I learn to do this?  Well, from my Dad of course!  What he…

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They Had It In Stock!

We headed down to BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta today to order the brake line I need to replace.  I’ve found that quite often brake lines may not be in stock and need to be ordered, taking about a week to get.  Can you really expect a dealer to stock the individual brake lines for the models of motorcycles they’ve made even in the past 10 years?  I was fully expecting to have to order the part.  There was a little computer trouble at the parts counter when the guy helping me unexpectedly says “Hey!  It says we have one in stock!”  He goes in the back and a few minutes later comes out with the brake line and the miscellaneous washers to go along with it.

While we were there Donna disappeared and then called me over to show me what she “fell in love with”.  What she found was a 2014 K1600GTL Exclusive edition.  Maybe I should’ve gone alone?

 

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Old And Leaking

Our BMW K1200LT is a 2oo2 model.  She was built to last.  Two years ago we had a leaking front brake line that I replaced and then bled the brake system.  A while back I wrote that it looked like there was another brake line leaking, this time the rear brake near the brake pedal.  Today I started looking for the culprit and it is indeed the rear brake line near the master cylinder.  Once I had removed the body panel so I could see better, I was able to push on the pedal and then get some brake fluid to collect at the ferrule where the hose goes into the master cylinder.  That’s some leak.  The brake reservoir was also sitting right on the minimum line too.  No wonder I got a flashing brake warning light.  So now I know what part I need to go to the BMW dealer and order and then replace.  Then it’s time to flush the brakes again.  At least I noticed it at home and not out on the road somewhere.  I’d rather not have to check out the BMWMOA roadside assistance towing.

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Pancakes On The Porch

Sean & Randy return with the jumper cables.  Don't they make a cute couple?

Sean & Randy return with the jumper cables. Don’t they make a cute couple?

Yesterday, members of my Blue Knights Chapter were going to meet for what’s called “Pancakes on the porch” at Rider’s Hill in Dahlonega, GA.  A group of us were scheduled to meet in Woodstock and ride up there.  We prepared to leave and one of the motorcycles, a 2002 Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic wouldn’t start.  Randy was quick to begin getting the seat off and trying to diagnose his issue.  Sean and I decided a push start might be in order.  Let me tell you, pushing a full dresser touring bike and its driver is a chore!  The bike almost started but we ran out of hill.  So more tinkering was in order.  The lights would light but it seemed there just wasn’t enough juice to turn the starter.  Someone spied an auto parts store just down the street and Randy got on the back of Sean’s Victory Cross Country Tour and they returned from the store with a set of motorcycle jumper cables!  Now it got even more interesting.  Sean started getting tools out to access the battery on the Victory which was down low, in front of the engine, behind some body work.  The other motorcycle, a Harley Davidson Road King also required tools to remove the seat and then get to the battery.  Now on Randy’s Ultra Classic I had just watched him remove his seat and get to his battery without using a single tool.  So I moved the K1200LT, raised the seat (by releasing it with a knob in the side case) and there was my battery!  Just like the Ultra Classic.  Well no joy, it wouldn’t jump-start.  Then the jokes started.  “Hey Chris, use your smartphone and Google “Harley won’t start”.  There shouldn’t be too many hits!”  But Sean had Randy try to start the bike while he hit the starter with a pair of pliers.  It cranked right up!  A stuck solenoid on the starter seemed to be the issue.  So it was off to Rider’s Hill.

We got to the Hill and enjoyed the dinner plate sized pancakes with friends.  Randy’s Ultra Classic started up and he headed for home, not wanting to push his luck and to do some diagnostic work about his starter.  For many of us the ride to Rider’s Hill was the ride for the day.  Donna and I along with Sean and Christine on their Victory had already made plans to head to Camping World in Oakwood, GA to look at motorhomes and to have the hot dog and hamburger lunch they were offering.  It was a nice ride down there.  We had lunch and then looked in some really nasty used motorhomes!  I’m not kidding.  They could’ve at least cleaned them before offering them for sale.  But that aside, we then headed for home.  I heard from Donna, “You’re not going to put that jacket on are you?”  It was hot and I gave into her suggestion.  But now hindsight showed I was probably warmer WITHOUT the cloth, vented motorcycle jacket!  I pretty much expected that.  But the four of us did stop for ice cream on the way home so that made it a little better.

We pulled into the garage at the end of the day and noticed a few drops of liquid under my right foot peg.  Closer inspection showed it to brake fluid that was leaking.  So it looks like I’ve got a repair in my very near future.

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Why Is There Brake Fluid On The Floor?

If you ride long enough, sooner or later something breaks down or needs repair, no matter how much preventative maintenance you do.  Yesterday was one of those days.  We had been out riding and I parked the Magic Carpet in the garage when I noticed 2 small clear drops on the floor under the right side and under the driver’s foot peg.  Funny, we hadn’t ridden through any water.  I came back in and put the motorcycle up on the center stand as I normally do.  A while later I noticed 2 more drops under the foot peg while the motorcycle was on the center stand.  Now I was really curious and felt the drops (no I didn’t taste them) and they were indeed clear and very slippery.  Brake fluid was my immediate and apparently correct thought.  The rear master cylinder (not reservoir) is mounted to the rear of the chrome plate that the driver’s right foot peg and the rear brake pedal are fastened to.  You also remove this plate and move it out of the way when filling the transmission oil.  I sat on the floor and undid the 3 allen bolts and 2 torx screws that held the plate in place and looked behind it.  Sure enough it looked like there was fluid leaking from the brake line attached on top of the master cylinder.  I couldn’t see much further without removing more bodywork and decided that was a chore for another day coming up soon.  Now that I had a general idea of what was leaking I checked the parts fiche at Pandora’s European Motorsports in Chattanooga, TN for an idea of the cost of the line and any other parts needed.  Let’s just say it could’ve been worse.  In fact it’s not shocking at all.  I’ve replaced a front brake line before so this is nothing new for me.  As it was the last time, I’m hoping the hardest part will be flushing the servo assisted integral ABS brake system.  Hopefully one day this week I’ll remove the body work and get in there to get a much better look to see exactly what needs to be fixed or replaced.  I’m hoping that like the last time it will be a relatively easy fix.

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RSS Feeds Have Been Added To The Blog

There’s been a new edition to the sidebar over on the right.  You can now view or subscribe the RSS feeds for both posts or comments to this blog.  I tried it out earlier myself today in both Internet Explorer and Microsoft Outlook and it works just as expected, giving the text versions without the blog formatting but does display pictures.  Go ahead and take a look if you dare and go ahead and subscribe if you’re even more daring.

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2014 Ride To Work Day

RTW Button Art [Converted]

For 2014 the 23rd Annual International Motorcycle & Scooter Ride To Work Day is on Monday, June 16, 2014.  The event is self-explanatory in that you simply ride your motorcycle or scooter to work on that Monday.  Since I’m retired and won’t be going to work I’d ride mine on any errands or go for a motorcycle ride that day.  Show the rest of the motoring public how many motorcycles are out there and on June 16, 2014 “Ride to Work”.

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It’s Getting Close To Iron Butt Time

A while back I wrote that I was thinking of doing an Iron Butt ride with some friends, particularly the SaddleSore 1,000 which is 1,000 miles in 24 hours.  Life got in the way and some other plans had fallen through.  It may now be myself and one other friend who has done SaddleSore and Bunburner rides.

Following the advice of friends and the Iron Butt web site, I’ll be using the interstate highways.  The interstates afford the best option for miles travelled over time. So far I’ve pretty much got it narrowed down to two different routes that would qualify.

  • Home to Titusville, FL (round trip):  Much of this ride will be over the very familiar roads of Interstates 75, 475, 10, 295 and 95.  It’s a route I take regularly by both motorcycle and car to visit my Dad in the Daytona Beach area.  The stretch from Daytona Beach to Titusville would be the part less travelled.  Once in Titusville we may stop in at the American Police Hall of Fame & Museum to stretch our legs.  This route also has the advantage that we can stop and rest at my Dad’s house if we choose too.
  • Home to New Orleans, LA (round trip): This would be a route that I haven’t been on in many years.  Again, like Titusville it would be an all interstate route.  Taking this route would mean riding in two states that I haven’t ridden a motorcycle in yet; Mississippi and Louisiana.  I’d get to fill in those states on the map in the “About Us” page.  I know, big excitement.

As plans firm up and the date get’s closer, I’ll be posting it here.

Categories: Rides | Tags: | 2 Comments

Riding “The Gauntlet”

My Blue Knights Chapter had scheduled one of its weekday “Hooky Rides” for today and had planned to ride “The Gauntlet” in northern Georgia.  Well, we had only three of us show up for breakfast and to ride.  The Gauntlet is a 133 mile loop showcasing some of north Georgia’s great motorcycling roads.  We began the loop at the intersection of US HWY 19 and US HWY 129 at Turner’s Corner (the bottom of the attached image below, above Dahlonega, and rode it counter-clockwise).  If you’re skilled enough, you can get some wear on the sides of your tires too on this ride.  Two of us today are former motor officers from the Atlanta Police Department and the third is just a flat-out good rider.  Part of this ride literally has North Carolina on one side of the road and Georgia on the other!  For some reason this ride takes all day to complete.  We could’ve easily ridden up to Deal’s Gap and ridden The Tail of the Dragon and come back in the time it took to ride this 133 mile loop.  We had a cloudless blue sky and started with temperatures in the mid 60’s F and reaching 88° F in Dahlonega when we finished.  It really is a fun route to ride.  I wore my new Tourmaster Air Tracker mesh pants and they were great on this warm day.  I also wore my River Road Laughlin jacket, from Motorcycle House, all day, opening the vents in the jacket as it warmed.  The jacket got warm sitting in some traffic in Dahlonega and again in Woodstock on the way home but cooled off as expected once I got moving again.  At the end of the day the Magic Carpet got parked in the garage with 81,473 miles on her odometer.

The Gauntlet is marked in red.

The Gauntlet is marked in red.

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We Rode To Myrtle Beach…..Sort Of

Today was the first Saturday this season for “Pancakes On The Porch” at Rider’s Hill in Dahlonega, GA.  These are not just pancakes, these are HUGE pancakes.  These pancakes are the size of a dinner plate!  Don’t ask me how they cook them without burning them and flip them without breaking them.  Whatever you do, don’t order two.

My Blue Knights Chapter rode up to Rider’s Hill from various locations to enjoy some of those pancakes with our friends as well as some members of Blue Knights Georgia IX who showed up too.  We had planned on a ride somewhere in the area after our hearty pancake breakfast.  As it turned out many of our members had “honey do lists” waiting for them back home or just wanted to head home.  Maybe they wanted to head home for a nap but I would’ve preferred napping in the rocking chairs on the porch to the symphony of motorcycle engines.  One member on his Gold Wing joined Donna and me for a short ride.  As Steve put it, “It’s too beautiful a day to not go for a ride.”

We headed north from Rider’s Hill and took Georgia HWY 60 past the “rock pile” and Two Wheels of Suches.  We made the right onto the stretch of Georgia HWY 180 which is named Wolf Pen Gap RD on the stretch between GA HWY 60 and US HWY 129 (the map image below DOES NOT do this road justice).  Once at HWY 129 we made the right and then headed up and over Blood Mountain and back for Rider’s Hill.  After a short break we headed for home.  Down in Dawsonville, they were having “Spring Fling Days” and we wanted to avoid any traffic from that (we got caught in road closures for a foot race on the way up), so after we left Dahlonega we took Georgia HWY 52.  While on HWY 52 we saw a sign for a street named Myrtle Beach so in a way, sort of, we rode to Myrtle Beach today.  We branched off on Georgia HWY 183 before making the turn on Georgia HWY 53 towards Jasper and then on for home.

There were a lot of BMW Motorcycle out on the road today as the BMW Motorcycle Club of Georgia was holding its annual Georgia Mountain Rally up in Hiawassee, Georgia.

The odometer on the Magic Carpet passed through 81,000 miles today and now sits in the garage plugged into the battery tender with an odometer that reads 81,163 miles.

Part of the parking lot at Rider's Hill this morning for "Pancakes on the Porch".

Part of the parking lot at Rider’s Hill this morning for “Pancakes on the Porch”.

 

Wolf Pen Gap RD between Georgia HWY 60 and US HWY 129.

Wolf Pen Gap RD between Georgia HWY 60 and US HWY 129.

 

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