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Epic Bike Fail

June 2nd, 2009 · 2 Comments · Personal

So about two weeks ago my friend Andrew came over to help me change my bike oil and replace my oil filter. It wasn’t anything difficult, but I wasn’t 100% sure I knew what I was doing. The process was quick and painless, the only hindrance being that I needed to remove my left fairing piece to get at the oil filter. After getting it off and seeing just how truly dirty my bike was on the inside, I decided to just clean up the whole damn thing. A lof of the metal you see in the above image was covered with mold patches, and it was generally dusty in all the nooks and crannies that weren’t easily accessible. So I started to disassemble it piece by piece. It was actually kind of fun and I probably removed more than I had to, but like I said – it was fun.

So after almost two weeks of water damage cleaning because I couldn’t spend too much time on it at once, I finally managed to piece it all back together successfully after cleaning it thoroughly, although some patches just refused to clean up. I wish I had gotten it when my obsession for preservation had become more… obsessive. Anyways before taking it apart I had idled it to circulate the new oil, and it had ran fine. So seeing as I hadn’t touched anything except removing the muffler during my cleaning, I figured it would start up just fine. I hit the switch and it rumbled to life, but immediately started fluttering. Giving it gas would only make it worse. I switched it off – it was late I would tackle it tomorrow.

The next day I tried starting it again – same result. Could I have slipped the muffler back on wrong somehow?? It just came straight off, no fancy connections, I couldn’t imagine how that could be screwed up. I called Andrew to come check it out then tried it once more. This time it burbled for a few seconds then died. As if… it were out of fuel. So I looked down at my fuel knob and saw that it was turned to OFF. Cue flashback of me turning it off while unscrewing the gas tank, days ago, telling myself “I’m totally going to forget I turned this off later.” Yup. I did.

So I switched it back to ON and started her up once more. However the burbling didn’t subside after a minute or so, when gas should have flowed back into the engine. So Andrew showed up and we started by taking off the muffler to see if that would fix anything. We remove it and I go to start the bike and it goes “CHA Cha cha… cha……..cha……” as the battery dies. Wonderful. So I pull out the battery charger from the garage, hook it up, and it has no charge in it. We take out Andrew’s battery, which turns out to be twice as tall as mine and with its posts reversed, so my wires can’t reach them. Wonderful. So I hunt through the garage and finally produce a set of jumper cables to hook to my car and start my bike, which then turns over like it’s on Meth and rumbles to life again. Briefly.

So same results with the muffler off  (sounded cool as hell), so that couldn’t be it. We remove the left fairing piece to see if any vacuum hoses have be knocked loose in my cleaning. We pull up the tank too to look at the hoses under there. Andrew notices it’s a bit light and asks how much gas I have. I shrug and note that last time it ran fine. Still, I switch the knob over to RES, which opens up a fuel line at the bottom of the tank, and try to start the bike again. It comes on and stays running, though a bit unsteady.

Skip ahead an hour as we break for dinner. We reassemble the bike and we drive to the nearest gas station. By the time I’m there the bike is running just fine. Meanwhile I’m cursing the fact that it happened to run out of gas just at the moment of starting it after tinkering around, when I would assume that something else was wrong besides it just being out of fuel. It’s really not something you consider when you haven’t ridden it for two weeks.

To top it all off, we get to my friend’s gym later to get him out riding with us on his bike, I pull in to park, throw down my kickstand and… well I thought my kickstand was down. Have you ever seen someone just tip over on a bike that’s sitting still? I have and it’s pretty fucking hilarious. So I have a pretty good picture of what I looked like as I fell over while still in the saddle.

A group of us ended up riding together though and I made myself feel better later by going 165MPH down Rt 18. In my defense the ZX14 started it.

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