Was This Part of the Plan, Colonel?

Do you ever get up on a sunny morning, look out at the sunshine and think, “God, I would really love to change the fuel filter and bleed the clutch and brakes of my flying brick motorcycle today.”?

Didn’t think so.

Me either.

Sadly though, that had been my cloudily concieved plan.

With a little unallocated time on my hands, it seemed like the perfect time to take care of moto business.

Of course, nothing even remotely like this ended up happening.

So much for plans.


Thursday night here in Central Maryland was one of those jewels of a riding night. Temp in the high 70s with a tropical moistness to the whole experience. The wind on one’s skin feels just good.

I decided that after a barn burner of a day at work, and a scheduled 11 pm meeting with some co-workers of mine in Australia, I really just needed the relaxed, slow lope of my oldest alloy girlfriend and a few minutes to get out of myself.

I geared up, got down to the garge, swung a leg over the Toaster, set the controls, and pressed the starter button.

And was greeted by the sound of.


What a buzzkill.


The next day I managed to score a nice Deka AGM battery at a local shop after work, and came back to wrench central.

Battery in.

Button push.

Absolutely freaking nothing.

ThinkThinkThink, Pooh.

Some caffinated Googling, some communication with the Big BMW list, and I am much smarter.

Its a starter switch, or a starter protection relay, with a remote chance of an alternator rotor blown.

I find a troubleshooting procedure.

I walk out to the garage, rig the test wire for the starter switch test, connect it, touch it to the right terminal, and she fires right up.

So we need a switch.

I call every dealer for a hundred miles and the one I do the least business with is of course the one that has one.

They pull the part, and I get on my K bike.

50 miles of intersate and US highway are seemingly vaporized.

Part bought. The same 50 miles are reverse-vaporized.

Some sweating in a hot garage ensues while seven conductors are traced and written down, and seven conductors are removed.

The new swich harness is installed, and the battery ground goes back on.

Button push.

THWAKKK. WHAMWhamWhamWhamWham PuttPuttPuttPutt….

I don’t know that I’ve ever heard this bike start which such authority in the 30 plus years I’ve owned it.

Course I’m thinking if we threw a new switch and battery at you, you’d prolly start pretty good, too.

Do you think its possible that motorcycles are like lovers, and become somehow jealous of each other, and the attention we pay to the others?

This way madness lies.


Tonight, I got Thursday Night’s Ride.

And it was better cause I earned it.

It was still 78 degrees and moist. The air coming through my ventilated leather jacket felt like a caress.

I hit a pizza joint in Frederick that is renowed for their tapline, and put out several hours of fire and sweat with a cold session IPA.

I took the scenic route home.


Do I really feel like putting in a Fuel Filter in the LT tomorrow?



One thought on “Was This Part of the Plan, Colonel?

  1. Pingback: Don’t Eff With Electricity, Man | Rolling Physics Problem

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.