My first “real” (i.e.: more than one day) motorcycle road trip of 2012 began on July 30. Myself, my nephew Shane, and our good friends Jeff and Tim set out on a journey to buy Shane a T-Shirt. Yes, that was the only actual specific, tangible objective of the trip. Everything else that happened was purely incidental…
I will state this now very clearly: Harley Davidson motorcycles built since the late 1980’s (i.e.: those with the Evolution motors) do *not* habitually leak. These engines are generally as tight and well-designed as any, albeit with a different aesthetic than the finely balanced Hondas and BMWs of the world.
That said: my beloved Road Glide began to leak about a week ago. The leak was a very small amount of quite clean lubricant, dripping from some generalized location on the bottom of the engine. I say “generalized” as it wasn’t a single spot: generally, wherever the engine was lowest e.g. towards the kickstand side. In other words, there was no obvious source of the leak. And when I say “small amount”, I mean about one drop every three or four hours. Placing a clean paper towel under the engine for 24 hours would result in a spot no larger than you might get from resting your Egg McMuffin on the same paper towel for a few minutes.
Regardless of the size of the leak, *any* leak is frustrating, even if it isn’t critical. My bike is scheduled for its 32,000 km service next week, and the measurable fluid levels were all “in the zone”, so the leak wasn’t critical. But I wanted to be able to clearly point the service guy in the right direction to solve the problem. So I began digging. I washed the bottom of the engine, towelled it off , and got out a flashlight. From here on, I started to get a bit of an education regarding the engine of the bike I love. And I also have a tip regarding avoiding the leak I experienced, so read on…
It occurred to me shortly after I bought my first motorbike last year that video taping my rides might be kind of interesting. I started investigating the various options, ranging from duct-taping or velcro-strapping an off-the rack home video camera onto my bike, through custom-built video rigs specific to motorcycling. What I settled on was probably overkill for my needs, and turned out to have some unexpected frustrations: the Race Optics EVO-HD Camera system.
Two weeks ago I came down with a cold, and a week ago I was diagnosed with a lung and sinus infection. The doctor said it was probably a variety of “mild” pneumonia, what is sometimes called “walking pneumonia”. So I’ve been coughing, clearing my sinuses, and generally feeling crappy.
On the plus side, the weather has been generally unpleasant as well. That sounds funny, I know, but for me there is nothing worse than being sick when it is beautiful and sunny and the birds are singing: it just feels doubly unfair. There were a couple of decent days this week, today not being one of them: however, it wasn’t raining, and I was feeling a bit better. This meant that was overwhelmed by a desire to get out on my motorbike, which I did.