Getting out on my bike has become less of a common thing the last couple of years. The reasons are not terribly interesting: disruptions in health, work pressures, depression. But I still build up a need for two wheel therapy, probably even more so than when I was riding every weekend. And so I’ve focused on ‘long form’ road trips to get my motorcycle fix, and this year was a biggun’: a ride to take my 2011 Road Glide ‘back home’ to where she was born: Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
My 2011 Road Glide is my ‘baby’, and when something starts behaving a bit odd I generally notice it fairly quickly. Twice now, once last fall and again just this past week, my bike has suddenly started idling at over 2,200 RPM. The normal idle is about 1,200 RPM, and the high idle revs make the things I normally do like using engine braking a bit challenging. Interestingly, if I ‘force rolloff’ the throttle (i.e.: roll it ‘down’ below its neutral point) the idle will drop. And frustratingly, the problem seems to magically ‘fix’ itself after a while, which has meant getting the service folks to investigate it has been challenging.
I think I have found the cause, as well as a temporary (?) fix.
I was going through some draft posts on my blog and came across an outline for an account of a motorcycle road trip from back in 2013. It was originally written shortly after the event and, although it is in bullet form and rather sparse on detail, it does account for some events I had partially forgotten or mis-remembered.
And, since it was the only motorcycle trip I’ve taken with both my brothers Ron and Colin (my third brother, Dennis, doesn’t ride motorcycles 😉 ), I didn’t want to lose it. I’ve cleaned it up a bit, added some pictures, and now it is here for posterity.
Life is full of surprises: some good, some not so good. I don’t deal well with surprises, but to counter that I’ve adopted a ‘seize control’ mentality that sometimes kicks in and gets me past the unexpected. My motorcycle road trip for 2015 is essentially a case history of that adaptation of mine, and I’m not sure whether to be proud or a bit sheepish. Either way, here is my accounting of the Journey of Unexpected Turns. Wherein I was supposed to be going to Reno, Nevada, but ended up going somewhere else entirely…
I set out in June of 2014 (June 28, to be precise) to meet up with my brother Colin for the second of our ‘annual’ motorcycle road trips. The plan was simple: go to Yellowstone Park, and see what is to be seen. A very rough map of the sites we visited (if not the route we followed… more details below) looks something like this:
I decided in December of 2013 that 2014 would be the year I upgraded the performance of my 2011 Harley Davidson Road Glide. There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with my bike’s get up and go. But after over 65,000 kilometres of riding, I felt I knew better what I wanted when I rolled on the throttle. And I had driven some steep roads at American highway speeds i.e.: somewhere around 130 km/h (85 miles per hour), and there were times where I felt the end of the throttle looming.
Back in August of 2013 I set out on what would be my longest motorcycle road trip up to that point in time. Apparently it was so big that it has taken me nearly two years to even start documenting it 😉
That’s a little bit of an exaggeration- I did post a few things for friends and family on Facebook. And I managed to edit one of what expect to eventually be at least three and probably four videos down to a reasonable size to post. But along with a lot of other neglect of my blog, I seriously procrastinated in creating a post here. Time to rectify that oversight!
Avon sells some fairly decent grips and accessories for motorbikes. I liked the feel of the Air Cushion grips, but bought them before they had the option of a throttle boss. Recently, Avon started selling the throttle boss separately, and I ordered one on-line. Unfortunately, it wasn’t at obvious how to install the thing…