FLH_on_a_truckSummer is coming to an end and you start to wonder which trip will be your last for the season. The first hunch is the leaves turning redish, second is the increasing lack of daylight, and third is when you consider zipping you thermal liner back into your leathers. The most important hunch however is when your motorcycle blows a big fat hole in a piston, and the engine starts smoking like a VW Beetle full of Jamaicans. Then you’ll know for sure it was the last ride of the season.

That’s what happened to me this Saturday. After a perfect day in the company of fellow motorcycle nuts and some good rides enjoying one of the last sunny days, my shovel decided to give up on me. It’s not the first time I’ve had to pull it over because of something feeling odd, but so far it has just been a loose bolt or a broken wire. Things I could fix right away and head on, except when the clutch fell off a few weeks ago, but the good people at MachoCustom fixed that pretty quick.

This one though, is going to take longer than there’s left of the season. I haven’t got the entire damage report yet, but when we removed the sparkplug small chunks of metal came out. Not the best sign in the world. Apparently a small spring in the mechanical ignition had broken which made the spark slowly coming off timing, and combined with too lean a mixture and a little fresh throttling; blew a piston.

But what the heck, it’s an old motorcycle and it needs to be taken care of. This is a good excuse for a little engine tune up. Wasn’t precisely what I had planned for winter rebuilding, but it’s in good hands and I’m certain it’ll come out better on the other side. And I still have my 919, so the entire riding season is far from over.

Because of that, is probably why I can feel positive about it. A good reason why you should have more than one motorcycle.

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8 Responses to “How to know your riding season is definitely over”

  1. Markus  September 21st

    oof! Sorry to hear about the Shov’.
    But for a positive spin, I always use those type of incidents to do something new/upgrade the bike.
    Good luck!

  2. Jesper  September 21st

    Exactly, Markus. You know how it is; now a can’t sleep thinking of what I’m going to do to it. With the traditional main issue: “how much can I possibly do within my budget” But that’s half the fun isn’t it.

  3. Surly  October 7th

    You know what they say “Ride a Harley ride the best, ride a mile and walk the rest”. Of course I’m kidding. I’ve experienced the blown engine phenomena myself and it sucks. At least it was not the first ride of the season.

  4. Jesper  October 9th

    Yeah, I guess if it had to happen it was not the worst time.

  5. Ben  October 15th

    That sucks! were you on speed when this happened? I’ve hear of engine packing up then the back wheel locks. That will not be pretty!

  6. Jesper  October 16th

    “on speed” eh! I’m guessing you mean if I was driving when it happened, yes, but the rear wheel didn’t lock. A rear wheel locking is not that scary, better than the front wheel, that tend to wake you up pretty fast.

  7. Steve Williams  October 17th

    Sorry to hear about the rear wheel lock up. It has been several decades since I had that happen.

    As far as riding season goes—it’s never over. At least not in central Pennsylvania. For me the best rides are just beginning now that there is a bite in the air…


  8. Jesper  October 17th

    The rear wheel didn’t lock up Steve, just lost compression and pulled over.

    I’d like my riding season not ending, but I just got back from a ride in 2 degrees Celsius. In Denmark, riding season is definitely coming to an end.

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