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Monday, July 19, 2010

Bad Breaks, No Brakes, But Nothing Broken

Went to the Rhody Ride Saturday and Sunday. Nothing went right. Ben rode his XR650L and I rode my MR175. Well I did for almost 7 miles anyway. Then it died and wouldn't restart. Cause unknown, I haven't looked at it yet. 

I had spent Friday getting my MT250 ready to loan my brother for the weekend. Changing a clutch should only take an hour or so. Right? I had all the parts, gaskets, and a new Barrnett clutch pack. Opening it up was straight forward but the gasket tore apart and had to scrapped off which took an hour or so. The clutch basket was beat but I didn't have time to mess with it. That is until I found that the clutch pack was the wrong part for some unknown bike.

I will never, ever order parts from an eBay seller again! I am so tired of getting wrong parts, poor quality parts, and just plain bad parts that I'll stick to the local shops from now on. I'd certainly like to meet the seller from Thailand who is pushing spokes for vintage bikes. Preferably in a dark alley with a baseball bat!

Luckily I had a spare motor and tore it open to find a good clutch basket and clutch pack. I swapped the parts and buttoned it up. It started right up and had a nice feel to it. Little did I know that this was going to be the high point of my weekend.

Having spent so much time on the 250 I didn't have time to go over the MR175. No problem, it's as reliable as a bill collector on commission. Until it got cranky and the carb started acting up. At first I thought it was just gummy from sitting so long. Running fresh gas through it will usually clear it up but not this time. It just meant that I got farther into the woods before it died. 

Moose Racing Buddy Tow

Since neither Ben nor I had a Buddy Tow with us I got to experience the joy of pushing a bike out of the woods in 90F heat. I'm sure Yoda would think of it as character building but I think the only thing it did was build my vocabulary of words my mother would not approve of. Luckily a cross road was not too far (1 mile that felt like 10) and I was able to ride Ben's bike back to get the trailer and pick up the bike.


The Rhody Riders put on a great dinner. There was a buffet table lined with food but the first stop was pans of huge steaks. You picked one out and took it over to an 8x3' grill and tossed it on. It was a do-it-yourself deal with several long forks that were passed around for turning and checking. Being in charge of  your own dinner meant no lines or complaints.

After dinner and the raffle we headed back home to deal with bikes. We agreed on the Big Bike Adventure Ride for Sunday so I switched to the NX250 for an easy day without worry. Loading the 3 bikes on the trailer we met my brother back at the ride HQ and started out for a day of fun. 

Bob hasn't ridden in a few years so he showed up with a full face helmet and heavy duty sneakers. I convinced him to take off the face shield so he could get some air but that turned out to be a mixed blessing since it also let in all the dust and dirt. Sun glasses are no substitute for goggles but you have to start somewhere and better riding with bad gear than sitting around the house.

Bob with the MT250 and dead XR650

We were up to 33 miles and stopped for a moment to make sure everyone was OK. Disaster was waiting once again. Ben's bike wouldn't restart. We tried everything but without tools it was mostly chanting and voodoo dances. None of it helped. So back to HQ for the trailer and load up the bikes.

Once everything was loaded and we retrieved the other cars we went out for lunch at the Middle of Nowhere Diner. Much discussion about everything revealed two things: In spite of all the problems, nobody had gotten hurt and everyone had a great time. And, we were all set to do it again real soon!

Thanks to the Rhody Riders for putting on such a great event.