Friday, June 27, 2008

The month of mayhem

If you are a regular reader of my blog, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve been way behind on my posts as of lately. June was a crazy, crazy month. Here is run down.

While on our 5 day Arkansas ride over Memorial Day weekend, on day 4 of the trip my ST3 started to run funny. It sounded like it was running on one cylinder and the idle was low and erratic, the usually rhythmic Desmo 3 engine was now running off beat. The troubles started at about the same time I almost ran out of gas. We were riding the beautiful and long RT 16 in Arkansas and I was getting low on gas and there were no gas stations anywhere. When we got to the stop sign in Clinton, AR I noticed that the bike was running like crap. The low fuel light was on already for many miles and at any moment I was expecting to run out of gas completely. I coasted in to the gas station on fumes but when I filled it up again, the bike was still running bad. The part that didn’t make sense, the ST3 was running bad only at idle, once the throttle was open it was running like normal.

When we returned for the trip I started to do some research. It seemed that maybe a plugged up fuel filter or fuel injector could be the cause of this. I poured some Sea Foam into the fuel to see if anything would happened but nothing did. We checked a few things since the bike was just serviced the day before we left for Arkansas. I had the dealer do the 24,000 mile valve service which included installing new spark plugs. After pulling up the gas tank and examining the spark plugs and wires, everything seemed fine. If it was the fuel filter or fuel injector, the dealer would have to deal with that, Mike was busy doing a valve service on his Tiger and we only had the space for one torn apart bike.

Checking the spark plugs and all other wires

Then a few days later the sewer pipe busted under the garage, and that had to be taken care off. The bikes and all the contents of the garage had to be moved outside.

Oh no, they have to dig a hole in the garage floor

Poor mail man can't even get to the mail box with 5 bikes in the way

Now that we have dirt in the garage we can ride our dirt bikes in here

Two weeks after the Arkansas trip the ST3 went to the dealer for a look-see. They adjusted the idle, but the bike still ran like crap. The bike went back to the dealer a week later. They adjusted the CO levels, but the bike still ran like crap. This time I refused to take it home, since obviously it was not fixed. After involving the owner of the dealership, we finally got some real action. The next day I received a call from them. They knew what was wrong with my bike. One of the intake valve springs was broken. They would order the parts and the bike would be good as new.

Then, few days later, on Friday June 27th I come in to work and I get laid off. Myself and 7 others loose their jobs as the company restructures. I had already been approved for vacation and we were supposed to be leaving for our trip in just a few days. Originally we were supposed to be riding to Nova Scotia but after doing the route and going over details, 9 days just wasn’t going to be enough for a trip like that, too far. So just two days ago we decided instead of Nova Scotia, that we would just have a nice long relaxing ride around the Great Lakes. Well, that is if the bike is ready in time, which we still don't know when it will be ready, the parts have been ordered but they are coming all the way from Italy.

But now that I don’t have a job, this changes everything. Our current ride plans have been scrapped for bigger and better things. We are still doing a trip, but we‘re heading west instead of north or east. And we’re planning on staying on the road for about a month. Obviously money will be a huge issue since I’m no longer employed, so we’ll have to figure out how to do the ride as economically as possible. Mike works from home and can work from anywhere, he just needs his laptop, internet and phone. He can take a day off here and there, but for the most part he will have to work. I’m officially going to start looking for jobs, and places to live….. but not in Illinois.

I guess we’ll just have to see where our bikes will take us.


Oblivion/Mark said...

Way to make lemonade out of lemons. Good luck with the job hunt. Being laid off sucks, but it also opens up new opportunities.

Susan said...

Anna, Do you have some suggestions for day rides heading out of western suburgs/Chicago area? I'm new at this riding thing and could use some wide open space. Thanks.

Susan said...

And I wanted to mention, from what I've read so far, the maps and pictures are great. Your trips are impressive and look like alot of fun. Thanks again.