Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Almost every road has a bump or two.....

Today was a good day!

Yesterday was still a good day, but not as nice as today...... Yesterday morning, we left the Oklahoma City hotel with the skies threatening us with a sever rain storm.... we left about 7:30am - 8:00am and it was about 60 degrees... but it just wasn't soon enough.... as soon as we left the gas station, the skies opened up.... of course, we didn't put our rain gear on... if we did, then it wouldn't have rained hahahaha! Well, we ended up running out the storm at about 12:00pm but every time we stopped to get gas the rain just caught up to us! It was a "Rabbit and Hare Race". We did get lucky though; the last storm that was following us, was a pretty mean one! I could see the spectacular light show Mother Nature was providing us..... I don't know if it was outta anger for not catching us or if it was her way of saying Congrats on our victory?.... The nice thing about getting caught in the rain on a bike is that if you keep riding, you're completely dry in about 15 - 20 minutes.

So, the day before yesterday, I had swapped out my battery..... well, yesterday My battery died again..... it just didn't have the amps to crank the starter..... If it wasn't for gas stations at the top of hills, I'd still be somewhere in western Tennessee!!!! (I'd put the bike into 4th gear with the clutch pulled in, start rolling down the hill, once I got up enough speed I'd pop the clutch.... she'd fire right up and I'd be down the road... until the next station)

Last night, we arrived at about 9:30 pm after a long 680 miles pulled into Nashville, TN... We parked the bikes and went looking for a steakhouse.... The Blackstone Grill & Brewery was the place we went and it was great! I suggest the Shepard's Pie with their award winning Porter... its to die for!!! We were back at the hotel at 11:00pm and the last thing I remember was laying back for just a second before I took my boots off. The next think I know is that it 4:30 and I'm still dressed and almost falling off the bed! I was soooooooo tired!!!!!


Enter this morning.............

I was up at about 7:30 and was to meet everyone at the bikes at 8 am..... no problem - everyone was there and on time.... My bike was still dead, but it was the first time we actually had the time to run some tests to confirm our suspicions of what was wrong..... After a few pokes with a multi-meter, it was confirmed that the Voltage Regulator was bad.... when this goes bad, the battery is slowly drained by the head & tail lights..... the function of the bike's alternator is to supply enough "juice to keep the bike going using all it's electrical components AND to keep the battery charged..... the voltage regulator only allows a certain amount of "juice" to go back to the battery - if the battery gets too much juice, it can fry the battery... One of two things can happen when the voltage regulator goes bad:

1. The regulator stops regulating and "Cooks" the battery
2. The regulator loses an internal connection and starves the battery

....both resulting in a dead battery....

Before I left, we pulled the fuse that runs the headlight and tail light, it was daytime, so I didn't actually need them (the brake light is under a different fuse). We did this to help save the battery!..... we also called around to different bike shops locally to find a new regulator... we found one for $91 about 65 miles down the road at a Harley Dealership (I don't remember where or the name of it)..... With the help of "Hammer" and "Fabricator Kevin" we had the old one off and new one on and working in about 15 minutes.... we were only stopped for about 30 minutes! It actually took longer to find the right tools than it did to actually replace the regulator!..... So far, I haven't had any more problems with it... at least today! (Shut it Richie!!!! LOL)

We made it to Asheville, NC at about 6:00 pm. It was an easy ride today..... It was only Hammer, Fab Kevin, and Myself.... we'd stop about every 50-60 miles to top Hammer's tank off..... his chopper has a pretty small tank and a huge engine! (124 cubic inches - The average Harley engine is only 88 cubic inches)..... We are a complete day and a half ahead of schedule and only 207 miles away from Rockingham, NC.... we are planning to meet at 6 am, having breakfast at "The Huddle Inn" (? I think that's the name) and be on the road before 7am..... If we keep the same pace as today, we'll be in Rockingham, NC around noon..... which is perfect..... if we decide to screw around, it'll be a bit later than that!......

I'm ready to have a day off! LOL We'll be in Rockingham until Sunday afternoon.... Then its off to, I don't know, maybe Key West, FL?..... we'll see!

I'm tired and going to Bed!

Until next time, Stay Dry and keep the knees in the breeze!


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