Passes & Canyons Blog » Blog Archive » A Crop Of Mechanical Issues On OFMC Trip

John and Bill and I started taking these OFMC trips more than 30 years ago and for an amazing number of years we did so with absolutely zero mechanical issues. Actually, it was very close in our seventh year, when Bill’s stator failed on him as he was heading to our rendezvous point. So technically it wasn’t on the trip. John and I left without him and a few days later he met up with us in Thermopolis, Wyoming.

It wasn’t until our 20th year that we actually had mechanical problems on the road. That year Jason was on his new Road King and while we were in Taos he and several other guys rode down a very rough road to a very much over-rated hot spring. Something jarred loose on the bike and caused him problems until he spent the better part of a day at a Harley dealer getting it fixed.

Since then we have had periodic issues, and this year’s trip was definitely way up there.

For starters, as I’ve said previously, I dropped my Concours in a parking lot and busted my left mirror assembly. That necessitated a kludgey repair but I was able to roll with no problem.

Then later that same day my right-side highway peg just fell off. Vibration had apparently just worked it loose over who knows how long a time. Miraculously it did not fall to the ground and get lost, it hung up on the fairing so when I was able to stop it was there for me to put in my bag and put back later.

This was about the biggest problem we’ve ever had.

Then the day we headed out of Socorro we made a stop to see the Very Large Array. When we were ready to head on Bruce found that his bike would not start. He had left the key in the On position and the battery–probably very much near the end of its life–had gone dead. Fortunately, Bruce is very resourceful. He carries along a jump-starter outfit. This is a very small thing that consists of a cable to connect to the battery and a fully charged power source. He hooked it up, hit the starter, it fired, and we were off. Handy little device you’ve got there Bruce.

And then later that day we hit the big one. Riding in a rainstorm in Arizona, Bill did not dodge a big rock laying in the middle of the road. He took a terrific jolt but kept the bike up and then rode it all the rest of the way to our day’s destination. At which time his front tire promptly went flat. Another miracle.

Now Dennis and Bruce both pulled out little air pumps they carried and they tried to reinflate the tire. But the rim had been badly bent and it just wouldn’t hold air. But we had gotten all this way; can’t we get enough in there to force a seal again? Our host had an air compressor and hose so they tried that and it did get the tire filled. But just a couple of hours later it was flat again.

This necessitated a tow to the next town where an inner tube was put in and we made it on to Farmington. But by morning the tire was flat again. Bruce’s air pump put in enough air so Bill could make it five miles to the local Harley dealer, where he ended up paying $2,000 for a new wheel and tire.

And that was finally the end of our troubles. It just leaves me wondering, how in the world did we make it 20 years without any mechanical problems. Just amazing luck I guess.

Biker Quote for Today

My motorcycle is like my wife. Very temperamental and showing signs of age. But stays by my side during the twists and long straights of life.

Tags: motorcycle mechanical issues

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 17th, 2022 at 12:14 pm and is filed under motorcycle problems, OFMC. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a responseor trackback from your own site.

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