Some months you just feel like you're spoiling for a fight.
Anyway, to flesh out my facebook updates with the blog, on the same day as my last post, I did indeed go to one of the jails. It was a pretty awesome day for a ride, and the Dolphin expressway was relatively clear. Shining Black Bess and I were in good form, and I had one of those rides where you're just leisurely cruising past traffic which is pretty free of assholes. I saw my guys at the jail (took about 3 hours) and left. When I got on Bess, I noticed the battery was really low - she wouldn't crank.
After the assistance of a nice woman who was at the jail to visit her son, I jumped Bess and my fears were confirmed - she wasn't charging the battery when I revved the engine. So I popped the regulator on and off and still, no charge. Which meant that my stator was probably fried.
On a motorcycle the stator is kind of like an alternator. It's a magnet-y and wire thing that produces electrical power when the engine is running. That power keeps the lights on and recharges the battery. (It's a constant output device so you need a regulator to either suck up power, or bleed the extra off as heat.) When the stator goes, the bike sucks the power it needs out of the battery. Which means you can run the bike for just so long off the battery, then if it dies, there's no restarting it. (And of course AAA won't service motorcycles -not even a jump start- unless you are on their extortion plan. Fucking bourgeois.)
So I dial up the idle (to make sure the bike does not stall out) and start going hell for leather home. Revving the bike could only have helped if the stator was putting out even minimal juice but the stator was completely fried and I got nothing out of it. Night was falling, and so was my battery gauge. 11. 10.5 9. Eventually it got down to 4 volts before bike stalled out. Thankfully, I only had to push it about a mile through a moderately bad neighborhood. Sweaty endeavor. It was a valiant final effort by Bess.
Fortune favors the prepared though, and as I mentioned on the blog, I had picked up a used Vulcan on craig's list for $100 and lunch for the towing guy. I had been doing a DUI/rat/rattlecan restoration on her in preparation for making her my local day to day ride and saving some miles on Bess.
So, with the new bike (named Scheherazade) sitting in the garage, I had a choice to make. Do I try to repair Bess or shift some of Bess's things over to Sherry? I chose the latter, given that I'd have to do a complete engine pull on Bess to get at the stator to replace it. So Bess is now partially dis-assembled, and her best bits are now part of Sherry.
I haven't yet decided if I'm going to restore Bess or not. I very well may. No need to rush the decision though.
However, misfortune struck again, in the form of a failing mechanical seal on Sherry. Basically, the mechanical seal keeps the oil and coolant separated in the engine. It's a much easier fix than a stator but still a 3 hour job. So I fixed the seal. Then it broke. So I fixed it again, but not fully. Ultimately this means I'll be waiting another week for the parts to come in to properly replace everything in that little corner of ugh on the bike.
Sherry's test runs remain pretty awesome though. She's got a slight stumble above 60mph. I think it's an air leak in the carbs or a jetting issue. Either way it'll be easy to track down and fix when I can run her.
Meantime, it's bicycle or nothing. Which isn't so bad really, as it will keep me off the roadways on Labor Day - never a bad thing.
So, that's it for the news. Felonies continues apace. Miami is still boringly venal - the few interesting people seem to hold me at arms length, while the many shallow definitely do. My patience/impatience cycle with this town and the bullshit part of my job is oscillating about as frequently, but the impatience is staying longer. But so it goes, so it goes. I read, I write, I play with El Gato Perfecto, I try to serve my clients (all 100+ of them) as best I can.
I think what I need to do is push back a bit at work. Free up some time, start making some progress in areas I've been neglecting. Hmm. I think I'm doing good work. I've surely been doing it at a breakneck pace. Perhaps this is skewing me, making me more fundamentally impatient, less satisfied. I don't really know.
Anyway, here's part of Sherry's open heart surgery.