Through my eyes

living my life without regrets

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Joy of Motorcycle Maintenance

Here is a post I received from a good friend of mine.
It was balm to my soul that she is as talented as I am when it comes to repairs.

The Joy of Motorcycle Maintenance

Let me say first of all that I am a klutz when it comes to maintenance of any kind and after the events of last week, I am more convinced than ever of this assessment of my (lack of) skills and interest in this necessary devourer of time and patience.
Why I should be so inept, I have no inkling but I wish I could just ride my GS without having to think about oil levels, air pressures, battery capacity, loose parts or back-ordered parts. Even adding gas resulted in a broken gas cap when the tank-bag slammed down on the open cap at a rally far from home last summer.

But last week my incompetence reached a new high. It should have been easy enough to add a half litre of oil to my bike. Just unscrew the cap and add half the litre bottle. Except that there was no viewing window in the bottle so my brainwave was to fill an 8-oz. bottle with oil and put the remainder of the litre bottle into my GS. I did this but when I retrieved the 8 oz. container, I found I had knocked it over and 8 oz. of oil was all over the wooden work-bench, the tools and parts that were on the bench, a choice cordura tool pouch and my favourite leather purse. What a mess! And of course I stepped in the oil puddle on the floor obliviously tracking it about the garage until I slipped, knocking over all the shovels neatly standing at one end.

So I garbaged the purse, soaked the parts, tools and tool pouch in various solutions and attempted to mop up the oil with paper-towels. More oil dripped onto the garage floor as the oil-soaked towels were deposited in the garbage, on the other side of the garage. I hoped that a liberal blanket of kitty litter would soak up most of oil that had been absorbed into the wooden workbench.

A day later, after relating this woeful tale to the boys during a break from our 2-wheeled weekday escape from the city, I was given a useful suggestion. Baking powder will draw the oil out of the wood. However we neglected to consider the Queen of Klutz in action. On my way into the garage with the open box of baking soda on a tray, (because I was returning some of the de-oiled parts and tools to the garage) I tripped. My knees were bruised and the garage floor, the nearby shovels and my jeans were now blanketed in white. But the air was blue from my very vocal expression of exasperation.

It was very tempting to walk away from the mess but unfortunately I persevered in my clean-up efforts. I plugged in the shop-vac that my son had recently returned only to discover he had left it on BLOW instead of SUCK. Now the air was white and very blue.

I think so far I have spent at least 2 hours in the project to add oil to my bike and I still have a tool pouch soaking in fabric softener and a mixture of kitty litter and baking soda covering the workbench. It is a challenge to get in or out of the garage without a wind disturbing my concoction but so far so good. I wonder what will happen when I use my new air pump?????????

Postscript: I added $5.00 to the swear jar last week.


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