Members who have donated towards server costs
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Flushing, NY
my bike died on me this morning...
...and I'm not sure what to look at first.
I rode it to work and back as recently as last Thursday (in fact, Monday through Thursday). That's a 30-minute trip each way through local traffic (about 12 miles). No sign of the problem I had today, though it was not exactly problem free, more on this in a moment.
Today, I started the bike and noticed it seemed to be idling a bit low while warming up. I figured it was just due to the cold weather we've around here had lately (it was down to the upper 30s on Thursday, and highs in the mid- to low 40s through today, dropping to the 30s at night). I revved the engine a bit with the throttle and took off.
With every traffic light or stop sign I pulled up to, though, the engine kept dropping revs when I pulled in the clutch to the point where it was about to stall out. I had to keep revving the engine to prevent it from dying. I suppose I should have headed home at this point (I was only about a mile and a half away) but I still thought it might be just a matter of a cold engine.
Finally while idling at another traffic light another mile away, the bike stalled out. I started the engine again (which took a few tries) and adjusted the engine idle higher to see if that would help. It did, but only for another mile or so (another 2-3 traffic lights). Now the engine doesn't turn over either.
I was rather at a loss as to what to do right there, so I pushed it over to the the side and parked it on a side street and took the bus/train in to work.
Okay, you who are smarter folks than I am about this stuff are surely wondering, "So what'd you do to this bike last week, putz?"
About 3 weeks ago I put in TOC MCCTs on this bike to see if it would quell the ticking noise I heard from the right side of the engine. Unfortunately it didn't, unless it's that I didn't put the MCCTs on quite right. I can't rule that out because last Thursday, my engine suddenly made an all new noise, a really loud clanking. And when I pulled over to look for any obvious reasons why, I found one: I hadn't tightened the lock nuts on the MCCTs with Loc-Tite, they had both vibrated loose and my MCCTs were now loose enough to hand turn! Not having a wrench with me (plus to get at the one on the right side I'd have to remove the coolant reservoir which would also need a 10mm nut driver), I did my best to hand twist the MCCTs down more and the lock nuts too. That worked for a few miles and they rattled loose again.
The worst part was that I was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on a highway by this time, with long stretches of it (by time) with no shoulder. (I was only going 10 miles on the highway in distance, but it took me an hour.) So I rode a fairly long time with whatever the MCCTs are supposed to be tightening down, not tightened down.
The irony is that I was taking an unfamiliar route (I normally don't take rush hour highways in NYC for just this reason) because I was getting to the first session of a Continuing Ed class I've enrolled in... On motorcycle maintenance, where starting with the 3rd session we'll be learning hands-on how to take apart and maintain various aspects of our own bikes.
Saturday morning, I used the proper tools to tighten both MCCTs down properly (I think), but it was pouring rain so I couldn't take the bike for a test ride. Still, the engine idled normally on the center stand in my garage, and sounded like it was back to normal.
So, not sure if my futzing around with the MCCTs are a contributing factor to my engine problem this morning but the timing certainly doesn't seem coincidental.
Any suggestions on what I should do? I'm at a loss. I can take the bus/train home tonight and drive back to where my bike is with a buddy, but what should I bring with me and then do to try to get my bike running again?
"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)