“Charlie is having its Period…..”
These are words that you never want to hear your wife utter over the phone in general, and certainly not when discussing your “new” V-Rod motorcycle. In earlier Blogs about this bike, you got to read about the history of this bike, the engineering, and the buying experience. But, now that the bike is home with me, a new history is being written, and it did not start off as smoothly as hoped. The bike you see below is still enjoying the pleasures of an air-conditioned garage. But, life has changed for “Charlie” since the bike left Baton Rouge Louisiana on what appears to be the first highway miles it experienced. I named the bike after my older brother Charles since they share one thing: rotten luck. I love my brother, and in keeping with that, I have always lamented his horrible luck. If a shopping basket could hit a car door, or a hailstorm damage a house, it would be his car or house affected.
When my mechanic hopped off the bike after delivery, I immediately jumped in the saddle and tore off down the street. I was amazed at the torque and the Akrapovic pipes wailed like no other pipes on the market. The Slovenian-made pipes were an addition I was shocked to see on an American bike since the seller was an apple pie kind of guy, and adding pipes like that requires a lot of tuning. The neighbors knew I had a new bike as soon as I hit first gear. Needless to say, Charlie doesn’t rev like a track bike, so I hit the rev limiter a couple of times on that first ride. With the race heritage of this engine and the German engineering, I assumed all would be well.
The next day offered nice weather and I geared up for a commute to work: remember folks… ATGATT. The day was pretty crisp and the bike seemed ready for action, so I hit the interstate and kept her high in the rev range. Charlie is heavy, but with the immense power of the 1247cc engine, I had no problem maneuvering through traffic. When I arrived at work, all seemed well with fans blowing the finely tuned HD/Porsche engineered engine cool. The ‘chicken strips’ were still on the massive 240 rear tire, but I was not in a rush to knock those off just yet. Especially since my first sweeping turn on a tasty roundabout had me dragging the curb feelers on my stock pegs. After a full day of lawyering, I hit the highway home but ran into traffic. Getting around cars with this big bike was not as easy as my Ducati, but I spent very little time with my feet down. The heat coming off the bike was pretty amazing to me, but the fans kept blowing and I tried to keep Charlie moving.
After breaking away, I enjoyed a nice ride home and blew all of the heat off of the bike and my legs. But, I soon noticed that the speedo was frozen, and when I hopped off the bike at home, I didn’t hear fans. Soon, red liquid started shooting out of the bike, and I assumed coolant since it clearly was not oil. I took a video and shot it to my Duc Mechanic and my new Harley Mechanic. Both thought that was odd for such a new bike. I rolled Charlie in the garage and tossed an absorbent pad underneath to sop up the coolant that was still trickling out. I hit the gym in my truck but about 15 minutes into my workout, I got the call from my wife. When she walked into the garage and saw the bike leaking on the pad, she said the chilling words you see captioned above. At first, I busted out laughing, but what soon gripped me was regret and a little fear. Did I get duped on the sale? Was this thing lemon in hiding? Is this what Harley’s do at break-in?
I sent my HD mechanic the pic of the bike and the quote and he responded immediately. Despite being one state away and on business, he said that he would scoop the bike the next day and wash that ugly memory away. I was happy to hear this since bleeding Charley was bumming me out. The picture you see shows the bike resting comfortably and awaiting surgery. Thankfully, our research shows that these particular Harley’s have some cooling fan issues. The fans share a fuse with the speedo, so when they blow the fuse, that causes the frozen tach and the overheating of the engine. While with by HD Mechanic, he did a full maintenance, and he went through the bike to determine the condition. I did not get duped, but this cooling issue would continue to be a problem. My plan to update the bodywork and wrap the various metal bits with my MotoJustice Logos would be delayed. But I’ll be sure to write about the coming transformation of the bike. But, only after we wring out all of Charlie’s bad luck. That day has not quite come…