Ole Charlie had a tough time upon arrival at my house. My previous blog described how the cooling fan issue led to some embarrassing pink leakage. Thankfully, my HD mechanic scooped Charlie up, whisked her to his shop, and sorted the issue rather quickly. It turned out that the fuse controlling the speedo and fans was the culprit and everything came back to life, including the mileage. I was worried that perhaps I didn’t buy a low mileage bike, and that the blackout on the speedo had reset the odometer for the previous owner. That was not the case, and with two more blown fuses, I got to see first-hand that the mileage remains true.
Between the box of fuses, the Allen wrench I kept under the saddle, frequent riding, and the break-in of those fans, Charlie had started to come back to life and thrive. I have really begun to enjoy riding Charlie, and the power is immense. The chicken strips remain on the massive rear tire, and I don’t see a way of rubbing those off. This is not a “knee down” track bike and I have rubbed enough metal off the pegs to discontinue trying. It is also an interesting experience when you push the bike over in a turn and get the “falling off the edge of the world” feeling associated with getting off of the middle of that fat rear tire. All in all, it is a performance bike and pretty quick for the weight.
Of course, Charlie retains the same bad luck that my older brother has, and in keeping with the nickname, I have another tale of woe.
Shortly after the initial repair, I hopped on the bike to head to work, and of course, geared up appropriately. I’m a big proponent of full-face helmets, and since I’m a motorcycle accident attorney, I have plenty of pictures available which suggest ditching the small ‘novelty’ helmets some riders choose to wear. Having taken thousands of flying rocks, bug hits to the face, and getting struck in the neck by a bird, I always reach for my full face helmet when riding on the highway.
One morning on a ride, as I hit the big bridge in New Orleans, I was enjoying the hum of the finely tuned Revolution Engine barking through the Akrapovic pipes on the v-rod. The sun was shining on my face and traffic was moving briskly. Despite the lull of this enjoyable ride, I keep my eyes moving to watch for danger in the form of text messaging drivers and road hazards. As I topped the GNO bridge, I saw a brilliant display of glinting, diamond-like light dancing in front of my visor.
For a split second, I thought someone had slipped something into my coffee at breakfast. Then I heard the rattling of hard objects on my visor and stinking bites on my neck. When I looked down at my tank, I could see glass bouncing between it and my riding jacket. A small pile of glass had formed between my legs. I was very confused as to what was going on, and at the base of the bridge, I pulled over to get all of the glass of me. If I had been wearing an open face helmet and sunglasses rather than a full face helmet, I would have been fishing glass out of my eyes. For some reason, the headlight on the bike exploded. As a track rider, my eyes are tuned to watching even a tiny crack in the road come at you at 130 mph.
I never saw anything jump off of the vehicle in front of me or strike the light: it just appeared to pop. I told this to story to my HD mechanic and he scoffed that headlights don’t just explode. Something must have hit the lens and caused it to fail. If you follow the MotoJustice Instagram/Facebook posts, you will see a recall for HD headlamps for this particular bike. I discovered this after the event and sent out notice to our fellow riders via social media. Was that recall the cause, or did my eyes miss the obstacle that struck the lamp?? I guess I’ll never know, but I do have a wonderful story about the incredible light show I got to observe from the shower of glass, and another great reason to wear a full face helmet. I found a high intensity replacement for the broken light and installed it myself a few days later. It’s got a smokey tint to it and matches the look of the bike perfectly. If I see any other light show, I’ll be sure to post! Ride safe…..