Saturday, August 20, 2022

Ready to Roll at last

It has been a quiet summer. We haven't traveled and I haven't posted, so this will be on the longish side as I try to give a flavour of what the season has been like so far,

I joined Waterloo Seniors Golf league. We play every Wednesday morning, rotating among four different courses, and we are matched up with different people each week. It is a chance to get to know new folks who play golf. I am also on a first name basis with some of the staff down at Jim's Driving Range on New Dundee Road, although practice certainly does not make perfect in my case. I developed a case of golfer's elbow in my right arm early on. I took some weeks off but it didn't get better so I went back to playing carefully with a forearm strap. It doesn't affect my motorcycle riding so all is good.

At the Practice Tee

In June, I was elected Treasurer of the Waterloo Region Model Railway Club, which models the CP Sudbury Division in the mid 70's. This was a time when I was dealing with railways in several capacities in my INCO employment so it is a bit like going home. Since I don't have any modeling skills, I took over the bean counter job because it is something I like. The prior Treasurer is a great modeler but was only doing the books because no one else wanted to. I am also going to be learning how the car control system works, which is required for the monthly operating sessions where we follow 24 hours of an actual timetable from 1975 or so.

Sudbury Yard during a WRMRC Operating Session

I hadn't ridden the bike much. No particular reason, I just didn't feel much like it.

Sandy and I have not been out of Ontario since September 2019 but we decided that we really needed to get to the Southeast Vulcan Riders and Owners Club Rally in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. SEVROC used to be held in May but new organizers changed it last year to late August in hopes of better weather. We had along debate about whether we wanted to haul the bike down with us.

Two weeks ago, I went down to take the bike out for a spin and think about it. To my horror, there was a pool of fluid underneath the front forks. It was hard to tell but I figured it had to be brake fluid since the front forks were just rebuilt 15,000 kms ago. I got a quick appointment at KW Honda and they let me know that no, it was a leaking fork seal. Badly leaking. The problem with this is that I have a Traxxion Dynamics front suspension and uncertified shops do not want to work on it.

The Traxxion shop is in Woodstock, Georgia on the outskirts of Atlanta. Since SEVROC was not that far away (and the Lake George shop where I had the last work done appeared to be closed down), I thought we might be able to tow it down there and get it fixed while we were at SEVROC. While I was mulling this over and doing some searches, I found a shop right here in Ontario that was, among many other things, Traxxion certified. Accelerated Technologies is in the tiny community of Buckhorn, Ontario, about three hours east of me.

I contacted Erica, the Admin there, and she said I could bring the bike in Thursday a week ago at 9:00 AM. They would be able to get the front end done the same day. Monday I had the Equinox serviced including replacing fluids in the transmission, transfer case, rear differential and radiator. Tuesday, I had the trailer bearings serviced. Wednesday after golf we loaded the bike in the trailer and headed out, spending the night in a Ramada in Lindsay. Thursday we dropped the bike off at the shop, met Matt the tech and then went to Peterborough for lunch at the Ashburnham Ale House with Ralph, a very old friend who was a member of the York Wings Motorcycle Club back in the day. Retired from Toronto Police, he is now teaching prospective police officers. Lunch was good, catching up was great and the fries with curry/mayo dip were spectacular.

Accelerated Technologies - Buckhorn Ontario

During lunch, Erica called to say Matt was finishing up the front end. We headed back and got there to find Matt had left to get ready for racing at Mosport over the weekend. She said the front was done but Matt said the front brake pads should be replaced because they were soaked with fork oil. Also, I had commented that the rear of the bike had been sitting lower and he diagnosed a failed Hydraulic preload Adjuster. Erica said Matt could rebuild it but not until later next week. We decided to leave the bike and trailer and come home.

Erica called Tuesday morning to say Matt was done. An O-ring had failed in the HPA allowing the fluid to leak out. I feel like a total idiot for not noticing this but the loss of function must have been gradual. She could not get Honda OEM brake pads, so I went up to KW Honda and bought a set,

Sandy wasn't thrilled about another run to Buckhorn and back but grandkids Theo and Robyn said they would go. I cancelled golf, picked the kids up Wednesday at 6:30 AM and we highballed it to Buckhorn using the exorbitantly expensive 407 toll road to its eastern terminus. We arrived at Accelerated around 9:40 and Matt installed the new brake pads right away. After loading the bike, we headed back on the two lane roads.

Theo and Robyn at Accelerated Technologies

After a late lunch at the Gorge Country Kitchen in Elora, we got back to the condo where I unloaded the bike and parked it underground. Then we dropped the trailer off at the storage facility before I got Theo and Robyn home at 4:45. I was back home at 5:45.

Theo and Robyn at The Gorge Country Kitchen - Elora Ontario

The next day, I took the bike for a spin. It was like a new machine and I was determined it wanted to do some Smoky Mountain riding. The one issue was the buttons under the display for Mode, Display and Trip were not working. Not critical but inconvenient. I took the bike to KW Honda and described the problem to Jessie at the Parts/Service counter. He came out, pried a part up and reached underneath. Thirty seconds and all was fixed.

So we have been packing. It is Saturday night and the car is fueled and loaded. We will head out tomorrow for Maggie Valley and should arrive Monday afternoon. We will cross at Detroit and take I-75 south. I expect we will be just over the Kentucky line tomorrow night, so stay tuned for future reports.

See some of you soon.

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