English Electrical Curse Carries On
Having spent the whole summer convincing my father that our vintage Suzukis were capable of completing a 50+ mile trip, I was stoked when he finally agreed to ride up the coast with me from his house in the Boston burbs to Portsmouth, NH.
At less than 40 miles the long way, I covered more distance than this ride before tea time back in Oz. With awesome weather and nothing but paved roads to our destination, it should have been easy money.
And it was, until I got distracted by the only thing that would force me to pull over and shut down my bike- a shitty old Land Rover with a “for sale” sign on it.
I mean, wow- rollover damage, more surface rust than paint, and tires that looked like dehydrated licorice… this thing was as Instagram worthy as they come. And yes, that TR-6 you can see in the background hints at exactly what I was hoping; the guy’s whole lot was littered with British lovelies including a GT6 and an E-Type he was hocking for twelve grand.
Having pranced around this junkyard to my heart’s content, dad and I saddled up to make the final mile into Portsmouth and wedge our rice rockets between the Harleys and BMWs that generally populate the town’s streets. Even decided to try going helmetless (legal in New Hampshire) for the final stretch.
That was of course back when my bike would start.
Sure as it was running like a champ all the way up from Hamilton, my old Gixxer cranked and cranked with what seemed like no intention at all of powering up.
Could it have been the close proximity to all these English electrical gremlins that infected the fragile brain of my bike?
Dad took a photo for later analysis… I force a smile as he taunts me for having the less reliable machine of our pair. Jerk.
But my humiliation was not to cease there.
“How about we ride in to town, grab a coffee, and see if it starts when we come back,” dad suggested.
I looked at the pillion seat on his tiny 450 with great anxiety. Ride in? To where all the Harley guys hang out? Oi.
But the plan was otherwise sound, I really wanted coffee and hoped against logic that my bike would kick over after a rest, and so into the city we rode doubled-up like a couple slumdog suburbanites fresh out of Mumbai.
We got back to the GSXR ninety minutes later and the story hadn’t changed, so I made the call to abandon it and have it picked up by a truck ASAP the next day.
Of course, that call also meant I’d be getting home the hard way.
So there I was; full Demon armor, leather, Alpinestars riding shoes, mirror-visor helmet… on the back of my dad’s diminutive 450cc commuter bike. All the way down Route 1. Looking like a boss.
Nothing puts a hole in the old ego like spending an hour plus on a vibrating seat with another grown man. The bike wasn’t happy about it either- rear suspension maxed, engine near half efficiency… but somehow it mustered the balls to pull twice its usual payload and for that we were grateful. I guess I should be thankful for a free ride included in my week’s humility lesson anyway.
Now my repair… I hope that’s free too.