What began as a long awaited ‘trip of a lifetime’ quickly turned into a disaster for me as my elsewhere mentioned ‘shitty old’ Yamaha began acting up -f’cking badly. We were just a day into an ambitious 3500mi trip to Yellowstone National Park from OC California and my damn bike wouldn’t start. A friend postulated that it was probably just a lose battery terminal connection.
Rubbish, that was too simple and the bike was acting up way to much for something like that. I had spent weeks testing the bike, going on increasingly longer and longer shakedown rides to sort out the bugs. I even had the incredible opportunity to ride a much newer, much more reliable bike. It was an R1 and this being a week+ trip, I bet on my old girl to not let me down (comfort > reliability). Miraculously the bike managed to run, only stranding me periodically. We’d stop and jump it. It worked for a while. It almost caused more than one accident though, when the engine would just cut out right in the middle of a turn or proceeding through an intersection. It was nerve racking. Would it go all the way? If not, where would I be stranded. Oh yeah, I didn’t have AAA either, …fucking idiot.
After getting stuck again for the 100th time, and barely catching up to the rest of the group at a gas station, I notice a small detail that had escaped me before. Simply put, when jumping it and with tension on the +/- cables, it would kick over with electric start. Great Scott, I though, there must be a loose battery terminal connection! To my humiliation, frustration and pure joy, that goddamned positive terminal was looser than a Hollywood hooker. A few twists of a philips and the bike was right as rain. My good friend reminded me that he suggested I check the terminals back on the first day and 800mi ago. He was very polite about it too, given the extra stress and energy that went into babysitting me this whole time. It was the dumbest fucking thing. For the life of me, I don’t know why I didn’t bother checking it. After that, it ran like a mother F-ing champion. Even in the 14000 ft peaks of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains -when two or tree other guys newer bikes were having trouble with the altitude.
Moral of the story, don’t be a jackass. Listen to your older, wiser friend… even if he rides a Ducati.