In my great state of New Jersey, bikers are doing a ritual dance of joy as Spring finally shoves Winter out of our lives. Don’t get me wrong, I love the beauty and peacefulness that snow can provide. However, my addiction to riding means I itched for every passable day to strap on layers of warm clothing to ride. Maybe I will have the extra cash next Winter to grab some awesome heated gear, but I digress.
The days of riding like an Eskimo or over and I was finally able to commute to work two weeks ago on Selene. My new position is located in Trenton which provides me a solid ride up 295 before entering the lawless city of my employer. Seriously folks, people in this area must have passed the express drivers education course because lane-discipline and proper following distances need-not-apply.
This was the second day that I was able to ride up since most mornings have still been around the 30 degree mark and I would rather not have Popsicle hands upon arriving to my office. The ride up was fantastic and luckily the traffic gods were on my side. The highway may not be a fun and twisty back-road, but there is something wonderfully ‘Murica about a v-twin motor rumbling down the highway. After sitting at work, counting down the time until I could saddle back up, 4:30 hits and I fly out of the door. All my gear is on, earplugs and Sena headset are connected, and I roar away from the office…for a few blocks.
Down the street from my building, I hear a PANG and I feel my rear wheel start to skip. It felt like something in my driveshaft has seized, Selene is broken, and poo is now vigorously firing from my underpants since I am traveling at 30-35mph. Due to my immense skill, thousands of miles under my belt, but mostly my MSF training, I bring her to a halt and quickly find the problem. Plastic pins and two bolts in my rear light housing had failed which dropped the whole assembly, including my license plate, onto the rear tire. More of my immense skill and craftsmanship enabled me to botch it together together for my 35-mile ride home. Note to any new riders, you would be surprised what some duct tape and a gym towel can do.
When I arrived back home, I realized how lucky I was that no severe damage was done to Selene and how light I felt after the mass poo evacuation that occurred just an hour before. After I cleaned myself off though, I had a sense of pride wash all over me. It was a right-of-passage that I had cleared and was one step closer to calling myself a “real biker”. I had faced a mechanical calamity, all by myself, and remedied the problem to a point of safeishly getting back home. While my lovely metric bike rarely has a breakdown, most riders of Harley’s, Eurobikes, or anything vintage will attest that dealing with mechanical issues is something you must be comfortable with. Now I can proudly say I jumped one of those hurdles.
To wrap up my triumphant day, I would like to shout out my shop. Mt. Holly Motorsports has been my go-to shop since I started riding/bought Selene. I was going to go to DHY but after my father had an issue with his Yamaha during a carburetor service, I found them after an extensive Google search and also found out that they are a licensed Suzuki dealer. This made it an easy choice for my precious first motorcycle.
I strapped up the fender again and rode over on Saturday after speaking to Scott in their Parts department. I was having trouble identifying the replacement bolts on Suzuki’s OEM diagram so I needed to take it them to verify what I needed. After Scott checked out the damage, he went back into the shop as I started talking with fellow riders Scott (who had a Suzuki C50T), and a funny German obviously named Klaus (who had a new Ninja 650). A few minutes later, I noticed Scott had come back to my bike and was replacing the bolts right there in the parking lot. Afterwards he said I was good to go, and would need to replace an inner fender piece to be 100% perfect, but the bolts that were replaced will hold everything just fine.
I was happily surprised he did this and as I was saying thank you, I asked how much for the repair. Scott insisted there was no cost since it was pretty easy for him to do right then and there, but that would not do. I gave him $20 and told him that he not only saved me the few bucks in buying the bolts, but the time of squeezing my hand inside the fender to re-secure them. That’s what awesome customer service should be, and now I know who my go-to guy is over at Mt. Holly Motorsports.
Moral of the story, Selene is great, I love my shop, and I feel like real biker, happy Spring everyone.