Friday, September 4, 2009

Bonnie break-down

March 2, 2009 - Monday

It looks like the Bonnie is no run-on-a-busted-piston Tweety Bird.
The situation isn't as bad as it might look on first sight. (And Florian Kawasaki FLR 650 "Tweety Bird" has never had to run on a busted piston. We just joke that it could because it's run despite a lot of other problems and will probably keep running for another 100,000 miles.)
Saturday was going to a beautiful but busy day. I was up with the sun to get soem things done before leaving at 0730 to pick up my airbrush parts in Dübendorf. Florian came with me because afterwards he wanted to pick up a buddy and drive out to Aargau to look at a motorcycle.
We got the parts, I paid the 1500.- for them cash (500.- for the helmet, which turned out so nicely even Florian said it was "hammergeil," and 1000.- for the airbrush repair because aside from the aairbox cover and the seat cowling she had to do everything over again from the ground up). She gave me a good deal, and I really, really hope it's the last time I bring those parts to her.
Florian assembled my helmet on the way and we picked up his buddy in Enge. They dropped me and my stuff off at home and headed over the Albis, intending to be back in the early afternoon.
I hopped on the Beastie and went to Migros in Brunau and Coop in Affoltern a. A. to pick up epoxy and aluminum gridding, because Frau Mundwiler had had to remove the grid in a couple cowling parts. That ended up being my drive for the day because the rest of the time I was busy mounting the airbrush parts all by my lonesome. That was okay though, because when the sun really broke through after midday everybody and his brother was on the road, and I'd already had my drive.
I got myself rather sticky and plastic-smelling when I smeared the epoxy around, and while I waited for it to get dry enough to mount, Mom and I took the horses out for a ridiculously short ride.
We have nearly nowhere left to go with the horses because they have built up or are in the progress of building up every one of our routes. The only two options we have left are the Sihlwald (two hours at least) or along the Sihl in Langnau, which isn't much of an option because to get they're we'd have to cross under railroad tracks.
We got the jitters out of the horses, and then I went back to work on the Beastie. The Kid took progress shots for me. Here's how it looked before I got started.

Super professional looking workplace, no?
And super professional me:

I actually managed to mount everything by myself. Everything except the seat cowling and two screws in the right-hand chin spoiler wing. Florian did those for me, and when the seat cowling raised the already tight-fit seat another cm, he came up with the solution of inserting washers under the hooks and catches so the seat sits securely. I'm always impressed how he finds a way to fix everything. And this was going on 7 p.m. with me needing to leave for a babysitting job.
In other words, I had a good day. Poor Florian didn't, though.
He and his buddy, André, made it out to Aargau and checked out the Husqvarna SM 125. To make a long story short, the Bonnie's steering fluid suddenly leaked out, all over the drive belt reels. They fixed it twice, somehow, and actually got back to Zürich before the belt jumped the reels again, this time for good.
It was shortly before 1600 hours and Dad and I took the Mitsu into Zürich to tow the Bonnie. I remembered a U.S. car garage we'd visited while I was looking for a four-wheeled Beastie replacement. This garage was fairly close to where the Bonnie came to a standstill, so I suggested we tow it there. When not even Dad's help could get the drive belt back into place, we did so - the 160-horse, less-than-two-ton Mitsu hauling the 208-horse, over-two-ton Bonnie through Zürich, blinkers on.
Florian did just fine without powered steering or assisted brakes; Dad did great making sure we stopped and started very carefully.
All despite the Bonnie's handbook insisting only GM dealers or tow trucks could haul a Bonneville, and never to use a simple tow rope
This morning I called the garage and told them what happened, and Herr Dutli said they'd take a look at it and let me know the cost. I'm not expecting it to be; I've done maybe ten thousand kilometers with it over the winter, and I bought ab MFK (freshly passed through DOT tests). I asked him to do an emissions test while he was at it because I was going to bring it in for that this week anyway.
Because of the breakdown, Florian was neither able to pick up a new wheel for his Husky (the old one's spokes are falling out one by one) nor get some parts he needs to get the Husky running again. (A screw broke somewhere, if I understood correctly, and he has to replace it.)
But he says it's for the best because otherwise he'd have spent Sunday working on his bike instead of working on the presentation of his report for the finals.

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