Thursday, September 23, 2010

Customer service, capitalized

Monday morning at 6 a.m. the Beast rolled out with torn drive belt. Ronny’s words from the previous Sunday were fresh in my mind: “Keep an eye on that; it’s not going to last much longer.”

I shouldn’t even complain, because 34’410 kilometers on a single belt is a record for me. So far they’ve ripped at 18 and 20 thousand klicks, respectively. But 12 kilometers from home and a good 70 from work, I couldn’t help feeling a little frustrated. Even more so when I discovered that the nearest Harley dealership, where Buell Assistance had my bike taken, was closed on Mondays.

I called them Tuesday morning and discovered that they didn’t have drive belts in stock. An “urgent” order placement would only have the belt there on Friday.

Five days without my motorcycle – factually without transport? I was half-panicked when I called my mechanic in Zurich to ask if they had a belt in stock. And as so often, they were my salvation. They had a belt, and they’d send someone out to the dealership in Weinfelden with it. I could pick up the Beast that evening.

Proof again that I have the best Harley mechanic in the entire world.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Metal side down

August 25-29 August: Alpengrollen, yearly Buell meet in the mountains.
I put the fairly detailed record of the meet on MySpace; this is here is a wreckage recording. Which isn't as bad as it sounds, because the Beast still lives. I'm bruised and it's scarred, but this isn't a case of having to procure my fourth Buell in my fourth year of motorcycle driving.


And after.
On August 30, I discovered that the Pirelli Angel ST tire is useless after 6500 km on a wet road. It still had plenty of profile; I wasn't even down to the minimum marks. And the road wasn't flooded; just a little damp (and nearly dry ten minutes later).
The Angel flew off, and it took the Beast and me thirty meters of sliding before we hit gravel and stopped. Now I kinda know what GP pilots feel like.
And a Buell looks like this after 30 meters of sliding on its side:

Squashed manifold.

Bent rear brake lever and scratched belt tensioner which can be rotated by hand now. I had that on Silver; it's not serious.

A badly bent handlebar which we replaced that same day with a carbon-look cross bar. I realize, though, that I'm oging to need a superbike handlebar sooner or later, because on long rides my shoulders really notice my lower, wider, farther forward sitting position.
Also, for the, oh, fifth or sixth time I'll need new Rizoma grips and bar ends. The Pazzo brake lever is ordered and will be replaced on Friday.
The frame puck is half sheared away but the frame is completely unscathed. I'm beginning to wonder if there's any way to put frame pucks on a colored frame without ruining the color concept, because I'm really worried about anything happening to Silver...
A dreadfully scratched and sheared swingarm, which I've sprayed black to hide the marks from casual glances. The rear pulley is dented and scratched too and isn't perfectly aligned anymore, but the belt doesn't strafe and I won't replace it just yet.

Beat up front spoiler.

But the Beast still lives, and we've added 1000 km since then.
On Friday it'll go in for its 32,000 km service - at over 33,000, but no matter. The Pazzo lever and the righthand frame puck will be replaces; the Angel gets replaced with a Continental Road Attack. (I do believe I'm settling on a favorite tire.) For financial reasons I'm going to leave the handlebar and Rizomas as is for now, unless they happen to have an LSL in stock just then. Come Saturday the Termignoni with its manifold will be mounted, thanks to Ronny, so that nasty dented piping will disappear too. Whenever I've got extra money I'll invest in new foot levers, probably from Pfeffi, the belt tensioner and rear pulley from Free Spirits and all the Rizoma shinies for up front.

I made it through a year with no crashes or problems and now this Buell is showing scars too. It's a pity, but at 33,000 km it's not a disgrace.