Thursday, July 29, 2010

A quick and dissappointing jaunt

I can't believe it's been over 3 weeks since I last rode the bike, but it has been hectic around here and weekends packed lately. On top of that, it's been in the high 90s all month. My pants are mesh-style, but my jacket is solid, and often quite warm.

I jumped on the bike with the plan of running out to Adams, TN, home of the Bell Witch, via TN-256, but within 2-3 miles of the house, I realized that this probably wasn't a great idea. I DEFINITELY have either an electrical issue, or a carb problem. The stator is notorious on CX500s for failing on the high circuit resulting in a bike that begins to falter above 5000RPM. I had previously noticed this issue, somewhat intermittently but very regularly, above 6000RPM, but yesterday the bike would begin to stutter at anything over 4500RPM. It's really bad. I can't get above 55mph on flat ground in 5th gear. Due to this issue, I took the following route:

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Not far, but it was nice and leisurely. I will likely continue to ride the cx500 as is for a while, but I'm finding it hard to justify doing the repairs. I anticipate a stator and carb rebuild to run $600 or so. The bike is probably worth $500 as is, and with the repairs it's worth MAYBE $800, at most.

I REALLY want a Suzuki DR650se dualsport bike, but am not likely to begin looking at them seriously until this winter. Bummer. I really want to start running dualsport rides, bike camping, etc.

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5th trip to White House TN

Took off this morning without much of a destination, nor a plan. I filled up at a local gas station and then headed down 41-A toward Nashville. It was really nice, decently cool while moving, and the sun was behind me. There were some other bikers out riding, but not as many as on recent weekends. I ran down to Pleasant View and then took TN-49 East through Springfield. Continued along at 55mph, was a nice smooth ride through typical middle Tennessee terrain.

Once I got through Springfield, I got to TN-76, so decided to take it. I'm not sure I'd been on it before, variety is good. I rolled through the interstate corridor in White House, presumably headed toward Portland. I figured I'd probably take TN-52 around back toward Nashville, or maybe head north into Kentucky and then head home eventually. I had just made it through the commercial zone, headed up a hill when I started to loose power on the bike.

I realized it was running out of gas, so I pulled into a driveway. The bike promptly died, but at least I was out of the flow of traffic. I pulled over, dumped 20 ounces of fuel from my "reserve" into the tank, and started the bike back up. It was hesitant, but if I stayed on the throttle, it was okay. I turned around and headed back toward White House. I made it back to the bottom of the hill and the bike died again, about half a mile from a gas station. I pulled over, titled the bike over to the left, and then fired it back up. I was able to run back to the gas station. Oddly, filling it and the reserve bottle up took only 1.4 gallons of gas. Not sure what that's about, but it was bugging me.

I decided I'd play it safe and head toward home. I know where all of the gas stations are that I passed on the way out, and I could stop in 30 miles to fill up again before heading home. I did so, rather uneventfully, but I've got to suck it up, carry a fuel can, and head out. Worrying about gas is not fun, but I am gaining confidence in the bike. Having more gas on hand will calm all of my concerns. Getting on the bike and going will become my priority. I will have the opportunity to do so next weekend, Karen is going to be out of town. I can't just head out and take off for the entire weekend as I've got to take care of the dogs still, but I can take off on both Saturday and Sunday. I think I'm going to head west, and I might be able to talk Matt or Adam into riding with me.

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Second trip on the CX500

CX500 trip, afternoon in June 2010. Simple loop.

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First trip on the CX500

June trip on CX500, afternoon in June 2010, almost to Ashland City, same route return.

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