Heading out on vacation

Mount Scott located to the North West of Lawton Oklahoma.” width=

Photo curtesy Wikimedia Commons
Mount Scott located to the North West of Lawton Oklahoma.

I’ll be on vacation for a week starting Memorial Day weekend. I’ve been hoping for an epic bike trip. The closest I’ve come so far is the vacation trip to San Antonio back in 2007. While certainly not epic by the standards of those who do the 4 corners tours, Iron Butts runs, or ride to Alaska or the Florida Keys, it was still a decent little motorcycle adventure. It seems that every year I’ll have something provisionally planned, only to have something go to pot at the last minute.
The plan for May was simply to stay at my son’s house in Fort Worth, and use it as a base for riding the roads west and north of there. We might even buzz up to Geronimo, Okla., where I lived as a kid, then run up Mount Scott.
The nice thing about having two motorcycles is that I’ve got another one to ride if one goes down. I changed out the springs and oil in the front forks of the Magna to have it in good shape, even though I’d planned to take the Valkyrie. It’s always nice to have a Plan B. That point was brought home when I noticed the Valkyrie has a leaking fork seal. It costs more to have someone to fix it than I’m willing to spend, but will take me longer than I have before we leave. So, look’s like Maggie’s up.
Except suddenly she’s having problems. She’s running horribly and completely refusing to fire on the right rear cylinder. Gas additives are wonderful, but they can only do so much. I’ve been living on borrowed time, knowing that I need to pull the carbs and give them a good cleaning. The problem is almost undoubtably in the carbs. This is not an immense project, but again, I don’t have time to do it before I leave. So Maggie is down for the count.
I’m not going to spend almost $400 on labor I can do myself, on either bike, I don’t have time to fix them before I leave, and I’m not going to miss riding on vacation another year. So I’ll be riding the Valkyrie with a busted fork seal. Maybe not the smartest thing in the world, but I’m not going to be running the Tail of the Dragon or doing any canyon carving. This is pretty much gentle, rolling hills. The leak is recent and I’ve lost very little fork oil at this point. I can’t feel any difference in the ride yet. I’ll just keep it in mind, and take it easy. All I really want are nice, easy, scenic rides that won’t demand much of the bike. I should be fine.
Sounds like I’ve got a couple of winter projects coming up though.

- Guy Wheatley

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