Thursday, December 17, 2015

Bike Into Garage and Multiple Break Downs

After my 400 mile plus round trip to Cornwall and back, the Varadero was in need of a bit of tlc.

I had a sneaky suspicion that I had a brake fluid leak, but could not confirm this and there was a rattle when I was in 1st and 2nd gears.

With a day off I had told the dealership I was coming in and set off. Less than 5 minutes from my house the bike died on me.

It was if it just got sluggish, and was slowly being starved of fuel.

I knew there was at least 10 litres in the tank so I knew I had not run out.

Time to call out the AA. They arrived with in 30 minutes and the bike started as soon as the AA man tried it! Sods law. However, he said he was happy to follow me all the way to the dealers just to make sure I got there safely.

5 minutes down the road, it died again. The battery was low so he gave it a 10 minute boost, the bike started and we limped the last 14 miles to the dealership.

They gave me a replacement bike, a Kawasaki ER5 a 500cc single cylinder machine which had seen better days. Even with my short legs I struggled to find it comfortable as the pegs were really high up.

But, a set of wheels is a set of wheels and at least it kept me mobile.

A couple of days later I managed to finish work early and set off back to the dealers to collect the Varadero.

I was told that an exhaust clamp was missing, one was loose and another rusted through, so all were replaced. So that was what the rattling was all about!

The reason it was cutting out or dying was that an earth lead was shorting out, which was draining the battery and making it run like a dog.

The brakes on investigation were absolutely fine and there was nothing to worry about at all.

So imagine my surprise that after driving for less than 2 minutes away from the dealership the bike died on me!

A phone call and 5 minutes later they arrived in a van and took me back!

Sod's law once more, when unloaded it started fine and ran fine. I set off again, but after 20 minutes I was once more with a dying bike!

Not impressed by all of this, they came out with a van and a replacement bike. This time a Suzuki Bandit S 600cc. 

Loaded up the Varadero which left me looking rather nervously at the Bandit! They have a reputation as being a bit of a Hooligan I was unsure how I would get on with it. Especially as when I started it and revved it up it was rather responsive to say the least! Plus it was tipping it down with rain. A fast revvy bike, rain and a novice rider is not a good mix!

However, to be honest I fell in love with the bike, I found it incredibly easy to ride, comfortable and being able to put both feet flat on the ground was a real bonus.

If I did not need such a big bike for touring and all I needed was a commuter type bike, then this would be the one. Good on fuel, immense acceleration and looking good.

I had this bike for a week, and it was a joy to ride. It was a shame that I only had one dry run on it, so could not really open it up and enjoy it as much as I wanted to.

Compared with the Varadero it was so light! Easy to move around all though the steering lock I found when getting it in and out of the garage was worse than the Varadero which was a surprise.

Finally I get my Varadero back, with a new fuel pump and a new battery. 

I rode home, a little nervous that I may break down again, but I need not of worried

Once more in heavy rain I made my way home, happy that all seemed to be working as it should.

I got home and attached my panniers and top box, she looks a little naked with out them.

Back to work tomorrow and the 8 mile trip in, lets hope she runs fine in the morning.

The journey continues...........

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