Monday, January 02, 2012

Brigitta's first ride of 2012 and a milestone for her.

Those of you who viewed my "year in pictures" movie in my last posting of the year might have gotten the impression I was riding my sidecar rig far more often than my '87 Beemer R80 Airhead Brigitta.  The mileage figures sure point to it but in my defense, I did ride her a lot while commuting to/from work!

Today, it was sunny and "warmish" here in Colorado and there was enough pavement visible on the road out of the neighborhood so I could take Brigitta out for a ride.  The idea was to get in at least 50 miles or more in order to warm up the transmission enough to "boil off" any water that might have collected in the gearbox due to condensation.

I set off from home and headed towards the towns of Elizabeth and Kiowa to re-acquaint myself with riding on two wheels.  It felt a bit strange yet good at first, having more acceleration and nimbleness than when on a sidecar rig!

The miles rolled by as Brigitta and I got used to each again, settling into a familiar and comfortable riding experience.

Near Elizabeth, CO, I brought Brigitta to a stop by the side of the 
road as her odometer roller over to 94,000 miles!
(I put about 43,000 of those miles myself)

Past Kiowa and its water tower, I turned off onto Freese Road, a county dirt road to do some exploring.  I would end up meandering hither and yon on diverse county roads which bordered what were mostly horse and cattle ranches.  I couldn't, go faster than 35mph, but it was fast enough to allow an enjoyable exploration of these county roads.

 Rode over a hill's crest and found a small herd of Buffalo just grazing
by the side of the road!

 They all kept a wary eye on me as I took photos but stayed 
basically within 25 feet of me the whole time.

 Above and below, some of the lonely prairie scenery one can
enjoy while riding the eastern plains of Colorado.

I finally meandered enough and found my way back to Kiowa by spotting it's water tower in the far distance and using it as a guide to get me back onto CO86.

I motored along at a much faster and easier rate now that I was back on pavement and was soon nearing my home neighborhoods.  It was then that I noticed my turn signals were not working anymore.  I pulled over at a housing development and found that not only were my turn signals out but so was my brake light!  Not good.

I checked the two fuses located on the frame to the rear of the gas tank and found one was blown.  No problem, I replaced it with a spare and continued onwards.

Less than a mile later while signaling left and making a turn, I noted I lost the turn signals again.  Dammit.

Again I pulled over, and again I put in a new fuse to replace the one that had blown.  This second fuse lasted me a bit longer but still it blew within blocks of home.  I noted it seemed to be related to me using the left turn signal.  I got her home without incident and some troubleshooting later, found a loose electrical coupler!

Its purpose is to link the wiring from the headlight bucket and turn signals to the main wiring harness of the Beemer.  It had probably vibrated loose in all the washboarded dirt roads I'd been riding on.  I secured it back into position, made sure I have all the lights I need to ride safely and buttoned her up.

Not bad for a first ride of the year wouldn't you say?  Some good picture opportunities, nice weather to ride in and just a little taste of electrical gremlins by Brigitta to remind me to ride her more often!


RichardM said...

Wow! 43K on the "spare bike". I've been fortunate to not have any electrical issues yet. I did pull apart every single connector and put dielectric grease in each one after a little cleaning. Maybe that helped. I am thinking about replacing all the old ceramic fuses with blade fuses just because they are easier to find on the road.

redlegsrides said...

RichardM, tell me more of these kits to convert the bike to using blad fuses vice the old ceramic fuses!

Dang gremlins hit again, same issue, I think I found the trouble portion of the wiring last night, rode in to work today with no issues.....

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

That BMW "R" bike looked great against the buffalo... It reminded me of the days when Wild Bill Cody rode an "R" bike, and when Pony Express riders would jump from "R" bike to "R" bike, without stopping to gas up.

Seriously, you bike looks great.

Fondest regards,
Twisted Roads

redlegsrides said...

Jack, thanks for really cracked me up with your the folks at work think I'm nuts. As to R Bikes having been used by the Pony Express, that's only because the K-Bikes couldn't find enough water resupplies along the way for their "updated" cooling system.



RichardM said...

I don't think I've ever seen a kit for the fuse replacement. I was just thinking of maybe soldering in the inline blade fuse holders in place of the ceramic ones. And I would move the ones from inside the headlight to a more accesible location in the fairing. I have never had a fuse blow on the bike yet so this is just me thinking what if ...

irondad said...

"See you later, Dear. I have to take the bike out for 'maintenance'. Very important to keep up on, you know!"

Lucky you. I have a harder time selling that since I'm down to one bike that I ride all the time.

With no motorcycle classes going on right now I've taken to long rides on a weekend day just for the solitude and enjoyment. I might be over-doing it, though.

When I left the other day Katie told me to call her when I got to Alaska!