RoadRUNNER Zen Motorcyclist

Motorcycle Maintenance, Some Days It’s Harder Than Others

Nov 17, 2013 View Comments by

Motorcycle Maintenance, Some Days It's Harder Than OthersI have a friend; let’s call him Fred. A long time ago, before he learned to do his own maintenance and before he saw the wisdom in purchasing a trailer, Fred had a unique method for getting his motorcycle to the shop for service. His method involved three modes of transportation: a car, a motorcycle, and a bicycle.

He’d put the bicycle on the car roof rack and drive to the dealership, drop off the bicycle and drive the car home. Then he’d ride the motorcycle to the dealership, drop it off and pedal his bicycle the 10 hilly miles back. He’d do the reverse to get his motorcycle home. He had it down to a science but one very hot summer day everything seemed to go wrong.

Upon arriving home on the motorcycle (and after having pedaled the 10 hilly miles to the dealership to pick it up) he realized he hadn’t remembered to bring a house key and was locked out. Luckily he was able to pop a screen out and wriggle through a front roll-out window that had been left open. Fred grabbed his car keys and drove back to pick up his bicycle, which he mounted on the roof rack. Confused yet?

At this point he was drenched in sweat and exhausted from the combination of the heat, the bicycle ride, and having not eaten that morning so he decided to hit a drive-through just to get some nourishment; but upon entering the drive-through he heard a horrendous scraping sound. His bicycle had hit the height warning sign and had slammed down onto the roof of the car.

Embarrassed he got out, stood the bicycle back up and asked the driver behind him if she’d seen what he just did. “Yes” she replied with an awkward smile, followed by “um, you know that was just the warning sign, you haven’t gone through the actual drive-through yet.” Fred shook his head at his own stupidity at the thought of nearly destroying a rather expensive cyclocross bike. At this point all he could think of was getting something to eat, getting home into the air conditioning, cracking open a cold beer, and watching a baseball game he knew was on TV. Of course, when he tuned it in he found his team losing 10-0 in the third inning.

Fred now does all his own maintenance, except tires, and I, I mean he, waits while they’re mounted.


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About the author

I have been motorcycle commuting since 1998. I created Zen Motorcyclist (formerly Commuting Motorcyclist) in 2011 and work as a motojournalist, software developer, CAD designer and IT/CAD manager in the Surveying and Civil Engineering field.