Bent my RT

Taking a nice scenic ride on Monday after Mother’s Day I managed to discover a new hazard on the roads. Roads were dry after a rain but darkness under a tree in a corner caught my attention. Rightly so it turned out as that was sap from the tree wetted by the rain. Slick!

I did my best dance to keep the bike under control but came up short. I went down hard on my left side. With help from a passing motorist we righted the bike and I found fairly minimal damage to the bike. I was hurting pretty bad but still plenty able to ride.

My left side mirror had popped off. No problem I thought; it’s mounted on pins and rubber sockets. I couldn’t get it lined up though. On the 280 mile ride home from crashing that was my biggest frustration. I never realized how often I grab a peek in my mirrors.

In order to find out why it wouldn’t go back on I started dismantling the bike. This is where I am.

First a picture showing the armature that supports the left side of the fairing and the mirrors.

Overview of mirror support
Overview of mirror support

I┬ámeasured from that center cross section out to the pins that hold the mirrors. It turns out that the left side is pushed in by roughly 1/4″. Next is to figure out how to apply smooth controlled pressure outward on it to get it back in position.

Here’s just the left side. I can’t really see what’s bent but there’s a round arm supporting the mirror part. The bar I’m focused on is not overly visible.

Left framework
Left framework

Here’s the right side not quite as disassembled.

Right framework
Right framework

After moving the bike out where I can better get to it I got back on fixing it. I had tried a couple of different ways to push the mirror bracket back into position but finally realized the best tool for the job was my 20 year old Harbor Freight hydraulic ram set. It was the first thought but I didn’t figure out how to use it that time.

Being a little more mobile this time I dragged out a table that would allow me to set up the pump within easy reach of where I needed the ram. Stacking the right pieces helped too, and last but definitely not least was sawing up a small chunk of plywood to let me apply pressure to the right parts.

Here’s the ram in position.

Ram in position to push the mirror out.
Ram in position to push the mirror out.

Closeup of the block that kept me from distorting the smaller parts that support the mirror and some of the fairing parts.

Block in place

Next after moving things just 1/4″ I test fit the mirror next to the dash. After the crash it would not push back on.

The mirror fits perfectly now. No gap either.
The mirror fits perfectly now. No gap either.

And one last picture with everything put back together.

The bike back together and ready to ride.
The bike back together and ready to ride.

We take a pleasant tour on the motorcycle in November

It was supposed to be colder. We dressed for colder. We were surprised when temps climbed to 70 on November 10, 2013. Unfortunately that wasn’t entirely a good thing since we were dressed for cold.

When the ROK group rides there are some rules we follow to make the ride safe and fun for riders of various speeds. The most important rule is ride your own pace. Some folks aren’t really good enough to go fast, some folks just want to go slow. We always have folks ready to push for speed and the group filters with faster riders at the front and more laid back riders in the rear. To keep our group together each rider is responsible for the rider behind him or her. If the group makes a turn each rider looks for the bike behind before continuing. If the rider behind isn’t in view then you wait. Someone in our group couldn’t grasp this simple concept and the group got separated. Nat and I were riding at the end of the line because I wanted a laid back tour this day.

Unfortunately this same rider managed to get our group divided into three parts. It figures; this was the first time I’d gone on a ride and didn’t download the route. Never had a problem before. When one rider went astray because of the bad apple the last of our group stopped to discuss and then I was sent along the route while someone riding solo with the route went after the astray rider and sweep sat waiting. Since bad apple was now the bike I was depending on to find the next turn we got separated too. Nat and I stopped to look at what information I had that I could use and began doubling back to find the proper route. I also changed some of my hot clothes out as I was now getting overheated.

Presently I got a text message from the ride leader suggesting the gas station to get back together and I set my GPS to go there.

BMW Motorcycles and people dressed for the cold
Pausing at the BP gas station in Walland to literally regroup

The spot chosen to regroup was an excellent one and I lightened my clothes load some more.

motorcycles with people adjusting gear
Almost a view down the unused bridge.
More of our group.
More of our group.

Once everybody was gathered back up, bladders emptied, clothes adjusted, fluids consumed, and mounted back up ready to ride we continued. Some of the roads Francois had chosen for this ride were spectacular. Some were just great. None were bad. We even managed to get in and out of Pigeon Forge for lunch. Sadly I wasn’t thinking pictures so above is all I got.

After lunch temps continued to climb and I was getting uncomfortable again with nothing much to remove safely. About that time Nat started complaining of not feeling well. After a while we decided to just head for home. We did let the group know we were going our own way. I know the rest of the ride was also good. Next time.