Thursday, October 14, 2010

An Open Letter to My Sportster

Dear Sportster,

You have been neglected in the past, unneedlessly so. Yes, I realize "unneedlessly" is probably not a word. I don't care.

So, you were neglected for years. Years. You sat in the garage, forlorn and covered in dust. But listen, I finally got my head out of my ass and saw the light. You gotta give me that. I took you out of the garage, cleaned you up, and deposited you at the local Harley dealer to perform a Lazarus on your dusty self. Cost was not a concern, getting you running was.

And how excited was I to finally hear you roar out of the service bay a week later? You have NO idea. Riding you out into the world was a glorious feeling. Like something that had been a little off-kilter was put back to rights. I had forgotten how nimble you are for a Harley. That you're soooooo perfect for lanesplitting. That even though I barely fit on you, you still feel "right" in so many ways.

Then the shakedowns started happening. There was the big glut of old oil that came spouting out after I took you to Burbank. Oops, so the oil tank wasn't as completely drained as it should have been...that's what happens when a bike is left sitting for so long. Easily solved after getting you towed back to the Westside courtesy of the Boops.

And how about the gas leak from right behind the petcock? Yeah, that's what happens when a bike is left sitting for years; the rubber on the diaphragm that holds the petcock in place rots through and gas starts leaking. At least I was able to ride you to the dealer myself just before you died due to one of the vacuum lines being unhooked(not the dealer's fault, btw).

 There were a few other minor things that came up...the backfiring at that one specific spot on the Sepulveda Pass, how sometimes the speedometer wouldn't register the correct speed, and the slow warm up when first starting you up.

But yesterday? Goddam, yesterday scared the piss out of me. I thought we had a deal. I'd try to ride you as much as possible during the week because you're really the best bike for the job in the land of narrowed freeway lanes due to major construction. I thought we had the major shakedown shit worked through. I thought you had forgiven me. But nooooooooooooooooooooooo, you hadn't.

You did the backfire thing in Sepulveda Pass again. Just once. Hmmmm. But other than that, you were great. I continue through the Valley to work, and I come off the freeway in Borebank thinking how great the day was going to be. I had ridden you to work the day before, and I was so excited to be riding you two days in a row.

And then, you died. Quietly. I was rolling to a stop sign, and so the clutch lever was pulled in, and you went quiet. WTF?! I frantically thought. I tried the obvious: turning off the ignition key, turning it on again and pressing the start button. Nothing. Not even a click. O NOES.

I pushed you to safety and started to freak out. Luckily, a former Derby Doll skater spouse passed by, stopped, and asked if everything was all right. That made me get out of my own head, collect myself, and gave me a course of action. I called the Dear Husband, who couldn't offer much help. I then called AAA.

I waited for about half an hour to be picked up, but after that things went well. The tow truck driver was actually pretty cool and funny. He made sure you, dear Sportster, were tied down safely and securely. It was a tedious drive back to the Westside due to traffic, but we made do, and thank goodness the carpool lane is open past Wilshire Blvd. on the 405. Did you know that the driver didn't charge me for the extra 20 miles beyond the AAA limit for towing? All for you, little Sportster?

The guys at the dealer remembered you, of course. You've been visiting them so often. Are you lonely? Do you prefer their company to mine? Talk to me, Sportster. Let's work this out. They even chided me for you. That's what you get for letting the bike sit! the mechanic tells me. I take it out and it shits on me! I replied.

It's true, Sportster. You know it is.

So, once the voltage regulator gets replaced(whenever it comes off of backorder, that is), can we stop the shenanigans and just ride together without negative incident? Let's get past this, Sportster. Let's work together, because both of us can go so much farther if we do!




Little Kenny said...


Oh shit this ain't Fialbook.

Oh well still like.

RedDiabla said... like the storytelling, or the fact that the bike keeps dying on me?

Steph Greenberg said...

The story telling is pretty epic.