So, last week my horn stopped working, something I discovered when somone decided that my lane was better than his and that I didn’t really need my portion of it (I had to resort to sign language!). I’d also had some problems with Penny stalling out repeatedly while warm. So I took her into the shop on Saturday to get these things fixed. While I was waiting around, I decided to wander over to the other motorcycle store across the way and check out heated vests. I bought one and wandered back to my fixed bike.
What I should have done was do that earlier and ask them to put the lead on for me when they disconnected the battery. Ah, well, hindsight and all that.
I got home and had a bit of time to kill before a party, so decided to do the quick little job of attaching the lead. I should have realized what I was in for when I saw the instructions for taking out the battery, which involved removing the left side fairing, but again with the hindsight thing.
And actually, removing the fairing wasn’t so hard – it was finding the star key that I dropped into the engine that gave me pause. After rolling it back and forth and shaking the bike side to side I finally tried the percussive method, which worked. I finally got the fairing off, and after much fiddling and cursing and being happy that my hands are tiny, I attached the lead. I then started to reattach the fairing. But when I dropped the plastic nut that went with one screw into the bike while trying to reattach a very fiddly piece, I gave up and went to the party.
Somehow, on Sunday I managed to not get down to finish the job. So, on Monday, I got up early to go down and finish it.
To try and find the blasted piece I took off the other fairing, felt around and shook the bike a lot. I finally decided to put it back together without that piece. Not as easy as it sounds. The screws holding the turn signals on would not bite their holes no matter how hard I tried, and there were a couple of screws I just couldn’t get to line up at all. I knew those could wait, but I couldn’t ride with the turn signals hanging down limply.
So, in desperation and nearly in tears I decided to try BMW’s roadside assistance. They said they’d send a driver out, but weren’t sure if he could help. It turned out he didn’t carry any tools and he couldn’t get the turn signals back on with the crappy BMW provided tools either, which did make me feel less incompetent, but didn’t help me get on with the day. I finally borrowed his electrical tape and taped them back on, so his visit wasn’t a complete waste. But I should have kept him – once more, hindsight.
So, I put everything away and got ready to go, late, but not terribly bad. In trying to attach my tank bag, I realized that in my increasing frustration, I had attached the plastic rails wrong – took me a bit to take them off and figure out how they really went back on. So, everything attached and on, I tried to start the bike. No go.
I had started the bike earlier to make sure that the leads weren’t draining the battery. Turns out that the bike only had one start in it that morning. The installation process had likely drained the battery just enough to make it a problem – the bike wouldn’t start again. I tried bumpstarting it down the incline in the underground parking, but nothing. I called BMW roadside assistance again and was told it would take an hour or two with that first company – they then tried another company that said they’d be there in 20 minutes or half an hour.
Of course, it was much longer than that, and there had been some miscommunication, because the guy who showed up thought he was coming for a BMW car. He was an old sloppy guy, missing his front teeth, and with a condescending attitude towards me as a woman that soon became especially ironic as he tried to attach the (car-sized) jumper cables to the wrong posts. I corrected him, but he was unable to get the cables attached because of the aforementioned tricky positioning of the battery and the size of the clips. After some conversation with roadside assistance, much condenscension from the driver and much kicking of a wooden dirt holder by me as I tried not to go more ballistic than I already was, he told me there was no other option than to take the bike into the dealer. But, since he only had a lowered pimped out pickup truck with a covered back, that would mean calling another driver with a trailer. That was arranged.
The other driver didn’t take long to show up, and when he found out that I only needed a boost, ingeniously used his vice grips and the jumper cables to get me started without taking it to the dealer. Finally, a useful driver! I finally got on my way, only 3 hours after I should have been at work.
It was necessary to take a quick spin out the highway to make sure the battery was recharged – of course, it had nothing to do with my need to twist the throttle back, feel the air buffet my helmet and let my frustration melt away into the wind.