What did you do on Thanksgiving?
I have to begin that we had planned for a simple lazy day for Thanksgiving as we had Laura's family in for the event last weekend and planning my family this coming weekend. So.. we were just relaxing until about noon, then the phone rings. Not that this is any new thing.. but this time on the other end a voice says I am Mike F.... and are you the person that has an entry in the BMW MOA Anonymous book?? .. " I Am.. What is up"
Well we begin with a discussion, he has a '72 r75/5 and is having some issues with it missing and generally running rough. He had started in Knoxville TN to run up to Milwaukee WI for the holiday with his buddy on his k100.. They made it as far as Lebanon IN. Wed. in the RAIN!! All seemed fairly well, but Thursday AM they left at 6am to get an early start north. Almost immediately he indicated the rough running and missing began. he stopped multiple times to "tinker" even did roadside valve check!! where he found some water in places they should not be. Including around the points.. But he persisted. Finally told his buddy to go on without him as he really needed to get there.. planning to make it later, after again adjusting the timing!!
It was then that I entered the conversation and the phone call. We discussed the static timing and gaps for the points and the valve issues.. BUT it was now 12:30PM, 28degrees and SNOWING!! So I asked "WHERE ARE YOU ??" Mike indicated he was at I65 and route 14.. about 35 miles north of me. this indicated that he had only been able to go 55 miles since 6:30AM..
It was at that moment things changed from a lazy day to interesting ! We decided that it is best if I get my trailer from storage and come get him. As I hurry to get dressed for the cold and find the hanger keys, my mind keeps running on his problems.. WATER!! RAIN!! I get the trailer and head north..I run through 2 snow squalls on the way and as I pull off the highway at route 14 I realize how desolate that location is .. just an exit on a big interstate.. with no services and nobody near!! I round the curve at the exit and see the /5.. and sure enough here is a rider.. Sipping a warm cup of tea, sitting on the road beside it!! Mike has all his gear on the /5... huge ammo cases for panniers, tank bag full, a thermos strapped on back, Sirius radio on the instruments(they didnt work anyway) and wires for the heated vest!!
We load the bike and head for my home, Laura has made sandwiches and coffee as we arrive! Naturally with all the noise of arriving with trailer and such on Thanksgiving day my neighbors are interested.. As we unload the /5 my next door neighbor is outside having a smoke and comes over.. " wow.. that thing has been around hasn't it !" As we find out, this is really true.. Mike had been home for about 6 months after returning from an 8month trip to The Panama canal and further south on this /5 !!! So even dirty and a bit shabby.. this is a trust worthy 35 year old bike.. and as we find out Mike is 28!!
We roll the R75 up onto my lift and dive in!! Once we pop the timing cover off we discover the gasket that protects the points is suspect, and take all this apart and clean, wipe and prep. The timing and points gap was suspect as he had field adjusted .. so we properly set all that!! I had no gasket, but we added a bit of RTV to effect a seal. Next .. the VALVES.. we get at the valves and again find a bit of milky oil.. it seems some of the rain water also got into here !! from the breather. After cleaning all this we are interrupted.. My neighbor Dick, who earlier helped unload this now is back.. he indicates.. DINNER WILL BE READY AT 7 if you are interested.. Wow.. (O did I tell you he is a chef in a former life) ... So we are again encouraged to continue !! Adjusting the valves which were not very far off.. we close this up. But not finished.. we pull the gas tank to inspect the coils and electrical for water contamination as well as any rubber boots up there!! As we pull the LARGE and almost FULL tank one of the inline gas filters breaks off! O well.. I have spares.. we clean and put it all back together.. SUPPER TIME!!
Having a great meal, and now entertaining his family as well.. we reluctantly go back and see if we had missed anything.. Cleaning the plugs and put them back.. the /5 started right up and is running like a sewing machine !! BUT.. it is now 24 degrees.. 9:30PM.. so I ask Mike to stay here and get a start in the AM..
He sensibly agrees and we decide to get new plugs for his return home to Knoxville in the AM.. In the AM we visit the local Honda shop.. get plugs.. ( the parts guy's eyes popped after he asked what kind of bike do you need a plug for.. but Mike knew the NGK# ) and we installed them and an extra lead so he can run the Sirius and his vest at the same time !! ... About 10 AM .. he is dressed, fired up and began his trip home.. I expect a safe arrival call from a new BMW friend .. PS.. it was 29degrees as he headed south to avoid rain/snow on Saturday... I had never expected that my entry into the anonymous book would ever be read.. let alone get a phone call !! and yes... I did get a short ride in on Friday as well as it was not raining!! :<) NOW..what did you do on Thanksgiving.
'03 Aprilia Capo
'00 1500 Intruder - gone but not forgotten
Looking for the next machine :<)