A thank you to John Spencer in OK - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 6 Old Dec 8th, 2007, 11:08 am Thread Starter
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A thank you to John Spencer in OK

Now, they say you make your own luck, but I have been so lucky with the LT that I can't subscribe to this theory.......I wrote about this at the time, but now its finished, I'd thought I'd do a redux out of gratitude.

...the day didn't start that well. Running back from CCR in Osage this year, heading eventually for my new home in the Bay Area, I crossed into Oklahoma and pulled into the biggest McDonalds in the world. Coming out I left my wallet on the top case & rode off. Pulled in later in OK City to the gas station ....no wallet, no cards, no nuffin...an empty tank (down to ---- on the BC). That cold chill we all know went thru me. I took everything off the bike, scratched up some small change from pockets, nooks and crannies etc. Got a bit of gas. Had phone messages and thankfully met up with a guy going to the Casino at the horse track at OK City, 20 miles or so back, who had watched me ride off from the McDonalds but couldn't catch me. Effing lucky, eh what!....well, I got luckier in the same day!

Late afternoon same day, OK-Texas border, on the I-40 miles from anywhere...the FD dies. Not feeling too good, this was going to take some days to resolve. Out of curiosity I pulled out my phone...wonder of wonders.....a full signal (some might say this was the most wonderous event of the day). Whoda thunk it on Cingular, the guaranteed worst signal anywhere. Other than the telephone poles there hadn't been a pole big enough to qualify as a tower for 40+ miles. Cop drives by staring straight ahead (no joy for him here, the tazer won't work through the ATGATT....I know, I know, tasteless joke). Get into a demarcation dispute with AAA as I am exactly on the Texas/OK border, neither service center wanting to send a pickup that might have to cross the border! Resolved. Midnight-ish and minus $250 or so, I am back east in OK City.

Meanwhile, my mate Joel Gringorten in AZ gets in on the act via phone and tracks down John Spencer (his halo + wings hidden under the street clothes of an ordinary man) in OK City. An offer of his spare FD rises like a phoenix from the ashes of the day. Next morning I am waiting at the end of the street that has the OK City dealer. An old station wagon wanders down the street and rolls to a stop beside me, dead in its tracks. John's car had karked it (this is catching!) so we had to carry the tools and FD a 100 yards to the bike (thats the most work I had to do in all this!). Kinda funny really. 1.5 hours later, John's done his magic (I'm not much help...I've heard about oil, but I am not sure what it has to do with a bike and engines), I ride off leaving him and his lovely wife beside the road scratching their heads about the car (this is definitely catching...). I spent the night in Albaqueque NM before meeting Joel in Sedona the next day.

Fast forward....John sent me the buggered drive, which was repaired at SJBMW and returned to John...so he has my old one fixed for the next wondering LT'er who chances by, I have his old second-hand one on the bike lane splitting like mad in CA.

What can I say...Joel, the boys from LA who stopped and gave me an apple and reassurance....and JP....what a guy. Hey John, I still owe you the postage/insurance on the FD. Coming soon.

Those darned 'Muricans, they do something crazy, then turn around and charm the pants off ya.

FYI: 2nd FD death on the bike, when the first one went on the way to CCR in Santa Fe, I had the same level of good fortune with the wonderful Marty Jones in Colorado, where I ended up riding his bike to SF while he trailered mine to the dealer there. Its hard to express my gratitude enough to these guys. They both turned the proverbial sow's ear into a silk purse.
PPS: First final drive was 38k or 68k I forget which, this one at 108k from memory. I'm doing OK.

Located: Auckland, New Zealand...
but I left my biking heart along the Scenic Byways of America.....

"Come fill the cup that clears
Today of past regrets and future fears." ....Omar Khayyam

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post #2 of 6 Old Dec 8th, 2007, 12:13 pm
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Good story Ralph. It looks like you had two failures to different CCR's. What are the odds of that? I am sorry that I did not see you at CCR. This trip was good for me with no FD failure like in Breckenridge. Take care.

Mike Trevelino
Williamsburg, VA
2008 RT
2000 LT - Totaled at 99,960 miles

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post #3 of 6 Old Dec 8th, 2007, 12:42 pm
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AW Shucks

Ralph it was a pleasure to help you out. Anyone here on the board would have done the same thing.

That's what has kept me here and coming back, It's the people not the bike.

Hey that timing belt lasted 134,000 miles... only took a couple of hours to fix it. And no bent valves...

I ran that sucker twice as long as the book recommended. 'Supposed to change it at 60K..
Farmers towing got me home for free...
Gonna take that old wagon to 200K at least. She's my Y2K wagon.

We're probably not going to make it to Utah, Got other things going on this summer. Starting to rehab the house and stuff like that. We'll see you on the road sometime though..

Glad to have my spare drive back.. Now I can ride my LT without worry again... And, looking at the stats, If your drive makes it past about 55K, then the failure rate really drops off..



Live and direct from the new earthquake capitol of the U.S. Jones, Oklahoma
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post #4 of 6 Old Dec 8th, 2007, 1:12 pm
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Talking Great Post!

Ralph, glad to see that all worked out in the end (pun intended!) and you made it to the Golden State. I believe you will enjoy the riding much more there than it was in the Garden State!

And major kudo's to John for having the insight to stock that Final Drive! John, I guess I had better just steer for OKC if I hear my FD making noise, eh?

This list really is one great lifeline for us all, and it is due to folks like John and all the others willing to help out their fellow riders.

Ride on!


John & Marilyn Fisher
'00 K1200LTC "Katie"
'95 Triumph "Tigger"
'12 Triumph 800XC "Tigger II" (RIP)
'12 Triumph 1200 Explorer "Shadow Tigger"
Hillsboro, Oregon

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post #5 of 6 Old Dec 10th, 2007, 2:08 am
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Great story, Ralph. It's refreshing to know that there is someone left out there that IS NOT all about "ME!"

Regarding CP service providers: due to the sensitive nature of "our" job, "we" had to have the best reception possible. So after extensive testing with all providers in the area, we went with Verizon. They still suck, but best reception available in the So Kal area.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #6 of 6 Old Dec 10th, 2007, 6:17 am
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Kudo's to our brothers in Blue and White!!!

Dcn Channing

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