Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sacred Machinery

For Sale, along with a tiny piece of my soul....

For two years, I have tried to sell my '06 Harley Davidson Street Bob, but thanks to the economy, the offers made were one to two thousand dollars less than the bike's worth.  If I were to just give away my Harley, it would not be to a person of the male persuasion attempting to cheat me out of my sacred machinery.  Never! 

In an attempt to keep the miles down (and the price up), I have rarely had the bike on the road for the last two years.  It resided in my daughter's garage, growing dusty, cobwebby, and losing the charge on the battery.  I could change out the battery myself on my old Harley.  I could change the oil, adjust the chain tension and other routine matters myself  but I cannot do any of those things with the new Harley.  For one thing, I have never seen anyone change the battery out of a newer Harley nor do any of the other maintenance chores but I gave it the old college try Sunday.  There are tubes and electronic connections and other considerations - primarily the warning on the battery paperwork that clearly states, in bold letters:  IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE TOOLS OR THE KNOWLEDGE TO INSTALL THIS BATTERY PROPERLY, YOU RISK SEVERE INJURY AND DEATH.

Alllllll righty, then.

Today, I called the local Harley shop.  They sent a truck to retrieve my bike.  I have to hand it to men and their mechanical genius.  The service truck was enclosed and equipped with a mechanical lift.  The guy rolled my motorcycle onto the lift and hit a switch.  Then he rolled the bike into the truck and strapped the front end.  It was as strenuous and as difficult as walking from one room to the next, and took about the same amount of time.  Everyone who owns a motorcycle should be so lucky as to also own a truck like that!  When a motorcycle does not run on its own power, it is a massive burden, a mighty curse, a seven-hundred pound albatross that draws the sweat and cuss from you like a tick sucking blood.  (And it sucks up your money, too!)

I loved riding my old bike.  It leaked oil and had an "orange wire" short that bedeviled it (and all Superglides manufactured the same year).  The frame had been slightly bent when its first owner ran into a car, which caused it to always pull to the right at highway speeds.  It vibrated and I dropped the bike onto its side several times the first year I rode it, permanently scarring it in places, but I trusted that machine.  The only time I was truly stranded was when I ran out of gas.

I don't know about this new bike.  I do not ride it all the time and I do not know all of its quirks.  I have not opened it's secret places, tightened its bolts, or polished every square inch of it a million times the way I did with the first bike.  It is far more complicated. Instead of a true Harley soul, it has computer chips.

My bike is still for sale, but I am going to put some miles on it this summer.  It is ridiculous to own a Harley Davidson and not ride it.

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