Adventures with Bonnie
My Bonneville gave me a bit of an adventure over the weekend, not exactly the best kind of adventure, but an adventure nonetheless.
The day started at the Motor Palace with baths for the bike (an ‘o4 Triumph Bonneville) and for Bondorella. The Trump was totally covered in dust–no surprise since I hadn’t ridden her since January. I’m guessing that neglect played a role in our wee adventure.
With Bondorella, dirt quite simply doesn’t show up, so it’s hard to tell when she needs a bath, but once the water hits her and the invisible dust washes away, the view over her hood is blinding. Just the way I like it.
I popped on over to Pep Boys and picked up some 1/2″ hose for my new breather cap, hoping this will fix the pooling oil issues in my spark plug wells. I was beginning to think I had a leak, perhaps my intake manifold, but then realized all of the pooling is right below the breather. Hopefully I’m right, and routing a hose down and away will solve the problem.
I also played a little with our new adoptee (although I haven’t ridden her yet). Evolutions are fast becoming Brian’s passion (in fact, he’s working on a swelegant new blog all about evos, coming soon). He brought home an orphan last week, a 1990 Heritage. The first time I saw it, I laughed. I mean, the bike had a crapton of stuff on it–spiders and skulls and eagles and studs and fringe and cable wraps and a sissy bar.
Like this Spider tank panel. Wow.
With only 11,000 miles on it and nice bones, Brian figured it would be a good one to add to our collection. He’s been stripping the bike down, and you know what? I’m actually starting to dig it, even some of the frills I wouldn’t normally like. Like the studded bags. They work nicely with my old horsehide jacket, don’t you think?
For our August ride to Denver, we’re contemplating riding Evos, Brian on his ’95 Fat Boy, and me on this Heritage.
Love the pipes and silly fringed mud-flap.
Not so crazy about the tank graphic, although the pinstriped eagle is kinda funny.
Later in the afternoon, our new friend Roxy, who has been dying for one of our Schott One Stars for Women, finally came by to try one on. Of course she looked fantastic in it, and will soon be the proud owner of one. How great does she look on my Bonnie?
These incredibly soft lambskin jackets sell as fast as we get them, so if you’re interested, make an appointment to come by the Motor Palace or drop us a line. We love visitors and are usually at the shop Saturday from 11-4, just give us a call before you come down (714) 746-0467.
And now to the not-so-great adventure with my Bonneville. While Brian finished up with Roxy, I took off on the Bonnie for a hair appointment, and from the minute I took off, the bike had problems. Wouldn’t idle at all. I should have turned around and gone back to the shop but I figured it might just be bad gas in the carb and once I ran it out on the freeway, it would clear up. No such luck. I mean, it ran great on the freeway, but the minute I got off in Newport, it stalled. And it stalled. And it stalled. At every single light or decceleration. So… I’d restart it (thank goodness for electric start), but then about a mile from my hair salon, old Bonnie gave up and this time, wouldn’t restart. When I hit the starter, all she gave me in return was a tick tick tick. Damn. Luckily, it was a slight downhill so I coasted in the bicycle lane until I got to a parking lot–the WORST, most crowded parking lot in Newport Beach, where there wasn’t a single available parking space. Finally a one-hour spot came open, I pushed her in, and walked the rest of the way to my hair appointment.
Then my hero Brian came to my rescue. Wasn’t easy getting this thing up into our new, much taller Dodge Ram, but between the two of us, we made it happen. Granted, the lowered bike hung up on the end of the ramp…
…and I broke the plastic taillight when I bumped it while pushing from behind. Maybe now I can replace it with something cooler, like this Vincent-style taillight. Brian thinks it’s the wrong look for my bike, and I trust his judgment, but I really like it. What do you all think? Cool? Not cool? Not right? Stick with original? Or hey! Anyone have some other suggestions? I really don’t want to put another chrome-covered-plastic one on.
First, I reckon I need to get her happy and running again. So what’s the problem with the bike? Probably a clogged pilot jet, maybe as a result of the not-so-fresh gas. Plus, having a seriously weak battery didn’t help (even though I had the bike on a charger before I left). Lesson learned. Ride the devil more.
Even with the problems, I still had a fantastic day, and while on the freeway, really enjoyed my time on the Bonnie. I forget how light and maneuverable this thing is. Plus, I finally got to wear my new Ruby Castel helmet. The beauty weighs practically nothing since it’s carbon fiber and is incredibly comfortable, besides being insanely pretty….
Until next time!