Not the best start to new year!

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Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5937
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
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Not the best start to new year!

Post by Prof » Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:17 pm

Had a pretty solid day New Years Eve. Fairly done in by the time tea was over and cleanup done, so sat down to make a few calls. Jason was on his way home from work and we both decided on the spur of the moment that a short ride would freshen us up.

Quickly kitted up and was soon enjoying that lovely shovel rumble. My new helmet leaves my ears exposed so I really get to enjoy the glorious music made by my open pipes as I open the throttle. As I got close to Jason's the setting sun took on a most unworldly muted red glow cut by strips of thin clouds... due to the smoke from the many fires around us I guess.

I looked in vain for a spot where I could get a good shot through trees for you, but by now it was too low and I missed out. Jason was waiting out side, his Fatboy warmed up and ready to roll. His chopper got defected for noise, so the Fatboy had to do tonight...
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I managed to convince Jason to decide on our route and he suggested Semaphore via Brighton Beach etc. So off we roared. His Fatboy pipes are loud too, so cruising side by side or with me slightly behind was a real treat to the senses...
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Plenty of traffic around and hundreds of people gathering on the beach and along the cliffs and in parks and pubs waiting for the fireworks to start. I got a photo of a family with four children all waving at us as we rumbled past, but it came out blurred due to the low light, so can't show you that pic either. We pulled up a mile past the Brighton Jetty and as it was almost 9.30, Jason suggested we wait for the fireworks...
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A brightly lit ship off shore had the same idea and was itself a blaze of light...
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Fireworks are fun I guess, but not really a fan... you've seen one you've seen them all...
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I had this shot nicely set up and bystander decided to stand right in front and spoilt the pic...
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Fireworks over, we cruised by Glenelg (Jetty road closed to vehicles) and finally pulled up at the West Beach servo to get an H4 globe to replace Jason's freshly blown one...
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I was hungry and thirsty and sat down to enjoy some food and drink...
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The two bikes were running beautifully and sounded perfect in the crisp night air as we cruised down Military Rd towards Semaphore. About half a mile from semaphore I was just thinking how nice my chopper was running when it lost all power. Blown fuse. No big deal. Pulled to a stop in the bicycle lane to quickly put in a new one. Traffic was really thick with full car parks and a constant bumper to bumper stream of traffic clearing me by inches. Fuses fine. Power popped back on and then disappeared in a second. Hmm! Dodgy connection. Wriggle, wriggle, wriggle. No joy. Ok.

By this time Jason who got well ahead realised I was missing, parked between two cars and came back.

Out with the multimeter and we'll trace where power is being lost. Check battery. No voltage at all. Wierd. Check multi meter. Seems ok. Alright. Disconnect power supply and check each ignition section for continuity. All perfect. Start scratching head. Mutter mutter mumble. What is going on. Test battery again and it shows 11.8 Volts. Funny, checked charge rate recently and it was fine and has been electric starting perfectly. Switch on ignition. No voltage again. Fuses are not blowing so can't be a short. Lithium Ion battery is only weeks old; a replacement for a faulty one that only lasted me a couple of months. But the symptoms with this are completely different this time.

I have spent close to an hour trying to find a fault and by now it is getting on towards midnight. I need a new battery to get me home. Anything will do. Call then text a couple of city members who we might be able to borrow one from. No luck. Away from their phones. More head scratching. I know a few other blokes on this side of the city, but not well enough to call at this time on New Years Eve. Jason looks up a 24 hour battery mobile unit, but he is not amused and not working this week. Call RAA. They will come out, sell me a battery for minimum of $165 plus a year membership of $200 odd. Not a good option. Could call Ken our neighbour. I know he would come, but has recently been in hospital so don't want to get him out.

Finally give my workman, Lionel in Hackham a call. No worries. Will grab a new battery I have and bring it down.

Jason and I get to watch our second lot of fireworks and then hang around waiting. Once the flash bangs are over the crowd starts moving. Ninety five percent of the people who walk past us are migrants mostly of the muslim variety... that is a worry...
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One fifteen in the new year of 2020, Lionel and his son appear...
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His new car battery is flat, so jumper leads and idling for 15 minutes while I strip some wire I always carry gets some charge into it. Kit up and the shovel starts of the fourth kick. One reason why I will only own a bike with a kicker. Trying to hook up heavy wires to take electric start current would not be possible unless I rode sitting on the frame and tied my seat to the sissy bar!
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Lionel offers to follow us home and we all take off. Shovel runs perfectly and we cruise sedately home knowing the car following us can not keep up easily if we rode normally. I am hungry tired and thirsty, but don't want to stop in case the battery hasn't charged sufficiently.

Jason peels off. I pull up and give Lionell some petrol and time money for his much appreciated efforts and then head the last fifteen miles for home.

While the night has been perfect for riding and the riding has been excellent, I can't but feel let down by the night, that was supposed to be a fun outing to blow out the cobwebs and generally a night of peace and rest. Just hope it is not setting the tone for the rest of the year.

But we will be positive. It will be a New Year not easily forgotten, showed once again that there is always to chance of adventure when we switch on that ignition and fire up the old girl. Still was a good night and I'm looking forwards to some good riding in 2020. Just got to sort out the battery situation. Would prefer a lead acid, but only room for a lithium ion. Decisions, Decisions!
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

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