I am no mechanic. I make no pretensions to being a mechanic. However I wish I was a mechanic. The ability to make an ailing machine run happy and proud, is something to feel good about. What I am is broke and I have a machine that needs fixin’. So I muddle along and do what I can to make my bike work.
A couple of weeks ago, I was riding and the rear wheel locked up for a second, nearly throwing me thus ruining a pretty nice ride. I did not stop, thinking maybe I went over a banana skin or something slippery on the road.
The next time I tried to slow at an intersection, I had not rear brake. You know that sinking feeling when you push down on the pedal and nothing happens?
So I went to the dealer, and told them of my wows and the dude said it was most likely the master cylinder. I bought it and started to strip the bike so I could get at the brake reservoir and the master cylinder. That meant taking the exhaust pipes off, the chrome shield off ( it hides the ugly aluminum reservoir). Finally the two bolts that hold the assembly on the bike itself.
I watched a YouTube video a while before to see if there were any tips I could use. The job seemed pretty straight forward and I felt confident.
No one said the spring that actuates the Brake piston and peddle had such a great tension point (about a million pounds!). Well, it turns out I could not do the job on my own and I ended up having to go to a really cool guy around the corner to have him install the assembly.
When he was done with it, I reinstalled everything on the bike and tried to charge the brake lines with fluid. Again I had watched a Youtube to make sure I was doing the job right.
It turns out that one of the hoses had split. I went back to the dealer and ordered the whole brake line system and waited 10 days for them to call me back. “Cool,” I thought, “now I can finally get this party started and be riding on Saturday.
Saturday morning comes around and I get outside to do the deed. My biggest worry was charging the system. Turns out though, I still needed to get more parts. The new brake line is different from the original and needed a different brake light connector.
Back to the Harley Davison dealer.
Finally, I get everything together and reinstall everything. It turns out charging the brake lines was not so difficult once I figured the right technique.
Then next day was Sunday and the Runtyun goes to Sunday school, so we rode the bike. I got her up with the promise of a bagel and hot chocolate. Yummy!
The bike rode like a dream, the air was crisp and sky blue. While on the Blue Ridge Parkway, I felt the kid squirm a little. My left hand went around and gave her a little wave. I felt her ease into my back, her helmet bumped me, resting there for a moment.
She sat up and I felt her trying to adjust my collar, flattening it in the wind. “It was flapping like a bird’s wing and I want you to look nice, Daddy,” she said when we got off the bike.
I love my kid.