now late afternoon and we decide to pull
in to the next gas station as we cross a
At the cash, the elderly
man asks how I am. It turns out he's the
owner. I reply that its great that
this rain has stopped, so we can continue
running around stimulating the local
He chuckles and admits
that it's true. He says that when it
rains, everything slows down, nobody
spends. "That's why we're doing our
best to keep this wheel turning," I
reply. Again he chuckles.
I'm feeling great. It's
turned out to be a beautiful afternoon.
But there is a certain heaviness to the
warmth. Nothing that either Cindy or
Carol would notice, I'm sure. Cindy is
from Louisiana and Carol is from Atlanta,
two places that define hot during the
We soon finish drinking
and gear up. Within minutes, we're
snaking our way down Wyah Road. Carol
increases the pace a touch, as we still
have significant distance to cover.
Suddenly, and for no
apparent reason, my engine cuts out. Just
like that. I'm astonished as I look down
at my RPM gauge. The needle is at zero. I
pull in and release the clutch several
times, in an attempt to start it on
compression but the bike slowly rolls to
a stop. Doesn't work. I hit the starter.
Turns over, but doesn't start.
Quickly I launch into a
mental trouble-shooting flow-chart.
Ignition switch off and then on.
Kickstand down and then up. Kill switch
off and then on. Hit the starter button
and it starts. Cindy has stopped next to
me and asks what's going on. I have no
answer. I sheepishly say that my engine
cut out and am not sure why. But
everything seems fine now.
As I pull away, I mentally
go through a checklist. It feels like it
could be a bank-angle sensor malfunction.
A sidestand kill-switch malfunction?
Could the lopping surge I detected
yesterday have been due to a looming
ignition/fuel injection problem?
Less than a thousand feet
down the road, the engine cuts out again.
I click on my right turn signal and raise
my left hand. This time Cindy pulls up to
me looking a little concerned.
I have no obvious
explanation. I cycle the sidestand
several times. Maybe its the kill
switch on the sidestand that is acting up
as a result of the abundant rain. Hit the
Ignition off, then on. Hit
the starter. Engine comes to life. But
something about the way it fires is odd,
like it's not solid. Hmmm
out the sidestand kill switch. It seems
that it's the quality of firing that is a
I waste no time in pulling
away and maintain high rpm to see if
something will clear. This is very odd
and I'm intensely tuned-in to the bike in
full diagnostic mode. I'm running at 6k
rpm in second gear while giving short
bursts of acceleration.
It cuts out again. This
time Carol also pulls up to ask what's
up. At this point, I'm a little
embarrassed to be holding up the show. I
answer that I seem to have an ignition or
injection problem and that I'm not sure
Let's see. This happened
within minutes of having fueled up. Too
quickly for it to be bad fuel. Besides,
both Cindy and Carol fueled up (albeit at
different pumps, but probably from the
same tank) and are not experiencing
The bike has been
subjected to strong, sustained downpours
while parked overnight. Could it be that
humidity has worked its way into the
ignition system? If so, why has it run
well all day at varying altitudes,
temperatures, and loads?
It doesn't make sense.