Mechanical Woes and Attitudes

Mechanical Woes and the Attitudes They Can Create

Have you ever noticed that when things break in your personal “fleet,” they do so in multiples?  This summer has seen a seemingly endless string of mechanical woes to steeds and gear that have tried both my patience and wallet.

First came hard starting, and then non-starting, for my Triumph motorcycle.  After a week or two of attempts to source the issue, it finally died completely and suffered the ignominy of a trailer-trip to the dealer.  It turned out to be the ignition switch, which in its death throes also took out the battery.

Next up was a side pod on my Arai which broke off.  Had to order two new side pods (they are sold in pairs) and they were replaced by the “helmet guy” at Ride West BMW.

Next up – a recall for the driver’s air bag on our Honda CR-V.

Three days ago the rear wiper on our Fiat 500 Sport failed in a heavy rain during a short mini-vacation to Vancouver Island.

Today the zipper on my left motorcycle boot got jammed, and I had 30 minutes of comedy blended with concern because I could not get the boot off!

Tomorrow I go back to the Triumph dealer because the overflow tank for the radiator has a leak.  Nothing drastic, but next week’s 6 day ride will be more peaceful without worrying when and if that part will let go. They will also finish re-keying the fuel tank cap and seat release, which we chose to wait on because the last repair came just before a three day ride.

Arghghgh!  How many more hassles am I due?

No way of knowing, of course.

When these things happen you can gnash your teeth and curse the angry gods you have offended…  or – you can step back and consider other factors.

  • The Triumph has 46,000 miles on the odometer, which is a fair bunch in motorcycle terms, and has rarely had any issues in the ten years I have been riding it.  Things wear out.
  • In a summer of one adventure after another, almost all of these things have occurred in my garage or at home, and not in some out of cell phone range hinterland where I’ve spent a lot of my time.
  • Fixing the Arai also had the expert remove both sides and do a thorough cleaning of the entire mounting area, which after about 50,000 miles (I have ridden dozens of other bikes in addition to the Triumph in the five years I’ve worn it) was quite evidently needed, and not an area I would notice.
  • The air bag recall was not the Honda’s fault, and now I can rest assured it will not explode and pepper my handsome visage with plastic shrapnel.
  • The Fiat wiper is not critical, and the repair will be made under warranty.
  • I thought of replacing the boots, which are five years old, but a close examination showed that they have very little wear, despite 50,000 miles of rain and worse.  Instead of spending $300 or so, the local shoe repair store will replace the bad zipper pull for $14.00.
  • At the end of the day, we are both retired, and none of these events have interfered with our other activities.
  • Unlike the many years when we were raising children on the salaries of two teachers plus my various part-time jobs – I can now afford the bills.

I remember years ago when I often reminded my students of a quote by someone that success in any job or endeavor came down to 97% attitude.

I now think that was an understatement.

All in all, I think I win.


Copyright 2015                David Preston

About david

I am a 73 year old motorsports nut who lives in Snohomish, Washington. After a 31 year career as an English teacher, I segued into a self-created job in the motorsports business. Now retired, I was involved in customer relations for Ride West BMW in Seattle, after almost 10 years of similar work for the Cycle Barn MotorSports Group. I own, at the current time, a Triumph Rocket 3 (2020) and a 2016 Ford Focus ST. What else would you like to know?
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