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Little Suzuki goes home

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Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 3580

PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:47 am    Post subject: Little Suzuki goes home Reply with quote

The time has finally come for my long serving, and long suffering, Suzuki to head back home. My bother bought it new in 1978. He drove it for a year and then gave it to me. I rode it a great deal back then with many trips around the interior of BC in addition to commuting duties. Great little bike if a little under-powered for the passes.

It had a long sleep starting in 1983 until the early 2000s when I trailered it back for a refreshing of its cosmetics and an overhaul of its running gear. It then served Emily for trips down to Montana and Jasper. She moved to Europe and then I started using it occasionally for commuting and the odd scooter ride.

The arrival of the Lotus spelled the beginning of the end as garage space was getting tight. This last winter I overhauled the top end to cure a mild thirst for oil. I bored it out to first oversize and had the valves ground. Purrs like a kitten now and drinks nary a drop between changes. My sister Deirdre has always wanted to have a motorcycle so it is to be hers to learn on and, probably, stay hers for trips around the Kootenays.

So off to Nelson I go. I always find motorcycling a bit more tiring than driving a car. I think it is the constant micro-buffeting of the head. So I'm making the trip down in two days, stopping in Fairmont to break the journey.

Forecasted temperatures tumbled slightly as D-Day approached. Out came the heated vest. Unfortunately a few simple tests revealed that the vest overwhelmed the Suzuki's charging system on high. Hmm, this could be interesting! The addition of many layers revealed new complications in that leathers don't stretch! A careful selection of high tech layers and a modicum of strain to pant's and jacket's zippers found me quite warm at rest and hopeful of surviving the passes.

The ride to Fairmont was straight forward with plenty of stops to warm up and top up the fuel. My one mistake was to get a small coffee and bagel from McDs. I don't normally drink coffee but I was cold and they don't sell tea! Even by my low standards the coffee was awful and provided me with an upset stomach for the rest of the day's ride. Distracted me from the cold I guess. Climbing the pass out of Eisenhower/Fortress Junction onto Storm Mountain was cold. I turned off the headlight and dialled in a bit more heat. The legs did devolve into tremouring but not too bad. Thankfully you drop out of the pass only a bit more slowly than you climb it and all was well with the headlight soon back on. Finishing up in Fairmont and having my longest to date soak in the hotsprings -- you call that hot? -- was marvellous.

Problems with the the bike? Tach dropped out around Canmore. Will disconnect the cable and see what's up this morning. And, if you fill up the tank and then put it on its side stand, it will leak fuel, hardly surprising.

The scenery has been spectacular with misty, snow-capped mountains above foothills just starting to shift their foliage to autummn's vibrant colours. Throw in the odd eagle or two and it quite takes your breath away.

I must confess that all my finger tapping has been in aid of delaying my start so the sun can get it above 3 degrees out there. Cheers for now!

Last edited by jbcollier on Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 3580

PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

... and the tach worked just fine!? Must be a bit dry lubrication-wise inside and it gets tired of turning after four hours or so. I'll have put a few drops of lube in when I get it ready for my sister in the spring.

The air is moister on this side of the continental divide. Just past Skookumchuck, I ran through some heavy, wet mist and was so cold it was difficult to control the shivers even with a heated vest. I stopped in Cranbrook for breakfast and dallied awhile so the day could get warmer. Much nicer for the rest of the ride even up and over the passes.

Weather and scenery continued spectacular, breath-taking really. Time to get the BMW back on burner so I can do more bike touring in the future. Otherwise the trip was uneventful and I arrived noonish in Nelson and promptly signed the bike over to my sister. Just think of the extra space in the garage, I keep telling myself!

Truth be told, a 400 is a bit on the small side for loaded touring. I was in 4th and wound right up to climb the Salmo-Creston. Passing everything in sight though, mind you.

Cheers for now!
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