Harley lying on its side


Well, it’s not been a good day. I woke up to find my bike lying on it’s side.

Harley lying on its side

I don’t know how it happened, but all signs point to it being pushed over. It was standing upright at 9:30 p.m. last night, but by 9:30 a.m. this morning it was lying on it’s right side. There was no wind to speak of overnight, so it didn’t blow over. There was a car parked directly behind it so it’s difficult to imagine that it was bumped. It fell to the right, not the left, so it wasn’t an issue with the jiffy stand. It had to have been pushed.

I’ve picked up a Sportster before by myself, but it wasn’t mine. The way this one fell near the curb, made it really difficult to get leverage to lift it. After a few attempts and a bit of puzzling, a stranger was driving by and asked if I needed help. Not too proud to say yes. We got it righted and took a quick look. He wished me luck and I thanked him and that was that.

Now to assess the damage. Their was a piece from the end of the brake lever that broke off and was lying on the ground. That brake lever was bent from the last time she tipped over. And the lens cap from the left rear turn signal was also lying on the ground. The housing for the turn signal was slightly dented and scratched, but the lens cap popped back in fairly easily. A few scuffs on the throttle grip and the fringe, and maybe on the tailpipe (I need to wash it to be certain) and that seems to be about it. Except for the gas. I had just filled it up on Friday before I parked it and it seems that all of the gas leaked out. And when I unscrewed the filler cap to check the level, the cap seemed looser than I would have left it. I wonder if they didn’t loosen it just to have the gas run out. At least the oil is in good shape.

I decided to start her up to see how she’d react and noticed a couple of more things. First, when I climbed on, the handlebars had moved. Now I’ve been bitching about the handlebars all summer. It seems that maybe they finally got moved where I wanted them. Seems odd though. Like crawling into a different car. They did seem tight though. I couldn’t get them to move anymore, so I’ll go with that. Mirrors will have to be adjusted though.

And secondly, as soon as I pulled the clutch in, she started to roll back. Before I had put her in neutral. Odd, and possibly not good. Put her in neutral and fired her up. Started right away with no troubles. Put her in first gear, also with no troubles. Let out the clutch a bit, still no troubles. OK. Maybe she’s good. Shut her down to ponder her fate.

I’ve got two working days before I leave for a couple of weeks. They’re forecast to be beautiful, just like today is. Lovely days to ride. I have errands I need to run too. But I need to get the bike into the garage before I leave anyway, and I’m not sure I trust it at the moment and I don’t have time to deal with it before I go. Screw it. Park it in the garage.

OK, back out to start it up again and put it away. Fired up again with no problems. The handlebars still feel different, but I just have to get it around the corner. Pull out and go to put my foot on the peg and – no peg. Duh! It got folded up when it fell. Kicked it down and didn’t like what I felt. Felt Loose. Wobbly. Not solid.

Bother. This I do not like. Whatever, just get it in the garage.

Got it parked, which is always a fun exercise as it gets parked crosswise in a single stall garage. Took a closer look at that footpeg, and while there doesn’t seem to be much for damage, it is a lot looser than the left side. Need to have someone look at that. Really don’t want to ride it until they do.

I did call the police to file a report. Not enough damage for an insurance claim (I don’t think at least), but there’s enough goings on in the neighborhood that I wanted it logged. Maybe if they catch the mischief-makers they can hold it against them.

While I won’t have to deal with it until I return in a couple of weeks, I am wondering if my riding season is over. Since my favorite mechanics are over 100 miles away I can’t just pop over and talk to them. One thought was to call them and have them pick it up and look at it while I’m gone. If it needs fixing, well that would settle it. I’d be done for the winter. If she’s good to go, I could have them bring it back and hope to get another couple of months worth out of her before the snow flies. Need to get that brake lever and probably grips dealt with either way.

Maybe I’ll give them a call in the morning.

Odometer: 10,121 miles