Day 9: Mechanical Problems

The new underpants and the touring pillow worked wonders – I don’t think I’d have made it without. The reduced amount of ass-grip I get on the bike would be a problem on curvy roads, but since everything in Arizona and southern California is flat, that was not an issue.

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I set off in Tucson with “somewhere near LA” as today’s destination. That means highways and freeways all the way. It was incredibly hot, and I had to stop half a dozen times to drink water and cool down.

At one point, the engine started stuttering as if it were running out of fuel, which seemed a bit premature given that I had fueled up not too long before. I pulled into the next gas station, and lo and behold the fuel hose had ruptured and gas was gushing everywhere. It could only have happened a couple of minutes earlier, otherwise I’d have run out very quickly. It was a little scary for a moment seeing gas run down a boiling hot engine while standing next to a gas pump, but it all went well.

Luck was on my side as there was a truck shop just next to the station, where I was able to buy some hose and a couple of clamps to fix the bike.

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Let it be said in defense of Suzuki that the broken fuel house was not an original part, but a different one which came with the larger tank that I installed. The hose was a bit too short, so I stretched it a bit, and that’s why it broke. I should have known better.

With the new hose in place, I made it until Ontario, where I’m staying at the Econolodge.

On a side note, I have been patently unsuccessful attracting girls with my motorbike (both on this tour and elsewhere), so I would not recommend a motorbike if that’s what you have in mind – a small dog will be much more successful.

If, on the other hand, you want to talk to random men at gas stations, particularly middle aged ones, a motorbike is exactly what you need. They will be very happy to give you many useful tips about riding white they board their SUVs, revel in the memories of their own motorbike adventures of days long gone, or tell you the story of how they went to Sturgis. Good stuff.

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