Here is the short part of the long part of the story. With the help of a factory manual, some persistence, patience, ingenuity and the folks at www.rebel250.com , my little Honda Rebel is running well again!
Mobile!!! I am Mobile on two wheels again!
And now, here is the long part of the short part of the story. While my bike sat immobile in my backyard, waiting for warmer weather, my mind wandered.
Did I push her too hard?
Can she fulfill my riding desires?
Was I simply lucky on my last trip that she did not suffer any major mechanical issues?
Over and over like an infinite recursive loop in the background, these thoughts ruminated and perked. More than once, "trade her in and get a Versys or SV650 or maybe a Sportster," went through my consciousness. It became not an idle concept after a while. The fact existed that she will always be a bike that had been repaired by an amateur with little or no experience in the science and art of motorcycle repair. And, not just any repair.
Oh, if it were that simple of a repair. By the time her engine was ready to reassemble, the saddle, tank, carb, battery, engine head, cam assembley, exhaust system, cylinders and other assorted items were neatly wrapped in well labeled bags or boxes, in an odd semblance of order under the patio roof. The most complex mechanical operation my fingers have taken part in since high school was a fuel injector replacement in my pickup last year.
Following the manual and help from other Rebel riders, she is now back together and running wonderfully again.
So, with a day off work, we ride around a bit, enjoying the sites and sounds and tactile input that only two wheel travel can provide. Off to the right, while riding South on Boulder Highway is the Ride Now Powersports dealership where she was purchased. I downshift and we pull into the parking lot.
About eight months ago I lusted after a Kawasaki Versys; even filled out the credit application and tried to trade my Rebel in for this odd, somewhat difficult to describe motorcycle. If you look back in my blog, I even discuss it.
Walking into the dealership today was more a fact finding function than an active search for another motorcycle. My Rebel is now purring along and my VX800 project will likely be consuming any spare time and money I have. No... No new motorcycles for me today.
I am there for information. Where do they take the old bikes they take for trade that cannot be resold? I am just curious. Who knows. Maybe with that information I might be able to turn up some pieces and parts for Vixen.
I start chatting with a sales person about the VX800 and how I am curious about their 'junk' bike disposal. Just when I am getting some information, one of the sales managers walk by, shakes my hand and promptly asks, "Did you see the user Versys we have?"
I thought, 'Nope, can't see that red Kawasaki resting there right behind you,' but I simply say, "Oh yes. Not interested in one right now."
"Well, how much do you owe on that Rebel? Just give me your Social Security Number and I will go back and see if we can make a deal."
I decline and he walks off with the intention of 'getting some numbers together.' Not interested at all, but if he wants to go run some numbers or watch motorcycle porn on his computer... whatever.
The sales person starts calling some other dealerships to see if they might have any old VX800s littering their garages. Roughly 10 minutes later the other fellow returns with a smile. "I have a great deal for you. I can get you on that Versys for only $6,500. We will take the Rebel in trade and roll it all into the loan."
I was getting ticked off. "I am really not interested right now. Maybe in the Summer."
"Well, if you would give me your Social Security Number, I will look at your little Rebel, get a payoff amount and move you on up to a bigger and better bike."
Stress was building... "I just spent a month repairing someone elses' screw-up on my bike. I am good with it right now."
"Well, I can get you on that Versys and it is in great shape! There is nothing wrong with that bike."
This is where the unexpected happened. Something just snapped. "Look, someone here or at the factory over-torqued one of the low torque head bolts and it pulled out of the engine case while in Kansas. I get it back here and Honda will not touch it for warranty service. SO, I spent a month tearing apart that engine, putting it back together and tuning it. Prior to that we spent three weeks together traveling to North Carolina and back. 5800 miles! I am not going to trade her anytime soon, if at all. Period!"
Ever the sales person, "Well, if you do change your mind, let us know, OK?"
He walks away and the sales person tells me that by some rare chance a VX800 shows up he will give me a call. I am not holding my breath.
My reaction still seems suprising. This attachment to a motorcycle, and the emotional response generated at the somewhat pressured prompting to trade her in for a different bike still suprises me.