11 June 2011
It's a strange feeling...
It does what it was designed to do VERY well.
The engine is smooth as silk, quiet, and powerful enough to propel that huge lump of metal, rubber, and plastic at a rate that can scare ya real good. I had Don put a new set of speakers in the armrests you see back there where Queen Sara Jean resides, and the system reproduces music so crisp and wonderfully I'm hearing sounds I've never before heard in some of my favorite "Classic Rock" tunes.
I've been driving it on the 64 mile round-trip journey to/from work. I've been disciplined and have kept my speed at or below the 55 m.p.h. speed limit, and I've checked two full tanks of gas...
Forty-one miles-per-gallon, which ain't bad for a machine with an engine powerful enough to motivate any small car.
I've started calling it "Galactica", named after the Battlestar in the series of the same name that my son and I religiously watched together while he was still living at home. It's an appropriate name for something so big and ponderous, I think. But it's odd...
I have no real affection for this "bike" yet, and wonder if I'll ever develop a personal connection with it as I have with other machinery that has served me well.
Maybe fondness will come after we've been out on the road comfortably eating up the miles. We'll see, and I'll let ya know.
I'm at work tonight and there are Thunderstorms lurking out there, so we pulled the BK117 into the hangar to protect it from the wind that was already whistling around, and the hail that MAY come when the Thunderstorms are overhead. Now when the phone rings and my Communications Specialist asks, "Can you go to....?", I laugh before she even has the name of the destination out of her mouth.
"WHAT?! Do you want to kill us?!"
And she laughs and says what I already know... they have no choice. They have to call even when they know I'm 99% likely gonna turn them down. And that's what'll happen for the rest of this night/morning, probably.
Anyway, with the aircraft in the hangar and the likelihood we'll go out tonight and "kick death in the ass" bein' pretty slim, I set about doing something I've dreaded since I bought the thing...
Detailing the six-cylinder GoldWing.
There are little places on this bike that have their own little places. Everything is covered in little plastic panels, and it's one of the things I hate about this machine...
Ya can't see what makes it work. You can see the camshaft covers on the engine, but you can't see the carburetors. You can't see the transmission. You have to strain to look behind the hard bags to see where the driveshaft meets the rear wheel.
The motorcycles I have owned up to this point had all their workings exposed, and you could go to a spray car wash and hose 'em all down to get the dust/road mist off 'em.
Not this thing. Plastic covers hermetically seal everything.
Who knows what's behind those covers?!
So I got a pail of water and put a little "Dawn" dishwashing liquid in it, and started washing one little piece of plastic at a time, then rinsing it, and then using this product to lay a coat of wax on.
(I can recommend it, particularly when you're able to do one little part at a time.)
You just spritz it on while the finish is still wet, then use a towel to wipe the wax/water mix off. It leaves a coat of carnauba wax behind and shines just fine.
It took me about an hour to finish the job and I have to say, I'm quite pleased with the finished product.
Clean and shiny, "Galactica" is an impressive machine sitting there, waiting and hoping along with me that the rain is long-gone before we head for home in the morning.
Now, I like lookin' at it.
I may learn to care about the darn thing after a while!