I decided that since we were having such great weather I would take a trip to the coast. The plan was to leave at 9am and ride a 300 mile loop. The first half of the trip was fantastic, with lots of great views and areas I hadn't explored before.
Unfortunately once I reached Newport I smelled gas. At first I figured it couldn't possibly be me... but alas, it was. I pulled into a gas station and made some phone calls. All of the details of the ordeal are documented here, in a full page writeup about the trip, including many more pictures and info of the problems I encountered. Long story short, it was the fuel injector pressure valve that busted open. I think I'll be ordering some metal ones from Team Triumph soon. My day trip turned into a two day trip as I had to stay at a hotel in Newport, awaiting parts in the morning.
Yesterday before I washed the bike I decided to start it up just to double check that there was still no fuel leak. When I started it, it sounded like it was idling rather rough. After about 10 seconds it just all of a sudden died. Seemed like a rather strange thing for a fuel injected bike to do... I started it back up and it seemed to idle fine for a minute or so. Anyway, today I was just going to run down to the bank and figured I'd take the Triumph to warm up the chain so I could lube it when I got back. About a mile down the road I seemed to be slowing, so I turned the throttle, but I didn't accelerate at all... a few moments later the bike died. I pulled the clutch in and dropped it back out, hoping it'd start. It didn't, just continued to slow. I pulled over to the side of the road and looked around. Couldn't tell what was going on. The fuel pump didn't seem to be making its usual priming sound. Also when I tried to start it, it never seemed for a moment like it was going to actually start. Usually when I have to try repeatedly to start it I start smelling gas, but this time I never did. Eventually the battery was so dead it wouldn't have started even if things were working properly. I called a friend and tracked down a car ramp from someone else (i.e. the ramp had metal bars every 8 inches or so). It took three of us to push the bike up the ramp, each time having to get over the next hump of the metal bars. I brought the bike to the Triumph shop and explained the problems to the mechanic. He thinks perhaps it's just as simple as a clogged fuel filter. He said these fuel injected bikes are really picky about that. He said I could have gotten bad gas that clogged it up quickly. Unfortunately he had a back log of bikes, so he didn't expect to look at mine for about a week. Update to come soon...
I got a call from the Triumph shop on Saturday while I was at PIR that my bike was done. I went to pick it up today. I talked to the mechanic and he told me that the cause for the problem was that the hose connected to the fuel pump had blown itself off. He said that this a known problem that happens to these bikes because Triumph put the wrong clamp on the hose when they built the bikes! Damn Brits. He said that even though my bike is 5 years out of warranty they'll submit the claim to Triumph since its a known problem and they may actually pay for it. He says it has been done before. I doubt it, though. He also replaced the fuel filter while he had everything apart. He said he found all kinds of interesting things in the tank, as well... The bike was a theft recovery, and he said inside the tank was all the parts to the lock from the gas tank when they busted it open. Besides that he found a cork (like from a wine bottle, he said), and some pieces of card board. I think there was one other thing, but I forget what it was. I wish he had taken a picture of it. Oh well, that's what I get for buying a theft recovery!
I went for a quick little ride today to check out a condo that I'm interested in. Afterwards, my 95 year old grandmother told me that she wanted to go pop some wheelies, so I said, "sure!" "Grandmommie" felt great once on the bike!
Putting the helmet on
Ready to pop some wheelies
After some fantastic, monster wheelies, Grandmommie (who's 95, if you'll recall) said that she wanted to go blasting through the twists in the hills. For this, we headed back to the house, took her grandmommie coat off, and put on some leathers. NOW she's ready to race!
Afterwards Grandmommie said she had an absolute blast! Hmm... actually, to be honest with you, the whole talk about riding never really happened... However, the fact that my 95 year old grandmother even wanted to (and is still able to), get on the back of a sport bike is pretty cool, if you ask me. She said she would have liked to go around the block, but I wouldn't have felt comfortable giving her a ride (she couldn't even wrap her arms around me). However, once I started it up and revved it a bit with her on, it freaked her out well enough that she no longer wanted to go for a ride. :-) Ahhh... the Triple sounds good even to 95 year old women!
You'll notice in my entry for February 9th, 2003 that my rear tire was warn pretty flat. It was like this when I got the bike. I wanted new tires anyway, but especially with the upcoming track season, now was the time. After much research I decided on Metzeler Sportec M-1s. The stock rear is 190/50, but many people (especially those who track their Daytonas) have gone with 180/55 and say it greatly improves turn in. I decided to try the 180/55 on the rear. I didn't have a socket large enough to remove the rear wheel, so last Saturday I went over to my friend Dennis' house, hoping he would. He didn't, but we figured we could remove the rear wheel by putting a small iron vice on the bolt and placing an extension bar between the vice... well, the bar bent. Next, Dennis got a large screw driver and placed it in there. This time the vice actually broke in half! Bummer. Last week I went to Sears and picked up the 1 13/16's socket (46.0375mm, close to the actual 46mm). Since I didn't have a rear or front stand, it was back to Dennis' place today. Now that we had the socket, we attached it to his torque wrench that went up to 140 ft/lbs. We couldn't get it to budge... Dennis actually put all his weight on the bar (balancing) and still couldn't get it to budge. Bummer. He looked around his garage and saw the bar from his big hydraulic jack. Slipped that over a short bar, put the socket on the bolt, and with comparatively little effort, the bolt actually loosened. Sure did need a lot of torque and leverage to get this bolt off...
After getting the rear wheel loosened, we positioned the bike underneath Dennis' lift. Dennis has a 748, also a SSSA, so we hoped his rear stand would work on the Daytona. I guess the center axle is a smaller diameter on the Duc, so it didn't fit nice and snug, but it'd do the job. For the front, we wrapped tie downs around the triple clamp and threw them over the lift, and ratcheted them up. Worked nicely. However, we soon realized that we didn't have an alan wrench big enough to remove the front axle. After some tinkering, Dennis fashioned a tool:
It worked surprisingly well. What a deal. Off came the wheels, and the bike was left dangling in the garage while we took off to Cycle Gear.
While at Cycle Gear, I also picked up a Dainese Back Space 2 back protector. I tried on about 6 of them and the only two comfortable ones were the Back Space 2, and the Dainese BAP 2. Since the back space was thinner, I decided to get it. Surprisingly, it was $159, which was less than I found it for online. What a deal. Once we got back to the house we put the wheels back on, this time in just 5 minutes per axle, and lowered it from the lift. I then noticed the huge gouge in the black paint of the front wheel that must have occurred during mounting. Unbelievable. Aside from that, the new tires looked great on the bike. The rear is certainly a steeper curve. I then left and went on a 60 mile ride (first time with the back protector too). Instantly I noticed the bike seemed much more willing to turn. Very nice. Once I got into the hills I was amazed how much smaller and maneuverable my bike felt with the new tires! I'd push lightly on the handle bar and it flipped right over. I use to have to fight with the bike to get it to work with me. It also seemed quite a bit more predictable; that warn flat rear tire was really screwing with my handling. I'm still in the "scrub in" time of the tires, but I can already tell I'm going to love these things. The back protector is going to take some adjustments; it was scooting up and digging into my neck. I probably just had the shoulder straps too tight. Once I got home I loosened them and it seems to fit much nicer now (molding to the shape of my back). I'll see on future rides.