Rapid Recovery

26 January, 2006 Temperature: 26 degrees F (-3C)

Yesterday, the Baron got his groove back. After a comprehensive tune-up by my trusty crew-chief Lorne, the cold-start problem is a thing of the past, and he runs as good as new. This morning, I barely touched the starter button and he settled into a nice, steady idle. So, what was the problem?

Well, it turns out that my daily runs to redline (and beyond!) along Shephard Road and sometimes Highway 55 were stretching the valves a bit. They hadn’t been checked or adjusted in 6,000 kilometers, so it all makes sense. The choke was not at fault, nor was the carburetor. It’s just that, when the engine was cold, the valves were not sealing all the way, and we weren’t getting adequate compression on start up. It is so nice to have him running perfectly again.

In the future, I think we will avoid the highway altogether. It adds nothing to my daily ride, and only subtracts about five minutes from my commute time. That’s not worth beating the crap out of this valiant little powerplant. I think I will slow down a bit along Shephard Road as well. This project is challenging enough without causing unnecessary strain to the Baron’s noble heart.

There is definitely some symbiosis going on here, because I feel better today as well. I’m not completely over this bug yet, but the earache is subsiding and my sinuses are starting to clear up. The sun is shining, and it is supposed to warm up to springtime temperatures today. That probably helps a little bit too, don’t you think?

Since we are embarking on the second half of our journey next week, I am going to treat the Baron to a good wash and polish over the next couple warm and sunny days. Then you can look forward to some more photos in here. I’ve been too ashamed to even bring the camera along lately, as the Baron is looking awfully tough these days.

Well, I am coming to the end of my daily “blunch” (blogger’s lunch) break, so I am going to have to sign off now. The Baron and I, along with this blog, will be back up to full speed tomorrow.

10 Responses to “Rapid Recovery”

  1. Laurence Says:

    Re your earache: Did you check to make sure you didn’t leave an earplug in there, forget about it, then stuff it in a lot deeper with a Q-tip? No, I never did that either… Seriously, we’ve already seen plenty of shiny-bright motorcycles and scooters on the net; it would be interesting to get a look at your scoot at its worst. You could give us at least one ‘grime shot’, for purposes of comparison. Ride on!

  2. Bill Says:

    Glad to hear that both of you are back up and running. I have to say I give you a lot of credit for what you’re doing. I too have been riding back and forth to work this winter, but only when the weather cooperates. I have no stomach nor the skills for riding in snow or on ice. In fact though I would like to see others on two wheels the one thing I’d hate to see is someone just make the assumption that if Gary can do it, so can I. Let’s not forget your years of experience on two wheels. Perhaps others need to be encouraged to take a more balanced approach - use a scooter when you can and according to your skill level but don’t push it Don’t be too proud to take the cage when the ride would push you beyond what you can handle. Well, I’m looking forward to many more miles this winter and throughout the year. I wish you the same, so keep the shiny side up and ride on.


  3. Dan Jones Says:

    Gary, I agree that a bath is in order. I saw the Red Baron when I dropped in to chat with Ivan on Wednesday. The Baron was up on the service stand with the “doctor” checking him out.

    He’s a good looking bike beneath the dirt and I’m sure he’d appreciate a little TLC. BTW those sponsor decals add a nice sporty touch.

    Get well quickly and enjoy this incredible weather.

  4. Chris Roy Says:


    Now that the Baron’s getting all spiffed up give him Sunday off, or take him for a joy ride on Chinesse New Year!

  5. Dick Aal Says:

    Just a few thoughts here. I think most people would like to hear about the boring rides as well and the thrilling rides. That goes for the Baron also. I would like to see it in all it’s clean glory and also in all it’s grime. Most of us who ride never let our bikes get as dirty as you obviously will in the winter time. It would be good to see how bad it can really get. A side note on your ear ache. I know from experience that a sinuse infection can easily go up to the ear and infect it. If you keep getting ear aches and they seem to be coming closer together in time. You may have a low grade sinuse infection that is causing it. Take care and show us the mud and blood along with the good stuff.

  6. Tiff Says:

    Just a (rather pointless post) to say that, while I haven’t ridden much so far this year (SWMBO broke her arm snowboarding and I’ve been driving her around) I’m making up for it by test riding a brand-new Honda VFR800 (http://www.honda.co.uk/motorcycles/2006/images/vfrBlack.jpg)! Weee!
    Then I shall be test-riding a triumph sprint ST (http://www.triumph.co.uk/images/main_SPRINTST_02.jpg)

    All I’ve got to do then, is persuade SWMBO to let me buy one of them - although she very nearly bought a VFR herself in the summer, so it shouldn’t be _too_ hard……

  7. Mad Says:

    When spring comes are you going to race tune that Baron, that’s what I want to know. :D

  8. irondad Says:

    Wise words, Bill. Know your limits and ride within them, ride your own ride, and so on. Good reminder. Now I’m off to find some snow and ice. If Gary can do it on the scooter, I can do it on my ST!!

  9. Kurt Layman Says:

    Irondad, You are a man after my own heart!

  10. mnscooter Says:

    This is for Dick… Read the next entry. I took that shot of the Baron this afternoon, after reading your post. You’re right. I should record this adventure exactly as it happens. Sometimes the Baron will be clean, sometimes dirty, depending on how much time I have to devote to his hygiene.

    This isn’t a magazine, after all. This is real life. Thanks for reminding me.

    Ride well,

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