Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Last evening, I started booking hotel reservations for the trip westward. On the first night, I will be staying in Dalton, Georgia. One of my regular riding buddies, Ed O'Neil, has decided to travel with me on the first day. Any excuse for a ride, right?
Last night, I also encountered my first challenge of the trip. Another friend, Dick Williams, recently had his K1200GT's rear wheel valve stem fail during a trip to the HeleN Back Rally. The valve steam failure caused his rear tire to rapidly deflate while traveling on Interstate 20 and resulted in destruction of his brand new rear tire. Because of Dick's experience, and since I was already having a new set of tires mounted for my trip, I also decided to have both the front and rear wheel valve stems replaced. Well, to make a long story short, after riding home, I discovered that my new front valve stem had split halfway through where it joins the rim and the front tire was flat. I am surprised that I made it home without the tire going flat.
I made a quick call to my trusted mechanic, Mark Bisnette. Mark told me that if I bring the wheel to him, he will quickly replace the valve stem. He encountered the same issue with my rear wheel immediately after mounting the new rear tire. It sounds like he received a bad batch of valve stems.
It was a quick job to put the bike on my Pit Bull front-end stand and remove the front wheel. I plan to make another trip to Mark's house in the next couple of days. Hopefully this will be the extent of my mechanical problems for this trip.