Sometimes it is better to be at work than to be riding

Dirt_Dad

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Despite old sayings and insurance company advertising, I call BS on the idea a bad day of riding is better than a good day at work. By mile 250 of my 340 mile ride day on Friday I would have gladly traded the bike seat for my office chair and been extremely happy to do it.

I took last Friday off to take DM's BMW in for the 12K service/valve check. There are 3 BMW dealers within 100 miles of the house and I selected the most distant one because they have the best reputation. Well worth the 85 mile ride there to make sure it gets done correctly. I had called weeks earlier so they knew what I was bringing in and would have the parts ready to go when I arrived. I told them I'd want a rental bike. Try to catch up with ChecksWrecks and ride while they are working.

I don't know how to get there, so the night before I attached my phone to the BMW navigation system on her bike. Plugged in the dealership and was all set to go for Friday.

Friday was miserable weather. 52 degrees (F) foggy, misty, drizzly overcast crap day. Roll the bike out of the garage and for some reason her always flawless bike now has no control over the TFT. Menu button doesn't work, rotating dial does nothing, absolutely no control. I turn off the main power button 3 or 4 times, always the same result...no control. Crap! We'll I don't know where I'm going, but I'll get to the general area then figure things out. I launch into the fog.

As I ride the screen switches to the navigation screen when I am close to the exit. Okay, so the nav is working, just not much warning before it shows me what to do. I hear the audio, but it is so faint that it's useful only enough to tell me the screen will be changing soon. I can live with that. Bottom of the ramp, hit the turn signal...nothing. Really!!? What about the horn...nope. High beams...nah. Everything on the left control cluster is dead. Lovely...return to old fashioned hand signals the rest of the way.

The cold drizzle lasts for the entire ride and as I get close to the dealership I hear the faint chatter of the nav system, but the screen never changes. Lot's of exits, don't know which one to take as I see the dealership off to the left as I miss the exit. A couple of miles to the next exit where I turn around at the entrance to NSA (yes, that NSA).

I explain the control issue to the service guy at the dealership. He walks out to the bike. I hear a horn beep. He comes in and tells me everything is working now. Of course. He tells me the only bikes left for rental are the 750 and 850 GS. I know I hate the 850 GS, so I take the bike I just rode in on. Disappointing the 1250 something isn't available.

I hang out at the dealership for a bit checking a potential new helmet. Before I leave the service guy comes out to tell me they don't have the spark plugs and I can keep the rental bike until tomorrow when they'll be able to finish DM's bike at some point. Hmmm...the weather sucks. I call ChecksWrecks and suggest a raincheck. The weather is awful, not good for fun riding. I'll just ride home and come back tomorrow. I ride 85 miles home on a stock GS, now windscreen, no hand guards, and rain most of the way. My Klim gear is earning it's keep on this ride.

At home DM and I end up at lunch after running errands. I have hot peppers which can be risky. Near the end of lunch the phone rings, it's the dealership telling me the bike is done. Really...what about the spark plugs? Guy on phone says they're done. DM and I discuss. I don't want to waste another 4 hours tomorrow, I'll just go get it before they close today.

Back on the bone stock, naked GS it is raining...hard. For a while on the interstate even using my finger rain wiper I still can't see for more than a second or two before needing another swipe. Pretty much keeping my finger at my face shield wishing I had DM's big windscreen out front. God this sucks. On and off I notice traffic is at a stand still going the other way.

Paid the nearly $1100 service bill and set DM's navigation to avoid highways. I saw how backed up they were on the way in. I'm making my way though red lights and side roads avoiding highways when the lightening starts. Flash, boom...that was close. I HATE riding in thunderstorms. I can't outrun lightening and I know riders get killed by lightening. I absolutely hate this. It's raining so hard the cars are all 25 MPH under the speed limit...so am I. Switching from one lane to another you can feel the tremendous amount of water running over the road. This sucks. Why am I not at work? I just point the bike at the brighter skies and keep going.

DM calls. I get her to look at the weather radar and tell me if I'm clear of the lightening. Yep, finally behind me. I ride to Damascus, MD and symbolically say hello to CheckWrecks as I keep heading towards home.

So no, I do not believe a bad day of riding is better than a good day at work.
 

Dirt_Dad

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Me too. When I got back they told me they always had the spark plugs, but there had been a part number change and didn't realize it when they first told me no plugs in stock.
 

VRODE

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I don't believe it can technically be called a day of riding if it's to deal with mechanical/electrical/maintenance issues. More like a day of "I just have to get this done". Weird that the TFT/electrical system frapped like that. Hopefully it doesn't come back.
$1100....jeez. BringMoreWallet is right.
 

Sierra1

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My only comment will be that you're a better man than I, to a have put up with the whole situation without losing your temper. I could not have.
 

ballisticexchris

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Gosh, just sounds like a challenging day. Just goes to show how used to comfort some of us have grown accustomed to. Inclement weather can be tough but it's never been at a point where I would rather be at work. Heck man you had a running bike and great gear. I have ridden in much worse than you described and just focus on the road/trail ahead.

A TFT screen or GPS going out is not something I would consider major. I would be grateful the bike continued to run and got me to the shop and back. All in all you made it home safely and that's makes you the winner!!
 

RCinNC

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If I'm riding and the lightning starts flashing close by, I'd rather be at work. But since I'm retired, work just means being home in my garage making something, so hey, win-win.
 

EricV

Riding, farkling, riding...
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Pinlock. And Welcome to BMW realities. BTDT, and they didn't even give me a free T-shirt. You have no idea the stories I can tell about BMW dealer "service" encounters. You got a bike back that made it home, that's a good day.

Tip, next time, remember you have no nav system on the bike. Yes, I don't care what it says in the manual, you don't have a nav system. Plan accordingly. BT the phone to your helmet comm and listen to the voices.
 

PhilPhilippines

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Humour me if I have recounted this before. I often do.

A friend here wanted a part. So, knowing how "out of stock sirrrrrrrr" is the de facto answer to any difficult to understand enquiry, he took time out to google the part and print it off. After three motor factors he gave up - at all three he asked, "do you stock this?". All three employees were passed the picture of the part, which received a puzzled look and a "we don't sell paper sirrrrr....."

He is not known for his patience and his nickname is King Kong. Nothing was on the news though...
 

fac191

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Despite old sayings and insurance company advertising, I call BS on the idea a bad day of riding is better than a good day at work. By mile 250 of my 340 mile ride day on Friday I would have gladly traded the bike seat for my office chair and been extremely happy to do it.

I took last Friday off to take DM's BMW in for the 12K service/valve check. There are 3 BMW dealers within 100 miles of the house and I selected the most distant one because they have the best reputation. Well worth the 85 mile ride there to make sure it gets done correctly. I had called weeks earlier so they knew what I was bringing in and would have the parts ready to go when I arrived. I told them I'd want a rental bike. Try to catch up with ChecksWrecks and ride while they are working.

I don't know how to get there, so the night before I attached my phone to the BMW navigation system on her bike. Plugged in the dealership and was all set to go for Friday.

Friday was miserable weather. 52 degrees (F) foggy, misty, drizzly overcast crap day. Roll the bike out of the garage and for some reason her always flawless bike now has no control over the TFT. Menu button doesn't work, rotating dial does nothing, absolutely no control. I turn off the main power button 3 or 4 times, always the same result...no control. Crap! We'll I don't know where I'm going, but I'll get to the general area then figure things out. I launch into the fog.

As I ride the screen switches to the navigation screen when I am close to the exit. Okay, so the nav is working, just not much warning before it shows me what to do. I hear the audio, but it is so faint that it's useful only enough to tell me the screen will be changing soon. I can live with that. Bottom of the ramp, hit the turn signal...nothing. Really!!? What about the horn...nope. High beams...nah. Everything on the left control cluster is dead. Lovely...return to old fashioned hand signals the rest of the way.

The cold drizzle lasts for the entire ride and as I get close to the dealership I hear the faint chatter of the nav system, but the screen never changes. Lot's of exits, don't know which one to take as I see the dealership off to the left as I miss the exit. A couple of miles to the next exit where I turn around at the entrance to NSA (yes, that NSA).

I explain the control issue to the service guy at the dealership. He walks out to the bike. I hear a horn beep. He comes in and tells me everything is working now. Of course. He tells me the only bikes left for rental are the 750 and 850 GS. I know I hate the 850 GS, so I take the bike I just rode in on. Disappointing the 1250 something isn't available.

I hang out at the dealership for a bit checking a potential new helmet. Before I leave the service guy comes out to tell me they don't have the spark plugs and I can keep the rental bike until tomorrow when they'll be able to finish DM's bike at some point. Hmmm...the weather sucks. I call ChecksWrecks and suggest a raincheck. The weather is awful, not good for fun riding. I'll just ride home and come back tomorrow. I ride 85 miles home on a stock GS, now windscreen, no hand guards, and rain most of the way. My Klim gear is earning it's keep on this ride.

At home DM and I end up at lunch after running errands. I have hot peppers which can be risky. Near the end of lunch the phone rings, it's the dealership telling me the bike is done. Really...what about the spark plugs? Guy on phone says they're done. DM and I discuss. I don't want to waste another 4 hours tomorrow, I'll just go get it before they close today.

Back on the bone stock, naked GS it is raining...hard. For a while on the interstate even using my finger rain wiper I still can't see for more than a second or two before needing another swipe. Pretty much keeping my finger at my face shield wishing I had DM's big windscreen out front. God this sucks. On and off I notice traffic is at a stand still going the other way.

Paid the nearly $1100 service bill and set DM's navigation to avoid highways. I saw how backed up they were on the way in. I'm making my way though red lights and side roads avoiding highways when the lightening starts. Flash, boom...that was close. I HATE riding in thunderstorms. I can't outrun lightening and I know riders get killed by lightening. I absolutely hate this. It's raining so hard the cars are all 25 MPH under the speed limit...so am I. Switching from one lane to another you can feel the tremendous amount of water running over the road. This sucks. Why am I not at work? I just point the bike at the brighter skies and keep going.

DM calls. I get her to look at the weather radar and tell me if I'm clear of the lightening. Yep, finally behind me. I ride to Damascus, MD and symbolically say hello to CheckWrecks as I keep heading towards home.

So no, I do not believe a bad day of riding is better than a good day at work.
I trust you have already booked DM a day off next year for the repeat trip !
 

Dirt_Dad

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Tip, next time, remember you have no nav system on the bike. Yes, I don't care what it says in the manual, you don't have a nav system. Plan accordingly. BT the phone to your helmet comm and listen to the voices.
Good advice. Both BMW and KTM claim navigation. Both are disappointing at best. The BMW (when working) is much better than the KTM. The KTM is downright embarrassingly bad.

So how did beeping the horn manage to fix the control issue ?
It didn't. The working theory is when I cycled off then on with the power button I probably did not give it enough time off to allow everything to fully power down. Walking in the dealership and talking to the service guy gave everything enough time to fully reset.

I trust you have already booked DM a day off next year for the repeat trip !
Not gonna happen. DM is an excellent rider with a lot of accomplishments under her belt. Of all those accomplishments, none of them including riding without me. She won't do it. I don't fight it.

Overall this day does not rank in my top 5 worst ride days. Probably does make it into my top 10. Number one is hard to beat...riding through Hurricane Irene as it was destroying Vermont. That was a very bad ride day.
 

VRODE

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Good advice. Both BMW and KTM claim navigation. Both are disappointing at best. The BMW (when working) is much better than the KTM. The KTM is downright embarrassingly bad.



It didn't. The working theory is when I cycled off then on with the power button I probably did not give it enough time off to allow everything to fully power down. Walking in the dealership and talking to the service guy gave everything enough time to fully reset.



Not gonna happen. DM is an excellent rider with a lot of accomplishments under her belt. Of all those accomplishments, none of them including riding without me. She won't do it. I don't fight it.

Overall this day does not rank in my top 5 worst ride days. Probably does make it into my top 10. Number one is hard to beat...riding through Hurricane Irene as it was destroying Vermont. That was a very bad ride day.
Yes, that was a bad day. I was teaching an MSF class that day. Fortunately we got the riding stuff done early so the students didn't suffer, but the ride home was not fun. I got to find out just how waterproof (not) my gear was.
And thunder storms w/lightning are the worst. Glad you made it home safe.
 

Checkswrecks

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Gosh, just sounds like a challenging day. Just goes to show how used to comfort some of us have grown accustomed to. Inclement weather can be tough but it's never been at a point where I would rather be at work. Heck man you had a running bike and great gear. I have ridden in much worse than you described and just focus on the road/trail ahead.

A TFT screen or GPS going out is not something I would consider major. I would be grateful the bike continued to run and got me to the shop and back. All in all you made it home safely and that's makes you the winner!!
You in LA must be out of touch with the version of miserable that comes with penetrating cold topped by ugly gray wetness.

As for the TFT, yes the bike runs without it (hopefully) but I'd be looking at that thinking nervously
"what next"
"how much is this going to cost me"
"is this going to happen on our next big vacation trip?"
 

ballisticexchris

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You in LA must be out of touch with the version of miserable that comes with penetrating cold topped by ugly gray wetness.
Not at all. I have been through South Yellowstone on a Ninja riding hours in a snowfall with nothing more than a leather jacket and vented track gloves (with latex emergency liners). Also a full day of fog, drizzle, rain through the whole state of Oregon. Also multiple rides through high winds and dodging tornado's in West Texas and Oklahoma. My past cross country rides on my sport/naked bikes have never included a GPS for navigation. Paper map of the US stuffed in my tank bag was always my go to.

I am by no means making light of Dirt Dad's uncomfortable ride. My point is we have become reliant on creature comforts and specialized riding gear. Up until I got my Super Tenere I did not know the have wind protection, electronic gizmos, or fancy riding gear.

And I stand by my statement that I would take riding in the worst conditions over work any day. I cannot think of a day in my life that riding was so miserable I wold rather be at work.
 

ballisticexchris

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What if riding, and work are the same thing?
That's a hard one!! I always wondered if after 10- 12 hours a day in the saddle as a motor cop, would they ride on the weekends for pleasure? I knew one that was in our desert racing club that was an expert desert racer. He always commented that the only thing that would keep him from catching a bad guy would be the traction of his tires.
 
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