Friday, November 15, 2013

Maddening Moments, some Zen and a Self Challenge

I hereby swear that I am going to not drive the automobile to work as much as I have been recently. There are two "Motorcycle Only" parking areas within a block and a half of my office. I never have trouble finding a place to park when I ride the scooter to work. There is always (Repeat, Always!), a place for little old me and Max to park.

Same cannot be said about the friggin' automobile. There's lots of parking around my new office, but some days it seems like it takes an act of the divine to find a place 'close' to my office. A block away is no problem, and I do that often. But there have been days where I think I can park closer to the office only to be frustrated because there are no close places to park. And I am not really being anal about this. I do not mind the walk. What bugs me is the situation of having to change my plan and the resulting waste of time to go back to do something else. And it's really silly, because we're only talking about a few minutes at most. It seems that as I get older, I have lost a certain amount of patience with things that don't go as originally planned.


But I'm sure you don't really care about that....

But here's a Question:

If I say I'm going to do something and write about it in this here blog, Does that mean it will absolutely have to happen?

Let me explain:

Max is way overdue for some maintenance. I'm totally embarrassed about it. It is ridiculously overdue. Substantially Overdue. Criminally Overdue!

I've had good intentions. I bought some motor oil. I bought a new spark plug. I bought some gear oil. I checked and I already had enough engine coolant. Problem is, I bought all this this stuff 2 months ago, and still haven't even turned the screwdriver on Max.

Shame on Me!

I know very well how important the maintenance is for vehicles like this. The investment could easily be wasted by not doing the "little things". And it's not that I have to take Max in to a repair shop to get it done. I'm well capable of doing it all. I've done it before! It doesn't even really take a very long time. (with one possible exception, I'll explain in a moment)

But still, I haven't done it. And I'm usually not that bad about this kind of thing. Oh, I admit I'm not perfect, I may be a little late at times with certain maintenance, but usually I get it done relatively close to the recommended and appointed mileage intervals.

And I even have a pdf file that is the entire repair manual for Max. I can have my tablet computer available to me in the garage as I work to check on the location of a certain drain bolt, or verify the spark plug gap, etc, as needed. I probably won't even have to refer to it much. As I said, I've done this stuff before.

Actually, on a side note, the shop manual reads a little strange in spots. Of course, SYM is a company in Taiwan, and the manual has obviously been written originally in Chinese and then translated to English by somebody that apparently doesn't use English as their original language. The words don't always , shall we say, "flow" real well. But in the final analysis, it works, the pictures and drawings are not bad and I'm happy to say I didn't pay anything for the manual.

But one thing not really explained very well in the manual is how the plastic shroud and body parts fit together. For instance, there are some obvious seams where plastic parts come together, and there are some clip and insert tabs on the inside (not visible from the outside) of the panels that hold things together. These are not pictured well in the manual.

So here's where the "Zen" comes in:

Pirsig talks about becoming "one" with the machine, or at least that's how I interpret it. I'll just have to sit there on the garage floor. Take my time. Play with the panels a bit. Detect how they are held together. (Believe me, it's not real obvious) The fluid changes aren't the problem. The drain and refill bolts are all accessible without taking any body panels off. It's the spark plug that will cause me some grief. The two main body panels will have to come off. And I have to take some other panels off to get to the ones I have to get off, etc. It's like a vicious never ending cycle. There will be a resulting pile of panels, screws and bolts on the floor.

Actually, it won't be all that bad probably. The problem is mostly my own personality and my own difficulty in dealing with things that don't go my way the first time around.

The problem is not the bike, or the panels or the damn spark plug.

The problem is me!

In self diagnosis, seemingly I have a mental block about getting this work done. There is no excuse. It has to be done. I am the only person to do it! Why the hell am I procrastinating?

So, my post today is an attempt to sort of "trick" myself into getting this work done! By the powers vested in me, I pledge that I am going to get this work done this weekend! I'm going to psyche myself up, similar to John Belushi in "Animal House". I'll rally around the house and then run into the garage and get on the floor and get started.

So, back to the original question, if I write about it in this here blog, Will it happen?

It friggin' better!

So here's the deal! If I don't have another post up by, say, next Wednesday, with maintenance pictures and the like, and a description of how it went, feel free to email me, comment me, and tell me what a goofball I am. I'll deserve any and all criticism.

Like John Belushi, I'm going to rally the forces this weekend and do this.

Let's Do It!
Let's Do It!
Let's Do It!
Let's Do It!
Ride On and Carpe Diem, my good friends!


  1. You know that this means you will have beautiful, warm, sunny weather all weekend while you are doing maintenence followed by rain and hail once you're done….

    1. Richard, you are right. Supposed to be nice this weekend, then cooler next week. And I've got some riding to catch up with.

  2. Jimbo:

    DON'T DO IT ! I am worried you are going to BREAK those little, teeny weenie plastic TABS. I can't remember but I think I could get to my spark plug from taking the seat off and access from the top. On our Vino you could reach underneath by FEEL and put the spark plug socket on the plug. Any other way to do this without removing panels ?

    Riding the Wet Coast

  3. My only advice is take it to a pro. why else are you working? do you grow your own wheat, grind your own flour and bake your own bread? then justify the maintenance by riding daily. check aerostich online for inspiration.

  4. Ditto to that! If it's that much aggravation and trepidation, take it to the shop!

    Pick it up, it's done!

    If they did it incorrectly, then THEY have to fix it, not you! LOL

  5. Deb, Michael,
    Nice idea, but there is not a dealer here anymore. I suppose one of the motorcycle shops would do it, but they would probably rather not. The only scooter dealer here is a Vespa dealer, and they are idiots. I wouldn't let them trim my toenails, much less work on Max.

    Plus, I will end up with an exciting combination of aggravation and self confidence in a job sort of well done.