Ride West: Day 3 in Kenner, LA
Good news on the speedo front: It seems to be fixed and working as it should but it was like pulling teeth to get it done. Here’s the story–
Woke up to heavy rain this morning, a lugubrious entry to a day I knew required some minimal wrenching on the bike. By10:30 the rain passed and I had an offer to use my son-in-law’s father’s garage to change the battery. The starter was slow in turning the engine over before it fired up, but when it did I rode over to George’s house and pulled into the garage. Removing a battery isn’t hard because Harley Davidson includes a strap that loops under the battery so you can pull it out. Of course it’s more difficult when the battery is installed at the factory sitting on top of the strap that is supposed to loop to the top of the battery.
No way to grab the battery to pull it up. Unless, of course, your garage host also happens to be a retired orthodontist with “extraction forceps” used for pulling teeth. Dr. Marse locked on to the battery posts like they were rotten molars and yanked the battery out with nary a scream from the patient.
Took the battery to the HD dealer where it was tested and found to be “normal.” But I’ve seen several two-year old batteries go bad lately, so I bought a new one anyway. (George eyed several bikes while we were at the dealership and locked in on a Tri-Glide. Now that he’s an uncertified HD battery replacement mechanic, there may be a ride in his future.)
Went back to the bike, dropped the new battery in and hooked up the wiring. The first thing I noticed was that the speedometer needle had dropped from 70 to 0 (a good thing because 70 mph is too fast to be going in a garage). And the odometer window had numbers that I recognized. Things were looking up. Buttoned up the bike, took it for a spin on the street and much to my delight the needle went up and down just as it was designed to do and the mileage digits increased every tenth of a mile as expected.
So … either the speedo had gotten wet the day before during the storm I rode through and developed a short of some kind OR a dying battery has some negative (no pun) influence on the electronics of the speedometer. I will let the answer come from those who know a lot more about it than I do.
Spent the rest of the day enjoying the hospitality of George and Vera and watching my granddaughters swim in their pool.
All in all, a MUCH BETTER day than its predecessor.
Tomorrow: About 600 miles through Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma.