2017 PI trip – Day 7 – to Melbournistan

All riding gear is still wet. Not surprised. Coffee will make it better. Town is deserted. The closure of the coal power plant that was the heart and soul of this place is taking its toll.

Plan today is to get Dan’s duc to a mech somewhere on the southern suburbs early. An hour stint on the highway. Should be easy.

Ben decides to put his backpack on top of his touring bag held by a cargo net. I tell him I won’t go behind him since i don’t want to eat it. I shouldn’t have been worried. His rear tire did. Laptop and ithing are kaput. Beers ate intact. Tuff things bottles apparently.

We turn off the highway into the suburban traffic. The orange beast cuts out ignition. Wtf? I start it again and ride another k or so before it does it again in the middle of a roundabout. Great timing. I limp it up the sidewalk and into a petrol station to investigate. Possible culprits are the gear or sidestand sensors. I decide it’s the later and try to bypass it by grouding some wires. Wrong wires. Effing google. My gear sensor is now dead. The boys go ahead to the workshop and our teddy bear comes to the rescue on a merc van borrowed from Lee the northern Irish mech. He was done for dd two years ago so Ron has to blow up to an alcohol level measuring unit connected to the van’s ignition to keep it going. We stop for diesel and keeps the engine running. He’s afraid it won’t start again. Ron also attempts engage reverse while moving forward. I inform him it doesn’t work like that.
We confirm the diagnosis of a dead sensor and attempt to bypass it. I called Peter Steven’s in Dandenong earlier today and told them our story asking if they could sort it. They are too busy today apparently. So is the other PS in town as they tell me they will call me back at 11 am and finally do so at 5.15 pm. I remember that there is a bypass dongle on the ktm poweports catalogue and Ben and Dan manage to trace the only one available in aus in one of the PS shops. The bear goes for the rescue again. We install the part and the katoom works again. Time for seeing the mrs again as she landed in melb and is waiting at the hotel.

Ben wants tepanyaki. We endulge him. He needs some clothes. T-shirt in cold Melbourne is… cold. We go shopping. Dan’s “hangry”. Ron’s a dick. Wife is about to commit murder. We finnaly get food thrown at us. We made it! And this is only half way…

PS: note to motorcycle manufacturers. The sidestand sensor is a safety feature. I get it and appreciate it. In case of sensor failure it should default to allow the bike to run. Between not being able to ride it and crashing due to leaving the thing down #2 is better. Don’t agree? If this had happened the day before at the top of the mountain I would be dead now. No hyperbole here. I would have been stuck in blizzard conditions with zero visibility and no phone reception on a road with a rock wall on one side and a drop to the clouds on the other. That is not safety. Is stupidity.

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