too many words by laura lemay

How to live with a neurotic motorcycle

Rule #1: Just because it started and ran fine yesterday doesn’t mean that it’ll start today.

Rule #2: Never presume to move the car, move the bike, then move the car back until you have actually tried to start the bike. Under NO circumstances put on jacket, scarf, boots, helmet and gloves before verifying that the bike is running and is going to continue running.

Rule #3: A fully charged battery is like a delicate lily. Cherish it now in its full flower, cause it’ll die tomorrow for no apparent reason.

Rule #4: Always know where your petcock is and how to move it from on to reserve — not just while standing, but while cruising down a hill at 50 mph with the bike choking and surging beneath you.

Rule #5: “On” means “prepare to switch to “reserve” at any given moment.” “reserve” means “ha ha, you’re stranded.”

Rule #6: The probability of the bike running out of gas or otherwise breaking down is inversely proportional to the distance you are from a gas station or other safe location.

Corrallary to rule #6: All owners of neurotic motorcycles have permanent bruises on thier calves.

Rule #6a: The probability of being able to start your bike on the first kick is inversely proportional to the number of people watching you.

It’s even worse if you are trying to impress any of those people.

Rule #7: The tiny space between the top of your sock and your pants leg is always just wide enough to come in contact with the exhaust pipe.

Rule #8: You will never remember if that funny whirring noise you suddenly hear coming from the engine is normal or not. To make sure, you’ll rebuild the engine only to find out that yes, it was normal.

Rule #9: There is always one more bolt. And that bolt is not metric.

Rule #10: Do not lean the bike over on its sidestand when the sidestand is not down.

Rule #11: Swearing does not help, but it provides amusement for the neighbors.