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The road leads to Iron River

July 13, 2010
The bill

It came to less than $90! Score! (Click to see a larger version - Photos by Karen)

It was a perfect morning for my trip to Iron River. I suppose you could say I was in a state of nervous anticipation.

After riding the first six hundred miles on county roads and WI 13, I was ready to get on the highway. It would be my first time keeping Scoot at a consistent 55-60 mph over a long period. Rich drove ahead of me in the car—partly so I wouldn’t have to make this first trip alone and partly so I wouldn’t have to spend 2 hours sitting around at the garage.

Sierra came along and while Scoot was having its check-up we we went to a park by a lake. She enjoyed watching the fish.

I did a lot of thinking while I was riding and none of it had to do with the stuff I usually think about. Isn’t that one of the things that’s so great about riding on two wheels? It’s the focus you give to the moment you’re in, not the moments you’ve experienced in the past or will in the future.

I thought about all the things I’d been told over the past few months, rules of riding and what to watch out for: if there’s a curve ahead, slow down before, not when you’re in it, look through the curve, SEE what’s around you.

There was one important thing my neighbor mentioned that no one else had. She doesn’t even ride a motorcycle but her husband does and she told me to watch out for the wide strips of crack-sealing on the highway, especially on a hot day.

After she gave me that tip I had a little experience with it while riding on the road circling Bayfield. It was on a tight corner and I wasn’t going fast but felt the scooter shimmy just a little when I went over the crack-sealed part of the road. That made me very aware of what she was talking about so it was another one of those things I paid attention to today because there was a lot of it on WI 13.

Pistol Pete’s was the the place I took Scoot, and it sure wasn’t a scooter shop. From the counter I could see a Confederate flag that said “Redneck” on it, a gun collection on the wall and an advertisement for a bear hunting guide service.

Scoot in Iron River

Scoot enjoying the sun in Iron River

However, they did a good job at a reasonable price, and I was happy to find a place within 50 miles that could do the work. The mechanic told me he really liked my Honda SH150i and that it was a very good bike. Good to hear from a guy who raced trail bikes.

All in all it was a positive experience. I would even say exhilarating. It took the pressure off and I no longer imagined what it would be like to ride on the highway—I actually went out there and found out for myself.

Tomorrow is another day and I’m ready to go! Favicon

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6 Comments
  1. July 13, 2010 11:35 am

    A very good sign is when the tech really likes your bike (or car). I always clean off the mechanical bits before taking bike or car for service, because personal experience has shown a clean vehicle is easier and more pleasant to work on. The favor will be returned, trust me.

    Not that its going to happen, but you might want to talk to these people regarding warranty issues. They might not be able to help you, for free anyway. What a warranty boils down to is, within the time/mileage window, the repair shop bills the manufacturer, not you, if something covered breaks. If this place is not an official Honda service center, they won’t be able to do that, and I don’t think you’d be able to get it fixed and get reimbursed by Honda. Make sure you save all your receipts, to prove you followed the recommended maintenance schedule.

    You might want to check with Pistol Pete’s, and with Honda. Let us know what you find out… 😉

  2. Keith permalink
    July 13, 2010 7:29 pm

    Oh yes, those ever pesky “tar snakes”.

    Glad it was a good experience for you. I agree with Orin it is always a good sign when a tech likes your bike.

    Way to go on the getting there and back.
    ~K

  3. Karen permalink
    July 14, 2010 11:35 am

    Keith, Thanks for your comment. Tar snakes, yes, that’s what they’re called and it’s a good term. Going across them wasn’t bad it was the ones that ran the length of the road that were kind of nasty.

    Orin, I went through the warranty manual and it said work can be done by the owner or a non-Honda dealer and it wouldn’t affect the warranty. Of course if the tech did something wrong that would cause a problem the warranty would not cover that.

    Another thing is that I have a one year warranty which really means that I am covered only until about November because there is no scooter/MC riding around here between December and March and for me, not until the end of April 😦

    Your point about bringing in a clean bike to a service visit is a good one. I think it goes for all vehicles. They seem to give you better service and more respect if you bring in a well-taken care of vehicle no matter how old it is.

  4. July 14, 2010 4:10 pm

    Karen:

    A good dealer, reasonable pricing, good service, excellent day for a ride and all is well with the world. Beware of tar snakes, esp if you have to stop

    bob
    Wet Coast Scootin

  5. Jack Riepe permalink
    July 21, 2010 9:45 am

    Dear Karen:

    When I first started to ride again, after a 25-year hiatus, I avoided the big highways like the plague. Sixty-miles per hour was my limit. Then came the day when my knees hurt so badly (arthritis) that I decided to take the shortest route home, which was an expressway. I was so nervous I was almost shaking.

    What a dope I was. There was nothing different or even challenging about it. I discovered that maneuvering through and around traffic was easier at speed. I also learned that my machine runs buttery smooth at 75-85 mph.

    But I’m glad you took your first long run, and delighted that it was a pleasurable adventure. Good for you!

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  6. Karen permalink
    July 21, 2010 3:06 pm

    Jack- you’re right about being on the highway – it really isn’t that much different because you always have to be alert anyway. I took another ride a couple of days ago – this time with no escort and it was great. Nobody passed me on my little scoot because I had no problem maintaining the speed limit.

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