Well, after mentioning that I hoped Murphy wouldn’t be around in my post about oil changes, he struck. I was on my merry way home from work Monday enjoying the highway and weather when I started smelling something awful. If you have ever worked construction and had to cut Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic you would recognize the sharp tingling burnt plastic smell that is specific to that material. At first I thought maybe there was construction going on close to the highway and the wind had blown the smell in my direction so I didn’t pay much attention to it. But, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minutes, and on and on until I got home I was still smelling it. Not good.
I crawled around the bike on all fours like an animal sniffing for a meal to try to isolate the smell. It didn’t take long, it was plainly visible and smelly where the oil had been coming out. The valve cover gasket had blown out at the front left corner and was leaking oil all over the head. It was a mess. Kind of funny that it smelled the way it did, I wouldn’t have expected oil to smell like that.
Tuesday I rode it to Fort Worth Harley for them to fix. Jake in service was awesome and told me they would take care of it under warranty. So I’m thinking kewl kewl, its all good, a couple days without the bike, no problem.
Wednesday Jake calls me and told me it looked as though the gasket had been put on crooked which caused it to fail. They replaced it but when inspecting the bike they found that one of the rubber motor mounts was cracked. Oh my! Am I riding it too hard? He said they were replacing that under warranty as well but had to order the part so it would be Friday before the bike would be ready.
As frustrating as this situation is, I am thankful to the service department at Fort Worth Harley. Not only did they take care of the original problem but they took the time to look over the bike for other potential issues, discovered one, and took care of it. That is some seriously good service that you wont often find in any industry.
Since May of 2012 when I got the bike I have put 16,500 miles on it. I have had a battery, valve cover gasket, and engine mount fail. I understand that problems will occur, especially on mechanical things. Bugs are ever present and that is why we have service warranties to get us through the initial problems. As I mentioned in my post about Holiday Down times, I am looking for reliability. If a bike is not reliable, then its simply no good to me. The future will be interesting.