Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2 steps forwad, 3 1/2 miles back

The RD. I'm noticing a trend with my RD posts. Excitement about said bike running. Disappointment as something goes wrong. Repeat. I woke up Sunday with an understanding that it was going to be a chore and relaxation day. I've been wanting to get the RD out for a true test ride. After a few chores, I told Lori I was going to be gone, no more than an hour, to go ride around the Oakland harbor and shoot some video.

I got out there, it's the lightest traffic area I know of, but still a good constant stream of cars and semis. I set up a few shots, got a few looks, the usual. After maybe 2 shots the RD began to sputter a little. Off idle it would be extremely sluggish and then "catch" and accelerate. Eventually, it just would bog down down, and then just not even start or idle. My plugs were getting oily, and intermittently not fire, and then completely have no spark. The battery was getting lower and lower.

I seem to be having some sort of ignition problem. Maybe the charging system isn't working, or the battery is going out. Maybe it's the coils. The points and condenser are new. Needless to say, on the last 5% of my cell phones battery, I contacted Lori to inform her I'd be pushing the bike home. 3 1/2 miles home. Again, I sure missed owning a truck.

I was dripping sweat. I had probably 30 to 40 motorcycles drive by and even stop right beside me with no offers of help. Sport bike guys, Harley guys, dual sports, even vintage riders. Nothing. When I passed the Brown Sugar Kitchen there was, of all bikes, another RD there. Some punks in black leather (one of whom I later found out is a poster on the forum) came out to ask if they could help, but couldn't. But I was so happy to see "my type of people" offering help and was very appreciative. After over an hour of walking I finally made it home, soaked. I was a bit light headed and Lori forced ice water down my throat until the room stopped spinning.

I'm not sure when I can tackle this RD again. I'm trying to find a factory service manual for a diagnostics test. But Lori is term, the baby could come at any moment, and, well, I just can't be irresponsible and leave her again like that. It might be a while. So enjoy this partial and unfinished video with a poorly running RD350.

1 comment:

BitMonkey said...


I've wanted to own an RD my whole life. Your plight (and others) make think "Wow, I'm kinda glad it's never worked out." Then I heard it fire and run by in the video. F it, I still REALLY want one. Two strokes are just a sickness. The sound, the smell, the way they pull. They are the motorcycle equivalent of crack.