The Palm Beach County tax collector was my last stop leaving Boca Raton to renew my moto registration, and by high noon on the 1st I had safely made it to Stuart, FL. The previous day had me worried I might not get on the road this day. After putting new tread on my rear wheel in the morning hours of the 31st, the four vaccines I had taken the 30th began inciting a formidable immune response. Inflammation left me run-down, red-skinned, head aching, and with mild pain coursing through my joints. A sushi dinner that night, at Fuji Dragon, rejuvenated me and the next morning I was feeling top-notch.

It was a swelteringly hot morning as I set off. I was glad it was such a short trip on the highway slab. I soon got some Thai noodle dinner in my stomach with my friend Sean, and was off to another friend’s house before heading to the beach to call it a night. As I hoped, Max was able to hook me up with a 2-gigabyte DDR2 stick of ram to replace the 1 gig in my laptop. Garmin’s Mapsource (software for working with maps and tracks for my GPS) or Windows7 was faulting because of a lack of available ram. This new hardware was faster and of higher capacity. It was just the thing to get the Weee-PC working at a usable speed. The cool evening with refreshing rainstorms persuaded me to drive an extra 20 mile loop that night before arriving at the beach. I managed to get a few hours sleep between being woken by the no-see-ums, aka the vertebrate-blood-sucking flys of the Family Ceratopogonidae. Like this night, they sometimes storm the beach with full force.

    I woke up rather early at 7:30 on the 2nd, from the sun and the unrelenting biting flys. I found breakfast at the local supermarket then had a peculiar thing happen to my bike before I left. As it does sometimes, the engine let loose a cringetacular clunk-crack as I hit the starter. Unlike previous times, though, I noticed popping coming from the exhaust while at idle. I took the opportunity to bring it under Max’s carport and check out this mysterious condition as well as suss out a gnarly speed wobble I noticed happening in the 30-40 mph range, since hitting the road the previous day. I adjusted every suspension setting I could to the owner’s manual recommendation for maximum payload, except the left fork’s rebound adjuster. It was seized; and with a lack of proper tools and knowledge of shocks I would leave that job to a professional. A quick test ride revealed the wobble was greatly reduced, but still remained. With the one shock rebound not a likely cause, it was most likely due to the unbalance of luggage. I’ll be taking the fork to be serviced at WMR Competition Performance on the 7th with new fork oil and whatever replacement parts.

    One problem was mostly sussed, but the cause of the popping had been eluding me. I found it only coming from the left exhaust- the rear cylinder. After reading many helpful posts on Orange Crush and messing with the remote idle screw adjusters for far too long, I gave up until later. I managed to make it less apparent by enrichening the rear cylinder’s fuel mixture, but I was still not satisfied with the way it was running. A few hours later I took off the seat with a hunch, and sure enough, found a silicone vacuum cap and zip tie missing from the rear cylinder’s vacuum line (used for synchronizing the carburetors with a vacuum gauge). It was nowhere to be found, presumably gone from vibration or a backfire that happened as I started it in the morning. Instead or risking another vacuum cap and zip tie, I secured screws tightly in each hose. I started it up and that old familiar purr was back! That night, Sean and I lured some amigos out to the House of Refuge Beach with promises of fire and beer. Hopefully we did not disappoint.

Sunset on the St. Lucie River at the House of Refuge (Stuart, FL 9/2/2010)
Kyle Gabriel

One thought on “2: Con Amigos en la Playa

  1. Kyle,
    Just wanted to wish you the best on your exciting journey. From today We will keep a watch on you on your trip, Good Luck.
    Aunt Eileen Uncle John

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