Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Blaze of Glory or What's in a Name?

On the way back from Americade, we stopped at Curtis’ BBQ on 103 in Vermont for some great ribs. I parked with the others out front, but decided before going in that I wanted to take a picture of Blaze under the sign. I climbed back on, started the bike and pulled up under the sign. True to her name; smoke started billowing up from under Blaze’s saddle. Billowing and billowing! I was momentarily confused, and then remembered that is exactly where the gas tank is too. I leaped off in a hurry. Andy quick as a wink, pulled the key from the ignition, popped the seat off, and pulled the smoking hot wires apart. My GPS was dead and so was the horn, but thankfully, the harness was intact. Blaze started right up and after the ribs I made it home safe and sound. Funny thing was that my friend Dave, who doesn’t usually have too many words to say, became lively and animated.

The next day we discovered the problem was in the 12 volt adapter I use to plug in the speaker portion of the GPS. We could see black down in the base. We tore the thing apart and the positive and negative connector covers had worn so that they were making contact. The wires overheated and just started melting. We have a dedicated fuse for the horn and a fuse in the speaker itself. Strange thing is not one fuse blew.

Andy spent most of the day rewiring and testing. I think I’m good. I want to be ready for next weekend’s trip to the Catskills with the New England Riders. A working GPS to find my way and a horn to alert all my friends of my presence are at the top of my to-do list. My pals at the New England Riders have lots of advice as you can imagine. One wanted to know if I will be changing Blaze’s name. Now why would I do that? With a name like Blaze, I’m expecting even more excitement up ahead. Not to mention, if I can live with all the nicknames Patricia can produce, any motorcycle of mine is certainly just as capable too.


mq01 said...

i can totally see someone becoming very animated while dealing with that ;) great post. im happy to hear that you and Blaze are both ok.

Baron's Life said...

It's a good thing he was qucik as a wink...or you could 've been a road casualuty blown up not by terrorists but by well intentioned but bad wiring...If noe of the fuses blew when they should've, it simply means the wiring is not correct and you need to have it looked up... a short circuit like that could have not just blown you away with the gas fumes evaporating and sponteneous combustion being the result, it would have torn you completely apart and made our departed veterans look good when they found you.
BTW.."Quick as a wink" is a courier company operating in"
Get it done profesionally...!

fasthair said...

Ms. Pat: Sorry to hear of the trouble with Blaze. My first thought when I read of the smoke was wiring. Then I thought, but Blaze is brand new that shouldn't be happening. I forgot about the add on install.

As far as why the fuse didn't blow I can only speculate since I can't see the damage. But if I had to guess the short was BEFORE the fuse. A fuse can only protect the wires after the fuse not before. This is why is very important to keep the fuse as close to the B+ as possible. If what I'm thinking is true then you shouldn't have damage anywhere else on the bike to worry about. Another possible reason the fuse didn't blow is it was just too high of amperage. Lastly their has been a rash of "cheap fuses" made in China and if I remember right are branded "Value Pac" that hit the market that will not blow. Several of my fellow wrench benders have even put these fuses in a direct short and they still won't pop.

fasthair said...

Mr Fasthair, you are exactly correct. The fuse for the GPS was way up in the speaker. That was the offending wire. The horn wire was just too close. We have two new fuses on the wires and close to the battery. Also, not too close together. We like to learn the hard way:-)