Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Déjà Vu

When all was said and done, the insurance company returned a verdict of “totaled” for Andy’s 2004 Vulcan.  The dejected look on Andy’s face said more than any words he could have expressed. He loves that motorcycle! Then began his investigation into purchasing the bike back from the insurance as salvage and rebuilding the bike to its glory.  First we discovered the true cost of rebuild which was astronomical, but that wasn’t the only problem. We would have to apply for a “salvage title” from the state at a cost of $10. Then once repaired would be subjected to the state’s approved “savage inspector” at a cost of $50. Followed by a regular state inspection, and new registration. All in all, it really wasn’t worth it, but Andy being who he is needed to see all the facts laid out.

Hence began our search for a replacement for the same price the insurance was paying us for the totaled bike. Where are you going to find a great bike for $3100? One that would be everything you had just lost. We did find a few in our price range but none of them “called” his name. His loss was too fresh and no substitute was going to fill that void.

Then on Craigslist to my amazement I saw a motorcycle twin just a 45 minute ride away. We went for a visit. The ad said “needs battery and tune up”. So Andy came prepared with the battery from the old bike. We arrived and saw the bike, body was great, mileage only 12,000. Wow, on a 2004? That’s barely broken in. And before even sitting on the thing Andy was making an offer of $3100, which the guy seemed all too quick accept.

That is when Andy decided to pop in the battery and take her around the block. Once the battery was in, the bike was hard to start. After a few backfires, she started and off he went. But on his return, having been alerted with “hard to handle steering” he had a change of heart. They guy dropped it another $100. Andy apologized and said we would be going on our way.

In the next week we saw nothing else for sale in our price range. We also spoke with a few dealers about the hard steering. With their suspicion that the bald tires would cause that, we sent the guy a note and said we’d take it for the $3000. It was a gamble.

Andy went to get it, loaded on the trailer and brought it home. Then began the stripping of chrome and bags off the old bike and transferring it to the new. Andy even swapped the tires out too. Poor old totaled Vulcan looked a sight, but new Vulcan was looking better than ever. Andy feverishly spent every spare hour at it as we weren’t sure when the salvage truck would arrive.

Once the new replacement Vulcan had all the chrome, highway bar, bags and new tires on, Andy once again tried to start it. Nothing happened. It sputtered but not even a backfire could be had. He got off the bike, removed the air filter cover and discovered a family of mice had taken up residence! Once cleared out the bike started and off to the dealer for a tune up.

I’m happy to report that the bike runs like a charm. The mechanic was impressed with the nice body and running condition after its tune-up. And just in time as we are now on schedule for our epic vacation to Arizona; the major reason for the frenetic search for a replacement.  I find it amusing that the bike is identical save the windshield, backrest and lack or light bar, but to each his own. And none too soon as the truck was in sight.

Old Bike

New Bike

Donating parts and chrome.

Getting some chrome.

Seeing double

Goodbye old friend. Such an undignified end.

1 comment:

Trobairitz said...

I am so very glad he was able to find one almost exactly the same and for a price you could live with.

Happy trails to Arizona.