Thinking about what I’m going to say to my bike.

The Rumble Bee has been losing its shit lately. Let’s go down the list…

– Seized coolant thermostat? I’m still not convinced of this one. The spring looked good. It looked almost newish. I think I may have even had a new one installed in my pre-trip shakedown at MAX BMW in North Hampton, NH. But I had to do something…the Rumble Bee was literally throwing up coolant all over the pavement like it was pledging a fraternity. So bye-bye went the thermostat…the one thing that can halt the flow of antifreeze/water throughout the whole cooling system. That’s its job. When its cold out, you don’t really want to cool the engine, so the thermostat closes a valve that halts the coolant and the transfer of heat. I’ll eventually replace it. But I’m OK for now in the tropics. Ahh, liquid cooled engines. But wait, my bike is also air-cooled with a radiator fan. What? Cars have antifreeze and fans, but is that a unique feature of the F650GS in the world of bikes? I’m not sure, and I don’t really feel like running through schematics of other bikes to satisfy that curiosity–I’m having a good enough time understanding my own. Thank you, za Germans.

– Seized radiator fan. No doubts here. That thing looked like it had been in a war with one of its blades missing and all kinds of grindy, sandy, metallicy stuff that used to be bearings coming out into the hands of the curious parking garage attendant. Nothing like a Spanish speaker who knows how to use the word, “fuck” correctly. I myself am learning my way around, “chinga” and “huevos.” Chinga is a pretty straightforward translation of “fuck,” but it can also mean, “cool,” depending on the context. “Huevos,” the literal term for “eggs” has a whole basketful of meanings, but paired with the proper “talk to the hand” gesture with (now this is very important) closed fingers, it means, “Back off!” Or “Leave me the fuck alone!” Helpful when attempting to cross the border in Guatemala…before my bike got…

-A nail in the back tire. “Huevos!” I shouted at the trabitadors (sp?) (border helpers). I don’t care if I spell that word wrong…it’s the most annoying profession in the world. Just let me wade through my first-ever completely foreign overland border crossing on my own, please. I have copied and pasted the proper procedure from the Horizons Unlimited website onto my Notes app. I’ll be good. I might make a mistake, and I’ll have to correct it. I’ll waste a little time. NO BIG DEAL. But apparently my desire to do the thing myself was a big deal. The angry little gang of trabitadors no doubt saw the BMW logo emblazoned on the side of my Bee-yellow motorcycle and thought I was a honeypot that just rolled in. “Huevos!” “Huevos!” I turned around and throttled up to escape the mobbing. Next thing I knew, my rear end was getting squirrely. I pulled over and there it was…a perfectly bent at a 90-degree-angle 3-inch nail, smiling ass-end-up at me!

As were those Trabitadors, I bet. I have a hunch that after I threw eggs at their advances, and they knew I wasn’t going to budge on “no gracias,” they cleverly planted that nail so I would get the flat. Otherwise? Really? You’re going to have a giant nail that big and obvious just hanging out on the street right in front of a gate to another country? Oh, there’s also the fact that 20 minutes after I pulled over to the side of the road to begin fumbling around with tire irons and a weird tool called a “bead buddy” that’s supposed to help you break the bead on a motorcycle tire, so you can take it off the rim…one of the trabitadors pulled up to my broken down ass and asked me if I wanted him to take my tire and spare tube to a mechanic who could mount it up for me.


Not so chinga, but yes. Please take my flat tire, and bring it back not flat. Thank you. Gracias. Here are some pesos.

….so, Rumble Bee. Baby…I know it hasn’t all been your fault, but you need to get a little tougher. You’re not a small child that needs constant attention and monitoring. You’re a damn motorcycle…and a dual-sport BMW at that! You’re supposed to be a bad ass. Start acting like it. Run over those nails like you got a pair, stop spitting up all over that man’s feet. You can do better! I know you can.

Oh, but you don’t talk back, do you? How do I know that you understood me? I don’t. And…you probably didn’t. You’re going to continue being a little problem child, aren’t you? OK. We’ll roll with that. Yeah, we’re going to keep rolling, honey. I’m sorry, but that’s your purpose in life…to transport my big butt around the world. After that’s over, maybe we can talk about getting your rims shined and your engine polished, Diva.


2 thoughts on “Thinking about what I’m going to say to my bike.

  1. Hey! I got a nail in my left back tire, too! That’s SOOOOO funny!!! Interesting, huh? Of course, though, yes I got it fixed about 2 weeks ago! 🙂

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