HarleyDavidsonMan.com

Indian Road Hazards

Norther Rider /
Date: Mar 15, 2005 - 09:35 AM
It started out as a nice day with good weather and the Chief running like a top. The wife and kids borrowed my momís motor home and were following me. Our destination was the Ponoka Vintage Motorcycle Run. We left Killam all smiles. After a brief visit with a friend In Forestburg, we were o­n the road again, cruising at 65 to 70 mph. Having lost sight of the motor home for some time, I pulled of to the side of the road to wait for them. Twenty minutes later I headed back looking for them. Ten miles back was the motor home with o­ne blown tire o­n the rear and no jack to be found. We slowly drove the motor home back about 10 miles to Bradís farm where we changed the tire and stopped for a cold refreshment. Back o­n the road again, Three hours and o­nly 25 miles from home (with no bar stops).Old bikes donít get great fuel mileage and with the extra back and forth traveling from the previous troubles, well you guessed it! Out of fuel o­n the old Chief just 3 miles from Bashaw and o­n top of that a storm blowing in. After searching the motor home, all that we could come up with was a new garden hose. Not wanting to cut the hose to make a syphon hose, we used it as a towrope. We towed the Chief 3 miles to the gas station arriving just before the storm hit. I wish I had taken a picture. We parked the Chief behind the gas station and had a late supper in the motor home while we waited about an hour for the high winds and rain to let up.We were finally done with all our stops and back o­n the road again heading for our destination. About 5 miles out of Bashaw the charging system quit. When the headlight was put o­n the bike died. With out much choice I ran the bike with no headlight and we proceeded o­n. Power slowly died o­n the Chief and it died about 10 miles from Ponoka in a valley, in a rainstorm.Guess what? The tools that I put in the motor home last year werenít there and cell phones donít work in low spots. Having no luck in stopping passers by to borrow some tools, we moved the motor home to higher ground and called my friend Rod to bring out some tools, electrical wire and tape.Rod showed up well equipped with tools, wire, tape and beer. The initial attempts to fix the charging system did not work and we were getting wet so I reverted to plan ďBĒ.From the motor home I took moms flashlight that uses 4 D batteries (1.5 volts X 4= 6 volts, the same as the Chief). Using the electrical tape, wire and batteries I made up a battery pack that would fit in my jacket, then I tied it into the bike battery. The bike came to life in a couple of kicks. I grabbed Rods flashlight, put it in my mouth as a headlight and hit the road. (As Marcel asked, NO I did not have a taillight and NO I would not have put a flashlight there if I had o­ne.) I now know that 4 slightly used flashlight batteries will power an Indian Chief about 10 miles before it dies but that was enough to get me to the run and 15 feet inside the gate.Saturday I put my battery o­n the charger for a few hours. I didnít work o­n the charging system because I had a wedding to go to. I just left my Indian at the run. o­n Sunday my son Nick brought out the truck (I hate like Hell to load a bike, they were meant to be ridden). The Chief won its class at the show and then my son Nathan and I won the wiener bite o­n the chief. After the events I reluctantly loaded the Chief o­n the truck knowing that it wouldnít make it home o­n the charge in the battery.Thinking my problems were done, I tied down the bike in the back of the truck. About then, Nathanís friend David said, ď How come there is a wire sticking out of the rear tire o­n the Chief? I am now in the middle of repairing the flat rear tire o­n the Chief and then the charging system is next.
By Bill Felgate



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