Rolling again

The four days of down time at Diane’s parents felt good. It gave us a chance to regroup, work on and clean the motorcycles as well as give our bodies a rest. Plus, we got to hook-up with friends and family. We are heading east, over the Sierras and into Nevada.

Riding east on route 4 was not fun until we got east of Stockton. Too much traffic and boring riding through the delta. Once we got into the hills things were looking up until I managed to break off the filling cap on Diane’s bike!!

Thankfully no one was around to hear my choice words when it happened. How, you ask, did it happen? The pumps in California have a big ass black hose that’s spring loaded around the filler nozzle – supposedly to recapture gasoline fumes. Not only that but the plastic needs to be pushed back in order to trigger a switch so the the gasoline will actually flow. This may work great on a car with easy access to the filler where all this stuff can make good contact.

Well, that’s not so easy on a bike especially when there’s a pannier and a duffle bag in close proximity to the gas cap :-(. In my attempt to not only get the gas hose into the filler but also somehow press down so the rubber covering moves back I managed to bend the cap enough that the rather brittle aluminum just snapped.

The cap mechanism works via a rubber seal that’s goes over the gas tank hole. Since one side is hinged you have to press down on the other side for the locking mechanism to engage. So there’s actually force applied to the rubber seal. Works great when it’s all in one piece but not so good when the cap is broken off.

The first fix attempt involved just inserting the gas cap and then using duct tape to hold it in place. Nope, that didn’t work because when we tilted the bike the gasoline came out. Next, I decoupled the plastic/rubber part of the gas cap from the aluminum cover, inserted it and then used a little stone jammed into the slit where the hinge was. The stone provides sufficient force on the plastic that the rubber ring makes a seal. Voila, ‘Fixed’ gas cap….for now.

The motorcycle dealers are closed on Monday so we’ll call the BMW dealer in Sparks, NV. Yes, probably another visit to a dealer since don’t want to keep the temporary fix until we get back home.

Fun, fun, fun.

Overall, Route 4 was pretty average until we hit the town of Bear Valley. All of a sudden the center stripe went away and a sign warning of 24% grades (for the next 30 miles) not suited to large trucks and RVs popped up – welcome to Ebbett’s pass with an elevation of 8700 feet (2651 meter). Another truly amazing ride with stunning views.

Todays’ route.

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