Saturday, May 21, 2011

A new day in Victoria

A few days before my departure to Victoria I was constantly viewing updated weather forecasts to determine what to bring and what clothes to wear. I am learning to travel light. I had planned to spend Thursday night checking air pressures and lubing the chain. Something happened that night which conspired against me. I didn't have time to mount my GoProHD video cam and whilst at the ferry terminal I discovered that I left the 1/4-20 Ram ball mount which meant that I could not attach my camera in its usual way. Luckily I brought my Mini Fat Gecko otherwise I would not have been able to record any video.


The weather forecast was for generally good weather with slight chance of drizzle. It was heavily overcast and we were hoping for the best . I only brought 2 T-shirts plus one long sleeved shirt which I wore over and today did not look like a T-shirt day.


While I was getting things ready and packing my bike for the day a fellow scooterist was having trouble starting his bike. Being the good samaritan that I am, I told him if he had some wire we could jump start his bike using my battery with my 2 pin SAE plug which I use for my battery tender.


We managed to figure something out with the parts we had and spent some time trying to confirm which was POSitive or NEGative before we actually put the two batteries in parallel. Randy moved his Aprilia Mojito 150cc scooter into position and we wired them together. He rode his scooter from Seattle and was worried about getting home under its own power. Nothing happened. We fiddle some more tracing wires and decided to give up and get a new battery. I thought that if we could jump start his bike he would ride over to Canadian Tire. Now he would have to take the bus.

Soon I was ready to go for breakfast, put the key in the ignition of my V-strom and watched the gauges do their usual start up sweep, pushed the starter button, and . . . NOTHING happened. I turned my key on and off a few times, each time pushing my starter button and STILL, nothing. My bike appeared to be dead although the dash lights appeared normal. I have never had any problems with my battery and I always connect to a battery maintainer when it is parked .

I open the underseat compartment pondering what to do


so far my day isn't working out very well


  1. Bummer about the battery issue, Bob. If it's any consolation I really like the "water on the fuel cap" photo.

  2. Hope you weren't stranded on Van Island, and could sort out the battery issue.

  3. I guess I would start looking for a blown fuse or circuit breaker depending upstream of where the SAE connector you used to try and start the scooter. The weather there looks pretty similar to the weather here in South Dakota.

    Hope you get things figured out and have a great time in Victoria.


  4. Sorry to hear about your situation.

    On one of our bike trips, our friend's bike wouldn't start. Rich found a twisty-tie from a plastic bag and somehow got it to start with that. The friend rode it through the rest of the season and sold the bike with that twisty-tie still in place. Some times when we get together, we wonder how long that twisty-tie kept it running.

  5. Bob
    Look at the battery first , if you have a volt meter it should put out 13.7 to 14.1 if I remember correctly.
    Cleck the kill engine switch it maybe wet inside
    Check for garbage at the kickstand d switch
    Check fuses
    The last is check of the rectifier / Stator the volt meter should point the way

  6. Since it took me all damn day to get here 'n read this, I hope by now ya've figured out what the problem is & yer now on yer merry lil' way.

  7. Ditto what RichardM said, something to do with that attempt to jump start the scooter methinks.

    Got a multimeter with you to see where the current no longer flows?


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  8. Hi Uncle Bob,

    Side stand kill switch or handlebar kill switch, they would be my first places to look....After that I would call Ian!!



  9. Group reply:

    I have been thinking about this a lot over the past couple of days about the jump starting, perhaps we crossed the polarity, moisture in the start button, kill switch was on and perhaps this was operator error being in 1st gear with the side stand down. I'm still thinking about it.

    thank you for your kind words of support.

  10. Brings back memories
    Why or why do bikes wait until we're away from home to do these kinds of things!