Home Forums Rides-Rallies-Etc FIRE!!

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      Bradley Burland
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      Indeed, now that I have everyone’s attention, I have to rant a bit and tell the Members of this Forum that I am very unhappy, as I sit here. Perhaps ‘unhappy’ isn’t the exact word I prefer to use. More like ‘disappointed’, coupled with ‘defeated’, with ‘betrayed’ added in for good measure.

      So, I took my time during the Fall and early Winter and stripped Carpathia, my 2003 K1200LT, down to almost her bones, emptied out the crud in the fuel tank (ugh!) and replaced the fuel pump, some mushy fuel lines (those one-use hose clamps are really cool), as well as the fuel pump bracket, fuel filter, and the quick-disconnects. Air filter, too, while I had her apart up there (and what Engineer thought that the placement of the air filter at the top of the fuel tank was a ‘good idea’?). Brake pads? Sure, why not? New tires? Mounted and balanced? Naturally! Slowly reassembled everything with new stainless hardware, where it showed. Rehung the tires and wheels (and needed a new rear wheel bolt–PO stripped one of the other ones–at $8/per). Polished her up all nice and shiny, installed and hooked up the new battery (no sparks), added about two gallons of fresh fuel, hit the fob, pressed the starter button and VOILA!! Fired right up on the center stand, ran beautifully at idle, and at part throttle……until it didn’t.

      We are aware that these bikes love to smoke upon start-up after sitting for awhile, and she was no exception. Suddenly, though, I had smoke (of a different color and odor) coming from under the stingray. Shut everything down just in time to see flames leaping out from the left-hand side vent. Thankfully, the storage unit where she resides had fire extinguishers hanging throughout the complex. I grabbed one, pulled the pin, hoped it wasn’t empty, and hit Carpathia with a big blast of dry-chem. (Man….that stuff gets EVERYWHERE!!)

      After I took a battery-powered leaf blower to her (and the entire half of the storage unit) to blow out the powder, and then again wiped down her flanks, I was pleased to see that the fire really did only inconsequential damage to the bike’s bodywork. (Actually only the plastic ‘screen’ on the left-side vent was melted and the BMW roundel was discolored from the heat–both, I recall, are easily removed and replaced from the side panel. I was surprised. But it was at this point that my mood (see above) set in, as I realized that, if I was apt to even get involved with it again, I’d be stripping the bike down to the bones once more, spending time and more money trying to figure out if she can be easily fixed……and it was at that point that I decided that I had had enough. Time to part ways.

      Which apparently is much easier said than done. With the number of MC riders in Ohio, our area is blessed with several private bike salvage yards. Unfortunately, I’m finding out that, unless they’re a specialty shop, they usually treat BMWs like the plague and want little (actually nothing) to do with them. I have two shops left, awaiting callbacks and email returns.

      Which leads me, finally, to my point: Now that I have calmed down a bit, and IF after all, I decide to tackle the repair, does anyone know if the BMW wiring harness is a ‘split’ harness? By that, I mean, are there two separate parts to the harness, ie, front-to-mid-bike then mid-bike-to rear, so I can just replace HALF of the harness, if necessary? Don’t really want to do the whole thing, if it’s not required, and I do not relish the idea of adding and splicing into burnt wires, which is always a recipe for disaster. As of now, though, I haven’t totally given up on her, but….I’m getting close.

      Or, if anyone wants to tackle the job…make me a generous offer for the bike and come get her. She’s resting comfortably in Grafton, Ohio. Just sayin’…..

      DW

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