No more poker runs... Head gasket kablooey...

Don Wilcox leanintree at
Mon May 23 09:15:14 PDT 2011

I knew I shouldn't go on a HD poker run.

My riding buddy with the ZX11 conned me and the wife into going on a local
charity poker run yesterday. Highway, highway and more highway. Total
participants in our little group was My buddies ZX11, his wifes new (to her)
Ninja 250, my GPZ, my wife on her new Bandit 600, another buddy on a
VTXsomethingorother, and my buddies brother on his new (to him) GS550 rat
bike (and it really was a rat bike...).

I'm not an elitist, but I swear my buddy should have thought about this
group just a little more (As should I). This was his wifes first highway
jaunt on her ninja 250, and she couldn't force herself to wind it out
sufficiently to get over 55. On a 65 limit highway with prevailing speeds of
72+. Apparently, the GS550 ratter was in pretty much the same shape, new
rider on board that couldn't force himself any faster. After the first 10
miles, the wife and i couldn't stand feeling like a target for every vehicle
coming up from behind and jacked it up to cruising speeds.

That of course is when Karma reared it's head. At the first stop (40 miles
away), the wife tells me that she's having issues with her clutch cable. I
adjusted it on Saturday, and checked the local no brands shop for a
replacements, but without it off the bike, we couldn't compare lengths (and
the kid at the counter couldn't find a match in the computer... he was
DEFINITELY new though, so I cut him some slack). After adjusting it again at
the first stop, it became apparent that it was NOT going to last the full
ride, and I called a halt to our day.

Good thing too, since that was when I noticed that I had a hell of a head
gasket leak. When I did the valves last spring, I noted a *small* leak
there, but I think that small leak may have become a bit larger. Until I
strip it and pull the tank, I won't know for sure (but I guess it's a
perfect chance to pull the carbs and clean the funk out of the pilot jets...

Hope I'm done in time for Memorial day...

Don in GJ

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