Dumbo and the art of MC maintenance. - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 09-17-2010, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Dumbo and the art of MC maintenance.

Dumbo and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Or

Why I love my Doohickey.

By Lockjaw

Remember when you were a kid, and you loved Dumbo. A sweet little story about a big-eared elephant that learned that confidence was the key to flying. And then you watched it as an adult and realized it was also about how much acid Disney animators used to take, and racial caricatures that kind of make your teeth hurt…plus the other stuff? I do. Man, I loved Dumbo when I was a kid. I think I may have had a drinking problem in my early twenties as a direct result of that movie. But I digress. Because I want to talk about bikes. And I want to talk about the magic feather.

I owned and rode motorcycles for years before I ever turned a wrench on one. The reasons behind this are complex and would make everyone uncomfortable. The short version is that I always felt like I was ‘bad at that kind of stuff’. It was kind of my Dad’s fault. Not that he intentionally made me feel bad, but he was just good at “that kind of stuff”. Most of the men I knew were. And I wasn’t. So I didn’t do it. I got some ****ing tattoos and played rock music so loud it hurt.

But this isn’t about all that. It’s about buying a KLR. It’s about doohickeys (Balancer Chain Adjuster Levers). It’s about a tech day where I delved so deep into the workings of my motorcycle (hours from home, in the garage of someone I had never met before), that I was, literally, in full pucker mode for about 5 hours straight. But here’s the thing. Kawasaki, through their sub par engineering, gave me my magic feather.

If you recall, the crows give Dumbo a feather that “enables” him to fly. It is good, basic, manipulative psychology. After I went to my first tech day and “did my doo”, I’d made a few friends who would help me work on my bike and take me on cool rides. My friend Mark helped me put on crash bars. He and his friend Tim helped me adjust my valves. My friend Darin helped me more than I even comprehended at the time. They were my magic feather. But then something started happening. I changed out the front fender easy as pie. Oil changes became 5 minute “chores” I looked forward to. I needed new brake pads and put them in. Kawasaki not only gave me my magic feather, they then…with a little help (just like the movie!) showed me that I did not NEED that damn feather. (I do need my friends, though).

I will never be a great mechanic. I know great mechanics and they just don’t think the same way I do. I have my talents. That is not one of them. But that doesn’t mean I can’t do it. Maybe I need to see it done first. Maybe I’m terrified the first time. Or the third. Maybe I’ll always be a little bit scared, but dammit, I can fly.




"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.

Last edited by Lockjaw; 09-17-2010 at 08:47 PM.
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post #2 of 19 Old 09-17-2010, 09:27 PM
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Damn man, I read that and I am so happy for you. I'm touched by your heartfelt expression, you have a gift for putting words on paper that come across as paint on a canvas. You've done a great job of capturing the two wheel experience.

Ride safe, keep enjoyong the experience. Thanks for taking the time to say what you said.

Bob
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-17-2010, 09:47 PM
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Jim Crow: You wanna make the elephant fly, don't ya? Well, you gotta use a lot of 'chology. You know, *psy*-chology. Now here's what you do. First, you'll uh...

Shamelessly stolen from the IMBd. It's been since I was a wee lad I've thought about that story....a good one. Thanks for sharing and may it be an inspiration for others that have been in your shoes.

Gray-haired riders don’t get that way from pure luck.

Unknown
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post #4 of 19 Old 09-17-2010, 10:10 PM
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I'm at a loss for words, my friend.

Soon, we ride, indeed.

T

Tom [email protected]

“Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte


Sting like a butterfly.
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post #5 of 19 Old 09-18-2010, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.

And hell yes, Tom; soon, we ride!




"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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post #6 of 19 Old 09-18-2010, 07:16 PM
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I want to cry. That's the most beautiful thing I've ever read.

I love to tinker, DanJaw, but never opened an engine in my life before the doo either.
Nerve racking indeed, but survivable. And we both grew from the experience.

This is my son, with whom I am well pleased." ----God
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post #7 of 19 Old 09-18-2010, 09:12 PM
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Dan,

That was a fun time (all of them) I remember having to coax you to go to the tech-day. Met in Fairfield, in the dark, and rode to Wherever it was held. The first thing out of your mouth was, " I can't mess this up, my wife will kill me. This is my only ride". You were a 150 miles away from your home. By the time we left that tech-day, you so full of confidence, it was great!

I have been fortunate to have had the same thing done to me. The ultimate KLR Guru's have empowered me to help me help others to gain some confidence too, and I thank Theotherbigjoe, and Larryboy for that. The moral of this story is that it is great to be able to pass it on to someone else in our little community, and I see that always.

You have put that to words again, as you always do!

MB4

PPMC # 3

Yo! To the brothers.

RIP Darin, Ben, Carey


"I am the muffin man"

Last edited by Mark B (4); 09-18-2010 at 09:36 PM.
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post #8 of 19 Old 09-18-2010, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Marks.

Man, I need to take a ride soon.....




"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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post #9 of 19 Old 09-18-2010, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lockjaw View Post
Thanks Marks.

Man, I need to take a ride soon.....
Let's go.

Buster's Monday. Lunch, and ride!

PPMC # 3

Yo! To the brothers.

RIP Darin, Ben, Carey


"I am the muffin man"
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post #10 of 19 Old 09-19-2010, 10:28 AM
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Hey man, How you been?

I particularly enjoyed the reference to Disney animators doing a bunch of acid
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