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Discussion Starter #1
...or why I don't want a fuel gauge.
Recently back from my trip to the UK. I rented a Suzuki 600 Bandit from Greenlight Motorcycle Hire in Burton-on-Trent. Given that I couldn't find any source for Triumph rentals in the UK, the Bandit was a good alternative. The riding position is pretty upright, and the seat is firm but comfortable. Knees fit comfortably into the prominent tank recesses and it's easy to mount luggage. The wide tank held my magnetic tank bag securely, and there are four studs on the tail plus a hand grip which make mounting a tail bag on the rather flat pilion section easy. Of course there were things that did take some getting used to. The skinny (7/8"?) grips felt strange after my 1" bar with 'football' grips. Next time I think I would bring some grip puppies. The 4-cylinder engine redlines at 12,000 RPM, so the feel and sound took considerable getting used to. Even when in 6th gear and doing only 5 or 6 thou, I found myself trying to upshift - because to my Bonnie-trained ear it sounded like it was in pain. S3 and S4 guys should feel right at home, though. And then there is the digital fuel gauge with its five little LCD segments! One of the first things I checked when I picked up the bike was where the petcock was, should I have to switch to reserve. No reserve setting - just fuel on, fuel off (apologies to Mr. Miyagi).
Rode the 100 miles back to Bedford in light rain, constantly getting lost (hey - it's an adventure), but perhaps that's for another time. The next day I head out and notice two segments of fuel are showing - which to me means 40%. Enough, I figure to get on the road and fill up at my convenience. Ten minutes later I find myself (through no intention of my own) on the A6 headed north, and the fuel gauge drops to one segment - which I figure is 20% and should get me to a fuel stop. Of course I'm thinking in North American terms... this seems to be sheep country, and sheep don't need much petrol! LED stays on one segment but now a little fuel pump icon starts flashing. Uh-oh... please let there be a gas station around the next bend... or the next one... maybe the next one? Then comes the familiar stuttering and I wiggle the bike to try and slosh fuel to the petcock. Another 30 seconds or so and I'm coasting with no engine.
Now what I found interesting is that many roads in the UK, and apparently most of the smaller ones have absolutely no shoulder. Fortunately I stopped by what was probably the only concrete slab around (a 6' long sewer or telephone pit cover) and oomph the bike up the small curb and onto the pad - at least I could put the kickstand down with no worry of it sinking into the soft earth. No houses in sight, and little traffic.
I figure that either police will drive by and see me, or another biker will stop to see if I need assistance. In North America setting your helmet down alongside the bike means 'I could use some help'. Apparently not in the UK, as bikers, most on sport models would whine by at about 70 mph without so much as a glance! Geez... so much for the 'brotherhood of bikers'! Finally,after about 40 minutes a fellow on a Harley sees me and pulls over. Thank you, Andy Warren from Cambridge, who's out scouting a route for his club to follow on the coming weekend. And he has a cell phone! We dial the RAC Breakdown Service (came with the rental) and he describes where we are. He hangs out for about half an hour and we chat about biking in the UK vs North America. He's riding his girlfriend's 883 Sportster as his FLH is being repaired. A lifesaver. Eventually the RAC van shows up with a can of fuel and directions to the closest gas station.
And this is why I don't want a fuel gauge!
Oh, BTW... I told Andy that when I got home I'd see if I could get some Harley club pins or patches for him. So if anybody has any to spare how about popping 'em in an envelope and sending 'em to Andy Warren; 20 Unwins Lane; Over, Cambridge; CB4 5PN, UK. Tell him it's for Bob, the guy out of fuel on the A6.

Stranded somewhere on the A6

Andy Warren to the rescue!
 

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I had a flat tire in Nevada a month ago and the only two guy's that stopped were Harley riders. Both were concerned with my situation and I had to reassure them I was OK and had the tools to fix it. Thanks Guy's. Every other bike went right on by. :cool:
 

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When Copper had his mishap,an older Harley riding couple stopped to help us out too. The guy busted out his tool kit and helped me get the bike back in order,and his wife calmly attended to Eriks busted hand,even diognosed his injury [correctly] several hours before the doctors would hazzard a guess. :mad: Nice people
 

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I'm really please HD riders mentioned here were great - I like to think the best of all people til proved otherwise - I think the worst type of HD riders are those that hang around the HD Dealer at the weekend and pose. They hardly ride the machines - you see them up for sale - 3 years old and 1000 miles on the clock.
About the UK Jap riders - they tend to be very different to real bikers - they never wave or nod ( UK thing) - all they want is SPEED and THRILLS - they tend kill themselves a lot and others and keep their bikes just long enough to get 12 speed points and then sell the bike to pay the fines ha ha.
 

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So if anybody has any to spare how about popping 'em in an envelope and sending 'em to Andy Warren; 20 Unwins Lane; Over, Cambridge; CB4 5PN, UK. Tell him it's for Bob, the guy out of fuel on the A6.
One OC Harley Pin on the way. Great story, no matter what the bike, I stop (Karma - boys and girls).
 

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For the most part, bikers respect all types of machines. That's why we like bikes in the first place. I always thought it took a special type of sport rider to grind floorboards and footpegs on an HD or "other" cruiser. It is no less enjoyment to the participant than grinding a Daytona or R6. Just get out there on what you have and enjoy!

[ This message was edited by: Brooksie on 2006-10-08 17:53 ]
 

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Nice story, I'll see if I can find anything down here for your saviour, Bobmig.
I too stop for any bike stopped alone, right o Boboso - Karma!!!!
 

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When my bonnie wouldn't start recently at a gas station the first guy who took the trouble to help and even pushed the bike in an attempt to jump start it was somebody who was getting ready to buy a HD 1200 sportster.
Nice people are just that I guess ,no matter what they ride.
 
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I lost concentration for a split second on the Dragon a few weeks ago and ended up laying the Bonnie down (it was either that or face a 30 foot tree covered drop)! Anyway, the next bikes that came by were a group of three Harley riders and they immediately stopped, made sure I was okay, and helped get me back on my way.
 

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Good guys (and gals) ride all types and makes of bikes... A$$holes do too....

Good story... Sounds likea nice guy... I hope/trust you had a good time riding over there... More details about the rest of the trip perhaps? :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
On 2006-10-15 07:33, SCbonneville wrote:
Good story... Sounds likea nice guy... I hope/trust you had a good time riding over there... More details about the rest of the trip perhaps? :cool:
Yes... :hihi: I thought I'd give a North American's perspective on riding in the UK. Hmmm... might be almost useful if someone is planning on visiting there.

Bob
 
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