It’s been almost 7 weeks since the BMW fell out of the Condor stand and the bike is still sitting here with a shattered headlight and a yet-to-be painted City Case lid. The repairs were prolonged due to a couple of reasons, and both involved bad judgement. I think I covered the problems with the first case lid paint job, so we won’t revisit that. As for the replacement headlight, that one’s still a bit of a mystery.
The white knight with the used R1100S headlight who suddenly appeared on the Pelican Forums boards and who was ready to mail it off in early June has remained silent since then and not responded to any of my emails that politely inquired as to the status of our potential transaction. He has logged into the forum twice, once on 11 June and again on 21 June, but did not make any postings. So, I’m not sure what the deal was with that and finally decided it was time to move forward.
Of course, moving forward meant stopping by BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta today and putting a new OEM headlight from BMW on order for the princely sum of $614 ‘out the door.’ Now, to be fair, that’s a lot better than MSRP, so I’m thankful for the good-guy pricing I receive there. However, I would have certainly preferred to keep $400 of the $600 in my bank account had the second-hand headlight deal worked out.
There was another member of the forum who offered up a slightly damaged headlight assembly and lens. While it was tempting, it would have required that I tear both headlights apart to transplant the lens which, if the lens had been blemish-free, wouldn’t have been a bad deal. But, with the scratched lens, I’m pretty sure it would have either bothered the heck out of me or I would have attempted to buff out the scratches, neither of which were good options. So, I thanked him for making it available but passed on the offering.
It’ll be about a week or so before the headlight comes back in. I say comes back in because it was the one I originally ordered but then cancelled. BMW held it in stock for two weeks, after which they returned it for a credit. If I’d have gone in and ordered it on 28 June before we headed to Key West, they would have simply handed me the headlight right off the shelf. Timing is everything.
However, the headlight is not necessarily the pacing item as I still haven’t done anything about the City Case replacement lid. I toyed around with leaving it black and unfinished, but after hanging the case on the bike with the black lid it never started to look right: it just looked, well… unfinished.
Last night I finally ordered another aerosol spray can of the Pacific Blue paint I’ll need to make my second attempt at applying color and clear to the unpainted, black plastic lid in a way that closely replicates the original. To do that, tonight I’ll sand the lid smooth – a step I skipped last time that probably set me up for failure – and get it prepped for a full-morning of primer, 2 color coats & at least 3 clear coats this weekend. It’ll have to sit and cure for several days before I can wet sand and polish the clear coat, which is where the project was derailed last time. My goal for this second attempt at painting the replacement lid is getting it “good enough” for how the bike is used. There’s really no need to have the paint looking as flawless as the other lid does since you can only see one lid at a time from either side of the bike. Fingers crossed, I won’t muck it up this time. The decals, BMW logo and red reflectors needed to finish the lid are all on hand, so I’m thinking I’ll have the BMW back in service by 20 July.
My only problem now is, weaning myself off the Dyna Wide Glide! Even after being on the Road King our 9-day, 1,800-mile trip I felt right at home on the Dyna when I swung a leg-over and rode it to work today. I’ve apparently gotten used to riding it instead of the BMW, so going back to the sport bike may not be as seamless as I expected. It’s nice to have alternatives! Especially when all of them are really good alternatives.