As mentioned in my last blog entry, I pulled-off the custom parts I would be able to use on a replacement 2013 Road King CVO from Blue last weekend so she’d be ready for pick-up by GEICO’s contract towing company who would take her to the salvage yard for the final step in the write-off process. Again, for all intents and purposes, the bike was being totaled and we’d eventually agree on a value and which point we’d transfer the title and get a pay-off check. The towing company subsequently picked up Blue on Tuesday around noon and things continued to move forward.
In the interim I may have gotten the cart before the horse in that I decided to buy the replacement Road King before the other one was officially written off because, well… I had the resources and ability to do so before receiving the pay-off on Blue. It seemed like a safe bet at the time and it looked to be a pretty good deal on a bike with a clean history that had been traded-in to a custom & specialty car dealer in Homosassa, Florida. My plan was make the 420 mile / 6.5 hr drive drive down to Homosassa on the upcoming off-Friday, by which time I’d have a pretty good idea what the pay-off value of Blue would be.
Friday came and I headed off to Florida per plan at 2:30am so that I’d arrive around 9:00am, shortly after Crystal Motorsports opened. Sadly, a recent outbreak of the Shingles was making sleep difficult so when I rolled-out of the driveway at 2:30am I’d basically been up since 5:00am on Thursday, about 19.5 hours ago. Thankfully, I’ve been well-served by the ‘Extra Strength’ 5-hour Energy shot with its 242 milligrams of caffeine, a little less than you’ll find in a large cup of Starbucks coffee but about 5x as much as I get from a single 12oz can of Diet Coke. It took two of the little shots to get me through the night without getting drowsy as the first one began to wear thin around 5:00am.
I arrived at Crystal Motorsports around 8:50am and found the new Blue in their showroom. After a good going over I concluded that while she wasn’t quite in “In the Wrapper” condition as described by Brent, she looked pretty good. The things that jumped out at me as slight flaws included:
- A small blemish in the clear coat on the right side of the gas tank. It wasn’t easy to see but in fluorescent lighting it did jump out at me. Strangely, it seemed to be under the clear coat. I may try to buff it out but if it’s under the clear then it will just be something I’ll live with.
- The exhaust system had two different baffles installed in the exhaust cans: one with a 3.75″ long tail pipe extension and the other with a 1″ extension: their internals were different as well. I’d already confirmed the bike was traded-in with Vance & Hines Long Radius pipes installed (below left) and then refitted with the stock exhaust (below right). So, it was a bit bothersome since it was kind of cheap-screw fix by Crystal Motor Co, that owns at least one if not two Harley-Davidson dealerships. But, the exhaust will be changed over to a Fullsac system so it’s kind of a non-issue.
- The amplifier in the left saddle bag was no longer attached to the bag, the adhesive strips having given way at some point. An easy fix with some 3M 30 lb double-sided adhesive. There also appeared to be evidence of water having collected in the saddlebags which would require further investigation.
- The headlight seemed to have a series of symmetric lines running through a haze inside the lens, which was also weird. I’d have to do some homework on how best to go about cleaning that out. Part of me wants to say just pour in some denatured alcohol, swish it around and then let it air dry. I’m pretty sure that won’t leave any water spots or residue, but I’ll need to check on that.
- Although not a blemish, the cold fusion paint graphics on Blue II were a bit different from Blue I. Given that each CVO bike has a custom-painted set of tins, that’s not really unusual. We saw it on a number of different Blue & Burgundy Red 2013 Road King CVO’s. Whereas Blue I had a very clean set of graphics with just blotches of color, the Blue II scheme also had random patches of a mesh thrown in to the mix. It’s not ‘bad’ just different and will take some time to adjust to as I have a different mental picture of what I’m expecting to see having been looking at our Blue’s paint scheme for the past 2 years.
I hemmed and hawed a bit… well, OK. I spent a good two hours debating whether I should close on this deal at $21,000 or pass on the bike and hope I would be able to find another low-mileage bike in better condition for similar money. I ultimately decided this would be good enough; after all Blue had nearly 18k miles and this one only had 2.4k miles. So, the most important part of the machine — the engine and drive train — were barely broken in. It took another hour to process all of the Florida paperwork before I handed over the check and loaded Blue II on to David’s trailer for the 420 mile drive home to Georgia.
On the way home a couple of things came up or came to mind that may have suggested I jumped the gun and should have passed on the purchase and sucked up the 850 mile trip and lost day. I learned from GEICO that their client’s insurance was insufficient to cover the property loss on Blue’s assessed value, so the property part of the claim was being transferred to State Farm. Yes, that meant Blue hadn’t, in fact, been officially totaled so I now owned two 2013 CVO Road Kings. I’ve been with State Farm for nearly 40 years, but I wasn’t feeling as comfortable or in as good of a negotiating position on property value now that the claim was falling on my own collision / uninsured motorist policy. Could State Farm decide to fix the bike? Yes, they could. That would be awkward.
The drive home was actually quite lovely for the most part. Florida was having unseasonably warm, 90°F temps and treated to beautiful blue skies with puffy white clouds. I’d definitely gotten my second wind and was very much awake so no need for the 5-hour Energy Shots. As I got closer to Atlanta I could see on radar that it was raining and raining hard in some places. My late departure from Florida was also putting me in Atlanta during rush hour so I’d be doing my best to dodge the traffic using a couple of side-road short cuts. I did in fact end up running through a couple heavy rain storms, and I do mean heavy: it was fast-wiper heavy.
I rolled into the driveway around 6:30pm and quickly pulled Blue II off the trailer, put her in the garage and then put the trailer in the middle bay so I could grab my sweetie and head off to dinner at Loco Willy’s. I definitely needed some food and a margarita having now been up for 37.5 hours of which the last 13 hours were spent behind the wheel. The lovely Miss Debbie had a surprise for me when she wandered out into the garage to welcome me home: let’s just say she was a sight for sore eyes!! I’m truly a blessed person when it comes to the people I have in my life!!
Friday night turned out to be a bit of a party. In addition to our partners in crime — David & Deb — being on hand at Loco’s, we were joined a short time later by our friends Jeff and Sharon and Bobby and Carrie Ann. We moved to a table and had a wonderful time enjoying great good and good friends. After that we headed over to the Beer Barrel for a while before heading back home around 11:00pm. 42 hours and I was ready for bed!!
I was up at 6:00am on Saturday, just in time to take the meds for my Shingles. I knocked out a little work and then just tried to stay out of Debbie’s hair so she could continue to get some much needed sleep. She’s still on the mend and sporting a very sore rib at this point, so plenty of rest remains the order of the day.
Around 10:00am we headed over to our friends Ryan & Jeanette’s for the Monthly Breakfast Club gathering of friends. It was a great way to start a rainy Saturday: surrounded by great people and enjoying a wonderful meal. I was a bit fatigued from my 42 hour day and the Shingles thing, so probably not the life of the party. However, Ryan did his best to give me a jump start; always good to know when someone’s got your back! Jeanette at left, below. Ryan at center in photo at right. Me making my way through the fantastic buffet line. Just a great time and something we’ll have to do here at the house before too long.
After brunch I spent a little time fiddling with the Blue II. The only new discovery was that a lot of water had gotten into both saddle bags during the trip through rain storms on Friday afternoon. I pulled the speakers out of the bags and filled them with water: sure enough, water was leaking through the membranes so that was most likely the source of the water in the bags. I’ll need to recheck the bag lid gaskets after getting the speakers sorted out to make sure they’re not a contributing factor as well. Blue I has started to be less than water tight so this isn’t necessarily a unique problem to Blue II which while having far less miles is actually an older bike by 9 months.
With State Farm now stepping into the property claims process, I’m very tempted to request access to Blue I again. I’d like to recover the owner’s manual (this bike didn’t come with any of the bits and pieces that come with a CVO or its manual), my right-hand Motolight, do a swap-out of the speakers as I’m pretty sure ours were not leaking as badly, swap out the headlight enclosure and if I’m not getting any $$ credit for it, I’d also like to pull the Fullsac system out. So, we’ll have to have that discussion Monday. Ideally, I’d be able to “borrow” the bike for a few hours and then return it so that I could do my work in the comfort of my garage and do the direct swap of parts, bike-to-bike. Fingers crossed, that will work out. After all, I still own Blue I, so it’s not State Farm’s property.
The last wild card is the option to purchase back Blue I from salvage for $6,000. Yup, that’s what she’s purportedly worth as a salvage. Not sure I want the hassle and also not sure if I’d really be able to get that much for all of the parts. Wheels with tires seem to go for about $400 – $800. The 110″ motors aren’t as valuable as they once were so maybe $2,000 and, well… there you go. Getting to break even would be a challenge.
It was yet another rainy day in Georgia, the 11th in a row. We had a quiet morning here at the house doing a little housework, laundry and doing some quality time with Blue II.
However, before getting too deep into it we took a quick trip over to Loco Willy’s for our weekly hot wings fix. It was really nice to feel almost normal for the first time since October 16th. Debbie’s still being bothered by a sore rib, but that’s about all she’s sharing in terms of aches and pains. I suspect there are others that she’s either not talking about. Me, I’ve still got a tight back and the Shingles are a bit of a bother but all of the discomfort is being handled by Motrin & Aleve.
Blue II got a wash with Dawn dishwashing detergent, followed by compounding and then the Zaino treatment: sealer, polish and then top seal. This gave me a chance to put my hands on just about every exposed part of the bike so that I know what I have. The paint is actually in excellent shape, as are the saddles and the chrome. The only funky stuff are those leaky saddlebag speakers, the haze in the headlight and the exhaust system / engine tune.
As I said earlier, hopefully I’ll be able to bring Blue I home for a few hours so I can swap out a few more parts with Blue II. My goal is to have Blue II ready for the road by December, to include having the title in hand from Florida so I can get her registered and tagged. Right now it’s a bit of an odd situation since Blue I has not yet been written off. That makes it kind of hard to transfer the insurance to the Blue II and until I do that I won’t be taking her on the road. It also means I can’t take her over to Harley-Davidson of Atlanta for the engine tune since David wouldn’t be able to road test her before and after the tune, which is standard protocol.
Of course, if State Farm decides to fix Blue, things will really get interesting. Oh the joy; what the hell did we do to deserve all of this aggravation and hassle.