So, we’re just a week away from heading down to Key West from Atlanta on Blue II, our Harley-Davidson Road King touring bike. We made the same trip last year, but on Blue I… our tried and true / owned since it was new Road King. Blue I had a good two years & 15,000 miles under her skirt with us and I knew every little quirk, rattle and blip that she made.
Blue II has only been with us since November and we’ve only added 2,700 miles to the 2,400 that were on the odometer when I brought her home. Of course, she remained “grounded” until mid-December awaiting delivery of an exhaust system, getting some time on the Dyno with David at Harley-Davidson of Atlanta (HDA). Since then, we’ve had a lot of rainy weekends, no day trips and just the two rides down to Florida for Bike Week at Daytona in March and Thunder Beach at Panama City Beach in May.
Given that limited time / mileage together, I’m still not fully in sync with Blue II. She seems to run a bit more rough than Blue I did and of late there have been three instances where she didn’t want to start right up, the most recent being on Sunday morning. She’s also stalled-out on me a couple of times while out riding, usually while idling through a right or left hand turn: thank goodness motorcycles don’t have power steering! She’s also sputtered and coughed a few times right after start-up and as we’ve headed out from the house.
Needless to say, after Sunday’s hard-to-start episode I sent off an Email to my awesome service advisor, Kelly, at HDA and asked if she could find some white space on David’s schedule for a drive-by check of the air/fuel settings on Blue II, and a general look-see at how the bike was running. I should note, HDA is closed on Sundays and Mondays so I really didn’t expect to hear back from Kelly until Tuesday after they opened at 9:00am.
Well, right at 8:30am I received an Email from Kelly! She slotted me in on Thursday afternoon at 2:00pm and by slotting me in, she’s an angel! David’s been out on vacation for the past couple weeks and comes back to work on Wednesday. His schedule is slammed for the next two weeks, but God love her… she’s got my back. And when I say Kelly has my back, it’s really the entire staff at HDA. Her partner Ray is awesome too, as are the guys & gals in every department at HDA, and it all flows from owners Eddie Houghton and Jeff Eubanks. Everyone at HDA makes you feel like you’re a valued customer every time to come in, and that’s HUGE!
So, I’m cautiously optimistic that David will either give Blue II a clean bill of health and chalk up the funky performance to a bad tank of gas that’s still working its way through the bike and CPU or a minor air/fuel mix issue. If it’s something bigger than that, I’ve got my Extended Service Plan and am not afraid to use it…. and have also had my eye on the water-cooled Road Glides! Not sure a road trip to Key West is the best way to break in a new bike, but I’d be willing to give it a shot!
Again, one way or another, we’ll be leaving for Key West on Saturday riding a Harley! Here’s hoping it’s our almost beloved Blue II, but I’m not beyond calling an audible if I need to!