Circle W Photography and other interests

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I got some great new yesterday

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Yesterday while I was busy preparing things for the move to Alamogordo I received a call from Jack, the service manager for Thunderbird HD here in Albuquerque.

A little history first. Back in June, I was busy running around taking taking care of things to get ready for shooting SASS’s EOT. Instead of moving the camper from Enchanted Trails and dry camping at the ranch for the week, I planned to stage my gear at the ranch with friends and only take the truck with the gear on the first day, warmup day for each match.

To start off with I planned to take the truck over with my Wild Bunch gear and my scooter/gun cart over on the WB warmup day shoot the warmup, stage my gear with a friend, bring the truck home. Nthen during the WB match ride the bike across the mountian each day. Then take the truck back over on the side match day shoot the side matches, pick up the WB gear and stage the Cowboy gear for that match. The ride the bike until the last day of the match. Then bring home all the gear. So IIRC (If I Remember Correctly) that may require me to drive the truck three days sand the bike five or six days.

As I was scheduling the bike for some prevented maintenance at Thunderbird for the week following EOT I went to leave an the oil light came on and the bike wasn’t running right so I pulled a U -Turn and back to the dealer. Well it looks like the problem that I was scheduling the bike to be repaired broke a week and a feedays early. Bad luck.

Well, it was closing time and the match stated the ext day. I eft the bike, called for a ride home and left the bike at Thubderbird. Jack, called me the next day a confirmed the suspensions that we had the previous day. The timing chain tensioner was severely worn and the chain took out the oil pump. And on a air cooled motor no oil is a very bad thing. It sounded like there was a knock in the lower end. The motor has around 35K miles on it. A little early for such things to wear out. I was aware that some motors were in need of rebuilding at 45K-60K. And was thinking I would tear it down replace the wore parts ad put it back together. I do have over a decade of aircraft maintenance experience and the shop manual. But when the knock occurred I felt it was above my abilities. So I got a quote for the repair.

The bill was for taking the motor out sending it to HD in Milwaukee. Have them tear it down. And rebuild it. Ship it back. And have Thunderbird reinstall it. This would give me a one year warranty on the motor and basically a new motor. This sounded great. I got Athens quote nd my jaw dropped. $3800 give or take depending if they found anything else wrong when they took it out.
I don’t have that laying around and ask if it would be ok to leave the bike there in the mean time. The answer was yes. I ask if there would be a fee for keeping the bike until if could come up with the money, no. So the bike has been there since June. I stopped by to put somea couple hounded down and start send some money every chance I could and was told that that wasn’t enough to to open a ticket it would take $2700. I didn’t have that much and have been thinking how to get that much money on my fixed income. nothing was coming to mind short or refinancing my house or selling some stuff.

Well, back to the future or actually yesterday. Jack called from Thunderbird HD and they ran the VIN from the bike and found out that I have an extended warranty until 2015.. And the repair job is only going to cost me $50. Yee ha,problem solved. If possible I have a policy of purchasing extended warrenties for high end items like laptops and vehicles. With my luck they pay off. But I forgot that i got one for the bike since I got it used. And hadn’t needed it I the year I had the bike.

So, I am very happy. I things go right I might have it back before I head to Arizona in few weeks.
I will request that they upgrade the tensioners to the better hydrollyic ones. And serif any other parts need to be upgraded to give the motor a better chance to make 100Kbefore need to be torn down again.

That’s it for today and here is a shot of me on it last year in Atlanta during one off there colder days.

20120105-075207.jpg

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Written by circlew

January 5, 2012 at 7:51 am

One Response

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  1. Update: cross your fingers & toes. I just got off the phone with Jack @ Thunderbird HD. Once they see what the total damage is it might have to go back and be refurbished and that woul give me a one year factory warranty.

    Michael White

    January 5, 2012 at 11:04 am


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