Re: No new smart motorways
Posted by Lannis on April 20, 2021, 6:00 pm, in reply to "Re: No new smart motorways"
I have a motorway story (mildly related to this and certainly motorcycle related) from 1975. |
I was returning to my college on the return leg of my weekly 240 mile circuit to see Fay each weekend at her college. I was on my hand-shift 1954 Harley FLE Hydraglide, and I was riding North up Interstate 81 in Virginia, which is a heavily travelled road but with nice wide hard shoulders.
Just riding along about 65 MPH, when suddenly there was an almighty clatter from the primary case, the engine raced up, and forward impulse failed.
I coasted to the shoulder, well off the traffic lane, put it on the rear stand, got out my fairly extensive tool kit (although I only needed a screwdriver and water-pump pliers in this case), and twiddled the 16 cheese-head screws out of the primary case.
Found that it was Previous Mechanic Error - the big central nut holding the clutch assembly on the transmission mainshaft had come loose due to the tab locknut being used one too many times and the tab fracturing off. (I was the previous mechanic, by the way).
As I was looking at it and assessing damage, a police cruiser parked up behind me. "What's the trouble?" sez the bronze. "My clutch fell off the gearbox" sez I. "I'll call a tow truck for you" he said helpfully. "I don't think I'll need it - nothing broke, it just came loose; I can put it back together." I said, knowing that I had nothing even CLOSE to a towing fee in my pocket, and there were no credit cards in those days, at least not for broke-d**k college students.
He looked at me and my lap full of screws and clutch plates and opined "Son, I appreciate your situation, but I cannot let you sit here and rebuild your bike on the side of the Interstate. I'm going North to the next exit, turning around and going up the other lane, then coming back down here via the next exit, and if you're not gone when I get here, I'm calling the tow truck and you can sort out how to pay him from somewhere else, not here ..."
Well, this was all fair enough - he had a point about the dangers of my position, and gave me an option (which he never thought I'd be able to take!).
I knew I had about 10 minutes, so I eased all the clutch plates back in, in the right order, got the pressure plate back in place, cranked down the nut as hard as I could with the big pliers (I call them water-pump pliers, some call them Channel-Locks, not sure what you call them). I saw him go up the other side of the highway about the time I picked up the pressure plate ... Then I twiddled all the primary screws back in hard enough to stay, adjusted the pushrod by-guess-and-by-God and when he pulled back behind me, I was on the kickstarter, off the stand, and waving goodbye. He waved too .... Held together the 100 miles home.
Someday I'm going to talk myself into another one of those bikes.