Shift Linkage Doohicky Be Broke

So in my last few miles on Tuesday, I found myself stuck in 3rd gear, because my Shift Linkage broke.

I found myself having to take stop and take off in 3rd gear, which I’m not sure is good for the bike. Even worse, once I got to the hotel parking lot, I had to turn off the bike while in 3rd gear, knowing I wouldn’t be able to start the bike again, since it only starts while in Neutral. Once I got to my room I started to look for the nearest Harley-Davidson shop, turned out to be Rock City Harley-Davidson in Little Rock, AK.

I got up early and called them once they opened to ask for a tow. At the very least I didn’t want to hang around the hotel after checking out. They picked up me and the bike by 0930. Spent the next couple hours trying to source the required replacement Shift Linkage, but amazingly nobody within a 100 mile radius had the part we needed. Wow, and this is a 2017 Street Bob!

Spent all morning looking, and by afternoon I started to wonder if it could be that the bike I planned to buy next Summer might in fact be bought today? I’ve been planning on getting a 2019 Road Glide, base model plus ABS and Navigation options. I promised myself I would wait two years to see if I really enjoyed motorcycling. I figured if I rode 6,000 miles per year, I’m serious. Well after 2 years later I have more than 33,000 miles, even though I only tracked 32,020 miles using Fuelly.

A salesman walked over and asked what if I had a specific model in mind. I told him I wasn’t ready to buy, was only there for a mechanical issue. Plus, it didn’t look like they had what I wanted in stock. Would you believe he took me to the storage area and there it was. 2019 Road Glide, in Vivid Black, with ABS and Navigation, with 4 miles on the odometer.

Wow. Really? Did I wobble into the Twilight Zone? Arc Murphy? Perfect Storm?

I took some time to reflect on things. I’m already past the 2 year mark. I’ve already proven to LOVE motorcycling. It was at that moment I knew I was going to buy it, and we started what turned into a 3 hour negotiation. I’m quite an effective negotiator, and after the first round, they figured that out. So they knew they had to make some miracles happen.

They knocked $1K off the base price, and extended the warranty to cover 4 years. That was a good start. I was able parlay and get an OEM sissy bar and docking kit, and nut protectors (is that what they’re called?). The financing contract gave me $2K of wiggle room for any upgrades. I was able to get the Stage 1 upgrade, grips, windshield pouch, and LED signal/brake lights. They squeezed that all into the negotiated price plus $2K.

When the time came to sign the paperwork, I did what I normally do, got GAP coverage ($5K), Theft coverage ($1,500), paint/chrome/finishing repairs ($5K), not to mention the 2yr additional warranty that was already thrown in during initial negotiation. I’m glad I spent several hours negotiating, what I didn’t tell them was I had the local FL shop on the phone trying to match things…they tossed in the towel early. 🙂

So tomorrow I pick up the 2019 Road King, and spend the next few days riding home. I’m cancelling the Tail Of The Dragon leg of this trip. I need to spend a few months getting acclimated to the new bike before taking on that monster. Then in the Fall I’ll plan a week long trip just to go there. By then I’ll be used to the bike’s handling. #safetyFirst

A few buddies asked “Why Road Glide?” Because Harley-Davidson invested a significant amount of time and effort doing wind tunnel testing to give that model the best wind protection. Frame mounted fairing to handle cross winds and lighten steering effort, and provide a significantly bigger vacuum envelope for the rider.

So the decision was made purely based on comfort and control, which combined makes riding safer and more fun. It took months of research and testing the different models on the highway, very happy to have taken the leap, and to have picked this model.

Once I get home, I’ll have an idea which of my planned tweaks to hit first from the list, sizes of stuff pending:

To the lucky person who buys Sucio, many happy miles…the sun sets on her…

No route today.