My 2002 Concours broke down in July. It happened in the parking garage after a long day at work. I started her up, and immediately heard a deep knocking noise right behind the front tire. I shut down and called a tow truck. The mechanic’s diagnosis was a broken rod in cylinder #1. I got an estimate for an engine rebuild, but the cost would have been more than the bike was worth. Logic, and the mechanic, suggested that I cut my losses, but logic and motorcycles are sometimes like oil and water. They don’t mix well.
There were a few days when I was tempted to try to do the repair myself. I thought, “This is a good opportunity to get to know and understand how this (and other) motorcycles work.” There was a local Concours rider who even offered to help me tear the engine apart, repair it and rebuild the bike. He thought we could have it back on the road for a couple thousand dollars. I created a parts list and had everything priced and ready to order. All I had to do was pull out my credit card. Meanwhile, the precious days of summer were rolling by. Every sunny morning mocked me as I rode the bus to work.
My wife is the realist in the family. She got wind of my repair ideas. We talked about what it would take to rebuild the engine. We talked about the mess the garage would become for who knows how long. Eventually she talked me off the cliff. It helped that she was onboard with getting a new motorcycle. So, with a heavy heart I let Connie go. I called the local Concours rider who’d offered to help with the rebuild. I asked him if he’d like to take my broken bike, and he said yes. We loaded Connie onto his flatbed trailer that night. I consoled myself by thinking that Connie might have a few more miles left in her if he could get her running again. That helped a little, but I felt deeply defeated as I watched his truck and my motorcycle disappear in the distance. A lot of bus riding was in my immediate future.