Saturday, August 20, 2011

Motorcycles and Occam's Razor.

So, I was driving home from the park today on my bike. It was after sunset, the highway was pitch black, and I was following my wife. Then my engine starts jerking and losing power for a few seconds. Then it starts happening more frequently. Then it dies.

My first instinct was to look at the trip meter. I don't have a fuel gauge, so I have to keep track of mileage so that I know approximately when to stop for gas. My trip meter only read 108 miles, and I have done a bit over 120 before stopping for gas, so I thought that was clearly not the problem.

So, there I am, on a dark country highway with a bike that will not start. I tried setting the choke and it started for a second and then died again. I pulled out my handy Streamlight flashlight and started checking the plugs and the wire connections. My wife called and I was explaining to her what happened when it dawned on me:

I. Am. Retarded.

On my last long trip, I forgot to reset the trip meter after getting gas about 40 miles from home. Instead of the 108 miles I thought I had driven on that tank of gas, it was 148 miles. My gas tank only holds 2.5 gallons, so the fuel level had dropped below the normal feeding line. Had I not forgotten to reset the meter, I would have felt the sputter, looked at the meter, and automatically switched to the fuel reserve until I hit a gas station. Instead I spent a good ten minutes panicked on the side of the road.


So, the lesson for today, kiddies, is to ALWAYS RESET THE &*^%ING TRIP METER!