Changing of the Guard

New Tiger getting kitted up July 2014

Well it finally happened. After more than 65,000 kms and 8 cross continental voyages in four years we finally had a mechanical problem with the Tiger 1050 SE! Laura and I were on our way back towards Ottawa from Quebec City. A spectacular ride down the St Lawrence on the old Highway 138. It was the day before Canada Day and the history and farming communities slowly passed by as we meandered Southwest. Laura had been snapping pictures of historic Catholic, Anglican and Presbyterian churches dating back to 1600s.

As we moved past Trois Rivieres and on our way to Gatineau the GPS kicked off its power source and started to use its own battery. I thought this was odd at the time but figured the socket might need adjustment at the next gas/pee break. Well I was wrong and this was a little foreshadowing rather than a plug adjustment. 10 minutes later in the very rural Quebec we lost all power on the Tiger. Centre stand and tools along the roadside drew the attention of a very kind Goldwing rider with solid english language skills. (This will be a recurring theme in this post as our high school French is sorrily lacking! My Spanish is now far better than my French currently. We are in the process of correcting this with a course or two this winter.) After I went through my electrical checklist we all determined that the stator was no longer charging the battery. CAA and flat bed tow truck was the next stop on my problem solving mental list.

As we waved goodbye to the Goldwing and waited for the flatbed we then had to decide where to take the bike and ourselves. The closest Triumph dealer was 120 kms west in Laval near Montreal. Unfortunately, with our limited French and even more lacking English from locals, we ended up back tracking to a Victory/KTM Dealer in Trois Rivieres. The next 6 hours were spent with the very caring staff at Moto Sport 4 Seasons. The language barrier was somewhat broken by the service shop manager who tried his very best to have mechanic determine exactly the issue. The end result was that nothing could be done because the stator was not charging the system.

We cancelled our hotel in Ottawa and booked a night at the Delta in Trois Rivieres. We had a couple options at this point; leave the bike for a week while the shop here ordered and replaced parts, get a truck and haul bike back to Toronto or have someone else ship it for us. After a nice walk around town and a big plate of meat for dinner we did some mental math. The math included both time and dollars and we quickly determined that a UHaul was the most cost effective way to get all of this done. Canada Day (yes,  even in rural Quebec they take the holiday) and language problems prompted me to do an online booking with UHaul. (I am very impressed with the whole online and electronic communications of this part of the story) Another night at the Delta and a couple emails to work allowed us another travel day to get around the national holiday.

Picked up the 14 foot panel van at 8:30 am and had the Tiger loaded up and on the road by 9:30! We drove through Montreal before noon and pulled into GP Bikes before 5 pm. We had called the service crew at GP early that morning and had given everyone the heads up. All in all it worked out just as it should and other than time and money nothing was really lost. I am actually grateful for this experience now that we have passed through the process. Our friend Andrew bought the Tiger 1050 and I am glad that we discovered this before he started enjoying his new ride and we needed to be put to a little test. It was not how we wanted to end our loop but then again sometimes I need to be reminded that I am not one running this show….

Goodbye and take care of Andrew

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