25.08.16 Stewart, British Columbia to Telkwa, British Columbia
After idling away our time looking for the bears yesterday, we made our way back across the huge divide of three miles between the U.S and Canada that we had travelled.
Prior to that, we had tried to visit Salmon Glacier along the unmade road through Tongass National Forest, but only made it a couple of miles up the gravel before deciding to turn around. What with the rigidity of the sidecar and the shaking up of the bike, it was only making for a very unpleasant experience.
Anyway, we pulled into our spot (luckily at the front of the queue) to be checked back into Canada at Canadian Customs- and as we did the bike shuddered to a stop. When we had been checked in, the officer said we could move off again, and Paul began to try and start the bike, again, and again, and again. It just did not happen, there was nothing.
So, we decided to pull to the side, around the back of the customs building, in the shade, so Paul pushed the outfit there. Paul then proceeded to have a look through all obvious areas, and I suggested perhaps it was out of fuel, even though the fuel guage didn’t read empty. Paul poured some fuel in from one of our cans, and yes! The bike fired up, but oh, hang on,no! it stalled again on revving. It was at this point that Paul started to mention the Generator and Regulator Rectifier again. This was an issue our bike had previously, on two occasions, where the Generator overheats and burns out, thus not making electricity required to repower the battery as we ride along. In actual fact, Paul had a Generator re-wound before we left, and it is waiting to be sent out if required. Not much good when we actually needed it right there and then.
Anyway, we also carry a fully charged jumppack, which we were able to use to jumpstart the battery, and then Paul rode those three miles back into town, in second gear keeping the revs high to try and keep going. Just as we arrive into town, who should step out into the road with his hand up but a Canadian Mounted Policeman (no, he wasn’t on a horse), who proceeded to tell Paul that he was riding at 43 kilometres per hour in a 30 kilometres per hour zone! Luckily, he was lenient and kind, and could hear we were struggling, so he sent us on our way to the local garage. By the time we reached there, most of the lights and electronics were failing.
At the garage we decided we would make use of our GS-911 gadget that plugs into the bike’s ‘brain’ and can read fault codes, and print these to a laptop. I returned to the hotel for the laptop, and off we went. The readings confirmed to us that the battery wasn’t making enough power and that the fuel pump couldn’t work because of that. Paul had also bought a volt meter to measure the battery, locally, which confirmed the same thing.
We jump started the bike again, before heading back to the hotel, to think.
We already have the bike booked in for a service with our mate Bernie, at Island BMW on Vancouver Island, on 2nd September, just over a week (and 975 miles) away. Paul and I met Bernie last year, in Morocco, when he was a mechanic for Desert Rose, and Patsy. He’s a great guy, and super knowledgeable about anything bikes.
As we are actually all on the same time zone, Paul decided to wifi call Bernie. Bernie immediately talked Paul through some checks he could carry out, and came up with the great solution of buying a battery charger along with a car battery ,with the battery to attach to the bike somehow. The idea being a car battery is larger and should therefore last longer before becoming flat. We could then use the charger to recharge the battery each evening.
Paul went back to the garage this morning, and a very great guy called Darryl was able to implement all of this, and the picture attached is the result.
We set off about 12pm finally, with fingers crossed, and Bear Spray in hand (in case of breakdown in the ‘bear corridor’), and the bike rode like a dream all the way. By this time Paul had started the engine four times, and it didn’t miss a beat.
Therefore in our motel tonight, we have the battery charger and battery in situ with us.