Woke considerably refreshed and decided to get to work straight away. Drilled out the two rear bolts on the screen mount and replaced them with a couple of stainless numbers from Jeff’s ‘come-in-handy’ tin.
Re-examined the heat damage – it seems to be limited to the bag liner (which is still probably useable), the Gerbing jacket and the mouse – everything else will go into the wash and (hopefully) lose the smell of scorched plastic. After sorting the bike and some Emails out, I join Keri and Jeff for lunch at the Highlander Bar & Restaurant. By some trick of the light, Jeff appears much shorter than me in this picture.....
Jeff then takes me to A&W Mufflers, where I meet the proprietor, Steve Davis (no relation). He has a gruff and dry manner – ‘Yer not from rowend here, are ye, fellah?’ – but we get on very well.
He looks at the problem, explains how he intends to fix it and then gets to work. I’m there for 2 ½ hours or so, during which time Steve works on the exhaust, smokes interminable cigarettes and discusses music (they have both sorts here, Country and
Western), cars (he drives an MG Midget) and traffic in London (he’s recently come back from a QE2 cruise to Southampton, flying back from Heathrow).
I also chat with his business partner, Danny, who has a Mach 1 Mustang that, shall we say, isn’t subtly customized.
He’s had the car for about 25 yrs and has a sign in the window saying ‘This car is not for sale’, as he gets asked so much. Danny’s also fine-tuning a model car which runs on a nitrous mix, revs to 40k rpm and will do 45-50mph.
These blokes are serious about their toys. Another customer turns up in a new Mustang Cobra.
This car develops 390 bhp. He’s in to get a new exhaust system fitted to increase the power……..
Steve removes the end cap from my standard can, angle cuts a piece of pipe to fit, welds the pipe to the can, flares the hole on the end cap, then sprays the end can, pipe and weld with high-temp paint.
I run the engine – it sounds great and the pipe now protrudes just aft of the number plate, ensuring the efflux is kept clear of any part of the bike. Total cost of this neat and expertly executed piece of engineering? $20. Amazing! Twelve quid!
I ride back to Jeff and Keri’s, where we barbeque steaks and agree to go out for a ride at about 1900. The evening is beautiful, with a full moon and warm breeze. Jeff leads me through an hour and a half of windy country roads, before returning home via local sights including the Daytona Speedway racetrack. On our return I check the temperature of the left pannier - cool as a cucumber - Steve's fix has worked perfectly :)
A shower and a quiet beer (and bullshitting session, natch) and it’s time to post the latest journal entry (I’m only about 24hrs behind at the moment), before turning in. Tomorrow probably won’t be too exciting – chores to do…..:(