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Wasps Hate Me.

September 11, 2011

The weekend comes a day early when one resides on the other side of the dateline.

Mike Cassidy, who graciously puts up with my weirdness in exchange for kernels of mechanical wisdom, offered up his garage for the weekend so that I may work on the bike.  I was pretty jacked; packed up my tools (and I have a LOT of tools for someone living “temporarily” on a Pacific island) and ran them over to his house Friday evening.

Mike and his lovely wife Sharon live in a gorgeous spot near one of the high points of the island, on a golf course with ocean overlooks, no less.  Downside is it’s a half hour away – like traversing a couple of time zones on an island.  In any case, the tools made it there and I fell asleep dreaming of a long day of making the bike look pristine.  Built a work plan in my head which couldn’t be beat.

Which all fell apart around 1:00 AM that morning.

We live near Matapang Beach, and the local kids like to achieve state of  “WHOO!” in the parking lot directly beneath our apartment.  If you live in Key West, state of “WHOO!” is instantly recognizable – it’s the level of drunkeness one must achieve to raise a wobbly Bud Lite in the air and scream “WHOO!” from the top of one’s lungs.

I can’t show you a photo of it, as it’s dark.  I’m pretty sure the population increases nine months later when a bunch of kids get together and achieve WHOO! here.

If it starts on a weekend,  it goes until dawn, which it did last night.


Once up, I checked email and phone mail.  Emily’s email account had been hacked, and some Canadian Pharmacy thingie was sending everyone and their half-brother emails re: cut rate drugs.  I was groggy, but fielded a call indicating we’d received an unasked for credit card.


One more thing to chase down.

Early morning came and went, as phone service was poor on the island morning; couldn’t easily access voicemails.  The power went out, too – a subject for yet another island story.

7:30 became 8:30, 8:30 became 9:30.

Finally suited up and went to the bike…

Dead battery.

This is a mid 80’s bike with a Euro spec Park setting in its ignition.  I guess the All Gear All The Time (AGATT) crowd is not satisfied with armoring up, one must operate their tail light and license lamp when parking on the street so a drunk-ass German may see what he’s plowing into at 4:00 AM upon achieving state of “WHOO!”

I kid.

I doubt Germans ever achieve much more than a very quiet, “jaaah”.

Anyway, this 25 year old Euro-spec ignition arbitrarily decides to cycle from “LOCK” to “PARK” in the middle of the night, thus draining the contents of the battery.


Up nine floors to fetch a charger, down nine floors sweating like a pig in AGATT gear (I suspect there’s an AGATT conspiracy somewhere suppressing stats on death by motorcyclist heat stroke) to retrieve and install a battery charger.

I leave the parking lot 2-1/2 hours late.

If you know me or my father, neither of us are in what we’d call a jovial mood when our schedules are delayed by such things.

I get to Mike’s place late and commence stripping down the pig.

10:30 AM mind you.

The exhaust looks different on account of I pulled the “Purple Rain” muffler cans and replaced them with a pair of 7″ rolled chrome tips.  The resonator adds enough static pressure to keep the carbs happy, and the motor sounds much more fierce than it actually is.  I like it.

2-1/2 hours later, the bike was stripped to here:

The rags are the functional equivalent of closing the barn door after the horse has run away.  Why?

Well, you see…Wasps hate me.

No sooner had I tapped loose the cam cover on the front cylinder, a winged terrorist operative cut loose a hidden sleeper cell nest, allowing what felt all the world like a half-pound of sand, grit and gravel to enter the engine’s innards.  Anyone familiar with reciprocating engines can tell you a bucket of gravel dumped on an exposed internal combustion cam and valve train is Certain Death in 20 minutes or less.  This is the Pheebs equivalent of eating a cheese pizza, washed down by a chocolate malt and topped off by a big honking’ slice of cheesecake.

The engine was toast on Mike’s garage floor at 10:40 AM.  I’d planned on being at the point in the pix at 11:00 on my revised schedule – Nope.

I was sick to my stomach.  New iron to me – dead on arrival.  It’s not enough that an angry wasp may chase me down and put me in a hospital, or that a half dozen vespids in tight formation  may send me to an early grave – Noo!  They gotta mess with my mechanical stuff, too!  I organized a recovery plan involving jamming rags into the depths of the motor, removing the camshaft and valve train, and spent the next two hours with a tiny artists’ brush and two cans of carburetor cleaner removing every last particle of grit I could find.


Eventually, the carb cleaner revealed no more grit, and I was able to move on to the task at hand – painting grotty alloy bits.


I was able to get the tail section painted, along with the cam covers and the right side engine case.  A couple of small plastic pieces were painted , too, making the bike even more presentable than it was before.

Note the omnipresent charger lashed to the seat.

Still haven’t painted the side stand, center stand, final drive, engine or right side case along with wheel centers.  Only about half of what was intended for completion was finished today, due to fricking terrorist wasps who hate my guts.

I found three more nests, by the way, and it was with great pleasure I eviscerated the little bastards.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2011 10:03 am

    It is this kind of terrorist activity that makes me glad I armed Dangerboy with a stash of EpiPens. But Pixie doesn’t like the risk of a terrorist attack when Super Pixie is not available to rescue Dangerboy!!! The world is never safe:(

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      September 11, 2011 6:08 pm

      What’s an EpiPen?

  2. September 11, 2011 11:29 pm

    Heh, “state of WHOO!” I’m going to go for that next weekend, sounds like a blast.

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      September 11, 2011 11:36 pm

      State of “WHOO!” is okay of you’re young and want to get a little wild and loose – but – it sure hurts the next day.

      Stay hydrated and keep an eye on your drink. There are guys who are dying to take advantage of a girl in a state of “WHOO!”

      Older and wiser (and more than a little bit German).

  3. September 14, 2011 12:04 am

    found it!
    i think the bike looks nice.
    and cheaper than a cbr250.

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      September 14, 2011 1:26 am


      Was starting to wonder if you were in the same category as the wasps…

  4. September 15, 2011 4:41 am

    I just couldn’t resist taking a peek. I don’t recall any sleeper terrorists… maybe they recently moved in. 🙂 .

    That pig is looking more beautiful that is for sure. My gut says I should have kept her :*(

    I’m glad she is in good hands!

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      September 15, 2011 2:29 pm

      Jim – Glad you like it!

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