Angi the Biker Chick

Wednesday, November 15, 2006
  Let the Lovin begin!
So toward the end of our ride to Oak Glen a few weeks ago, Scott brought up that the Love Ride was in a few weeks. He asked if T and I wanted to go. I declined at the time because I was to leave the week after to go to NY for Thanksgiving.

Anyway, long story short, I ended up going on the Love Ride!

I road up to Scott's at the freezing early hour of 6:00. We met up with a friend of his and then road over to another friends house. We met up with 3 other bikes (bikers and riders) there for a total of 6 bikes and 9 people. We then gassed up and headed over to Glendale.

And was it busy there! I couldn't believe all the organized chaos and how many bikers there were there! My jaw just dropped. After the initial shock, I also realized how outnumbered Me and my Honda were. Not to may solo chicks, and not to many "Rice Burners." We got to the end of the line and walked up towards the stage to register (thanks again, Scott) and to scope out the place. I wanted to look in some of the stores, but didn't like the looks of the very long lines and the picture in my head of what it must look like inside with all those people in there didn't make it seem worth it.

After we got the word to head back to our bikes, we all suited back up and then got to hang around for an hour until the moving line finally reached us.

And we were off! It was a very cool feeling... for 12 seconds. Then the line stopped. About a half block up I could see smoke rising from the middle of the group. Everyone then saw the smoke plumb rising and began chatting amongst themselves as to the cause. Once we got started again, many were standing up on their pegs trying to catch a glimpse of what caused the smoke.

Once we were past that it was fun again! Too see all the people on the sides of the roads waiving and running along side. And then the freeway!! How cool it was to see a FLOOD of motorcycles just pour onto the freeway! I felt sorry for any cars on the road. Lane splitting is a gray area here in California, it's not exactly legal so much as it isn't illegal. So all the adrenalin riders getting on the freeway had no patience for slow moving cars and would just split up between them. It was quite a site to see. I grouped together with the other riders from our group, and we actually ended up the lead of 100+ bikes! Riders just fell in behind us and when I looked in my mirror, it was bikes as far back as I could see in a double line behind me.

We finally arrived at the Lake and found parking on a gravel/grassy area. All the guys were worried about a domino effect so they made sure to park far enough away from each other that if 1 bike fell over, it wouldn't take others down with it. I had to go to the bathroom (3 cups of coffee is hard to hold for an hour!) and it was the first time I have ever seen open stalls in a women's bathroom. I freaked out when I first walked and had to run back out to check the sign and make sure the stick figure was wearing a skirt.

We headed over for some very tasty BBQ and water and then wandered around looking at all the pretty display paint jobs and parts and accessories and bikes and loaded up on all the freebe stuff. I'll have to take pictures of the mini belt loop tool kit, the nifty wallet, the kick-stand mat, and the creditcard tool kit I scored.

At about 2:00 half the group (aka, the half of the group that was sober) decided to head back towards home. I just don't understand the logic of selling lots of beer at a biker event.

The ride home was a lot nicer then the ride up. For one thing it was warmer! I loved the experience of getting to participate in such a large biker event and loved riding with all those bikers. I had quite a few guys impressed with the size of bike I road, even though there were chicks ridding bigger. To be fair, most of those chicks were bigger too. ;)

Monday, November 13, 2006
  Up and running
I posted my dilemma on Honda Shadow Forum last Thursday. After a few clarifying posts, Chalie Mac really nail right on the head what my issue was. I printed the instructions from the link he posted ( and aided my courage of taking apart my Alexia with my lucky Buddha charm.

I took apart the Starter assembly on Saturday. After taking off my brake lever and then pulling off my entire handle, I was able to open up the Starter assembly and position it exactly like the picture in the link. I got down to the starter contacts and cleaned the starter and headlight contacts as suggested. I then picked up the starter button to remove the shunt and clean that, and noticed it wasn't coming out as easily as I had thought it would, or as easily as the instructions had lead me to believe. Upon closer inspection, I foun
d that the surrounding plastic had melted over the shunt. I think that the contacts may have overheated and melted the plastic, causing it to pool over the shunt and harden.

I drove down to Mission Motorsport and asked the parts counter if they had a starter button in stock for my bike. They said you can't just buy the button, you have to get the whole assembly which is $75.00, and that they didn't have any in stock. I was headed out the door to go home and start making some calls to all the local dealers, and on a inkling
stopped at the service counter. I showed one of the mechanics my melted starter button and asked if they recommended a way to get the plastic off, or if they knew of a place that would just sell the shunt. The guy took it into the back area and appeared a few minutes later with a really dirty handful of wires. He said he had an extra button and wires if I wanted them.

Hell yes I did!!!! So he gave them to me for free saying it was an old extra they had lying around. The button looks 10 years older, but I rushed home and swapped it out and Voila!! the bike started up!

So thanks to all they guys on the Honda Shadow forum!
ShadowDave also posted the reason behind my starter melting. He found an article in Cycle World, October '06 and quoted it for me:

"Honda's technique was to put a second set of contacts on the starter pushbutton switch to reduce the load on the battery while the rider tries to start the bike. But that switch is not ruggedly constructed. Repeated making and breaking a 5-amp connection causes corrosion and pitting of the switch's headlight contacts. The heat caused by the corrosion of the contacts melts and deforms the plastic inside the switch, so after a period of time, the switch fails-sometimes just the headlight contacts, but often the starter contacts as well. Changing to a higher-wattage headlight bulb causes those contacts to fail sooner. The lightbar the Honda dealer would likely sell ... is a Hondaline product wired to get its power from the taillight circuit, not the headlight, so it would not add to the current through the starter switch's headlight contacts."

"To safely run a more powerful headlight in a Honda, ... I recommend adding a relay to the headlight circuit. Power for the headlight would come directly from the battery, the voltage for the coil of the relay could come from the headlight contacts in the starter pushbutton switch. This would reduce the current through the headlight contacts of that switch from five amps to one-half amp or less."

And my lesson of the week: Always ask a mechanic instead of the guy trying to sell you parts.

A picture of the melted switch is to follow. And here it is!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006
  When the spark is gone...
Very sad story. Alexia is currently out of commission.

Here is the sad, sad tale:

So I went with T to look at RV's Sunday night, just a short jaunt up the 5 freeway. We looked around for 45 min or so and then decided to ride over to dinner. I get on the bike, turn it on, flip the engine kill to on and then push the Start, nothin. I kept flipping the engine kill switch on and off and then tried to start again, and nothin! My headlight dimmed when I hit the Start, so I finally decided it wasn't the starter going out on me. I also tried to start in N and in 1st, nothing. Also tried to run start it, first by myself and then with T pushing along. Big ol' nothin! I figured its probably the engine kill switch causing all the problems as the bike is acting like it is flipped to off.

Anyway, long wait story made short, I had to call AAA to get it towed home. The RV place was closing up, so at about 5:30 I decided to push my bike to the front so they could lock the gates if they needed to. Around 6:00 the Tow Truck showed up. They were nice and cleaned off their flat bed so my motorcycle wouldn't slide around on the oil spill on it. They mentioned that they aren't even supposed to tow motorcycles, but that AAA's contract with the company makes them.

So AAA offers motorcycle/RV coverage for an extra $25 a year. But I am finding out that motorcycle seems to have been tacked on as an after thought. When I had my Vulcan and needed a jump start on that, I was told that while that was covered under my AAA card, they wouldn't jump certain types of bikes. I also needed to have my Vulcan towed once, and was informed that they would send out a request for a tow truck, but that there was no guarantee the one that showed up could haul a motorcycle. AAA needs to get their act together and refigure out their Motorcycle add-on.

So I have been trying to figure out how to get Alexia to Mach 1's, but may have to have it towed to Mission Motorsport. I also think there might be a custom chopper shop around the corner from me. It might as well be as far away as Mission or Mach's as I have no way of towing or hauling my bike to either spot.

So, any suggestions? Comments? Ways to rewire my bike to bypass the engine kill?

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Name: AngiPants
Location: Orange County, CA, United States

My interests are many and varied. Each aspect of my personality needs to be separate, hence all the blogs.

November 2005
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
June 2009

Motorcycle Bloggers International
40 Years on 2 Wheels
Biker Diaries
Biker Law Blog
Christine's Corner
Cruising Down Under
The Driving Woman
Ducati Girl
The Edge of India
Helmet Hair
Me and my Bikes Misdemeanor
Motorcycle Bloggers
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N.H. Bigfoot's Place
Old Guys Place
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The Ride
Uncaged Librarian
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Honda Shadow Forum
Tay "Tarrera"
More Women Riders, Billings Gazette
Women's MC, Yahoo
Why Bike
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angithebikerchick at gmail dot com
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