150 miles into the return to new jersey the gasket blew on the rear cylinder of the fxe down to a head bolt backing out.
The gas coming out of the motor set fire to the wiring and bits under our backsides.. Toshi and I smothered it and all fine except the lack of a shovelhead gasket, on a Sunday.
We pushed the bike over to a motel and helped by their wifi set about finding a way to get us and the bike to NJ in time to catch our plane home.
Since I had enough tools and the HD wizard with me we could fix it there so I rang all local independent bike shops for a gasket with no answer. I got an email from a new friend and biker, Mike in Floyd Va suggesting places to call, again no joy. I then rang budget etc for a van but same until I rang Jen at Jennings Auto in Staunton, Va. She was in work picking up something with her kids.
10mins later she came and collected me, hired me the uhaul truck, showed me where wal mart was to get dome ratchet straps and lent me a ramp.
By the time I got back to tosh & the bike Jen was there with her husband to help load the bike and collect the ramp to save us taking it back to the shop.
Real American generosity & hospitality from strangers.
In her shop I saw a card about 'paying it forward' so this episode puts me at -3 favours.
We may not be riding but this is all part of the beauty of riding across foreign countries on old bikes. Without fail people come and help with no other intention but to give.
I looked up paying it forward... This is Anglo American Ben Franklins take on it in 1784:
I do not pretend to give such a Sum; I only lend it to you. When you [...] meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro' many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money.
I love the FXE, the old hippy (his words) I bought it from was true in all he said about the bike and I turned up in Brooklyn, got drunk and (when sober) rode down the blue ridge parkway on it. It started first kick and doesn't leak oil,
In fact, after the roads we took down to NC, I don't blame the bike for failing to proceed on interstate 81 when it can relax in the back of a van instead of slogging up the trunk roads.
What a great trip, I had a real good cheeseburger at 5 guys and I'm knackered..
If you need anything, ask.
Sent on the move.