My very low mileage 1995 ST1100 had an obscure electrical problem when I bought her two or three years ago and they have come to the fore on a few occasions since.
She looks good and generally is good but occasionally refused to recognise that I had pressed the starter button. The supplying dealer’s answer was to throw a new battery at it – and it helped – but not forever. Last time I was on the ferry with her I had to suffer the ignominy of being pushed off and bump starting her down the ramp. That was on the awkward Grey Dog where a reverse gear would have been useful.
So – it was a relief to see that our regular ferry – the drive on – drive off Belnahua was back in action after a three week sabbatical while it underwent it’s annual service. She is at the North Cuan jetty across the water but will be over in a few minutes. The little motorboat passing down the sound is our Passengers Only ferry for Sundays and evenings. Looks like it’s heading for Easdale where they have a similar ferry. They can be temperamental little things and often break down.
No worries – there was no pushing heavy Pan Euro today – my time spent on battery maintenance seemed to have done the trick – sort of. My multi-meter still showed an unexplained voltage drop when I switched the headlights on even with the battery charger connected. My friend Ali at West Coast Motorcycles in Oban had his theories and I had mine. I saw it as a cheap fix – if we could find the obscure fault – which could take hours on a Pan with so much bodywork to remove.
I thought I was dropping into WCM on a social visit with thoughts of blagging a cuppa before heading for the return ferry with my panniers laden with cat food. Before I could greet Big Ali with the magic words – ‘how’s it gawnn Big Man?’ he had the sidepanels off the Pan and was playing tunes on his own multi-meter in the wiring. Frighteners were thrown around like ‘700 quid for a new alternator’ or ’70 -90 quid for a pattern rectifier’. Hell doesn’t he know I’m getting married next week and all those fish suppers at the prosecco lunch will cost a lot.
Thankfully – after much head scratching and beard pulling the main items were passed as fit for service leaving thoughts of a wiring fault as being the culprit.
And there they were – a hidden bunch of connectors that had been subject to a botched wiring repair leading to overheating long before the Pan came into my life.
In the time it took me to dander round to Tesco Hole-in-the-Wall for some folding stuff Ali had renewed all the connectors and pronounced himself satisfied the job was a good ”un.
As for me – I was more than happy that the wedding will still be on without having to tell H that prosecco is off the menu as Ali’s bill for the electrical repair on the Pan was well below what I expected for the work 🙂