Saturday, July 4, 2009

Chrome Sirens

My husband has an unnatural attraction to chrome. If it shines or sparkles, he wants it, and it usually ends up on his bike. His affinity for gleaming things also entices him into decisions I would like to think he normally wouldn’t consider.

The former owner of my bike gave me a chrome air stack he purchased for the bike. I had no desire to use it, and it sat in its little box forgotten in the shed. It was forgotten until my husband and I cleaned the shed last weekend.

When Curtis found the stack, it was like he won the lotto. He couldn’t wait to get it on the bike. Unfortunately, the foam filter and screws for the stack were missing. I contacted the vendor trying to get the proper filter, but received no reply to my e-mail. I mentioned the fact that I could not find the replacement filter to my husband, but he apparently didn’t hear me.

This morning Curtis decided to ride into the city with me for his bike’s scheduled service. He grabs something black and somewhat triangular in shape. It turns out to be the old plastic air intake cover for his bike. He said he created his own foam filter for the stack. I thought he left the old air filter in place as well so I was not terribly concerned.

We turned onto the highway and everything was fine until we were going up a hill and I passed a semi with a loaded trailer. Curtis was lagging way behind me. It is not unusual for him to stop and tend to something and then catch back up with me. When I did not see him in my rear view mirror, it occurred to me that he might have to change out the air stack with the original OEM air cover. I had to get to work, so I kept on going.

I got to work and called him. By then, he was in the truck and on the way to borrow a trailer to take the bike the rest of the way to the city. Then he tells me that he took the original air filter out of the bike. In its place, he put a piece of screen, a rag in the inner chamber of the stack, and left his home-made foam filter in place in the outer chamber of the stack.

I knew what was coming next couldn’t be good! I think I quit breathing momentarily as he said, “it sucked everything right into the bike: screen, rag, and foam.” Believe me, I wanted to cry. Even a little old girl knows not to do something like that. When I asked him why he didn’t leave the old filter in place he said it was dirty. This is the same man who keeps cleaning the truck’s air filter with his air compressor for as long as possible to keep from buying a new one.

Fortunately, the bike’s engine was not damaged. I could not resist calling him later today to ask him if the service manager kept a straight face when he told him what he did. I will have to mosey into the Victory dealership soon to find out what Curtis actually told them. The latest Curtcapade has to be on their wall of shame!