I've not socially ridden a motorcycle in the better part of 3 years. Since my son was born, I was focused on him, then for other personal reasons I took time away from the bike. Not really based on my decisions, but more based on my morale from other life issues. I tried selling my bike in 2011, unsuccessfully. I had some leaks that were obviously a problem for potential buyers, so I ended up keeping it through winter of 2011. I determined from online research that I needed a new water pump, which was ~$160 to replace the part. In addition, I needed a replacement front brake light switch and a new battery. So I really needed to put nearly $300 in parts alone into the bike. This was part of my riding apathy.

Now, other life changes have taken place, stresses relieved, and now I'm ready to get back into riding.

So, the bike was brought back from storage and a new water pump and battery purchased to bring her back to life again. One thing I can say about the connie is that she is just die hard. Sitting for months on end, not really winterized, dropped in a new battery, and bam up and running within just a few minutes. Brought her back home and got out the clymers manual to investigate this water pump.

The overall installation was pretty simple, lots of things to take off before you even get to the water pump, its like a puzzle. Pulled off the old one and we were set to install the new unit. Somewhere in the process of torquing down the bold from the coolant manifold to the water pump, I felt a problem in the bolt. The buddy I was working with said not to move any further, and leave it as is. The bolt was in about where it needed to go anyhow, so I was good with that. We each did a lap around the neighborhood to test out the repair, and we felt all was well.

Then came today. Was going to take her out to my aunt and uncles house to make sure all continued to be well, and about 2 miles away from my house I gave her some gas and PFFFFFFFFFSssssssttttttttttt I was poruing out white smoke. The bolt had sheered off and the coolant was draining below onto the exaust. Crap. I kept an eye on the temp gauge and limped it to a nearby neighborhood, thankfully the temp never rose above half and there was still coolant pouring out when I stopped. I took a look to confirm my suspicions and could see that the manifold clamp was indeed not connected to the pump.

Thankfully my aunt and uncle live nearby, within 2-3 miles, so a while later, my uncle arrived with his truck. We decided to tow my bike through the neighborhood I was in which was thankfully nearly adjacent to my neighborhood. Once we got to the school that connected to the two, it was just a short push of the bike through two baseball fields, through a fence, and down a sidewalk. Once out of that mess, it was about 3 blocks to my house to push it. Had a hell of a cardio work out, and the towing was terrifying, but it could have been worse and a much bigger hassle.

So, the bike is, home, time to pull off a few pieces to verify that it indeed did sheer off the retaining bolt. Hopped under the bike and, Crap. Its sheered off, and into the pump itself. I was hoping for it to be just the head that maybe I could get it out with pliers, but no such luck. So, basically I'm going to have to try and tap it while its still on the bike. Otherwise, I have to drain the oil again, and thats just not a fun process.

I just wonder if this is 2008 all over again, only in a larger scale. I was headed out of town in 2008 to ride to colorado, and the bike was dying every 10 feet. Ended up being a simple fuel issue, but it saved me from riding in torrential rain in the dark. I truly think it was a sign for my not to ride to colorado that year. Then in 09, the ride to CO was great with no major weather issues. Just thinking I guess.

Hopefully we can get it out, or I'll have to get another $160 water pump, which I'd really prefer not to have to do.

Hopefully by summer I'll be riding regularly, and I can hit bug bash and have some fun this year.