I spent too much time last weekend trying to fix the left turn signal on my motorcycle. I’ve had problems with wiring for at least a year now. To recap: the wires for all of the lights run under the seat, under a panel that protects them and the battery (and provides some additional storage for small things). I had taken the seat off for whatever reason one day, and didn’t see that the wires had stuck out over the front of the panel. There’s a metal hook at the front of the seat that connects to the gas tank. I put the seat back on, not seeing the wires, and chopped all of them. I ended up having to use butt connectors to get the lights as well as components of the stereo to work again. It’s a pain in the ass but less so than re-wiring the whole thing.
Aside from one easy-to-fix mishap when I took the bike out of storage this year, I haven’t had any real problems until a few weeks ago. I noticed that the left turn signals were both flashing quickly as if either the front or rear light wasn’t working anymore. After a while the front light stopped flashing altogether. I immediately suspected the wiring. I bought some new connectors, borrowed a crimping/wire stripping tool from my father, and went to work. The tool is an upfront stripper, so when it came time to crimp the connectors I had the hardest time getting in that small space to do the job. I ended up going through the entire package of connectors and severely shortened the wire in the process.
I borrowed another tool, this time with the crimping parts up front, and was able to do the job quickly. However, the lights wouldn’t stop flashing quickly. At least both lights were going, so I figured I should be okay even if I get pulled over. But I went through a lot of time, energy and frustration trying to work on the thing just to get it to the better of the two problems.
A few days ago it was suggested to me that I might have a weak bulb. To try out that hypothesis, I swapped the front left turn signal for the right. Both the front and rear worked fine on that side. I felt a mix of relief and annoyance after all I had put myself through. I then put the left bulb in the right socket just for shits and giggles, and that worked fine as well. Apparently it wasn’t even a weak bulb, but a loose one.
That seems to be the way my life goes. I’ll spend too much time on a project, get really pissed off that it isn’t working, then kick myself in the ass once I realize that the simple solution was in front of my face the whole time. I had a similar feeling when I reconnected my home Internet service on Friday. I went for the slowest speed that they offered, which is half the cost of what I had before. It works just as well. In fact, it feels faster now that they are leasing me a new modem (which, so far, it doesn’t look like I’m getting charged for). I can justify forty dollars a month more easily than eighty.
After fixing that simple wiring problem, and getting my brake shoes replaced, my bike is all set for my three-day trip to New Brunswick and back in three weeks. That trip is another result of learning experiences, in regards to how to take the trip and how to manage my funds. But that feels more like an honest learning experience to me, instead of screwing myself over when I should know better.
Regular readers, keep this topic in mind. I’m sure that I’ll discover new instances of it as time goes on. The above are hardly the first examples of it.