I was able to restart the bike when I got home. It seems to run as good as ever at idle and low RPMs. I called Bikeworx to see about getting the bike in to be checked out, and they said they were short a couple of guys and couldn’t get it in until after July 4. Since I’m planning to leave for Vermont on July 6, that means I’d have to cancel the trip and reschedule it later this year. Then they said, “Let me see what we can do…” and put the owner on the phone. I explained it again. He remembered working on my bike a few months ago, and seems to think the issue is fuel related. He said to drop it off and he’d fit it in somewhere. He may be thinking that since he worked on the carburetors previously, the issue might be related to something they did, and between that and my scheduled trip, they want to make it right in time.
In preparation for getting it to the shop, I wanted to test the bike at lower speeds and lower RPMs to see if I could get it there under its own power. I risked a few laps around the neighborhood, keeping it below 5000 RPM, and it worked perfectly. I risked a short ride near my neighborhood, and it still worked perfectly. I risked a little experimentation. On a long uphill on my street, I dropped it to second gear to boost the revs and gave it a bit of gas. I had to ease off from time to time to stay within safe and legal speeds, but with sustained throttle at around 6500 RPM I was able to reproduce the bucking and loss of power I experienced on the highway. I tried the same hill again in fifth gear, which bogged the engine some, but at the lower revs I was able to give it full throttle, and the bike accelerated gently and smoothly all the way up the hill. So I can reliably reproduce the problem, without stranding myself or getting the police involved. I rode it to the shop yesterday afternoon, with no trouble whatsoever. They’re pretty sure they can fix it within the week.
With that in mind, I’m not canceling my Vermont trip at this point. In a week, if I don’t have the bike back, I’ll have to, but at this point I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ll still be able to go. I mean, I could take the car instead, but that would completely miss the point.