A friend found this link to a detailed write-up about repairing the slave cylinder on a PC800. This looks beyond my ability to repair given the tools and time available to me at the moment. So this same friend loaned me a trailer to take the bike to the shop for repair. I figure it’ll cost me some money, but I have more of that than time lately, and I won’t be taking the risk of getting stranded somewhere in Canada if my inexperienced repair fails.
I also learned an important lesson. If the bike will not move under its own power, DO NOT attempt to load it onto a trailer alone. Ask me how I know. No, don’t bother – I’ll tell you. On flat ground, even with a running start I wasn’t quite able to push the bike all the way up onto the trailer by myself. I was close, but not quite, and I couldn’t get the back wheel over the threshold. I tried very hard – and my efforts resulted in my first time dropping this bike ever. Fortunately, there was no damage. The mirror cleared the edge of the trailer (barely), and the crash bars did their job and supported the bike. I also learned that I am unable to pick up my bike myself. I know the proper technique, but just couldn’t do it. Part of the problem was the space constraints on the trailer – I just couldn’t get the right angle. Fortunately, after a while I was able to recruit one of my neighbors into providing the bit of extra muscle power and stability I needed to pick up the bike and load it properly. Next time, I need to grab a helper first.
My friend also loaned me her Canyon Dancer to help secure the bike on the trailer. Wow – this thing is awesome! It’s a strap that slides onto the handlebar grips with loops to hook the ratchet straps onto. Especially on my PC800, where even the handlebars are covered in plastic, there’s no place to hook the straps directly onto the bike except the crash bars. I’ve used those before, but higher is better for stability, and this totally fits the bill. I need to get myself one. In fact, I need to get one and leave it in my trunk at all times, so that if I do break down and need a tow (like I did on Cape Cod), I can use it to make securing the bike on the flatbed a lot easier and safer. At around $30, it’s cheap insurance.
So although today is a perfect motorcycle day, I’m not riding. That may motivate me to get some other non-motorcycle things done. And I do have a four day trip in early July to plan.