I Am An Idiot (Scooter Edition)

12 05 2012

Apparently my particular idiocy is fairly common among newbie mechanics, but wow – tonight was probably my biggest emotional roller-coaster of the past two years. Read on.

It all started with getting my hands greasy on the scooter. I haven’t reported in much on mechanic stuff, but I’ve been doing pretty well for myself recently. Highlights include the installation of a front hitch receiver on the RV and putting a new fuel filter on the scooter (more than just a “screw off, screw on” project).

Tonight was a Bigger Deal. It was “new carburetor diaphragm and engine intake manifold night.” Engine stuff is new to me. Pulling some fuel lines when I changed the filter on the scooter was an exercise in breath-holding for me and relatively speaking this was higher stakes.

A partial view of the scooter's guts

A partial view of the scooter’s guts

Swapping out the carb diaphragm went smoothly. The scooter started right up after I put in the new part and all looked good. Time to remove the intake manifold. After a serious fight with two very stuck bolts (I won), the manifold was off. The replacement manifold didn’t fit properly and I didn’t want to force things, so I replaced the original one, pretty confident that it was in good condition.

And then the bike wouldn’t start.


An hour of tinkering goes by: FUCK FUCK FUCK.

I call a friend who I think could be helpful, and through her friend-of-a-friend I’m on the phone with a bike engine expert. We talk through a ton. Nothing.


He generously offers to come over. I accept. I look frustratingly at the bike. I realize that the kill switch is engaged. I must have accidentally hit it hours prior.

FUUUCCCKKKK! [Flip switch, ignition on, hit start button] IT RUNS! I’M AN IDIOT! [Cancel mechanic visit]

Apparently this is a mistake that most newbie mechanics make precisely one time in their lives. It sucked, but mine is over. The scooter runs. Sigh.

A big positive thing that came out of this: The mechanic guy is going to come by a few times to teach me all about my engine. I can’t wait. And I’ll be watching out for the fucking kill switch.

posted by yair




One response

14 05 2012

Been there! Done that! Welcome to the club. LOL 🙂

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