Henry III Goes To Hospital

Sharpthorne, England
Thursday, May 24, 2012

I have had two Sportcitys in Australia and both have been extremely well-built, reliable machines - Mrs Mac now has 60,000kms on the clock and never had a major breakdown.

I bought Henry III sight unseen off Ebay. He's the same age as Mrs Mac but only has 12,000k on the clock. It was a risk, yes - but I communicated with the seller for a few weeks before I went ahead with the purchase, satisfied that he was genuine and not taking me for a sucker.

He shipped the bike down to East Grinstead to a bike mechanic so that it could have a service, new tyres and get heated grips installed - and given the once over so that it would be in tip-top condition to do 3 months of Alps.

Henry III was in the bike shop for 3 weeks - and still they did not do the tyres until the day after I arrived. After yesterday's ride I was convinced I had bought a machine in excellent condition and that the seller had not passed on a lemon.

This morning - all set to head off to my much needed physio appointment - Henry refused to start.
The first thing to try is the kill switch. Nope, nothing.
Next try both brakes separately. Nope, nothing.
The key turns the ignition on and everything lights up - but absolutely nothing happens when you hit the start button.

I made sure the heated grips were wired into the ignition so that I wouldn't flatten the battery (which I did once with Mrs Mac) so I know it's not that.

Call AA. Luckily my brand new insurance policy (courtesy of Canfield Payne) includes UK Breakdown Service. [Note to self - get EU Breakdown Service too].

AA man arrives, fiddles for one hour, scratches his head and says he "thinks" it might be the starter motor but he'll have to get it towed back to the bike shop.

Towie arrives and loads Henry III onto a flatbed. Stupidly, I did not get any photos of Henry being carted away.

Bike shop rings and says "it's the kill switch - it was turned off".
Really??? Do you think I'm stupid??? I've been riding a long time and made that mistake as a Learner and never did it again... it was the first thing I tried!!
Do you think the AA man is also stupid?
Perhaps a more likely scenario is that after being bounced around on a flatbed, some wire/ switch whatever has reconnected. Maybe you should investigate a bit further and find the "intermittent fault" so that it doesn't happen while I'm in France.
Double check the wiring for the heated grips and you might find the cause.

Poor Henry III.

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