So I made a Superfund site today, what did you do?
-- Or: “Why Jason is no longer welcome at the Dyess AFB auto skills shop”
So, first I wanted to introduce myself, my name is Jason and I am the new owner of a 2003 K1200GT with 12K...uh, make that almost 14K...miles.
My intro to the bike was a 1,000 mi “journey” in owner’s manual parlance from SD to Texas! (“!” added for effect) on my fourth day of ownership, conducted in one fell 16-hr blitz, terminating in the wee hours of the morning central time in Abilene. By the time I arrived, my defective neck [pinched nerve] was screaming, my a$$ was pure monkeybutt, I was soaked (did I mention the last 5 hours were ridden in a downpour), and I was pretty much wishing for death. I was setting the cruise on twisty 2-lane roads at night in the rain and removing my brake hand from the bars for comfort, not caring--perhaps wishing--that something like a gigantic Texas! Jackalope or other foul creature may run out in front of me thus terminating my ride 3-4 hours sooner than I was planning, which at the time sounded like a good deal. Maybe not the long distance tourer I had envisioned, at least not with those stock low bars and my own physical maladies. Such issues can be addressed though and like any good government operation, have money tossed at them with varying degrees of success.
But overall, I’m very pleased with the bike and have been enjoying learning the personality of this unique and quirky-yet-not-as-quirky-as-my-old-2002-GS-and-also-waaaaaaaaaaaaay-faster-but-easy-on-the-BRAKES!!!! motorcycle.
Today, though, with some prior study which would soon be proved deficient, I embarked on an engine oil/filter change and a transmission/FD oil change. I dutifully picked up all the right fluids [which shall remain nameless to preserve the good nature and childlike innocence of this thread] and although I had forgotten the new oil filter wrench I just bought in SD expressly for this purpose, as I wheeled over to the Dyess AFB auto skills center I was filled with confidence that this little morning task of mine would go well.
Once I had secured a workarea--which from this point on shall be referred to as Jason’s Carcinogenic Toxic Waste Sty(tm)--I set to work on removing the belly pan. It has been 4 years since I owned a bike which required any removal of plastic accoutrements in order to conduct the Ceremony of the Changing of the Oil, but despite this the process went relatively well. I probably unscrewed more than I needed to, what with that dazzling array of various kinds of screws (hex, Torx, and Phillips, oh my!) and for some time I rather brutishly yanked at her panties before noting that a little hidden screw was preventing them from coming down. Eventually though, she was sufficiently disrobed for the process to continue. Now it was time to unbolt that nifty little filter protector cover.
Now, let it be said that I am a man who appreciates irony. Or at least treachery. So during my pre-study of the Ceremony of the Changing of the Oil as it applies to flying brick K1200’s, when I read “some oil will come out” and saw the replacement cartridge-style! (“!” added for effect) oil filter--vice an element type such as those found on my VW TDI or F-350 diesel--I pictured in my head a few drops of oil may emerge once I removed the nifty little filter protector cover. Perhaps a drip or two that had collected from the filter leaking or other such nefarious event. I removed two of the hex bolts with no inkling of the trouble ahead. It was when I had the third bolt half out that the nifty little filter protector cover popped down, revealing itself not as a nifty little filter protector cover but as the petroleum equivalent of the Hoover Dam, and what I estimate to be 2,370 +/-26 [US] gals of oil came jettisoning out of the bottom of the bike at about a hundred gallons per second and at a nearly horizontal angle, as best my horrified and nearly oil-splattered eyes could judge. The giant wave of oil was little deterred by the presence of my poorly placed and clearly overwhelmed drip tray, and quickly began splooging (this is a technical term) all over the floor of Jason’s Carcinogenic Toxic Waste Sty(tm).
Quick reaction allowed me to actually get a few drips into the tray, but the 1.2M remaining drips were doomed to take residence in one of several of the fiber towels they hand out to boobs who think their vehicles have nifty little filter protector covers--since, with a cartridge-style! filter, WHY should there be any OIL in THERE?!? Once the filter had been removed I found myself staring incredulously at a big bright spot up in the engine, which after some deductive reasoning and waving of fingers I realized was the inside of the oil level sight glass. I implemented a mallet to convince the shop’s filter wrench that yes, it could indeed fit my filter, and installed the new filter. The not very aptly named oil drain plug was opened with little fanfare and significantly less oil flow, and by less I mean none.
Jason’s Carcinogenic Toxic Waste Sty(tm) now sufficiently dirtied, I next set about the task of changing the transmission oil. Luckily the auto skills shop’s tool inventory is much better than mine (so to speak) and I was able to borrow the 35.2-meter allen key necessary to open the transmission fluid drain plug. Which, let it be noted, is much more aptly named than the engine oil drain plug. I soon found that this drain hole’s strategic placement ensconced amongst the confines of the centerstand did not lend itself to easy placement of any drip tray known to man, or at least to the Dyess AFB auto skills center. Undeterred, I did some quick mental math, and by some I mean none, and concluded that the transmission funnel I was armed with should be sufficient in volume to hold all the oil that would be discharged, and even if it were not, I could use my rapidly sharpening oil-draining skills to siphon the oil into the drip tray--which was really more of a drip pan with ~4-inch high walls, the tops of which were co-altitude with the top of my transmission funnel.
This plan was executed with the same degree of success as the engine oil draining, which is to say no success whatsoever. I was left lying on my back adjacent to an even bigger yet more viscous oil puddle covering Jason’s Carcinogenic Toxic Waste Sty(tm), holding a transmission funnel full of oil--oil which by some bizarre compromise of the laws of physics refused to allow itself to be siphoned. I do believe that this time I actually got about 4% of the oil into the mostly empty drip tray. The FD oil change was conducted with relative smoothness and since nothing chaotic happened has no entertainment value and therefore no place in this posting. The respective fillings went equally and thankfully without incident.
All said and done, the cost of the Ceremony of the Changing of the Oil this morning was 2.5 hours, $7.50 in Jason’s Carcinogenic Toxic Waste Sty(tm) fees [known to the Dyess AFB auto skills center as not very aptly named “stall fees”], 6 shop rags, 8 oil spill blankets, and my preconceived notions of the purpose of a cartridge-style! oil filter.
My sincerest or at least 85-90%-sincere apologies for the lack of pictures for maximum entertainment effect, but I do not have a camera with me, and even if I did, I don’t fancy the idea of it being engorged with 20W-50 like everything else I touched this morning.
'03 K1200GT Orient Blue "Jenna"