Monday, April 13, 2015


On Saturday, I was going to eat lunch at my favorite neighborhood restaurant, but passed it as it looked very busy, so I rode the twenty miles to my favorite ride-for-lunch destination.  That is Everybody's Restaurant in Baldwin.  

Rocket got me there easily.  I even got off on Chaffee Road because I didn't want to push it down I-10 all the way.  I had a nice lunch, even better than usual with a pork chop, pinto beans, cabbage and fried okra.  Washed it down with a very large iced tea.

When I got back on to head home it started right up.  Then I turned onto US-90 and it stumbled a little.  I knew the feeling because it has done that a couple of times before.  So then, as speed increased it stumbled more and more, often coming to a complete stop before refiring.  That continued for a few miles, then stopped.  So I thought I was fine all the way home.  But I wasn't.  I stayed on US-90, Beaver Street in Jacksonville, to Edgewood Avenue.  Edgewood splits into Edgewood and Cassat Avenue and I turned onto Edgewood and came to a red traffic light.  As I slowed, Rocket back fired several times and stopped running.  Then it wouldn't start.

So I was left with a dilemma.  I could call a friend with a truck and take an hour to get home.  Or I could push it home and take the same hour.  If it didn't kill me, it would make me stronger.  So off I started pushing the dead machine home.  Luckily it rolls easily.  A few blocks in, a nice man with a pick-up truck saw me, circled back and offered to help.  But he had no ramps or straps and it wouldn't work.  I hoped he had a rope and could pull me home but he didn't have that either.  After looking at Rocket, I couldn't see where we could attach tow ropes anyway, so it was for the best.  His plan was for the two of us to lift Rocket up to the truck bed, then lay it down for the ride home.  Never would that work.

I stopped several times to see if Rocket would start.  I got nothing.  Once the bendix stuck on something and wouldn't turn.  That was scary as it could have meant a stuck engine, but it was temporary.

My neighbor was passing and stopped to help about halfway home.  But I was making good time and continued.

The last mile was easier as it was through the neighborhood.  I stayed on the sidewalks and stopped every couple of blocks to rest.

I was thrilled to get home.  

                                                      Home, Sweet Home

After intermittently sleeping while watching the Masters for a couple of hours, I ventured to the garage, put the key in Rocket and it started right up.  Bastard!

I have always said that these things have a personality.  I can best compare it to my Mother-In_Law's dog.  When she goes off and leaves the dog in the spare bedroom, the dog gets mad and poops all over the room.  I think Rocket feels the same about the other scooters and is showing its displeasure by acting up.


  1. I was immediately tempted to say fuel pump. You had classic fuel pump symptoms. Except that Rocket has a gravity fed carburetor, no?

    Seems like a fuel delivery issue though.

    The alternative culprit is defective spark.

    Curious to see what Boris finds.

    1. Hi David, Boris is stumped. He is not a magician, unfortunately. We did replace the coil after the first time. Clearly not the problem. The connection to the spark plug is good too. It is consistent in the scenario that causes the issue and one symptom is gasoline in the air filter. Soon I will have Boris clean the carburetor, disconnect the evap system, check vacuum lines and possibly replace the CDI. If that doesn't fix it, I may give it to you.

    2. David,
      I just got a message from George (Motovista) who said he thought it was the needle and seat in the carburetor not closing properly. We will try that first. Bill

    3. I think Rocket is fed up with your long distance ways. Cannonball came as a shock. Your little jaunts back and forth on I-10, is just pissing Rocket off. I agree with your analysis, Rocket is trying to get your attention. The message is "why not take one of the other bikes the next time you plan to ride hundreds and hundreds of miles. I'll sit around here and we can chat when you come back."

    4. David, Rocket is still my favorite scooter, but the new one. Razzo for ease of a description, is incredible. It is the new long distance scooter. The scooter club ride this summer is in less than two weeks. We are riding to western Virginia, then three days riding the mountain roads there and two days back home. Probably 1500 miles total. None of them WOT. Then, in the end of May, I am again going to join the MP3 riders, this time in Little Switzerland in western North Carolina. Probably 1200 miles on Razzo. I have several more rides planned this year and Razzo or the Honda will be the ride of choice. But I haven't given up on Rocket. I will be doing everything I can to get it back in top shape. I really want to use it in the '16 Cannonball. But Razzo is there if needed.

    5. David, one more thing. Rocket was never happier than when running the Cannonball. I could feel its joy.

  2. My GTS died the same death for different reasons. I am disappointed the GT is doing the same. I loved the GTS but hated the technology and hoped the simpler GT would be a replacement. Now my hopes reside in my old P200 but cruising at 55 and topping out at 63 would never allow the term "Rocket" to be applied. I wish you well in your search for Truth and Reliability.

    1. Michael, Rocket is not dead yet. I think it is something minor that we simply can't diagnose properly. I am ready and willing to try whatever it takes to get it back in shape. It is a simple machine and I like that about it. It now has 66,500 miles on it, and I will probably keep it forever. Don't give up on the thought of having a GT. They are fine machines. Just come to Jacksonville and I will gladly let you try them out.

  3. Bill,
    I will be over this weekend and will say prayer over Rocket, sprinkle a little sewer water, kick him the ass and he will be as good as new.