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Montana and Glacier, a proper visit someday soon.

Eastbound on Interstate 90.  Alberton, MT.

Is it fixed yet?

I caught a taxi from downtown Spokane and showed up at Westside Motorsports right when they opened. BMW motorcycles feature an electric diagnosis hub, which technicians plug into to gather diagnostic codes that the bikes’ subsystems report. This is typically the very first step for service technicians. In this case, the bike did not report any codes that pointed to failure of the fuel subsystem. This was a pretty clear indication that there was a problem with the fuel – either bad fuel, or fuel with a lot of water in it. The tech tried a number of other things as well, including replacing the ignition coil, but no joy. Around 1:00 PM, he informed me that he had removed the fuel pump, siphoned/flushed the entire fuel subsystem of fuel, filled a 1/2 tank of fresh fuel, hit the starter button, and the bike immediately fired. The exhaust spewed a significant amount of water condensation.

The tech showed me the result of the siphoning. In the 5 gallon fuel can was approximately 3 gallons of fluid. 2.5 gallons of that fluid was gas, the other .5 gallons was water. That ratio of fuel to water would easily lead to an automobile engine also choking off.

We’re not sure what happened, but it was probably one of two things: (1) the fuel had that much water in it, or (2) (Zach’s theory) the gas cap was not sealed, or was defective, on the tank, causing rain water to infiltrate.

Walking into the hotel from the perspective of the GoPro,  Missoula, MT.

Traffic jam in Missoula

Now US$225 poorer – as it was not a BMW issue, I had to pay for service – I high-tailed it east on I-90. My hope was that I would be able to make it to Ed’s cabin in Bozeman, but by the time I made it to western Montana, I knew I’d be staying in Missoula.

As I turned off I-90 onto one of the main drags, and decided to ride into downtown to see what my hotel options were. Big mistake. As it turned out, the Montana Education Association was having its annual conference in Missoula, and the roads were parking lots. I never thought I’d experience heavy traffic in Missoula, but that’s what happened.

I found a hotel, grabbed a bite to eat, then retired early. Bryan and I exchanged texts, and planned to meet early the next morning at Four Corners, Montana, which is just west of Bozeman on Highway 191 to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park.

The Day : Weather

Mostly CloudyMostly CloudyMostly Cloudy Location State High (F) Low (F) Precipitation (in) Max Wind (mph)
Spokane WA 61° 37° 0.04 26
Coeur d’Alene ID 64° 32° 0.05 25
Missoula MT 71° 33° Trace 21

The Day : Images

The Day : GPS

Total Time 10:37:05
Moving Time 3:14:05
Distance 204.7 mi
Avg Speed 44.3 mph
Moving Speed 63.3 mph
Elevation Max 4,688 ft
Elevation Min 1,809 ft
Elevation Gain 9,343 ft
Elevation Loss 8,440 ft


The Day : Tweets

tmac2272 Terry MacVey
craiglindner craiglindner
in reply to @craiglindner

@craiglindner In Missoula for tonight. Figuring out route to meet BK tmrw so we can do Yellowstone and Tetons together. #ANW2012
Jun 08 via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

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This trip cemented my feeling that I can’t imagine ever riding anything other than a BMW GS. They are meant for the West. #ANW2012 #GS
Jun 08 via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

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State no. 11 of 11 = Montana. Bumming a bit about the loss of the last 2 days from bike having water in the fuel system. #ANW2012
Jun 07 via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

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Thanks gas station that provided bad gas with H2O in it. Lost 2 days and visit to Glacier. Departing for Bozeman in few min. #ANW2012
Jun 07 via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

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At dealer. Fuel pump is cycling correctly. Diagnostic meter shows all clear. Replacing ignition coil did nothing. #ANW2012
Jun 07 via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

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© 2013, Terry D. MacVey. All rights reserved.