We got an early start and headed out for Capitol Reef National Park. About 10 miles down the road, two idiot lights began to glow - check engine and coolant temperature. We stopped at a pull-over spot and I checked the coolant level. It was full. No leaks or crimps in the line. Hmmm. No indications of trouble on the previous day. Possible air lock?
I started it back up and the lights were off, so we headed down the road. Just as we reached the Capital Reef Visitors Center, the idiot lights came back on. We pulled-in and found a shady spot to begin further diagnosis. I noticed the fans were not running, so I began unloading and dismantling the left saddlebag to get access to the fuse box. Well, that generated some attention from several other Harley riders and the Brotherhood of Shade Tree Mechanics - Torrey Chapter was officially formed. The fuse looked fine. Relay looked fine and the horn still operated (shared relay). Checked the manual for recommended troubleshooting steps and the only ones left required more diagnosis than I could do on the road, e.g., thermostat or fan gone bad.
The good news is there were three H-D dealers an equal distance away. The bad news is that distance was ~150 miles. And we had no cell coverage. I decided to return to the motel where we would have access to food, shelter, cell coverage, and Internet.
Anything can be solved via the Internet, right?
Once back at the motel, we went into action. The wife checked to see if rooms were available and Scott and I began to search the Internet for diagnostic codes and other related matters. I called my favorite Indie tech back home to see if he had any ideas. Nope, not that familiar with the Rushmore bikes. I checked for diagnostic codes...none stored. Hmmm. That should rule out the fan motors, coolant pump, and thermostat.
Must be the fuse.
So I went over to the general store that’s part of the Austin’s Chuckwagon Motel enterprise and bought a pack of fuses, should have had those in the tool kit anyway. I then called Bob, the service advisor at Grand Junction H-D, one of the three “nearby” dealers. Bob advised that if the fuse replacement didn’t solve the problem, just disconnect the coolant pump and ride it in for service. Since the coolant only cools the exhaust manifold, no further damage would occur as long as we kept moving.
Fortunately, the fuse replacement did the trick.
The ride into Bluff, UT included a fantastic view of the upper Glen Canyon @ Hite (recall the Glen Canyon Dam), where the Colorado River is but a stream. What a panoramic view!
So Bluff was a compromise. The motel in Mexican Hat was booked and Bluff was the next town on the map. But what a surprise!
We found a gem of a hotel in Desert Rose Inn and Resort, a little place on the Navajo Reservation. The rooms were comfortable and the restaurant, Dukes, was awesome. Scott and Karen treated us to dinner as a thanks for all the route planning. I had the best NY Filet that I’ve ever had and the breakfast was outstanding. And the view from the room were very nice.
Despite the rough start and three hour delay, we thoroughly enjoyed Capital Reef NP, the moonscape that followed, the Upper Glen Canyon views, and the final ride into Bluff. Unfortunately, the delay meant we had to forego the side trip to Monument Valley. Our Forrest Gump photo opportunity will have to wait until the next time.