Oh silly me.
As I was preparing to leave home this morning, my bike refused to start. Turns out that I left my key in the ignition and inadvertently left it in the ON position. It didn’t occur to me that the bike was powered as I had the engine kill switch in the OFF position.
I whipped out my multimeter and measured the battery voltage – 4.67V??!? Wow! My 5V-USB-powered onboard bike cam must have zapped all its juice, and finally died when the battery went below 5V.
Oh great! 🙁 Just when I was about to start riding. I tried to connect my (old) spare motorcycle battery – which was reading 11.5V – parallel to it. Cranked… No joy.
Next, I pushed my bike to where my car was parked and connected a set of jumper cables (I always carry jumper cables in my car). Cranked… Still no joy.
Then, I tried a rolling start, but I was unable to gather sufficient speed on a flat ground.
The battery voltage was too low. And connecting another 12V battery in parallel will bring down the voltage of the good battery. So I need a power source. Think! What can I use as a power source? I’ve got a wall-outlet batter tender / charger. But that will take too long to recharge the battery.
Okay. Let’s try the car jump start again. This time, I’ll fire up the car and let its engine idle.
So I covered everything back and went riding, taking care not to let the engine stall. But… As luck would have it, before I could hit the freeway, I stalled the bike – barely 10mins into riding through very slow traffic. Arghh!!
I was in a very awkward junction and I couldn’t just leave my bike there. So I tried to push it to the nearest straight road, and by the time I got to a safe stretch, I was panting and drenched in perspiration like I’ve just completed a sprint.
Oh dear. The nearest gas station was about 3-500m ahead, but I was already feeling exhausted. So I flipped the side stand, leaned the bike on it and tried to catch my breadth.
Then suddenly, from out of nowhere, a fellow biker appeared and stopped in front of me. He got off his bike and asked if he could be of any help. OMG! Thank you! Thank you! I told him that my battery’s dead and I accidentally stalled my bike. Very quickly, he offered to push my bike – using his bike to power the push.
“Err…. Will it work?” I asked.
“Are YOU confident? I can ride on my bike and use my left leg to push your bike.” he explained.
“Ok. Let’s try!”
The first couple of seconds was really awkward, as we tried to get into the best positions. He rode on my right, parallel to me, and placed his left leg on my foot peg to push me forward. My speedometer tells me that we were doing about 8kmh.
“I’m going to try to roll start!” I announced. So I kicked into gear 2, threw my clutch and tried to throttle.
My bike came to a sudden stop due to the force of the engine brake, and almost threw the both of us off. 🙁
“Let’s try again,” he said.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” I asked. Almost feeling apologetic as he was doing most of the work.
“Okay. Where do YOU want to go?” he asked.
“There’s a petrol station in front.” I replied.
So we tried again. Gaining balance, and a little more confident now, we went a little faster. I recall seeing the speedometer reading 13kmh or so.
“Okay, I’m going to try to start again.” I said. “5… 4… 3… 2… 1… Now!”
I counted down to get him prepared, as I didn’t want to surprise him with a sudden (engine) brake force should the roll start fail again.
Gear 2, threw my clutch and throttled…. Vrooooom! And my bike cameto life!!
Thank you! Thank you! I waved excitedly at him with my left hand as I rode on – I was too afraid to stop the bike lest it stalls again. So, I didn’t have the opportunity to thank my angel.
So, my fellow Malay Singaporean friend on FD8352, if you manage to read this, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I am soooo grateful for your taking the time and effort to stop and offer assistance!
Faith in humanity restored. No. Faith in humanity REINFORCED.