NOTE: when gas was $112US/barrel in May this year, retail pump prices were $1.95/litre. Someone’s getting rich off climate disaster.
Petro-Canada is putting everyone over a barrel charging 6¢ a litre more for super than ESSO is.
I was out and about on two wheels both Saturday and Sunday last weekend. Because I live in one of the most geologically tedious places in the world, I often have to ride for 20 minutes just to find *any* corner. This has me juggling contradicting ideas when it comes to the latest round of record-breaking fuel prices. On the one hand, fuel is more expensive. Thirty bucks used to be as much as I ever put into a bike, now it’s over forty. On the other hand, after riding for twenty minutes to find a damned corner there are far few people driving around like gormless idiots on it so I get to actually enjoy the lean. I think I’m OK with the return on investment with strangely high gas prices: it’s expensive but the roads are nicer to ride.
This isn’t the first time fuel prices went this high. They did in 2012 as well due to Middle Eastern instability, but back then (with costs per barrel similar) fuel at the pump out this way reached $1.36/litre and had everyone apoplectic. A decade later the same crude oil prices have us paying almost $2.50 a litre, but hey, if you can’t get rich from declining resources and a climate disaster you were instrumental in causing, you shouldn’t be running a petrochemical company.
My son and I two up on the Kawasaki are averaging over 42 miles per gallon…
The Tiger is mainly doing one-up work now that the Concours takes care of pillions. With its new sprockets the RPMs have dropped a few hundred in any given gear and it’s now averaging over 60mpg on long, top gear rides. At this kind of mileage I can handle higher fuel costs.
2012: “Retail pump prices rose early in the year, starting at $1.21 per litre, peaking at $1.36 per litre in April, declining to $1.23 per litre in July”
I finally got the carbs sorted on the Fireblade project (sense of achievement!) and when I fired it up they felt very responsive… but then a giant geyser of oily water spewed out of the valve cover exhaust pipe and hit the ceiling (!). Never seen that before. Rather than repeat the fountain, I put a pipe on it, ran it into a container and videoed the weirdness…
(it’s a 360 video, you can move the mouse to look around – like at the oily water dripping off the ceiling)
So the fountain happened both times I ran it, and the stuff that came out looked like watery oil rather than oil with some water in it. Next step: drain the oil…
… which looks like water. That’s not good, and it’s something I’ve never seen before. Why on earth would anyone ever put water or coolant in an engine like that?
I’ve done head gaskets on cars before and I’m pretty familiar with the consequences of oil mixing with coolant. It usually goes both ways (oil gets in the coolant, coolant gets in the oil, but the coolant looks brand new and the level is good. When running there is no bubbling in the coolant overflow (usually a running engine will force gas and oil back into the coolant reservoir if there is a blown head gasket). As amazing as this sounds, I think the idiot who owned this before me filled the engine with coolant instead of oil, but I really can’t understand why. It’s either gross incompetence or he sold me a bike with a known blown engine, which is a pretty shitty thing to do. Incompetent or nasty, not a great set of choices there.
Next up is actually putting oil in the engine and running it again. I’ve got some used stuff out of the Tiger which is the right weight. If it works, then the guy who owned this thing before me might be the dumbest human in history. Once I’ve run the old synthetic out of the Tiger and confirmed everything works, I’ll drain it and put some new stuff in.
My first sports bike has been a bit more baffling than the XS1100 (air cooled, nothing weird there other than the ownership) and the Concours sports tourer which had been through hell, but was owned by a guy who knew what he was doing.
The muppet who owned this bike before me will have me going top to bottom on it before I get it out on the road – I can’t trust anything that was done to it.