A couch isn’t the most comfortable place to sleep but, with a couple of Advil PM, it works well enough. Over the past two days of long hours at Interstate speeds, a subtle yet constant vibration from the handlebar wore at my hand, leaving its fingers tingling and unable to close around anything smaller than the throttle’s grip. The night’s sleep had helped, but only some. Between that and fixing my shifter for a third time now, I figured today would be a good day to rest.
At a closer inspection of the shift lever, I could tell it wouldn’t be easy to fix. The teeth that bite into the selector shaft had been sheared off by the first break, and what little remained had been worn down over the miles since. After 17,000 miles and two welds, I needed a new shift lever.
Different scenarios played their way through my mind. I was far enough east that I could fly home to pick up my truck, and haul the bike the remaining distance. Or I could wait for another 3-5 days until a new shifter arrived by mail. Or, I could attempt to find one locally. Luckily, some enterprising Triumph owners had created a list of various levers from other bikes that fit my model, a good thing, since there was no dealer nearby.
Joe tossed me the keys to his new Jeep Wrangler and let me take it up the road to a nearby motorsports shop. While the sales guy talked to a customer on the phone, I flipped through the parts book on the counter, finding the shifter I needed, one for a Honda XR-50. Once off the phone, he told me he didn’t have anything like that in stock, but told me to wait while he went to the back. A moment later, he returned with two aluminum folding shift levers. I pulled mine out of my back pocket and compared. One looked similar enough that it might work, and I chose to buy it. Worst case, I would be out $25 and right back where I was.
I drove the Jeep back, remarking on how strange it seemed to have my foot doing the clutch work instead of my hand. I walked inside, tossed the keys onto the table, and headed into the garage, hoping all the while that the new lever would fit. It did. Perfectly.
With the bike fixed once more, the rest of the day was left to relax. Joe and I caught up on things that had happened over the past few years, watched some movies on Netflix, and ate a meal at what is probably the only Mexican restaurant in the United States staffed entirely by Caucasians. All in all, just a nice peaceful day.