Brake Line Failure on the 2013 CVO Road King
Over dinner the previous night in Gillette one of the guys (JR) in the group was discussing how the rear brake wasn’t working correctly on his bike and that he hadn’t noticed it before, but the ABS light was always on. After settling the tab (and much ribbing about pushing the correct pedal), we set off to look over the bike.
It’s a new, bone-stock 2013 CVO Road King that was purchased about 9 months ago. The bike had about 3000 miles on the odometer. And sure enough, the brake fluid line and the ABS electrical line had been incorrectly routed, were rubbing up against the rear tire and had completely worn through. When pushing on the rear brake pedal the brake fluid would discharged onto the ground. We re-routed the lines and taped up the wires thinking a front brake was good enough to get to the H-D dealer.
South Dakota view looking backward.
The next morning we stopped at the Black Hills H-D dealer in Rapid City, S.D. They didn’t have the rear brake line parts and would need to order them from Milwaukee. Since we were going that direction we elected to wait until we arrived and then get it repaired. It turned out that no dealer in the Milwaukee area had the parts either and they would need to order it from the factory. Just in time inventory really doesn’t work when you’re on the road. Nice quality control H-D!
There’s no question about it… It’s extremely flat and a long ways across South Dakota!
Billboards are everywhere, lining the Interstate trying to distract drivers for hundreds of miles. In fact, Wall Drug who spends over $300K annually on billboards must have the Guinness record because you can see their advertisements for more than two hundred miles.
South Dakota view looking forward.
On Interstate 90 between Wyoming and Minnesota the expansive view is mostly sunflowers with the occasional corn field thrown in to mix it up. It was a 410 mile ride on silky smooth Interstate that was peppered with billboard adverts, across a hot and humid prairie with large juicy bugs! Quite the pilgrimage across that state and when a rest stop did arrive you really do need to pull off, wet down your t-shirt and head band because the long hot road does get long and did I say hot?!
Pano of Clear Lake, MN
As I rode along for hours on the flat concrete surface my mind had a tendency to wander. I found myself thinking about the lack of radio stations or irrigation in S.D. Over the entire day I never saw any irrigation being applied to a corn, wheat or sunflower field. Coming from the Northwest where the farmers in the valley or in Eastern Oregon are always using water to irrigate their fields this seemed rather odd to me.
Crossing the Mississippi River
It had been a hot and high humidity riding day! After what seemed like just shy of forever we finally arrived near the end of the state and overnighted at a Best Western in Sioux Falls. Air conditioning never felt so nice.
The next morning one of the riders in our group peeled off to see family in Iowa as the rest of the group rolled quickly through Minnesota on I-90 hoping that the scenery would change. However, the major change was how poor the road quality seemed to get with the cracks and ruts. Did you know we sent a man to the moon? Yes, we did! They even shipped a little car with him and they drove it around on the planet. You’d think we’d know how to fix a concrete Interstate!
At the Best Western in La Crosse, WI.
It was a shorter riding day as we crossed the bridge over the Mississippi River and stayed at a Best Western Plus Riverfront Hotel in La Crosse, WI. Unknown at the time, was we were staying on the Black River and this Best Western had a nice riverside resort feel with beach accommodations. The hotel had a terrific acoustic band on the riverside deck where we had a casual dinner while enjoying the refreshments and entertainment.
Dinner at Jack’s – La Crosse, WI
Over the previous couple of days we were shadowed by a large group of riders from Brazil. They flew into and rented motorcycles in Las Vegas and were riding to the 110th celebration. For a couple nights in a row we happen to overnight at the same hotels. The group of approximately 20 riders had rented a U-Haul truck to carry all their luggage and it was quite the chaotic scene at check-in/out! We got to know a couple of them. A nice group.
In La Crosse, there was a noticeable increase in the number of motorcycles traveling east. Many more on the Interstate and by the time we arrived in Madison there was a constant flow of bikes.
Arrival at Brookfield Inn
We arrived in Milwaukee around 1pm and unloaded the bikes and checked in to the Brookfield Suites Hotel and Convention Center. Another member of our group actually rode out several days early to MN to visit family and then met us at the Brookfield.
In 2008 for the 105th celebration, we stayed at the Hampton Inn Express in Delafield which was 20+ miles from downtown Milwaukee. The Brookfield Suites Hotel was a much nicer place and about 7 miles to downtown. We were within walking distance to Hal’s Harley-Davidson. We liked this location much better and the hotel staff was awesome!
Arrived at the 110th Anniversary Celebration
We had arrived on Thursday (August 29), the start of the celebrations and later that day we headed down to Summerfest/Maier Festival Park to take in the 30th Anniversary celebration of H.O.G. We all wanted to get the unique pin for this event so we put on our 110th and H.O.G. identification and arrived in time to get a pin and watch Lynyrd Skynyrd headline the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse stage.
At the HOG 30th Anniversary Celebration
In what seemed like a bit of irony, there was Rickey Medlocke on guitar… he was rocking out and being displayed on the large jumbo-tron monitors which included his trademark “Indian” tat and custom guitar with inlaid “Indian” spelled out on the fret board. It had nothing to do with Indian Motorcycles, but it would have made for an interesting photo given they were playing on the H-D main stage with bar and shield brand logos everywhere.
After several days of being on the road with just the motorcycle, the festival was a bit of a sensory overload. There was a lot going on at Summerfest and it took awhile to absorb and sync up with all the Harley “noisemakers.” Riders and enthusiasts literally travelled from all over the globe to attend the festivities and over the next few days of the birthday celebration there would be more than 66-band performances.
I was starting to wondered if that rumbling coming down the road might be the roar of music vs. a V-twin!
The 110th Anniversary Homecoming – Part 3 (HERE) or Part 1 (HERE)
Photos taken by author
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