So today we started driving down to Washington state to pick up my new Honda CBX: pretty eventful day!
We left home at around 06:00 this morning. First hurdle: a major accident on the 99 on the way to the border. Tragic to say someone was killed in a head on accident between two cars. The 99 southbound was closed so we ended up driving through Surrey (where there was another accident!) and lost around half an hour.
Next incident: after pouring rain through the Seattle area we started noticing peculiar behaviour from our U-Haul motorcycle trailer. Got out & checked the wheel bearings: one glowing hot and borderline seizing! Slowly made our way to the top of Snoqualmie pass and stopped at the ski area on top of the pass, only to find the cap on the wheel bearing disappeared: grease spewing out all over the inside of the wheel.
Started going down the pass at an even slower rate! After frequent stops to check the state of the bearing (now running cooler than before! Thank goodness for 0ºC temperatures!) ended up at Ellensburg. Found out that the nearest U-Haul agency was in Kittitas (10km further).
Limped along to Kittitas where the friendly U-Haul man offered us a bigger non-motorcycle trailer.
In the mean time the seller, who was driving from Colbert to our intended meeting place in Moses Lake, when hearing of our mishaps, offered to drive the extra 100km to make the trade in Kittitas! So they ended up doing an almost 600km round trip as well! And man: was his 28' covered trailer behind his Dodge RAM 3500 ever impressive! Complete with tie-downs inlaid into the floor: professional grade. Made the bike look really small in there!
The drive from Kittitas to Blaine was completely uneventful, complete with weather that made me wonder whether I should not have been riding the bike rather than trailering. Oh well...
Seeing as the Vehicle Export office of the US Customs is only open during weekdays I had to store the bike at one of the locations the US Custom service recommended: very helpful, complete with contact telephone numbers and driving instructions! For anybody importing a bike (or car for that matter): I can highly recommend A to Z Storage in Blaine: brand new covered storage, individual small garage for your bike for the princely sum of $4US per day! The owner lives next to the premises and, if you make arrangements ahead of time, comes out when you call him at home and opens up the facility. Great service!
So now the bike is sitting just south of the border, I have received an e-mail from the Vehicle Export Office to say the bike can be brought across the border any time from Monday onwards: life is good!
On top of that: you should have heard the sound when we started the bike at the hand-over point in Kittitas! Pure pleasure!
So now I am looking forward to collecting the bike this week and hoping for good weather next weekend for a ride! And that passenger seat: pure bliss for my long-suffering wife on the back of the Gixxer!