Friday, April 8, 2022

Do you know what this motorcycle starter noise means?

 I own a Royal Enfield motorcycle to make myself happy. There's nothing like a ride to cheer me up. Writing this blog about Royal Enfields is a cheerful hobby and, of course, I will read anything I find about Royal Enfield motorcycles.

 But I generally stay off Reddit. I find it doesn't make me happy, even if the subject is Royal Enfield.

 You know how people say Facebook creates an artificial world, in which everyone is always happy? That's because we tend to show our "friends" only the happy events in our lives, although no one is really happy all the time.

The most genuine characters on Facebook are all cats.

Well, on Reddit, I think I detect a world in which everyone poses as the smartest in the room. And that room is filled with a lot of sharp elbows. It's you and your smart aleck friends, and anyone who isn't clued in is fair game.

Reddit is not alone in this. The Internet can be cruel. Reddit doesn't lag on that.

I wondered into a Reddit discussion started by a fellow who asked why his Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 suddenly wouldn't start. He posted a video of the noise it made when he hit the starter button.

The noise was the click-click-click that obviously indicates a dead battery.

And the hooting began. Apparently Reddit gets a lot of requests for help from guys who just need a new battery. Not recognizing the click-click-click as the giveaway is considered laughable.

"This is got to be bullshit, correct? If this is for real then you need your man card revoked," offered a contributor who signs himself with a pen name that may refer to the size of his own personal male equipment.

The group is obviously weary of cries for help that come down to "you need a new battery."

"It's always the sodding battery," was one response, from a fellow who opened with initials signifying an obscene expression.

"At this point I have to believe that the majority of these dead battery posts just have to simply be trolling," another suggested.

One respondent called for Reddit moderators to "do something" about it.

That's unlikely. "Hard to sort out shitposting from actual ignorant people," one man noted.

The original poster pled innocence.

"I'm new to this group, didn't realize there were a ton of dead battery posts. I'll be sure to check the others," he wrote.

A couple respondents chipped in actual advice and one explained why the question gets asked so often:

"I just think it's the most common fault. We used to have a breakdown cover company that advertised it could solve 85 percent of breakdowns by the roadside. It wasn't that they were magicians with trucks full of endless parts, it was that many call-outs are just battery/fuel/fuse/tire."

Less kind, but funnier, was the response from a fellow who wishfully offered to buy the 2019 Interceptor in question for $350, since it "sounds permanently broken."

"Is this supposed to be a joke about how the newer Enfields don't have ammeters?" another joked.

There was a call for courtesy.

"All the people complaining about someone asking for help need to get off Reddit a little more during their day," one man wrote, kindly. But, then, he concluded his comment not so kindly with "Buncha pricks."

Another sympathetically remembered that a dead battery had caught him out shortly after he got his license.

"I mean, how are you supposed to know, if you are new?" he asked.

But others were cutting no slack.

"I see both sides of this, but individuals should possess 'entry' knowledge before getting on a bike. Accidents might go down. Not trying to be rude, but how can proper downshifting and corner entry be accomplished if a dead battery is puzzling?" wrote one.

"If you don't have a basic understanding of stuff like this, you should not be operating a machine that can kill other people and yourself," another agreed.

The smartest people in the room might buy that.

I'm not the smartest, most mechanical, or best downshifter around. But I wonder just how high those who are would place the bar for someone who wants to begin motorcycling.

One last thing: the guy who didn't know that click-click-click means a dead battery said he had just finished adjusting the valves of his 2019 Interceptor when he noticed the bike wouldn't start.

One Reddit contributor noticed this aspect:

"Hold up, you knew enough to check your valve lash but you didn't know what a dead battery sounds like?" he asked the original poster.

"That's correct," the guy with the dead battery replied.


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  2. +1 on what Roger offered. The problem might not just be Reddit. One problem with those fancy newer 650 twin owners is that their bikes are just TOO DAMNED GOOD. My hunch has long been that they'd be a lot less snarky to each other with a little more shared suffering. A few of those fragging sprags that Roger alludes to (exploding half-ass starters), some self-decapitating pistons or valves, or a bouquet of fasteners that'll strip their threads if the wind blows too hard would surely give them a little more of the we're-all-in-this-together foxhole camaraderie of the owners of earlier less plug-n-play Enfield models. Still...I want an Interceptor bad. I adore my elderly Bullet. It feels like it's an accomplishment keeping her running, and this is largely owing to the collective shared wisdom of other owners. But those new twins seem like having a Norton Commando without all that required ceaseless fettling. Hell, even their new J-engine 350 Meteor or lovely "Classic" model just out this year are appealing to my little inner lazy man. But there's an almost masochistic sense of shared pride lost there.


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