Day 75 – Blown Gasket with the Vikings

Woke up ready to go.   All my clothes were dry and I had a solid night’s sleep.   Grabbed a quick breakfast and chatted with some of the other residents.   Sounds like a few of them got rained out from their camp site.   Water in the tents and they were looking at packing up soaking wet gear.   A little bit of a depressing thought if my gear was rained out.   Little did I know, this would be the least of my worries.

Firing up the bike, I smelled smoke.   Burning oil – but I figured it was just stuff on the exhaust from lubing the chain the night before in the wind.  I limped out and headed for L’Anse aux Meadows.  I soon realized there was something very wrong with Mendy.  Power felt a bit down, but the kicker was the Gear indicator was sliding between 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gear without me doing anything.  I assumed it might be electrical and kept an eye out for a good place to stop.  Shortly after, she started to go into ‘neutral’ – light would come on and she would surge forward before going back into 2nd gear.

By the time I stopped, it was in the L’Anse aux Meadows Visitor Centre parking lot.  As I got off the bike, I noticed that my exhaust was noticeably white.   With a sick feeling in my stomach, I got off to look at the oil level window:


Fouled, I called Atlantic Motoplex and they confirmed that given my symptoms, I was dead in the water.  I hoped I would be able to limp her closer to civilisation, but they said no – anything I did now was likely just to cause more damage and to get a tow truck ASAP.  So, at 1:30pm Newfoundland Time – my motorcycle trip was over.


BCAA wasn’t a whole lot of help.  They just acknowledged that I was in the middle of nowhere and asked where I wanted to go…  The nearest dealership was Moncton, so that was probably the easiest.  Even they suggested that getting it towed that distance was not a good idea, nor cost effective.  So the next plan was to see if the towing company had any suggestions.   Call was placed and I took a quick walk around L’Anse aux Meadows just to check things out.

Art depicting the circumnavigation of the globe by the human population:

Reconstruction of the viking houses:



Eventually I made it back to the Visitor Centre to wait for the tow vehicle.  Two Garry’s came out to pick me up.   Watching them put Mendy on a flatbed brought back memories of the first time she was carried off – and that poor guy had to do it by himself with locked steering.

Buckled down for the trip back to the local shop:


The trip back to the shop was more than a bit questionable.  Quite bumpy and they only had 3 racheting straps.  Not entirely secure as we bounced our way the short distance.

At the shop, we figured we had a few options to pursue:

  • Tow/ship her as is to Moncton
  • Box her up and ship her to Moncton/Vancouver
  • Tow her to Corner Brook and rent a U-Haul and drive her back to Moncton myself
No one was really sure which method was going to make the most sense.  The first instinct had been the U-Haul route, but after watching them put the bike on and off, I did not relish the thought of me doing the same with her fully loaded.
I called Ducati Roadside assist to see if they could provide any new ideas.  The guy on the other end pretty much just laughed about how far I was and mentioned that any phone numbers for tow services in the area probably weren’t valid and I might be on my own.  But he was able to provide me with a phone number for Ducati North America.  The guy on the other end of that was able to confirm that my warranty was valid until the end of August and that he would put a note on my file that I had broken down inside the warranty period. One load off my mind.
After a bunch of calls, we found companies who would be willing to quote us a rate to ship it to either Moncton or Vancouver, but only if it was crated up.  But after a few hours, we couldn’t find anyone who was willing to incur the potential liability of putting her in a crate.   And even then, it was likely to be very expensive, and didn’t do much to solve my problem of being trapped out in the middle of no where without a vehicle.
Eventually, there was some news down the pipeline that there was a trucker heading to Maine for a pickup and would have room for me and Mendy.  This would get me and Mendy to Moncton at least.   I knew Atlantic Motoplex would be able to do the work or crate her up and ship her to Vancouver.   It was a solid plan, the only hiccup was the price.  $1300.
With the time pressure, I placed a few calls to get an estimate for going the U-Haul route.  ~$600 for the vehicle, $150 for the trailer, $200 for additional shipping insurance, gasoline and ferry.  I was looking a t a few hundred in savings if I did it myself, but a lot more risk.
Eventually, I bit the bullet and coughed up the money and we sorted out my ride to Corner Brook.

View of Western Brook shortly before dark.   Just a touch of color on the mountains and the clouds where there was open sky.


We swung into the KOA and I packed up my stuff and loaded up the bike on the flatbed.  Overall, it took us a bit longer than originally planned to get into Corner Brook.  Which was okay, since the trucker I was to meet was still busy repairing a broken radiator.

They offered to drive me into town to find a hotel.  I mentioned I was more than happy just to set up camp somewhere flat or a covered spot out of the rain.  They directed me to a derelict truck and I called it a night.




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One thought on “Day 75 – Blown Gasket with the Vikings

  1. Sorry to hear about Mendy. I enjoyed checking your page every couple days for updates. An adventure of a life time. Hats off to you.

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