When I rolled into Houston on this cross Continental motorcycle tour it was my first time ever being there. The skies were overcast and dreary. It had been raining on and off all day. I was exhausted and soaked to the bone. I had only planned to be there for a day and then move on towards St. Augustine Texas where a good friend of mine lives. The universe had different plans. The bike broke down…. apparently it was my destiny to stay in Houston for a while…. So I did and I had a really good time doing it despite the setback. I made a new friend and got to absorb the subculture a bit at the local craw fish festival….. Oh and did I mention that NASA is there?
Just outside Houston I noticed that my Harley Davidson XR-1200 was shaking and vibrating more than usual. What I didn’t know at the time was that one of the Stabilization bolts that holds the motor to the Frame had managed to come loose and then apparently decided to make itself a new home on the side of the highway somewhere between Austin and Houston. Of course…. because it is a Harley its a Torx Bolt you need a special tool for. As I gingerly rode on the bike began to backfire. Just a little bit at first but then a lot. It also started making awful metal on metal clanking noises. I was in trouble and I needed some professional guidance. I made my way to the Harley Davidson dealership in Houston and they were about as useful as my nipples…. that is to say, not useful at all.
They had no availability to get it up on the lift and they had none of the parts that I needed. Apparently Houston is 2 weeks from everywhere if you need a few bolts. I fired the bike back up and it sounded worse than ever. The good news was that I was able to locate the cause of the backfiring and the metal on metal sound. The vibrating of the motor had shaken the two bolts that attach the muffler to the engine clear off. I quickly googled other Bike Mechanics in town. I was so thankful to have found Gulf Coast Motorcycles. (located at 15502 Hwy. 3 Suite 107 Webster Texas 77598) (281-731-3445) (Facebook)
The mechanic there was totally slammed. He had a bike on all three lifts in the shop and had clearly already been there for some time working his tail off. I pulled up and explained to him that I was basically stranded, had no friends or family in town and explained the problems I had discovered with the bike.
He did me a huge favor. He took me in from the rain, pulled the bike he was working on off the lift and then put mine right up there and started working on it. He called 4 different places for the parts we needed and got a friend of his to bring the parts over. The service was excellent, he was incredibly kind and when I tried to tip him an extra $100 bucks for putting me at the front of the line in an emergency… he flat our refused to take the money. He just asked me to pay it forward. All in all he saved me at least a weeks worth of hotel costs and the nightmare of being stranded. I am so thankful for them! If you are ever in Texas and need help… GO SEE THEM!!!!
After I got my wheels back from the mechanic it was late. I found a hotel and headed in that direction. On the way there….. I passed Freaking NASA! I decided to book the hotel for an extra 2 days… I was going to do a little bit of exploring.