The motorcycle repair guy (Adrian, as it turns out) was to have opened his shop at 9AM, so we were there at that time to find the Vespa still waiting patiently for a fix. Adrian and Charlie (his son) took the bike right in and began disassembling it. As I watched this process I became increasingly confident in their ability, as they knew right where to look and just how to get to the problem. As we suspected, the drive belt (which transfers power from the engine to the rear wheel) had disintegrated as a result of pulling against that sticking rear brake. Here you can see the fuzz below Charlie’s hand, which was about all that remained of the belt:
Here’s the biggest fragment of the belt that we could find, maybe seven inches worth:
Adrian claimed to have logged over a million miles on motorcycles, showing me a map of the USA crisscrossed with colored lines marking the various routes he had taken across America over the years. He has been in business since 1963, but lost the BMW franchise when they demanded that he upgrade to a million-dollar facility. So, he no longer sells motorcycles, but continues to do repairs. No surprise, then, that in less than an hour they had the bike apart and ready for a new drive belt. They agreed to call me when they got it, so we wandered around Moncton all day waiting for a phone call that, so far, has not come.
We did, however, get to see the tidal bore, and it really is pretty cool, formed when the incoming tide meets and overpowers the downstream current in the river. This interaction produces a standing wave that moves at astonishing speed up the river. I took a video of it and tried to include it here, but apparently the file size is too big. 😦
One additional piece of good news (beyond the fact that nothing else on the scooter was damaged) is that our hotel did in fact have another vacancy tonight, so we are lodged in the same place, just a block from the garage. We managed to wangle a seating at a nearby hibachi grill for dinner (Osaka Hibachi, outstanding!) and enjoyed a new experience. Our chef was a great entertainer, juggling kitchen utensils and eggs, and joking and playing with our food in humorous ways (as an example, Robin ordered scallops, which he referred to as “Japanese marshmallows”):
But the food was fabulous and so we are set for tonight. Adrian was confident that he could have the Vespa in good order immediately after receiving the new drive belt, and our Maine dealer swears he sent it out yesterday, so we plan to leave as soon as possible tomorrow and go as far west as we can, with a stop at Hopewell Rocks on the way. If all goes well (and especially if the belt arrives tomorrow morning), we should be home on Saturday. Here’s keeping our fingers crossed!