Sunday, 27 October 2013

Of tramlines, tramlines and bigotry...

In this country tramlines are not generally of concern to motorcycle riders, unless you happen to ride around Manchester, Sheffield or the odd other place that has opted for this 'greener' form of public transport. As reported in an earlier post, encountering a tramline on a bike can lead to a swift trip to the local hospital (or krankenhaus, as I was thrown from the pillion whilst living in Germany).

Since that event and up until last Friday, tramlines never entered my mind in the context of riding. Then I had a ride down to the local Triumph dealer to enquire about leaky forks. I had had them done recently and had resigned myself to the fact that they had been badly done. Service guy gives me a price for new seals and when I tell him about the recent fix he ask if I have any tramlines. My blank expression prompts him to go outside and have a look for himself. There he shows me those neat parallel scratches running up the length of each fork stantion. Apparently it doesn't matter how good the seals are if there are these scratches, the oil will escape.

So, I feel a little guilty at having blamed the guy who had done the recent seal change. But, then I realised that he should have spotted this scratching. Not that I was going to go back to that particular establishment as the technician in question had made a deeply offensive racist remark about a news item on the radio in my presence. I am ashamed to say that as he was in the process of replacing my forks I just stood in embarassed silence. The guy's a bigot and I hope I never meet him again. I'll certainly never push any of my hard earned cash in that direction again.

Next Friday the bike goes in for replacement stantions to be fitted. Up-shot is I get to ride a courtesy bike. Being a Triumph dealer it's not going to be something small. I'll let you know.        


  1. Interesting name for the parallel scratches on a fork. I will have to keep it in my vocabulary.

    I have heard you can get those scratches by doing wheelies. I don't suppose you've been wheelieing about have you? How do you suppose you got those tramlines?

    - Dave at Motorcycle Addiction

    1. No, I don't wheelie. I didn't notice these scratches before I had the seals replaced, though I can't be 100% sure. So, basically I don't really know how it's happened.

  2. I wasn't aware of the term tramlines for that either. Good to know.

    I am still amazed at how shops in other countries give courtesy rides. I hear of that from Bandit Rider in New Zealand when he has work done on his bikes. Unheard of in these parts. You need someone to pick you up until service is done and then get a ride back to the shop to retrieve your bike.

  3. I think one of the reasons for letting service customers use courtesy bikes is because it may get them interested in a future purchase. Good sales tactic really.

  4. Living near a windy beach I learned about fork scratches long ago. I now put fork gaiters on my bikes, ugly though they are. Of course, on a V-Strom, "ugly" is really sort of a relative term.
    Jeff in San Francisco

  5. Of course, I'm not at all jealous of the fact that you live near the sea and in a place where it's good to ride all year round! Thanks for visiting my blog Jeff.