While I was out yesterday evening another mail arrived from my dealer; after consulting with Triumph it was (understandably) assumed
that the antenna for the keyless ignition system may be faulty. Triumph advised that the resistance of that antenna should be between 0.70
and 0.85 Ohms. So I check this early in the morning; 0.80 Ohms it is, so the antenna is fine, too.
I also check on the map for the nearest Triumph dealers that can sort out these electronic gremlins; needless to say that Söderköping is in the centre of a triangle of three dealerships, all equally between 250 and 300 kilometres away. The first one is north of Stockholm - and that means big city, traffic jams and stress. The second one is in Kalmar, a small town I know quite well from previous visits to Sweden. I try all of the phone numbers on the dealers website, but no one picks up the phone. On the website I find that this dealer is carrying out a massive extension to his premises, so they are obviously too busy with the builder to bother with trifles like customers. The third dealership is in a tinpot little village called Anderstorp. Again it is unnecessary to mention that I have contacted the only motorbike dealership in the entire country where all the employees either speak no or only very limited English.
However, they are at least willing to have a look at the bike, in spite of the current high season, providing that I manage to get the bike into their workshop. That is rather difficult with a non-starting bike with a locked steering that can't be unlocked.
Never mind, this is not the first time I am in this kind of predicament. I am briefly contemplating to get the van from my Swiss dealer, but a phone call finds that the van is already borrowed out all weekend. Instead I'll have a word with the hotel owner; indeed he has a van at his disposal. He phones around and finds a former employee named Felix willing to drive me and my bike to the Anderstorp dealership for fuel and 1500 Kronor for the six hour round trip. That being sorted, all I need now is a couple of burly Vikings to help me drag the bike with its locked steering onto the van. By sheer coincidence the van comes with a perfect ramp to push the motorbike up on; apparently the owner uses it to drag fridges from the van directly onto his boat on the Göta Canal. For me that ramp is ideal for the bike.
With the help of Felix and two big chaps from the kitchen crew the bike is finally on the van and all is ready to go by 1400 hours. Felix is a
student with the necessary spare time to take on this long drive. By 1720 hours we are at the dealership where the bike is lifted into the
workshop. The mechanics are both my age and the kind of guys I would gladly have around to solve the most complex mechanical problems. How good
they perform on the innards of equally complex electronic components remains to be seen. We agree that I call them again tomorrow morning at
1000 hours - hey, that means that I can have a lay-in tomorrow morning.
Afterwards Felix drives me those six kilometres to my hotel in Gislaved these kind people in Söderköping have pre-booked for me this morning. There is another hotel closer to the workshop, but apparently Anderstorp is fully booked this weekend - for a cat pageant!
As agreed I phone the dealership at 1000 hours this morning. Their computer is not telling them what the problem is (i. e. there are no
error codes stored in the ECU). They have been on the phone to Triumph Sweden and Triumph UK, but apparently the Triumph company in
Hinckley is themselves at a loss what the cause of the problem may be.
The situation is unchanged when I call again this afternoon at 1600 hours.
I have decided to wait until Monday evening. If the problem isn't fixed by that time, then I'll have to return to Switzerland as a pedestrian.
This part of Sweden is very rural, but unfortunately also the hottest part of this hottest spring in Sweden in 150 years. It hasn't
rained in weeks and the temperature will reach 30 °C for the next couple of days.
The housekeeping crew of the hotel is in tatters this morning; apparently the two lower floors of the hotel are smelling of all those unpleasantries that overexited felines leave behind and the staff is not amused. The cat people have arrived in force for the cat beauty pageant. Luckily I am on the third floor - guaranteed to be entirely cat-free except for one certain biketraveller with a Tiger. Gislaved is just another sleepy provincial town with not much going on. They have an industry museum in town, but inside the building it's already 26 degrees by 1000 hours, so I rather give that a miss. Thankfully my room is reasonable cool, in spite of not being air conditioned.
Expecting that the Swedish mechanics won't be able to fix the Marsupilami, I use today to familiarise myself with the details of
the European public transport system. Getting from here to Switzerland via rail is a major operation, involving about 15 changes of
transportation and taking the best part of 24 hours. The main reason for this is that rail transport in Germany appears to be about
as sub-standard as the road system is. I would have to change trains many times in Germany to get from the North to the South. So
instead I decide that it is time to throw one of my principles overboard and use a mode of transport I would normally never consider; an
aircraft with human beings on board who have devices at their disposal which allow them to crash that aircraft, i. e. an aeroplane with two inherently
unsafe components on board; a pilot and a co-pilot.
While the technology is ready to get rid of these two components which are entirely surplus to requirements, the clientele of the airlines however is not; recent polls show that most people wouldn't want to fly in an aircraft without these dangerous, unnecessary add-ons. I myself am willing to be the very first passenger on the very first flight that takes off without these two overpaid bus drivers. The youngest pilot I would trust is Sully Sullenberger, but AF 447 is the ultimate proof that the Sully Sullenbergers of this planet are a rare breed that is rapidly dying out.
I book myself a flight out of Copenhagen for Tuesday afternoon. That shortens the time required to get back to Switzerland from 24 hours to nine hours.
I take the bus to Anderstorp this morning and visit the Triumph dealership. As anticipated the Swedish mechanics have been unable
to find the problem with the bike. I am told that the next step would be to replace one part after the other until the part
responsible for the fault has been found, starting with the steering lock and the ECU unit.
I agree with the dealership to leave the bike here until next Monday. That should give me enough time to return to Switzerland, fetch my truck and come back to Anderstorp to collect my bike.
I have arranged with the hotel to leave all of my heavy bike kit with them. It would look a bit strange if I'd arrive at the airport
with two panniers and a helmet.
While having my breakfast I get an SMS from the (state-owned) SJ railway company; I am informed that my train from Alvesta will be delayed. There is no indication by how much that train will be delayed, instead I am supposed to use their Android app on my mobile phone to check for details. I suppose my Nokia 3210 would somewhat struggle with that app.
Anyway, it's too late now to change my arrangements, so by 0920 hours I take bus no. 202 from Gislaved to Värnamo. At 10.36 the train leaves Värnamo towards Alvesta. At Alvesta the signboard tells me that the 1126 to Copenhagen will arrive at 1145. At 1140 the sign changes and advises that the train will arrive at 1200. At 1155 the sign changes again to the new arrival time of 1215. The train actually arrives at 1230. Given that the train starts in Stockholm and takes exactly three hours from there to reach Alvesta, having lost more than one hour on that three hour journey should be a good indicator for the state of the Swedish rail network.
Once on board the conductor advises us passengers that this train will no longer go into Copenhagen, but will end instead at Malmö. Passengers wanting to go to Copenhagen are requested to alight at Lund an take the 1340 local train over the Øresund Bridge to the Danish capital.
That 1340 train is hardly 20 minutes late, so by 1430 I arrive at Copenhagen airport. My plane leaves at 1450 hours. Copenhagen airport is well known for being an eternal building site. The path from the railway station to terminal 2 is an open air steeplechase around a variety of building projects. The sole lady at the Swiss airline desk looks sternly at me and my request to call the gate, but then does get on the phone - and yes, I'm allowed to try getting on board in time.
Luckily there is not much going on at the security checkpoint and within 10 minutes I am airside. I manage to get to the gate in time and by 1700 hours I am in Zürich.
By 1900 hours I am back home.
I have visited my dealership in Switzerland who are in contact with Triumph regarding the warranty repair of the bike. Triumph hasn't yet told them what they want to do, but the gut feeling is that the dealership in Sweden should really carry out the repair and that the "we can't help you, we can't repair your bike" approach by the Swedish dealership may not be accepted by Triumph.
After not much did happen since my return from Sweden last week I have today asked for a decision to be made by Triumph on how
the repair of my bike is supposed to progress. The problem has not been helped by the fact that for warranty cases in Sweden
the Triumph head office in the Netherlands is responsible, while for warranty cases in the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) the German office is responsible.
In spite of this chaotic spread of responsibilities I have to say that Triumph has made a considerable effort to get the problem sorted; after the breakdown couldn't be resolved by the mechanics at Stigefelts Motor nor by my Swiss mechanics they have involved the technical department in Hinckley who have determined that the keyless ignition ring antenna must be the cause of the problem. They have sent a replacement to Anderstorp which they are convinced will fix the problem. That replacement should arrive there today. Given the fact that I already suspected the same problem and have measured the internal resistance of the aforementioned antenna ring and found it to be in perfect working order I am not as convinced as those technicians in Hinckley are that this will fix the issue.
However, those guys at Triumph have also agreed with me that picking up my motorbike in Anderstorp (be it repaired or not) is the best solution to ensure that I get it back into working condition without having to ask my boss-man for an additional extended vacation to pick it up in Sweden after the repair.
So I have spent today getting my truck ready for a four-day excursion into Jönköping County to bring back my bike to Switzerland.
Below is the usual map with my GPS tracklog.