Sunday, January 20, 2013

Fall Roadtrip Wrapup and major mechanical issues

    I know it has been a long time since I got back from my trip, but it has been a very eventful few months.  I can finally close out that trip report.

    When I made the stop in Pine Bluff, MO, I noticed that I had an odd tapping in my motor at times.  I ran under the assumption that my valves were getting a bit loose (like they do).  I put it on the checklist of things to do when I get home...."Adjust my valves".  When I got home, I swapped the bikes out and rode the R90 for a couple weeks.  I just didn't have time to get to the valved with the work schedule and all.  One fateful morning I was running late, so I decided to take the 1150 because it is a much faster startup in the morning.  About halfway to work, I noticed the ticking....then it turned into a full blown rattle....then a loud clatter.  I managed to get the bike hack to the house and made the decision to send it to the shop.  They ended up pulling the left jug to see what was up, and guess what they found......

    Things did not bode well for our young hero.  2300 miles across 8 states in a little over a week.  2 miles into the first ride after the trip, the motor lets go.  Not a little lets go, but a catastrophic kablooie.  The cam chain follower on the left side let go.  It is an $11 part, but to get to it, the entire motor has to be removed from the bike and taken completely apart.  Here is my baby on the lift:

    It is a very helpless feeling seeing your bike gutted on the lift like that.  That bike held together over that entire trip, and then let go 2 miles into my commute to work.  My baby drug my silly ass back home wounded.  He could just as easily dropped that part in any state, but he held together long enough to get me home.  That is the kind of love that doesn't wash off with soap and water.  Now he is all stripped on a lift waiting for some love. 

    We decided to go with a 90% rebuild and reseal, and new clutch since he was apart, so it took some time to get him back together.  I almost died when they got him back together and handed me the baggie that held the broken part. 

    It let go at a stoplight.  If that think would have let go on the highway at speed, who knows what would have been the result.  I will definately be buying my bike a beer, I certainly owe him one.

    While he was in the shop, I figured I would ride the R90 for a while.  Unfortunately, she had other plans.  The wonky headlight switch decided it was time to short out and shut down the charging system.  I had planned on taking her offline to do some upgrades, but not just yet.  She ended up going in for upgrades and repairs about 2 weeks later.  I will get the details up on that upgrade when she gets home from the surgeon.

    Fortunately, I was not alone in my time of suffering.  The Roll the Bones rally was kind of rough on The Kel's GS.  It seems that the suspension on the sidecar was not really up to the kind of riding that she likes to do, and it kind of BENT THE HELL out of the sidecar suspension.  Now her bike is in the shop getting the sidecar frame straightened and reinforced.  The builder is confident that the new setup will be much more sturdy when it comes to jumping railroad tracks....YAY!!!!!!!

Here is a little video of some of the rally:

Here is the full playlist of Roll the Bones videos:

She should have the GS back in the next couple weeks.....I hope.