Monday, 7 March 2011

Don't Tell Them Your Name Pike

Well here we are a little closer to D-day and the bike is sort of in one piece although to date its not been back on the road and there is still lots to do. Thanks go to Bob who always manages to answer the shout for help and Roger of Bennett Engineering who lives and works
up North. Roger found the cause of my crunching gearbox.

The photograph is not very exciting I know. No it’s not a picture of a well known object from an odd angle nor is it part of my wind up watch mechanism. The BMW aficionados among you will immediately know that it’s a shift cam (one of two in the gearbox I‘m told). The rest of us will have glazed over by now. I’m told this was the cause of my bad gear changes (my excuse anyway). The knobbly ring is supposed to be rock solid on the other bit but in my case there was 2-3mm play The wear was caused no doubt by hobnail booted Gendarmes trying to find gears that weren’t there during it’s previous life as a French Police off road training bike.

What else has been done, everything and nothing I suspect. The alternator, starter, chain tensioner, coil, carbs, suspension, battery, driveshaft have all been replaced or overhauled. The seat has been recovered (thanks Nigel) and the tank prettied up. I’ve kicked it, cursed it, pleaded with it and it still does or doesn't do what it damn well pleases. Just like Bob then (said tongue in cheek, honest).

Now everyone seems to name their bike, especially when you are going on a trip like this and of course it has got to be a female (can’t spend a year in totally male company). Bearing in mind the bikes characteristics and Bob‘s unstinting assistance, I thought Roberta might fit the bill, unless you have a better idea (may be some help or a bit of black from the Denman girls here). The Christening will take place once the old girl has been tamed and manages a 100 miles without breaking down. So far I’ve pushed it home two miles after the battery went flat (alternator not charging) and in an unrelated incident, have been recovered from the M3 when the alternator rotor came loose (lots of scary noise). Does this fill you with confidence that she will get us from Canada to Patagonia?

Che Guevara eat your heart out.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Don't Panic Mr Mannering

Panic, whose panicking. Bob might wait until April but I’m a gibbering idiot already (some say that’s normal). My advice to anyone planning a big trip is to start early because as sure as eggs is omlettes, something will blow the timetable to bits. The recent unexpected death of my dad has put lots of extra spanners in my plans (some unkind souls say I never had any in the first place).

We have owned these wonderful, reliable, never go wrong pieces of German engineering for over 18 months now and here is a picture of my mine as it is today (I’m sure that’s where the petrol tank goes). The rest of my planning is at an equally advanced stage. Anyone know where I can get a decent sleeping bag for a good price? The flight is booked for the 7th May and somehow I've got to be on the plane. Help……