Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Major bike repair in Mesa (near Phoenix), Arizona 8-21 Jan 2015

Once upon a time ...
Photo by LA Times (taken by Mark or Chris).
Remember what happened on December 10th 2014? My sidecar broke down on the Racetrack Valley in Death Valley, CA (USA). Even though we rode from Las Vegas to Phoenix plenty of repair was still to be done.

We made it to the Los Angeles Times magazine. Read the story here (our part starts at the bottom of page 6).

My days in Mesa were fully focused on getting my sidecar back to order. Skippy was busy with her studies and making some food for us. Brant - a blacksmith running his own company - added some metal to my trailing arm. Let's hope that it will last now. At least I got his “warranty” that he will come and fix it independent of where ever I would be in case this arm will go broken again – excellent “customer” service ;)
Start of strengthening the stock trailing A arm.
Two here...
... and one here. Some paint and ready!
Brant having fun.
Painted and installed.
Two days later the trailing arm was fixed, painted and installed. The rear shock repair started somewhat slow since weekend was coming and some shops are closed on Saturday whereas others are closed Sunday and Monday. As we were waiting for answers, parts were ordered and delivered it took in the end almost two weeks to get the rear shock fixed. Wow!
Morning walk with Brianna, Lyra and Ulpu.
Brianna's heart-breaking look.
Winnston - king of the house.
The couch - center of the dogs lives.

Gretchen, Brant, Skippy, Brianna, Winnston, Lyra and Ulpu. Brutus was hiding again somewhere.
Another thing was to investigate the clutch of the Beemer. Something was not right. The last couple of days the bike shuddered when leaving e.g., a traffic light. Besides that the clutch had suffered a lot on this trip. Since it was obvious that the rear shock would take its time, I thought I investigate the clutch and a few hours later I had the clutch parts in my hands. Here were my findings:
  • The diaphragm spring was out of center when I took it away from the bike. Now that was suspicious and in order to avoid another failure I decided to replace it with a new one. Most likely this was the cause for the extremely odd behavior lately.
  • The clutch plate measured 5.5mm inside, 5.3mm in the middle and 5.1mm outside. That kind of uneven wear appears to be normal based on Siebenrock guys in Germany. As a new plate is 6.5mm and the plate had now some 60+ tkm used, I calculated that I would face trouble in South America assuming a linear usage. Therefore I decided to replace it now as well.
  • The pressure and housing plate had some clear markings of abuse but I decided to go with them and only polish them a bit.
Wolfi likes to screw around.
Clearly visible the center piece is somewhat out of center.
Old clutch plate.
Suffered plates.
and the other one looks similar.
New clutch plate (Siebenrock oil-resistant) and diaphragm spring (it felt more sturdy).
Wolfi walking with Brutus and Brianna (or other way around...)
Even Skippy managed to hold them ;)
All maps arrived - let's go.
We also got few free concerts :)
Skippy stretching...
and doing her exams with the required anti-alien medicine.
Brianna's way of sitting.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ULPU! (She got 7 years old)
As the bike was standing there I realized that the exhaust muffler also suffered in the past and started to disintegrate. Fixing appeared not feasible since the inner pipe was broken from too deep inside the muffler. The poor man's option would be to let it be or remove the part so that it would not fall out one day during riding and potentially even hit Skippy (or somebody else).
More broken things - Remus Revolution exhaust muffler disintegrated.
Once more I asked for help in ADVrider and DaveBig jumped in, sent me a stock silencer for free and even paid for the shipping. Thanks a lot – I really appreciate it! Even tough the BMW silencer is a bit heavier (the Remus weighs almost 4kg and the BMW silencer weighs 6kg.), the positive effect was that it was not as noisy as my Remus Revolution (especially since my bike had the Y-pipe instead of the catalyst). Brant got a piece of pipe and welded the extension piece on so that it does not heat the sidecase neither makes it all black. I was happy.
Wolfi got a vegan burger at The Cutting Board

While waiting for my shock I had plenty of time to check the Suzuki. It was time for some yearly (30tkm) maintenance like changing the cooling liquid, fork oil and brake fluid. Besides that I noted that the rear shock was also leaking. Oh no! Another two weeks somewhere? This time I decided to order the seals by myself and figure out later where I would go to get the shock fixed.
Almost all is fixed - mission accomplished.
Fruits from the front yard. We were allowed to take as many grapefruits as we wanted. Skippy fit 25 in her sidecase.
New muffler came.

Brant added the extension.
Fits perfectly!
What was supposed to be a 3-4 days stay ended up to be a two weeks invasion to Brant and Gretchen's house. We really really thank you for your patience and hospitality!
Track from Las Vegas to Phoenix (about 1000km).

And some more material in the next version of our travelogue by Skippy.