Yet More Crunchy Bits
Posted by TravellingStrom on December 29, 2012
Well things are not looking so bright up here in Laos
I had come down with a wog and a headache, so I was not at my best. But I did put some posts out in the forums asking for advice. I knew in my heart what needed to be done, and if I was at home I would do it. That being, replace the basket and strip the engine down.
The questions I needed answered though was, what was the band for, can I ride without it. Also will flushing the engine a few times be good enough to continue the journey.
Out of the replies over the next few days, there were two schools of thought.
1- The motorcycle community, bikers but mainly the Vstrom bikers. Replace the basket, strip the engine and clean it before riding it.
2- The adventure riders forums, stop bitching, tie some string around the damm thing, flush the oil and get riding
It was good to hear these different ideas and I sure did not want to arrive home with my bike on the back of a truck, or worse, no bike!!
I made the mental decision that I would try and source a new clutch basket but at a pinch I could ride at low revs without it. It was used to stop the fingers of the basket flexing outwards at high rpms, which I never did much anyway, only if I found an extra neutral sometimes. If I could order one in and have it arrive ahead of me down in Cambodia, then that would be fine.
The oil issue, well, if I got the oil nice and warm, and then changed it, maybe do this a few times until no more metal comes out, I would confident enough to ride it.
But, there was no point making any decision about anything until we looked at the rear head. Fuark was doing so much work on his own rental bikes, mine kept getting pushed back and back, so when I went down Boxing Day he had not even looked at it He promised in the morning.
The next day was the same and it was not until late morning when I returned the 2nd time that the bad news was in. As you can see from the following photo, which is the rear cylinder head, the top two valves, the intake valves are not sitting right.
We removed the valves and inspected the the head for any damage, but it just seemed to be the valves themselves had ended up being whacked by the piston and bent the stems. The piston itself was OK according to Fuark, I never saw it the bike was already back in the shop.
The seats that the valves rest against were fine, they had actually been banged higher up the head than the seat. So, now I know. What pissed me off is I have just wasted nearly a month here. If the oil had been dropped when I asked last time, this would have been found then and I would have been able to order parts and get them here with no christmas closures and other holiday hassles. But there you go, it did not happen and now I have to try and source some parts, then get them shipped here and hopefully get the bike running in time before my visa expires yet again
I am also booked as a presenter at the Horizons Unlimited meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand on the 11th Jan. That may or may not happen now, I hope I am there though.
So, off to chase parts once again
Cheers from Vientiane