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Repairs Complete, Check!

Posted by TravellingStrom on September 17, 2012

Mayan Prophecy Countdown

I managed to get a few things done today, but put off the bike shipping thing until I had seen and heard from Neil. He headed off for a 10am start at the shippers and would report back later. There were a few of use interested in the procedure that needed to be followed to get the bike out, but it seems it will not be like taking it from Oz, which was roll on roll off. But, more on that later.

In the meantime I decided to concentrate on the pannier system. I had been missing one bolt from the back left hand mount point for a while, which I believe was the main cause of the broken mount a few days ago as it allowed more stress to be applied in other areas. This part of the frame where the bolt was missing, had broken once before and re-welded, well, the weld was so good I could no longer just bend the frame into position and it seemed that the mounting hole was stripped. But, on closer inspection with the tail assembly off, it turned out that the metal sheet with the threaded hole in it was not aligned properly, it had been bent in and twisted, probably by the crash. So, it was a simple matter to straighten that, then with the help of the security guard here at the Oasis who has access to some mean tools, the frame was bent to line up correctly and lo and behold my pannier racks were now mounted as designed 🙂

It was good to achieve that outcome, even though I would not be doing any more Mongolian off road riding, it would be stronger and should last the rest of the trip. For those curious to know, the frame has been designed from normal steel and is the weak point, for a very good reason, every country in the world has people who can do normal stick welding, so to get the frame repaired is quite easy. Not many people have access to MIG or TIG welding, which is needed for aluminium which the actual panniers are made from, especially in the middle of nowhere like I was the other day.

All the other bikers in my area of the Ger camp were also getting their bikes sorted. Chris was just packing his ready for the crating in a few days, while Nacho was finishing off the chain sprocket replacement he needed. I had carried a full kit, front and rear sprockets and chain, all the way from Hungary as my replacements. But, his need was greater, his front sprocket had no teeth left, which was the problem he had been experiencing the other day, not the clutch like he thought. Even though his bike was a different brand, a Yamaha Tenerre, my front sprocket did fit his shaft, but the rear sprocket had a different bolt hole configuration so he could not use that. But, the front sprocket teeth were a different size which meant he could not use his old chain, so he had to use my new one and that would get him out of trouble. The other biker there was Wim, a Belgian who had ridden here from home and was shipping his bike back overland by container. He was using a different shipper and they would arrive and build his crate at the Oasis and take the bike away, this was easier for him time wise, but cost more.

Once I had finished with my bike for the day, I relaxed, reading a book and some internet stuff. The evening was the same, a few beers, a nice dinner and then later than expected Neil turned up. It seems there were a few hoops to jump through, payment being one of them which meant going between a few different banks as the shipper does not have a credit card machine as yet. Then they have to go from the office to the airport area where the crating place is, which is a fair distance, then make the crate. There were some other delays for him also which caused the late return, but he did get it packed, strapped and wrapped, so all is good. His advice is to get there early and maybe also now that this shipper has done 3 bikes in the past week, he would be more streamlined. But, the front wheel needs to come, off, the windscreen and handlebars also, the panniers and top box, the fuel has to be drained and the tank left open for 2 days to air it out and the battery needs to be fully removed, whew!!!

Chris and Nacho were both getting theirs done on Wednesday, but after seeing how long it takes for one, I will make sure mine is the only bike done that day, when I book mine in, I will sort that out tomorrow after I have booked a flight to China.

Cheers from Ulan Batar, Mongolia

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