TravellingStrom

Riding to the end of the world, and beyond!

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Vstrom Broke Again :(

Posted by TravellingStrom on March 1, 2013

Because I had gone to bed so early last night I was awake before sparrow fart and went down to the beach to see the sunrise. There were a few low clouds, but the end result was fine 🙂 (warning, gratuitous sunrise photo ahead)

As you can see it turned into more of a cloud rise, but it still looked OK. I wandered up to the 7/11 for some breakfast items as I seemed to be in an area with no real places to eat. That seen to I was planning on going to an internet cafe next to the cabin, but he said he was closed 😦 Then he said, here, this is the WiFi password, sit outside and go for it 🙂 That was real nice of him and I could now check emails and the forums. After that I headed off south again. The bike started but once again with a squeal from the starter motor, hmm, not nice at all. Everything else seemed OK, so I continued.

Once I was on the main highway and running at the posted limit I started to have doubts about the bike. It seemed sluggish, especially on hills and when overtaking and seemed to be vibrating a bit when under load. I stopped and took out my ear plugs and that was when I could hear a distinct knocking noise from the engine, this was not good 😦

I decided this was not a good place to park so I put on my hazard lights and kept on riding slowly until I found a gas station, not a petrol station, this was only gas. Here I parked up in the shade before being told to move the bike. By now I had decided I needed help and tried to call Frank Butler in Phuket, to see if he had any ideas, but he was not available.

I was trying to decide, do I go back to Bangkok(500km north) or keep on going to Phuket(330km south). I certainly could not ride the bike the way it is, something was seriously wrong in the engine. There was no oil leakage and nothing broken that I could see. In the end I decided to head south(I hate back tracking if I can help it) and I knew they had big bikes down that way. After much arm waving and gesticulation, I managed to convey to the servo workers that I needed a truck to take me south. They phoned a chap, who came around to check the bike, the oil seemed a bit low, so he took me to buy some and it took 700ml before the sight glass was at the correct level(where did all the oil go, that is 1/3rd of the sump contents?) This certainly did quieten the motor down, but the knocking noise was still there. If you recall, yesterday when I crashed, the bike was running at nearly full revs on its side for 22 seconds! This meant the engine was not pumping oil and although the tip over sensor failed, maybe the oil pressure sensor took control and shut it down eventually, but not quite soon enough it seems.

I think I have done a big end bearing, something was very loose and sloppy in there. When I asked(with arms and pointing) about hiring a truck, the mechanic dude agreed to drive me down there for the princely sum of 6,000baht, which is just a tad under $200AU. Was it worth it, well, what better offers are available. He agreed to come back at 3pm and we would load the bike and finish the journey.

During the 2 hours waiting time, one of the gas girls went and bought me some lunch from a shop a few kms up the road. They also found me a chair and some shade and generally looked after me, very nice people, and all I had in return were a few fluffy koala bears, but here kid loved them 🙂

I had stripped the bike of panniers and other gear to make loading easier and lucky for me I carry a good set of ratchet straps as his bits of rope were not going to be good enough for me 🙂 Those ratchet straps have been heavily used this leg of the trip, best bit of gear I brought with me 😉 Although I wish I did not have to use them as much as I have!

By now I had made contact with Frank, he had booked me into a hotel down there and after nearly 4 hours we arrived in Phuket where Frank met us. I booked in and unloaded all my luggage and other gear into the room. He had also during the afternoon done some phoning around and found a bike shop eager and willing to look at and repair it. They were a Harley shop, but used to big expensive bikes, so I was happy with that 🙂 We followed Frank to this shop and unloaded the bike, lucky for us there was a staff member there as it made unloading off the ute easier, and we could store the bike inside, instead of outside overnight(it was now gone 8pm). I saved the way point of the Bike shop, paid my driver and he headed back north. In the end I reckon $200 was not a bad price for a 700km round trip and 8 hours driving 🙂 I then hopped on the back of Franks shopping trolley(Honda scooter with basket) and went back to the hotel. We had a couple of beers at the pub on the corner, but once again it was an early night.

Tomorrow was Saturday and I was going to go and see what the mechanic could do with the bike, if anything. My journey home could be about to end prematurely!

Cheers from Phuket
TravellingStrom

2 Responses to “Vstrom Broke Again :(”

  1. Bob said

    “Where did the oil go? Did you notice the oil level after the spill. It’s not unusual for oil to find its way into the air box when the bike is horizontal, where it can clog the filter giving you the sluggish running you experienced. Seven hundred ml seems a lot, but if the level was a bit low before the spill who knows.

    • Hi Bob

      It must have gone into the air box. I will have a look tomorrow. I have a new air filter so no worries there

      The bike has done 5,500 since the last oil change so I would expect to lose around 100ml in that time but not this
      much

      I guess I made a mistake by not checking the oil before riding off but it sounded fine at the time

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