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Posts Tagged ‘Mayan Prophecy’

After The Apocolypse, What Apocolypse?

Posted by TravellingStrom on December 25, 2012

Mayan Prophecy Countdown – The end of the 1st age

For those that care, Merry Christmas

So, last week I got a phone call from the Post Office in Vientiane, there is a package awaiting me, from the bike doctor in Oz, yeehaa my parts have arrived 🙂 I talked to Fuark who said he could not do the bike until Saturday, oh well, so be it. I arranged a bus to get me down to Vientiane on Friday, 21st Dec 2012. This would allow me to get the parts from the post office and get them to the shop 🙂 Now, some of you may be wondering, well, what about the Mayan Prophecy and all that, isn’t the world going to end on the 21st and why bother with the bike then?

Well, I never ever said that the world would end on that day, in fact this is what I said:

So, if I needed any type of excuse to go for a ride around the world, then the fact that there may not be a world as it is today in 2012, seemed like as good a reason as any.. And..If the world does not end in 2012, then I will have seen a lot of the world and enjoyed spending my savings in a way I wanted to.

So, the arrangements were made with a bus ticket and although I thought about having an end of the world party up the road, I was still a bit tender from last nights revelling 😉 So, I had a quiet night, intending to be sober and clear headed when I got to town.

Of course, as we now all know, there was no ‘end of the world’ so what did I achieve, well, I got to ride around Australia, I got to ride through the whole continent of the Americas, north, south and central. I got to watch the Dakar Rally live. 🙂 I met a huge amount of people, drank many different brews of beer, I then rode throughout Europe, Central Asia, a bit of China and now South East Asia. I have had some great adventures and am experiencing one right now. So, to me, it has been worth it, and yep when I get home I will have to start over, but there you go, if I had not of gone, I would be kicking myself and asking everyone to kick me as well 🙂

So, the end of the world was a fizzler, but there were certainly some funny cartoons getting around, here is a sample to make you smile, and because this is xmas day that I am writing this, there is one along that theme as well, which pretty well sums it all up for me 🙂

Oh, btw, you may have noticed a new countdown up at the top of the page, well, that signifies the end of the 1st age of the new Mayan Calendar, which is 5200 years in the future, so nullus anxietas eh 🙂

And for that special Christmas message


So on the 21st I get the bus, and in the early afternoon it drops me right outside the bike rental place I used before, which was good, and I grabbed my helmet which I left there, rented another scoot and scooted off to the post office. A very simple procedure, hand over passport, sign here, here is your parcel 🙂 I then went straight over to Fuarks shop to be told the bad news, he cannot work on the bike now until Monday, *&^%$$##, 😦 But, to be fair, he had a whole stack of rental bikes just come in that needed servicing before they go out again, so that is the way it is! But, what can I do, I am now stuck here for another 3 days, in this smog ridden stinky city, I could have been up in Vang Vieng having another sundowner?

Well, what I can do is sit back at the Villa Lau and have a rum 🙂

I met up with the dirt bike riders again, Pounce and crew, they were flying home tomorrow. I also met Jim, their bike hire chap, who said I could have had one of his clients bring the stuff from Oz as he has people coming over all the time!!! Well, nice to know that after the fact, but useful for the future 🙂

Skipping the weekend, Monday arrives and I am down at the workshop at 9am, the problem is, none of the mechanics are!!! After I waited a while, Fuarks wife says they will be here later as he is busy at a different shop 😦 Time is ticking, I thought we could get and early start and have this done in a day and I could be on the road tomorrow, but it is not to be. He eventually did arrive, but his mechanic that will do the work has home issues and will be in a bit later! He does turn up around 11.30 and they finally drag the bike out from the back of the shop where it has been hidden behind 4 layers of bikes, you can just see the grey top box, I am standing two rows of bikes in! But, at least they have started.

The first job we tackle is the front cam chain, he has a chain breaking tool and proceeds to attach the new chain to the old one, then we wind the engine over by hand and drag the new chain through and he rejoins the chain, pretty simple.

The new chain tensioner is installed for the front then we run into some difficulties. Access to the rear chain tensioner is blocked by the chassis and he is starting to remove the ABS system to get in there, but I put a stop to it, according to the manual, the engine has to come out for that one to be replaced. I make a decision to just replace the rear chain which we start to do. While he is preparing for that, I look closely at the rear camshafts and notice something I dreaded to see, metal specks, tiny flecks of some type of metal in the oil and in the hollows of the teeth as well, if you check these photos, they are the uneven blotchy bits in the valleys of the gears, not the sloping surfaces, those marks are wear marks. All those little shiny specks bode no good for the motor!

It is while we are winding the new rear cam chain through the motor that we notice a tight spot, and when we use a torch and look down the hole, we can see something about the lower cam chain gear that is not right. It is only in one spot, about a few teeth in length, but it is an issue I believe. 😦 This is where I start to get pissed off. Back when we worked on the bike about 3 or more weeks ago, I had heard a noise from this section, when we wound the motor over. But, Fuark in all his wisdom says it is the front cam chain tensioner which is the problem and everything else is OK. As I had just replaced the oil, and only ridden 255km, I said, lets get a clean container, drop the oil and see if we can see any metal, but he kept saying it is not needed. At the time I had to believe him, as he is the expert. So this is what now needs to be done, and because we broke for lunch, they had already dropped the oil by the time I had got back and so I never saw it!!

But, it did not matter, they had seen metal fragments and then taken the clutch cover off for an inspection where we found a strange bit of metal! The cam chain can be seen coming down in the upper right hand side, it is slack of course.

OK, so what the heck is that, apparently it was just sitting in the bottom left hand side, not attached to anything. Whatever it is, or was, it is now broken, it sort of looks like an oil flinger, but when we look at the service manual, nothing of that description fits!! Now, at this stage, Fuark is elsewhere, but a local expat who comes here to get his bike fixed(it was being worked on now) also came over for a look and to see if he could help. We had met last time I was here getting repairs. Now, the tight spot on the cam chain gear became obvious, in the next photo, there is a small bit of the same material in the upper right of the picture, that was jammed into the cam gear, causing the noise and tight spot we heard!!!

Ok, so we start looking at what should be there and where this bit fits in. We reinstall the clutch plates and basket and fit that back to the main shaft. In this next picture, the clutch assy is back on the main shaft, behind the clutch basket(which holds the individual clutch plates) to the right you can see a large metal gear, it is part of the basket, this drives the lower right hand metal gear which sits on the end of the cam chain gear shaft. Below is a yellow gear, which is plastic which is the oil pump gear, a very important bit!!

After some discussion and looking at the not so good pictures in the PDF service manual we arrive at the following conclusion. In the above photo, you can see distinctly that on the ends of the clutch basket fingers, those chunky metal things which hold the plates in place, there are some holes, but this photo will be clearer.

And if you look real close you can see that something has been drilled out here, maybe like a pop rivet!!!

So, to put all the evidence together, this is what has happened. That curly piece of metal was never curly to start with. It was a flat metal strap, like a wedding ring, it was pop riveted to the outside of the clutch basket fingers and you can see the indentation around the outside where it should be sitting.

Them frigging Chinese butchers!!!! Yep, they changed the old burnt out clutch up there in Kasgar. They installed the new plates but for some stupid reason took this band off, but even worse than that, they drilled out the rivets or whatever and installed the band FREE, with nothing to hold it in place. OMG, every thing those coc%$eads touched on my bike they bodged, every single repair they did, they threw away bits, added crap other stuff and basically rooted my bike and I only found this out over the next few months as these things came to light 😦 In fact here is the proof, this photo is the little wanker that caused this problem, and you can distinctly see a BLACK metal strap around the outside of the clutch basket, this is the only clear shot I have.

So, the band was sitting in there doing what, was it tight or loose, who knows. But, when I was riding the day of the problem, it either snapped or shifted and went behind the clutch basket and got caught up in the two metal drive gears. That is the reason for the new shape, it is very soft metal while the drive gears are of hardened steel. A piece of it also got caught up in the cam gear and stayed there, lucky for me the metal had already been reformed before it went through the oil pump gear!!!

OK, what to do. I really do not want to sit around here for another 3 weeks waiting on a new clutch basket, but I might have to. Also, there is all this metal in the engine, it probably needs a strip down and a good wash and a rebuild. But that will not happen in this shop, the place is filthy. I guess the only thing to do is to put it back together, get it running and flush the motor a few times, until sparkles stop coming out. Not an ideal situation, and I do have concerns about that band. Suzuki put it there for a reason, but we cannot work out what. The clutch plates are held in place by a plate and some bolts from the side, but the only thing that band could do would be to hold the fingers in place, that is what is scary, not knowing. But I will be posting this on some forums to get some Vstrom advice

At this point of the day, Xmas Day, the mechanics are still working on it, there is no Xmas here for Laos people. The only thing they have found since, was that the rear intake valves were out of speck by a lot, he is concerned the valve may have been bent. They are fine with the front cylinder and that is all back together. One of the things that concerned me about this shop, on top of the dirt, was the lack of a Torque Wrench. I had gone to all the trouble of supplying manuals and specs, and torque settings, but they were doing it by feel.

I am not happy with that but I have since closed my eyes and left them to it, I am seriously doubting this motor will ever get me home. But, my faith in Suzuki has gone back up again, I was beginning to doubt the engine, which has never had a problem like this before, but now we know, it is a man(monkey) made fault, not a factory stuff up 🙂

Lucky rum is cheap in this country, I hope the doctors are too, my liver has expanded 🙂

Until next time in the continuing saga of a Vstrom trying to get home.

Cheers from Vientiane again

Posted in Around The World, Eurasia | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

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