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Sunday, August 07, 2005

Darwin theories

Camping in Darwin was weird- hot n' dry PLUS rain on a few occasions, depite locals assuring us it wasn't going to happen. Tent does great job.

The bike has become a stand up, sit down nightmare. The starter motor has gone. It is a non servicable part, meaning you buy a new one. $1100- thanks.

But ol' Brian is a old had at this. He can service said motor and correctly diagnoses the problem when I hot th starter ONCE. He knows I have a new battery in it (bought on the road into Darwin DAMN FURY!), and once we get the starter off, we find, as predicted, the four magnets inside the case have come adrift (this happens after about 10 years!) locking the motor solid. This requires a big clean up and re glue and will take the beter part of three days. Meanwhile we need oil n filter, new tyres and a general going over.

I change the oil as it is a nightmare job. It requires me to take BOTH bellypans off. The bellypans won't come off unless the engine bars come off. The oil change period will now be 100000k's or ten years, whichever is easier. The discovery of dual bellypans is both gratifying (safer) and annoying (heavy, cumbersome and the retaining bolts are all bent/stripped/crap.) With the bellypans off, I can get to the oil sump plug and the oil filter. In goes 4 or so litres of Castrol, and 6 hours of my life go by.

I also get new riding lights- having smashed, bent, abused and messed up the existing ones. They only cost $55, just as well as I smash one on the Telegraph track before I've even switched them on for the first time. FURY!

Some notes on Darwin
We stayed at the caravan park near the airport- and we quote that line from The Castle "Is that the runway?" every time a plane goes over. And when I say "goes over" I mean tree-top-that-pilot-has-blue-eyes height. It poisons my initial view of Darwin, but I get over it.

Darwin's CBD is really rather nice. It scored well early with the high number of specific motorcycle parking facilities. We parked on teh footpath down the road as we needed to go into a side street for the ubiquitous bump start. (the bike went without any starter motor for several days- you could see the edge of the flywheel and the dry clutch through the gapin no starter-motor-hole).

We dine at some English styled pub one night and had el cheapo backpacker $6 meal another night. The rest of the time we revert to our well rehearsed pasta-and-whatever nights.

Finally, after many days of horse doodling, the starter is fixed, the bike oiled, tyred and ready and we head off.
posted by thr at 11:11 am

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