Yesterday Larisa and I went out for some rain riding, I took Aivars' KLR, and she took the KE100. When we got back to the house, I wanted to try to get the front fork mounted properly, as it was just kind of mocked up for the pictures last week. First I realized that I had no ball bearings for it. I had assumed that they were in the big heap of parts somewhere, but no. I am guessing that when they disassembled the bike, the ball bearings went rolling across the shop floor, and the mechanic just sort of shrugged and kept packing.
So I need new ball bearings. No big deal. I called Derek at Motolab to see if he could help me find the right ball bearings. For some reason he is always willing to help me out, even if I'm working on a Minsk. As I am talking to Derek on the phone I am removing the forks, and the bottom race just sort of falls out. But whats more, when it falls out I notice that it has a bit of aluminum soda can wrapped around it to shim it in place...
When I put the race back in without its custom soda can shim, I am able to move it back and forth about 1/4", and probably 1/32" left to right. Take the race out and look at the bottom of the head tube and you can see that it is an oval.
Great. I briefly consider not telling Derek about my little discovery, because I know he is going to make me fix it correctly, which means real work. I tell him about it, then start asking him if various idiotic ideas I have will work, and he patiently explains why each one of my ideas is terrible. "Can I just weld the race in place??" and "Can I just cut the head tube off and weld another one in its place?" are two of my brighter suggestions, but he is not amused by either. So I put wheels on the bike, roll it into the Sprinter, and bring it to Derek. He looks slightly horrified when he sees it in person.
So Derek has seen it, and now he is figuring out what will be the simplest way to fix it, but it sounds like no matter what I am going to have to strip it down to a bare frame again.
In the mean time, here's some pictures of it when I wheeled it out of my garage