RTW on a H.A.T. In the slow lane.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gperkins, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    Well, I gotta ask.
    Are you the same Graeme and Katrina that stayed overnight at my house in Southern Minnesota (USA) back in the mid 80's. I think we met at a small BMW rally and I said if you are coming my way stop by. And you did (if it was you). IIRC a little work was done on the Harley.
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  2. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    We are most certainly the same Graeme & Katrina that you met back in May 84 intially in Wisconsin at that BMW rally Charlie C----s, we remember well. Tell me is the motorbike shop at the cross roads somehwhere there in Minnesota still there? Two brothers ran the place, one a Ducati tragic and the other a Norton tragic (I'm a Norton tragic) and within that shop was one of the rarest bikes on earth. A Norton monocoque that was sent over in the early 70's to race at Daytona. I was speechless when I saw it and recognised immediately what it was.

    Katrina and I did 28,000 miles that year in Nth America on that 81 Low Rider. We shipped the bike home at the end of the year. But within a fairly short time we sold it so as to get on the property ladder. Man I've regretted that decision ever since.

    I've got little access to my old photos here in Spain, but we do have this one. Does it look familiar?
    [​IMG]
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  3. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Hi Yannick your right Cordoba is a great little city. But these gems can be found all over Europe, one only a few kilometres from yourself. The history, towns, food and people are just some of the reasons that we have spent more than 7 years in Europe now. We love the place. After this coming year though we need to think about moving on and finally we have settled upon a plan.
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  4. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    Sounds serious.
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  5. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    Your memory is much better than mine I see.
    Yes the shop is still there, I drive by frequently but haven't stopped in lately. I'll try to stop in and show them your photo to test their memory.
    The bike looks the same just missing some of the bags and the billy hanging off the back.:D The people look the same too, like me they haven't aged a bit.:imaposer
    I've moved about 50 miles closer to the river and now have half as much house and twice as much garage/shop. If you are in Minnesota again feel free to drop by.
    I just found this report and I'm only on page five, but since it's winter I expect I'll catch up quickly.
  6. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Ahh, it's never too serious with us two. But we've got one more northern summer in the Balkans and Turkey, maybe a little further afield before we make moves to other regions. We just felt that we weren't giving either Russia or the Balkans justice if we did not spend this next summer in the Balkans then the following summer crossing Russia, including back to the Stans, into Mongolia, finnishing 2020 in Japan before shipping to Nth America.

    When we started if you asked me how long we'd be, I'd guess I'd say, "oh maybe 3 years or so". Hell we are coming up 3 years now already. If you ask me now the response is, we simply don't know. We should have the funds to keep going, it's the mental stamina that needs to be watched. But to be honest we are fine on that count as well. The only other point to be aware of is of course our health. Touch wood, all is good with our health too.
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  7. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    I'm pretty sure their memory of us two has long dissapeared. I do recall the discussion about the Monocoque Norton though. As I remember it the two brothers got wind of a shed full of motorbikes down in Daytona and they put in a offer for the lot, not fully aware what was amongst it all. Could you even imagine the reaction as they received these bikes and this extraordinarily rare racing Norton was amongst them? No i couldn't either. Is that bike still in their posession, I'd be curious to know?

    Thanks so much for the invite, it will be a lot of fun to catch up after all these years. :freakyI can't see it happening before the summer of 2021 though. :hmmmmm
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  8. TDC_ERock

    TDC_ERock Been here awhile

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    Ah, Ronda and Cordoba... I visited both in 2000 as well as Sevilla. First time I've seen them in a ride report, at least that I can remember... Beautiful.
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  9. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Thanks TDC_ERock, both Ronda & Cordoba are indeed quite fabulous then add into the mix fine food, wine, great people and twisty back roads and your've got pretty much the perfect bike destination. Throw in Portugal as well and it makes our couple of months here feel very inadequate. Just meens we will have to come back some time I guess.
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  10. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    So we make our way slowly back to Valencia, but first we must stop off near Alicante and pay our respects to Jayne & David of Lizzybus fame http://lizzybus.com Unfortunately we missed David, he had to return to England to take care of some matters. But that left us with Jayne for a couple of days, to share storys, ideas, eat a little tapas and generally relax and enjoy our company together.

    They plan to do something similar to us in 2020, so there is a fair chance that our paths will cross once more, I hope so.

    Is this the worlds most travelled Land Rover Defender at well over 500,000 klms, perhaps? These guys get mucho respect thats for sure.
    [​IMG]
  11. TDC_ERock

    TDC_ERock Been here awhile

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    The mention of wine jarred an old memory. In each of those towns we sampled sangria more than a few times .What made it memorable is that the sangrias were all fantastic but all slightly different.
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  12. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Thats the thing about Europe generally isn't it TDC_ERock, each region, village even has it's own speciallity. If it be the cheese, wine, pork sandwich in Porto or Spanish omlette in Cordoba. Move just 20 kilometres away and you won't find that same tastey treat you had just a day before. Just means that there is a potential pleasant surprise each time you go to eat. It's worth mentioning that these local specialities are nearly always cheap as well.
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  13. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    We've been in Valencia for a few days now with our dear friends Jose & Pilar and we've hit the ground running. So much to do prior to heading home Monday for 6 weeks. But first and formost was spending some quality time in the garage with the bike. We are just shy of 100,000 klms at 98540 klms. So the usual was taken care of first, oil and filters. Then it was onto the coolant. This was the first time I've replaced it on the bike and it's a very simple process.

    [​IMG]

    On two occasions I have cooked the rear brake and had the fluid boil on me. Both descending extremely steep passes on gravel roads. First in India and secondly in Europe somewhere. Each time, once the brake had cooled they recovered back to normal. So it seemed reasonable to replace the brake fluid both front and rear. I did notice that there was some sort of "flake" floating around in the front reservoir. Further inspection could see it adhered to the bottom of the resavoir. So we purchased a suringe and sucked most of the fluid out along with the flake substance prior to replacing.
    [​IMG]

    Then we delved deeper and removed the swing arm so as to inspect both the bolt, bushes and bearings. I do know that some guys back in Australia who do a lot of off road including water crossings are finding highly corroded swingarm bolt. Ours was, but to be honest it wasn't too bad, mostly just surface rust that was easily removed. Prior to reinstating it got a good grease. The bearings, bushes and seals were in good order. So everything was simply cleaned up and put back together. It may not look it, but it's actually a pretty straight forward job and took maybe 3 hours. If you do a lot of water crossings on your AT's then it's something that needs watching.
    [​IMG]

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    Time to slip the Ohlins out again and replace the oil. Ideally they should have a full service at 40,000 klms. But this will be the second time i've replaced the oil in 46,000 klms and we've really only ridden tarmac, so I'll do the full service next time prior to crossing Central Asia, Russia and Mongolia. I did note that the oil in the right leg was a little darker or contaminated than the left.
    [​IMG]

    Whilst the forks were out it's a simple job to check the steering head bearings. Of course we all know to witness mark the castle nut prior to removal so as to get the correct tension when reinstalling. :nod
    [​IMG]

    Previously when I've inspected these bearings there was no brinelling. There's still none, but you can see what might develop into brinelling. So I reckon I'll simply change them out next time I'm in here at 125,000 klms.
    [​IMG]

    Front sprocket after 20,000 klms, all good. Yep, now keeping a closer eye here. :augie
    [​IMG]

    To be honest I'm really quite happy about the wear rates of these items. I think these new AT's are in for the long haul, especially now that Honda have uprated the front forks and installed decent spokes on all 18 and beyond models.

    Other than a decent wash and clean up the only other job I did was to open both drains from the air collector box. It's hard to judge, but there may have been 5 mll's removed from both. It's something that is easily overlooked. The valve clearances will get checked in about 2000 klms from now in Greece.

    When I get a chance we'll do a final update of our time in Valencia. Madrid and Bacelona get all the attention here in Spain, but man there is so much more on offer than those two city's.
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  14. Yannick

    Yannick Asterix the Gaul

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    I wish you a good and well deserved rest at home and close to your family. I don't know how it is in your corner but I've seen on the TV news some days ago that Australia is facing the hottest and driest summer ever seen ...
    I'll be here, ready to follow the third leg of your trip through Eurasia, sounds interesting !
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  15. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Love my Tranny Super Supporter

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    that heat wave has now hit us in NZ. The ocean has cooled it a few degrees but most of the country will be in the mid 30s this week (Celsius) which is unusual for us.

    Enjoy your break back home. Nice to know the Honda is holding up.
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  16. DunkingBird

    DunkingBird Been here awhile

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    Nice work !
    I occasionally wonder why motorcycle manufacturers are saving that bit of grease.

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  17. Yannick

    Yannick Asterix the Gaul

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    Older bikes had some greasers at that place, I've found 2 on the 1992 XT600 I bought 6 months ago. One greaser each side of the shock absorber so as to grease perfectly the swing arm bearings. Surprisingly, my 2016 Tiger doesn't have any. Nowadays everything is done to keep the customers captive of dealers and the maintenance chain.
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  18. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Thanks Yannick it was a genuine highlight of this years journey to catch up with and spend a little time with fellow members of this forum. Thanks so much for taking the time to show both Katrina and I around your beautiful part of this world we all share.

    We watch the weather with some interest at home whilst on the road and we always expect hot summers. But this one has been stupidly hot, some places reaching into the very high 40's, thats aproaching 120 F. Our little patch rarely if ever exceeds 40 and I see it'll be a pleasant 26 or so when we get home. Lets hope it stays that way.
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  19. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Hi MrKiwi we will indeed enjoy our time at home, but man we are going to be busy. Our heads are spinning just thinking of the things we need to do.

    Looking forward to seeing you back here in a quick 6 weeks. :wave
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  20. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Thanks DunkingBird I don't for one second profess to being a great motorcycle mechanic, hell no. Although I'm now a little better, electrics still befuddle me somewhat :norton But I've spent a life time on the tools and I simply don't trust other people to do any work on my bikes. But honestly most jobs are pretty damn simple if you take the time as I'm sure your know.

    In any case it was great to catch up this last year and thanks again for the help of arranging a new phone after I stupidly drowned ours. Here's a hint, older iphones hate taking a bath. :evil
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