The slow ride home - Canada to Australia on a pair of CT110 Honda Postie Bikes

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by tncpowell, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Thankyou! We do try to keep it as honest as we can. While it is amazing to do a trip like this, its not always sunshine and skittles. We have had a blast and cant wait to start the second part. We just have to be patient.......
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  2. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Oh wow. Thankyou Old Codger! That is a huuuge compliment!! Just makes me want to get on the road right now and keep riding and writing!
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  3. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Cheers mate! Thanks for coming along!
  4. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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  5. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Haha. Well I am glad to say, that it would be a fairly short list of things! I can try to come up with some thing though. And you are right. When there is something going on with the bikes that needs repair its all I think about. Maybe not when I am riding, but at that crappy time between closing my eyes for sleep and the next 3 hours spent worrying about it before actually sleeping.

    So early on in the trip, before we even left Australia, I had done an oil change and forgot to tighten the sump plug up. Idiot. It rattled out and I ended up seizing Mabels engine up. But we had the old sump oil on board still, even though it was full of dirt, and that went back in along with a bolt I found in a farmers shed. She knocked and rattled and squealed for about 100kms and then went quiet. I did a further 10 000kms on that motor before the clutch let go, the steel plates were twisted and wobbly, and the bottom end fell apart halfway between Anchorage and Fairbanks in Alaska. She still crawled the last 500kms though to Fairbanks where a new engine was waiting.

    From there it was plain sailing apart from a pile of flat tyres. Usually on the side of a insanely busy highway. We picked up 3 inch nails, massive wood staples, glass, thorns, bolts, random parts of car body and engine. By the time we made it to LA we decided to just put a new engine into Rosie because it was cheap and it had done 30 000 odd kms. Mabel got a new cam chain and all new drive sprockets. Rosie got a new engine and drive sprockets. Straight out of the box Rosies new engine seemed weaker and had way more vibrations than Mabels. Mabel at this point had developed a rattle somewhere in the head, which never went away and never caused any issues.

    Into Mexico and only one more flat tyre from memory. Though 15000 kms later Mabels clutch started to slip and so we replaced that. Rosie clutch also started to slip so that came out at the same time and we cleaned and sanded the plates and put it back together.

    Then there was no more issues until I think Guatemala where Rosie decided that her clutch was pointless and we had to replace the plates. From Guatemala through to Panama I believe we ran trouble free. Rosies stator went in Panama and we replaced it cheaply in Colombia. That was the beginning of Rosies stator woes and over the next few months we put another 4 stators into that engine. We had to tow once because of the stator, plus we had to replace her coil and stator in Santiago.

    Also in Colombia we had a major electrical fault in Mabel, which we had to have a mechanic fix. Though we never found out what it was and I am still unsure as to if the mechanic even knew exactly what it was.

    At some point in Bolivia Rosie started to smoke on startup and her engine lost power slowly but surely. Most of her engine bolts started to rattle out and strip the threads. That engine was dying a slow rattly death.

    In Chile we had to replace Mabels clutch plates again but the ones we bought were too thick which meant her clutch bound up and she couldn't be kick started. She also got a new cam chain as part of her maintenance. The old clutch plates went back in in Puerto Natales and stayed in til the end. At this point Rosies clutch also needed replacing.

    Mabel had one more flat tyre in Argentina and that was it.

    We had oil leaks the entire way. And had to replace a full set of seals on Mabels engine. No leaks were ever major and never made a difference each day to the dipstick. We ended up with about 30 flat tyres. We changed the oil religiously every 1000-1200 kms. When we returned to Australia Rosie was nowhere near road legal for Australia, her engine and footpegs held in the bike with a rope, she got a new CT110 engine, new brakes, new brake rod, new brake cable and a new headlight. We didn't bother with a new taillight as she constantly blows them anyway.

    Mabel got a new Lifan engine and as you know needed a new chain and sprockets when we got home.

    Hope that helps!
  6. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Heres the sprocket poor old Mabel ripped to pieces on the last part of the journey home. Should I keep it as a momento?

    [​IMG]
  7. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Todd; you should have turned the sprocket around. Probably would have had enough "grab" to get the last km's done to home.
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  8. sages

    sages Been here awhile

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    Use it as a beer coaster
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  9. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    I reckon it would have! But it was late, I had lost my head torch, and it started to rain. Haha
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  10. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Nice idea! I think I need to keep it
  11. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    24 July 2017

    T - Now that we are stopped back at home its time to knuckle down and start looking for work. Yuk! I was brought up believing that hard work is the best way to get by in life, and I still believe it. So I set about looking for a few jobs.

    C - If I am being honest, it would be very easy to let Totti do all the hard yards and then I could just be a lady of leisure right? Spending my days playing with Rosie!! Somehow, I do not think Todd is going to let that happen!

    T - There was one working as a Ranger for Uluru National Park which I was really keen on. So I had been slaving away for the last couple of days to get my application written up and submitted. Fingers crossed! The second one I found was by pure accident. It turns out that Australia Post is looking for a postman to deliver mail on one of their postie bikes! I think I should be able to handle riding a postie bike. Right?

    With a few applications sent off it was time to have a look at poor old Mabels chain and sprocket. The new ones were delivered this morning. So armed with some tools and some music I sent about having a look at the damage to the old sprocket. I wasn't too surprised when I ripped it out and saw that it was almost worn in a perfect circle. Hardly a scrap of tooth left on it.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    While I had her side case off she also had her valves adjusted and and a new rear sprocket and chain fitted. She should be like new again! I do have to work out what is happening in her rear end to be causing the chain to be stripping teeth off and I suspect its a buggered sagging rear shock.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    With her all fixed and tuned I couldnt help but take her for a ride around Mt Barker. Well that was a mistake. Straight away I just wanted to load the bikes back up and ride off. I really miss it already. Its going to be a tough little while but I really need the rest, and the bikes really need the repairs. So patience Todd, patience.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    C - Whilst Todd was playing with Mabel, I was slaving away on a job application. At the moment, life just feels like an extended holiday, but with some normality. I am really enjoying living in the warm (despite the cold weather outside, my Dad keeps the fire going all day and night - he likes it toasty too!!) and I have been cooking up some of my favourite, nutritious and delicious meals and I have even managed to get back into running and yoga. Its all becoming routine again! But it is still a novelty to sleep in a real bed every night, use a bathroom inside the house and have constant access to hot showers!

    T - The rest of the week will be spent applying for more jobs, all across Australia as we dont mind where we end up, and then this weekend we shall have a day trip out through a local National Park to see an old friend of mine. So we will keep you posted!
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  12. DukeMButu

    DukeMButu Minister of Culture

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    the bottom end fell apart halfway between Anchorage and Fairbanks in Alaska. She still crawled the last 500kms though to Fairbanks where a new engine was waiting.

    Most of her engine bolts started to rattle out and strip the threads. That engine was dying a slow rattly death.


    We had oil leaks the entire way. And had to replace a full set of seals on Mabels engine. We ended up with about 30 flat tyres. We didn't bother with a new taillight as she constantly blows them anyway.






    Now THIS is a ride report!
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  13. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Hahah!
  14. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Depression is setting in. You two are almost like family. Best wishes as always. :beer
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  15. CoastieBiker

    CoastieBiker ATGATT makes me look like a giant Minion

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    I think you should have that sprocket bronzed and make a nice necklace out of it. It surely would be a one off! :imaposer
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  16. hzoltaan

    hzoltaan Been here awhile

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    that is a brilliant idea! ;)

    Tod, would you mind making a picture of the flywheel and stator? That think remarkably looks like the flywheel I just got for the CZ in a "12V conversion" kit... I knew it was some chinise scooter part, maybe a Lifan...?

    Regarding the Ranger job: That simply sounds awesome! :clap
    (or so I think spending a quater of my existence staring at two stupid monitors)
    Some friedn of mine told me about a caretaker job up in the mountains, where you need to maintain a wooden cottage with no electrics for the boy / girl scouts! Sometimes you dine with wolfes...

    I seem to remember, that you had a job in a National Park already, right? Are you happy for something like that?

    Tod the Postie-man? I'd say you qualified, but what was that affair with the Chantelles riding boots in Columbia...? :jack
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  17. Romero

    Romero At Cinépolis or OXXO

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    Mexico misses you!!!!!!
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  18. 230Rocket

    230Rocket Adventurer

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    I've followed every step of the way right from when you got pinged off Mabel through the roundabout at home and here you are at the end of Leg 1. Fantastic, loved the words you put together about sitting on the driveway at the end!

    This stands as one of the best 'life ride reports' I've found on here, bloody outstanding! My favorite picture of the Girls on the salt flats in South America. You've made mine and a lot of others time at the work PCs (is there anywhere else to read this?) flash past as we've looked forward to the next part.

    And I'll still be looking. Thanks a mil for this one, looking forward to the Next One.

    Ride far
    Dean
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  19. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Haha. But just think, we will be back! And then there will be new adventures. We have a nice future planned out. Not all of it will be motorcycling, but it will be fun!
  20. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Haha! True!