Back in Dösingen

Trip Start Feb 02, 2010
Trip End Feb 02, 2011

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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Wednesday, June 9, 2010

So, back in Dösingen…But back a little first. Monday morning Felix got up bright and early and caught the trams, trains and buses of Zurich back and forth across the city in search of brass nuts while I slept in and read my book in bed. What does Felix need brass nuts for? Well, in his extensive reading and poking around in Nina’s engine he realised the reason we had such over heating problems coming over the Alps was because there was a leak in the head gasket giving us a massive loss of compression. 

It must have come apart when the electric ignition failed and a mass of fuel was pumped into the engine with out exploding, then when there was finally another spark the backfire was so big it blew the carburettor off and must have blown the gasket too. Back in Graz Felix and Ernst realised one of the head nuts was totally threaded and rather then being adjustable just spun on the Head stud. They decided to leave it be as they were getting compression then and it’s a time consuming job to take it off and replace the head stud. 

But now there was a serious loss of compression and something had to be done. The spare parts to fix the problem had been ordered and were on their way to Dösingen. In the meantime to get us there, Felix was hoping that with a new brass nut, he might be able to tighten the cylinder head against it’s gasket a little more, (brass being softer than the hardened steel of the stud and therefore unlikely to damage the thread anymore) to give us a bit better compression and get us slowly and gently to Germany.  

After mid-day Felix retuned with no brass nut, but still made an attempt to fix Nina as well as possible with what he had. By three we were finally on our way. We crossed the German/Swiss border three times, stopped at the famous Rheinefall waterfall, rode on average fifty kilometres per hour with very little compression and never the less pulled into Daniel’s driveway while it was still daylight. Nina did so well today, if she was my child, I’d be telling the other mums about her nonstop. It was very nice to ride along so slow, we hardly wiz anywhere with Nina, but to go even slower then usual, I think is a very good pace for looking around, it gives Felix a chance to look too.

So we have had a two very uneventful days here. Well actually as far as repairs on Nina go, very exciting but in other news, nothing much. Felix has been looking anxiously out the window, waiting for his parcel with the spare parts, which finally arrived this afternoon. I had a siesta in the sun, which feels as hot as the Australian sun; it certainly takes a lot more work to get burnt here though. In fact after more then an hour in the sun, no burnt skin, not even a slight change in colour. Amazing. I have also been walking round bare foot, so nice to be out of shoes and feeling the ground with my feet.  

Felix worked until midnight last night, preparing Nina for the new parts. He has even managed to get me involved. He is very sneaky about it. First he asked me to polish the chrome and wax the mudguards and tank, then slowly asked me to do dirtier and greasier jobs, like I’m not noticing my hands are getting more and more black and greasy. Very soon I’m passing things, holding things, tightening, pulling, packing up…  I like to think I’m involved and know what’s going on, I think if I knew how to fix something it would be pretty cool but I just hate getting my hand dirty, dirt is fine, no problems, but the motor grease and oil and cleaning chemicals are so horrible and smelly.

So that’s the news of late. Felix is out still doing this and that, I’ve come inside, I’ve had enough for one day. Apparently everything is almost all together, tomorrow we will go for a test ride then there will be more adjusting and retuning, which will no doubt take quite a while, Nina being the bike she is and Felix being a perfectionist with her. 
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Maria on

Toot-toot! What a lovely photo of you Floss, in amongst the text! Nice to know Nina does well on the roads in between giving you bursts of excitement/adventure when things go awry (sorry, not sure how to spell that word!).

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