Fixed clutch makes Jack happy again

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Flag of Thailand  , Bangkok,
Saturday, November 26, 2011

As soon as i could I headed to the bike with my box of cheap tools from Halfords. By now only a manual screwdriver is left, the rest of the gear has all broken so I warn against buying your equipment from there as it's utter shit.

Anyhow, I laid the bike on the ground, never a fun thing to do but needs must! I stripped off the clutch housing and had another look inside now I had a better idea what to look for. To my surprise everything was in perfect working order. The actuator arm was perfect, no missing teeth and no signs of wear. It was like I was looking inside a brand new machine. I cleaned away the oil and looked pretty closely but just couldn’t find anything wrong. Eventually I checked out the bearing the actuator runs in and sure enough, it was twisted and pushed back away from the edge by around 5mm, maybe 6. So I hammered it back into place with the large spanner I use for removing the wheel nuts and tried putting it back together. The teeth didn’t line up and the bearing got pushed back out when I twisted the lever the wrong way. Suddenly it all made sense. I had to strip off the clutch cable to load the bike and the lever was left hanging on the side. Someone dong the crating must have pushed or leant on the lever and forced the bearing out of line. Once it was dropped back into the proper place the vibrations had vanished and the clutch felt smooth and crisp, even better than before.

My bike came with a 33bhp conversion kit on it when I bought her so i’m assuming the previous owner was a learner and they’re notorious for abusing the clutch so maybe it was always slightly out of line. It isn’t now and seems fine again. While exploring my options I contacted BMW, I’m on good terms with the staff at my favourite dealer as my brother bought bikes from them professionally. One of the staff there is on the case and is making progress investigating the clutch recall issue so a big thank you to her. Apparently it’s not a recall at all but the work was done on bikes brought in with clutch issues. By all accounts if my bike had them the actuator would have fallen to bits by now and for all I know, the casing could be the new version. I’m keeping on with the possibility of getting the upgrade if it can be done out here in Thailand. If not well, I’ll be keeping my eye on the problem anyway and it is an easy thing to fix.

So we had the problem covered pretty quickly and then my friend, Rat arrived. She’s my girlfriend’s best friend and we’ve met a few times before. We went out for lunch at MK. MK is a strange, distinctly Thai place where there’s a big bubbling pot of oily water you drop raw ingredients into. The Thais love it, westerners tend to not love it so much. Marcin was incredulous and ate everything that was put in front of him, even appalling looking animal parts with tentacles and eyeballs sticking out everywhere.

After lunch we called KTM where Marcin’s bike was languishing in a slightly sorry state. They fobbed him off with excuses about when it might or might not be ready. At least that freed up a bit of time so we headed out for some Iced coffee at a nice little local shop. After that we just hung about resting until the bike was ready to collect. We all went to the KTM dealer where they had fitted the clutch and brake cylinder that Marcin had brought with him and a new clutch and sprockets as well as a service, a wash and a diagnostic. The work all came to only 250 whereas in England you would have had to take out a mortgage. He was happy to have his bike back and we went out for some food with him happy for once.

It’s nice to have our bikes back on the road. I have to confess, my trip is pretty much over and i’m glad. It’s been awesome but I’m shattered now. I’ve had enough of the constant slog and just want a few days off to rest up. Marcin has to carry on but he’s tired too. We’ve both caught a bug in Nepal, everyone was coughing and spluttering and now we are too although I have it worse. Our immune systems have taken a pounding from the Indian food and conditions and our bodies have been dragged up mountains through snow, sandstorms, rain, tropical conditions and everything inbetween. If we weren’t ill then there’d be something wrong with us. Tomorrow we’re heading to Pattaya to hit some beers. It’s one last drink before we ride to the border and part ways. I have it easier, I’m just cruising back to somewhere quiet and crashing out but Marcin now has to swallow hundreds of miles on a solo ride through Asia and i don’t envy him. Pattaya is nice but I’m not even looking forward to it, I just want to sleep!
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thu on

Rah! Sad to wave bye bye and dozobaczenia to Marcin, but hopefully you'll be back on the road with him and getting paid for it soon. And you get a few weeks to hang around the 'kok and ride around the jungle...and making friends with Enfields?!

Coal on

I remember you mentioning MK before, and was thinking it sounds an awful lot like "nabe" type dining. Turns out it is—they call it "suki" after the Japanese dish "sukiyaki", but it's been bastardized to the extent of having about as much in common with sukiyaki as a ketchup sandwich does with pizza.

Good job getting this far anyway. Now the fun really begins. The mundane type.

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