Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Some Things Around Motorcycles Aren't As They First Appear

Back a month or so ago I had to improvise a minor repair to keep the Raider safe and roadworthy... while I waited on the proper parts. This newest needed repair is one that I don't believe improvisation is the way to go!

I've had another piece, or pieces, workin' to climb the priority ladder. Actually, they've been festering for quite a while; though the progression has been pretty slow.

Now... I'm the sort that generally works to squeeze all the good out of something. Tires don't get replaced until they're smoothing out the wear bars. Oil gets pushed to the limit, all the good is scraped out of the brakes. You get the idea. If there's life left in a part, I have trouble not using that life... comes from having a habitually underweight wallet.


The fork seals on both sides are leaking... or at this point some might say gone. It started as a faint wetness on the tube on one side, moved to both, but really just a faint lil' seep. Then the seep became... a leak.

At first I thought, with not quite 30,000 on the odometer that seems a lil' premature for a failure. Then it hit me; though the odometer is now a touch over 30,000, if I stop and think about it, the frame has probably something close to double that.

How's that work?

If you ain't aware, the bike is on the road when I'm riding out of camp or I'm off away from camp riding a wide circle.. Now, she ain't no trailer queen, but we live full time on the road... so ... whenever I'm moving camp, the bike is riding on the truck bed behind the cab, since I can't drive my House and ride the Raider at the same time ;)

Hell, that's how she toured that 4X4 road through Monument Valley! Bobbin' and weavin' on the back of the truck in lumpy, jumpin' 4 by! :)

Don't say it... I know!... I never said it was smart... It's just how it happened! ;)

Bottom line... when Sonja is locked down there in the Wheel Dock Chock behind the cab her suspension is working as hard as if she was rolling down the road. Every bump and pothole gets transmitted right on up... and I can see her ridin' the lumps and bumps in the rearview mirror.

The reality is, her forks have a lot closer to 60,000 miles or better after living outside 24/7 and soakin' up the rough roads that big diesel just passes on to her. I don't suppose I can complain about the mileage!

Writing this post, I also just got slammed with the realization that I've never posted a straight up page on either main site (RV or Motorcycle) just how I carry Sonja on the truck between the cab and the hitch for my fiver!

There's a post or two on the RV blog about how I load the her now, and the main site about the carrier I built on the fifth wheel to carry my old V Star for a while... but not a full, clear page with the Motorcycle Carrier method I use now. (loading, tying down, Unloading etc). DOH! I did write a blog post with a video of the loading process a while back that shows where she rides.

Seems like I'm getting awful forgetful in my old age! Guess I better quit bein' so lazy and gather all that info I've got spread around into one page!

Anyhoo... we're here workin' the NASCAR race at PIR in Avondale this week. With a modest amount of luck and none of the unexpected variety of "failures" of other equipment and bodily parts that's consumed our earnings the last few races... maybe I'll gather up the dinero here to replace those leaky seals and all things considered, the bushings too!

... at the same time I'm playing with a block that would slide in under the frame when I tie her down. When she'd "pulled down" in tying her down it would "Fix" the bike solid in place, rather than allowing the suspension to keep working for no good reason when she's being carried. 

So far that looks good and no Unintended Consequences have occurred to me or been suggested. I believe that would eliminate the "premature" failure of some suspension parts from "unrecorded" mileage! :)

Grab Your Handles and Ride

1 comment:

Trobairitz said...

I wouldn't have thought of all those miles she traveled while on the truck. I take it that it added to fork and suspension wear, just not brakes and tires. Makes sense to me.

Hope the block fixes the wear for you. It does make me wonder if any rough roads or potholes will jar the frame instead of allowing it to absorb the bumps. Not that it would hurt the bike, it would have to be an awfully big bump I think.