2018/05/27 – No Ride. Thanks for the invite and help Garry.

Garry posted a “clean up” ride on Facebook, up Braden Main. It seemed like a good idea, cover some new turf and open (or keep open) some trail…

Unfortunately, things went sideways almost immediately. I was organized, and ready early. I even started up the driveway … but promptly realized that the noise coming from the DRZ back end wasn’t chain noise, but in fact sounded like it might be my new wheel bearings. (Rob Hayward put a good term to it “binding”, and suggested it might be a bent axle.)

It didn’t occur to me at the time, but in 20-30 minutes I could have swapped to my spare (17″) rear wheel, I just needed to swap the rotor over. I ended up doing this at the end of the day.

So, I’ve got two bikes right? I know the gas tank in the 640 is leaking a little bit, but it’s a really slow leak, and I’m not aware of anyone else who committed to Garry’s ride. So I put the DRZ away and pull out the 640, and get it started. While I’m swapping the toolbag across the 640 sputters to a stop and doesn’t want to restart. I was in the house writing “sorry, tried, but I’m not going to get there” message to Garry when I realized I’d almost certainly forgotten to turn the 640 fuel petcock on. Back out to the bike, yes, it runs much better when you connect the gas line.

Rush off for Sooke, realizing almost immediately that I’ve left my phone behind (bad for most people, even worse for me). Get to Sooke without trouble. Garry is there alone. I talk to him for a minute or two, then fire up the bike to go fill it up.

Bike doesn’t want to start after filling the tank, and the full tank is leaking much worse than the mostly empty tank was. Janet has arrived in the mean time.

Bike really doesn’t want to start… it cranks over just fine, but doesn’t even want to cough. Closest it comes is one or two backfires… and now the battery is getting tired. I’m wishing for jumper cables and Garry volunteers to run back to his place (1 or 2 km away) and come back with a car and cables.  He does so… no difference, still doesn’t want to fire. Now I’m making plans to trailer the bike home… but I don’t have my phone to call my wife. Garry suggests I just take his car and his trailer. While I hate using other peoples stuff, it has lots of benefits to it, and if I can get one of the bikes running, I can drive Garry’s car back to Sooke with the running bike in the trailer and ride home, thus saving my wife the trip to Sooke.

Janet heads across the street to get brunch from a restaurant, Garry and I get the trailer and load up the 640. I drive the bike back to Victoria, Garry and Janet ride somewhere off of North Main.

I swapped the DRZ rear wheels, load it in the trailer, and drive Garry’s car back to his place (plus fuel and gratuity).

End of story? No. This is the 640, it’s name is “adventure”, and when it gets into the plot it doesn’t stop being a central character. I left the 640 on the battery charger while returning the car. Once I learned to “choke it till it runs”, the 640 has been reasonably easy to start when cold, so I thought I’d see if would start now that it was cold. New problem! Now it just goes “click” and doesn’t even want to turn over.

I could hear and feel the starter solenoid, and I did manage to get the starter to spin once for a short bit. To me, those symptoms mean starter brushes, although my past experience was that you got some warning that the starting was becoming intermittent.

That part of the diagnosis was correct. Unfortunately I broke a banjo bolt while taking the cover of the “intermediate gear” (totally un-necessary step). NAPA has a banjo bolt of approximately the right dimensions, but upon getting it, I see that it won’t flow oil anywhere near as well as the one I broke (one small hole instead of three larger ones). It should be sufficient to see if I can get the bike to run, but I’ll wait for Action to get the KTM part (or drill more holes in the NAPA part) before really running the bike.

Suffice to say, I’m stressing a bit about the 640 (leave in six weeks for Tuktoyaktuk). I need to get it running, and I need to get up to Campbell river and swap this cracked tank for David’s “rally” tank (which is even bigger).