Tuesday 13 August 2013


Well the AT was where I left it.

Mercenary Gargage - Africa Twin - The Trip Home - Italy
Forks are twisted in the yokes and the fairing is damaged, but it starts on the button and the engine sounds really sweet.

Or more precisely, it was returned to where I left it. Helpfully, it's been fitted with a new battery. Less helpfully, it's been crashed. The upper fairing is splintered and the forks are twisted in the yokes. Also, the mirror has been removed along with a few other bits and pieces.

There's not a lot to be done about it.

Also the front left caliper was removed from the fork slider and tied to the bottom yoke with string, presumably because it was siezed. The brake fluid had been drained from the front brake system - I'm not sure why.

I bought a pair of mirrors in a cheap Chinese store for €5! They're intended for a child's bike and the quality is about what you'd expect for a fiver! I fitted one* to the left handlebar and it works okay.

Mercenary Gargage - Africa Twin - The Trip Home - Italy
Feeeeeeel the quality!! If anyone is looking for a fantastic right-hand-side JY-102 Mirror for their Africa Twin, just drop me a line. €2.50 plus post and packing...

I untwisted the forks a bit, but I was under time pressure this morning so I didn't have time to do it properly. It'll do for now.

I no longer have bolts to mount the caliper back on the slider so the easiest thing to do was to simply remove it and crimp the metal brake pipe to seal it. I cleaned up the right caliper a bit and put in new fluid. It still drags a bit but it'll do for now...

Mercenary Gargage - Africa Twin - The Trip Home - Italy
cut, crimped and folded the metal brake line joining the left and right brake hoses using a vice grips. It was the most effective way I could think of sealing the system after the left caliper was removed.

So I set off from Parma to Turin and on the way it became apparent that the chain had been overtightend. So I loosened it and lubricated it with some chain lube I picked up on the Autostrada for €4!! The last can of chain lube I bought in Dublin was about €16!!

The four-euro chain lube is a surprise, cos everything else is very expensive, even compared to Ireland. I bought a tank of petrol today for almost €1.90 per litre!

Mercenary Gargage - Africa Twin - The Trip Home - Italy
The AT has a lot of weight over the rear wheel so the back brake is very effective. Also, it has powerful engine braking so it's quite easy to drive it without using the front brake at all. So, the missing left caliper isn't a problem. The dragging right caliper is annoying though. All three calipers will need to be rebuilt with new pistons and seals when I get home.

Anyway, today was a messy sort of day. It's very hot and humid here. Hotter than is comfortable for motorcycling. I've only covered about 300km and I'm pretty tired! I'm currently in Turin about to have a beer and a pizza. I'm looking forward to the alps tomorrow, where hopefully it'll be a little cooler...

*Why only one mirror? Well, I'm used to driving with only one mirror. As a courier I spent a lot of time on the wrong side of the road overtaking stationary traffic. A left (inside) mirror was liable to come into conflict with the outside mirrors of the vehicles being overtaken. So when I drive on the continent (where they drive on the other side of the road from Ireland) I use only the left (outside) mirror 'cos it helps me remember which side of the road I'm supposed to be on!

#AfricaTwin #XRV750RD04 #Mercenary #MercenaryGarage

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave a Comment...