Monday, May 19, 2008

Bike Preps

I've spent much of the last couple of weeks taking the bikes apart and putting them back together. I think Sam and I could have a contest over who knows the least about motorcycle maintenance. You learn a certain amount through necessity over the years, but I have not spent a lot of concentrated time learning how to maintain a bike. Thankfully, I have friends who have!

A great family friend, Trevor Bachelder, has spent these two weeks with me patiently preparing the bikes for the trip. We've done a fair amount. After getting the bikes back from the Toy Doctor we set to replacing the bikes subframe bolts. This involved drilling through the core of the frame of both bikes and inserting some big aviation grade bolts. Apparently it's a good thing for the bike to not fall apart halfway across Kenya.

Rob and Trevor in Rob's garage

We replaced the brake pads and fluids. We also added braided brake lines. We are taking bets on whether I or Sam are the first to do an endo in the desert. We also changed out the tires and replaced the chains and sprockets. And we added fuel filters. Meanwhile, my Dad built me a great set of pannier racks. I have no worries about these breaking during the trip.

Setting the valve on a new rear tire.

Trevor setting the rear tire on Peter's bike

All this work could have been done at a shop, but this was a great chance to learn a lot about the mechanics of a bike. And you can't beat the view from my father's garage. The pictures below tell the story.

The garage, right behind the house.

Finally, a big thanks to Eric at A Vicious Cycle for all of his help getting us these parts.

We started crating the bikes tonight. We ship them Wednesday. I will add pictures of the crating later. It's a pretty impressive and tight fit.

Peter, his nephew, and the original Peter Loewen, right before taking the bike for a final spin.

We drained the fluids for shipping. This is a reminder to not crank over the engine in the warehouse in Alexandria.

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