It’s Sunday evening as I write this, and another week has flown by with no riding.
That’s the way things go, and I’m not different to anyone else, I guess. Sometimes work gets a little demanding and the bikes just have to stay in the shed for a while. Things are certainly demanding at work just at the moment, so I’m guessing there’ll be no riding this week either.
It seems I’m whining about having to work, but I’m actually trying to lead up to what I’ve been doing with the bike this week.
Seeing as I couldn’t see any riding in the near future, I thought it’d be an ideal time to get catch up on some work that needs doing on the mighty Dominator. Mechanically the bike feels great, so next on my list is to try and get the suspension working a little better. The bike’s 18 years old, and I’d bet the suspension’s never been serviced. I’d be surprised if the shock’s ever been out of the bike. I’ve had the forks out a couple of times for steering-head bearings and other maintenance, but not for servicing on the forks themselves, so I’m betting they’re fairly gluggy inside as well (I once saw a fork leg opened and when the mechanic tried to pour the old oil out, it was jelly and wouldn’t pour). Even when the bike was brand new, it was designed for a 73kg rider, and 73kg was a long time ago for me.
I started buying components last week, because the financial slug of paying for the whole lot in one hit can be a killer. I’m going to try and grab components a few at a time so that I’ll only have to pay for the service and mechanical work in one shot. That should cushion the blow a little, I hope.
Anyhoo, I decided to whip the shock out yesterday.
It’s not a big job. It differs a little from bike to bike, but I’m very familiar with XRs, and I was picking the Dominator wouldn’t be beyond me. As I started I was rapt because it looked a simple job. When I removed the top shock bolt there was even a trace of grease! Everything was looking good. But then I dropped the linkage off and tried to get the bottom shock bolt. That sucker is seized in there so tight the prophet of your chosen religion couldn’t remove it.
I went through a succession of T-bars and increasingly large socket bars until the bastard finally slipped off, allowing the footpeg to carve a large gash up the back of my hand and a quite alarming gushing of blood all over the shed and bike.
I bolted it back together and will have to see if Dan Vaghaun can sort it out for me. I went and did some work on my pushies instead. They’re a lot less vicious. They still seem to need a lot maintenance, though. Especially my trials pushie, The Death Bike.
Meanwhile, I see Karen and Ramdog have been out adventuring. Karen sent a couple of pics of the fuel can hanging off the back of Dave’s BMW. There was no actualcignition this time, thankfully. Apparently last time there had been a bit of firey, flarey excitement. All under control this time though.
Here’s the story in Karen’s own words and a couple of pics she sent:
“We were heading up to ride along the Condamine Rd to Killarney (14 times across the Condamine). This was along Lynches Ck Rd (I think) after a particularly bad section of corrugations that a friend on his new 1190 R glided over. Dave was trying to recreate “The great trek of ’43 (or similar) when his gear caught alight when the fuel he was carrying ignited. This time, he thought he would up the ante a bit by having it dangle from an occy strap, flailing about in the face of the 1190 glider. Not too sure who noticed it first, they were looking a trifle concerned when I pulled up and asked them to wait while I got the phone out and took a picture.
On to the Condamine Rd….perfect. Three of us made it through in one piece (including headlights). Craig was able to baptise his new bike in the nicest possible way. He is brand new to this style of riding. In his youth he raced superbikes. While kept telling us it was the bike making him look good….we’re not so sure he didn’t bring some skills with him. I was very happy at how the Terra handled the stony crossings too. Even managed to keep my feet up across most….although where I did paddle was deep and I had wet feet for the rest of the day.
It was a great day and a great ride.”
Good work, Dave and Karen.
Marty H has been riding, too. He’s been out checking the route sheets and GPS tracks for the first disc. What started out as something Marty thought would be good ( a disc with some good riding on it) has turned into a very major project, and he’s thrown himself into it. He’s doing an amazing job, too. Those discs are going to be brilliant, especially now he’s made such a huge effort to ensure they’re accurate (that helps a lot).
Good work, Marty.
It looks like I’m the only one who’s not doing any riding at the moment. I have no dates to announce this week, either. You’ll have to hang on until after next weekend when things should slow up a little for me, and I’ll start looking at the calendar for real. For now I’m going to unwind in front of the MotoGP. Marquez is looking more and more amazing every round. Work will have me well pinned down this coming week.
PS: I exaggerated the injury. It bled like crazy, but it’s just a scratch – TF.