Grease Monkeys and Mechanical Miracles

We are in Tashkent — very recently made a motorcycle-free city due to terrorist concerns. So we had to truck 5 of the bikes in for their half-way service from the police post on the outskirts of town. One bike was already on a truck that we had hired from 100km out, as we couldn’t get it mobile and the 45 degree heat made perserverance seem stupid. It was then, while I went for drinks for the fixers, that I had my manhole problem and now a day later I’m technicolour both eyes and a black nose, but not admitting to any pain.

The first issues that need action are the bikes with problems. One bike has a spark problem that seemed to have been solved at Bukhara by re-routing some tight wiring looms but then it became a ” totally dead bike” 100km out of Tashkent. On another we have had to bypass the starting solenoid (just like the hot-wiring we all did on Ford Anglias when we were young and lost the keys or didn’t own it). Clever Dave found a bit of “russian tank” in the bazaar and manufactured a temporary keyed, hot wire system far more sophisticated than we would have believed possible.

For the service and tyres Dave is the Master but Brendan and Bryan provide sage input with ideas and solutions to problems. BMW Tashkent have been fantastic providing the facilities and loads of help.
The tyres (thanks to Metzeler) were sent from Munich but local duty and taxes have meant that they are costing us the normal price anyway. We are so lucky having tyres here that we don’t mind. The tyres changes are going to be done manually as we don’t want any rim damage using the wrong gear, and we have a long way to go yet.

Gareth and Selwyn and me have been told to get lost as too many cooks in the workshop is just like in the kitchen. Phil is the workshop tea boy and gofer for the day. Meanwhile we wait in internet cafes and bazaars for the call to help. They’d have to be desperate.

We also had an oil change in our consignment from Munich but it was left behind due to “dangerous goods requirements”. This means the hunt for good quality local oil is on. I hope it isn’t like the 76 octane fuel that has us “pinking’ dreadfully.

Generally the bikes are doing really well. A few minor bits and pieces have been fixed and the mud deflector at the back has self-dismantled on half the bikes but that is only cosmetic.

Love jo

2 Responses to Grease Monkeys and Mechanical Miracles

  1. MOD June 3, 2005 at 8:58 am #

    Great dairy entry Jo Jo. I guess that’s the downside to having such good looking slavic cheekbones. Twice is enough though, you can stop now. Am doing a piece for Kiwi Rider so plan to steal parts of this entry. Wish I was there. Bring on the States in 06. Love MOD

  2. Lance Wiggs June 4, 2005 at 7:49 pm #

    wow – those mud deflectors have lasted a long time…. mine lasted about a week before it was left in the rubbish. you may want to saw them off now rather than wait for the rocks to do it for you..
    L

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