2014-09 GDRx2

The Great Divide Route (x2)

Motorcycling Adventure #15

20 days, 5,222 mi., Sept 2014

Ray Jardine

Epilogue page 2 of 2

Before starting this trip, I did the following work on the bike:

As preventive maintenance, I removed the clutch cover (sort of an advanced job for the home mechanic, due mostly to the oil return pipe in the way) for the purpose of checking the water pump shaft and seals. With 45,000 miles on the clock, the water pump shaft is finally starting to wear out. Glad I caught it now; it might have been a trip stopper on the road.

The bolt holding the oil return line to the engine block is said to be the most difficult to reach on the entire bike. After removing the ABS sensor control unit, I'm using a screw driver that has a lever and three extensions to get at that bolt. I loosened it just enough to give some play in the oil line. Taking the bolt off would be a big mistake, due to the extreme difficulty of putting it back on.

The bolt holding the oil return line to the engine block is a torx 20, and here I have loosened it.

Inside the clutch cover is the water pump shaft, shown at right. The gasket hadn't been off since the bike was new, and of course I tore it, and had to order a new one. The replacement gasket is just paper, not fancy like the old one, so I could have made a new paper one myself.

The water pump shaft shows heavy scoring. This would have spelled trouble ahead, had I not checked.

To get the clutch cover off, you have to remove all sorts of things, and swing the exhaust elbow partly out of the way. The silver pipe is the oil return line which has caused so much trouble with home mechanics. I managed to move it with just enough force to get the clutch cover off. In this photo I have removed about half the clutch plates for inspection.




I had two light bulbs out in the dash. To replace them, I had to take the whole dash apart. I think most home mechanics would be surprised how easy this is, once they learn how.

Draining the fork oil. Always surprised how black its gotten.

Forks and steering head removed, en route to the steering bearings.

Lower steering race is staring to look bad, but not bad enough to warrant a replacement. Should be good for another 6,000 miles, but next time it will need new.

My home-made template for measuring the 60-degrees back-off, when torquing the steering head.

The swingarm removed for a rear-suspension bearings lube. With only 6,300 miles since I did this job the last time, everything came off very easily. (Not like the first time when everything was stuck.) Nevertheless, the bearings still needed lot of grease. But they were not dry, so next ride I won't be so hesitant to wash the bike. During the last ride, I didn't wash the bike until near the end, because I didn't want to flush the grease out of the suspension bearings.

Swingarm Maintenance

Someone said to remove the radiator guard and check for stones which could wear holes in the radiator. Good tip! I found several.

I placed a strip of foam behind the frame to lessen the chances of picking up rocks.

To flush the brake fluid I took a jar with a plastic lid, and drilled two holes. the tubing fits tightly in the lid and holds the tubing down nicely.

  • Oil change and new oil filter.
  • Two new light bubs in dash.
  • Change fork oil.
  • re-lube steering head bearings, inspect races, re-torque. Lower race staring to imprint; next time will need new races & bearings.
  • New water pump shaft, impeller, seals.
  • Check clutch friction plates.
  • Change coolant antifreeze.
  • New rear brake pads (used the old pin and springs).
  • Check valves clearances: Int L=.06, R=.06; Ex L-.27 R=.27+
  • New spark plugs.
  • New clutch cable.
  • Lube throttle cable.
  • Check wheel bearings, rear & front.
  • Remove & lube bearings for the swingarm and linkages.
  • Remove radiator guard and check for stones. (found several. These stones could wear holes in the radiator).
  • New front tire and tube.
  • Brake fluid change, front and rear.
  • New battery. Jenny's bike needs one, so she gets my old one - still good but two years old.
  • Lube piston rear brake pedal.
  • Change tail light.
  • Re-design luggage tie downs.
The story has 2 pages. This is page 2.
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