Thursday, March 24, 2016

Spare Clutch, Throttle and Choke Cables For Honda Varadero 1000cc Better Safe Than Sorry!

My spares policy has always been a bit overboard, but I think I have the balance about right.

On my recent trip to Devon I was in need of a rectifier, luckily I had a spare and it took just a few mins to replace the old one with the new one and I was on my way.

Without it, I would of required towing home!

I've since bought another, and with my clutch cable, choke and throttle cables I've covered about as much as I can.

I have a puncture repair kit, spare bulbs and a basic tool kit.

I did take out European cover with the AA, hopefully I will not need it, but as I said in the title of the post "Better Safe Than Sorry"!

We are more or less packed now and ready to take off this Monday evening, taking the night boat out of Portsmouth bound for Le Havre.

Docking at around 0830, we anticipate we will get to our first nights destination around 2000hrs. Taking plenty of stops and avoiding tolls and motorways where we can.

We are staying here for two nights, then heading across the mountains and south towards Nice, from here we will be hugging the French/Italian coast and heading to Pisa where we will turn inland toward Florence where we hope to spend a couple of days.

Our trip home takes us towards Lake Como, through Switzerland and across Germany and France back to Le Havre.

I'm hoping to update the blog as we go, but that all depends on time.

You can follow our trip on facebook, so please click on the link to the right.

This will probably be my last post now till after we get going, as Sunday I get married!!!!!

The journey continues................................

Monday, March 14, 2016

More Expense! - Replacement Parts - Tyres Chain Sprockets Brake Pads!

When I took the bike in for it's service recently it was pointed out to me that the front tyre would need replacing in another couple of thousand miles.

No problems with this as I had a brand new rear fitted when I bought the bike, and with our trip looming a new front tyre was a good idea.

I'm having the same tyre put on a, Metzeler Tourance. The one fitted has worked well in extreme rain, so more than happy to stick with what I know.

I also asked for the chain to be looked at, as I thought it had got a bit slack rather quickly. I was advised to have a new chain, as there is only so many times it can be tightened up and it was looking a bit worn.

Not only that, but with all the rubbish weather we have been having recently my scottoiler has clogged up and this has stopped working. Unfortunately this has resulted in a fine paste grinding my rear sprocket to pieces!

So I am having a new heavy duty chain fitted along with a new sprocket.

Whilst this was all going on they noticed my rear pads were looking a bit iffy, so new up rated ones are being fitted.

An expensive day today, as that little lot came in at just under £300.00 then I had the added expense of AA European Breakdown Cover which for our time abroad is costing £140.00.

I'm hoping that is it now!

The journey continues...........

Thursday, March 10, 2016

My First Off!

We have been having some rather inclement weather recently, wind, rain and the occasional hail storm thrown in.

I've still been riding every day in to work with no dramas, even with it being well below freezing I've always managed to stay shiny side up!

So when I left work the other afternoon after a day of heavy showers with a bit of sunshine to brighten up the day I thought it would just be a normal 9 mile ride home.

I left work and headed no more than 1/4 mile up the road, and as I waited for the traffic lights to change the first of the hail stones started to fall.

OK, I thought, nothing to worry about, so I continued on my way. 

Another 1/4 mile and they were starting to come down thick and fast, the road was starting to look white, with just the tyre tracks from the car in front visible.

By the time I had travelled another 1/4 mile I was in white out conditions!

Now I have tyres with a 80% bias to tarmac 20% to mud, so I guessed I would be ok.

The problem I encountered were the ridges in the road. Over the years the road surface has worn down and created tracks in the tarmac.

These were now filled with hail and the whole surface of the road was becoming very slippery.

I felt the back end twitch so dropped down to 2nd gear and with that my speed slowed right down, so much so that I then had to drop into 1st to keep going.

This is when the back end decided that it was time to overtake the front as my front wheel came out of the track and hit a bigger build up of hail.

I wasn't going fast, probably no more than 10 miles an hour, but I ended up with the bike facing the wrong way looking at a car slithering to a halt!

I still had hold of the handlebars even though I was on my knees. I had pulled the clutch in and the engine was still running so I hit the kill switch and stood up.

The guy jumped out of the car following me and helped me up with the bike and we pushed it into the driveway of a house.

Making sure I was ok, which I was, not a bruise or a strained muscle, which was lucky! But best of all, nothing damaged on the bike either. The crash bars on the front really earning their keep!

I wish I had taken a picture of the road and the hail, but it did not occur to me to do so till after I had got home.

The road conditions went from perfectly dry with the sun shining, to a couple of inches of hail in all of 1 mile and 5 minutes of riding - you could not predict that happening at all!

Whilst I was waiting in the drive of the house, the lady owner came out to make sure I was ok and to see if I wanted a cup of tea (so very British) I thanked her but declined her lovely offer.

I waited for around 10 minutes when as quickly .as it fell it all got washed away with traffic and the rain that fell afterwards.

I then made it home to tell the tale.

The journey continues..........