Sunday, 6 May 2012

May 23rd-24th, 2010

This morning we headed over to Beezer’s to change our Doohickeys.  The Doohickey in layman’s terms is called the “balancer chain adjuster lever” and is located inside the engine. It has a tendency to break and/or malfunction and has the potential to cause significant engine damage from the loose broken pieces.  The engineers at Kawasaki tried to rectify the problem by redesigning the Doohickey on the 2008 model, but fell short because the spring that resets the lever will stretch, thus, rendering the mechanism completely useless.  I have always been skeptical on changing the Doohickey partly because a mechanic at a Kawasaki dealership once told me that as long as I performed the adjustment at the maintenance intervals (simply by loosening and retightening a bolt); I wouldn’t run into any problems.  We haven’t run into any problems yet and both have put on a fair bit of mileage on our steeds, but I have a funny feeling that we’ve been running on borrowed time.  

A retired aeronautics mechanic/professor and proud owner of a KLR himself, Beezer has all the right tools and experience to get the job done.  We are so grateful that he’s helping us out. 

Since we’re stripping the bike down to its bare bones, might as well check and adjust the valves while we’re at it. 

I thought we had to drain the oil to get the job done, but laying it down on its side will do the same.

So guess what?  Stock Doohickey is still intact, but the spring is broken.  The broken piece is either still floating somewhere in the engine or been drained out with the oil on a previous oil change.  Hopefully it was the latter.

Never in our wildest dreams would we have the cojones to perform a task like this without someone watching over us.  We opted to pay the extra bucks for the torsion spring instead of the conventional one.  Hopefully this way we’ll never have to worry about it ever again.

Found out that one of my sub-frame bolts been sheared off; who knows for how long.  Why am I not surprised?

Everything on Amanda’s stock Doohickey is still intact, but when we checked to see if there was any tension on the stock spring, there was none.  We’ve been loosening and retightening the adjuster bolt for nothing. 

So what have we learned?  Doohickey and sub-frame bolts do have the tendency to fail!  Take heed fellow KLR owners!  I was a naysayer for the longest time and am now converted.  Hallelujah! 

We rode back to the Harley dealership later that evening and camped for the night.  Before we went to bed, we sat on a picnic table looking up at the sky and watching airplanes flying above us.  Amanda noticed a few security cameras overlooking the back parking lot of the dealership; nothing out of the ordinary, but things got out of hand when Amanda, all of a sudden, got up and started running towards them.  “What are you doing?  Get back here!”  I whisper-shouted.  Amanda, in her usual flair when she gets a crazy idea in her head, did not listen to me.  I watched in shock and amusement as she ran around the parking lot with surgical precision while humming the tune to Mission: Impossible.  She did her very best to look “tactical-looking” and just as I thought she’s already taken it to the highest level, she performs a shoulder roll on concrete.  Concrete!  Surely a few bruises are going to come out of that.  The thing that really brought me into hysterics was that despite all her movements, she was clearly being caught on camera.  I can’t even imagine what the security guard is thinking when he sees this.  I won’t be surprised if the police show up in the next few minutes.  She ran back towards me and we both had a laugh.  What an amazing woman, she did all that just to amuse me.  Out of curiosity and bewilderment, I asked her if it hurt when she performed the shoulder roll. 

The next morning we woke up and were greeted by Phil and the boys over at MotoQuest Tours next door to the Harley dealership.  They said they recognized us from an article in a magazine.  A magazine?  I don’t recall us ever being interviewed by someone during the trip.  They brought out a copy of the May issue of Backroads Magazine and there we were!  The article was written by Shira and Brian, the people we met in Julian, California!  Of course, it all makes sense now.  That’s so cool!

Chewing the fat over at MotoQuest Tours.

They helped Amanda change the chain and sprockets on her bike.  Thanks Jason.

Phil offers a tour called the Dawson City Gold Rush Adventure which includes taking part in the Dust 2 Dawson (D2D) motorcycle gathering, the one Paulmer told us about back in Florida.  Since we’re attending, it’ll be neat to meet up with them once again.  Speaking of meeting up, we need to get in touch with Paulmer and see if he’s in Alaska.

Two birds with one stone:  Showering with clothes on. 

Drying can be a bit of a pain though

Got the fix?  I doo!

Wow!  We’re in a magazine!

Bulletproofed motos. 

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