Alright, what you’ve got there is the video of all the bits I needed to get Dot on the road arriving, topped by the pictures that my German biker buddies; Andreas and Claudia took to record the triumphant day that Dororhy lived again.
But it wasn’t easy, oh no. For a start we couldn’t decide if the new sprocket should have any play in or not, finding out once and for all a few days later that yes, it should. Then we couldn’t get the new front brake cable to adjust properly meaning you’d have to pull the lever through the bars if you were ever going to stop. And that’s too good a trick when you’re descending the Alps. So that took all afternoon to fix.
The next day was saved for the big job; the sump plug repair. Australian Joe from One Ten Motorcycles had raced all sorts of things over to us in less than a week to get Dot on the road again. Tape, glue, new bolts and bungs all intended to stop Dorothy dribbling.
The problem basically was that the original bolt that you take out to drain the old oil had been tightened so much it had started to snap the thread inside the hole. Not good, especially when it’s job is to keep a litre of oil in. If it fell out while riding we’d be doomed. Or at least Dorothy would be.
To repair it properly he sent me what looks like a drill bit, and with this the intention is to make a bigger hole from the one you’ve got, thus cutting new threads into the engine. Only I’d never used one before and in response to all those who said it should be easy, I’ve got to be honest and say it’s not. We got it in a few turns and was amazed at all the shards of metal dropping out. But then we bottled it. The drill wasn’t going in very smoothyl, it was difficult to keep it in line. So we stopped and did it the British way…
We put plumber’s tape and a smear of glue around the old bolt, screwed it in as far as we dare then used what’s called plastic metal – a bit like playdo -to seal it in from the outside. So no way can that thing budge and fall out. But just to make sure we tie-wrapped an old toothbrush I picked up from a Chinese hotel to the bottom of the engine guard, with it positioned in such a way that it pushed up against the bolt, so that if the glue and everything else failed the toothbrush would ingeniously stop the bolt from just falling out.
Well at least that’s the plan. Back on the road tomorrow when we cross in to Kazakhstan. We’ll let you know how it goes.
Over and out.