Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Beginning of a New Year

During the very quiet New Years break, I finally did get to some of the tasks on my list. Of the nine wires in the loom to the left rear door of my truck, 6 were broken. I guess Dodge must use some pretty cheap wire. Or at least wire that doesn't do well in the cold. The only intact ones were the heavier gauge ones for the window motor. To simplify repair, I just cut them and spliced several inches into all of them then wrapped the whole thing in silicon tape. I'll see how long that repair lasts. On the bike, a 1983 BMW R100RT, I was dreading removing the exhaust nuts as they are aluminum and threaded onto the aluminum exhaust ports. If they don't come off easily, they need to be cut off to avoid damaging the aluminum threads on the head. Fortunately, the previous owner or whomever was doing the maintenance, used anti-sieze and they came right off. It is my intent to pull the heads to take a look at the valves. This year and model has a known problem with valve recession.

I also removed the rear wheel to get started on another maintenance item referred to as a "spline lube". The transmission needs to be pulled back a couple of inches to get a grease/moly mixture brushed onto the input shaft of the transmission. This would also be a great time to take a look at the clutch to see how it is wearing. I've only had the bike for two years but have very little information on the work that has been done to the bike. All I've done since owning it is replace all of the fluids (some several times), grease the rear drive spline, and replace a couple of lights and the starter relay. I'm thinking that I need to invest more time and $$ if I really want to start riding it long distances. For example, the stock charging system is only 240 watts @4000 rpm, so there really is a reason for my wanting to take the scenic ride home... I need to ride long enough to charge the battery. Speaking of the battery, it probably needs to be replaced as well since the sticker says 5/2003. Maybe I'll try one of the Odyssey dry cell ones. Perhaps I should have looked for a newer bike but one of the attractive features is the simplicity when compared to newer machines. No computer or other electronics, no cooling fluids, a simple dry clutch, shaft drive and a reputation for being long lived. It should last a long time with a little preventative maintenance. It is completely stock and the only farkle is a RAM mount for my gps.

After slacking off most of December, I've started to get more regular exercise. I'm trying to get to the Alaska Club at least three days per week to use their weight machines. I'm intimidated by the free weights so I haven't tried them at all. And also trying to get a fair amount of aerobic exercise. Usually the treadmill. It's easy, familiar and I have one that I can use at home. The ones at the Alaska Club are much easier to run on. Today, I actually tried running instead of just jogging but couldn't keep it up for more than a mile. Still, for me that is a real accomplishment. A year ago, I was walking about 8-10 miles per day but it was taking too much time. This year I'm trying to jog or run and that has dramatically cut down on the time as I just can't manage the same mileage.


  1. Richard:

    A mechanic I am not. I like to keep those repair shops in business. I presume you have a place to work on your RT inside somewhere. I suppose living where this are few services and parts you are forced to become more self sufficient.
    With only 2 months of summer you have lots of time to sort out all these mechanical issues

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  2. We had a bit more than two months this year. I managed to ride until the end of October! Temperatures down in the teens but almost no snow. Yes, there should be plenty of time to work things out but I tend to put things off. The garage is warmer than outside but it is still pretty cool, especially after bringing in a cold soaked vehicle.

  3. It never ends does it? First you pull this off. Then, while it's apart.....shame not to check this, too.....hey, what happened to summer while I was working on the bike? :)