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Shit happens..

Its taken me nearly a week to be un-pissed off enough to write this one... I'd been looking forward to the Gladiators show at Maitland, bout 180kms away, for the last few weeks.

The weather leading up had been crap with the worst summer I remember with rain nearly every day in February, but come last Saturday, it was sunny and hot....

Plan was to meet the boys on the freeway at the usual place about 3pm for the 2 hr odd ride up. So I dutifully helmeted up about 1:50 pm for the 50km ride to the freeway.

I'd spent  bit of time on the bike, checked the oil, put some air in the rear tyre etc, and even adjusted the chain a touch, which was looking a bit like it could do with some lube, but being an O-ring, threw some CRC on it and hoped for the best.

Headed off, and on the way down Llandilo Rd noticed what felt like a hesitation, but put it down to getting low on gas, and stopped at the next gas station on Richmond road and filled both tanks.

Back on the road and down on to the M7 and then the M2 tollways, and off at Pennant Hills Rd.

Through the lights and 200m up to the next set and stopped. Light finally changed and off I went...but not far ..just through the intersection ,hit 2nd and a lot of revving but no forward momentum...

Crap, I'm in the middle lane on a bit of a hill, so I roll to a stop and after a minute or so manage to drift across a lane backwards to the side of the road without getting run over by a semi.....As I get there some guy runs up with what was my rear chain that I had apparently deposited in the middle of the intersection...

F!@# S$%^ D^&*

This aint too good, I'm sorta half blocking the lane on a major road on a busy Saturday, but I cant drift back any more without trying to go around the corner, and putting myself more in the lane...So I sat there and got on the phone. First call to the wife. Dont drink, you might have to come and rescue me..! and ask her to see if she can find an open bike shop with a chain. Rang Road service, thank Christ I did this last year. Organize a tow . then remember that Redgraves , who specialize in Harley engine rebuilds and parts, is up the road 10kms or so, and ring them, and Richard is kind enough to say he'll wait for me to get a tow there and he'll sell me a chain. 

After about half an hour I see a few Highway patrol go past and think, one of them will be back...and sure enough  a few minutes later there's one behind me, now protecting me from getting run over. He moves his car back blocking the lane so I can safely back the bike down and around the corner out of the way..thank christ for that. he buggers off again, and I wait for the tow truck.

Pennant Hills road, 6 lanes, lots of traffic

4pm the truck turns up and I roll down the hill on to the back of the flatbed with the deck extended and awaiting.

20 minutes later and I'm at Redgraves and Richard is good enough to cut the chain down to the correct length for me by grinding off  few links. He closes up, and I set about to put the chain on the bike.

The hard part is threading it backwards into the top of the primary and around the engine sprocket, and I have to take a bolt out of the chain guard  so I can get my hand in there properly. It takes probably a half hour to get it around the sprocket and then get the master link in after  loosening off the rear wheel a bit.

Waiting for the trailer at Redgraves

The link goes through easy enough but the side plate doesn't just slide on as I expected...eventually reading the box, I find that these days the master links come in 3 different degrees of difficulty to fit..Easy, hard and harder...mine must've been just hard, all it needed was a pair of vice grips, but I didn't have any. Call Road Service, wait 45 minutes. Borrow vice grip, put on clip, tighten chain a little, all ready to go. Road service man leaves, I start bike, let out clutch, go nowhere...

Flick between the gears...no go...  I'm almost dumbfounded .. I don't believe it ,what else could be wrong?.....I turn the bike off find neutral, start and try again, but again nothing....then it dawns, I must've ripped the sprocket off the back of the clutch again...

Nothing for it now but to ring a mate with a suitable sized trailer and cajole him into coming and getting me with promises of whisky and pizza...So an hour or so later he turns up and we start the not so easy job of getting the beast on to his trailer with a ramp that's far too short so that the bike bottoms out as soon as the front wheel is on. We struggle on though and using a ratchet strap as a winch eventually drag it up. Take bike home, drink a lot of whisky.

Get up the next morning at pull the bike off the trailer, a lot easier than getting it on...Put it on the stand and jack it up, pull off the outer primary and pull the clutch out. Nothing wrong!, WTF !! Have a look in behind the primary that is a lot easier to see on the stand and see the chain isn't around the sprocket, but behind it.... Its a bit of a relief, that the clutch basket isn't buggered, but a just a little  bit of a bastard I didn't notice this yesterday...but upon reflection, I aint too hard on myself, ...side of the road, by myself, hot, bike over on the sidestand so ya cant see f all, no wonder I f ed it up...

So I have to take the master link back out of the chain to get the chain back over the sprocket.. do that then wait a week, just lazy,  and put the primary back together, now its go and buy some oil for the primary and I'm on the road again. Just have to replace the new  chain though with a heavy duty one fairly soon or I know what will happen again...





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