After the trip (Two pegs to Patagonia) had ended, the bikes came home (with us).
Seeing as how they (especially mine) had surpassed all expectations I thought I'd track how the Pegs get on back in the damp, cold Northern Hemisphere.
The obvious thing to do would be to give them a full strip down and a service, but they have had to do with oil and filter and a jet wash.
My battle scared bike was roped in as my major transport while Jean could use the car for work. This meant my XJR1300 and XJ900F have stayed in the back of the garaged, unused and unloved. I'm beginning to wonder if something is wrong with me as I have had no urge to get them on the road and ride them....... yet.
I noticed the small "wing-lets" on Jean's Peg that hold the plastics on and had been used a stabilising point for the panniers had broken off, so the panniers were taken off for a re-weld.
Not that I have got around to having the welds done yet.
Before leaving we had new chains and sprockets fitted, the chains managed over 21000 miles and were changed in Spain, but not the sprockets.
Pitstop had saved my old set so I had them refitted, and discovered why my chain was stretching so much, the link rivet was not riveted ! The old chain was still in decent condition so that was refitted as well.
I then took Jean's bike to have the front sprocket changed, I rode up to Pitstop, parked and walked in. Then I heard an ominous crash and guessed the strong winds had blown it over (the bike sits *very* upright on the side stand).
I wandered out with Tony to pick it up, and saw a large pool of oil, the brake lever had gone through the engine casing. After 25000 miles in 8 months I manage to seriously damage Jean's bike.
Fortunately Tony can do a top job of alloy welding.
Jean, needless to say, was not happy with me
My bike had been a late purchase before the trip and was expected to be the one donating parts to get Jean's to the end of the road, it was referred to many times by me as "bastard" as I was plagued with electric problems. It did of course get further than Jean's
But it was bound to happen, I had only been telling my neighbour how reliable the bike was and that I wanted to take it across Russia in 2 years.
We were heading to a "Pannier Party"(Courtsey of Vern the pannier maker) near Chester, bimblimg along the Runcorn Express-way when I felt the power drop. The red warning triangle came on and the "Service" message flashed.
I pulled off down a slip road and started to diagnose.
No spark, checked the wiring and found a loose connector to the coil. Easy fix !
The spade connector had corroded and snapped off.
I sent Jean ahead with the tent, and waited for the recovery truck. Then had the piss take out of me all weekend by BMW owners.
When we got home on Sunday, Jean donated her coil to get me on the road as I am working away all week. So, roles reversed as her bike became the donor.
That's a sound not heard from my Peg since somewhere in the USA.
With the imminent and fast approaching annual MOT test I finally got the the bottom of the problem, or should I say Tony from Pitstop did.
After diagnosing as far as I could, I had to give in and take it down to him for the day on Friday, I did all the body work stuff and he did all the electrical stuff. Pretty quickly he found a snipped wire, that must have been done accidentally in Baton Rouge while the fuse blowing issue was bi-passed in Louisiana.
That was a quick fix.
Tony then decided he could do something to get my "high" beam working. But without the piece of paper that explained what the electrician in the USA had done to bypass it made the extra work pretty hard. But by 19:00 I had a working dip. side light and high beam set up.
I had been amused when at one point Tony walked back into the work area and shouted "Right! You little bastard!" in frustration. I think it was at the bike, and not me.
I did learn something important from all this, and that is I still don't understand wiring looms, especially when relays are involved.
Happy days, now all I need to do is book the MOT test.
The bikes have had highs and lows this month, Jean's Peg is still fully functional, if you can discount the need for new rear suspension bushes (what is it about her bike and suspension ?), mine however has gone downhill.
The work for the horn and lights was good enough to get it through the MOT test, and I have done around another 900 miles since then. On one return journey from Birmingham I had to administer first aid to an indicator.
I'd not had to repair it since the roundabout in Argentina, you just can't get decent gaffa tape these days.
There, as good as new. I must stop being a cheap skate and buy a new one for her.
However at a Festival this weekend being left out in the rain for 4 days was probably the final nail in the coffin.
The Pegasos do have a known issue with moisture getting itno the dashboard, and mainly causing it to mist up. Mine has suffered this the whole time and I must admit to getting a overly relaxed about it as there had been no issues in the last 30,000 miles.
On the way home on Monday, just after Melton Mowbray (where it seems impossible to get Melton Mowbray pies) I noticed that the digital speedo was not working. And then that the rev counter was also lifeless. As the bike was still running and I had a nearly full tank I took the sensible option of not stopping and switching off the ignition in case it failed the system pre-start checks.
Getting back home judging my speed by the sound of the engine was interesting, and having to use arm signals as the indicator circuit goes through the dash. I switched off when safely home the ignition and restarted it, it was ok so put the bike in the garage and left it overnight.
The next morning I when I took a look it was obvious it had got worse because with no ignition the rev counter was "jumping" to 7000 and the system test would start and fail.
I tried starting the engine, which worked, but then would die immediately.
The "bastard" had finally keeled over. Two weeks short of 12 months of solid use. 29770 miles/47632 kilometres. 30,000 would have been a much nicer number.
So, a few weeks earlier than planed for a winter lay off and electrical check over she has been pushed to the back of the garage while the situation is reviewed, with a new dash being in excess of £450 the search is on for a usable replacement.
I must admit to a few moment of sadness as I removed the panniers, although I had done that twice in the trip for repairs this time seemed so final. I've been using the Peg for my main transport and commute to work. It has taken me to London, Middlesbrough, Bridgend, Newport and Birmingham. Then to rallies and events at weekends. I've lived out of her for 12 months and I feel like a part of me has been surgically removed.
I've put my XJ900F (100,070 miles) back on the road, but a 4 cylinder bike just does not feel right anymore.
Fingers crossed, I want to get more miles from the "bastard" yet.
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