Buya Ikhaya (Come Home)

Charlie and Rensche are coming home by riding motorbikes from London to Cape Town.

We hope that our stories from the road will motivate you to give a donation to our chosen charity Beautifulgate who are a Christian organisation helping Aids orphans in Southern Africa. Please follow the link in the column on the right.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

End of an Era...the Divvy is gone!!!

Yes sadly I have had to let the Divvy go before we move up to London and obviously before heading off to SA.

I bought her in September 2004 with 27,000 on the clock and in immaculate condition.
Yamaha XJ900S Diversion, 1997 P Reg.
I was really spoilt by this bike and it was because of this bike that I got so frustrated with the BMW and the other bikes because it gave me absoluetly no problems at all. The biggest thing I had to fix was replacing the brushes in the starter motor. Other than that nothing!!! She averaged 9.8lt/100miles.
She was collected yesterday (18th March 2007) with 66,250 miles on the clock. This is what she looked like just before she rode off into the distance.

She will be sadly missed and fondly remembered!!!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Oh what a day!!! Pricey bills, punchers, snapped chains...

Yesterday started as any normal Saturday for us...heading across to Conquest Motorcycles to see if they had finally finished repairing Rensche's bike and whether Charlie's rear wheel was ready.

We took Rensche's bike in at the beginning of February as it was smoking badly and clearly needed new rings. After opening the engine they ordered up the rings but were told they were on back order. So the long wait began and finally they arrived last week and we could collect the bike yesterday. When we arrived they went through the list of things they had repaired and done to the bike and the list just kept getting longer and longer. Well when we left home we guessed it would be about £300 for the bits we asked them to wrong we were.

"Well when we opened the engine it was very clear that someone had been in there before and the engine had exploded in the past. The cylinder head had damage to it, the piston was new, the rings were dead, the valve springs were 5mm short and installed the wrong way round....etc etc etc! We also had to replace the rectifier as it was not dong it's job properly but had to order in a special one as your Jap import is not UK standard."

Piston rings: £17,60
Valve springs: £27,72
Gasket set: £82,35
Voltage rectifier: £58,00
Petrol filter: £6.20
Labour (1 day): £320
Total pre tax: £511,87
Total: £601,50

Rensche almost blew her gasket!!!!

Included in that charge was welding a foot onto the sidestand (which made Rensche very happy)and welding lugs onto the frame of the bike to recieve the Acerbis 22lt they don't fit our non-standard Jap imports...HINDSIGHT!!!!!!

When changing my rear tyre I noticed that the rim had cracked so took the wheel in when we dropped off Rensche's bike. After 6 weeks it finally came back fitted with a brand new Excel rim and shiney new stainless steel spokes. £209,50

So we got home and I took Rensche's bike for a spin. Filtered up to the front of a long queue at the traffic lights and as it turned green I pulled away and then felt a click and then the engine just revved. I pushed the bike to the traffic island and moved up and down through the gears but nothing,,,it wouldn't move. My immediate thought was that they hadn't put the engine back together properly but as I got off the bike I noticed the chain in a bundle wrapped around the swingarm. Nothing for it...home was 1 mile away...fortunately flat ground. Got home and drove around to Honda who gave us a decent dicount on a Renthal O-ring Gold chain for £35. Got the chain on the bike and that was Rensche's bike all back together again!!!

So I turned my attention to getting my new shiney wheel back on my bike. Over confidence on my part resulted in me pinching and punchering the old tube so as the valve was starting to rust and tear I threw it away. The second time, accompanied by a fair bit of sweat and swearing, I pinched and punchered a brand new tube and had to fit a patch. At the third attempt I decided to proceed with a different mindset and take my time and show some patience and respect for the new wheel and finally the wheel was pumped up and on my bike.

One of those days hey!!!

Now we are just sitting at home staring out the window at the miserable dreary wet and windy day wishing we could take the bikes out for a spin...