Africa Blog

The Ride to Half a Million Miles

Simple Pains

Sometimes the simplest things can give you such a hard time.  Like the pain in my arm that came from a simple movement of trying to take a photo.   I also have been fighting with a simple oil leak that has become such a pain in the ass.   Its a common oil leak that happens on most 1100 & 1150s at some point.   The o-ring for the oil fill base cap becomes hard and starts to leak oil.   Before you know it the leak has stained your riding pants or the left cylinder head.   After having to deal with the leak for several weeks I discovered that the cap itself had cracked and was pushing up with the engine pressure.   Of course I discovered this after I had left South Africa where I could have gone to one of many dealers.   My first thought was to get some epoxy glue to repair the crack.   This worked well for a few days but then with the engine heat and the glue started to give way.  I tried the re-glue again and again only got a couple of days use.  I was still a long way from South Africa milage wise and time wise.   So finally after having a bad day with very deep sandy roads  going very slow almost walking the bike the oil cap blow off.  Once I found the cap and o-ring in the sand I thought I could just go very slow in the sandy area without the cap and then deal with repairing the cap.  Well that was a very bad idea as before I knew it I had oil dripping off me, the fuel tank  and most of the the left side of the bike.

    I managed to find a rag to shove in the fill hole just to get me out of the  sand.   I made it to the next town and pulled into a gas station.  I had a list of items I needed to make a fix.  The guy at the station scratched his head and said that only at the hawkers market I could find what I needed.   So off I go with my list.  A hawkers market is basically a flea market.   I found some washers,  a bolt and nut and an old soccer balls inter tube.

   The result was a home made gasket !!   My other problem was to clean off the oil on my riding suit.  So I got my hands one a bucket, filled it with gasoline  and socked the oil stained areas the was the gas off with dish washing soap.  

   I had a great crowed gathered around me trying to figure out that the hell I was doing but at the end it all worked and I only smelled a little like gas!!