One day after giving the GS a rare bath a coworker
notice an odd rust ring about half way around the tubed frame. Having a closer look It turned out to be a crack in the frame. In some ways I was glad to have discovered the crack as now I had a chance to beef up and repaint the rear or tail frame. The removal of the frame was to be done when I got all my clutch and transmission parts in. Removal of the frame was not as hard as I thought. I have a local high tech machine shop re-weld the cracks and I also made some plates or supports to be added to areas that are prone to cracks. After the machine shop did its magic I had to find someone to sandblast what was left of the old paint. From Here it was off to the powder coating shop for a fresh semi shinny black paint. It looks like a new bike now!
The suspension was something high on the list of must do's. If I learned one thing in our run to Panama is that your suspension is going to take a beating. Even if you are only going to stay on paved roads, chances are they are in real bad shape. We tend to carry to much stuff that if the suspension is in any kind of weak shape, your going to have major problems. I had an Ohlins rear shock for a long time and it worked well. For this trip I needed to make sure to get the front Ohlins shock and have to rear one serviced. These things are rather pricey to say the least but its good insurance knowing that I won't have to worry much about a shock blowing out or worse breaking other parts like the rear swing arm or transmission housing because of a weak suspension.