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Author Topic: 2021 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya - Season 6  (Read 2981 times)

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Offline Osadabwa

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Ooopsie...
« Reply #60 on: November 07, 2021, 04:45:48 pm »
Hmmm... I'm pretty sure there's an old motorcycle adage that says if something is wrong, just ignore it and it'll go away... right?


Above: XRR rear linkage gone the way of my hub a year ago... no bearings makes things go pear shaped... literally!

Damned if I hadn't been hearing a squeak for possibly as long as a year... maybe more. I figured it was the sump guard or the radiator guard or my ass cheeks rubbing together, so I ignored it. And ignored it. And ignored it. Thing with the Pig is, she never misbehaves, so if something's different, it's different for the worse. The other thing is, bad things can happen to the Pig and you won't even notice it because she's absolutely beastly, overengineered, and amazing. That goes for punctures... been down the road for miles before I noticed the tyre had gone flat (and by the time I did notice, the tube AND the tyre were cut on stones), been down the road for half a day dropping rear wheel bearings out on the road before one whole side finally gave up the ghost and the brake disk started howling, and now this... Had I not removed the rear wheel the other day to change a broken spoke, I would never have noticed that the linkage bearings were shot. One of them was missing entirely, but I swear I didn't notice.

Oh my poor Piggy...
Alas and alack,
But Panic had a spare
So she's back on the track!

Brrraaaaap!

 :snorting:
 
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Offline Dustman

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Re: 2021 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya - Season 6
« Reply #61 on: November 12, 2021, 01:52:49 pm »
 :thumleft: :sip:
"Better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."
 

Offline Osadabwa

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2021 11 - From Clutching to Crutching...
« Reply #62 on: November 14, 2021, 08:52:19 pm »
After a year marooned in South Africa, our mate Kolobus returned to Kenya for work and a crew of happy folks organized a ride/camping trip to celebrate. I got my two XR650Rs ready… oil changes, tyre changes, etc… and handed him the key to my beloved Desert Pig. Our Groundhog-Days-Covid-Lockdown crew packed 4x4s with drinks, food, tents, tables, chairs (yep), dogs and kids and headed off for Mt Suswa early Saturday morning and I planned a track for Kolobus, Panic, Jimbob and I to take us the long way up there with the idea of getting there in the mid afternoon to settle in, drink beers and watch the sunset. Plans have a funny way of changing…


Above: Quarry stop. Check things over, pee, and regroup. I was riding my Nimble Pig (not looking so nimble with the large tank, (back right)) and Kolobus was on my old faithful Desert Pig (front right). My plan was to try to dial in Nimble’s suspension on this ride, so I was often flopped in the dirt clicking the clickers. Got it pretty decent, but nothing compares to the original Desert Pig with her Precision Concepts built shock and Race Tech Valving up front.


Above: The top-gear ripper down to Mi46. Panic has begun to show his stuff for the camera lately. Much appreciated, old boy! Not very far along and I got a pinch flat… further evidence that the suspension isn’t keeping up with the riding. I haven’t pinched Desert Pig in a million years…


Above: Kolobus and Panic at the Mi-46 11 O’Clock beer stop. Just one little refresher before we blast over and up and away.


Above: Jimbob fiddling with his GPS… turns out you need to connect the wires if you want it to charge… Who knew? Get a load of the old Masai guy with the lolly-pop... only in Kenya


Above: Kolobus cut chunks of home-made biltong on the edge of the pool table labelled AK-47…

The little break at Mi-46 was lengthened by a mere 5 minutes as I identified a nail-hole in Kolobus’s rear tyre and proceeded to plug it with bacon strips. I’ve been running Tu-Bliss on the Pig on the rear tyre for several years now. So far, it’s saved me several hours of trail-side tyre repair. It’s not perfect… carrying that high pressure pump around and worrying the little bladder will die isn’t great, but those quick repairs sure are.


Above: Installing my bacon strips in a swarm of onlooking kids. Looks like I’m being swallowed by a swarm of little demons while Jimbob just laughs.

From Mi46 it’s another ripper down to the “ButtBrothers” turn off that takes you up the side of Mt. Olegorsaile. It’s rocky then it’s flat and dusty, then rocky and drifty, then utter feshfesh madness up to Oltepesi where we stopped for, yes, another restful beer break!


Above: Jimbob ripping the flat section


Above: Like the Evil Queen from Snow White and her mirror, I got distracted by my shiny clutch cover protector… got bored one day and hit it with the polishing wheels. I didn’t have the patience to make it properly shiny though, and anyway I ride too much and too hard to try to keep it pretty all the damn time, so I quit there.


Above: My beautiful bike and the dust of my hooligan friends way out in the distance.


Above: Down the road a bit we wound up in a tower of giraffe


Above: … and here you have a hoard of bikers in their natural habitat.


Above: The Oltepesi beer hole. That place feels very Wild-West. Shame Kenya doesn’t have tumbleweeds, because the dust blowing down the street, the big mama who runs the beer joint and the hoards of random guys roaming around up to no good really fits. Granted, the Lingala music blasting from the bar doesn’t quite match old timey Wild-West stuff, but this is Africa.

After the Oltepesi beer stop, we ripped the Najile road. That sucker is so much fun. It’s long, fast, rocky, dusty, beat to shit and still quick as hell. There are jumps (meant to be speed bumps I think), drifts, hammering stony climbs… everything the Pig enjoys. I thought my Nimble was doing fairly well on it as well, right up until the Najile-Ewaso stretch… that lava flow that sends KTM riders home broken to their mamas. I took off after Panic and gave it my best, but the hits were so violent, I had to throttle back before I lost control. Kolobus rolls up to us a half minute later happy as a clam on Desert Pig. Jimbob on the 350 EXC… well, rumour has it he’s still having nightmares.


Above: Kolobus hammering the rocks and dust.

Alas, the good times were about to come to a screeching halt. Half an hour later, not long after the fesh infested entrance at the base of Mt. Suswa, Kolobus got bit by a sand snake and took a big fall on some hard earth. He lost the front a bit, gave it a bit of gas to catch it, caught it and lost it the other way. Trying to get up again, it was clear it was game over. His foot wouldn’t support his weight. So, we made calls up the mountain, and calls to the flying doctors. Panic rode up to get the car, and the crazy vet swooped down to grab him and take him to hospital. We tried to get him out on a helicopter like Wry awhile back, but it was too late in the day and the injury wasn’t severe enough. AMREF flying doctors has their (unwritten and totally haphazard) codes of conduct I suppose. They offered a ground ambulance, but the 100 Series Land Cruiser was a much better option.


Above: Dusty and not going anywhere fast. Kolobus keeps his foot in the air. We were warned by the vet not to take his boot off...


Above: …so we took his boot off. He wanted to see how bad it was. It was definitely swollen and stiff, so we whacked a SAM splint on there (second time I’ve used one of those on a riding buddy… now Rawlance of a Labia has a SAM Splint Buddy) and kept it elevated. After an hour, the car arrived and we scooted him inside.


Above: A cold beer for the road, and off they went, joking all the while. He was in no pain as long as he didn’t put weight on it, so we felt pretty confident he’d be okay. So, Panic astride my Desert Piggy, we rode up to the campsite like bats out of hell...


Above: Beautiful light just before the campsite. Panic was enjoying. Even pulled a big wheelie on my bike in front of me! That’s like kissing another guy’s girlfriend!


Above: At camp it was a royal feast. Plenty of snacks, beers and a big meal. Pixie lights in the trees, a nice doggy to pet and everything. We sat around the fire in big comfy chairs and only called it quits after a few pulls on the Black Label bottle for good measure. I then precariously climbed up the roof-tent ladder and collapsed in a heap between my two kids who were already snoring and hogging all the room. It was fantastic, though I kept dreaming the car was rolling into the crater with us on top of it…

Following day, we managed to pack up 2 cars worth of stuff onto one, parked my Nimble Pig at Kiano’s house for eventual collection, and took off, blurry of head and in with very little ambition for much more than the rocky SGR track (another rocky ripper) and some grub.


Above: Leaving our calling card on a smooth section of the SGR track

Back home and time to check on the patient. Some texts had come through telling the story. Broken bones oh my! Bye-bye lateral malleolus of the fibula, hello clunky foot brace and crutches! Soon enough, surgery, resting, healing and a bit more hobbling around and then Kolobus will be right as rain. His XRR in RSA will be waiting for him to come home and fix her up nice like my lovely Desert Piggy he so shamelessly splatted into the dirt!


Above: Kolobus checks in

Sorry it ended like it did, Kolobus, but you’ll be up an on the throttle in no time with your unwavering positive attitude! We need more of that in our lives man. Be well and heal quickly.

 :snorting:

Oh, and here's a little clip of video from the day:
« Last Edit: November 14, 2021, 09:05:21 pm by Osadabwa »
 

Offline Clockwork Orange

Re: 2021 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya - Season 6
« Reply #63 on: November 16, 2021, 12:40:02 pm »
Fantastic as always. Sorry about your mates injury.
When in doubt...grab throttle!!!
 
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Offline Osadabwa

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Joey Evans Rides with the Pig Pen!
« Reply #64 on: December 05, 2021, 07:57:07 am »
Wry was ready for his monthly get-out-to-Mt Suswa overnighter and I was in need of a break from Nairobi myself. The day before departure, he called with a surprise. He tells me Joey Evans is passing through on his way to do some speaking engagements and would be keen to join us. We were chuffed to be meeting another Dakar rider and to be able to get him out to one of our favourite short-ride destinations (we rode with Lyndon Poskitt a few years back on the last leg of his Races 2 Places tour HERE). Aladin offered his dad’s KTM 690 to Joey and I lent my second Honda XR650R to Aladin. Giddy up!

You might say Joey can ride. After recovering from a life-threatening back injury, he finished a crazy Dakar Rally in 2017 which he wrote about in his inspirational book “From Para to Dakar” (check out his webshop HERE). He’s done the Roof of Africa, the Botswana Desert 1000 and any number of other rallies and was invited to join Poskitt’s team in the Africa Eco Race two years back, which is documented on YouTube HERE. From those videos, it is obvious Joey is both a cracking rider and an all-around amazing guy with a huge heart, so I was looking forward to it. He’s well known for helping guys out on the trail.


Above: Joey Evans somewhere in the Kedong Valley, Kenya

But, soft, dear rider, is Joey Evans as easy-going and good natured as he seems? Does he harbour a dark secret? Will Joey Evans turn out to be a devious rascal and an XRR saboteur? Would this brief encounter sully his image for good? Stay tuned to find out the truth! As a serious bike documentary nguy, you can be sure I wouldn't dream of embellishing the facts!

Stay tuned...
« Last Edit: December 05, 2021, 09:25:01 am by Osadabwa »
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Up the mountain...
« Reply #65 on: December 05, 2021, 08:01:05 am »
Friday was a drizzly, miserable day in Nairobi. The hours were crawling by. I wouldn’t start for Suswa until 4pm, after picking the kids from school. The plan was for me to meet up with Wry, Aladin and Joey on the SGR road so we could ride together down the Great Rift Valley. I took off on sloppy streets in stupid afternoon traffic, cutting in and out of lanes on a chaotic Uhuru Highway, all the while pumping myself up for the slick red-clay nightmare I’d find when I finally hit the dirt. Amazingly though, as soon as I dropped off the tar, the wet disappeared and the tacky, red soil was primed for braaping. I roared down to the usual quarry lookout and checked my messages for Wry to find out where to meet up.


Above: Dry clay! Further proof, if after seven years of riding here it were really needed, that the weather in Nairobi has nothing to do with weather in the valley. You have to go see for yourself! And you should always go. You should always ride. Ride every chance. Ride every, single, chance.

Annoyingly, Wry’s messages only said: “We got a late start.” That didn’t tell me a thing. Should I wait there, should I go ahead? Are they in front, or behind me? As I was hemming and hawing, I remembered that I’d disconnected my headlight earlier chasing a wiring gremlin and never reattached it. So, if I waited too long, I’d be arriving atop a dormant volcano in the dark with only the stars to guide me. I’ve done enough riding bikes at night sans headlight, so I decided to press ahead and check for news down the way.


Above: Down to the steep part of the SGR road, overlooking Mt Suswa in the distance. Clouds were looking a bit ominous. I ditched my sunglasses, cleaned my visor, checked my messages (zilch), cursed Wry for his muppetry and opted to hit the main road to make up time. By then, I’d started thinking about the cold beers waiting for me up there, and anyway, I’d torn up the SGR just the day before, so I could give it a miss with a light heart.


Above: Follow the light, my son, follow the light!

It was a beautiful ride down the main road and up to the campsite at Mt Suswa. Wry finally got in touch and confirmed they’d arrive just at dark. So, I got busy unpacking, erecting (ahem) my tent and whipping up a fire. They boys arrived at dusk and, after missing the turnoff to the campsite a time or two, like blind mole rats, pulled up with a roar and big smiles. I handed out beers while they set up camp.


Above: Arriving at Mt. Suswa at dusk… kind of hard to beat, given that 2 hours earlier I was in a suppurating African city

More to come...
« Last Edit: December 05, 2021, 09:27:11 am by Osadabwa »
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Suspicious goings on...
« Reply #66 on: December 05, 2021, 08:03:03 am »
As soon as Wry had his helmet off and received his abuse from me about his crappy group management, he told me he was leaking fuel from the tank somewhere. Sure enough, little drips were plopping onto the dirt in a most un-eco-friendly way. For the time being, we put a beer can under the drip, and then we ignored it as it is well known that Hondas always fix themselves with no need of outside intervention. A Japanese innovation the other teams have never learned.
Secure in that wisdom, Wry cooked dinner (amazing German cheese krainers with sauerkraut), we shot the breeze by the fire and listened to some harrowing stories from Joey including an in-depth account of how he hit the camel that time (and how two other guys did too…) and how his bike was totalled in the 2017 Dakar, but not giving up, he rode until he found an abandoned bike in the Mauritanian desert, cannibalized it for parts and still managed to finish! Seriously, you gotta get the book.

Eventually we stumbled back over to Wry’s bike and, to our utter surprise, found the leak continued unabated! This was very odd… it’s as though the bike possessed no self-healing powers after all! Confused and bewildered, we got busy removing bits to have a lookysee. I was working the 10mm socket, removing the right-hand inner tank brace bolt and to my surprise, instead of removing a bolt, the whole brace came out! Fat lot of good that was doing! And the lower braces… both of them… were broken clean through! So only the one inner tank brace was holding, and that was precisely where the fuel leak was coming from. This merited a hearty WTF?

Fortunately, we were with Mr. Make a Plan himself. I mean, Joey rebuilt his bike in the desert and finished Dakar, so we were relieved when he declared this a fixable issue and whipped out some epoxy (cleverly kept in those L/R contact lens containers… smart!). But it was then that I began to suspect Mr. Joey Evans may not be the wholesome oke he wants us to believe he is…

He was filming our mini-adventure as the first instalment in a series where he goes out with normal guys on short rides and documents it (can’t wait to see that, I’ll post a link when it’s out). The point is to highlight just how awesome it is to get out with your buds on bikes, go camping, explore, and the like. Sounds great, but was it suspicious that he had that epoxy so readily to hand? Would it, I wondered, perhaps make for better content to show how the Mighty Honda broke on a ride and a KTM guy made it whole again? Is it my imagination, or did he take a suspiciously long pee break a while ago? Was he tucking a spanner in his pocket as he came back to the fire? Did he somehow interfere with the XRR’s well-known mystical ability to self-heal? Some SefEffrikan Juju perhaps? I shuddered… Could Joey Evans in fact responsible for the fuel leak? Was Joey Evans an XRR saboteur! Was this an elaborate plot to discredit the indestructability of the venerable Big Red Pig? How deep did the conspiracy go? Did KTM put him up to this? Was it Q-Anon? Flat-Earthers? Poskitt?


Above: Joey, Wry and Aladin fix Wry’s mysteriously cracked tank. Is it me, or is Evans smirking in this photo… what does he know that we don’t?

In my mind, there were simply too many coincidences to be ignored in this suspicious case of the broken tank. Still, lacking hard evidence pointing to Joey’s definitive guilt, I was forced to swallow my concerns for the mo and return to the campfire for more beers, stories and general tomfoolery. But I was watching that Evans character like I hawk, I can assure you… like a cross-eyed chicken hawk…

Midnight came and went, as did a couple drams of whisky (only Wry and I partook, the other ladies had had enough), and we hit the hay like Joey hitting a camel in the desert.

To be concluded...
« Last Edit: December 05, 2021, 09:30:59 am by Osadabwa »
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Home again... another surprise... suspicions confirmed?
« Reply #67 on: December 05, 2021, 08:10:32 am »
Morning. Fuzzy headed. I crawled out of my bed to the sound of a million birds down in the crater talking smack to one another. Wry and Joey were heating water for coffee. Was Joey’s greeting just a bit too friendly? Did I catch a mischievous glimmer in his eye? Shaking it off, I wandered over to have a look at the tank. The epoxy had healed nicely and the plan was to make a duct-tape gasket to complete the job.


Above: Lot 650: “Still-life with Busted Tank and Shameful KTM Tool Kit”, Mt Suswa, 2021. Mbidding will mbegin at two-hundred shirrings.

We lazily got moving, had our coffees, took runs to the long-drop and slowly gathered our kit together. We were waiting for Holesaw to show up. A common enough occurrence normally, this time we were waiting for him as he was unable to join for the overnighter. His plan was to rip up the hill bright and early to meet us for coffee and the return-ride home.


Above: Morning camp


Above: I’m watching you, Evans…


Above: Action shot of me racing to the loo, bog roll in hand


Above: Aladdin watching the rain come in


Above: Holesaw makes his appearance. With his glasses and blue-blue-blue riding kit, he was the spitting image of Brainy Smurf on a bike

You know how mornings at camp are. Lots of fussing about. Kit being donned. Tents being de-pitched… un-pitched… im-pitched…? taken down. Spirits were high despite the night’s troubling goings on, and in no time, we were ready to ride. Sadly for me (and no doubt a great relief to the others), I had to shoot back home solo and couldn’t join them on their roundabout return journey. So we organized a farewell group shot with the KTM (the XRRs were pissed!) and we prepared to part ways. Joey left me with a brotherly handshake, a hearty pat on the back and some kind words and I started to think maybe I had him all wrong… I mean, he really does seem to be a genuinely good guy. He couldn’t have been responsible for Wry’s tank. Right? What was I thinking? I mean, it’s not like anything else has happened to lend credence to my paranoid hypothesis…


Above: Our farewell group shot with rain looming on the horizon

I set off across the crater with a light heart in no particular rush. It was drizzling and I didn’t need to win a sprained wrist from some hungover belly-flop in the dirt, so I took ‘er easy. I paused briefly on the descent looking out at the escarpment and took in the scene. There was rain everywhere I wanted to ride. But, I was up for it. I’m a biker after all. And I agreed with Joey the night before when he said: “If you won’t ride in the rain, you’re not really a biker” Or something similar. Anyway, it was motivating. That guy is like a motivational speaker almost! I was going for it.



Above: Longonot swallowed in cloud and rain tickling the ribs of the escarpment… yep, I’m a gonna get wet.

Resolved, I launched myself down the hill. The way wasn’t slick, so I was picking up some speed, but nothing silly. I was dropping off these little ledges and enjoying myself when I heard a really loud KLAAANG and thought it very odd that I’d managed to fling a stone hard enough into the bash-plate to make that racket. But, bike seemed fine, so I carried on. Down through the fesh-fesh field that now wore a dark jacket of rain, and out onto the tarmac where I stopped to check my messages.

When I tried to put my kickstand down, however, it struck the asphalt. The rear of the bike was squatting like a German Shephard! Knees bent, my feet were flat-footed on the ground! There was no bounce in the shock… it felt like a hard-tail! Oh shit! I hop off the bike and confirm my worst fear… the shock was broken! It looked like a carbon-copy of what happened to Wry and Holesaw not long ago when they installed new springs with the wrong collar, but this shock came with the bike and had been better than flawless for 6 years! I couldn’t believe it… That Joey Evans had struck again!

With a heavy heart I got on the bike and rode carefully, gingerly back to Nairobi on the tar. It took 2 hours and it was hell. I felt like a wounded animal on the highway being harassed by hungry lions. But all the while, all I could think about was Joey Evans… how had he pulled it off? When did he sneak out to sabotage my baby? How had he done it? When? It must have been when I scampered off to the bog! He must have carefully loosened the shock preload adjusters or something and then removed the collar just enough so that it would break or fall off while riding, exonerating him of guilt and suspicion! The brilliance of this man made me roar with laughter and I screamed to the skies: "Joey Evans! I’ll get you for this, Joey Evans!"


Above: My wounded beast, lame and wimpering, sadly climbing the last hill out of the valley proper. We will get our revenge one day, my girl, fear not. Meanwhile, just heal up in the garage with your magic Japanese juju.


Above: And if it weren’t bad enough that I had to tar it home… this is what the tar looks like in places! What a circus Nairobi is. A big, filthy circus entirely composed of evil clowns. That matatu began side-sliding toward me as soon as I took this pic and I had to scootch myself out of the way to avoid being mash-potatoed in the muck…

Meanwhile, out behind a Mt. Suswa, cool-as-a-cucumber Joey Evans was enjoying a lovely ride with my mates. They hit riverbeds, rocky descents, volcanic nonsense and had a great time of it. The KTM got a puncture, but now that I know the diabolical mind of Mr. Evans (is that even your real name, sir?), I’m sure it was an act of self-sabotage to throw us off the scent. Oh he’s smart alright, real smart…


Above: The KTM gets a convenient puncture and Joey compares helmets with a local boda rider


Above: Coming to a cross roads and the end of this tale.

Joey, it was great to meet you boet! Hope you enjoyed this piece of rigorous biker journalism and I hope our paths cross again soon. Come back with more time and we’ll take you up North like we talked about. I’d like to take you HERE and get a lesson on riding dunes!

Cheers

But in the meantime… I’ll be watching you!

« Last Edit: December 05, 2021, 09:41:08 am by Osadabwa »
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Shocked
« Reply #68 on: December 05, 2021, 12:10:28 pm »
Warning, the following images may not be suitable for all viewers:

Evans! Look what you did to my shock! How could you? No, seriously, how could you? Did you bring a special acid to attack the metal and make it fatigue as if it had been ridden hard for over a decade? How did you manage to apply it without us noticing, and under the shock boot it had on? You're a crafty, crafty fellow indeed...


Above: The collar gave way and the spring pushed past it's stop, down into the swingarm. Not noticing it soon enough, I rode until the rod was bent against the bike. Everyone, maybe now is a good time to inspect your bikes for wear!

Oh the pain. Anyone out there got an XRR shock they wanna send me?

Cheers
 

Offline Aprilian

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Re: 2021 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya - Season 6
« Reply #69 on: December 05, 2021, 05:59:46 pm »
Nice write, as always

Sent from my SM-A315F using Tapatalk

Surely if I was obsessed with motorcycles I’d have more than one; no two; no three; no no, four… ah, never mind…
 

Offline windswept

Re: 2021 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya - Season 6
« Reply #70 on: December 05, 2021, 07:11:26 pm »
I always enjoy your trips, they are well written and humorous.  8)
 

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Re: 2021 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya - Season 6
« Reply #71 on: December 06, 2021, 10:04:29 am »
Love your (X)RR's!! :thumleft: :drif:
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Offline Malcolm

Re: 2021 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya - Season 6
« Reply #72 on: December 07, 2021, 02:28:50 pm »
Magic Places, mates and riding!
Thanks for sharing and kicking up memories of my childhood in Kenya!
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Offline Cage

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Re: Ooopsie...
« Reply #73 on: December 08, 2021, 11:24:50 am »
Hmmm... I'm pretty sure there's an old motorcycle adage that says if something is wrong, just ignore it and it'll go away... right?


Above: XRR rear linkage gone the way of my hub a year ago... no bearings makes things go pear shaped... literally!

Damned if I hadn't been hearing a squeak for possibly as long as a year... maybe more. I figured it was the sump guard or the radiator guard or my ass cheeks rubbing together, so I ignored it. And ignored it. And ignored it. Thing with the Pig is, she never misbehaves, so if something's different, it's different for the worse. The other thing is, bad things can happen to the Pig and you won't even notice it because she's absolutely beastly, overengineered, and amazing. That goes for punctures... been down the road for miles before I noticed the tyre had gone flat (and by the time I did notice, the tube AND the tyre were cut on stones), been down the road for half a day dropping rear wheel bearings out on the road before one whole side finally gave up the ghost and the brake disk started howling, and now this... Had I not removed the rear wheel the other day to change a broken spoke, I would never have noticed that the linkage bearings were shot. One of them was missing entirely, but I swear I didn't notice.

Oh my poor Piggy...
Alas and alack,
But Panic had a spare
So she's back on the track!

Brrraaaaap!

 :snorting:
I've seen one of those linkages snap in half on an old Africa Twin. Bearings seized.......bike was two-up at time of snapping. Couple that had come down through africa from Germany if memory serves. Forces must have been big, because the Africa Twin one is a chunk of cast iron.