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Author Topic: The Fyndraai Experience  (Read 20673 times)

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Offline Archangel

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2010, 01:16:46 pm »
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Offline Battlestar

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2010, 03:51:24 pm »
Pass this way once!
 

Offline Sprocketbek

Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2010, 05:39:52 pm »
Thanks for all the interest, we really appreciate it. (ChrisL I always get those two names wrong)

At this point I feel the need to add some background info.

My bike is a 2003 KTM 640, which I bought new in 2004. Done 37 500 km prior to the trip.

Abel's Honda is a 1984 XL600R which has seen a hard life. Unknown number of owners, amongst them Bradleys, who had done the Desert Run with it at least once, and still brags about how he thrashed it. It has seized twice that we know of but the mechanical reliability has been good since a lot of hard work was put into it.

Abel decided where we go the first week. He grew up on a farm at Lohatlha and wanted to visit the farm where his father and grandparents as well as other family members were buried. He arranged to visit some relatives which he had not seen in 30 years.

The weekend in between was reserved for the bash and my choice of route would take us to my uncle's farm near Steytlerville, where my father grew up.

Abel did the backup for a BMW Club trip through the Transkei earlier this year and he wanted us to join them for a reunion at Cedarberg Oasis on the last weekend. We would meet them there on the Friday afternoon.

Back to the story at hand: From Niekerkshoop we were heading towards Volop. Sections of the road had terrible corrugations.

And then, about 14 km outside of town, the Honda just cut out. Dead as a Dodo.
The sun was beating down on us, luckily we know to keep hats close at hand for just such a situation.



Took the headlight cover off and found the green wire to have a dodgy kink. Cut it and rejoined it. Now the Neutral light worked but no starting. Seat, tank, side panels next. Remove spark plug. No spark. Fiddle and tighten connectors, check wires, swop fuses. Nothing. Re-assemble.

This took about a hour. I could see Abel's frustration build up. We talked about calling his friend Daan in Kimberley, but there was no reception.

I was weighing up our options. Kimberley is about 240 km away, but in the wrong direction. It was to be our destination after the Lohatlha loop. Abel's mother lives there.

So I knew there was only one thing to do. Swop bikes and let me see if I can fix the Honda.
The tow strap I had was only about 2 m long so it made for an exciting tow on the corrugations back to Niekerkshoop. We phoned Daan at about 12:00, he would fetch me & the Honda and the excess kit. Abel would travel light with spare tubes, tools and stuff for a one night sleepover at his cousin. (Little did we know I had forgotten to pack tyre levers in).

So we park off under a tree in the town:

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Offline Sprocketbek

Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2010, 05:52:29 pm »
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Offline Sprocketbek

Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2010, 05:54:41 pm »
wat se tank het Abel op sy XL600?

Acerbis 22 liter. Seker net so oud soos die bike.
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Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2010, 06:00:30 pm »
Eina hoe pyn my gat as ek so na Abel se fiets kyk!!! :biggrin: nie die sagste seat op die langpad.



Sorry vir die Hensop Sprocketbek.
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Offline tok-tokkie

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2010, 06:13:55 pm »
Great start & I am confident that is how it will continue.
I have been on parts that you write about - it adds a dimension to the story.  I would never had been there if it was not for a DS bike & what can come with them.
 

Offline Sprocketbek

Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #27 on: November 16, 2010, 06:40:55 pm »
What had earlier been a Post Office has been converted to a shop / cafe. The owner, Oom Jan, was very friendly and helpful. Seems to be the only business in town. I bought a pack of Salticrax and 500 ml Coke.
We sat under the tree and enjoyed Sweet Chilli Tuna on Salticrax for my birthday lunch.

I bade Abel farewell and made myself comfortable, judging that Daan would not arrive before 15:00.
Topped up the Coke bottle with the nip of Brandy I had for Emergency Rations. Kept topping it up as the level dropped.
Became quite strong towards the end, I must confess.

So I sat back and contemplated this town. Under the first tree we had stopped there was a scantilly dressed woman that bore an uncanny resemblance to Saartjie Baardman. She bummed a cigarette and I sensed she saw me as a business oppurtunity but we decided to move tree.

Some of the adults we saw were also quite zonked, despite it being just after lunchtime.
But the kids? Happily playing soccer in the dusty street with a semi-deflated soccer ball, teasing and bullying each other, fending for themselves. Not being driven to school by Mommy, playing computer games behind trellis gates or onto Mxit.



One boy had a deformed ankle (horrelpoot?) but he tried his best at soccer.

I mentioned the massive church earlier. Strange thing was, the bell rang at quarter past and quarter to the hour. The second time I noticed this I checked my watch and the time was on the hour. I asked one of the kids what was going on and he chirped:"Die ander kant is reg!"
Sure enough, only one of the four faces displayed the correct time, the others are 15 minutes out. And they accept it like that, when I'm sure it can be fixed with a shifting spanner.

To my relief Daan pitched up at 15:00 sharp. I had enough of this town.
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Offline Sprocketbek

Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #28 on: November 16, 2010, 07:23:09 pm »
Great start & I am confident that is how it will continue.
I have been on parts that you write about - it adds a dimension to the story.  I would never had been there if it was not for a DS bike & what can come with them.
Thanks tok-tokkie. Much later on is a part that you might find interesting. My research about it has turned up nothing. Will keep you in suspense.  :D
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Offline Sprocketbek

Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #29 on: November 16, 2010, 08:05:54 pm »
In the meantime Daan (who is now registered on the forum as Seekat) had arranged someone to have a look at what was wrong with the bike. We could drop the bike off there as soon as we hit Kimberley. By now it was Tuesday evening so time was a crucial issue if we wanted to make it to Vanderkloof on Friday.

The man to save us was Rudi Loos. He runs an Electronics business from a workshop at home. We immediately started dismantling the bike and testing all the components. He was methodical and thorough, could see he knows his stuff. He had a XR years ago and mentioned that he has a Yamaha 350LC stashed away somewhere which he wants to restore.

It was not long before he declared that the exciter coil on the stator was open circuit.

It's the L/H one on the diagram, it feeds the CDI:



On a Honda the stator is mounted on the engine side cover. The rotor is an inverted pudding bowl fastened to the crankshaft. The whole shebang runs in the engine oil.
To avoid having to drain the oil you put the bike down on it's R/H side before you open up:



Conversely, if you want to work on the clutch or kickstart mechanism you would lay the bike over to the left.
Stator removed:



The big coil in front is the culprit:



On a XL, the rest of the coils are charging and lighting. If it is a XR it would only have lighting.
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Offline Sprocketbek

Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #30 on: November 16, 2010, 09:18:11 pm »
I did my Basic Training in the Army at Kimberley but never got to know the town as we were stuck in the base all the time.
Always heard that the corporals went to a pub called Star of the West. So Daan and myself went there for a few drinks to celebrate the rest of my birthday.

Very historic pub, it dates back to Barnato's times. The top floor was rumoured to be a cathouse in those days, the old wooden staircase leading down into the pub truly looks the part.

Back to the Honda: Stator in hand, we go about finding a replacement the next morning. According to the internet the coil needs to be wound about 25 000 turns. Mind boggling.

Responses:
1) Mmm.....about R 1400 but it will take 3 weeks.
2) R 1200 and one week.
3) No sir. We are not interested in doing it. If the wire breaks halfway or even close to the end we'll have to start all over again. But......lets just measure the wire. He hauls out a micrometer.
0.113 mm, twice the thickness of human hair.
He walks to the back and comes back with a roll of 0.112 mm wire.

Here I have to mention Daan had dealt with the man before and was in a good position to ask a favour.
Soon we left the premises of Super Armature Winders with the roll of wire (which had been weighed) and a sliver of Nomex tape. They offered to dip the coil in resin and bake it once it was done.

We pop in at Crescent Yamaha as well for a quick chat with the boss, Anver. When he heard about our plan, he said:
"Dit gaan fyn draai kos......".    ;D

So, back at the ranch Rudi sets about dismantling the coil. He makes an interesting discovery: that particular coil is the only one that slots into the stator with a keyway. Once removed, it is much easier to wind the coil.



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Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #31 on: November 16, 2010, 09:24:35 pm »
Nee man Sprocketbek net sodra ek terugsak in my stoel vir n lekker lang lees hou jy op!!! :biggrin:
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Offline Pistonpete

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #32 on: November 16, 2010, 09:36:44 pm »
Nee man Sprocketbek net sodra ek terugsak in my stoel vir n lekker lang lees hou jy op!!! :biggrin:
Grrrr.....
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Offline Sprocketbek

Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #33 on: November 16, 2010, 10:44:26 pm »
Nee man Sprocketbek net sodra ek terugsak in my stoel vir n lekker lang lees hou jy op!!! :biggrin:

OK dan skryf ek maar nog 'n stukkie........... :biggrin:

Since we discovered what the problem was I was aprehensive about us getting the bike to run again. In fact, I was highly sceptical that a DIY-fix would work at all. If something goes wrong inside an alternator it can become ugly. (Don't ask me how I know that).

By then I had been in contact with ETS and Stoetbul about the possibility of trailering the bike down from Calvinia / Williston to Cape Town.

Rudi, however, had 100% faith in what he was doing.

In the meantime Abel arrived back in Kimberley, telling stories about how the mining sector was expanding in the areas he had visited. Postmasburg, Kathu, Danielskuil all experienced tremendous growth.

Winding the coil was too painful to watch so I went sightseeing.
War monument:







Despite my protestations Abel insisted I must see the open mine (big hole). I was let off the hook because some big company had a function on. People that aren't as shit scared of hights as I am just won't understand......

Meantime the coil was taking shape:





Rudi decided beforehand not to count the windings but to only get the resistance in spec. Problem was to measure you had to scrape the lacquer of the wire. So the plan was to wind it fully, then measure and unwind as neccessary.
It measured 440 ohm so he unwound it till it was below 320 ohm. We dropped it off late afternoon, they dipped it and baked it overnight. Here the keyway can be seen. Ain't she pretty:



Meanwhile we had bought gasket paper and Locktite and made the gasket.

Thursday before lunch the bike was running and the lights fixed. A wire had broken clean off inside the on/off switch.

Best of all: The Honda was starting first kick, most likely the first time since it left the showroom floor.  :ricky:

Rudi, you are a boffin!  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
And thanks to Daan for all the help too, without you it would have been impossible.

Next episode: To the bash and beyond.
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Offline ETS

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #34 on: November 17, 2010, 08:10:58 am »
Gooi broer! Ek kan nie wag nie!!!!
If i had to explain you would not understand anyway......
 

Offline letsgofishing

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #35 on: November 17, 2010, 10:26:49 am »
Excellent RR so far - really looking forward to the rest  :thumleft:
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Offline Walkaway

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #36 on: November 17, 2010, 10:36:32 am »
Very interesting - thanks.
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Offline Operator

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #37 on: November 17, 2010, 10:39:15 am »
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Offline Eggs

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #38 on: November 17, 2010, 11:44:10 am »
Give that man (Rudi) a Bells!!!!!! :thumleft:
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Offline Stoetbul

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #39 on: November 17, 2010, 11:48:08 am »
Moreoggend het ek weer lekker lees stof as die jukebox aangeskakel word.~! :thumleft: