Sunday, July 14, 2019

Pegs on the TET

The Trans European Trail - a (mainly) off road route around Europe. With a 1500mile chunk through the UK.

"Let's do it" said David Bailey. "Why not ?" I replied "What could possibly go wrong".

Essentially we were both at "silly trip" dead end due to other things in life taking precedent. This would give us something silly to throw the bikes at. Dave rides the same model of Peg as the "Bastard". But talks to her better (calls her Betty) and throws her around more. In recent years he has encouraged me to do some green lanes and off road. It is sort of fun and exhilarating. Until you fall off.

For our first outing we (well, OK, Dave) chose a short route from Baslow in the Derbyshire Dales to Congleton. Only 1 major ford crossing to tackle. We met up with Roy, another Peg owner, but he cheated and brought his XT350 instead.

Dave never stops smiling.

At the start of the day I had XT envy. A small light bike, with very little to break. What I didn't envy was how hard it was to kick start every time Roy stalled it. Even walkers started to laugh at him when stuck on the trail.


We had a mixture of terrain, grassy lanes.
 Rocky (loose) hill climbs.
And some off the beaten track spots.


We failed to get as far as the ford crossing, Dave had a habit of lying his bike down during the day (very unusual for him) and eventually lay it down too hard in the wrong place. I felt a little guilty because I should have been telling to move to the left to get over the large rock instead of taking pictures.
The guilt didn't last long, he came up smiling and we all laughed. Then we saw the water leak, and the broken foot rest. After 6 hours we thought best to call it a day and come back to carry on in a Wales direction another day, once his bike was fixed.

In the meantime, here are more shots of Dave laying the bike down for a "rest".




Thursday, September 20, 2018

Run to the Sun

Between the MOT and heading off to the Bol D'Or (a 24 hour endurance bike race, in the South of France) with Gibbo and his restored/rebuilt 40 years old Yamaha XS 250, I took the bike on a Pegaso meet in Wales. During the two days I did over 400 miles, and the bike never missed a beat.



After that there was just the hassle of fixing the high beam (tank off, hunt for poor connection) and refitting the panniers. I had to take an angle grinder to the foot peg to get a seized bolt out to enable me to fit the panniers though.

Gibbo and I had given ourselves 5 days to get to the south of France, once in France we had no intention of using the auto-routes at all. With a week to go, Gibbo was still trying to get the carbs right and trying to make sure the front brake did not bind.

We mere days to spare his XS250 was ready to roll.

Our first day was a long one, distance and time. On the road for 09:00 and a Dover ferry target of 16:30 (about 300 miles). All UK motorway. At least traveling so slow (60-70MPH ) helped me return a decent MPG.


Gibbo's wife, Rachel, was following in the support car (a Chrysler Voyager) that could fit his bike into if required. We were both amused that we got on the targeted ferry, but she missed it.


Then an end of the day blast down the D roads to St Omer, trying to get to the hotel before dark as Gibbo did not trust his charging system and did not want to turn the lights on.


We plotted our route each day by selecting a target town, and asking Google for a no toll, no motorway route. Although slow going we went through some fantastic villages and back roads as we skipped down the east side of France and headed to the Beaune wine region, then on into the Alps.


I'd love to say we had no mishaps or problems along the way,  but that would be too far fetched. 


As Gibbo and I negotiated one of my wrong turns, through Reims, I caught sight of him flashing his lights at me. I knew that meant something serious was up as he would not chance that with his electric system otherwise.

His front brake had seized solid.

We pulled over next to the canal at set to work. Obviously the best solution was to remove the pads. Except they were gripping tighter than a camel giving a blow job.
 
 
But with the use of my camping rubber mallet, held together with gorilla tape, we forced the bugger out, and removed the pads, before refitting the caliper.

Then we tie clipped a crate strap, I have a lot if these, between his brake lever and bars, to prevent popping the cylinder out accidentally.

Sorted, we then had lovely 40k evening bimble across the champagne region.

An evenings bashing with a lump hammer, and the piston was back where is should be. The following morning Gibbo refitted the pads and we were on our way again.
 
And that was the biggest issue we faced on the way down, apart from the support car breaking down as it entered the camp site south of Grenoble, blocking the entrance gates so the 4 bikers behind then had to help push it out of the way.
 

 


After more twisty, bendy, roads offered up by Google we finally arrived at the race circuit. Set up my tent (Gibbo was Glamping it with Rachel in a Cabin).
 
 
 And did a beer run. My panniers were not large enough !
 
 

 I only lasted the one night on the race track site, I can understand people are in party mode but they were bouncing their engines off the rev limiters *ALL* night. Gibbo and Rach had a spare room in the cabin, so I joined them for the rest of the weekend. At least the motorbike Gendarmes there keep people under control, when the revving got too load and too late they let rip with their sirens and that was enough to shut everyone up. Bliss.

Gibbo had two encounters with the police while there, one was a telling off for not wearing his gloves as we went back for the start of the 24 hour race (he was sent back to the camp to collect them), it has been law since Jan 1st 2018 that all riders and pillions must wear CE approved gloves.

Later that day, back at the cabin, a Gendarme walked up and said; "We have to ask" pointing at the bike "did you bring trailer ?".

When he replied "No", the man shook his head and said "crazy, you are crazy". Gibbo's smile nearly split his face,

Obligatory night race shot ....


And that was it, apart from getting home.

I abandoned them on the Sunday morning, not bothering to wait for the race to finish (hey it was never about the race, just the ride). Gibbo and Rach were going back via Milleau and then Brittany, I was heading back to prepare for work.

Ten days round trip, 2000 miles (give or take a few). Blazing sun every day. Not a bad mid September.

By now you will have noticed something missing from this tale,  the bastard breaking down. As it turns out it was the most reliable vehicle. My plan to strip the radiator off it and fit it to Peg one (Jean's original) is on hold and I will use it this winter. Just to add a few more miles to the 85,000 it has done.

Finally, here is how you know summer has ended.






Thursday, May 24, 2018

Project Resurrection

You can't keep a good bike down.

All it took was a suggestion from a friend, doesn't it always with me ? Just plant a daft idea and I go with it.

Back in 2001 we went to the Bol d'or 24 hour endurance race (at Magny Cours, France) as part of a group riding SOBs (Shite Old Bikes). This was organised by a journalist friend and would later appear as a magazine article in Motorcycle Mechanics.




Back then I was on a GS550, Gibbo was riding a XS250 (in spray can gold). It was the star of the show.

He is nearing his restoration of the XS250, and as a target has decided it would be a good idea to ride it to the Bol again, except this time it is back in its proper home at the Paul Ricard circuit, near Marseilles.

The "Bastard" has languished in the back of the garage, minus the parts used to rescue Jean's bike in Russia and various other parts that have been relocated to the other two Pegs. In some cases I had bought new replacements but never fitted them.

The radiator was my major issue, having been sent to Russia. I did actually have a spare, slightly leaky, the one that started leaking for me Kyrgyzstan and dripped all the way home, but was now minus an expansion tank. Fortunately another radiator became available on Ebay, with coolant tank.

A scrabble around the garage, to find all the bits needed to put the bike together, took 2 days. Then a further 2 days fitting them all and checking the bike over.

Finally I added a new spark plug, got to treat the bike sometimes, hooked up Jean's bike with the jump leads (battery was beyond redemption) and despite the petrol having sat in the tank for nearly 2 years the bastard fired on the 2nd press.

A bit more tinkering, then the shakedown run, to the MOT, which it sailed through. But I don't call her the Bastard without reason. It promptly returned to form and by the time I had returned home, the high beam was no longer working.

Another sunny day will see the lights checked out, a broken wire or a relay. Then I just need to change the very worn rear tyre for the not so worn one in the back of the garage and decide if a new chain is needed or not.

I just need Gibbo to finish putting his XS250 together now.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Bastard - RIP

It is with a deep and heavy heart that I have to announce the Bastard has passed away.

In a final selfless act he donated his entire cooling system to his new sweetheart.

There was hope that he could have been resuscitated with the remains, However the radiator was beyond repair and the bits are now in the bin, somewhere in Russia.

He served me well, crossed 5 continents and was a right royal PITA.

I'll miss him. Well, not too much as he is sitting in the garage donating bits to the other two.



Friday, May 5, 2017

And so it starts....

As we prepare to set off on a new trip (to Mongolia) with the "Bastard" left behind as I take Jean's old Peg and she her new one, bits are starting to be stripped off.

No sooner had I SORN'd her then our spare foot rest was required on a mates Peg (Strada). So off came the left hand one.

Then I remembered that Jean's old Peg has always been a PITA with the gear change coming lose, so after tweaking it with an extra bolt I decided to snaffle the one off the Bastard as an extra extra spare.

The Peg is pegless !

She has also morphed in to a workbench and storage rack.




All being well, come next year I will have her back on the road. Unless "Dobbie" comes stealing spares while we are away ....

Monday, October 24, 2016

(Semi) Retired

The bike, not me.
 
It is time to go easy on the old bike, following our earlier soaking during 3 weeks in Scotland this year, which she managed without mishap, she has since played up again.

Despite the electrical fire before the our recent Pegaso meet, once it was all fixed by Tony at Pitstop (I can't do Electrics to save my life), we headed off to Scotland again over the late August bank holiday weekend. I know what everyone is thinking, gluttons for punishment.

This time, however, we had excellent weather, all the way to Orkney and back. Five days of sun, and empty roads.


But that wasn't enough for the bike. Oh no, she decided it would be a good idea to have the ignition jam. Key in, not turning.


Personally I think she was missing Mike's caring touch. Mike was the guy I went round the world with back in 2013, and he seemed to take over all the fixing. So, once again and front end strip. Drop the base of the ignition barrel. Put the key in the ignition (to deactivate the Immobiliser) and twist a screwdriver in the base.

Tie the bits on with tie clips and Bob's (or should that be Mike ?) your uncle. 



The engine, as always, continues to run flawlessly. But decision made, no more big trips for her. 

Commuting duty only it is now. Winter into Manchester. Fun. Not.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Oh, look, it is a Pegaso with an electrical failure

Spoke too soon, didn't I ?

That fuse blowing incident earlier this year, the one I forgot to get to the bottom of. Just bit me.

I had just packed the bike to head of for a weekend of camping, drinking and talking bollocks with other Peg owners. I climbed on, turned the key .... nothing.

Seat off, checked the main fuse, yep blown. Put in new fuse, switch on and the system asked for the magic code (the one that says it does not recognise the key). Not good. Especially when smoke rises from under the tank.

Switch off, ignition stayed on and smoke continued.

Rip fuse out. Breath a sigh of relief.

Unpacked, threw all the gear on the XJR and headed off (with Jean on her Peg).

I got home today and stripped the bike, under the tank was a nice mess with some melted wires and the key antenna ones had also come away (probably heat induced).





Wiring is not one of my skills, so I have bodged it together so that  I can run it up to a man that does have the skills. Another tank off job event in the coming weeks (man  that can is on holiday).

Of course it will make it to Orkney at the end of August !

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Time flies

It has been nearly a year since my last post, some people may think that means the bike is dead.

Fear not, she is still running and managed the Morocco trip.

That was blogged here, http://2pegs2peacock.blogspot.co.uk/
(First post here)
http://2pegs2peacock.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/the-earth-is-peacock-and-its-glorious.html

Since then she has only broken down once (so far), blowing a fuse in February where we collected Jean's new (2009 reg) Peg which she will ride to Mongolia. The plan being that I retire the "Bastard" and use Jean's other Peg.

In the mean time just so that my bike did not feel left out we took a three week trip to the Outer Hebrides.  We may have been sidetracked occasionally.

And despite rain everyday, sometimes all day, she behaved flawlessly. So the only donkey on this trip was in the one in the stable next to us.

Provided she gets through another MOT she will be off to Orkney in August, I'll have to do the maths between the three dashboards I have used, but if the 80,000 miles have not been passed yet. They soon will be.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Sod it, every one else is going

It seems every man and his dog is going to Morocco, so it is about time the Pegs went. They bikes are serviced. A ferry ticket has been bought for the return, we just need to decide which channel crossing to take on they way out. As we head off on the 31St August as have not got long to make up our minds.

My Peg is now on 72000 miles, so it could be the last hurrah for it.

This is a common pose to find my bike in (this was back in May when my coil packed in ). I hope over the 6 weeks we will be away she behaves her self.


Friday, March 13, 2015

A short break and she is back on the road again

Repairs to the ignition were completed with the aid of Pitstop (as usual). I sourced an ignition barrel from a smaller Aprilia, only the lower portion concerned me, for £5.

Tony was able to wire the ignition back an, with extra solder and the jobs was done just in time for me to fly out of the country and ride a rental bike over the new year in Chile :-).

Back home and the Peg is in use again. Braving the Scottish pre-Spring weather.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

She is playing up again

I decided it was time to get my left hand pannier fixed the other day, some daylight had started showing between the welds and around one of the mounting points. This is the pannier that I have repeatedly punished ;- hitting a BMW GS1200 (twice in one day), sliding down a road in Argentina, sliding down a road in France, sliding down the side of a caravan on the M6 .... and many more minor slow speed drops.

I popped down to Vern's (http://www.projectvnd.com) near Chester, Vern had made the panniers for me back in 2010, and had the repairs done. Once I had bolted everything back onto the bike again and accepted the compliments from Vern about the fact the Italian bike was still going, it did what it always does, refused to start.

It was the classic dead ignition. Nada. Change the fuse, nothing.
Jiggle the wires at the ignition, life.... dead.

Suspecting the previous soldering repair back in Kazakhstan had failed I stripped off the front end, and split the ignition barrel only to see that the solder was still intact. This meant my Dutch motorway repair of sliding a piece of plastic into the barrel to put pressure on the connectors had failed. It was time for a new solution.

Carefully find a position at that the lower half of the barrel would enable the ignition to function when the key was turned in the upper half (allowing the key->dash->ECU security to engage) I got it running. Then strapped the lower half of the ignition barrel to the throttle cable and hit the road.

Arriving home, chuffed with my latest bodge job I switched the ignition off. Well I tried to, the key would not turn.Only one thing for it, get a screwdriver, push it into the lower barrel and twist.

So, the bike is back in the garage with the keys in the ignition, until I find time to work on her.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

No more bouncy bouncy

After bouncing halfway round the world with a duff rear shock and being to mean/lazy to get around to replacing it in the 12 months since I got home, it took being told that when I went into bends the arse end of the bike "looked like a hippo having a shit" to get me to bite the bullet.

£440 of my fine British pounds later (delivery delayed by ordering in August when the Italians are all on holiday).


A bit dirty, but then it has survived 68,000 miles.

A quick oil and filter change, new front brake pads and the ride is significantly better.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Naked again !

Late last year I mentioned the bike was getting a rest, it was a very short rest and most of the work I was going to do never got done.

She was pressed back into service in January, when the XJ900F went away for an engine overhaul, that eventually took 5 months. During that time I have been working away and commuting on her up to Harrogate.

Then last week the XJ900 came home, and the Peg was resigned to the back of the garage again. But only for a week as the XJ900 is still burning more oil than an Iraqi oil field when the USA visit.

As my commute has now switched to Leeds, and it is fun on my 3rd bike (an XJR1300), I have decided that the Peg will just have to soldier on. But to make filtering less "interesting" the highly useful panniers have been removed.

It has been a while, but she is naked again !


(And here she is fully dressed)


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Back of the garage

The Peg (I don't call her the "Bastard" as often as I used to) has been relegated to the back of the garage, pending some items that  need investigating and fettling, so my 21 year old XJ900F is back in service for the winter.

Recently the Peg decided to not start after a damp cold night (ok, probably the battery) while I was working in Gloucester. And it is also chewing main stand springs, which is currently more annoying than major but needs sorting.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Still running

After 74 days, four breakdowns and 17000 miles the Peg came back home, the trip blog is here.

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/2prats

She was running rough on the final legs, he chain was stretching at a rapid rate, 14 spanner "faces" per day (around 500 miles per day on the last 5 days).

With some gentle tinkering she has continued running, now with ore than 62000 miles under the belt. Recently I had a day out with another Peg own in the hills and lanes over Macclesfield.

 David showing me how it should be done.

With one good spill myself
 It's winter again, so the Peg is going into hibernation while I use the XJ900F to get around. It is a better bike for filtering on the M6 between home and Birmingham.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Off on another long ride

My Peg has been "resting", while I have been playing (and working). I am off on another trip, this time a RTW. Northern hemisphere. And I am taking the "bastard" as my steed.
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/2prats/

I should have put it in earlier for a service, but as I was playing on a Funduro in South America over the winter I put all preparations on hold.

Now, with the Peg due on a RoRo to Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the 18th April I am waiting for some shock bushes.

Mine fell apart on inspection.



Some fresh ones have been ordered, but they are not due to arrive until 2 days after the RoRo leaves.
Jean to the rescue, she has allowed me to strip the ones I need from her bike.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

All fixed and ready for an MOT ?

Ever since the rewire in baton Rouge I have suffered a combination of no dip headlight or no full bean and at various times no horn. (And driving through Bolivia without one, where they use them to signal right of way at junctions, is an experience in itself.)

Last year I was warned that my Peg would fail the MOT unless I could get the full beam and dip to show at the same time.

I've spent a bit of time recently reworking the wiring.

I've had to buy another left hand control (the one on the bike has been well bastardised) but it was only £10 off Ebay. And with the horror that was the headlight loom I decided to buy a new one of those, at only ?25 for a genuine one it was a bit of a bargain.
Frankenstein Electrics
Then I stripped Jean's Peg to check out how the wiring should be, as the diagram is not easy to follow, and set about mine.

I roped in a friend to help and we spent many hours tracing the wiring diagram on the garage floor, re-reading the notes I had taken from Jean's bike and checking the photographs I took to triple check how things should be. All to no avail, as we either blew more fuses as I got the 2 greens mixed up with the green with a white tracer or failed to have lights working when we expected them to.

Each time we needed to test things out, I had to refit the tank, the pump electrics and the fuel pump. Forgetting to refit the fuel line leads to a lot of petrol on the floor.

Eventually after drinking a lot of tea, we concluded that despite having all the wires in the right place that the relay would not kick in properly to switch on the dip beam once the engine had started up. (Who ever came up with this over engineered piece of crap needs shooting). Therefore there was another error/fault somewhere.

So, after some trial and error I decided the best bet was to send power direct to the lights when the ignition was switched on. I've now wired a new switch in, fitted to the bars, so I can knock the lights off if the battery is low or if the ignition is being left off.
New Switch
Of course the full beam needed a similar workaround, but that works from the left hand control.....
But now all seems hunky dory again, I just hope I don't need to take the tank off again soon, its a real PITA.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bikes that know the weather forecast

A couple of weeks ago I was setting off to the Horizons Unlimted UK meet to give a presentation on our trip "Down the World" on two Italian bikes.

I loaded the Peg up, pulled her out of the garage, started her up, and swa the ECU light come on. Then she stopped.

08:30 in the morning, electrical trouble shooting time.

I've got used to this behaviour now and pride myself on being able to trouble shoot pretty quickly. I was straight in to the electrical connector blocks near the ignition and quickly found the culprit(s).
Dodgy Electrics
However at 09:30 I wasn;t really in the mood to do some rewiring, so I dragged the old faithful XJ900 out (103,000 miles and counting), repacked and set off.

That day, Thursday was glorious. Sunshine and heat.

However, the summer rains re-appeared and I really don't think the Peg would have been happy. She does have a bad record of throwing a hissy fit in the rain now. 16 hours of rain later the site was starting to look like it would be under water.
Sinking Feeling

Monday, May 7, 2012

Oh no, the service/spanner light has come on!

It has been a quiet winter for the "bastard", mainly due to me working away in Peterborough. I like riding, but with the cold, snow, wind and rain over Xmas I wussed out and hired a car for a couple of weeks.

However, I have been using the Peg again over the last few weeks to work down in Birmingham. This afternoon as I started her up to return home, the spanner logo appeared on the dash.

What now ?

I looked around for other telling lights, and listened for unusual sounds. But then I spotted the mileage. 550 miles.

It was telling me to have it booked in for it's 1st service :-)

Silly bike.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The curse of rain

Aprilias never seem to fare well in the rain, and April has been a very bad month.

But on a bright note, this time it was Jean's bike to suffer :-)

Last Sunday after her Peg spending about 5 hours in torrential rain it refused to start. The clocks/ignition would go off after 2 turns of the engine.

As soon as the bike was recovered home I opted to switch the clocks for a spare one I had, as I suspected she had befallen the same fate as mine last year.

The bike started after about 4 turns, but took a while to sound right.

I switched the clocks back and it fired 1st time.

Fingers crossed it was just waterlogged electrics, but that means the bike is back at the back of the garage awaiting my attention.