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keepemflying The rest of the Mexico trip By Matthew Parkhouse #13272


THE OLD SLASH Five carried me the rest of the way to the Yucatan and back home again with no major problems except a few loosened fas-


teners due to the rough roads. One of those fasteners,


however, was a backed- off fork stem nut, and that, combined with repeated blows to the front end, knocked the fork leg out of plumb. The right-hand fork tube was sitting about two millimeters proud to the left side. This allowed the headlight “ears” to rattle as the assembly was no longer


compressed


together. The fix was to loosen all the fasteners on the fork tubes and replace the backed-off fork stem nut. As I bounced the front end, I tightened the fasteners, starting with those at the wheel axle and working my way up. At the same time, I spun down the stem nut and tightened it with a tool provided in the bike’s tool kit. I had previously ground this tool a bit thinner to make it easier to slip between the stem nut and the handlebars.


By the time I was tightening the last top


fasteners, the sheet metal “ears” were equally mounted and nice and tight in place. I had no recurrence of that problem! I did, however, continue to lose a couple of fasteners, one off a bag mount and another off one of the shock mounts. I found a new nut at a small repair shop, and the bolt and


The hotel in Merida where we have now stayed for two years running. Simple clean and pleasant, it was a good place to base our week together from. A kitchenette- style room ran $20 a night.


nut came from a roadside hardware store. I had one flat tire and it was perhaps the


most “convenient” flat I’ve ever had. On my way back north, I found myself back in Zacatecas, and as the evening approached, I was looking for the same hotel I had used when I was going south. I finally located it (Zacatecas is a pretty confusing town), pulled in, parked at the office and paid for


my room. When I went to move the bike close to the room, the tire was completely flat! I gingerly rode it over to the room, put it on the center stand and stripped off all of the gear. I quickly pulled all of the tools I’d need and the spare tube from one of my “parts & tool bags” . Because I was using Susanna’s one-piece bag mount, it was much easier to take off the gas tank (to min- imize spillage) and lay the bike over as I pulled out the flat rear wheel. After the wheel was out, I tipped the bike back upright. During the time the bike was on its side, I lost perhaps a tea- spoon of gear oil through the hollow breather bolt where the speedo cable is attached. After the offending nail was removed, the spare tube was inserted and the tire remounted. I laid the bike on its side one more time. The tire was quickly inflated with my 12 volt electric air pump. The wheel was replaced after


the brake surfaces were cleaned up and some new grease applied to the rear


drive


splines. I figure I spent perhaps 45 minutes rectifying the flat tire. I patched the two nail


Top Right: Some of the bulls are truly massive, requiring a team of people to push it around town and then into the square.


Bottom Right: Some of the decorated bulls are real works of art. All to be burned and blown up in the next few hours.


44


BMW OWNERS NEWS June 2016


TECH


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