Saturday 19 October 2019

Edinburgh Aftermath

My ad hoc recovery service eventually dropped me back at the Duke of York at 02:30!

The bike was unloaded from Tony’s trailer and he then decided to bed down in his van in the car park. I returned to my van in the camp site and crawled into bed, I had fortuitously loaded a camp bed and sleeping bag as I guessed I would need a sleep after completing the Trial and before leaving had set these up in the back of the van!

About three hours later I was awoken to the sound of bikes arriving for the compulsory breakfast stop. Realising this would go on for a couple of hours, I decided to get up. 

Walking to the marquee erected behind the pub revealed a scene of tired bodies grimly clutching bacon rolls and cups of tea or coffee with that glassy eyed stare of the sleep deprived! And they still had about six hours more riding ahead of them.

I got myself a bacon roll and cup of tea, both of which were nothing to write home about and at first revelled in the welcome heat of the propane space heater… that was until the smell drove me back outside.

I bumped into Richard and his wife Clare outside and they were both doing well and both had scored cleans on all the sections so far!

I then considered my next moves; I could go out and spectate but realized the competitors would now be on their way up beyond Buxton to the Goyt Forest for sections like The Incline and over Pym Chair to The Corkscrew. These had the disadvantage of being in the opposite direction to my journey home. Alternatively I could wait until they started to loop back to sections closer to the finish but a check of the route guidance showed I might have to wait another two hours before they reached them. So I reluctantly decided to head slowly for home and the very inviting prospect of my own bed!

I deliberately took a route back avoiding the motorway as much as possible and I did have to break into the emergency can of Red Bull to keep myself alert As well as a couple of coffee stops but eventually made it home OK. After a hot shower I went to bed….

The next day I awoke feeling a lot better and started the task of unloading the van. This was of course made easier by the fact that I didn’t have to clean the bike or my gear, only having done a 53 mile road ride.

I pulled the rear wheel out and checked the bearings, the offside bearing was perfectly OK but the nearside was a complete disaster! It came out in a dozen different pieces. It was clear that the bearing had corroded and seized up which is why it had shown no play at the MOT or when I checked it. It would seem that the ride from Pomerey to Tamworth had been enough to free off the corrosion and cause the bearing to fall apart.

There is still part of the bearing stuck in the hub but this shouldn’t be too hard to remove and damage to the hub seems minimal so shouldn’t be a problem. I stuck my other wheel onto the bike so it was mobile again and started thinking how to prepare for the next MCC event, the Exeter in January!

Lessons learnt.

  • Don’t just check the bearings; replace them before the event.
  • Look at the possibility of fitting heated grips to the bike
  • Get a decent battery if the Lithium one doesn’t perform.
  • Rig a method of jump starting the bike without having to unbolt the seat
  • Buy a battery booster pack
  • Look at an alternative lighting solution (HID or vLED)
  • Fit a helmet mounted light (LED)

·  But then whilst checking out the entries for the MCCs Exeter Trial in January, it seems they have introduced a new class just for Adventure Bikes, so maybe the 1090 Adventure R would be a good prospect instead:

The pros:

·         Heated grips
·         Enough Electrical power for my heated jacket
·         Comfortable seat
·         Easy on road cruising
·         200 mile+ fuel range

The cons:

·         125 bhp (or still 100 bhp in off road mode) = too much!
·         220 Kilograms = too much!
·         Its Big!
·         Restrictive choice of tyres

On the latter the rear rim is much too wide for a trials tyre so you are restricted to a list of tyres, or to those that comply with the standing supplementary regulations (SSRs), This specifies The space between the tread blocks must NOT extend across the complete tyre, measured at right angles to the tyre wall unless broken by a block” which pretty much ensures they will have limited grip off road. 

My current Mitas E07 does comply with this rule but is not the best tyre if it gets really muddy.

Of the allowed tyres the Continental TKC80 is most probably the best as it is the original fitment on the 1090 R. But they are expensive, wear out very quickly and I although I do have one in the garage, it has limited tread left on it.

Two of the tyres, the Michelin T63 and the Dunlop 603 are no longer manufactured!

And the other two, the Bridgestone TW302 and the Kenda 270 are not made in a size large enough for the 1090 (or for most Adventure bikes these days).

I know the MCC is all about tradition but I think they do really need to move with the times on this subject!

On the other hand I guess that anyone else on an Adventure bike will have the same handicap!

The class is defined as:

"Adventure motorcycles manufactured from 1980 onwards, with multi-cylinder engines and a capacity above 470cc"

And looking at the results from the Edinburgh I can only see one bike that would have genuinely fallen into this class, Richard’s KTM 990 Adventure, so in any case the competition might be limited. 

Choices, choices!

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