So, I ordered a new set of clutch friction plates and springs last Saturday to replace the prematurely failing set on my bike. The kind lady at Cycle Gear promised they would be in town by Friday. Wednesday I call and order the special little tool Honda decided was necessary to take the clutch apart. No problem. I was told everything would be in by Friday so I could have an enjoyable weekend of clutch work.
Yesterday I receive a call from Cycle Gear. "Mr. Linder? We received the ECB friction plates and the clutch tool, but for some reason the springs didn't make it. They will definitely be in the store on Monday."
Well, I can't be ticked off at them. They are a great bunch of folks with seriously great prices.
Anyway, I digress. So, I don't have my springs. I can replace just the friction plates but it is not recommended. I look at it this way; I am going to ride more than 6000 miles. I would rather wait and do things correctly, rather than be impatient, do a shitty job and end up stranded in Oklahoma on a bike with a shredded clutch or worse.
So, what does one do with an immobile bike and three weeks before a cross country ride? Well, there's a lot...
I ordered stuff. For starters, I lined up a local place to change my tires. If I can somehow acquire a jack or stand or something to take the wheels off myself, I will. My boss suggested what he uses - a milk crate. He rides a KLR 650 and that works for him. But, my Rebel's exhaust pipes are lower that the frame. Using the milk crate method would put the bike's 300 pounds all on the exhaust system. I'm not doing that!
Then I call Jack from Jack's Rebel Warehouse for some spark plugs and new front brake pads. Let me tell you a few things about Jack... Number one, he LOVES to talk about the Rebel and could probably disassemble, tune up and reassemble a Rebel in the dark, with a blindfold in the middle of winter. Number two, he is a great supporter of my Ride for the NCADV, so if you have a Honda Rebel and you need anything for it, call him up.
OK, so the rest of my clutch repair stuff is on its way. Tire change is set-up. Brake pads and spark plugs are on their way.
What is left? Well, I started polishing and checking. Everything I could reach was cleaned or tightened or both. Then I started dressing her.
I read something in the Adventure Motorcycling Handbook (by Chris Scott) about luggage. A rucksack was mentioned in the section on soft luggage. That made me think... I built a simple, fairly removable rack on my bike with the intention of mouning some sort of boxes. After reading parts of this book, I decided against it. I wanted soft. Soft on a budget.
While at a store Friday, I see two red and white backpacks. Perfect! After my bike's cleaning and tightening session, I started experimenting with how I could fit what I wanted on my little bike. Let's just say that I now have a great set of $20 saddle bags! They may not last much longer than my ride, but that's OK. Pictures tomorrow! I need to sleep. :-)