When HighFive told me he had never ridden the desert before, I immediately suggested a trip to Big Bend, and HighFive immediately agreed. I had almost forgotten about it until the annual Clayton dual sport ride in October when the plan was reaffirmed. KLR's or other supertanker types only. No puny 2 gallon tanks allowed, we will need long ranges.
Unfortunately, some overzealous riding in Clayton caused 2 bent rims which had to be dealt with. Not to mention the major oil leak which started on the third day of the ride. Then there was the major oil usage issue, separate from the leak. Oil was blowing out the airbox. Meaning the top end needs to be rebuilt. The thing has got almost 50K miles by now, so no big deal. And Ive got almost 2 months to do all the work, or so I think.
A couple of weeks go by. I ordered some parts but did not do much else. Then HighFive calls me up wanting to move the trip up to Thanksgiving week. I checked my schedule and we decided to leave the day after the holiday. Oh crap, now I've only got 3 weeks to get ready!
I start tearing down the top end. I send the cylinder off to Oregon for machine work. Talking to the shop, if it ships 2 day air both ways, I should have it by the Friday before we leave. Then I sent the front wheel to Woody's in Colorado for straightening. The rear rim was not bent as badly, and I was able to get it somewhat straight.
While waiting for those parts, did some other work. New clutch springs, swingarm service, etc. Pulled the subframe to repair the airbox. And cleaned, and cleaned.
With about a week and a half to go, I talked with the machine shop. The new piston and cylinder should be at my house on Friday. A friend is going to come by on Saturday to help me install the cylinder onto the piston. I was expecting the front wheel back on Monday. Which, by the way, could not be straightened, and had to have a new rim laced up.
Friday afternoon, I get home from work to find the UPS man had left one wheel sized box, but no cylinder/ piston sized box. So after checking tracking, I find my cylinder is somewhere in Tennesee for the weekend.
There had been some computer problems with the FAA, and flights were delayed all over the country. The piston and cylinder would not arrive until Monday.
I am meeting HighFive on Friday morning. Thursday is Thanksgiving and I'll be with family all day. I have to be ready by Wednesday, including a couple of oil changes and 300-400 miles in several sessions. That gives me a little over 48 hours.
Oh well, what else did I have to do?
Monday rolls around, and I am done with work for the week and home by 1PM. The UPS man shows up at 2.
I worked on it until about 11, then started it the next morning. It started right up and I rode it and tuned the carb, changed oil, and fiddled with it the next two days. It ran great except for some backfiring and an intermittent turn signal problems, which I thought I had fixed.
I was ready to go, just barely. But, looking at the weather forecasts, it seemed as if we were in for some weather. But its too late now, the train has left the station!