Day 6: continued
We weight our options. The first is trying to get the bike back to Manali and leaving it there for repair while we rent another bike. The second is pulling the engine out and doing the repair here in Keylong. We make the decision to do it here and go for it. So it's back down to Yogi's to start tearing into the engine. While I'm prepping the bike for the engine to come out, I notice that both of my sprockets and chain ARE TOTALLY COOKED!! There's nubs where the teeth should be on the sprockets. We're lucky we made it this far on these piles of crap!!
We get Myheap at Smart Motors on the phone and inform him about the state of the bikes. He says that wearing out brake pads and chains and sprockets is normal and this should be expected. I'm not an idiot. I know this stuff wears out, I've owned and maintained bikes on my own for 20 years but I know this stuff doesn't wear out in 700km!! The guy must think I'm a fool! These bikes left Delhi in poor condition. Myheap also says don't split the case, just put oil in it and continue on. This is not an option and we refuse as I know the bike won't go much farther without dying once and for all. He says fine but wait until a friend of his comes into Keylong tonight from Manali who is leading a motorcycle tour. He'll take a look at the bike as well. Myheap doesn't trust Yogi and my diagnosis of the shot connecting rod bearing. I can't totally blame the guy. So we take a break and wait.
It's dark and getting late and we don't think Myheap's buddy is going to make it. Buurrt and I decide we need to get a handle on the situation and get this done. We decide we are on our own and will not consult Myheap any more for the rest of the journey. We go buy some beer and inform Yogi it's time to split the case without consulting Myheap's boy. Yogi likes our style of offering beer and agrees and it's on!! We pull out lights and tools and start going at it!
We drop the engine out and re-up the beer supply. Things are getting LOOSE!!
The night time scene at Yogi's is something that is burned into my brain that I will never forget. We're all getting drunk working with Yogi's sub standard set of tools with shit scattered everywhere!! There are random dudes who swing by to watch and shoot the shit. Some of them are TOTALLY WASTED before they even show up and have got some bottle of raunchy hootch that we're pulling on.
Things have shifted with our adventure now. We are buddies with Yogi and his crew. We've gained their respect by showing them we know how to wrench on bikes and are not afraid to get at it plus getting drunk while we do it! We are no longer weighing options on what to do with these beater bikes; it is now a challenge that we will conquer NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES- we will push these piles throughout the Himalaya's and complete our loop!! It's no longer a question of IF we'll make it, it's HOW we are going to get it done!!!
We're thinking that there's no way that we're going to find and reassemble all the parts that are literally strewn everywhere!! This is one of the LOOSEST SCENES!! However, we have faith in Yogi who we start to realize has some sort of weird photographic memory skill allowing him to remember where each little nut was thrown.\
Next thing you know, Myheap's bro walks around the corner with his sidekick. They made it over Rotang pass with their group and pulled in late after dark. I think his name was Amit (shown on the right) and he runs a bike touring outfit out of Manali. He speaks pretty good english and let's us know right off the get go that Myheap rubs him the wrong way and he's only stopped in as common courtesy to his fellow motorcycle tour/rental entrepreneur. Myheap has not treated him fairly on some past deals is what he says. Amit know's the Enfields also, grabs a beer and a pull and becomes part of the scene. We like this guy. It's about midnight and we're splitting the case and it doesn't want to just fall apart. The studs have a little rust and won't slide through very easy.
Amit's had this issue before and tells us to scrounge up some wood (we find a stump shown in the left corner)\
Next thing you know he's got the case up in the air and is slamming it down hitting the crankshaft on the wood. SPLINTERS ARE FLYING EVERYWHERE AND WE ARE LAUGHING OUR HEADS OFF, BUCKLED OVER HOLDING OUR GUTS!!!\
A little more persuading and the case comes apart. There's the crankshaft with the shot connecting rod bearing. We yuk it up a bit more and people start to disperse, thoroughly lit!! Yogi informs us that the crankshaft needs to go to a machinist back over Rotang Pass down below Manali in the town of Kulu. He'll send one of his apprentices over in the morning on Yogi's own personal bike (not an Enfield I might add, funny that the Enfield mechanic's choice for a reliable bike is a Yamaha!!). The crank will get machined and his boy will ride back returning to Keylong in the evening. We think this is nuts as it took us a full day just to go one way from Manali.