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Old 03-25-2013, 06:31 PM   #15
camitzi OP
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Joined: Feb 2013
Location: Vancouver BC
Oddometer: 94
Fixing the bike

On this one I needed Vasile's help again, as I know little, if anything, about mechanics. And Vasile did a great job! So I let him edit this report.

The day Camelia had the little stunt, after putting my heart back in its place and making sure she was alright, I realized the bike needed some work. As we were standing on the side of the road waiting for the guy with the truck to come back, I was scanning the area for parts that came off the bike, and that I could puzzle back together. So I stuffed my pockets with everything I thought I could still use.

After a quick scan, the right hand turn signal was completely gone, windshield was shattered, the front headlights sub-frame was broken into 5-6 pieces, the tachometer was broken and the headlight was smashed. Plus some other plastic parts had various cracks.

At this point I didn’t know if Camelia was willing to continue the trip or not, so fixing the bike was not a priority. Once we got to San Felipe and she got checked by the doctors, and she told me that she definitely wants to carry on, I started fixing the bike.

Our friend Matt immediately started checking online prices for the parts that needed to be replaced, and he came to the conclusion that the total cost would be around $900.

I started doing one thing at a time, fixing things, to see how far I could go without replacing parts.

First was the turn signal indicator. I put all the pieces together, super-glued them, and a little bit of electrical tape, it made it as good as new.

Next was the dashboard. I took off the cover and removed all the broken parts. Then I started shaping a new lens from pieces of the leftover windshield. Once I got to the shape I wanted, I super-glued it in place and then put silicone around the edges so no water can get in.

Then I started working on the sub-frame. Over the next two days I j-b welded the sub-frame together, as it takes 24 hours for the j-b weld to cure.

The headlight was smashed, so I cleaned up all the remaining of the old glass. Then I went to town to a glass repair shop and I had them cut a new piece of glass ($10 bill). In order to glue and silicone the glass in place, I had to trim down the edges of the headlight until both the high beam and the low beam lights were leveled. Thanks to Eugene’s tools (an old marine colonel from El Centro, California, who lives here now in a motor home), it made my job much easier.


And after:

During this time Camelia was resting and as she was feeling better, Matt and I went for a day ride to Coco’s corner. We got there and we told Coco the story and that I am fixing the bike, and he immediately said that he had a windshield for me. My first thought was “it’s not gonna work”. But then I thought “I’ve got to make it work; this is a piece of history”.

When I got back with the windshield I was surprised to see that it only needed four holes to be installed. In order to make the handlebar go from side to side without hitting the windshield, it needed some adjustments. So I started trimming on the sides of the windshield, a little bit at a time, until I could turn the handlebar all the way in both sides.


The windshield came with two aluminium brackets that were too short for this bike. So I went to town and I had a guy welding and adjusting the brackets so it would fit the bike. This was a $25 bill.

The handlebar was a bit bent from the crash, so I went to the same guys at the welding shop and they straightened it for me. This would complete the list of repairs for the bike. The total bill was $35!

The bracket that holds the rear luggage was cracked. So I had to manufacture a new one and I decided to install it on my bike. For $30, same guys from the welding shop made me a new bracket, and that way I was able to swap my rotopax jerycan with Camelia’s rear luggage.

I am really impressed with how well the Givi plastic panniers hold up!

Overall it was a really good experience fixing the bike with minimal resources. It made me realize how used we are to replacing rather than repairing.


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