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Old 03-27-2013, 09:18 AM   #6
Mr Head OP
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Joined: Sep 2003
Location: Orange County, CA
Oddometer: 7,739
Well now, it has been a while since my last update. And a lot of drama between then and now.

First up I ran back to the coast with the intent of installing a few bits and bleeding the clutch and brakes.

As the saying goes, "the adventure begins when things stop going as planned."

The adventure began at lunch. Or rather on my way back from lunch. I noticed the rear tire spooled up real easy, like a high horsepower superbike coming off a favorite corner.
I found the rear tire was low. real low. Mud pressure low.

Out came the aging compressor and up went the pressure. Slowly.

I got out of the plant about 4, so later than I'd wanted but not terrible. It was warmish so no vents open no liner.
About 40 miles east of Quartzite I noticed the oil temp gauge was hovering just under the red zone. Hmm?

Decided to stop for gas in Quartzite and check on this. When I stopped I had other things on my mind but the oil slicked side stand got me to focus real quick.
Where is the oil coming from? And it is not heavy more of a mist, but not good. The filler cap had been leaking and this was worse now, but not to account for this much oil.
After a run to the restroom and a big bottle of water and a quart of oil I pushed the bike over to the pumps to get a paper towel to wipe the sight glass and see what was up and investigate this leak.

As I wiped around near the sight glass, my knuckle touched the glass and I heard a "tink".

Looked and saw this:

Not good. Got on the phone to the auto club.
An hour or so later the bike and I were loaded into a trailer and pick up and on our way over the river to Blythe.

My knowledge of how this towing thing works over long distances was expanded at about the same rate as my wallet was emptied.
First up they told be a tow back to Phoenix would run somewhere north of $900. This is with the 100 mile free tow the auto club RV and motorcycle towing provides. This company charges what they call a "port to port" fee of $185. No definition of "port" was offered.
Oh and the tow company calendar is odd. For storing the bike less than 20 hours I got charged for two days. $50/day plus a $100 cash only call out fee for the owner to drive all the way across Blythe at 5PM, (rush hour I guess) on a Saturday.

Anyway to back track, while I waited in the Denny's, (open 24 hours and the food never gets any better), I texted and talked to Poolside who came up with the scheme to rent a truck. That turned out to work great.
Truck rental was about $135 and gas ran about $150, so still not $900
The sight glass is $44 and Brown Motor Works had one and was on the way so we did that. We opted to work on the bike in the garage rather than in the heat in Blythe.
Jim found the three largest guys at the hotel across from the tow yard and they basically picked the bike and me up and set us safely in the back of the truck. Even with Poolsides two ramps. Strapped down like load of pipe we headed back to t he OC. Jim driving. between us we were working on about 6 hours sleep. We got to the house where friends of my daughters husbands served as replacements for the big guys in Blythe.

Sunday I made it look like this:

more better.

A couple of days of testing to make sure we had an oil tight motor again, and it was back across the desert.

Seemed fine at the local adventure stop,

About a hundred and fifty miles into the return trip the temp gauge hovered below the red zone again.


I'd left my iPhone at home and the company flip phone from AT&T is useless. Dial a call, and it hangs up if it doesn't have a full contingent of bars.

So, I stop often and let things cool. I finally decide this has to be the thermostat for the oil cooler.

Once I got to my hotel I confirm this suspicion with Poolside. And run the usual roadside diagnostic on it the next morning. For running back and forth to work it works. It is only six miles. I order the parts from the dealer down in Chandler, and I should have those in hand this weekend.

A few more bits of drama were added as we went along. Back in the OC I found that the clutch slave was not happy. Bleeding it did very little to get the feel back. So those parts were ordered form Beemer Bone Yard.

Oh, and that low tire?
Well it turned out to be this:

I plugged this one, there were three, and headed off into t he desert.
A slow leak but not terrible.
I was not interested in pulling the tire off and putting my spare tube in. So I didn't. One of these wires was stuck in the block and a third was so far in the block I could not extract it.

Things are functional here,

Once I get the thermostat replaced I'll head back to the CO on the following weekend. Tires and clutch bits await there. Sadly that will end this chapter of the commute adventure because I'll drive the Murano back with my bicycle. At least I can get into shape.
I should be back in the OC tearing the bike to pieces about mid May. I'll do the clutch disc if I have to and the upper line if I have to. Tires, and that stuff. Should be good as new by June.
"You don't go to Mongolia for the food." - Sebastian & Kim
2010 KTM 990 Adventure R
My Life With The 990R
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