View Single Post
Old 12-12-2013, 09:01 PM   #66
Falang OP
Falang's Avatar
Joined: Nov 2013
Location: Singapore
Oddometer: 112
Actually, at 65,000 (106,000 km) it never occurred to me that this was a high-mileage bike; I thought it was just getting nicely broken in. I had seen BMWs with hundreds of thousands of miles.

I rode my self-maintained airhead 100,000 miles (before it was wrecked in a deer strike) and it never once left me stranded, although it suffered a few non-critical or roadside-repairable failures.

In contrast, I rode my dealer-maintained, sixth-hand R1100R from 60,000 miles (97,000 km) to 90,000 miles (147,000 km), and during this 30,000 miles it has had to be trucked to a dealer three times, in Singapore, Bangkok, and Chiang Mai! The previous owner had to truck it at least once, in Malaysia.

The things that broke on the oilhead which were not roadside repairable:

* Hall Sensor. Does not exist on the airhead. Points donít work as well as electronic ignition, but they are easily replaced by the side of the road with the tools in the toolkit. I replace the expensive Hall sensor every two years, just in case.

* Fuel Pump. Does not exist on the airhead. Gravity feed is enough for carburators.

* Clutch lever (behind the transmission). Exists on the airhead, but never breaks as far as I know, and if it did break it could be replaced with the tools in the toolkit in ten minutes. On the 1998 oilhead the clutch lever is behind the drive train and replacement requires a workshop with a large socket wrench, a heat gun, and a torque wrench. I carry a spare now when touring, even though it is not a roadside repair.

* Valve stem: Does not exist on the airhead. Replace the inner tube with the tools in the toolkit.

The downside of the old bikes is that the routine maintenance was higher to maintain reliability and performance. The parts wore in predictable or visible ways and was not difficult to do the work yourself to save money (which I didnít have very much of). This was my basement in the winter of 1979, when the bike was five years old: time for bearings, oil seals, cam chain, and rear splines before heading to Alaska next summer.

The Canadian winters are long, in this way I could spend time with my bike when it was too cold to ride! And of course, if it did break on the road, I would know how to repair it.
Falang is offline   Reply With Quote