Sometimes you just have one of those days. We woke up this morning at a nice hour. The house was warm and there was thick slices of home made bread ready for toasting.
We lounged around the old house for an hour or two before finally dragging the bikes out and packing them up. Today we were headed for Canberra.
We grabbed some oil on the way out as both bikes were due an oil change. Especially Mabel. She was about 500 km’s past due. Terrible considering we change the oil every 1000 km’s! We headed out of Yass and about 10 minutes up the road we pulled into a gravel pit and began the 5 minute job of dropping the oil into an old coke bottle.
With fresh oil we headed off through some stunning back roads. Over steep hills and around sharp corners. Riding bliss!
After a while we hit a dirt road. I was beginning to feel like Mabel was a bit…well off. She just felt unhappy. Also I was sure she was really noisey, but I put it down to me just noticing her various squeaks and moans and rattles because she felt off.
Then with a terrible rattle she just stopped. Her back wheel locked up and we slid to a halt. Uh oh. My stomach dropped. I could smell hot hot hot oil. I hopped off of and as soon as I looked down, I could see a growing pool of oil below her.
I obviously hadn’t done her sump plug up tight enough and as a result it had rattled out somewhere along the way and her oil had been steadily draining out until she was bone dry. Mabel! What have I done to you! I jumped on Rosie and followed the little trail of oil back to see if I could find her sump plug. After about 10 km’s I got to the initial ‘splash’ of oil. But no plug. I headed back and decided to call into a farmhouse to see if they may have some old bolts laying around that just may fit. I got lucky. I found a bolt that was too long and the thread to coarse but it was the right diameter. It would have to do.
I forced the bolt into the threads in Mabel’s sump. Knowing that I was ruining her, But surprisingly it went in nicely. As it was too long I used a nut about half way along the thread to help shorten it. Luckily we hadn’t had a chance to chuck out the old oil from the two bikes, so I filled her up with that. I filled her up a lot!
By now it had been about 2 hours since she seized and stopped. I was hoping that by cooling down she may have unseized herself. I put my foot on her kick start and pushed down. She turned over. But didn’t start. “Come on Mabel”, Chantelle and I pleaded, “Please start”
Another kick. Nothing
Mabel was dead. My little trooper. I had let her down. She was no more…….
Oh hang on, the key. I hadn’t turned her key on! I flicked the ignition on and gave her an almighty kick! With a roar and a rattle she screamed into life! YAY! I don’t have any pics or videos of this as I was so worried I had destroyed Mabel with just over a week til she flies out to Canada.
Once she was warm she settled into a nice smooth idle albeit with a knock knock knock at idle. With nothing left to do but limp her the 30 km’s to Canberra, we set off. After 5 mins I stopped and checked to make sure her new sump plug was holding. It was. Weirdly her knock was also gone and she was purring like she always did.
We cruised along with me adding more speed and more revs. I figured if the engine was stuffed I would have to replace it anyway. But she was strong. She pulled like a teenage boy and cruised happily at 70 km/hr
We eventually made it to our stop for the night. We are staying with one of our lovely friends that we met over on Christmas Island. I rode to a motorbike shop and bought Mabel a new sump plug and some JB Weld to glue it in if the threads were stuffed. They weren’t. The new plug went in and tightened up nicely. She also got a nice dose of fresh oil.
Tomorrow we shall see if she will live!