T – We know we are getting south now. The nights have a chill to them and every morning our tent is drenched in dew. We think we are just a couple of days from the start of the Carratera Austral! So exciting!!!
C – Rosie started up well and I hoped that I had managed to control her slippage yesterday enough that today she would not be any worse.
But, the first hill proved me wrong. She was slipping worse than yesterday. Way worse. What the heck. We decided to head to Concepcion, a big city, and figure it out there.
T – We plodded up the road and instantly the hills were steeeeeeep. Rosies clutch was slipping like mad and soon Mabel had bounded ahead. This wasn’t fun anymore. I decided to enact a roadside repair. I had a spare litre of new oil, an empty two litre water bottle to catch the old oil in and we had a spare set of clutch plates.
I found a spot off the road and soon we had Rosie draining her oil into the bottle. Again the oil was as black as tar. Something was amiss. We pulled her clutch basket out and disassembled it. Something was niggling into the back of my mind as we pulled the plates out. I couldn’t put my finger on it.
The clutch basket was full of clutch fibres. They blocked every oil passageway. We stripped it down to its separate pieces and we both sat there and scrubbed it clean. We poked out every hole until it looked like new. When I went to put the clutch plates in I had a moment where I couldn’t remember how to do it. Something was really throwing me off.
Clutch back in the bike and Rosie started up nicely. But as soon as she went into gear she squealed and stalled. Err…
C – What the? This must be something we have done. She was not doing that this morning!
T – Again we stripped her down. I checked and rechecked. Nothing seemed odd. We put her back together. Squeal and stall. This time when I pulled her clutch out again I was convinced that I had done something wrong. We checked on google about how the clutch plates go, and guess what, I had put them in backwards. I had this sneaking suspicion that I had put them in wrong originally which would explain why they had deteriorated so fast, and why Rosies oil was so black.
With everything back together the right way she fired up and happily shifted through her gears. Lovely! A ride up the next hill showed that she was back to great riding condition again. Phew. I had taken a small video of me rebuilding the clutch in Santiago and I am willing to bet that I put her together wrong there too. I shall find out later.
We didn’t have far to go until we hit Concepcion but it was already heading on for 3pm. So we decided to call it a day and find somewhere to stay in the city once we had some new clutch plates and new oil.
It took us a while to find what we wanted and by then it was pouring with rain. We seemed to get every single red light and had to sit there while the drivers around us looked at us pityingly.
We found a nice hotel for the night where I watched the video of me assembling the clutch. Yep I had assembled it backwards there too. Sorry for calling you names Rosie. It was actually my fault!
C – Thank goodness! I am glad it was something we did, not something Rosie did! So, dare I say it, we head further south tomorrow.
Tomorrow we head on south!