September 2007
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    12.000km check-up

    Saturday, September 29th, 2007

    In Srinagar we reached the 12.000km mark since we left total bike mileage 54.500km), more or less half way through our original route.
    So I did a check-up of the bike.

    We found an nice house boat on Nageen Lake, near a park. The owner “persuaded” the gardeners to let me park the bike inside the garden 🙂 , so I had a nice spot for working.

    check1.jpg   check2.jpg   check3.jpg

    I replaced the spark plugs, since the very rich condition caused by the altitude was bound to foul them. At 5000m there is roughly half the sea-level air pressure.


    I checked the valves, well five of them since the front cylinder exhaust valve is so difficult to reach. They were all
    within the specs, the rear cylinder exhaust valve was at the tighter end of the spec so I’ve loosened it by a hair.
    The read brake pads were badly worn (on the road from Kargil, I only used the front brake), so I’ve replaced them.

    The Africa Twin air filter is quite large so I could not bring a spare. I clean it regularly with compressed air (and hope it will last).
    After all the unsealed roads it was quite dirty 🙂 . 

    Here is a nice story that illustrates the differences between india and the other countries we’ve been in (Pakistan, Iran).  I usually go to a tire shop and ask for some compressed air. The owner comes out, watches in amazement as I extract the air filter, cleans it, and gives it back to me (this was the same everywhere), now I ask how much should I pay. In all the countries except India the owner would smile and say “nothing, have a good trip”, in india he said “special price for you sir, 10 rupees” 🙂 .

    The chain and tyres (Metzeler Tourance and D.I.D.) seem to have plenty of life left in them. The tyres have developed
    some micro-cracks since about half-way through Turkey but seem ok.

    check4.jpg   check5.jpg   check7.jpg

    Back home I usually change the oil every 5.000km. During this trip my strategy regarding the oil is as follows: I started with fresh oil
    and filter and took 3 more filters with me. I kept the first oil for 6000km. The subsequent oil changes have been changed
    every 3000km (since the local oils are of unknown quality), I change the filter every two oil changes.So far I’ve been able to find Castrol and Shell
    20W50 oils, which seem to be ok( the changes were in Kashan-Iran, Quetta-Pakistan and Srinagar-India).

    There were some other checks: fuel filter, sprockets, front suspension. Everything seems to be in excellent condition 🙂