Monday, September 20, 2021

NAFO/YFO - Prologue

GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Note: This is cross posted so forgive me for specifying things that might be obvious depending on where you are reading this.


Famous last words: "I will NOT be working on the bike until the last minute this time!"

Earlier this year my wife approached me. We've had a rough year or so dealing with all the COVID related stuff along with my wife and son's medical issues this past year. She told me in no uncertain terms, that I've been busting my butt to take care of them and that I needed to take my motorcycle trip I've been planning for a few years. Bless her.

I planned on attending YFO, the Yosemite FJR Owners meet, in California two years ago. My boss would not allow me to use more than a week of vacation at a time. This made it difficult to get to California, attend a meet, and return home. I had determined to use a holiday weekend to ride to Las Vegas and store my bike there, then fly home. Then fly back, grab the bike and hop up to YFO and take my time riding home. Shortly before the trip was to start, I changed jobs, thankfully so I didn't have that vacation restriction anymore, but changing jobs meant no vacation, so the trip was put on hold.

I had a few weeks to use this time around when my wife told me to go, and I noticed that the NAFO (North American FJR Owners) meet was in Colorado the previous weekend to YFO. If I play my cards right, I can do both, and have some fun seeing stuff in between.

It always seems that before a trip I'm doing work on the bike right up to trip departure. I decided that I will NOT be working on the bike until the last minute this time. I started two months in advance. My forks needed fluid change, they were leaking and the AK20 cartridges probably needed servicing. I pulled them off and shipped them off to Traxxion to get this done.

That took a few weeks, but I got them back, even with new stickers!

On reinstalling the forks, it turns out I had a too short bolt for my upper triple clamp and when I torqued it, the bolt stripped the threads out of the clamp.

Quickest fix was to get a triple off ebay, which thankfully there were a few. The one I bought had the ignition bolts cut off. This meant I had to drill out the bolts on my busted triple, then drill the bolts out of the new one too. All went without too much drama though.

I got that done, and put new tires on the bike along with adding a Fobo Bike 2 TPMS set to the wheels. With the wheels off I proactively replaced the front wheel bearings. I changed the pumpkin fluid as well knowing the oil was fresh in the bike. Only problem I ran into, when installing the front wheel back on the bike was that the front brakes were dragging really badly. Like, really bad, enough to explain my poor gas mileage on my Florida trip.

I had two pistons in the front left caliper sticking so I hopped on amazon and ordered a rebuild kit. It was now the Friday before the trip and I'm scheduled to leave the following Wednesday, and the kit will arrive on Monday. Sheesh, cutting it close.

On Monday morning I awoke to an email from Amazon informing me that there was a shipping delay on my kit and it'd arrive mid September. Not acceptable. I jumped onto All Balls Racing site and ordered a kit with overnight shipping praying I'd put the order in early enough that it'd ship today (Monday) for a Tuesday arrival so I can be out on Wednesday.

The kit arrived Tuesday afternoon so I pulled the caliper and split it and started the rebuild process. I found this metal flake from the machining process in the orifice between the two halves. So much for good QC there.

The brakes primed and bled better than any in my past. I did several bleedings before going to bed, and would do a few more during my work breaks the following day.

I really wanted to spend my last evening at home with my family instead of in the garage, but it is what it is.

Continue to Day 1