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Old 8 Apr 2009
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: vietnam
Posts: 47
Vietnam 2

Field Technician

The old Cub has been running poorly of late but as you know these beasties just keep on running and really were over engineered.
Last night I was travelling to work when I was stuck in a horrendous traffic jam. Not an M25 joke but truly jammed. People were using the pavements, fighting through alleys, shops, over central reservations, under barriers, inching forward, revving their engines and sounding their horns. Total mayhem. The air was thick with diesel fumes and the grime was sticking to my overheated sweating face.
The Cub got as hot as folks' tempers and soon wouldn't tick over which is not funny with a centrifugal clutched gearbox so I had to keep the throttle open and hold the bike back on the brakes. Not a sensible move working the engine like that! After about 20 minutes of this chaos, my ears pricked up to an ominous sound. It’s curious how even above the sound of straining diesels and choking horns one can still detect impending mechanical disaster! The poor thing was knocking its head off!
I was in deep, no possible view of forward respite and at least twelve abreast when it stopped. No tick tick squeak, clack clack bang just stop. I checked the kick-starter and it was free but it wouldn't start so I made myself very big so no-one could pass me and when I had a clear 6' I bumped it back into life. It ran, just, and I nursed it to the kerb, both breathing heavily.
I got to work, it cooled and got me home again, but I knew it was time for a bit of love.
Well, it was running too hot for sure despite the ambient temperature so I suspected a weak mixture. The carb settings seemed correct, so I checked for air leaks. Sure enough, when I gripped the carb/manifold joint the revs dropped. I pulled it apart and guess what, half a gasket which was jacked up with previous cement and gasket residue.
Time for a bit of kerbside autos! I knocked up a gasket out of a biscuit packet using an old fashioned razor blade and a bolt to punch out the mounting holes and reassembled. Straightforward stuff. It started and ran ok, but I still wanted to check my bodge. I didn't have brake cleaner or WD40 to spray over the repaired joint so I used a can of deodorant! No problem!
At this point I should mention that during my kerbside endeavours I had acquired a rather large audience, intrigued as to what the westerner was doing and indeed why. 'We' don't ride old bikes and we never get our hands dirty....
They looked over my shoulder like curious children, passed me tools, wrung their hands and shook their heads.
When it ran they whooped enthusiastically, shook my hand with toothless grins and genuine kindness then offered me iced tea and filter less cigarettes.
A wonderful moment which can only be surpassed by the look on their weathered faces of pure disbelief when the eccentric Englishman sprayed Lynx deodorant all over his engine. He must really love that bike!
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