January 27, 2000 GMT
Gearbox Problems

As you know from our previous message our fifth gear has gone on holiday. We are trying to find out the problem without removing the box as there are no facilities in Cairo to execute the repairs. All the remaining gears are functioning OK. When fifth is engaged a rattle/grate sound occurs and the gear does not engage. The oil was changed and no metal was found on the magnetic plug. The bike has been ridden 2000kms in this condition with no apparent ill effects. The gear box has 1993 internals with the kick starter adapted. It has covered approx 160000 kms, My query is, should we continue in this condition and get the repairs done in Sth Africa hoping no further damage will occur? Can the repairs be effected by someone inexperienced in gearbox repairs if the parts are sourced? (me) Any information you can advise would be greatly appreciated. Regards Ken & Carol

Many thanks for your detailed reply and the effort you have put in to find out the problem. Since the original mail I have drained the oil again looking for traces of metal from a stripped cog but have located nothing. There must be another problem as a self destructed cog surely must leave traces of metal that would attach to the magnetic plug. I am tempted to put a magnetic probe through the sump plug hole to try to locate the broken teeth. We have travelled some VERY rough tracks since the gear went 'missing' to no detrimantal effect so far. We have travelled over 2000 kilometres since the failure. I am not keen to dismantel the gearbox without the proper tools or facilities so my only options would be to obtain and exchange box (without kickstarter) Cost$$$$$$$$$? or push on to Kenya/Sth Africa where the problem may be fixed at a dealer. Being without a kickstarter with this bike leaves me a bit cold as the batteries are so suspect. I have received a second opinion stating that the 5th gear is only pressed onto the shaft and may have come loose and is just spinning freely. This would explain no metal bits floating around. The repair would be an exchange gearbox but at least I can keep moving as the the need for a fifth gear is remote in this area. I will sleep on it as we are still waiting for visas for Sudan and Ethopia and make up my mind in a day or two. Just to add a little more excitement a barrel stud has come loose. They have all been heli-coiled but this one has decided to come loose. I will try to source a double heli-coil or have a thread machined. This job I know how to do as it occurs so frequently but it is still a pain in the ....Many thanks again and we will keep you informed of our progress. Regards Ken & Carol.

Thank you again for your prompt reply. We are presently camping in the Motel Salma a dustbowl of a campground so any repairs would have to take place elsewhere. If the dogs have broken should some detrimental problems have shown up when we crossed the remainder of Tunisia and the whole of Libya. We tackled a very rough piste and then travelled across Libya maintaining a steady 65mph most of the way. Re. the k/s and battery. We have a new gel battery from motoworks but they still go flat with the pitiful charging system. We flattened it three days ago stuck in traffic in Cairo ...kickstarter to the rescue. Charging system has been totally replaced and tested before we left England. Concerning a replacement box ..we have contacted Chris Canterbury of Eurotech in California and are waiting on a reply. I have an old gearbox back in Aus I could have sent over but the kickstart thing is a problem and the cost...whew. We will wait for the moment and weigh up costs and time and make a decision in a day or two when all our queries are answered. Many thanks again, Ken and Carol.

Posted by Carol Duval at January 27, 2000 12:58 AM GMT

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