Friday, November 21, 2008

Royal Enfield inspires roadside repairs

My Royal Enfield Bullet never goes anywhere without a bungee cord in the tool box, but I've only had to take it out once, when the spring that holds up the center stand snapped at 30,000 miles. Brian Wittling's long-range tours of National Parks across the U.S. required a bit more creativity. He shared these pictures of instant repairs that kept him going.

The pictures need no captions. Duct tape is always the universal tool, and baling wire is handy. One British biker once commented that he prided himself on always being able to fix his motorcycle with whatever "supplies" he could find strewn along the roadside.

You could fill a workshop with nuts and bolts of all sizes by taking a short walk down the gutter of any American highway. Apparently most vehicles are designed with splendid redundancy, because they kept going regardless of what fell off.

When my Bullet's shift lever twice fell off in half a mile I determined that it was so well oiled that no amount of wiping and tightening could ensure it stayed on. I noticed it was tapped at the center, however, and a bit of scrounging along the gutter found a screw and washer that fit. Now the shift lever could not escape. The screw and washer are part of my Bullet still, as a back up to a thorough job of cleaning and tightening.

It's clear that the most important piece of equipment on a Royal Enfield is the active, creative mind of its determined rider.

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