16 September, 2010

Help Needed - Stuck In Quilpie .... the rubber band snapped!

22nd August 2010 - the story begins. On my way to Birdsville, the CVT belt on B1 snapped last night on the Quilpie - Windorah road. I ended up camping by the side of the road, surviving a massive storm, hitching a ride to Quilpie and then getting an RACQ tow back to Quilpie the following morning. I'm now trying to work out the best way to get the bike and me back to Melbourne. There is no way it is fixable locally as replacing the belt requires tearing the motor down - and besides it'll take at least a week to get a new belt delivered.


26th August 2010.
In short my life over the last 5 days has been.

Day 1 - Saturday - go and vote (Australian Federal Elections - compulsory voting) then ride North - planned to get to Bourke but too many animals on the road so stopped in Cobar well before dusk. Bloody freezing night in Cobar and my self inflating mattress springs a leak.

Day 2 - Sunday - ride North to Windorah up through Bourke, Cunnamulla, Eulo and Quilpie - around 4.30pm riding across the floodplains to Windorah I accelerate out of a gentle creek crossing and the revs go sky-high whilst the Burgie starts to gently roll to a stop. Pull over and push bike off road, set up tent and the rains hit - in a very short period of time I start to realise that camping on a floodplain is NOT a good idea but I had little choice.

Day 3 - Monday - hitch a ride to Quilpie, call the RACV and get a tow back to Quilpie. Tow truck driver and I had a hell of a time winching the Burgie out of the mud which it was by now well and truly stuck in (as a side note, it's lucky I didn't get onto the actual Birdsville track as I would still be stuck due to all the rain/mud). RACV helped me out by paying for a motel for the night (first shower/shave for 3 days - I was reeking ) whilst I tried to find options to get home. Finally struck a deal with the local postie courier to put the Burgie in the back of his transit van to Charleville next morning.

Day 4 - Charleville. Postie dropped me and the Burgie off at Kurtz trucking depot. Tried again to get a car - AVIS offered to get me a dual cab ute in 2 days time - total cost for a one way rental to Melbourne including delivery from Toowoomba to Charleville and excess km charges (but NOT including fuel) would be $2,500! Instead I got Kurtz to put the Burgie in a cage on the back of a semi and send it to Rocklea (Brisbane) whilst I took an overnight Greyhound to Brisbane.

Day 5 - Arrived in Brisbane, totally stuffed with little sleep. Called up Kurtz whilst they tried various options to get the Burgie back to Melbourne. A lot of stuffing around because just about every trucking company insisted the Burgie be crated before they would ship it. Spent all day at the Brisbane downtown bus terminal trying to contact bike shippers - some successfully, most not. Kurtz came through with the goods around 3pm and put me onto a mob called CEVA who will collect the Burgie tomorrow and have it down here by Friday next week - only worry is to make sure they take my Givi topbox (which had to be removed by Kurtz to fit the Burgie into the cage) as it has all my gear in it.

Once the Burgie was sorted I then booked a Tiger Airways flight to Melb leaving 8.15pm. Took the train to the airport, checked and was told the plane would be delayed by an hour. An hour later, another hour delay - this happened 4 times till we finally left the tarmac at 12.15am Most of the passengers were totally crapped off and there was a big barney between the cabin staff and half a dozen more vocal passengers who had spent the last 4 hours in the airport bar. I was getting really worried there was going to be a riot mid flight and to add to it, the drunkest and most vocal passenger had the seat next to me.

Arrived at Tullamarine at 2.30am, crashed in the airport till 5am, took the airport bus to the city and then a tram home - quick shower and shave and back in the office by 8am. What an adventure!

... and one that really should not have occurred! I have a complete new motor/CVT/Drivetrain/Swingarm and rear wheel assembly for the Burgie sitting in the garage which I planned to put on once I came back from Birdsville. I just wanted to clock up 100,000km on the original before I did - the speedo is currently registering 95k km so as Maxwell Smart would say "missed it by that much".

8th September 2010.
My son Julien went down to the CEVA logistics office in Melbourne ot collect B1 on the back of our trailer. It's amazing to think that a bike as big as the Burgie will fit in the back of a 6x4 trailer but it will - diagonally and with the tail gate open.


15th September 2010
I wasn't able to do any work on B1 until now as last weekend I was away on a ride to Port Fairy on V2 with the Mild Hogs team.

Tonight I started stripping B1 down ready to remove the whole drivetrain/motor. It's just about the there and I expect to start bolting the new one up tomorrow night. Once I have the new motor in - ready for the 3rd attempt at reaching Birdsille in mid October - I wil start to strip down the B1 CVT and find out what caused the belt to snap - was it just age and a hard life? or was there something else which may have been the culprit? We will soon know (cue: Twilight Zone music).

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