Maintenance, maintenance….

Finally I received my numberplates and could ride the bike officially. I had already ordered new tyres for the old ones were really old (11 years). I printed the relevant pages of the repair manual and started to remove the front and rear wheel. The front wheel was easy, but the real wheel gave me a hard time. When I had it out, I spotted that the parts of the final drive flange were rusty and completely dry.

The final drive flange. Where is all the grease that's supposed to lubricate??

The final drive flange. Where is all the grease that’s supposed to lubricate here??

A quick look in the service papers did not reveal any evidence that the wheel was removed in the last 11 years. The bike was initially sold and serviced at Honda in Germany, but when it was registered in Belgium, the „services“ were done in no-name garages. The most important maintenance was apparently done (oil changes, filter changes etc), but I wonder if the bike was always maintained according to the Honda maintenance plan. The bike appears to be in good condition, but I realised that I need to do a lot of (preventive) maintenance in the next months. A checklist will be a good idea.

Now that's better...

Now that’s better…

Luckily, the repair manual gives detailled information how to lubricate what and with what. I cleaned all the dry, rusty parts as good as I could. The female part of the drive flange was difficult to clean, for a perfect result one would have to disassemble the final drive. But this not really necessary, my cleaning was already a big improvement. Luckily the parts were not really affected by this lack of maintenance. I cleaned all part, applied MoS2 grease where necessary and assembled the rear wheel and placed it back.

Clean and greasy - ready for assembly.

Clean and greasy – ready for assembly.

I have already ordered a full set of brake and clutch tubes, 18 year old rubber is not the best to maintain a good pressure. Other things have to follow. While the rear wheel was removed, I inspected the most critical part of the frame: the swingarm. Mud and dirt get disposed there and many STs have the problem that swingarm get so rusty that it needs to be replaced (expensive) or welded (quite some work). Like the exhaust, the swingarm only shows some superfial rust. So my first impression was right.

Only very light, superficial corrosion of the swingarm - good!

Only very light, superficial corrosion of the swingarm – good!

I did some test rides and was very pleased with the new BT023 tyres. They give a good confidence and I soon made the footpegs scratch on the tarmac. I visited the next Honda workshop and arranged a change of the totally damaged steering bearing this week.

Lots of ideas for maintenance and farkling, interesting times ahead!


The king is dead – long live the king!

Well, I still have to write my report of the ET2014 Rally, but there are already some consequences…before the rally, I had spotted a bike by coincidence….It seemed to be the right bike for the Ironbutt Rally next year in the USA – very reliable, excellent wind protection and fuel economy, and a very comfortable ride. In the end, I made a good bargain and obtained a big bike for the price of a XBR! You can see that it is already more than 17 years old, but for a ST1100, a mileage of 75000 km is nothing. IMGP9758A perfect long distance bike. The riding is very smooth and comfy. The BMW is still in Spain and waiting to be transported back. Its fate is not yet decided, but its rally days are probably over.IMGP9764New tyres are ordered and the only urgent repair is a new steering bearing. Some heavy farkling will be needed to prepare it for the IBR2015, but the basis is a better one than 2013.IMGP9765Looking forward to do some serious test riding!IMGP9761


No more BMW?

If some of you wondered why my spot point didn’t move in the last 24h, here is the explanation. I had a brilliant ride yesterday, saw a lot of Spain. Picos de Europa, Gijon, Santander, Salamanca, the heart of Madrid, Cuenca, Valencia….everything was going extremely well and according to my plan. During my planning, I had spotted that Spain would give more points than the Baltic States or Greece….I had also considered to go to Lisbon, but a careful evaluation revealed that a shorter route through Spain and picking almost all points there was much safer and resulted in more total points. I had informed the family of my lady that I would pass by the centre of Valencia and much to my surprise when I arrived at the town hall, there were 10 people waiting for me to support me and to provide me with food and drinks. Overwhelming! In high spirits I left Valencia and had to pick one point near Castellon and to get to Vinaros where I had reserved a hotel room. The plan was to pick a lots of points along the Catalan coast the lat day and to return already at midnight at the rally finish, maybe even picking some more points near Stuttgart. But when I reached the location near Castellon, the gearbox made heavy noises before it finally died. No more propulsion. The good side: the recovery was quick, I was transferred to Valencia quickly and could stay with my „parents-in-law“ and fly back home today.

The frustrating part: I had already a 170000 points and my plan included at least a 213692 points for the total rally…sounds massive. I really hope someone has more points than that or my frustration will be enourmous…my hottest candidate is John Young, as he also found his way to Spain. So it is another DNF in the most important rally in Europe ever. When I was standing with my BMW in the dark in the plantations, I remembered that is was the third time I was waiting for a towing service for my BMW…three more than with all my other bikes….I knew that there must be consequences…and I was so content on that day, everything was running so smooth, a rally of a lifetime, so to say. The bike had just passed the 100.000 km mark and I was happy that it ran so well. But what is a nice performance if in the end you are waiting for a towing truck? Maybe I should look out for Japanese bikes again?

Well, the rally was great fun up to that point and I visited so much iconic and scenic places in such a short time. This was gorgeous and will stay in my memory. Here is my track of the gorgeous leg 2:

My gorgeous route until my gearbox crashed.

My gorgeous route in leg 2 until my gearbox crashed.

I will try to get to the ceremony tomorrow, although it will be tough, but I owe this to the organisers who did a fantastic job! Thank you for this outstanding rally! It set a standard in Europe!

First place after first leg!

A few lines before I finally go to bed. My first leg was very good. I went to Rome and back to the Alps where the checkpoint hotel is. standings see me in front (check the IBA Germany forum).
As expected, leg 2 is massive!! I needed a lot of time to come up with something very promising. A first glance revealed that Greece or the Baltic states is the place to go, but to my surprise I found a third option 🙂
Keep fingers crossed!
Follow my spot!
Talk to you in four days.

On my way to the European Tour 2014

Dear followers,

I am on my way to the rally highlight of the year – the European Tour 2014. It is organised jointly by the IBA Germany and the IBA Ireland. On Sunday morning, many riders will start from Stuttgart. Where to? None of the participants knows. We only know that we have to be at a secret checkpoint location on Monday evening. From there, we will start again on Tuesday morning and finish again on Friday morning in Stuttgart. With 36 hours plus 76 hours, this makes it the first true multi-day rally in Europe!

ET2014 LogoThere will be excellent riders from all over the world, i.e. all over Europe, USA, Canada, Australia…. For most riders who have not ridden a multi-day rally before, this will be a tough new experience.

In principle, 425 bonus point locations will be distributed all over the European Union! The tricky part is to choose the right ones. The points will be revealed tomorrow afternoon, after that the riders will go to their rooms and start the planning of leg 1. We have a pretty tight schedule!:

Rally timetableIf you want to follow the event, you can do this here:

If you want to follow my trip:

If you want to follow me during the rally:

The hunt is on again! 😉Fox1

Hutzlmandl goes publishing

Recently, I was invited by Germany’s largest magazine for motorbike travelling to write a few lines about somebody that is very loyal to a single motorcycle brand….well, it was immediately evident I knew a guy who falls in this category.

The text is part of a larger article in TOURENFAHRER 09/2014. For non-German speakers, I have translated the text below (sorry for any mistakes).


John Young is not simply devoted to a motorcycle brand – he lives his love for Triumph through and through. It is not because of the brand per se or the fact that Hinckley located only 34 miles from his home. John is a proud Briton and therefore only a British motorcycle came into question.
Over the years many motorcycles accumulated, some bustle in his large garage – but only for everyday use. In an outbuilding he has placed his museum, a place of worship with an attached living room. John’s collection includes ten perfectly preserved pieces from the sixties and seventies. The museum’s splendour is complemented by all sorts of pictures, posters, rally certificates and other devotional objects. Not only his motorcycle clothes and cups, rugs, T-Shirts, everything in John’s daily life breathes the spirit of Triumph.
Many of his machines have a special story He has some production racers who wrote racing history, including the „Son of Sam“, a Trident T160, which was used in the TT on the Isle of Man. Likewise, a Daytona T150 No.8. These particular artefacts don’t wear their tyres flat, but are used in classic events. By this, John met the former riders of the bikes who were the heroes of his youth.
John is a passionate endurance rider, he regularly takes part in the rallies of the Iron Butt Association. He often participates with an old Trident T150 from 1969 and often receives a sneer from other riders who do not know what it is capable of. On a 36-hour Brit Butt Rally he was on a virtual podium position, just six miles from the finish when the bike’s electrics failed him. On the other hand he wrote history of the legendary Iron Butt Rally 2011, when he successfully finished the rally after eleven days and 14,000 kilometers on that old Triumph, having visited all 48 contiguous states of the USA. At the Magic-12 Rally in Germany in 2012, his 955 Daytona could not start because of a technical problem. He was offered a spare bike which he refused with thanks – it was not a Triumph …
John’s next project is the participation in a desert rally with an old Triumph off-road side-car – a likeable loony, who can arise not only from Britain.