The last half of the summer went by pretty quickly. Sue and I bought a house, which was a surprise to me (I hadn’t really ever planned to buy a house, but since we’ve gotten it I have writing space again and we’ve had a few overlanders stop and stay for a while, which I missed when all I had was a closet).
The house came with a huge, well lit and insulated garage. Apparently the last family to live there repaired cars, motorcycles took up less space. Now, I needed the garage for some repair work of my own.
It was pretty clear the top of the engine was going to have to come off. Again. This was actually the third time for this engine, which was a replacement when I came back from South America. I was starting to think the origional engine, even with the miles spent with no oil in the desert, would be better. In truth, I just didn’t feel like getting into it.
While having lunch with Sue, she asked about just getting a replacement engine. Ebay had one on the west coast for $350, but it was damaged and it wasn’t clear that it ran. Then I found a complete bike just a few miles away for $350. It wasn’t running, the wiring harness had melted, but I didn’t need that. We got in touch, went there with the trailer, and brought the bike home.
Sue had wanted to be around for the engine swap, so I started slowly hoping she would be able to learn how to do it, but Overland Expo and Horizons Unlimited had events I wanted to be at, with Curiosity, so I ended up doing most of it without her. The engine swap went well, apart from one very stubbornn bolt, and the new engine fired up on the first try.
Once it was in, my mechanic and I took a quick look at the old engine. It had oil, but one of the valves had broken off. It looked as though the oil pump was only working at about half strength (at best), so it looked like there was oil everywhere there was supposed to be, but in fact there wasn’t enough.
I didn’t really care that much. Curiosity was back.