Day 17 – Wheely

Claremont, LA County – 2nd July 2021

I’m up early but even so James is already working on the bike. I now need to source some new tires, but here they won’t take the wheels off the bike, we have to do it and then take them to the tyre shop and either pay for them to be fitted there or take them elsewhere to be fitted onto the rims, for a price of course. The front wheel comes off easy enough but the rear is much more tricky, especially getting the brake calliper off. James has to remove the right saddle bag and with my help we eventually manage to get the wheel out.

The good news is that the rear footpeg adapters have turned up so that means I can get the replacement pegs fitted later… yay.

One thing James has discovered is that the rear tyre is not the right size… the previous owner has fitted a 200 cross section when the original tyre was only 170, which might also affect the handling. I agree with him that we should source the correct size tyre especially given the wobbling problem. James makes a few phone calls and we find a matching pair available at one place, but it is not certain how long we may have to wait for them to be fitted, James says it could be a couple of hours and they are at least a 35 minute drive away so that may be a 3 or 4 hour trip altogether. The alternative is to get the tyres from them and then take them to another bike shop, who James knows very well, and pay them to fit, which will probably be quicker. We agree to go to get the tyres and see how long the wait is to have them fitted as a first step.

When we arrive we have a good look around, this is an enormous warehouse of a shop, it has a whole room devoted to just helmets! James is disappointed with the lack of motorcycle inventory, it seems to be difficult to get bikes delivered to the showroom to sell, he says they are normally chocka-block with bikes but now it is 2/3rds empty.

I need another bag… the waterproof bag I have brought is just not big enough. The twin saddlebags are quite a bit smaller than I was expecting so I don’t have enough room for all my crap. Ideally I want a fully waterproof roll bag or duffle. While James queues for the tyres I have a good look around. They do have lots of bags but non of them are suitable. Once we have the tyres we decide to take them to the other shop to have them fitted. All done and back to James’ home where he sets about fitting the wheels back in the bike. I have asked him for a figure to cover all this extra work and the costs for running me over to my hotel and getting the tyres; I certainly don’t expect it to be free.

While James is dealing with the wheels I make myself busy fitting the rear pegs.

The issue of the bag may be resolved. James and Colleen do a lot of adventure bike touring and have a couple of Cabelos fully waterproof roll top bags, the are willing to give me one if I will sort out paying for a replacement, yes of course says I and we set about sourcing a new bag. Unfortunately the manufacturer and main dealers are both out of stock, so I give Colleen the money as it is her bag that is being donated to me, this means she will be able to order one as soon as they come into stock again.

After all this is it too late to start the tour so I spend another very comfortable night at their home.

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