BootsnAll Travel Network

Keeping her running.

One of the challenges with doing the motorcycle thing is keeping the old girl running. What makes it even harder is driving a motorcycle that most have not seen before. The final bump is the communication factor as mechanics don’t tend to come from the University crowd.

I have been working on this problem since I got the bike. An item that tends to get broken a lot is the levers and brackets. Sasha has a shitty kickstand so if I don’t get it propped up correctly, the wind and sometime when the rain saturates the ground she topples over. The handle bars usually take the brunt of the fall and plop there goes another lever or bracket.

I have been piece mealing spare parts to make it work when one of them goes, but now I wanted a more viable situation. The first ten times and three countries I tried to go to a motorcycle place and get it fixed it went pretty much like this.

I pull up to the shop and all the guys turn around and give me that “there’s a stranger in town” look.

Walking up to the counter the younger guys start whispering and giggling like a gaggle of girls.

I ask the one guy who is brave enough or the unfortunate one to make eye contact if they have a lever. I usually just get a blank stare.

Next I use visual props to try to convey my needs. First by taking him over to my bike and pointing at the levers and using my hand to signify breaking.

All of this usually generates a shake of the hand which signifies “no” we don’t carry parts for that strange bike.

It was over before I even started as the moment I pulled up with a bike they had not seen before they instantly close down and are positive nothing will fit unless the bike is a Honda Wave.

I figured that the only way to get what I needed was by using trickery. I scouted around until I found a bike that used a style of lever that would work and would be widely available (Honda Dash or RS). Knowing that by writing it down in English would not work I figured the optimum solution would be to use a picture. I found a model that worked and took a snapshot with my digital camera. I knew that even with that it would still possibly not work as me riding up on Sasha would lock their minds on the foreign bike and I would once again be shot down. I scouted around until I found a place that looked well stocked (Honda dealerships only carry parts for new bikes so that didn’t work). I passed by and parked around the corner and walked up to the place. I got the usual stares especially when I pulled out the camera and was pulling up the photo. I showed the photo and pointed out the lever and also pointed out the lever on a bike in the shop. The guy called out something to his wife and she went to the back and came back with the levers. I pointed out the brackets and she went back and brought those. I paid the guy and left. Problem solved.


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