Tuesday, 19 March 2013

133 Preparing Wallace for the Americas

There was a lot of work needed to be done on Wallace to get him ready for the long pending trip.

This has been a long process that started soon after Wallace was purchased. The first things to be added were a better screen and a bracket to adjust its height and angle.
Then came extra lights, not really for night time use, although that is useful, but more to bee seen in the daytime. A stronger bash plate was installed as the original can rip a hole in sump if hit.
The crash bars were beefed up to protect our legs and the radiator. They also allowed us to hang front panniers later.
A larger set of Metal Mule panniers replaced the ones supplied with the bike. They are bigger and a lot stronger. They came with a rear luggage rack.

Wallace remained in this state for about 2 years and earlier this year, as stated previously, he was tuned up. The intention was to make the bike smoother to use and to stop it cutting out. This sadly is as a result of emission control laws to produce the bike in the first place. The tune up not only sorted the ride-ability but also made it into a very fast bike. I will need to play with it some more and de-tune it to improve fuel consumption. Very necessary for some countries with long distances between petrol stations.
The clever tuning bits are in the plastic bags. They have USB leads going to the under-seat area so they can be modified with our lap top.

Next came some of the comfort bits. First was an air bed type seat cover that spreads the load of our bums out and stops hot spots at the pressure points. More commonly called "Monkey Butt".
Then we added some electrical connections for heated jackets and gloves. At the same time an electrical supply for the lap top was installed in one of the panniers.
Under the seat is where all the new electrics are for the heated clothing and power supply for the lap top. I also made up a steel cable in a plastic tube so we could lock the helmets on the bike if we went anywhere.

Next was the need for a backrest for Karen. As we had removed the big back box which she used to rest against, we needed something to replace it. I asked Bob if he had any ideas and he suggested a car head rest. Genius. He also knew where to get a suitable one. Enter the crashed Post Office van head rest. After a bit of cutting and welding it was all in place and ready to go.
Last but not least was installation of some soft front panniers. Bright Yellow !

The air cushion seats (like a mini LiLo) are under the sheep's skin seat. Also is Karen's back rest courtesy of the Post Office van it came off of.

And the big yellow bags hanging on the panniers.
 We have ordered a stronger shock absorber for the rear and we hope to collect that in early April.

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