Priority now in Mexico was the rear suspension…. AGAIN!
We made it from the border to Palenque in Mexico (known for more ruins) that night. We didn’t stay long as the mechanical options in town were limited so we pushed through the following morning to Villahermosa (2 hours).
After asking at a variety of mechanics it became obvious that a rebuild for the suspension wasn’t possible. Kindly a fatboy on a fatboy escorted us around to the local suspension experts for autos. Completely out of options i conceded to letting them begin the rear shock extraction.
The hours past…
And then, the combined forces of these three presented me their solution to our problem. A KLR rear shock built from the spare suspension of a Peugeot 206 combined with the KLR spring ($30!).
In truth its not amazing, actually quite rubbish as far as suspension goes. Not much travel and very stiff but a huge improvement and something im quite comfortable on for the time being.
The second major issue at hand was the difficulty the bike was having starting, back to a mechanics and we discovered water in the starter motor and the bushes in quite a bad state. This repaired it felt like a new machine.
It was then decision time, move on to Mexico City or go back to Palenque for the ruins. It was the last few days Claudia had on the road so the call was in her hands…. Back to Palenque we went for more ruins…
On the way back, tragedy struck, the bike refused to start when i turned it off at some roadwork’s. It eventually started and we got back to town. When I checked the the oil window it was fogged and water leaked out a hole in the exhaust when I cranked the starter. At closer inspection all fears were confirmed, the head gasket was spilling oil down the front of the engine. HEAD GASKET = GONE
It was a Sunday, we did however find some sort of a mechanic who lived in the storage section for the towns construction equipment. I pushed the bike into his yard and we begun disassembling.
Yep, We have a problem…
Water sitting on the piston… Not good.
Fortunately the gasket was still in tact, a clean and the best gasket glue money can buy in this area (200ml for $4), I took the the opportunity to re-seat the valves then it was a night spent on the floor of the construction office. The next day we were ready to ride.
Almost late for ClaudiaÂ´s flight we smashed out the 850 km to Mexico City in the one day…
It was a somewhat upsetting departure .
Now solo, things didn’t start so well. I went to visit a camera shop in down town Mexico, during a few quick questions about getting my camera fixed a staff member tapped me on the shoulder just in time for me to turn and see the padlock snap shut on the front wheel of my bike.
How dare them!! I argued, refused to pay, said i didn’t understand the road sign (E crossed out), and then took advantage of the situation and went for a wonder around some other shops and sat down for lunch at a nearby restaurant… but eventually paid the $45 to the bank to get her released
It was time to start a fresh. A new look was in order, I decided to become a Mexican for this next leg of the venture. I bought some razorblades and transition was phenomenal!!
Quite happy with the new look it was time to get amongst it at the wresting! I joined some friends from the hostel for a quality night.
This bar we accidentally entered seemed to cater for all your needs unless it was outside these regulations..
Thanks Jonathan for the pics.