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The costs of maintaining an old bike – Blackie’s back into the Pet’s clinic – 3rd time in 3 weeks

When a bike has been badly maintained by its previous owner, the faults will show after awhile.

When a dog has been abused by its previous owner, it tends to be suspcious of good intentions and will only warm up after a long time. This was the case with Lorry my white dog but as it is I have decided to write about the black dog in this post. I will focus and do so.

Since the last episode, I have been taking my black dog out for spins on weekdays. This running around, reveals flaws and problems which are isolated and then corrected as and when they occur. To give encouragement to other riders facing temperamental bikes, I relate my following experience.  Within hours of correcting the carburettor fault, another appeared – the fuel gauge and rpm meter stopped working.

I did a quick ebay check and found replacements going for US$199/- excluding shipping. This would have meant another servicing in excess of S$300/-. This time round I hesitated to order the replacements and decided to let the mechanic look at it first.

Subsequent to the initial unsuccessful $190/- servicing, there was the effective S$450/- servicing [carburettor slide]. Another servicing of S$300/- within such a short period of time is just not making sense.

I crossed my fingers and got the old mechanic to examine the black dog based on my latest list of complaints. The verdict was as follows:

Aftermarket suspension brackets had to be removed. Headlight serviced. Chain to be adjusted. Wiring of light switches to be checked. Wiring of rpm meter and fuel gauge to be checked.

Thankfully, all that was completed effectively within 1 hour and the Total Cost of this exercise – S$8/-.

This was last week.

This morning, i finally discovered that there might be something wrong with blackie’s clutch plate. This might explain why it ran around somewhat like an old dog – alot of noise but not really getting anywhere. This time round, it is likely to be major work to be done and a premature oil change. When you got to do it, you have to do it.

The only complaint I have is that I hardly clocked 1500km on this oil change and my engine oil which is supposed to last 5000km.

I will also need to traverse 24km to limp back to the mechanic’s shop from my office. I hope to leapfrog the peak hour traffic and I hope the clutch plate will last the distance.

My friend had joked often that since i treated this bike as a pet, i better take good care of it failing which it might have to go to the Pet Cemetery. Indeed the black dog might have made it to the cemetery. But as the old movie goes, pets buried in the pet cemetery do come back alive – but in a different way. 🙂 🙂

With the servicing/repair costs hitting S$548/- and rising, with another major servicing to be done this evening, one might wonder what is the value of experience of getting an old bike on the cheap and restoring it to working condition?

To me, when that is done with loving care and at the same time discovering support and friendship – priceless. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

P.S. As it is there is already a new page that many may not have noticed. It appears as Pages From My Political Past. There is an urge in me to put this in a separate page to be titled – Tales of the Black Dog. Friends and Fans – let me know your views via the comments. 🙂

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December 29, 2009 - Posted by | Life

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