Brian and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Brian does some much needed work on the bikes while we are staying with Roberto and family in Cuenca – including changing tires, changing brake pads, changing spark plugs, etc. He spends parts of 3 days changing all the tires himself, as well as disassembling my bike to get to the spark plug. Kawasaki has a small problem with the design of the plug placement on the bike in that it sits in a well and it collects a lot of sand, grit and dirt. So when you go to change it, if you aren’t extremely careful, all that junk falls into your cylinder. He decides its finally time to change my rear brake pads and since I’ve been carrying my first replacement set for more than 25,000 miles on this trip, I’m glad they can finally earn their keep. He’s replacing both front and rear tires and decides to replace the front brake pads too even though the old ones still have a little life left in them. We are heading further into the Andes where I will need good brakes. He’s such a good mechanic and I feel better knowing he did the work than if anyone else had done it.

Since we left South Dakota last summer Brian has done ALL the servicing and adjusting of anything on my bike (carb adjustments, chain adjustments, changing oil and replacing oil filter, lubing my chain, cleaning air filters, replacing spark plugs, filling the oil, replacing burned out bulbs and fuses, etc.) and in addition to that he has done the following work on my bike (and probably a lot more that I am forgetting): Changed my rear tire in Quebec City, fixed a flat tire on the side of the road on the Trans-Labrador Highway, turned my front tire around to extend its life in Labrador, changed my front tire in Newfoundland, changed the chains and sprockets in Memphis, changed both front and rear tires and the inner tubes in Guadalajara Mexico, fixed a flat for me in San Cristobal de Las Casas Mexico (where we found the tubes were dry rotting and defective), replaced both my front and rear inner tubes in Belize to get rid of the defective ones, changed the chains and sprockets in Nicaragua, replaced my broken speedo cable in Nicaragua, changed both tires in Cuenca Ecuador and all the other goodies mentioned above…and he does it all with his own sweat and toil and with tools we carry on the bikes.

Thank you, Brian, for taking such good care of me and my bike on this trip. I can’t tell you the peace of mind you give me by doing all the work on my bike.  Your meticulous and careful personal attention to Black Betty gives me a level of confidence in the bike I wouldn’t have otherwise and allows me to relax and enjoy this amazing adventure even more.  I know I wouldn’t have made it this far without you. xoxo

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