I’m seriously considering keeping the Transalp.

I went to my mechanic’s place yesterday to have a new rear tyre put on. He and I had a good chat about me buying a new bike later in the year and selling the Transalp after putting it through the shaken in November.

I was a little surprised when he advised me not to sell the bike via an on-line auction. He said that it can be quite dangerous, with some buyers of bargain bikes not registering the bikes  in their name, and some claiming a mis-sale if anything goes wrong with the bike, even if sold as-seen.  I have to say that I really do trust the guy’s advice.  He always does a decent job and never asks for much money. Yesterday he changed the rear tyre for ¥2,500 ($25). While he was changing it he showed me the inner tube which had severe rust at the bottom of the valve. He reckoned it would break when he put it back on, which it did. He phoned around, sourced a new tube, drove for 30 minutes in his car to get it and then asked me for ¥1,000 for changing it. I gave him twice that and told him to stop embarrassing me!

Anyway, his advice about selling got me thinking. If I can’t sell it completely safely on Yahoo auctions, I do not want to go down that road. If I sell it safely, i.e. to a dealer, I’ll not get very much for it, maybe ¥50,000. That would mean spending a whole lot more than I planned on a new bike later in the year. So, I reckon I should just spend what  I need on it to get it properly ship-shape and then ride it into the ground. I can shaken it and ride it for another couple of years (which was the original plan, as my wife reminded me earlier tonight , as she does).

So what needs done to it, and what would I want to do to it? Well, according to Masaki-san the rear shock is past its sell-by date. He said it would be prudent to replace it. Also, both brake rotors will also need replaced sooner rather than later. So what will that cost? He said that a new rear shock would cost around ¥30,000 and the front and rear brake rotors would cost around ¥15,000 and ¥8,000 respectively. Both would be changed when the tires are both changed. The front tyre may need changed for the shaken and the rear, in a year and a half’s time, or thereabouts, depending on how well it wears for me. None of this is painful.

Other than this, nothing else, at this moment, is in need of repair or replacement. There are 55,000kms in the clock and that’s not a lot. Also, new seals on the engine suggest that it has been at least partly refurbished. Masaski-san says that the engine seems very solid. Certainly, it runs very smoothly once it has warmed up a bit. I’d like to tidy the bike up a bit. There are cracks and scratches on the fairing, and some of the metal fittings are corroded and rusted, for example, the handle at the rear for pulling the bike up onto the centre stand looks bad. I could easily remove that and spray it. I’ll photograph all of this and post it up. Any advice will be most definately appreciated.  I’d like to replace all the visible bolts which have rusted as well as all the fairing bolts and fasteners which are all looking the worst for wear. Other odds and ends wouldn’t take too much effort during the summer holidays.

On a similar note, I finally got around to painting the spokes on the front wheel in an attempt to keep the recurring rust at bay.

Fastbike from the Gaijin Riders forum advised me to paint them black, as opposed to silver, as it hides any recurring rust better. I took a wire brush to each spoke and then polished them all with metal polish before painting. I should by right do the rear, but it’s not as bad as the front was. It’ll be done when the weather is better. I have all the materials to do it, just not the time. I have to admit, it doesn’t look too bad to be honest.

I also removed the fork covers on the front as they’d all but disintegrated and were hanging off in pieces. Masaki-san said that they can be replaced cheaply if ever I need to remove the front forks to change the oil. You can see the remnants of the socks at the bottom of the forks, but they have since been removed.

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3 Comments on “I’m seriously considering keeping the Transalp.”

  1. Klaus Says:

    Damien, my friend!

    Very, very smart choice!! As I always say: why have a big bike (i.e. high cc) in Japan. You can’t race it anyways except when you go to Suzuka *_*).

    Besides, OUR bikes are/will be vintage. And the way they look like – people will admire us/them!

    Yes, there is always something you can do. As for the fork covers, they are not that expensive. Concerning the rear shock, depending on what you want to do and how much you want to spend, get a Wilbers – they are not that expensive and the quality is great (at least that’s what I will get in the near future:http://cgi.ebay.de/Wilbers-Federbein-540-HONDA-XL-600-V-Transalp-PD-06-10-/370462594631?pt=Motorrad_Kraftradteile&hash=item56414a9647 – just to give you an idea, and the way I understand the guy he will also subtract the 19% tax!).

    Handprotectors from ACERBIS are definitely great. I got mine 2 years ago and they don’t just look better than the original ones.

    There is so much you can do and get for a bike that will last you for at least another 150.000 kilometers or even more.

    I am glad that you made up your mind and look forward to meeting you – some day somewhere out on the road!


  2. Cheers Klaus. I’ll be checking that supplier for sure.

  3. Klaus Says:

    Damien, my man!

    How ist it going? How is life treating you?
    Quite some time nothing heard.
    Hope everything is o.k.!!!


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