Monday, February 24, 2014

I'm still riding

Despite the fact that I haven't posted for months, in fact my dear old Trophy has been in constant use. Yes, even though this has been the wettest British winter ever, in a nation with a meteorological history distinguished by profound dampness, I have kept on rolling. The odometer is now showing 44,600 miles so I've ridden 6,700 miles on Ruby since she properly returned to action in April last year . 

On the plus side, Somerset has been free of ice most of the time and entirely without snow. The roads have been free of salt thus conditions have been less corrosive than in a normal winter. The incessant heavy rain has caused a lot of road deterioration. I've never seen as much crumbling tarmac and the pot holes are everywhere. I didn't know so much damage could be caused without frost. Consequently, the body work has taken quite a battering from a constant dousing in grit and water and the running gear has got very crusty.

All in all, I'm very pleased with how she has coped with such a cruel exfoliation regime. I wasn't overly concerned about the fairing because I had not actually done anything with it. The paint was already pockmarked with stone chips and some of the decals has suffered over time. I'd pulled all the bodywork off, cleaned it thoroughly with T-Cut, and then waxed it before refitting with new fasteners as required.

I'd fitted home-made mud flaps to the front mudguard, to protect the oil cooler, and to the swingarm, to protect the suspension linkages . These have been brilliant. The 'tide mark' of muck thrown up from the front wheel just stops on the fairing lowers at the lower edge of the oil cooler. The rear suspension linkages are covered in grime but free of stones and mud. They have been caught indirectly by misted spray but entirely protect from direct blasts of water and grit. The only downside is that the front mud flap has split and would not last much longer. So I decided to make a replacement, and to improve it if possible in the process.

 Meanwhile, the underlying quality of the fit and finish has proven to be far more robust than I had imagined. She cleaned up beautifully with good old Turtle Wax shampoo.