I was riding through the city yesterday and was quite literally thinking about the trip (which is now one year away) and the things I would need if running repairs were required. As I was thinking these thoughts to myself, I could feel a small click as I pulled in the clutch lever with each gear change…
The click got worse, the lever started to get some slop, and when I stopped at the next traffic lights it was an effort to not stall the bike which was still trying to pull me forward. On the light change I quickly rode onto the footpath so I could stop and inspect the clutch lever. Sure enough the cable was badly frayed to the point of breaking.
After waiting for almost an hour for a pickup by a local bike shop I got a call that “someone else has the trailer at the moment and we don’t know where they are, are you able to make it home yourself?”.
Luckily, while I’d been sitting and waiting, I had been mapping out possible routes home in my head; thinking of the different traffic lights, whether they were on a slope or not, how far could I see them on approach, etc. I figured I had at least a couple more pulls of the clutch before the cable snapped through, so I started the bike, brakes hard on, held in the clutch to see what would happen when I tamped it into first, and it stalled immediatly. Using the clutch is now out.
To cut the story short and just hit the highlights, pushing a 300kg+ (670lb+) bike to get enough momentum to allow me to jump on – while making sure my leg clears the pillion backrest – with enough speed to be able to put the bike into first without a: stalling it or b: spinning out the back wheel was a very interesting experience. Had to do that at two sets of lights, ran through a red light which was on an upward slope (would never had got going again), passed a bloody traffic authority road blitz which THANKFULLY they didn’t wave me into, and if that wasn’t enough, encountered two, TWO kangaroos hopping through an intersection near home – I’m not joking!!!
So moral to that story is I will have a couple of cable repair kits in the saddlebags because the last thing I want to do is abuse the clutch plates on a 15,000km trip.