With hope in my heart, a full breakfast sat in my belly and a bike that sounded so good, I set off from Antwerp Harbour Hotel
I was confident today would be my day. It was 100km (60 miles) to the guys at Carmo Electronics in Helmand, nr Eindhoven. I got there in great time and was greeted by the staff with coffee and biscuits. They said to take the *rectifier off and they would test it. I did that and waited with baited breath. 20 minutes later the news was that it was fine and the issue would be the stator. They came out to the bike and tested it. Sure enough it was the **stator.
What followed was kindness beyond all reasonable need. They literally did everything to try and help. They rang every outlet, dealer and race team they knew who may have a stator but pretty much everyone said “that never happens why would we stock that part?”.
Currently my bike is in their workshop having the battery charged in the hope it can get me home, yes that’s right my trip is over after just 2 days of a potential 3 months. I’m gutted and even more gutted that the Hook of Holland ferry is fully booked for 5 days so I cant cut the corner and will have to ride back to Calais. Whilst the bike was charging I checked the wiring harness from the stator to the rectifier, just in case there was some damage causing the issue, but it seemed not. I took out the fuse to the lights, so they wouldn’t drain the battery or put more strain on the ailing stator. Eventually everything that could be done was and the guys were sad to say there was nothing more they could do. There was no payment required for the two to three hours they spent trying to help, the calls made and the electricity to charge the battery. I shook hands with them and set sail. The volt meter confirmed a full battery and somewhat weirdly it showed as charging fully. I set the sat nav for Calais and headed off. I stopped as little as possible because starting the bike is a huge drain on the battery and I needed all the power it could muster to keep the bike running until I got home. At a fuel stop I booked a place on the Eurostar and contemplated whipping the seat off to test the stator one more time as the bike had been performing so well since leaving Eindhoven. But we had tested it, experts had tested it and it was defective. The journey was long, straight and boring with just stops for fuel. My mind was going through what to do next. The easiest option is to swap out the Husky for the Africa Twin and head back to get the job done, but the nature of the ride would change because riding the Africa Twin off road alone is very challenging and probably a little beyond me. I’ve picked that bike up once and I know its a big old lump. So it would become a road trip. Another trip with no off roading (See The Sahara and ***Vietnam for similar events).
Anyway at 7.45pm I arrived back in Hampshire, unloaded the bike, covered it and locked it up. Tomorrow is a new day……..
- * Rectifier, A small black box that turns the electric produced by the engine into electric the battery likes.
- ** Stator, This is a device that creates electric to charge the battery and supply power to the engine to make all the electrical gubbins work.
- ***OK you cant see Vietnam because I didn’t do a blog, but having made it clear that I wanted a Honda CRF250L and off road riding for 10 days, I got a 20 year old Honda XR250 and 2 days off road with a guide who fell off 12 times to my 0.