When wrestling with the big questions in life (“where do I see myself in ten years?”, “To pursue one’s dreams or go for the career” and “How the hell could I raise enough money to buy a KTM 690 Enduro R?”, there is nothing like a bit of wrenching to clear your mind. I believe it is the combination of problem solving, working with your hands and all those chemicals entering your bloodstream, but whatever it is, it works.
I was going to loosen the flywheel bolt of the alternator but had to yield because my adjustable wrench was too small to fit. Instead I went for the radiator and some other parts.
I washed the radiator inside and out, removed the guard and tried to comb the fins a bit to get all the dead insects and gravel out. I also removed the fan, cleaned it a bit to ensure that it will run smoothly this year. I haven’t had any problems yet, but that is no reason to be sloppy. After all, the devil is in the details.
The water pump got a bit of love as well, as did the rear sprocket hub and the chain. Cleaning a chain properly isn’t so easy as you would imagine. I didn’t have any kerosene available so I used, believe it or not, water, some degreaser (I rinsed it off quickly) and paper to get most of it away. A little bit of oil to keep it from rusting and I think I’ll be fine.
I was planning to really put a shine to the engine and its parts, but now I am changing that plan. Not only is it really, REALLY, hard to clean and polish an engine with like 23 years of dirt and grime, but I don’t want to overdo it and get almost like a chrome look either. There are some chipping here and there, scratches and other marks but isn’t that what I wanted? A bike with personality?
Nah, I’ll clean it good and thorough but leave the stains on its soul. Perfection is not nearly as interesting as flaws and stories…