Michael has finally been able to repair our broken motorcycle which had a cracked cylinder-head. He had to order a gasket-set from London since there were none available in South Africa. This is an old motorcycle (1979 Honda CX500) so spares are quite rare. Due to its impressive age, Renée (and Jane – Renée’s friend) name this bike “Methuselah” (the oldest man in the Bible).
An expensive mechanical failure!
In August, as we were riding to the grocery store, a cloud of white smoke poured out of the exhaust and Methuselah lost power. After nursing her back to our accommodations, Michael did some preliminary diagnosing and found that one of the engine’s cylinder-heads was cracked thereby allowing coolant into the combustion chamber. This meant that Michael would need to do some ‘open-heart-surgery’ on Methuselah. We, together as a team of mechanics, started stripping parts off Methuselah to get to the heart of the problem – the combustion chamber.
Once we removed the cylinder-head, it was clear where the problem was. The head had a cracked at the exhaust-port which forced water into the combustion chamber. This was going to be an expensive repair!
Finding spare parts
Michael ordered a gasket set from the UK since there were none to be found in SA. We are grateful to Clinton for bring it back with him after a business trip. But it was not so easy to find a cylinder-head. He first took the broken head to an engineer to see if they could repair the cracked head. Unfortunately the damage was beyond repair. Fortunately we were able to find a used head at a second-hand spares shop.
Michael meticulously cleaned all the old parts and assembled the engine. We are happy to report that the motorcycle is repaired and ready for sale.
We have reluctantly decided to sell Methuselah. Unfortunately, the cost of maintaining such an old motorcycle is way beyond our means. We will use the money from the sale of this motorcycle to contribute towards the purchase of a vehicle for our mission work in Zambia.
If you would like to help us purchase a vehicle in Zambia, please won’t you consider supporting us.