Taking care of my bike is common practice for me, as I regard Harry not only as my motorbike, but also my travel companion, and the platform of my freedom. So, keeping Harry happy is important.
If I keep him going, he might keep me going
After approximately 20.000 kilometres it was time for a new chain and sprockets. Via Facebook I got in touch with a Turkish traveller who’s riding the same bike, who knew a friend of a friend, who recommended a workshop in Ankara, where I would be stationed for a short job. When I went to check out the place and mechanic, there was another customer who spoke English and helped translating.
I came back at 8:30 am on the agreed date, and left the workshop at 6 pm. In between phone calls, visiting friends and customers, cigarettes and coffee breaks, the mechanic took his work serious. Very serious. Being a solo female traveller might be of help in these kind of things: I noticed that many people want to be sure that I’ll be alright.
With help of Google translate, lots of ‘look’ and ‘no good’ and ‘good’, as well as the bits and pieces of spoken English by other persons coming and going, the mechanic explained everything so that I could easily do it myself next time. In fact I only wanted to change the chain, sprocket and oil, but Harry got the full package. Breaks, liquids, spark plug, and virtually all the moving parts were carefully inspected and even my toolbox got a reinforcement upgrade because I was increasingly worried that it would break lose one day as I’m riding more and more rough terrain.
Harry passed the test with glory and for a moment I thought I saw him smile with all this professional attention directed at him. Being a very popular motorbike in Turkey, it wasn’t such a surprise to see a guy with another Honda CRF 250 L turning up at the workshop. What made it a funny coincidence was the key holder that he carried, saying ‘SoloTürk’.
The driver helped out with connecting the chain and as I drove off it almost felt like I was driving a completely new bike. What a joy! And what a relief, to be honest … the last couple of 100 kilometers I kept fingers crossed for the chain to make it to Ankara! With the installed D.I.D VX2 I should be able to get a lot more than 20.000 km out of it.
With that being done, time had come to saddle up and leave Ankara the next morning. Direction: Cappadoccia, the place where my brother and sister-in-law married a few years ago. From there: north to the Black Sea and on towards Georgia.
Thanks again Alp, for the great recommendation!
I put it on iOverlander for other motorbike travellers as well.