Day 4 – Loire Valley to Limoges:
Today was the day we finally figured out what was wrong with my bike, and this was mostly thanks to Bjarne at Glejbjerg Motorcycles in Denmark.
First, we thought we needed better coolant in the bike, but we didn’t know why the battery was dead. Then, Aron figured out that it was probably a bad thing that we had air in the coolant line (from our roadside repair), but we weren’t sure what to do about this.
So we called Bjarne, who diagnosed all of our problems over Skype. First, he confirmed that air in the coolant line is a bad thing. He told us to stand the bike upright, drain the coolant, add new coolant, and rock it from side to side to get the air out. Then we should start the bike with the radiator cap open to make sure it isn’t a head gasket problem (if bubbles keep coming up, you’re in trouble), close to cap, run the bike for 10mins, and we should be fine. This is when we told him that we can’t start the bike (although we had been charging the battery with the solar panel so the battery had a bit more life in it). We explained that none of the lights worked, and he quickly figured out that we must have blown a main fuse. And suddenly, everything made sense!
Here’s what had happened: The plastic on the coolant filter was old and broke. We did a roadside repair but we left some air in the coolant line so it wasn’t being effective. Then we did another repair where we added the new filter, but we didn’t get the air out again, so the coolant system was running incredibly inefficiently. As a result, the bike was running very, very hot. So hot, that it blew one of the main fuses and started to drain the battery – hence the reason none of the lights worked and the bike wouldn’t start.
So, we bought a new fuse, installed the coolant the proper way, and we seem to be good to go! It took us four days to solve the problem (and we managed to magnify the problem in the process), but overall we believe it’s fixed and we’ve been able to continue our journey. Tusind tak til Bjarne, who really helped us figure out how to fix the bike!