Those of you who read my last post will know that the GT ended the day in disgrace after overheating and leaking oil during its last ride. With the following day being a Sunday and all bike shops being shut on Mondays, the earliest I was going to get it looked at by anyone would be Tuesday. Trying to get ahead of the game and salvage some riding time for the following week I sent an email to the garage I’d bought the bike from in Annecy, asking if I could take it in on the Tuesday. The shop there opened at 09.00 but I had a sceond option, which was to contact the local Swiss dealer in Crissier which was open at 08.00. Given the fact the Swiss shop was only 20 minutes away, I decided that I’d be better off paying higher Swiss labour prices than dragging the bike over an hour and a half away to the French dealer, so I phoned the Swiss shop as soon as they opened in the hope that they’d make a big effort to help a touring motorcyclist in trouble. Unfortunately when I rang the shop was full of riders booking in their bikes for services so I was asked to call back later. When I finally got through I managed to persuade them to take the bike in although they wouldn’t commit to when it might be looked at or returned. This turned out to have been the best option though, as by 11.00 the bike had been booked in, faults explained and left there, whilst the French dealer took until 14.15 that afternoon to write back saying bring it over and they’d look at it, but if it needed any work doing they didn’t have the time! No use whatsoever and a pretty poor response to an email which had been entitled URGENT, still, the bike was booked in now and all I could do was wait.
Wednesday passed with no news, so when I’d still heard nothing by 10.00 on Thursday I figured they must at least know by now what was wrong regardless of whether it had been fixed or not, so I rang again. The radiator had been diagnosed as being clogged internally and I was quoted a price for fitting a new one of 750chf. Add to that the oil leak repair and the total bill was looking to be around 1300chf, not exactly a cheap fix. I was told if I confirmed the order within the hour there was a chance the part would be delivered and fitted for Saturday but I had to make a quick decision. I hopped in the car, drove to the garage and interrogated the service guy as to whether flushing the system would clear the issue, but he was less than positive about the success of that option. Unfortunately for me I didn’t have the cash immediately available for such a big repair, so I decided to get them to refill the system so that I could at least ride it back to the house and then trailer it back home to get it repaired at some future date. Although the oil leak hadn’t been fully diagnosed it was likely to be a simple fix, so it was agreed that on Friday I would return to collect it and take it away in the best condition it could be returned in, without the fitment of a new radiator.
Friday came along with a bill for 497chf. The oil leak had been traced to a bolt which seemed not to have been tightened properly when the clutch had been replaced, although this had been almost two years earlier at 80,000 kms. Perhaps the overheating had exacerbated the problem and caused the gasket to leak some 8000kms later, who knows?
The radiator had been pressure tested, purged, and refilled with coolant. I was told it was unlikely to blow up but to watch how it performed under load as they couldn’t guarantee the problem wouldn’t resurface again and for sure it wouldn’t get any better, so I had the bike back but with no idea how reliable it may be in the future.
The 20 minute ride back showed the coolant level at the “normal” levels, but as it was getting motorway speed air blasting through to keep it cool and wasn’t under any load in slow moving traffic or at altitude, it wasn’t really any indicator of how it might perform in the future, so I’m left with no option other then to take it for a “proper” ride later in the week and see what happens, so as per the ending of the last post, watch this space for the latest.