By Hendrik Gout
Good morning, boys and girls. If you all draw up your chairs and listen very closely, I will tell you a most you-knewsual story. The story of the acid trip.
It starts with an airbox. Not just any airbox, but an airbox with perished rubber return hoses which should take the condensed oil vapour and return it to the sump. Because these hoses have splits in them where they join the airbox, the condensed oil drips over the rear of the engine. This causes an unsightly pool in the basement carpark of my city office, makes the engine look as if it’s not properly loved, and makes the centrestand slippery.
I’ve tried gunking the hoses up with glue, snot, silicon, and money, but the only thing I’ve found which works is a weekly dose of degreaser and a vigorous wash.
After just such an operation on the lawn recently, I went inside to have a Guinness, and when I came back a few hours later to put the Monza away, I found it on its side having a nap. Apparently all the washing water had softened the grass and turned the rock-hard ground under the centrestand into mud, and *plop*, down had gone the bike, breaking the RHS mirror, bending the foot lever, twisting the clip-on, and giving me the shits.
I lifted the bike, cursed the gods, straightened the brake lever, and rode around for a few days until I went to Zebee’s place. There we had a Coopers, installed a second-hand mirror (thanks, Zebee!), untwisted the clipon with the aid of a header pipe (thanks again, Zebee), and had another Coopers.
During this operation I happened to lift the seat and saw with some consternation that the spare clutch cable which I keep under the seat was all rusty. The sort of rusty one associates with metal and an acid bath.
I then realised why my new jeans had holes near one knee. I’d been wearing them when I lifted the bike. Obviously battery acid had leaked out while the bike was on its side, and the acid had gotten onto my jeans – as well as, of course, everything near the seat.
While the Monza was parked on concrete at Zebee’s place I washed the bike again, and the clutch cable and the tools under the seat tools, and rode off admiring my second-hand mirror.
On Monday my clutch cable broke. I pulled over and installed the spare which I keep under the seat. As soon as I adjusted it, it snapped. Acid.
I rode home through peak-hour Sydney traffic without a clutch cable, and when I got home I ordered two new ones.
I’ve been taking trains and ferries since Tuesday, but this morning I’m putting in the new clutch cable and going for a ride. And next week, I’m getting a new airbox.
But not new jeans. They’ve now got a genuine acid wash.