Oudsthoorn Weekend trip 05/05/2017

Rhino_Rider's picture

Points: 1

The ride was organized by NACMA (New Apostolic Church Motorcycle Association). We endeavored to depart the N1 Winelands Engen at 10:00 on a chilly May Friday, however due to some latecomers we departed at 11:00.

The route we followed took us over the Du Toitskloof pass, through Worcester, R60 towards Ashton, and onto the legendary R62 all the way to Oudsthoorn. The Kogmanskloof pass at Montagu had roadworks so it was not as exciting as I hoped. However, the trip was far from unexciting or uneventful. One of the riders got a puncture in Worcester and another rider also experienced battery problems while waiting for the puncture repair to be completed. We rode on and stopped in Barrydale at the Country Pumpkin for lunch. It’s a very biker friendly restaurant that I can recommend, Diesel & Crème is unfortunately closed for renovations. The next stop was at Ronnie’s Sex Shop, which is well-known attraction on the R62. We regrouped in Ladysmith and had some fun through the huisrivier pas just before Calitzdorp. There we regrouped with the riders that had stayed behind in Worcester and riders that departed later in the day. Once regrouped we all left quite excitedly for Oudsthoorn. And that’s where things started going pear-shaped for me.

After leaving Calitzdorp my water temp/overheat/idiot light came on. I pulled off onto the side of the road to inspect the radiator. I found that the nipple on the expansion tank had popped off and coolant bubbled out of the expansion tank. Not being close to anywhere and getting dark I decided to top-up the expansion tank with water and continue on to Oudsthoorn at a relaxed pace, where I could have a better look. Not being able to find any obvious fault by checking the radiator, coolant, oil level, and radiator hoses. I continued onwards at a relaxed pace to the resort we were staying at, De Hoek Rest Camp. We arrived at about 19:30, we were only about 2hours later than expected.

The next day the bike, F650GS, was basically stripped of its plastics to get a closer look at where the problem is. Eventually I took out the thermostat for inspection and found that it had seized and was not allowing coolant to flow through the radiator and engine. So the thermostat was removed and the coolant was topped up and I took the naked bike for a test drive. There is a good reason why the expansion tank nipple is covered by the plastics, it was still overheating and water/coolant then spouted out of the nipple and sprayed me pretty good. I got back to the accommodation pretty soaked and still in the dark as to what the issue could be. We, some of the other guys who took an interest in my predicament, surmised that it was either the waterpump or a damaged gasket.

I decided that it would probably be best if the bike was taken to a shop and checked out by professionals. Now the challenge was to get in touch with insurance and the towing company, there was virtually no cellphone signal. Eventually I got through to the right people with a borrowed cellphone. The tow truck was on its way and unfortunately it would be taking the bike to George. Which presented me with another headache, needing to find a trusted and capable workshop in George. After calling around I had managed to find a shop that came recommended and they had a look at the bike. They found that the waterpump’s gears that drive the impeller was stripped smooth. Also after a test it showed it came to light that the fan switch was also faulty and was replaced as well.

My Bike was not the only casualty of this weekend, on the way back two other bikes also experienced problems and had to be recovered, at least they were close to Cape Town. The bike is now ready to go. I’m picking it up this weekend and hoping that it would behave nicely on the way back.


Charles Oertel's picture
Joined: 2007/04/14

"Which presented me with another headache, needing to find a trusted and capable workshop in George."

What about the BMW dealership in George?

Committee: Webmaster / Ride Captain

Rhino_Rider's picture
Joined: 2016/10/10

I should have added affordable to the list. Even though the BMW dealership would be trusted and capable it would come at a cost that I might not have been able to afford. but it was a good opportunity to speak to some locals and people that I know in the outlying area and make some new contacts.


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