4 November 2017 – I talked to my brother and explained the situation. So, we got in his car and drove back to Bert’s Mega Mall. I walk in and talked to the parts guy. I told him which two parts I needed. He looked them up in Kawasaki’s warehouse. He said the brake caliper was available and the disk rotor was obsolete. He said they have an upgraded rotor but that was out of stock. He did a dealer search and found three dealers who should have the rotor. I took a picture of his computer screen with the addresses and telephone numbers. It was the best he could do. I purchased the disk caliper for $300+. He said, he couldn’t place the order till 6 November 2017 and I should receive it 8 November 2017. Five days I would have to wait for that part. I immediately get a text from Mary asking me if bought something from Bert’s Mega Mall. Oh joy, I haven’t even spent any money yet. So, we go home and I get on the phone to a Motorsports Dealer in Montana. I asked the parts guy, if he had my disk rotor in stock and initially he said no. But then he said he was looking at the new part number. So he looked up the old part number and Bingo! he had it. I paid for it with a credit card $300+, and shipped it UPS Blue to my brother’s house. It can’t be shipped till 6 November 2017 and expect to receive it 8 November 2017. Yep, you guessed it. Mary just texted me asking whether I purchased something at a Motorsports Dealer in Montana. I replied yes to both credit card purchases. We have it set up that Mary gets texts whenever I use the credit card to keep an eye out for fraud. I just rolled my Mexico departure date back five or six days.
5 November 2017 – I didn’t accomplish much today but did some planning of the small details still needed to be accomplished before heading out of the country, such as purchasing some Mexican Pesos, organizing paper work and getting a couple of keys cut. I wasn’t too ambitious today, so relaxing with my pals Key Key and Joobie was the main activity.
6 November 2017 – I went out under the veranda started working on my bike. I removed the saddlebags again and dug out the tools. I was going to remove the rear disk rotor and brake caliper, and clean up the surface the disk rotor mounts to. Also clean up the bolts / fasteners. I didn’t have to remove the wheel, only pull out the axle far enough to slide the rotor out. I want this bike ready to be assembled when the parts come in. Earlier in the morning my brother and I went down to pick up his Nissan pickup. He had a factory rebuilt transmission put in. Apparently, some seal in the radiator deteriorated and allowed anti-freeze to leak into the transmission fluid, killing the transmission. The price of this repair caused a very long face. Although when he drove it he couldn’t believe how well it shifted when going up hills and generally around town. That fact alone helped the look on his face. It even put a smile on it. He even said he was enjoying driving his truck again. I, however, still had the long face about the fact I assembled that brake caliper incorrectly on that disk rotor. I can’t believe what a dumb move that was. I can tell you I have put six tires on that motorcycle and never made that mistake. I just failed to double check my work. Maybe the California sunshine, my cat companions, and Bert's Mega Mall calling distracted me this time.
7 November 2017 – It was a slow day around the house. I’m just waiting for my parts to arrive and they won’t be in till late Wednesday. I did some paper and passport work related to my trip that needed to get done. I checked several times on the status of the UPS Tracking Number of my rear disk rotor coming in from Montana. According to UPS it was on schedule and due to be delivered 8 November 2017.
8 November 2017 – I checked the UPS Tracking Number again and it said the rear disk rotor was on the delivery truck due to be delivered by the end of the day. I also checked with Bert’s Mega Mall about whether the rear brake caliper had arrived. They checked and said it was in. We could pick it up at our convenience. Good news. The tricky part here is we have to be home when UPS arrives to sign for the rear disk rotor. So, we wait. About 3:30, UPS walks up to the house, rings the door bell, drops off the package and walks off. He was gone before I could get to the door. So much for signing for the package. I picked up the package, immediately opened it, and compared the new disk rotor to the old one that I took off my motorcycle. All the bolt holes lined up and the diameter is the correct size. Things are good here. So, I got a hold of my brother and we drove over to Bert’s Mega Mall to pick up my brake caliper. They stay open until 8:00 p.m. so no rush here. The parts guy brought out the brake caliper and I took a quick look at it to make sure it’s the correct one. Visually it looked correct. One other thing we needed was DOT 3 brake fluid. On the way home we stopped at O’Reilly Auto Parts Store and bought a 12-oz. bottle. When I install the new brake caliper I will have to bleed the brake line and caliper to get all the air out of system, which is why I need the extra brake fluid. By the time we got home it was too dark to work on the motorcycle. So, all systems are go for tomorrow to install the rear disk rotor and rear brake caliper.
9 November 2017 – I got up at my usual time, ate breakfast and headed to the veranda to start installing the rear disk rotor. I cleaned everything up so it’s just a matter of assembling everything. I get the disk rotor on the wheel, all the bolts installed loosely, push the axle thru the wheel, caliper bracket, thru the swing arm and the nut screwed on. So everything rotates ok. I now can tighten the disk rotor bolt. Once all the bolts are lightly tightened, I take each one out, put Blue Loctite on it and torque it. I do this all the way around. I then go back and re-check all the torques on each bolt. That’s done. I then push the wheel forward till all chain bolt pull up tight against the swing arm. I tighten the axle nut snug. I bolt the old brake caliper back on its bracket. I remove the Banjo Bolt holding the break line on. The old brake caliper is removed / done with. I put the new brake pads into the new brake caliper. I slide the brake pads over the disk rotor and lightly tighten it to brake caliper bracket. I clean up the Banjo Fitting and washers, lubricate with brake fluid then lightly screw them into the brake caliper. I check the alignment of the brake line so nothing is pinching or binding. Everything looked ok so I tighten the Banjo Fitting bolt tight. I pump up the caliper with brake fluid. It was spongy because of air in the system. I added less than an ounce of brake fluid to the reservoir and pump the brake pedal again. This time I held pressure on the brake pedal and cracked the bleeder valve to let out the air. I released the pedal and spun the rear wheel to break the brake pads loose. Then I pump up the brakes again, held a firm pressure on the brake pedal and cracked the bleeder valve. I leaked off a good sum of brake fluid and lock the bleeder valve. The brake pedal was nice and firm now. I spun the wheel several times and hit the brakes. Everything seemed to be working fine. I topped off the brake fluid reservoir, screwed the cap on, put the guard over it and screwed it back to the frame. Done. I spun the wheel a couple more times just checking that everything is working ok. I also checked to see that that brake pads were correctly positioned on each side of the disk rotor. Everything looked fine there. I still can’t believe I ruined that brake caliper and disk rotor. It just amazes me. I'm my own worst enemy. I still have to remove the caliper bolts, apply Blue Loctite and torque them. It’s getting late and will soon be dark. I have enough daylight left to put on my saddle bags. I will readjust the chain tomorrow and take my bike out for a test ride.
10 November 2017 – I get my bike off the center stand, put my pack and tires back on my bike and readjust the chain. It’s time for a test ride. I also needed some Mexican Pesos so I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone. I would test ride my motorcycle to the Brea Mall in Brea, CA and buy some Mexican Pesos. I found the Brea Mall all right, but the money exchange was more difficult. I finally called them up and they told me where they were in the Mall. I get to the money exchange Kiosk and talk with the guy. He said they just sold out of Mexican Pesos. No joy here. He called up one of their stores in a US Bank in Anahiem, CA and asked if they still had Pesos. They did and in my quantity. So off I go on another adventure. Thank goodness for Blanche, my GPS. I found the store all right in the dark. I bought $300 worth of Mexican Pesos. Just as I was leaving, Mary gave me a call. It was a bad connection and bad location. I was in the parking lot in the dark. I saw a Subway Sandwich Restaurant and ordered something to eat. I left Subway, and Blanch wanted to drag me over hill and dale to get back to Walnut. I liked the way I came, so I defiantly went back via Hwy 57 with some rebelling from Blanche. (MAKE A U-TURN! RECALCULATINGGGGG! PAY ATTENTION TO ME! YOU'RE AN IDIOT!!!!) In the end she accepted my way. Hwy 57 was dead slow. I got the feeling I should be splitting lanes like the rest of the motorcycles but opted for stop and go till I exited the highway. The motorcycle brakes worked fine. When I got home I woke Larry up and he turned on the veranda lights for me. A nice gesture. I finally decided I must leave for Mexico on the 12 November 2017. I have one other thing I need to get done. I’m missing 3 keys on my third set of keys for my motorcycle. I must get this done tomorrow.
11 November 2017 – After a few phone calls I find a locksmith that was open and can cut keys. I drive over there and find their shop. The lady cut me two new keys, but the third one for my GPS housing, she didn’t have a blank for. I knew they wouldn’t. The GPS Mount was manufacture in Germany with German Key Blanks. I would have to go to TourTech to get another key. We made some small talk about my travels and I departed. The rest of the day I prepared my luggage to leave on Sunday. The plan was for me to get up at 3:00 a.m. load my bike and leave. I get my clothes laid out that I will wear. My cold weather clothes go in the packs. With long distance motorcycle travel, it's the smallest things that just kill you. What do you take? What do you leave behind? It’s a huge issue because I’m really loaded heavy and don’t really like it.