The Indian Ocean 50 meters away pounds away at a rocky coast line interspersed with golden sandy beaches. A true paradise which we are lucky to be enjoying at the moment. Only one thing is keeping us from truly enjoying ourselves the bikes are on the fritz.

This is getting to be a real bummer. On getting to Perth my battery was going flat because the alternator brushes were finished. I took care of that on the first day, then I changed the tires on the bikes. We had been carrying spares since Port Augusta. The following day the fun really started. During a little sightseeing trip to Fremantle, someone pointed out some oil on my rear tire. This wasn't too unusual since my transmission seal has been leaking on and off for a while. After getting back to the campground, I checked the gear oil and final drive oil. To my surprise the final drive was totally empty. I put some oil in and it ran straight out again. This was not looking good. Well, after taking the rear tire off, it was clear that the seal and bearing were totally destroyed.

The first order of business was to find a place to do the work which was now going to necessary. Working in a campground is always reserved as a last resort. Getting a hold of the local BMW club, we found someone who was willing to lend us his garage for a few days. He also offered to let us stay there so it worked out great. The next problem was to take the thing apart and see what could/had to be done. This turned out to be fairly simple. It needs a new bearing, a new seal, and that was without taking it apart. I removed everything I could and took the final drive to the BMW dealer. This work was a bit specialized, and required some very special tools. I got BMW to give me some substantial breaks on the prices of the parts and tried to make sure they quoted me the minimum amount of work necessary.

Once they took it apart it became clear that the differential bearing and seal would also have to be replaced. Great, more parts, more work. Faced with little choice the best solution is to bow to the inevitable, cry about the cost and hope they cut the price a bit more. Well a few days later the deed was done. I had everything back together in short order and it was time to go for a little ride. The short ride was fun, great to be on the bike again. The next few days I did some work on the other bike. Just some maintenance which I had been putting of for a while.

When I ran out of things to do on the bikes, we packed our gear and headed out to Hayden, 340km east of Perth. Half way there I noticed a strange vibration through the footpegs which almost immediately vanished. On reaching Hayden we spent a day touring around and seeing the local sights.

The major highlight of any visit to Hayden has to be Wave Rock a rock formation which looks like a perfect wave. It was nice, but the most fun was the ride getting there. The countryside was mostly wide open farm country and sheep stations. Other attractions included, Hippos Yawn and The Breakers. Hippos Yawn turned out to be a shallow cave with a large opening. The Breakers was a very long wave, smaller than "The Wave" but in my mind much more impressive, though not as photogenic.

The transmission noise seemed to be pretty bad, but very intermittent. At slow speed it seemed as if something was getting chewed up in the gears of the transmission. Great, more work. Because it was so intermittent we decided to head back to Perth where I could take a closer look.

After taking it apart it turns out to be the final drive. Impossible but true. Back to BMW, they take the final drive apart and discover that the actual pinion gear has some teeth missing. Since the only thing that could possible be blamed for doing that, seems to be improper shimming, something which they just did. So they are replacing the pinion gear with one out of a wrecked bike. Now I am curious to see if this will hold up. I will be taking the bike on a little ride to see if it holds up before we leave Perth.

Other than the bikes we have spent a lot of time, watching videos, enjoying the hospitality of our host and being shown some very interesting parts of Perth. Perth turns out to be a very nice town, we haven't figured out why we like it here but we do. The city is just the right size, at least in our opinions. There is a seemingly never ending beach all up and down the coast from Perth. With this much beach, it never gets very crowded, another plus.

On a complete other note, a package which was sent to us from Sydney has disappeared in the mail. It happens to contain a number of spare parts sent to us from my friend in Germany. Cäcilia has been going to the post office virtually everyday trying to track down this package. Hopefully it will turn up before we continue on our trip.


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