While in Roma, I decided to get a last set of fresh tyres – the rear is toast, and the front has worked itself out of balance so badly one side is literally down to nothing while the rest is still OK. New and old front tyres:
While I was in their workshop, I popped off the side cover to check the air filter – since I’ve been doing a lot of heavy offroad work. Disaster! At some point in the last few thousand kilometres, it’s worked its way off its mounting plate, and was sitting at the bottom of the airbox, letting unfiltered dust straight into the engine. The gauze anti-backfire screen was almost completely blocked.
It was odd though, as I’d noticed a little bit of lack of power at high speeds, but attributed it to a dirty filter and the front tyre issue. It wasn’t blowing smoke or burning oil, and still seemed to be running smoothly. With no other option, I spent the morning pulling it apart, cleaning as much dust as I could from the inlet side, and changing the oil. From here, I’ll press on, and strip it down once I’m home and see if it needs a full rebuild. Big thanks to D & R Motorcycles in Roma for letting me use their workshop and tools.
Finally on the road after lunchtime, I was passing through rich pasture land and the occasional cotton or wheat field.
Trying to make up for lost time, I blew through a number of small towns, and pulled up just short of the NSW-Queensland border as dusk approached. A little dirt track off the highway provided a beautiful campsite on the banks of the Bokhara River.