The last week has been a bit manic in terms of getting stuff done. The most important part of this whole exercise in preparation for the trip has been making sure the bikes are up to the task. Yes, I know the visas are vital, but if the bikes aren’t going to get to the borders they become surplus to requirements. So I did some research and tried to contact one company on countless occasions, all to no avail – they never returned my call. Brigid saw a glowing reference on www.ukgsers.co.uk to a company called Pro-Link Racing Services in Northern Ireland. So I gave them a call.
Clarence was very helpful over the phone, we discussed the trip and what the bike would be put through. To his credit he ruled out some the more expensive options and suggested just rebuilding the front fork but a new rear shock. After some delay due to non-delivery of the front fork springs I took the bike into Clarence just outside Newtownards last Thursday, 16th April. Clarence and Sparky were already working when I got there just before 9am. They were very friendly and welcoming but neveretheless got straight to work on the bike ….. after providing me with a comfortable stool in the workshop to watch then do their stuff! It was fascinating watching them as they stripped down the front forks to a pile of component parts. Each part was thoroughly examined and cleaned so that they looked like new. They showed me the seals they removed. Even I could see that they were weathered and, frankly, how they hadn’t leaked out already I’ll never know, especially as the oil inside had a substantial water content! There was also some surface rust on the tubes “which might mean they will have to be replaced when you come back, great stuff!!!
They worked very methodically and in 2 hours flat had the forked rebuilt and back on the bike, complete with new springs, new oil and NO surface rust, yeha!
Then it was time to take out the old rear shock to replace it with a new one. That was the hardest part of the whole job, It took the three of us quite a while to lift, separate, stretch, pull and push the partially disassembled frame to get the old one out and the new, pre-assembled one in. The task finished Clarence provided a sandwich lunch before setting the suspension up for me and explaining how, and how much, to adjust the rear shock.
All in all, having since done just over 1,000 kms on the bike in the last week and made the first adjustment to the rear shock, due to the springs settling down, I can really feel the difference. It feels like a new bike, it’s much smoother, no severe lifting or dipping of the forks under acceleration or braking and it feels much safer and gives more confidence in it. I always loved the bike but now it’s even better!
If anyone is considering getting their motorbike suspension done, I can thoroughly recommend Pro-Link Racing Services of Cardy Road, Newtown Ards. Clarence and Sparky will give you straight advice and do a great job. Thanks guys!
It’s just a pity they don’t have a website, but their details are online at http://www.yell.com/biz/pro-link-racing-services-newtownards-553695