We are now in Sarajevo.
That means we are not still in Motocamp in a little village called Idilevo in Bulgaria.
And that means we fixed my bike.
Well, mostly.
The new parts arrived several days after having ordered them. That gave us time to do a little sight-seeing in nearby Veliko Tarnovo, the old capital…

Tsaravets Fortress, Veliko Tarnovo
Tsaravets Fortress, Veliko Tarnovo

…and a little sight-seeing nearer to Idilevo, to a little lake. We took Motocamp’s dog Harley, and his best friend Blondie. Blondie was not very blonde by the time we got back. Sure enough, the dogs went for a swim and got clean in the lake. But then they went digging in the dirt.

Harley and Blondie taking me and Jimmy for a walk
Harley and Blondie taking me and Jimmy for a walk

You see, we managed to find the problem as to why my bike’s engine had seized… it took a while to get it all taken apart and to find the real problem. The difficulty being that when you’ve never taken a look inside an engine, you’ve really no idea what it’s supposed to look like. Armed with Haynes manual, YouTube and some very helpful advice via email from patient friends (Dave Lambeth) we cracked on nonetheless…

My Serow mid-surgery
My Serow mid-surgery

It turns out that it’s pretty damn obvious when something’s not like it’s meant to be. The loud crack while Jimmy strained to remove the rotor was the first sign. The three screws that should have been joining the starter clutch to the rotor were not meant to be broken…

Broken screws from starter clutch
Broken screws from starter clutch

So now we knew the problem, then we had to wait for some new parts. With a borrowed torque wrench, fixing the bike was not so hard… now armed with the Yahama workshop manual, as well as the Haynes manual and good old YouTube.

But the real test came when we tried to start it.

The moment of truth. Key in ignition, turned on, gear in neutral. And press the starter button.
Click.
Nothing. Damn.

But my bike also has a kickstart. So, could I kick it?

Yes I could! It started. Oh yeah, we’re real mechanics now!

Turns out the starter motor is bust. Probably wrecked when the starter clutch screws jammed. So, rather than wait for more parts, I’m gonna kick(start) the bike home and replace it there.

That was all last Saturday. We couldn’t leave straight away because it was MotoGP on the Sunday and Jimmy wanted to watch it. So we left after that…

On a fairly tight schedule to get to catch the ferry from France back to the UK before the end of the month, we rode fast (well, fast for our little bikes in the pouring rain) to the border, through Serbia and Kosovo…

Summer is definitely over
Summer is definitely over

And then came Albania. There it brightened up and we got two rain-free days. The border guard said to stick to the main highway, the other roads were dangerous.

We ignored him. They were probably the best ‘roads’ which are not really roads that we rode on through all of Europe. Lots. Of. Fun. (And I didn’t drop the bike once).

Albanian trails
Albanian trails

And then it started raining again. Lots. It rained all through Montenegro and over the border all the way to Sarajevo in Bosnia. The forecast said there would be 0% chance  of rain in Sarajevo. Sure enough, though, when we arrived, it was raining.

Durdevica Tara Bridge, Montenegro
Durdevica Tara Bridge, Montenegro

Now, finally, the sun has come out. We’ve been sight-seeing and eating lots of cevapi, baklava and Bosnian coffee.

Tomorrow we head to Mostar… the forecast is for more rain.