From others' experience, I knew the chains were the "weak link" of the Symbas (pun intended) and consequently, we were carrying high quality replacement chains with us. The stock chains required daily adjustment and were losing tension rapidly, to the point where they were audibly dragging on the chain case by the end of each day. The bikes have also used a little oil, requiring approximately 3 ounces each to keep them topped up in the first 2400 miles. Some of the oil found its way out of the crank breather and into the overflow tube, I guess the rest is the "angels' share." The tires have worn well and the tubes have held pressure, requiring only the occasional 1 to 2 psi top up. Recommended pressures are 25/28 psi, but with our added loads of 50 to 60 pounds of gear, I upped them to 30/34 psi.
I also knew from other riders that periodically checking fasteners for tightness on Symbas is a good idea. While you don't feel the vibration while riding, the massive 101.4 cc engine certainly seems to shake loose assorted nuts and bolts. Because of Dabinche's experiences, I pay particular attention to the exhaust header nuts and swing arm bolt. On average, one exhaust header nut has been loose every other day on one of the bikes, and the swing arm bolt has been snugged at least once on both bikes. We did, however, donate to the road one countershaft sprocket cover bolt and one leg shield bolt each.
|Cutting the new chains to length|
|Adjusting the valves|
I have said since the beginning of the trip that in my toolkit, I have a wrench to turn every fastener on our bikes. But while changing the chains and adjusting the valves, I discovered there were three fasteners on the bikes for which I lacked an appropriate tool. Many thanks to Glen, who donated those tools to our cause!