We were on our way from Eğirdir to lake Kovada, hoping to do some walking watching birds and enjoying the local scenery. Fortunately we had not got far out of Eğirdir when the bike started to feel really unstable. We stopped to investigate the problem and discovered to our horror that a load of spokes were broken on the back wheel. Not good, but at least the mechanical failure had not dumped us on the road.
We walked a mile or so back towards Eğirdir, to the local Sanayi (industrial area) and found some people who do motorcycle service and repairs. The nearest qualified Harley mechanics were hundreds of miles away, so either it was going to get fixed locally, or if this proved impossible, there was going to be an expensive recovery of bike to Izmir.
The people we found, a father, son and grandson concern, took a van out, loaded the bike into it and brought the bike to their workshop. They took a look at the wheel, father dug out some spokes of the right size, and seemed very confident that he could re-spoke the wheel. Clearly they had never worked on a Harley before, the belt drive as opposed to a chain caused some confusion around how to remove the back wheel, but they worked it out. The son took the wheel off, having propped the bike on logs, with grandson running back and forth with tools and doing other jobs.
We sat and drank lots of tea as it was going on, the removed wheel taken next door to a tire fitting place. Tire off, the wheel came back. Then father started work. It took him some time to re-spoke the wheel. His only tools were a pair of pliers, a spanner and an axle to spin the wheel on. By hand and eye he aligned the rim and balanced the wheel. No electronics, no gadgets.
When everything was done, the bike put back together, they suggested I test it out to make sure the wheel was right. It felt really good, the bike was perfectly stable. I was seriously impressed – and 100 lira for the whole job. We were not allowed to leave without then being shown family photographs, exchanging contacts, taking photos and being offered more tea.
We never got to lake Kovada, guess we’ll have to go back to Eğirdir.