Geoff had been thinking about his faulty bike and wondered whether they had been chasing a fault that was not really there. Maybe it is the battery that is faulty. We took Franks battery off his bike and put it on Geoff's and all seemed well! So now we had to find out what had knackered Geoff's battery?
We did test after test with different batteries working on different bikes and giving inconsistent results however after a long time we eventually worked out what we think had happened.
The bumps and vibrations damage the plates of the battery and these short out some parts of the cells. The regulator sees a low voltage and proceeds to push current into the battery to try and recharge it. The voltage that the regulator can supply can be up to 19-20 volts and this can then damage sensitive electronics on the bike. This is what we think damaged the rev counters electronics that converts ignition pulses into an ammeter reading of revs/min.
Paul and Dave went into Bulgan to try and buy another new battery.
In undertaking this investigation we also realised that we have two types of regulator from different generation Dominators. Both can work on any bike, but the older on has an extra black lead that we now know feeds the internal regulator electronics to allow them to work. On the newer models this connection is done internally and so there is no black wire. When we were trying to fix Paul's water cut-out problems we had swapped regulators and just left the black wire disconnected. This would have made the regulator malfunction and this is probably how we managed to overheat and bugger Paul's battery.
Paul and Dave returned with another Chinese battery. They had had great help from a person called Asher who took them to the necessary auto-part shops. So after filling the new battery with acid and cutting and carving the battery holder to accommodate the new sized battery we were again underway.
We had noticed when working on Geoff's bike that another pannier holding bracket had broken at the weld and so we decided to go into Bulgan and see if we could find a garage to do a weld repair.
As we stopped for fuel at the outskirts of Bulgan a Mongolian man who spoke pretty good English came over and asked us where we were going etc. We asked if he knew of a weld repair garage, and he said there were such places in the centre of town,but we would have great difficulty finding one. He then offered to help us find a garage. We followed him into town and he stopped and asked a policeman who gave him directions. We eventually pulled up outside what looked like a derelict industrial area. There was a locked garage door with a phone number.
He phoned and spoke to the owner, then a passer-by got involved, and our helpful man then went with the passer-by to go and get the garage owner. They returned in about 15 mins and then in a further 10 mins along came the owner.
Our friendly helper then told us he lived in Ulan Bator and worked for the military. He then took his leave after about 45 minutes of helping us.
The welder looked at the repairs needed and indicated no problem. He opened up and produced what looked like a Heath Robinson type welding arrangement. However once he started it became very clear that he was a skilled welder who knew exactly what he was doing. So he repaired the two broken welds on Geoffs bike, then examined the other welds pointed out cracks and proceeded to repair those as well. We asked what was the cost and he waved us away indicating he didn't want any payment.
We thanked him profusely an decided to get something to eat at a restaurant just next door. We would not have known it was a restaurant if it hadn't been pointed out by our helpful military guide.
The restaurant was in fact owner by a Korean man who lived there with his Mongol wife. We had a delicious meal along with cold fruit juice and cups of tea. Whilst we were there the welder came in for a beer and so we insisted that he at least lets us pay for his beer.
Getting out of Bulgan proved more difficult than we expected, Paul and Dave were reluctant to trust their sat-navs which seemed to be taking us into what looked like a quarry. Anyway after a few false starts we decided to trust the machines, and we were taken down a steep and very rutted track but eventually after a bit of cross country riding found the tarmac road and set off for Erdonet.
As we were approaching Erdonet we saw an amazing rainbow that seemed to be so close. Then as Erdonet approached we seemed to stray into a different world of housing development and prosperity.
We decided to stay at an hotel if they looked reasonable. We stopped at the first we saw and booked into very smart top suite rooms. The whole cost for four people in two rooms was just £60 including a charge for our bikes to be securely stored in a locked garage.
The evening was pleasantly spent talking with family back home, eating and drinking copious amounts of beer.
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