Some of you folks sometimes wonder how certain industries can afford to pension off retirees after a “mere” 20 or 30 years of service. Well, the inside truth is that after a couple or three decades of firefighting, loadin’ & unloadin’, law enforcement, etc. the body is pretty much worn out if not outright broken. And in critical jobs like police and fire service, a worn out worker that can’t keep up anymore is a potential threat to the safety of everyone else on the team. In that light, “20-30 years and out” retirement programs make sense.

That reality is finally starting to dawn at me at GearheadGrrrl’s Garage. Yesterday afternoon I was trying to put the ’83 BMW R80ST back together. Said ST has been on “sick leave” for 5 months now, requiring a couple grand in cylinder head work, rings, etc.. While I was “in there”, I succumbed to the temptation to replace a few seals and rebuild the transmission… You can see where this is going. Put back together a month or so ago, it ran fine for a few miles until I noticed the differential was running hot and and a greatly increased amount of oil was coming from the vicinity of the rear main and oil pump seals I’d just replaced “as long as I was in there” Tore the tranny and clutch out again, replaced the oil pump seal because it was easy and a suspect cracked PCV hose.  In the process 5 of the 6 .8 mm. shims between the clutch bits disappeared somewhere… Parts fiche doesn’t even show them, so I reassemble without. Then check the clutch operation… Only half releases. Better luck with the dry diff… filled, drained, refilled, and it seems to have survived the lubricant drought.

So I retire from the garage to the easy chair, eat some good vittles, and grieve whilst listening to Prairie Home Companion. Veg in front of the TV rest of the evening, and when I feel better decide to retire the ST under my newly adopted “25 years and out!” shop rule. The sidecar is getting transfered to the ’84 R65LS, which still runs OK, probably because  haven’t tried to “rebuild” it. The LS is up for retirement too, as soon as the “new hire” ’00 Guzzi Quota I’m buying can be mounted to the big sidecar. Would have picked up the Quota on friday, but didn’t have enough $$$ in my local bank account and said bank can’t manage an electronic funds transfer from another institution in less than damn near a week.

So retired the ST be, but sadly I can’t afford a pension. Hopefully it’ll avoid the fate of the ’65 Mini Cooper S in the background, which hasn’t run in two decades and the best I’ve been able to give him is a roof over his head. But the ST with the Motorvation Spyder sidecar often gets mistaken for a 50s BMW, and it’d been tempted to ride it to the local old time farm shows… Maybe next year.

decent riding this morn’ but for the 30 MPH winds, but severe storms expected later today and a flash flood watch already posted… Gonna get out and ride some more before the bad weather sets in!