I prefer not to ride when I’m staying in and exploring a city like Zagreb. So given its central location and neighbor to a number of foreign embassies, I decide to leave “Doc,” my motorcycle, at Logobola B&B, even though I’m staying with Stanka on the other side of town.
Doobie offers me to join the other guests for the breakfast buffet at Logobola, so before heading to the shop where a technician will service my exhaust I fill up on juice, coffee
It takes nearly an hour ride to the countryside outside Zagreb to get to the shop where Dooby arranged to service my exhaust. I blindly follow the turn-by-turn GPS through the SENA
When my GPS announced “You have arrived,” I am on a one lane road topped in front of a modest home. A driveway dips down where I see a few cars and a cornfield. on the lower level of the
I realize that this is not a motorcycle repair shop, but rather a small specialty company that handcrafts custom performance exhaust systems for motorcycles. Ned doesn’t speak English, so hand signals and sign language serve us well. A short-legged furry and friendly dog is his assistant.
Ned quickly removes my exhaust and gets to work. I replaced the SuperTrapp pipe in 2010 after my original three-year around-the-world adventure. But since then it’s seen many other adventures. Heat stained from my travels across the United States, Baja California, Iceland, Scandanvia, Central and Eastern Europe and now through much of the Balkans, the pipe looks as bad it sounds.
He dismantles the exhaust and breaks it down into several pieces. He then fires up an arc welder and reattaches the connector pipe and one of the end caps. He then makes proceeds to rebuild my entire exhaust, repairing the core and the other end cap. With all the pieces back together, he goes through the painstaking process of riveting, grinding, sanding, and polishing all the stainless steel parts.
I snap photos while he is busy at work, taking breaks to play with his dog. At one point his ten-year-old daughter comes home from school. They share a short conversation in Croatian, then hugs and kisses her before she heads upstairs into their home.
He then repacks the exhaust first with steel wool, then with fiberglass sheet packing material, rolling it first around the core, and then adding additional material before threading the core back into the shiny like-new looking
Once installed I’m taken back at beautiful my exhaust appears—at least how beautiful ANY exhaust can be. Seriously, his workmanship and attention to detail is welcoming and brings a huge smile to this world traveler’s face. Even better, when I fire up the single-cylinder Rotax power plant on my BMW F650GS, it purrs. No more rumble. No more rattle. Just a smooth throaty hum.
The ride back to Zagreb is bliss. I thank Doobie for finding such a legendary source. I’m now confident and no longer exhausted nor anxious.
I pour myself an espresso and get to work figuring out what’s next on this Balkan adventure.