Category Archives: Maintenance

Fixing Broken Mounting Lugs and Plastic Welding

Lug holding fairing and lights to bracket

In my recent crash I smashed up the headlight cluster of the Fazer. Unfortunately this item alone is £250 brand new,  however I did find a much cheaper used one from a breaker, albeit missing one mounting lug. But I had the foresight to gather up many pieces from the crash, including some of the bust off lugs from my smashed lights. So my plan was to the weld a bust lug to my newly acquired lights, to get back up and running for not too much money.

Plastic welding is nowhere near as difficult as you may think and doesn’t need any expensive materials. You just need a good soldering iron, some cable ties and staples. The technique I followed was the outlined below in this video by Delboy’s Garage, do watch his howto and subscribe to his channel, he’s got some sound advice.

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Bike Repaired and Tips on Parts Hunting

Following my recent track day mishap, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks patching up the Fazer. It was a tough decision as to best plan, whether to repair back to stock, go naked/streetfighter or just flog it for spares. Especially tough when it’s only worth around £1.5k and will need to be traded in shortly due to the upcoming London ULEZ in one and half years time.

The damage, although cosmetic was extensive, the fairing plastic had disintegrated, the fairing bracket was about to snap, every mounting lug on the light cluster had snapped off, the clocks had lost a lug and the fuel gauge no longer worked. Those parts alone cost close on £1100 brand new… Even the street fighter option was less than straight forward, needing a new headlight, brackets, some different indicators, mirrors and some fabrication to mount the clocks.

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Track Day Crash at Circuit de Folembray

Gone and binned the bike. Again. Was attending a (road skills) track day with ELAM & EuroTrax at Folembray in France, when I lost it during the last session.

Whoops! Slight track day mishap. 

A post shared by Beginner Biker Adventures (@beginnerbiker) on

I went too wide powering out of a gentle left hander, kissed the grass which spooked me a little, but kept it upright. However I was out of shape and going to fast for the upcoming chicane, combined with a chap overtaking on my inside, I bottle it and tried to safely just run off rather than just tipping it extra hard to get round. Unfortunately I was just carrying to much speed to keep it upright on the grass and down I went. Bike came fell hard on the front fairing and I went sliding before coming to rest sat on my ass.

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Brembo Brake Disc and Fitting Faff

One of the downsides of pilings many miles onto a bike is the number of bigger non-routine items needing maintenance and replacement. This time is was the rear brake disc, whose thickness after 50,000 miles now measured below the service limit. Genuine Yamaha replacement discs are crazy money, so I picked up a Brembo disc from Demon Tweeks for £80. I figured Brembo was a decent brand and cheaper EBC discs seemed to have mixed reviews regarding longevity. I also picked a new set of bolts, thinking I’ll play it safe and be prepared. Little did I know how this would unfold.

Wheel removed and laid flat on some planks to protect the sprocket, I set out to remove the disc. For good measure I hammered the bolts to shock them and sprayed the bolts with some Wurth Rust-Off Ice spray, thinking the cold would help the bolts remove easily. Like shit they were going to come free easily! Totally seized on. More spray, more hitting, more tighten-loosen tweaking, and I managed to remove two. The other four rounded as though made of cheese. Lots of faffing ensues, attacking the bolts heads with mole grips whatever else I had in my toolbox. I tried to drill out one, but then just sheered the bolt head off leaving the remains still firmly seized inside the wheel. At that point I gave up before I trashed the wheel and dropped it off at my local garage – Wheelies in Rainham.

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Fazer Clutch Service

Clutch basket

Just about to overtake and despatch a slow Sunday driver, you pull out, road clear, give the throttle a good twist and leave them for dust. But no – Grrrr! Clutch slip! The rev counter flies round, the engine screams for mercy, but you’re not going anywhere – eh?! Seconds later the clutch finally grips and wham! forward you finally shoot. A worn clutch slipping has to be one of the most infuriating issues to put up with.

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Pinlock Fogging Up – Maintenance Time

Pinlock Visor Maintenance - Leaky SealPinlock visor inserts are definitely the dogs bollocks for preventing a misted up visor. Whether, you ride in the winter, the wet or often set off early on brisk mornings; once you have a Pinlock, you don’t realise how much you rely on it until it starts to fail.

However, from time to time your Pinlock will need a little TLC to keep it working great and remain mist free. This article explains how to remove, clean, refit your Pinlock, as well as some tips on ensuring you maintain that crucial air tight seal. Continue reading “Pinlock Fogging Up – Maintenance Time” »

Fazer Maintenance Day – Carb Balancing

FZS600 Carb BalancingToday has been a productive day finishing off my regular servicing of the bike. The big downside of tackling routine servicing yourself is finding the time, and so I was forced to split the work across to free weekends a couple of weeks apart.

First the oil change, air filter and rear brake service (which included a new Hel brake line). Today finishing off, front brake service, carb balancing and other remaining checks etc.

The Morgan Carbtune tool makes easy work of balancing. The most difficult thing on the Fazer is finding the adjustment screws buried deep between the carbs. They’re almost impossible to see and you just have to poke a long screwdriver down into the engine and guess where they are!

MOT Time @ Burwin Motorcycles

Burwin MotorcyclesThat time of year again – MOT. No matter how confident you are the bike is all fine, there’s always a little worry in the back of your head, just in case it fails for some reason. Certainly been a well used bike with 9k gone on the clock since last MOT.

After a prior bad experience at my usual MOT garage, I decided to give Burwin Motorcycles over in Islington a go. Had heard a few good reports and they open at 8am. Big bonus, as I couldn’t afford much time off work. As it happened, they started even earlier and I was done and down the road by 8:30am – that’s what I call service. Barely had chance to drink a coffee in a nearby swanky pre/post drinks artisan coffee shop cum off license specialising in gin…

Thumbs Up: Squire SS65CS Padlock

Squire Padlock ReplacementLast week when my wife tried to take her bike out she discovered the Squire padlock had seized, leaving it chained to the ground! Neither key would unlock, we tried dousing it in WD40, GT85 and Halfords Shock’n’Unlock spray, even after been left to soak for a day or two. We tried tapping it with a hammer, but nothing would make the key budge in the lock.

Upon contacting Security For Bikes who we purchased it from, they informed us it was covered by a 10 year warranty and put us in touch with an engineer at Squire. They got back to very quickly with some advice, mostly what we had tried already, but as a last resort suggested applying pliers to the key to force the lock. This worked and the padlock opened, however it wouldn’t unlock again subsequently.

As per Squire’s advice we sent it back for repair/replacement. A couple of days later a brand new padlock arrived through the post with a cheque to refund us for postage.  So, a big thumbs up goes to Squire, for their top customer service, prompt responses and a warranty that really is worth the paper it’s printed on.

You can purchase a Henry Squire SS65CS padlock from Amazon here.

Hel Braided Brake Hose

CBF500-Hel-Braided-Brake-Hose-1The front brake on Mary’s CBF500 had been feeling a bit spongy since we bought it and just didn’t inspire much confidence. At first we dismissed the poor stopping power due to a single disc and two pot caliper with some basic organic pads in it. But no, it was most definitely spongy with either old fluid, air in the system or duff rubber hose.

Since I was planning to drain the brake fluid, replace and bleed the system, I picked up some Hel braided hose to fit at the same time. With just one line to one caliper, replacement hose would be cheap and didn’t make it worth my while not changing them at the same time. With some forum discount codes floating around, they came delivered direct from Hel for £23 – bargain! Although I was a little boring and just opted for basic black lines with default silver banjos, rather than any of the multitude other colours they are available in.

The hose fitting was a doddle, all bolts and banjo joints fitted perfectly. Bleeding took a little more effort and some persistence, to finally expel all the air bubbles out of the system. The results were much better though, brakes with a nice solid bite

Hel braided brake lines definitely get my recommendation. I’ve been using them on my Fazer for the last year and now they’ve vastly improved things on Mary’s CBF.