Category Archives: Maintenance

Forks Aligned and Back in Action Baby

Correcting Fork AlignmentIn my last update your will have seen I made quite a mess of the Fazer in a little off in the wet. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had a steady stream of parcels from Fowlers and ebay, containing numerous parts to fix up the bike.

Pictured is one of the last fixes to be done, putting the forks back in alignment. There’s countless methods to do this, but here I’ve opted for the two sticks approach, where their length exaggerates any ill alignment, making it easy to correct by eye alone.  The basic  approach is to slacken off all the bolts South of the top fork clamp yoke, realign the forks, then tighten it all up again.

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Downpipe Polish Review: OptiGlanz vs Autosol

Downpipe Cleaner Face Off - OptiGlanz vs AutoSol
OptiGlanz vs AutoSol

The lovely people at LDMotorcycles recently approached me to review some OptiGlanz metal downpipe polish. I took one look at my dirty, discoloured and pretty rough stainless downpipes and said “Yeah, alright then!”

My Fazer has some Motad stainless steel pipes I put on about 1.5 years ago, however my daily commute in all weathers has taken it’s toll. They’re still structurally sound, but cosmetically looking  a bit shabby. Discoloured, covered with ingrained crud and are splattered with spots of solid burnt on crap. Definitely in need of some TLC.

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Servicing Forks Down at OMC

Servicing Forks on FazerYesterday afternoon I was down at Oval Motorcycle Centre (OMC), again, giving my forks a good service. The seals had recently gone and were leaking a lot of oil onto the stanchions and more worryingly down towards the wheel, brake discs and calipers. Not so good.

Stripping the forks down is not a simple job for a newbie, however with the expert guidance of Matt at OMC, I was able to perform the majority of the work and learnt an awful lot along the way. I splashed out on genuine Yamaha oil and dust seals, after being warning away from poor quality pattern parts. New circlips also went on, as the old ones were rather rusty. Oil wise, I opted for standard spec 10w, purely to gauge what the bike is like as standard, before changing things. However many Fazer owners prefer 15w oil to firm up the front end and reduce diving.

The Fazer feels a lot better to ride now,  definitely gives me more confidence in it’s handling. Perhaps some tweaking of preload settings could improve things further, something I’ve not tweaked about with yet. But that’ll be another day, maybe OMC’s Suspension Setup clinic…

Down at OMC Sorting Chain, Sprocket and Shock

OMC-ChainSprocketShock-Replacement-1What a productive day, down at OMC (Oval Motorcycle Centre). Booked myself a bench and with the expert help of OMC’s Matt,  I replaced the Fazer’s chain, sprocket and rear shock. Sure, I could have just dropped the bike off at a regular garage to do the work in a couple of hours, but down at OMC I not only got the work done well, but learnt how do it myself for the future.

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ACF50 Time

This week has seen the weather turn frosty and salt grit trucks have hit the roads. Salt and the winter weather is huge nemesis to bikes, rotting frames and corroding all manner of parts. This is where ACF50 comes in. A great Anti Corrosion Formula, that can be sprayed on and leaves a protective film that halts any existing corrosion and prevents new.

Application should follow a good clean, and can be either with a spray can or with a refillable spray gun. The former can lay it on a bit thick, but  the spray gun approach obviously needs additional tools. So, don’t hang about, give your bike the ACF50 treatment before winter eats it alive!

Pick up some ACF50 from ebay.

Swapping Fazer Fairing Déjà Vu

I had an industrious afternoon swapping the fairing on my Fazer. Again. It is certainly telling when you can totally swap the fairing over in an hour. Lights, loom, indicators, mirrors, screen etc. I lose track of the number of times I’ve had to strip down the front end now, all instances have been the result of some ‘incident’. 🙁 I just hope I’m not being premature fitting it just before winter turns up…

I also took the opportunity to fit my Stebel Nautilus air horn to the bike. Reasonably straight forward, but some work making a specific bracket was required. A full write up of this and the insane noise it produces will follow shortly.

A Night at OMC’s Basic Bike Maintenance Course

Last night I finally made it along to the Oval Motorcycle Centre’s (OMC) Basic Maintenance and Inspection Course. Something I’ve been meaning to do for some time, but never got round to it. The course covers all the basics of bike maintenance, starting with electrics (switches/lights), then blitz’s through, tyres, brakes, bearings (wheel, head race & swinging arm), chain, forks/shocks and finally control levers and cables.

Although the course is pitched at complete newbies, it covers an awful lot, such that even though I’ve done quite a few maintenance jobs (changing filters, downpipes, balancing carbs etc) I still came away having learnt much. From stuff as simple as a more efficient way to lube my chain, to stuff completely new to me, like the ins and outs of different head race bearing and spotting when they’re knackered. It was also a great chance to ask questions on simple stuff you’ve seen, but were never sure if it was OK or not, like the way you hear brakes pads catching slightly as you push a bike – are they supposed to do that or are they sticking?!  (They’re supposed to)

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Motorbike Pre-Ride Checks (BOLTS)

  1. Brakes:- Roll bike forwards and apply brakes. Checks pads have some wear left, look out for the groove in middle of pads, it should still be visible.
  2. Oil:- Check the oil level is between the min-maximum lines. You will probably need to put bike on centre stand and maybe warm up engine for couple of minutes first (check you manual).
  3. Lights:- Check all lights works and are clean. Hold you hand over rear lights or look for as reflection against a nearby wall as you apply brakes.
  4. Tyres:- Check tread levels, 1mm across 3/4 the tyre width (more in many EU countries) and for any obvious damage. Ensure  tyre pressures are correct too (see manual for exact values).
  5. Steering:- Handles bars should freely move left and right without fouling against anything or being hindered by wires/hoses.