Category Archives: Maintenance

7 Motorcycle Storage Tips for the Winter Months

When you buy the motorcycle of your dreams, whether it’s a high performance superbike, statement Harley or a lovingly restored Triumph, you’ll naturally want to protect your investment. Of course, not all of us have the luxury of a garage or a dry spot where we can store our bikes throughout the year. But don’t let the threat of rust, dirt, crime and careless drivers keep you awake at night. Instead, as the days start to draw in and the mercury drops, think carefully about your storage options and put the essential preparatory work in place.

Here are a few top tips…
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Clutch Cable Swap

I’ve had trouble with my clutch slipping lately, it’s really noticeable when trying to press on or accelerate on an overtake. I’ll give it a twist, the engine rev’s like mad for a couple of seconds, before the clutch finally catches and I shoot off like a rocket!

Clutch Cable SwapOf course I’ve been tweaking the clutch cable adjusters, in case it simply wasn’t engaging enough. Both at the lever and down at the sprocket cover. Next up was this new clutch cable, to eradicate any issues from stretched or sticking wire. It was a quick and simple swap and the Haynes manual was actually rather good for this job. The old cable certainly had a lot of resistance in it, plus a little kinked near the lever.

If this doesn’t resolve it, I’ll be ordering a set of new clutch plates and springs shortly, before heading down to OMC again…

MOT Passed – Phew!

That time of year again, MOT due. You know the bike should be fine, you know you’ve serviced it well and checked it over thoroughly yourself. But still, there’s that little niggle of doubt over whether it will fail the MOT on something. Thankfully my trusty Fazer passed without a hitch with no advisories at all. Sorted.

Checking out past MOT passes, it seems I’ve put on 7200 miles in the last 12 months. Not too shabby at all really. A little more than previous years, but I have been doing a lot more riding for my IAM course.

On a side note, a thumbs up to London Scooters for turning the MOT round super quick in my lunch break. They’re just around the corner from my workplace, so super handy for me.

Edit: I took my wife’s CBF500 to London Scooters in May 2016 and received less than satisfactory customer service. Please see this video here.

New Metzeler Z8 Interact Back Tyre Fitted

A new rubber day. Back tyre was looking a little elderly and rapidly running out of legal tread (possibly a contributing factor to my last off). That said, I’ve had just shy of 2 years and around 13,000 miles out of it, so not too shabby. That was a Metzeler Z6. I’ve always been happy with the grip it has provided, so decided to try a newer Z8 Interact on the back. I already have a Z8 on the front which is just over a year old, so it certainly made sense to match it.

The top chaps down at FWR fitted the new Z8 in super quick time during my lunch break and offered a competitive price too. So, thumbs up there. Just going to take it a easy now until it’s nicely scrubbed in.

Metzeler are doing a deal to blag a £50 quid Dainese voucher if you buy a pair. But, my front still has plenty of tread and I don’t see myself buying (or affording) anything new from Dainese, voucher or not.

Mugshot in a Mag

On my last visit to Oval Motorcycle Centre I ran into a photographer from Practical Sportsbikes magazine and ended up as an impromptu model for some shots. Well, they only put my ugly mug in print…

Practical SportsBikes OMC Article page2_closeup

Here I am in a fetching red boiler suit (OMC supplied) being shown by onsite guru Matt how to sort out my forks.

Read the full article in the May edition of Practical Sportsbikes, or just pop down OMC and check your bike out.

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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