Busy morning sorting out the airbox on Mary’s ZZR400. It had a bad seal where the underside marries up to the top of the throttle bodies, a gaping space along the rear edge. This has been causing running issues at high speed, where the ram air setup needs to be pressurised to ensure the floats let the right mix of fuel and air into the engine. Without the necessary pressure the fuel mix has been far too rich.
I picked up a new airbox on the off chance the current one was slightly warped. I also got a new duct seal, as the old seal was very squashed and not doing its job. Swapping the box over was mostly straight forward, with only removing/replacing the tank and getting the ram air ducts at the front lined up into the box being particularly tricky. All went well until a fuel line split – doh! Just at end near the clamp onto the reserve valve, so I was able to shorten it and make good. Phew!
Since borrowing Mary’s ZZR400 this last week or so, I noticed a few niggles with it’s running that I’ve been trying to address. Firstly the front brakes were sticking a little and secondly the running has been a bit on the rough, loud and underpowered side, especially at high speed. To tackle these issues I called up on the skills of Tim (‘Scorch’ on LondonBikers.com), who offers a mobile motorcycle repair service.
Tim popped over to went to work on my bike, whilst I was parked up at work myself. Very handy indeed. He quickly set to work on the brakes, found one of the pistons was a bit gunked up and air in the system. In a couple of hours he had the lot stripped down, sorted, new fluid in, bled and working well.
After my incident last week when some idiot not paying any attention ran into me, I had to spend sometime fixing up the Fazer and getting it road worthy again. There was quite a bit of damage, but thankfully all cosmetic. The fairing was scratched and cracked, the fairing brackets were bent badly, screen snapped off, belly pan was crumpled, crash bobbins almost snapped off, broken mirror, broken indicator and bent Givi rack and snapped Givi mounting plate. Obviously I am working with my insurance to claim for as much of the damage as possible. However in the mean time my priority has been emergency repairs to make the bike usable again. I want to avoid taking a courtesy bike as liability is still yet to be assigned.
To celebrate one full year of riding since passing my DAS test, I’m kicking off a little competition to win some handy goodies useful to all bikers out there:-
First Prize: NikWax Leather Care Kit. Featuring leather cleaner, leather restorer, aqueous wax for footwear, glove waterproofer and visor water repellant. Ideal combination to see you through wet weather. I reviewed this leather care kit earlier in the year.
Second Prize: Can of ACF50 anti-corrosion spray. Halts existing rust and prevents new. Perfect for protecting you bike through the winter.
At the weekend I started my first attempt at spray painting. Mary’s ZZR400 was missing a small piece of the tail fairing. We managed to source this off ebay cheap, however the part was the wrong colour. So how hard can it be to spray paint it the right colour?
I started by giving the item a really good sand down with some 800 grit wet/dry paper, washed and dried it. I then sprayed it with primer (pictured). Slowly building it up coat after coat, with about 10-15 minutes between them. After leaving 24 hours, I then sanded it gently with some 1200 grit wet/dry paper, washed dried it, then set it up for spraying the top coat. Working in a similar fashion, building up the coats. Things were progressing well until the piece fell off my cardboard stand and got a pile of newspaper stuck to it! Doh!
Start again. Will let it totally dry and sand it down and have another go…
Today I attempted to make good the damaged fairing from last weekends off. The damage isn’t too bad, just a big crack and scuff on the right hand side. However the fairing brackets are bent and thus the headlights, clocks and fairing all point to the left somewhat. 🙁
Enlisting some help from the decent chaps on the FOC forum, we spent the morning removing the fairing and bending everything back. In the end there was four of us Fazer owners, all with blue bikes and having a good fettling session. It turned out rather straight forward to remove the fairing, but bending the brackets and gauging when it was true again was not. After a lot of errming, arring and lots of judgement by eye everything sits pretty much straight again now.
The clear screen on Mary’s ZZR400 was really showing its age when we bought it. It was incredible misty, scuffed and well, just not very clear. Ideally, we’d like to swap it for a nice gloss But in the meantime I went at it with some Meguiars PlastX polish. This is a fancy plastic/acrylic polish with microscopic abrasive particles, designed specifically for all kinds of plastics. Perfect for lights, screens, I even used it to good effect on my turntable lid!
Its no good against deep scratches, but it will sort out tiny scuffs and get plastic looking shiny, glossy and transparent again.
As you can see from these before-after shots, it has made quite a difference. I’m sure if I removed the screen and polished up some more it would look even better.
Last week the Meta M357T V2 alarm and immobiliser on my Fazer started playing up. It refused to make any sound when arming and disarming, just silent flashes of indicators. When deliberately triggering the alarm it remained silent and I just got hazard lights flashing. The immobiliser did however continue to work. Then later in the week, it started to make a noise again, just extremely quietly. Very odd. Obviously I kept my lack of alarm hush hush until I had remedied the situation.
Reading up, it seems that after around 10 years the internal battery on these alarms starts to give up the ghost and causes these kinds of issues. I also came across accounts from those who left it and it deteriorated further to the extent they couldn’t disable the immobiliser – eeek!
Big sigh of relief, bike passed MOT without issue. Top stuff. Big yearly service sorted too, filters, oil, plug, brake fluid, carbs balanced etc. The Fazer is running super sweet now. Thanks to the top chaps over at Pole Position (London), very reasonable price. Really must bone up on some of the basic service items myself though.
The mileage history on the certificate is quite telling, barely 100 miles was put on the bike between 2011-2012, however I’ve clocked up 6000 since last July! Definitely not a fair weather biker, the Fazer is most certainly being used. Was advised the rear pads have only got about 2000 miles life left in them. Must not forget about them.
Trials and tribulations of a motorcycle newbie in London