Had a good day out at the Ace Cafe today. Catching up with a bunch of fellow Fazer riders from the FOC-U.co.uk forum, bumped into some of the LondonBikers too. It was Overland & Adventure bike day at the Ace, with the place rammed with huge Dakka and globe crossing bikes, loads of big Beemers, KTM’s and Triumph adventure bike. My Fazer didn’t wholly fit, but that didn’t matter, it was great to check out other styles of biking. The day also saw off Steph Jeavons on here sole trip round the globe on a little Honda CRF250.
Over the last couple of weekends I have been tinkering with Mary’s ZZR400, trying to diagnose some running issues. I had known for a while the HT leads and spark plug caps were on the way out and last time I had the tank off I had managed to split a fuel line – doh! So with a some new fuel hose, fuel filter, NGK leads, caps and spark plugs I set to work.
The other night I had the pleasure of attending a Biker Down night with Bucks Fire Service. For those not familiar with Biker Down, it’s a great (and free) course run by a number of local fire services aimed at preparing you to deal with a traffic incident when first on the scene.
The bulk of the course content covered first aid that would be directly relevant to the trauma that would be common in a biker off. This including checking airways, circulation/bleeding, providing reassurance with a brief rundown on techniques such as CPR, dressing bleeding wounds and how to safely remove a helmet. I know this last item is a controversial one, however the presenter argued it was better to this earlier, whilst a biker is (hopefully) conscious and before they go down hill (say if they’re loosing blood etc). He argued the first thing a paramedic would do is remove it anyway and he showed us a two person technique to carefully remove it and support the upper spine. If it’s a full face helmet and there’s issues with blocked airway, it’s arguable more critical to get them breathing again regardless.
On top of that, we got a brief rundown on managing an accident scene, from where to park visibly to warn other vehicles, yet not leaving yourself in danger should a trunk hit your bike; to delegating tasks to other members of the public and handing over to emergency services. We also got a quick bit of information on staying visible on the road, covering stuff like positioning and some debate on hi-vis.
Overall it was a very informative and useful evening, I learnt a lot of stuff that I hope never to have to use, but invaluable should the need arise. I can highly recommend you sign yourself up for the course, it’ll cost you nothing and is now being run in many other parts of the country as well as just Kent and Bucks. More info on the Biker Down Facebook Page or google for info on your local fire service.
It’s been a busy and productive afternoon, I managed to grab a few hours and some nice weather to tackle some jobs I’ve been waiting todo for some time. I swapped over my new genuine Yamaha fairing and fitted some genuine Yamaha crash bars.
You may have previously read how I had picked up a Fibreglass fairing copy, which I had been meaning to send to a local spray shop. Time and money delayed that, however in the mean time Yamaha had drastically reduced the prices of their fairings, from £450 to £180, with these supplied fully painted. With a spray shop quote coming in at around £100-120, it was a no brainer.
I still need to source some decals and swap the Yamaha tuning fork badge on the front, but all in all a reasonably straight forward job to swap everything over.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been battling with a niggling issue of wobble from the front end. I’ve had the wheel re-balanced, kept checking tyre pressures, but never really resolved it. I was about to dismiss it as my large top box and rear tyre starting to square off. However throughout my front tyre has always needed a bit of air each week.
This last week however, it quickly became apparent that I had a slow puncture. My old Metzeler Z6 tyre was nearly a year and half old and showing only a couple of mm left, so I ordered a new tyre, whilst I could still ride about. That was until one morning I found it totally flat. Hoping I could pump it up enough to get to garage, I found air hissing out of the valve like crazy. Yes, the valve, there was no hole in the tyre – Doh!
After a quick trip to Halfords to pick up a valve tool, it turned out the valve core was super loose. Quick tighten and the tyre held up well. Hmmm, but what to do with the new tyre on order? Decided to swap anyway, the old Z6 would have only last a couple of months and I was keen to try out the new Z8. Ultimately, on two wheels we need as much grip as we can get, it’s a false economy running rubber until the very end.
Moral of the story, got a slow puncture, check the bloody valve first!