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Hardware Maintenance

Chinese Replica Instrument Speedo Clock Case – CBF500/CB900F

When we first picked up Mary’s Honda CBF500 it was clear it hadn’t always stayed rubber side down. It had various bits of cosmetic damage, which I have progressively fixed up as parts crop up cheap. One of the last items to address was the speedo tachometer case which had a few cracks and was taped up. Genuine Honda parts are expensive (£300+), second hand clocks aren’t cheap (£100-150 odd) and are often missing mounting lugs too. So, when I spotted a cheap Chinese replicate instrument case for £25, I was of course intrigued and figured it had to be worth a punt.

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Maintenance

FZ6 Mini Mod – Fixing The Heavy Clutch

My Yamaha FZ6 S2 has been a great weekday commuter workhorse, yet with enough beans for some weekend fun. However, it’s not without issue, in particular the clutch. Firstly, it’s very heavy on the hand, to the extent I was getting hand ache in the first few weeks of ownership and was convinced it needed a new clutch cable (which changed little!) Secondly, the clutch bite point is way out on the lever, with little distance before fully released, even when all correctly adjusted with free play to spec. This all adds up to clunky gear shifts that you can never quite smooth out, you just can’t get throttle blips timed nicely with the point of clutch engage.

Recently I stumbled across a simple mod that promised to improve the heavy FZ6 clutch, which entails swapping on the lower clutch push lever from an MT07. This is the lever at the lower end of the clutch cable protruding from the clutch case cover. The MT07 push lever is slightly longer and so affords greater leverage, and thus lightens the clutch action.

Clutch push levers
Push levers comparison – Top: original FZ6; Botton: MT07
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Maintenance

FZ6 Brake Maintenance and Braided Hose

Brake goodies to fit

This weekends chore was brake maintenance on the FZ6. Having only acquired the bike in the Autumn, it was unclear when the brake fluid was last changed, and being 13 years old, the original rubber brake hose, although visually OK, were likely past their best. The rubber hoses can degrade over many years exposure to the elements, which can lead to slight bulging when pumping the brake lever and thus reducing the final pressure applied to the brake pistons and pads onto the discs. Whereas braided hoses being built around a stainless steel mesh braid are more study, will not bulge or degrade in the same way and have a longer lifespan.

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Maintenance

Howto Temporary Repair a Puncture

Totally gutted. Less than a month old pair of Michelin Pilot Road 5’s with a bloody screw stuck in the rear tyre. Very annoying, but it need not screw up your whole day, if you know how to temporary plug a tyre, you can be one the move again with minimal delay. This howto will step by step show you how to repair a tyre with a temporary plug that will get you home or to a garage for a permanent repair.

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Maintenance

Replacing Clutch Cable on Yamaha Fazer FZS600

A common job on any bike with a cable clutch that’s done a few thousand miles, or worse has had a snapped cable. As time progresses cutch cables will stretch, requiring adjustment to bring in the slack, but eventually they will need replacing. Similarly, if they have frayed or kinked preventing easy movement a replacement is the best course of action. Here I’ll walk you through step by step how to replace a clutch cable on a Yamaha Fazer FZS 600 (1999-2003), but other bikes will be fairly similar, tending to vary only on how the bottom end of the cable connects to the clutch.

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Maintenance

Honda CBF500 Air Filter Change (2003-2008)

Standard service time and one of the key items to sort out is the air filter. The Haynes manual recommends this is replaced every 12000 miles or every 18 months. This is a really simply and quick item to change on the Honda CBF500, anyone can do it. Here I’ll give you a quick step by step guide on this task.

First, you need to remove the pillion and main seats. The main seat has a pair of 10mm bolts at its rear which can be accessed once the pillion seat has been removed. You then need to prise off the left hand side panel, this has two push fittings (highlighted in red below) in rubber gaskets and pops off with a firm pull.

Removal of side panel
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Maintenance

Pre Ride Motorcycle Check – POWDERS Bike Check

Before you jump on your bike it’s highly recommended you run through a pre ride motorcycle check to ensure your bike is in good condition and won’t leave you in trouble. It can be crucial to catch anything unsafe or possibly even illegal (e.g. bald tyres), but also to keep tabs on general wear, tear and items due for servicing.

When to do Pre Ride Motorcycle Checks

It’s advisable to go through these before each ride or at least every few days if you ride daily. If your bike has been parked unused for several days or you’re planning a longer trip away, then definitely run through these checks. If you’re commuting daily on your motorbike you can probably go through this pre-ride motorcycle inspection every few days as you get more in tune with your bike’s condition and how often items need attention.

The POWDERS Motorcycle Check

Yep, it’s a funny acronym, but it will help you remember how to do motorcycle pre ride inspection, so you do not forget anything. This how to is one I was taught as part of my IAM training and can be found in the RoadCraft book.

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Maintenance Videos

How to Replace a Clutch Lever (Honda CBF 500)

We’ve all a dropped a bike or few, so easily done when new,
Your joy laying on it’s side, gone is all your pride,
Clutch lever broken in the fall, repeatedly you now stall,
Such a cheap repair, why did you not pack a spare?

A snapped lever is so common after an embarrassing drop of your bike. But fear not, replacing a clutch lever is a such a simply and quick job, that anyone can do it. No need to pay for garage labour, let me show you how to replace it in 5 mins with just a spanner and screwdriver. This is on a Honda CBF500, but many other bikes will be near identical.

It’s also a good plan to order a couple of replacements (these non-genuine levers were only £6.50 from M&P), so you can stow one under your seat in case you find yourself inconveniently stuck.

Note: this guide is for traditional cable clutches and not a hydraulic clutch.

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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.

Categories
Maintenance

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.