One of the downsides of pilings many miles onto a bike is the number of bigger non-routine items needing maintenance and replacement. This time is was the rear brake disc, whose thickness after 50,000 miles now measured below the service limit. Genuine Yamaha replacement discs are crazy money, so I picked up a Brembo disc from Demon Tweeks for £80. I figured Brembo was a decent brand and cheaper EBC discs seemed to have mixed reviews regarding longevity. I also picked a new set of bolts, thinking I’ll play it safe and be prepared. Little did I know how this would unfold.
Wheel removed and laid flat on some planks to protect the sprocket, I set out to remove the disc. For good measure I hammered the bolts to shock them and sprayed the bolts with some Wurth Rust-Off Ice spray, thinking the cold would help the bolts remove easily. Like shit they were going to come free easily! Totally seized on. More spray, more hitting, more tighten-loosen tweaking, and I managed to remove two. The other four rounded as though made of cheese. Lots of faffing ensues, attacking the bolts heads with mole grips whatever else I had in my toolbox. I tried to drill out one, but then just sheered the bolt head off leaving the remains still firmly seized inside the wheel. At that point I gave up before I trashed the wheel and dropped it off at my local garage – Wheelies in Rainham.
Just about to overtake and despatch a slow Sunday driver, you pull out, road clear, give the throttle a good twist and leave them for dust. But no – Grrrr! Clutch slip! The rev counter flies round, the engine screams for mercy, but you’re not going anywhere – eh?! Seconds later the clutch finally grips and wham! forward you finally shoot. A worn clutch slipping has to be one of the most infuriating issues to put up with.
Pinlock visor inserts are definitely the dogs bollocks for preventing a misted up visor. Whether, you ride in the winter, the wet or often set off early on brisk mornings; once you have a Pinlock, you don’t realise how much you rely on it – that is until it starts to fail.
From time to time your Pinlock will need a little TLC to keep it working well and remaining mist free. This article explains how to remove, clean, refit your Pinlock, as well as some tips on ensuring you maintain that crucial air tight seal. Continue reading “Pinlock Fogging Up – Maintenance Time” »
Today has been a productive day finishing off my regular servicing of the bike. The big downside of tackling routine servicing yourself is finding the time, and so I was forced to split the work across to free weekends a couple of weeks apart.
First the oil change, air filter and rear brake service (which included a new Hel brake line). Today finishing off, front brake service, carb balancing and other remaining checks etc.
The Morgan Carbtune tool makes easy work of balancing. The most difficult thing on the Fazer is finding the adjustment screws buried deep between the carbs. They’re almost impossible to see and you just have to poke a long screwdriver down into the engine and guess where they are!
That time of year again – MOT. No matter how confident you are the bike is all fine, there’s always a little worry in the back of your head, just in case it fails for some reason. Certainly been a well used bike with 9k gone on the clock since last MOT.
After a prior bad experience at my usual MOT garage, I decided to give Burwin Motorcycles over in Islington a go. Had heard a few good reports and they open at 8am. Big bonus, as I couldn’t afford much time off work. As it happened, they started even earlier and I was done and down the road by 8:30am – that’s what I call service. Barely had chance to drink a coffee in a nearby swanky pre/post drinks artisan coffee shop cum off license specialising in gin…
Last week when my wife tried to take her bike out she discovered the Squire padlock had seized, leaving it chained to the ground! Neither key would unlock, we tried dousing it in WD40, GT85 and Halfords Shock’n’Unlock spray, even after been left to soak for a day or two. We tried tapping it with a hammer, but nothing would make the key budge in the lock.
Upon contacting Security For Bikes who we purchased it from, they informed us it was covered by a 10 year warranty and put us in touch with an engineer at Squire. They got back to very quickly with some advice, mostly what we had tried already, but as a last resort suggested applying pliers to the key to force the lock. This worked and the padlock opened, however it wouldn’t unlock again subsequently.
As per Squire’s advice we sent it back for repair/replacement. A couple of days later a brand new padlock arrived through the post with a cheque to refund us for postage. So, a big thumbs up goes to Squire, for their top customer service, prompt responses and a warranty that really is worth the paper it’s printed on.
The front brake on Mary’s CBF500 had been feeling a bit spongy since we bought it and just didn’t inspire much confidence. At first we dismissed the poor stopping power due to a single disc and two pot caliper with some basic organic pads in it. But no, it was most definitely spongy with either old fluid, air in the system or duff rubber hose.
Since I was planning to drain the brake fluid, replace and bleed the system, I picked up some Hel braided hose to fit at the same time. With just one line to one caliper, replacement hose would be cheap and didn’t make it worth my while not changing them at the same time. With some forum discount codes floating around, they came delivered direct from Hel for £23 – bargain! Although I was a little boring and just opted for basic black lines with default silver banjos, rather than any of the multitude other colours they are available in.
The hose fitting was a doddle, all bolts and banjo joints fitted perfectly. Bleeding took a little more effort and some persistence, to finally expel all the air bubbles out of the system. The results were much better though, brakes with a nice solid bite
Hel braided brake lines definitely get my recommendation. I’ve been using them on my Fazer for the last year and now they’ve vastly improved things on Mary’s CBF.
Mary is a little vertically challenged, which can make most motorcycles a bit tricky to ride. At 5’1″ she is only just on tip toes when sat on her stock CBF500, so lowering was essential. Lowering a bike can be achieved by reducing the seat and/or lowering the suspension. Mary’s CBF500 needed both!
Lowering the rear suspension of a bike can be achieved either swapping on longer ‘dog legs’ – the struts that go from bottom of shock to swing arm; or by shortening the overall length of the shock. The CBF500 rear shock mounts directly to the swingarm, thus the latter approach was needed. MFW sell a number of lowering kits including a replacement lower shock linkage for many Honda’s. This replaces the stock linkage of a standard Honda Showa shock, shortening its entire length. The linkage came in for £65, however similarly parts by other brands sell for £100-120. Alternative approaches involve replacing the spring on the shock for a shorter one.
When it comes to hard luggage and top boxes, the name Givi is synonymous, with this leading Italian brand make some of the most popular luggage on the market. As a London commuter hard luggage is incredible useful for carrying stuff; the essential security chain, work clothes to change into, packed lunch, laptop, books etc. A top box will carry the lot with ease, whilst keeping it all dry and secure. In the event of a spill, you really don’t want to carrying all that stuff on your person.
When we bought Mary’s CBF500 it came with a cheap set of heated grips fitted, very handy for the winter. However, their installation was critically bodged. The grips were glued on using a rubber type grip glue, which although fine whilst the grips were cold, when hot the glue became tacky and no longer adhesive. Thus when twisting the throttle, the grip would slip round, and not rotate the throttle! To address this, I consulted internet wisdom and opted for the double side carpet tape method.