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 new screen, 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, indicators, 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.
It’s that dreaded time of year, the Fazer is going in for it’s yearly service and MOT tomorrow. Due for a reasonably major service. Fingers crossed there’s no problems, nothing glaringly obvious is wrong with the bike. Just the cracked belly pan, which maybe deemed a sharp hazard to public. I’ll just gaffer tape that over.
Really must get myself onto a bike maintenance course, so I can do some of the service myself and keep costs down.
There I am trying to make a quick getaway from work with an afternoon off to watch my daughter on her sports day. But something is wrong, bike is all wobbly as hell. Back tyre totally flat. 🙁
A lot of crap stuck in the tyre, but crucially a big hole with lump of glass in it. Tried to pull it out, with a view to repairing it, but I can’t get it with the pliers, just ends up crumbling. The hole also seems bit big for emergency repair. Breakdown recovery it is. At least I’ve got some this time.
A chilly morning and just cleaned the bike. As recommended, I used cold water to not accelerate rusting, but damn my fingers are numbs now! Why cold water? Well hot water provides more activation energy for the oxidisation process, thus increasing speed of corrosion. Chemist geeks can read up on the details of reaction temperature dependency and the Arrhenius equation that governs it.
Trials and tribulations of a motorcycle newbie in London