Cleaning Day

Cleaned-Yammy-Fazer-Jan13Spent the afternoon giving the Fazer a damned good clean and wax. Washing off all that bike eating salt that had accumulated over the last few weeks. Looks much better now.

I was hoping to put some fresh ACF50 on it to help protect it from corrosion, but I was totally out and on visiting Halfords, they had never heard of the stuff! Very annoying. As you can see them downpipes really need some ACF50 on them. Otherwise I can envisage myself replacing them with some new stainless steel ones in the not too distant future.

Winter Salt Eating My Motorbike

Salt covered motorbikeThe roads are covered in salt at this time of year. Essential to ensure they remain ice free, but a nightmare for your bike. The salt aids waters ability to corrode metal, which is very bad news for your motorcycle. As you can see, my poor Fazer is covered. 🙁

The solution is regular cleaning to rinse off the salt. Use cold water (heat increases the rusting action too). A cold hose pipe is best, don’t use a pressure washer, this will force water into places where it wouldn’t normally get to and won’t dry, causing more rust… A job for the weekend for sure.

I doused the bike in ACF50 back in November, which I’m very glad off. This should have covered everything in a protective film preventing rust and halting any existing corrosion. Ideally, reapply more ACF50 after each wash.

New Heated Gloves Controller Arrived

New Heated Glove ControllerAt last, my new Gerbings Junior Controller has arrived. After freezing my fingers off last week, this couldn’t come sooner. After plugging it all in, everything was working again, definitely confirming it was the old controller/wiring that was at fault.

I’ll be sending the old one back for replacement (as it has 3 year warranty), but this will keep me warm in the mean time. A spare will be useful, if I have problems again in the future.

Sods Law – Coldest Day and Heated Gloves Broke

It’s -4°C here in London this morning. Not that bad, but unheard of in London. And this morning my Gerbings heated gloves go on the blink. Right hand stopped working. Left hand fine, but my right hand fingers went numb after just a couple of miles. 🙁

Must be a loose connection in wiring, as it started working again for half the journey home. Have swapped gloves over and it does appear to be the controller and/or wiring rather than the gloves themselves. Thankfully this part has a 3 year warranty. Must sort out a replacement prompt. Numb fingers are bad, painful, distracting and affect my riding. In the city where up most concentration is required at all time, this is a dangerous combo.

Work Blast Out of Town

This last couple of days I’ve been commuting out of London, up to GSK in Stevenage. So good to get into some open roads and open the Fazer up a bit. 🙂 My normal commute never gets above 50mph and often just filtering in thick traffic, so this has been quite a novelty. And with paying travel costs, double bonus.
The weather has been seriously cold and a little icy in places, so some smooth and careful riding was in order. Stevenage was a good few degrees colder than central London. On setting off home, I had real trouble with the key in the ignition. A right struggle to disable the steering lock. 🙁

Flat Battery

battery-chargerAfter a thoroughly relaxing Christmas break and taking a couple of weeks off work, I had planned a little ride out with my wife. The weather was cold, but nice and sunny, so I unwrapped my bike ready to go, only to find it wouldn’t start. Totally flat battery. 🙁

Not too surprising considering I hadn’t used the bike in about 2 weeks and left the battery out in the cold. A trip to Halfords to purchase a battery charger was in order. They only had one model that was suitable for motorcycle batteries, the Ring SmartCharge 100 and cost me £57. Back home, I took the battery out and left it charging indoors for several hours. The charger was simple to use, it auto diagnoses the battery and displayed its charge level. Once fully charged, the bike started fine, but now it was too late for our ride out.

So, get yourself a decent charger before you actually need one. You’ll be able to source one online much cheaper than the Halfords store. If you do plan on leaving your bike unused for more than a week or two, it’s well worth leaving it on a trickle charge. Either bring the battery inside, or setup a lead off the battery which you can plug it in with.

Pinlock Visor

Pinklock VisorIn the cold and wet weather, a steamed up visor is a serious problem. Reduced visibility is just plain dangerous. I find myself having to ride around with my visor open slightly and often totally open when I stop at junctions, to get enough air flow. it’s a constant battle, alternating between cold/wet face and steamed up visor. The problem is twice as bad as a glasses wearer. Once your glasses are wet, even when not steamed up, visibility is poor.

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Westminster Motorcycle Parking

Westminster Motorcycle ParkingI had to head over to my old haunt in Soho tonight to catch up with some old work colleagues. However unlike the the rest of London, Westminster council charge for motorcycle parking in the solo bike bays – the cheek!

You have to register first, then phone or txt through, with details of your bike reg and the parking bay location id. Full details can be found on the Westminster Council website here. The charge is £1 a day. Not going to break the bank, but a right faff when parking up. it is however free after 7pm, until 7am. I can definitely recommend signing up and sticking the number on your phone handy for when you may wonder into the West End.

To find out where there are convenient parking bays, I can recommend this site: ParkingForBikes.com. It has a decent search engine and interactive map, highlighting which bays are free and which aren’t.

Trials and tribulations of a motorcycle newbie in London