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.
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. Continue reading “Replacing Clutch Cable on Yamaha Fazer FZS600” »
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.
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.
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.
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I went too wide powering out of a gentle left hander, kissed the grass which spooked me a little, but kept it upright. However I was out of shape and going to fast for the upcoming chicane, combined with a chap overtaking on my inside, I bottle it and tried to safely just run off rather than just tipping it extra hard to get round. Unfortunately I was just carrying to much speed to keep it upright on the grass and down I went. Bike came fell hard on the front fairing and I went sliding before coming to rest sat on my ass.
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.
I’ve had trouble with my clutch slipping lately, it’s really noticeable when trying to press on or accelerate on an overtake. I’ll give it a twist, the engine rev’s like mad for a couple of seconds, before the clutch finally catches and I shoot off like a rocket!
Of course I’ve been tweaking the clutch cable adjusters, in case it simply wasn’t engaging enough. Both at the lever and down at the sprocket cover. Next up was this new clutch cable, to eradicate any issues from stretched or sticking wire. It was a quick and simple swap and the Haynes manual was actually rather good for this job. The old cable certainly had a lot of resistance in it, plus a little kinked near the lever.
If this doesn’t resolve it, I’ll be ordering a set of new clutch plates and springs shortly, before heading down to OMC again…
In my last update your will have seen I made quite a mess of the Fazer in a little off in the wet. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had a steady stream of parcels from Fowlers and ebay, containing numerous parts to fix up the bike.
Pictured is one of the last fixes to be done, putting the forks back in alignment. There’s countless methods to do this, but here I’ve opted for the two sticks approach, where their length exaggerates any ill alignment, making it easy to correct by eye alone. The basic approach is to slacken off all the bolts South of the top fork clamp yoke, realign the forks, then tighten it all up again.
Yesterday afternoon I was down at Oval Motorcycle Centre (OMC), again, giving my forks a good service. The seals had recently gone and were leaking a lot of oil onto the stanchions and more worryingly down towards the wheel, brake discs and calipers. Not so good.
Stripping the forks down is not a simple job for a newbie, however with the expert guidance of Matt at OMC, I was able to perform the majority of the work and learnt an awful lot along the way. I splashed out on genuine Yamaha oil and dust seals, after being warning away from poor quality pattern parts. New circlips also went on, as the old ones were rather rusty. Oil wise, I opted for standard spec 10w, purely to gauge what the bike is like as standard, before changing things. However many Fazer owners prefer 15w oil to firm up the front end and reduce diving.
The Fazer feels a lot better to ride now, definitely gives me more confidence in it’s handling. Perhaps some tweaking of preload settings could improve things further, something I’ve not tweaked about with yet. But that’ll be another day, maybe OMC’s Suspension Setup clinic…
Trials and tribulations of a motorcycle newbie in London