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.
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.
Before you jump on your bike it’s highly recommended you run through a few pre-ride checks to ensure your bike’s in good condition and won’t leave you in trouble. t’s advised going through these before each ride or at least every few days if you ride daily.
Yep, it’s a funny acronym to help you remember all the stuff you should check. This is one I was taught as part of my IAM training and can be found in the RoadCraft book.
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.
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!
On buying a second hand bike it’s always best to give it a thorough service to ensure it’s in tip top condition and there are no ugly surprises. The seller had informed me this CFB500 was due it’s yearly service, so I set about completing all the usual chores: new air filter, oil change and new filter, new spark plugs, cleaning brakes, checking clutch/throttle play, checking chain tension, emptying breather tubes and generally greasing everything as needed. I like the Haynes manuals for jobs like this, both as a check list of jobs and for info on bike specifics.
I also gave the carburetors a balance and doused the bike in ACF50 whilst I had the tank off. Being a twin, balancing the two carbs was a doddle. A quick whizz round the block confirmed everything was running sweet and a well deserved cuppa was in order.
Here I am in a fetching red boiler suit (OMC supplied) being shown by onsite guru Matt how to sort out my forks.
Read the full article in the May edition of Practical Sportsbikes, or just pop down OMC and check your bike out.
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…
What a productive day, down at OMC (Oval Motorcycle Centre). Booked myself a bench and with the expert help of OMC’s Matt, I replaced the Fazer’s chain, sprocket and rear shock. Sure, I could have just dropped the bike off at a regular garage to do the work in a couple of hours, but down at OMC I not only got the work done well, but learnt how do it myself for the future.
Last night I finally made it along to the Oval Motorcycle Centre’s (OMC) Basic Maintenance and Inspection Course. Something I’ve been meaning to do for some time, but never got round to it. The course covers all the basics of bike maintenance, starting with electrics (switches/lights), then blitz’s through, tyres, brakes, bearings (wheel, head race & swinging arm), chain, forks/shocks and finally control levers and cables.
Although the course is pitched at complete newbies, it covers an awful lot, such that even though I’ve done quite a few maintenance jobs (changing filters, downpipes, balancing carbs etc) I still came away having learnt much. From stuff as simple as a more efficient way to lube my chain, to stuff completely new to me, like the ins and outs of different head race bearing and spotting when they’re knackered. It was also a great chance to ask questions on simple stuff you’ve seen, but were never sure if it was OK or not, like the way you hear brakes pads catching slightly as you push a bike – are they supposed to do that or are they sticking?! (They’re supposed to)