Thursday, August 4, 2016

KTM Duke 390 - First Ride Of The Uncrashable.

Less is more, much more.
He's been trying to get me to ride the 390 for ages. I'm a bit busy. 
He said its cornering speed is unreal and fast guys on ZX636R's and GSXR1000's are getting left behind (miles behind). Yeah, but I'm working on the GSX. 
He finally convinced me to ride all of the Yamaha MT range. Ok, now I'm in the mood.

I haven't come back from a ride shaking for a while. That was fun, a hell of a lot of fun. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Suzuki GS550 Petrol Tap Overhaul.

Vacuum taps were once state of the art.
The day you upgraded to a bike with one those new-fangled vacuum taps things was a momentous occasion indeed. No more did you fumble with the petrol tap every time you started or switched off the bike. It was nothing short of a miracle!

But like anything, it can go wrong and some people are put off by trying to fix it. A diaphragm and O-rings are pretty much all there is to it, so this is a quick tutorial on how to fix it. Bearing in mind I've actually taken this tap off the tank four times since painting it, to try and get it to work correctly. It's been a pain, but today I think I nailed it. 

Also, number two carb needle valve could be leaking slightly and allowing it to flood the cylinder when left a couple of nights. Had the petrol tap switched off correctly it wouldn't have been an issue, but if my brother's sister's aunties' nephew wasn't my second cousin I wouldn't be in this palaver anyway. What?

Friday, July 29, 2016

Yamaha MT-07 First Ride.

A wise man once told me...
That fifty brake horsepower was enough for the road. And I agreed with that... to an extent, but just like forty years-old is the new thirty, I think 70BHP could be where the real fun starts. 

With 200BHP on tap now from the big sports bikes, big power is becoming slightly irrelevant — yeah, people were saying the same when 135BHP was a big number. But you can't get the power down without using drive-modes, traction control, wheelie control etc. It's hard work stopping them, turning them and can be very embarrassing when little commuter bikes make short work of them through the twisties. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Yamaha MT-10 First Ride.

Transformers, or bikes in disguise?
I guess I wasn't that impressed, initially, with the photos I'd seen of the new (all-conquering?) Yamaha MT-10. It looked too big, and the headlamp assembly/bikini fairing all seemed a bit out there. Definitely a move away from its simpler, smaller siblings, the MT-09 and MT-07.

So when a good mate of mine brought his brand new (just delivered) bike out for a blast on the weekend, I was surprised how good it looked in the metal, especially in these colours. The first thing that came to mind was Transformers, and if it had turned into Optimus Prime and whacked me in the fizzog I wouldn't have been surprised. Maybe they have a new movie on the way and this bike's the star. Who knows?

It looks evil and savage, but actually pretty cool, just what I needed on today's damp roads... not. 

I've got to hand it to Mike, he buys a lot of bikes, and always asks me if I want to have a ride on them. Usually I'm busy and decline. Today I was busy again, but Suzuki projects could wait. I kitted up quickly and gave him the key to the Gixer.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Lakeside 2/7/2016 — Tyre Warmers and Giant Killers.

GSXR1000 vs GSXR750 (with tyre warmers).
It wouldn't be a trackday if we didn't top up with Wild Bean coffees on the way, so the Coomera BP garage was the first stop. And with one of their bacon and egg toasted sandwiches heartily disposed of, we were ready.
'Twas early morning. The sun was on the rise and catching the moon fast — just like an old GSXR1000 on cold tyres against a newish GSXR750 with warm boots — yep, about a lap in and it's all over. But more on this later.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

GS550E Paint — And Now The Lacquer.

2000 Grit Wet & Dry
After a good flatting with soapy water and the old P2000 grit, the paintwork was looking smooth and, well, dull. Taking care on the curves and edges not to rub through the red, you're aiming for paint that is uniform all over without any orange peel. 
The scary part is taking your nice shiny paint finish and ruining it. 
But if it worries you, just run water over the paint and watch how it shines again — that's what the lacquer will do.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Gilbert's Cylinder Head Service — Gold Coast.

Skimming, guides, seats, porting... 
Having had several car cylinder heads overhauled by Paul Gilbert since being in Australia, I knew the service and quality was exceptional. That's no bull, they come back like a new part, and I was pretty amazed — especially for the cost.
So when I needed a couple of shims machined on the GS550, I dropped in to see if he could do them. No problem he says, come back in a couple of hours and they'll be ready to go. 
Once we got talking I realised he did a lot of motorcycle work too, and he showed me some of the heads he was currently working on.

This is one of two Rocket III heads that were being ported, one for a supercharger. He said that although he has a flow bench, the ports are now so big on this 2.3L engine that he's had to use someone else's larger version to check the flow. That's going to be one quick Trumpet!