Monday, May 20, 2019

Suzuki GS550E — Replacing The Clutch.

EBC Heavy Duty Springs.
So after a few rides on the old 550, it soon became apparent there was a bit of clutch slip when used hard in high gears, but the main issue (for me) was the clutch lever was just too light. To the point that when you were trying to get away from the lights, especially uphill, the clutch just wouldn't bite fast enough.

So Wemoto quickly sent me some new springs, and a Slinky clutch cable in case the old one couldn't take the pressure. These guys are amazing, great prices, very quick and efficient service!

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Back On The Road — Suzuki GS550E

From a parts bike, to potential mileage muncher.
It was a little cheapie, bought unseen on eBay. My famed acquaintance Bryan picked it up for me, and even delivered it to the door... I swear legends are made of less. Pretty sure he's dying to ride it too.

It wasn't pretty, but he's a mate. The GS was also rough, no plugs in the engine, the carbs in a box and broken, but with seven years of TLC, dedication and, pure laziness, it's back on the road.

Considering the massive oil leak when the engine was first turned over, the fact that the bores were left exposed for however long, and the carbs had been left off too, it's incredible how good this thing goes and sounds. 

I put a cam chain on it, adjusted valve clearances, new coils, plugs, points and condensers and it runs like a bought one.

With a first test run (shakedown) a few nights ago, I discovered I need to fix a few things:

1) The gear lever circlip fell off and the lever nearly went astray. Luckily the foot peg bracket just held it in place.
2) The clutch slips slightly under load, heavy-duty springs are on the way. 
The lever itself feels so light, it's hard to pull away from standstill — definitely needs more pressure.
3) The seat is too low, and too firm, but the cover itself is still pliable and soft. I assumed somebody had cut away the original foam for a shorter rider, but maybe it's sunk over the years. I've ordered a section of gel to go into the seat for a little more height and comfort.

In fairness, it goes very well. I'll get some of these little jobs done and keep you all posted. Never done a gel seat conversion so looking forward to that. This is how it looks now — not immaculate, but definitely useable.

I'll clean up and paint the exhaust as and when, but for now need to get some miles on it. Hopefully the gel will arrive this week so I can sort that out.

More soon...

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Improving Your Motorcycle's Brakes... Cheaply.

As the lever fades...
With a few miles, or years, under its belt, most bikes start to feel a little bit lacking when it comes to the feel at the lever. And I, for one, am not keen on riding bikes where the lever almost touches the bars. Now, if money is no option, there are plenty of easy fixes:
  • New discs and pads
  • Braided brake lines
  • Rebuild the calipers with new seals, maybe pistons if damaged
  • Brembo adjustable master cylinder 
But this gets expensive, and changing parts could be masking an actual problem — something that could be easily fixed. So what if you could improve your standard brakes where things have deteriorated over time? Well read on...

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Can You Clean and Adjust Your Chain?

Drive Chain Maintenance.
A bit of a back to basics story here. I thought I had this covered sometime back, but I actually don't, my bad. A couple of weeks ago, a geezer asked if I thought the chain on his Ninja 300 was worn out. Wish I'd taken some pics of it now to give you a better idea.

The chain was hanging down in a large arc because it needed adjusting so badly. On closer inspection, it was also really greasy/dirty where chain lube had been sprayed on constantly during its life, but had never been cleaned. It was also heavy and slow to move because of the grease.
Now you can give all the advice you want in person, but words are meaningless unless you're doing the job with them, there and then. And if the person isn't confident in adjusting it correctly, it's a tough call. Everything is easy when you know how.

Regarding the wear factor? It was half-and-half. Yes, you could pull the chain links away from the rear sprocket slightly (a good test for a worn chain), but then I've seen far worse. If it was mine, I'd give it a damn good clean up first, spray it with chain lube again, adjust it and take it for a ride. And then monitor it for a while.

So, a good time for a tutorial. Take from it what you will, ignore it completely, or find out how I get years from chains and sprockets. 

Here's a Can-Am 175 that is just beyond a simple clean and adjust. I'll admit defeat with this one. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

How To Fix Broken Valves On A 2.5HP Compressor.

The Throwaway World...
I've never been one to hang onto old rubbish, ok that's a lie. If it might come in useful one day, it stays... forever. 
But the old portable compressor has been sooooo useful over the years, and I didn't really want to buy another, not yet. It was working its heart out the other day while I was blowing water and dust of my deck, when its tone changed, and not for the better I can tell you!

Had the head gasket blown? Filter blocked? Piston holed?

Ten minutes later the head was off. I'd actually never looked inside one of these before and was surprised at the valve set up. Just a couple of sprung steel strips, and one of them had worn thin and snapped. Apparently a common fault.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Balancing Motorcycle Wheels At Home.

Getting Balance In My Life.
Because I fit my own tyres, I knocked up a contraption to balance wheels ages ago, but it involved a couple of lengths of wood which needed to be supported high enough to get a wheel off the ground. All this took up space and was a pain to set up, even if it did the job ok.

What I wanted was the nifty little self-standing static balancer I'd seen online. A quick perusal of eBay had one snapped up and delivered for less than seventy of the finest Aussie dollars. And, what's more, it arrived two days later! In Australia that's pretty much unheard of.

Just a quick look at the box and you can already feel the quality can't you? 

"This twin purpose wheel balancing stand and stand..." I'm lost. And "twin purpose" means? Well, according to the destructions, either a biker or motorcyclist can use it. 

Alright, sarcasm over, let's have a little decko and see if it actually works.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Suzuki GS400 - Another Bike Project.

I've been busy... with wood. And I'm not a very accomplished woodworker. Prefer metal, but I wanted to create something out of junk. Pallets in this case. They'd been sat outside where I work for awhile, and were going to be broken up, so why not?