Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Marco Simoncelli

Absolutely gutted. 
Heard about it the next day on the news and couldn't believe it.
Felt physically sick.

If ever there was a personality and determination to take on Rossi's mantle, I believe Marco was the one.

But it's pointless to talk about "what if", and I just hope the rest of the riders can come to terms with such a sad loss - especially Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi.

Marco Simoncelli brought us real old school excitement in a series most have forgotten about by the following day.

Thank you Marco for providing the thrills in Moto GP that makes motorcycle racing what it is. You'll never be forgotten.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Paddock Stands

Are you still trying to push the bike while lubing the chain?

If you're struggling with maintenance on the bike, a paddock stand is a must have. Now you can lift the bike on your own in seconds - you know it's safe, easy to work on and isn't going to get damaged!

Remove your rear wheel with ease, change the brake pads, clean, lube and adjust the chain. I wouldn't be without one and neither should you.

At this price, I can see why so many bike owners are ordering them up!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Billeigh Photography

What a difference it makes when you use the best equipment. From the tools you use on the bike, to the cameras you use to show them off. Now I just have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3, which is great for close up shots of bikes and general stuff, but when you want action shots, you need to pay a little extra.

Thankfully I have a mate who is a professional photographer and, on top of all that, he rides too! I met Will Course through work and his pics continually blow me away. The cameras he brings with him are worth more than the new Yamaha XT660X he rides, but worth every penny! Just take a look at these and cruise over to his portfolio for a look at this true talent.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

2010 R6 - It's new, it's fast and that'll do for me...

A quick(ish) test ride.
The trusty old '99 R6 has been put out to pasture - ok, it's been sold. Dave decided an upgrade was imminent so, after much procrastinating, a new model was decided on. A 2010, low miles, gleaming R6. 'Tis a thing of beauty so it is, and I got to thrash it on a test ride! 

Happy days, although the suspension was hard, and this bike is quite tall, it performed superbly on the mountain. The tyres were practically new, and this caused a few squirms in the first few bends, but then it just came together. In fact, the chicken strips were gone by the time we got back down to the bottom. Good darts.

The rear preload was way too much, for me at least, and I expected to get thrown out of the seat on a few of the rough sections, but the little Yamaha took it in its stride. This was surprising because the bike barely moved when I sat on it. A couple of clicks back on the old-fashioned, but simple, adjuster and the rear end is more compliant. This bike rocks!

I want another go!

Beautiful bike, beautiful scenery, beautiful day... biking.

The bike exudes quality, but I think he might be changing that can for a GYTR version.

The R & G tail tidy has neatened up the rear of the bike, a huge improvement over the stock plate holder! Takes about an hour for a beer-drinking monkey to fit and can be found on eBay for around one hundred of the countries finest dollars. Top work Davy!

Words we've been familiar with forever! Don't fix what ain't broke...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mutant CBR

While Bryan's return to bike riding was decidedly short-lived, it did give me a chance to look underneath the plastic of a 2006 CBR600RR
A nice bit of kit to ride to be fair but, unfortunately for the CBR, was launched over the side of a mountain. Luckily the bushes and undergrowth stopped it plummeting to its death!

Oops was an understatement!

Now we just need to work out how to recover it.

The trusty Ford Falcon. 4 litre, straight six powerhouse (honest).

Keep going, nearly there!

Couple of scratches - should polish out.

Mutant CBR600 - Cool As!

So, once home, it was time to rip off the plastic and check out the important bits. Looks pretty damn good actually. What a cool bike this would be - hmm, a tractor seat is all that's needed to complete her!

 A Yoshimura race can and a new fairing and she'll be pretty much sorted. Time to get the wallet out...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Gear Up Magazine.

A new bike magazine is about to hit the streets. 

Based in South Wales, Gear Up Magazine is put together by an enthused bunch of bikers, hellbent on giving the reader all aspects of motorcycle life in God's country.

Whether you're into classic bikes or the latest race replica, you'll find a road test to suit you. With varied backgrounds, you can expect a unique array of biking talent from your local towns. 
Just got to work out how to get my hands on the first edition!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

KTM 50 Mini Adventure - Forks.

There's a certain lack of damping on this bike. The rear shock is knackered, along with its bushes; but the forks, although good in appearance, were out of sync. The one seemed fine - pushed down easily and returned slowly, spot on. The other felt like it had no oil.

So, first things first, whip the caps off and drain them.

They don't always unscrew as easily as this. I cheated - I'd already undone them with an airgun. If you're struggling to loosen them, fit them back into the yokes (triple clamps) and tighten the lower section. Leave the top yoke loose and you should now be able to undo the fork top nut.

Fork top nut out to reveal a plastic spacer. Not sure if this is genuine or not. Seems like a long spacer or a short spring! Anyway, both forks had oil in them so obviously that's not the problem. 

Out with the spring, then a 6mm Allen key to remove the bottom bolt.

Then we can remove the damper assembly with the stanchion. The aluminium collar on the end of the damper tube just slides off, and the damper rod itself can be dropped out through the opposite end of the stanchion.

And finally, we see the problem, or not. The plastic "piston ring" is missing from the sleeve, allowing the oil to bypass, but KTM only list one. It should fit into the groove on the white plastic section at the end of the damper rod, but maybe only one leg needs it. We're going to get hold of another piston ring and fit it to see how it performs. 

From what I can gather online, 110 ml of oil per fork is required and, by the feel of the other one, it's just the job.

There we have the basic, conventional fork stripped down. Very easy to work on and diagnose so don't be afraid to get stuck in.

Sorry for the blurriness of some of the photos, that particular photographer has now been sacked!

Triton T140 - 'blade beater?

This is a Triton I'd love to own! 

Check out the link to this beauty with Fireblade stomp!

Triton T140

Thanks to Bike EXIF for bringing this to my attention.
Thanks to Damien McFadden for finding it, and taking the pics.
You'll find all the other information at Bike EXIF.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

KTM 50 Mini Adventure - Rolling Chassis.

While the engine is on the operating table, I thought it would be a good time to check out the rest of the bike. I already knew the rear shock was devoid of any damping whatsoever, but the brakes, wheel bearings, swingarm, steering head bearings and forks also needed a check over.

It didn't take long to realise everything was worn out - this bike has had a hard life.

Lets start at the front. The brake is hard to pull on due to a dry cable and partially seized pivot on the actuating arm. Hopefully a clean and re-grease will cure that.

Time to drop the forks out. One has zero damping, the other isn't too bad. Time for new oil while it's apart. It all comes apart easily, no bent stanchions and no seized bolts - cool as.

Off with the Pro Taper handlebar adaptors to gain access to the top yoke. 

New bearings needed here. They are completely mullered!

Now to the rear. Disconnect the brake cable first, then it's just the spindle.

New bearings and a clean up should sort everything here.

Shoes off, cleaned up, grease the pivot and actuator and good to go again. They're worn but will last a while longer.

Time to knock out the bearings. There is a spacer in between the two bearings which needs to be moved slightly sideways to allow access to the centre of the lowest bearing. Use a good punch to dislodge the spacer, get a good seating on the bearing and give a sharp tap with a hammer. As it moves outwards, the spacer will become very loose and you'll be able to knock the bearing out evenly by moving the punch round to different positions as you tap. Don't just keep tapping in one place because you may damage the hub if the bearing doesn't come out squarely.

Bearings out, time to clean up the drum. Use rough wet and dry, or emery cloth, on the surface of the drum and then clean out any dust/mud with a a rag.

Nearly there, just the shock and the swingarm to remove.

Corroded swingarm pivot. Ideally new bushes and pivot needed, but we'll have to see.

So we need a new shock, wheel bearings, steering head bearings and possibly swingarm bearings. This little bike is going to rip!