Sunday, July 22, 2012

Just Spent A Week In The Vinegar!

Nah, it ain't jail slang.
The bottom yoke, or triple clamp depending on where you're from, is a pain in the ass to clean because of the strengthening sections cast in at the factory. Too difficult to get a wire brush in, too much like hard work to use emery cloth and I don't have access to a shot blaster.


Monday, July 16, 2012

How To Paint Aluminium... And Get Great Results!

Ferrous, Non-ferrous - Easier, Harder?
Steel's great - you just can't kill it! OK, so the thin stuff might rot through, but the meatier components can be wire brushed, emery-clothed, dunked in acid, even kicked around with steel toe-caps, and still they're ready for another lick of paint. Quick dose of primer, chuck on a top coat of colour and everything's cool.

But Aluminium (or Aluminum if you're American), is a different story.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pirelli Diablo Rosso 2 Review

I want new tyres for every ride!
With about 150 km's on the new boots, I'm impressed. The bike feels like its awesome self again. It's probably the same thing we always feel when new tyres are fitted, but today I'm happy!

Pirelli Diablo Rosso 2
Tyres don't seem to need running in anymore.
Back in the nineties, the magazines warned you everywhere "Take it steady for the first hundred miles as the oil in the rubber is forced to the surface."
Hmm, whatever's going on in there nowadays doesn't seem to matter because these babies just work from the off. Knee down no problem ten minutes from the shop. Of course, it's always in the back of your mind that you'll slip on the first bend, but not once did they cause any grief.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Michelin Pilot Road 3 Review

Good enough for fast road?
Considering Michelin themselves don't recommend these for a sports bike, they did pretty well - 7,500 km's well in fact.

Yet again, the sides have worn out well before the centres, testament to the harder compound in the middle, but to get that sort of mileage from a GSXR1000 is outstanding!

Pilot Road 3 looking unused in the middle.

Can it hold it's own against stickier alternatives?
In all honesty, I'd put it down to the rider. A few blasts with some quick riders has proved how good they are. Only occasionally spinning up the rear out of a bend, it's incredible how much grip is at hand. The front is much more rounded than modern sports tyres (Power Pure looks almost pointed), and shows in its mellow lean speed. This left me with less confidence - a feeling that got worse the more they wore. 

They can be hustled, but maybe not in the same way as the Power Pures fitted before.

Fast sweeping bends tended to leave me uneasy on a rough road surface - something I'd not noticed so much with previous tyres. The front always gave that vague feeling when tipped right over at high speed. But it's not a sports tyre, was never described as such so the only geezer to blame is me!

GSXR1000K6 with Pilot Road 3's fitted.

And what do you expect from something that lasts nearly twice as long? They don't look as good as an all out sports tyre. in fact they're pretty ugly, but  easily capable of all the knee down fun, stoppies and wheelies you can handle. 

So do the sums and take your choice. If you're quick, and ride a full-on race rep, you'd probably be better off with a sticky, almost smooth, sports tyre. But if you're touring, commuting, and like the odd fast section, then these things are perfect and will last ages!

Would I use them again?
It's time for a change. I don't like the tread pattern and want something slightly more sports orientated. Three of us need tyres at the moment so we're all going to give the Pirelli Diablo Rosso 2's a shot this weekend. 
Again, they're twin compound, but smooth outer edges which should help combat the scalloping effect - the result of rebound problems when leant right over? 
Having just read a review on Visordown, a new ZX10R using the 3's on a race track had exactly the same issue. The grooves are wide and probably not matched well with stiff suspension, leaving you with a smooth, rounded trailing edge and an untouched leading edge. Shame because there was plenty of life left in other parts of the tyre.

Look at the sides and see how the trailing edge is worn down, and the leading edge is sharp.
Time to lay down another $400!
This is going to be a cool test. Three bikes - CBR600R, R6 and my Gixer 1000 - all to be fitted with the same tyres on the same day. No excuses, last to wear them out buys a brew!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

It Really Doesn't Take Long...

To Strip Down A Bike.
Within a couple of hours you can reduce most bikes to their individual components. But be methodical, don't rush and use plenty of WD40 on the rusted bits (even heat if necessary). You want everything to come to pieces without being trashed. 

A rusted bolt probably needs a little assistance so don't just use your biggest spanner and round off the head, strip the thread or, worse still, shear it off completely. Take your time now and it'll make it easier, and cheaper, when it's rebuild time.

She ain't winning no beauty contests, but once all this scaffolding is removed she should be a lot lighter. Wrong clocks fitted though. Probably changed when it passed the millionth km.