Thursday, May 28, 2015

Suzuki GS and GSX Carb O-rings.

They don't make it easy...
Whenever a vehicle is designed, it's very important for the manufacturer to use odd sized O-rings. Forget rounded-up to the next millimetre sizes, you are guaranteed that the vital one needed will be 3.67mm in diameter and 0.89mm thick. Should you, by good luck, find an identical size, it'll probably be of the wrong material. 
And don't even get me started on the old "universal" box of O-rings you can buy! These were a great money spinner for someone, but they won't actually fit anything, and you'll be left with a full box thirty years later.

So when it's time to rebuild the carbs on your GS/GSX, it's nice to know that someone has already done the hard work, and research, for you and can supply the complete set for a great price. Without the right ones, your bike will never run properly.
Robert Barr's website not only has the right parts, but also comes with tips to help you do the job. I'd already bought some of the O-rings for the GSX carbs, but the ones niggling me were the tiny ones for the mixture screws. I struggled to find the right size, so decided to buy the complete kit for US$16 delivered. Awesome service!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Biketch7 - 2012 KTM Superduke 990R Steering Head Bearings

So there's been some whinging...
Not sure if it's different for the female fraternity, but when a geezer says there's a problem with his bike, it's immediately classed as an excuse. Always has, always will be... and hell, I'll admit it, I've used it a fair bit too. 
And so it was with Dave's Superduke. Ages ago he said it didn't feel right, "It's like the front tyre is sticking to the road at really slow speeds." I thought no more of it, after all, it only ever goes at really slow speeds. Boom boom! 

I had a ride on it back then, but hey it's a Harley, sorry V-twin, and didn't really feel out of the way. But a few months later, yes just last weekend, we went out for a blast and he pulled over and asked me to ride it again...
I got thirty yards and thought 'What the f*#k!'
This thing has become very dangerous. Slow speeds, or under engine braking, and the steering went horribly tight. With throttle whacked open it was good,  but as soon as you caught up with a car and slowed down, it felt like the steering was about to lock up. Kudos to Davy for riding it like he was.

When steering bearings wear, they become loose and pitted/notchy. Because of the weight of you and the bike on the lower steering bearing, once facing straight ahead, the steering effectively locks into that position. Think of it like the spring-loaded ball in a ratchet and how it pops out when you fit a socket on to the drive. That's what happens to the bearing rollers, or balls, as they drop into little dents in the outer race.
From the rider's perspective, he/she now needs more leverage to move the handlebars from the straight ahead position. That's easy enough, but you find yourself having to put more input into the bars initially; then, as the bearings move out of the recess they were stuck in, the steering suddenly goes light and you're pushing the bars far further than you wanted. We're very adept at adapting (ooh, hark at him!) to these situations, but having to constantly counteract for these situations is a pain, and also dangerous. 
If in doubt, get someone to pull the bike over onto its back wheel and side stand, and go from lock-to-lock using the fork legs. You should feel the tight spots as you go back and fore. 
Still not convinced? Or inexperienced? Then get help from some who knows. Steering is pretty important on our two-wheeled bundles of joy, so make sure it's right.

And back to it.
So, a complete bearing/seal kit was purchased from Action KTM, in Nerang, for the very low price (I thought) of $89. That's pretty good considering they're SKF bearings, and today we set into it.