Thanks to everyone who sent me email about the last entry. Y'all are sweet.
a maintenance-rific weekend.
So Peter and I had quite the maintenance weekend. There wasn't anything really *wrong* with the bikes (well, not at the start of the weekend, anyway...... more astute readers will recognize this as foreshadowing), just regularly scheduled maintenance. I figured that since my bike hit 800 miles this weekend, that I should probably do the 600-mile first service on it. So that's what I spent my weekend doing. Therefore, y'all are going to hear all about it! What fun!
Because you care, here's the basic rundown of the 600-mile first service:
While the oil was draining, I checked the throttle cable play. Or at least tried to, since neither Peter (who had since returned from OSH) nor I could really figure out what the manual was telling me to do. It basically says to loosen the locknut on the throttle returning cable, fully turn in the adjuster, and loosen the locknut on the throttle pulling cable. I got this far, no problem. Then, it says to "turn the adjuster in or out until the throttle cable play (at the throttle grip) is between 2.0 and 4.0mm," and then tighten the locknut again while holding the adjuster. Since neither of us had any idea at all what "throttle play at the grip" was supposed to feel like, nor any clue how to measure it, we shrugged and gave up and returned everything to their original positions. I figure it's there mostly as a "make sure nothing was a factory defect" check anyway at 600 miles, and since I'm not having throttle issues, well, OK.
I checked the brake pads. Still lots of brake pad left.
Oh, before I started draining the oil, I turned the bike on to check the idle speed, but didn't bother doing any adjustments, since the manual has it listed as "1300rpms +/- 100rpms" and the SVS idles at about 1400rpms.
The carb synch I'm going to take to Spears/the dealer by my house (whichever is cheaper), since I don't even come close to having the correct tools for it. Since it's only "required" for the California models at 600 miles, I'm pretty sure it's an emissions request rather than a safety check anyway. I'm also going to have them check the steering, since, well, Peter's garage is already full up with the remains of the last time I tried to fix a steering column problem. ;) That and that a real mechanic will have the jack to make checking the steering possible, and I don't.
While I was doing all of this, Peter was changing the hydraulic fluid in his clutch. Basically, he just opened up the reserrvoir by the handlebar, opened up the valve and bleed nipple down by the crankcase (conveniently labeled "hydraulic fluid"), attached a piece of clear PVC tubing to the nipple, and dropped the other end of the tubing into an empty Wyder's bottle. Once he got an air bubble situation under control, squeezing the clutch lever caused the old fluid to pump out into the bottle, and he eventually just poured the new fluid into the reservoir. He kept draining until the fluid dripping into the Wyder's bottle was clear, so he knew the new fluid had completely circulated, and voila! New fluid. He also changed his oil, which is even less interesting than my oil change, since he didn't spill goo all over.
Unfortunately, while riding to/from dinner last night, Peter reported that the new oil and new clutch fluid made it painfully obvious that his clutch is not going gently into that good night but is in fact kicking and screaming all the way. He'd mentioned to me a couple of weeks ago that if he opened the throttle at high rpms at high speeds, the clutch would slip, and he'd suddenly be at redline with no acceleration. Apparently on the way home from dinner, the clutch was slipping at higher rpms no matter what the speed or gear he was in. Wisely, he decided to just bite the bullet and call Spears in the morning. Therefore, he didn't end up doing any more maintenance on the bike today, since he didn't want to do a test ride afterwards ("this clutch has one more ride left in it, and that's going to be the ride to Spears"), so he worked on his lawn project and helped me with the occassional stuck bolt while I finished up my service.
The first thing I did this afternoon was measure the drive chain while Peter made yet another OSH run. Basically, you just loosen the related-to-drive-chain bolts, and then tighten the chain adjusters until there's no slack left in the chain at all. You measure the distance between 20 pins on the chain, and if it's over 12.8", you replace the chain. Since mine was only at 11.8", no problems there. Again, at 600 miles, I imagine this is more of a "did the dealer sell me a chain made out of paperclips?" check than an actual safety concern. After checking that, I adjusted the chain to normal slack and moved on with my life.
Unfortunately, the next part of my life was taken up by checking the torque on like every single nut and bolt on the bike. I actually ended up checking only around half of them, since I didn't have the right adapters for some of the bolts. I was borrowing Peter's roommate's torque wrench, and it only fit on the medium-sized ratchets that I have; all of the extra small (i.e. 9mm brake caliper mounting bolts) and extra large (i.e 25mm steering stem head nut) bolts are going to have to wait until I can find adapters. There were also a bunch of hex bolts that the manual told me to torque, so I'm assuming there must be a torque-to-hex adapter somewhere in the cosmos as well, but we sure don't have one. I'm not really concerned about these un-checked bolts, though, since every single bolt I *did* check was at the torque specifications immediately. I didn't have to tighten a single one. So, I just made note of which bolts I didn't check, and I figure that once I plop down more money on adapters, well, I'll just check them then.
Oh, and I also lubed the chain with WD-40 and cleaned off the wheel rims. I used Peter's Eagle One Aluminum Cleaner and a wheel brush from Kragen's. It works really nicely; you just spray it on, wait 30 seconds, scrub with a brush, and then hose off. It took all of the brake dust and chain grease off of my rims on the first pass. I've heard that leaving it sit for a longer-than-recommended period of time can damage the wheels, since it's acid-based, but both Peter and I have used this on all three of our bikes with no problems whatsoever. I think it's pretty good stuff.
OK, that's enough torturing with the details of the SVS's first service. :) Aside from the carb synch and steering check (which the dealer/Spears will do), it's all set now for another 3200 miles. :) I can't say that I noticed any difference at all when riding it home tonight, but it's a nice peace of mind to know that everything's in its proper working conditions. Hopefully Spears will take care of all of Peter's bike's woes, too, with minimal cost and lack-of-bike time, and then we'll be all set for spring! :) Yay!
the most important thing ever.
Peter got the race off of the steering stem tonight. We had a small celebration. I'd just like to say that that damn race withstood industrial pliers, a Dremel, and ruined a brand-new chisel. It didn't go down without a fight. Let's all take a moment to remember our friend, the steering race. I'm keeping that damned beat-up Dremeled piece of crap forever.
one last thing.
I leave you with what is quite probably the best illustration ever in a service manual. See why I love this thing? I don't even do drugs, and now I want to make a bong out of my emissions control parts. Bonus points for noticing all of the fascinating english approximations in the final paragraph. :)
back | next | home