Date: 14-04-21  Time: 20:49 PM

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I know I could be opening up a political discussion but please keep those comments off this thread!

Is there a ride for this? You know, for people who support the idea that those shooting unarmed people in the back as they flee should face justice…

FZS600 Fazer / Worn out battery...
« on: 15 March 2019, 11:16:25 AM »

The bike’s been off the road now since November… the first winter it’s ever had without being used. Hadn’t planned it this way, lack of spare time has delayed engine replacement and always hoping I’d find the time meant I’d left the battery in it.
Retrieved it this morning and was surprised to find it still registered 12V and, given a boost, will doubtless turn an engine over as willingly as ever. Those original GS units were damn fine batteries.

Sadly it may need replacing soon, the jolting from 200k of crappy roads has worn through the casing and it’s starting to leak nasties. I’ll try to patch it: obviously want to keep what is probably the world’s highest mileage FZS600 battery going a bit longer :rollin but the end is in sight.

General / Cue the piss-taking...
« on: 18 November 2018, 09:33:12 PM »

Over the past few years I’ve noticed I need to pee more often.
At first it was just a bit difficult getting to work without needing to stop… my kidneys seem to operate flat-out in the morning so an hour-long commute was enough to make it pretty desperate by the time I arrived. More recently it’s got worse in that I can be in urgent need of a piss even when my bladder is only one third full.
Probably this is down to age (late 50’s), but thought I’d better get it checked out.
The hospital urology unit told me to keep a record of fluid intake and output so lately I’ve been pissing in a measuring jug… which has revealed the fact that after I’ve been out on the bike for an hour my urine is cloudy whereas the rest of the time it’s crystal clear. Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed a similar effect?

General / Which tyres are most resistant to getting punctured?
« on: 10 September 2017, 02:44:29 PM »

I switched to Michelin PR3s for my latest rubber having usually stuck with Bridgestone. After only 250 miles or so the rear was holed by a small nail. While browsing the web looking for info on tyre repair longevity I blundered across an article on Visordown rating the PR3s which suggested anecdotal evidence that they were more prone to punctures.
That has certainly been my experience… albeit on a statistically irrelevant sample of one.

In total I’ve had 23 rear tyres on the Fazer:
One Michelin, holed almost immediately as mentioned.
Two Metzelers, the first of which was punctured by a coach bolt about halfway through its life.
The other twenty have been Bridgestones: BT57/BR020/BT021/BT023 representing about 174,000 miles… zero punctures.

So, how far do you ride between punctures and on which rubber? Are Bridgestones tougher tyres? 

General / Am I being thick?
« on: 03 September 2017, 05:57:56 PM »
I bought a repair kit for tyres with a view to doing a more permanent fix on my rear tyre which picked up a small nail about 300 miles after fitting.
It came with a selection of patches, glue, some mushrooms and spare valves and 5 of these weird things:-

Can someone tell me what they're for?

General / The 2017 Spring Budget (the Fazer-related bits)
« on: 08 March 2017, 02:25:56 PM »

Since it normally never makes the headlines… or even the Chancellor's speech, here are the changes to "road tax" from 1st April as dug out from "Annex A".

Vehicle Excise Duty (401cc to 600cc) up from £60 to £62.
Vehicle Excise Duty (over 600cc) up from £82 to £85.

And, to keep the inflationary theme going, Insurance Premium Tax goes up from 10% to 12%.


Just a heads-up for anyone who uses this route into London.
Last week several of the old, probably-inactive, Gatsos disappeared.
Now there are numerous sets of average speed cameras. I don't know if they're in use yet (I hope not!), but they're not as obvious as the big old boxes as they are higher and smaller.
There doesn't seem to be any new signage... so it's not at all obvious that you're now being monitored along this entire stretch.

General / DIY tyre changing
« on: 03 October 2015, 11:39:34 PM »

I last changed a modern tubeless motorbike tyre by hand about 30 years ago (having discovered that it wasn't an easy job).
Thanks to lots of misleading Youtube videos showing that it can be done in a few minutes I spent most of yesterday changing the front… only problem now is I can't find a garage forecourt with an air supply that delivers fast enough to get the bead out of the well and properly seated. Sainsbury's at least offers free air, but the flow rate is about the same as my foot pump and the machine at my local station looks the same and charges 50p.
Plan B was to beg a favour off one of the tyre fitters in my area, but they close early on Saturday and won't be open Sunday. :'(

Anyone know of a filling station that has a decent air supply?

FZS600 Fazer / Centrestand repair
« on: 07 September 2015, 09:43:58 AM »

A couple of years ago my centre stand started twisting and, rather than replace it again, tried welding the fracture and bracing the corners.

Unfortunately I have lost the photo I took of the result, but recently the bike has been leaning away from me as I try to get it up on the stand… a sure sign that it is failing again. You can see the new fracture below (and can just make out the triangular braces I'd welded onto the front side).

Yesterday I welded up the crack and added a large brace right across the back… probably should have done this last time.

OK, despite some tidying up with the angle grinder and a layer of black paint, you can tell my welding is piss-poor but it seems to have done the trick for the moment.

The Laboratory ! / Embed Vine?
« on: 12 October 2014, 12:49:54 AM »

FZS600 Fazer / Dropped bike tip
« on: 24 September 2014, 03:48:28 PM »

Arriving home at about 00:30 last night, I parked the bike on the sidestand and, thanks to the uneven concrete driveway noted that the bike was almost vertical. So I gave it a wriggle and waited a couple of seconds to make sure it was stable before opening the garage door.
The bloody thing waited until I was a yard away before creeping forward and toppling over to the left. I got to it before it hit the deck, but only succeeded in slowing the fall. :wall
Knackered after a long day and with a naturally puny body, I then found I couldn't lift it back up. I've managed OK in the past, but with a full tank of fuel this time it was just too much.
I found a 4ft plank in the garage and slid one end under the bike just behind the tank until it contacted the decked footpeg then with one hand on the left handlebar and the other on the end of the plank it lifted up with no difficulty at all. Might help other 9-stone weaklings, or anyone with a dodgy back.

FZS600 Fazer / Free: hand made split exhaust clamp
« on: 02 July 2014, 06:37:54 PM »

Collection only.
Item location: somewhere on the westbound M3 between junctions 2 and 4. :'(

Yep, after replacing the downpipes and tightening the nuts to the same torque with my NPL calibrated wrist, one of the two surviving Sandy Bike Spares clamps fractured and then one of my laboriously made replacements fell off.
Note to self: recheck tightness after a few hundred miles.


The bike's been reluctant to select first when at a standstill for a couple of months now, an ailment it mysteriously developed whilst having the MOT performed. Well, it's been getting worse, to the point where I ordered some new detent and return springs for the gear selector, which took ages to come and then I sort of didn't find a suitable time to tackle the job... but I kept using the bike.
It's also started with the old 2nd gear problem; selects OK if you give it time, but if you're in a hurry it's likely to turn into a false neutral.
Last night I made the mistake of attempting to change down to first while slowing for some traffic lights, but was going too slow and there was nothing there... no probs, I thought, flick up to second and pull away in that gear again... except now I can't get 2nd either, lever just goes up and down without the normal accompanying clonk.
Shove the bike onto the pavement, raise onto centrestand, try and spin the rear wheel fast enough that things think they're moving whilst grabbing at the clutch and yanking at the gearlever. All this effort gains me is a muck sweat.
Either I take the clutch cover off and try to persuade the selector drum round or I call for some roadside rescue... it's nearly 1am, I'm knackered after a 12 hour shift and not really in the mood for delving into the engine by streetlight so I call the folks who gave a pretty good service last time the bike died and I needed a 30 mile recovery lift. "We're a vehicle short and all the rest are are out on jobs, it'll be a 2 hour wait. If you're lucky."
I decide I am in the mood for roadside motorcycle maintenance after all. With the bike on the sidestand, I get the cover off with no oil spillage. Can't see why the escapement mechanism isn't working the drum around because it's a) too dark and b)the clutch is in the way and pulling that off feels like it'd be more than I want to tackle. I try to lever the drum around with the screwdriver, but it's not budging... then my tired brain remembers the clutch is engaged: wind out the cable adjuster on the handlebar until it's disengaged and to my great relief find I can lever the drum round to second, and then third.
Then it was just a case of putting everything back together, shoving my oily hands back in my nice new gloves :rolleyes  and then spend another two minutes before I twig that the reason the bike won't start is that I'd hit the killswitch.
Ever tried riding in London, even late at night, without changing into 1st gear? It's bloody difficult, the moment you relax and have to slow to a halt your foot does what it's programmed to do and changes down. Despite my intention of staying in third or above, I went down to second at one point. Anyway, tl:dr ... finally made it home at 02:15, or about two hours ahead of my lazier self that would have preferred the Fazer shoved in the back of a Transit.

General / No chance of talking my way out of this one.
« on: 09 January 2014, 01:27:50 PM »

I was late for work, it was a beautiful sunny morning, there was very light traffic and the first dry roads my BT023s have seen since fitting a thousand miles ago, but I didn't feel any of those excuses were going to have much effect on the two nice gents from the Met who stopped me on the A316 this morning.
Phrases such as "we couldn't get a lock on you over the previous flyover" make me think they were being kind and I was lucky to get away with 3 points and a £100 fine.

So, does anyone have any good techniques for getting out of a speeding habit?
This is a journey I've done thousands of times. I know the road like the back of my hand and it's difficult to stay focussed on observing the limit. It's just too easy to maintain motorway speeds where the M3 turns into the 50mph (but still 3 lanes wide) A316. This morning's experience will slow me down for a few months, but know that eventually I'll focus on the speedometer less. I want to keep to within shouting distance of the limit as a habit.

FZS600 Fazer / A three-quarter mile workout
« on: 03 February 2013, 12:35:10 AM »
As I came over the crest of the flyover at the start of the M3 this evening the bike spluttered and died. I knew I was low on fuel, but the light had only come on 10 miles before that and I haven't filled up that early for years... I feel I'm pushing my luck after 45 miles, but I was so certain I'd the range left to get home and fill up in the morning that I'd happily ignored the Shell station just two miles previously.
Anyhow, I coasted to a halt and pushed the bike backwards along the on-ramp at Sunbury and, after a bit of sloshing the dregs of fuel around in the tank, enough found its way into the carbs for another 200 yards under intermittent power before I had to resort to shoving the dead weight myself again.
I've never been so glad to see a Tesco filling station price pillar, though it took me a while to find the station itself... it doesn't come into sight until another 5 minutes by which time I was soaked with sweat from the effort. Then I discovered they were just closing... kind of annoying that they advertise themselves as open 24 hours yet shut at 10:30 on a Saturday evening. Fortunately the guy locking the pumps took pity on me and let me fill up and the remaining 25 miles of my commute home were uneventful aside from the sub-zero temperature chilling my saturated clothing.
Why the metering system should have turned on the low fuel light so much later this time is a puzzle. I can't imagine anyone stole 2 litres of fuel from the tank while it was parked at work today and I've not smelt any leakage. The warning light had been such a dependable guide until now (much more use than the gauge itself) that it's a shame to think it can no longer be trusted.

FZS600 Fazer / DIY magnetic oil filter
« on: 10 January 2013, 12:24:18 AM »
I'll admit this wasn't my idea, unfortunately I can't recall who suggested it... kudos to whoever it was!
Anyhow, they pointed out that the magnets you can extract from an old hard disc drive are so strong that you can stick them to the thin steel of an oil filter and enough of the field will penetrate to the other side that you could use it to help clean ferrous contaminants out of engine oil.

So I tried it last time I changed the oil.
6000 miles later I hacksawed the filter open and found that
a) a filter that's spent an hour draining still holds enough oil to make a hell of a mess.
b) the magnet had indeed collected a noticeable quantity of very fine black sludge

I think the oil flows from the outside to the inside, so I can't be sure that that wouldn't have been caught anyway... though I suspect it is fine enough to pass through the filter. Even if it would have been caught, at least it made the filter's job a bit easier.
So the magnet has gone back on the new filter. :)

FZS600 Fazer / Broken exhaust header clamp
« on: 05 January 2013, 05:01:26 PM »
A few months back there was someone who'd had one of those great thick stainless steel header clamps fracture and thought at the time it was a bit odd since they're not under a huge amount of stress. Anyway, I went out to move the bike the other day and heard an odd "ting, ting"... and soon discovered the cause was exactly the same thing: a two-thirds segment of the ring was hanging from the downpipe under the engine and enjoying a new life as a musical instrument.

I managed to pull the remains off at a point where the pipe was slightly flattened and puzzled as to how to repair it since putting a replacement on would involve cutting the pipe and rewelding... I can't weld thin mild steel let alone stainless to gas-tight standards. Then I remembered I'd an old set of Motad downpipes with the clamps still present, so cut them off and made a couple of sections with enough of an open portion to get on to the tube.

Marked up the ends to lap the two halves together and got busy with hacksaw and file:

After an hour or so and a small blister I'd two half clamps that fitted together reasonably well:

They spread apart a bit when bolted on because the holes are so much larger than the header studs, but not so much that it's a problem.

It'll be interesting to see how long this bodge lasts, but I didn't fancy paying out £170+ for a new set of downpipes.
Incidentally, these are the ones Sandy Bikespares sell and the clamps are about 6mm thick compared with the old Motad pipes which have 8mm thick clamps (and hopefully of better quality steel since they're now effectively 4mm).

FZS600 Fazer / Well, it's never done that before...
« on: 29 September 2012, 02:36:31 AM »
Let me down, that is.
I hit a bump on the A316 late this evening on my way home from work and instantly, there's no power. Coast to a halt 80 yards from the top of a flyover with three lanes of traffic ignoring the 50 mph limit. Shit. Can't stay here. :eek
Shove the dead weight to the top and then get back on and freewheel down the other side and across the on-ramp. Park in bus stop with sweat pouring off me.
Engine still not interested, though the starter motor is doing it's best.
Dig out toolkit, shove screwdriver in a plug cap, hold it a few millimetres from the cam cover and spin the motor again. Completely sparkless. This bike is going nowhere under it's own power tonight.
Still, can't complain. 14 years, 146 thousand miles and this is the first time it's stranded me with anything other than a puncture.

Call AA. " No, I'm not a member"
Can hear spotty git at the other end of the line salivating as he estimates the commission he'll earn. Joining at the roadside and requiring a 30 mile recovery... and it's now nearly midnight... he starts totting up and I hang up as the figure heads north of £250.
Ring Green Flag instead. Helpful friendly lady comes up with a more sensible figure and says "You could just talk direct to the recovery firm we use in that area"... and gives me the number. :rollin
So, thank you Green Flag, you've earned some affection (but no money). Thank you, Revolution Motorcycles of Southall, £120 is about what a taxi would have cost at that time of night. :)

It's a working weekend for me, so I can't investigate the bike until Monday. Pretty sure it's not a connector as I've recently tightened them and sprayed with WD40 in preparation for winter. I'm guessing pick-up failure, with the CDI as an each-way bet.

General / Young male drivers of Hampshire and Surrey...
« on: 29 August 2012, 08:27:46 PM »

... I'm sorry to have to break the news, but the relative awesomeness of your motor car does not have any bearing whatsoever on the rules of the road.

The (cage-bound) journey home from visiting my mum this afternoon was uneventful until I reached little village of Seale, and two freshly collided cars. Considering the abysmal road surface, lack of width, tightness of the bends and awkwardness of the junctions, 25 mph through there can be regarded as suicidally fast. From the state of the vehicles, shocked bystanders, ambulance and fire engine, it appears excess speed may have been a factor. Since it looked as though the junction was going to remain blocked for a considerable time while they cut whatever remained of the occupants out, I took a 5 mile detour.

Next up it was nearly my turn. Spotting a gap in the overtaking lane on the A331, I pulled out to pass some slow traffic... as I drew level with the car at the back of the slower queue he started indicating. "Surely he's not thinking there's room?" I thought.
Well, apparently he did.
What's more, he was most displeased to find me inadvertently tailgating him and conveyed his irritation by stamping on the brakes.

Dear Dickhead 2,
I know it's tiresome getting caught in slow traffic and people behind you having first dibs on the gaps in the overtaking lane, but the simple fact is that gaps are available to them first. According to the highway code, that you've been held up longer or have a car with more street cred than the one that's passing you, does not give you priority.
You should also note that your car is only faster if you use the pedal on the right.

Anyway, he turned off towards Farnborough without any more attempts to cause an accident.

Taking the later Hawley exit I manoeuvred over to the right hand lane to cross the busy roundabout on the A325. When the opportunity arose I accelerated away, only to discover a lad in what he doubtless refers to as his "bling motor" emergency braking to my left.

Dear Dickhead 3,
The left lane there is clearly marked as left-only. The white hatched area you were on is not a lane. Vehicles on UK roundabouts give way to the right, they do not expect to give way to traffic on the left and as a result, no matter if your car is of greater status, drivers cannot be expected to be looking for vehicles approaching from that direction.

He was at least kind enough to offer an explanation for his poor driving before turning off into the housing estate. Apparently he was masturbating.
At least, I assume that was what he meant.

General / What's the furthest you've owned a bike for?
« on: 03 August 2012, 12:49:11 PM »

A recent post asked what was the longest you'd kept a bike for. It reminded me of a friend who'd bought a Honda RS250 new in 1981 and sold it last year... so, a nice round 30 years of ownership (it still started after a couple of kicks too). On the other hand, he'd only put 12,000 miles on it in all that time!

Perhaps a better guide to how well we get on with a particular bike would be how much we've used it... rather than how long we've been prepared to store it. So, what's the greatest mileage you've added to a bike?

The Laboratory ! / James' test page
« on: 25 October 2011, 04:23:55 PM »
Just to check how to add pics...
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Introduction / Thought I'd say "Hi" again..
« on: 15 October 2011, 04:44:30 PM »
So.. Hi!
I'm James, from Sandhurst.

Was on the old forum... if only an occasional contributor (did find a lot of the how-to posts useful though).
I've owned my '98 FZS600 from new and never felt the need to ride anything else since it's pretty much perfect for my needs.

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