Friday, October 25, 2013

Maintenance Day

Today, with the help of Dad, the Connie got to have a bit of a birthday - in the shape of a bit of TLC.  But first I had to get up to Napier where my expert mechanic was.

I left home just after seven and after filling up in Woodville rode straight into my first taste of today's windy weather.  From Woodville to Dannevirke I was blown silly but it did get a bit better further North and was actually quite nice in Napier when I got there.

Barely had I got my bike gear off and bits of plastic were being removed in preparation for the start of our servicing.

Getting naked
Today we had three jobs to do: change the coolant and spark plugs and bleed the rear brake.

The coolant was probably the easiest job although Dad was very keen to make sure that there was no air-locks in the system so we fired her up and checked things over a few times before I went for a test ride as well just to be sure.

The plugs turned out to be the biggest mission - first we had to work out how to get at them!

They're in there somewhere
Eventually we removed all sorts of stuff and managed to find a way to them.

Look closely and you'll see one out of four plug caps...
Getting them out also was a mission but in the end we got there and there's now four new Iridium plugs all set to go.

The brake bleeding went fairly well and Dad got me a bit better feeling pedal.  The brake is still not perfect (I've never really thought much of the Connie's rear brake) but I got it to chirp the tyre on the driveway for a split second before the ABS kicked in.

Getting the bike all back together also took us a wee while - there really is a lot of stuff hidden under the plastic and it all needs to set just so - so it wasn't until about 4pm that I got to take that test ride.  The bike checked out all ok so I loaded her up for the trip home.

By now the wind had made it's way up the island and had really increased in it's vigour.  When I hit the Takapau plains it was particularly bad and I got blown silly - the wind I had in the morning would have been lovely to ride in by comparison.

Luckily once I got South of Dannevirke the wind had wound down to a minor blow and after another fuel stop in Woodville it was just a short squirt through the gorge and home before 7:30pm.


  1. Andrew:

    You are so lucky to have a great mechanic in the family. Removing plastic panels is not easy unless you know where those tabs are. I don't think any manufacturer makes it easy to service anything

    Glad you survived the Wind. Lucky it wasn't raining too

    Riding the Wet Coast

    1. Yes, good to get it all done Bob. I thought I was going to get rain as I could not see the hills but I think the wind was blowing it all away...

  2. It looks like there was about as much room for getting the plugs of of the Connie as there was on my Zx14 (ZZR14). The only tool that I could get to fit in there was the plug wrench from the bikes tool kit. An inch more room would have been nice.

    1. Funny that Erik - same frame and basically the same engine. Dad had all sorts of tools that were handy to get in there but yes, the tool from the kit ended up being easiest to get at the plugs.

  3. Nothing like having to ride leaned over just to stay upright. Cross winds suck.

    Glad you got the Connie all race ready though.

    1. Yep, wind sucks alright. Bike is ready to rock and about to head out on it's next wee pootle shortly...

  4. Good job getting all your maintenance done. I hate removing fairing panels. That is when having a naked bike comes in handy.

    I find the problem with GPS and google maps is that they show a very small part of the entire picture. Sure, you can zoom out and in but then you lose all context of the picture and certain roads appear and disappear. Plus, I lose all sense of direction and compass points no longer have any meaning.

    - Dave at Motorcycle Addiction