Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Old age

So apparently I'm getting old.  Well, at least that is what one other Concours owner (who may or may not live in Ashhurst) said when I told him I'd made the purchase described below...

While I may be getting old (although I don't appear to be catching up to a certain Ashhurst Connie pilot), I am also getting used to the comfort of the Tenere's riding position.  It is slightly more roomy and also has a more upright riding position.

I can't do much about the legroom.  There are people out there that have lowered their foot pegs but that is not an option as I have been known to give them the occasional shine up on the road and I do not want to be doing this on every second corner.

So that leaves me with playing with the handlebar area.  To give me a slightly more upright riding position and to hopefully offer more comfort to my arms, back and shoulders I decided to try a set of bar risers.

There were plenty of options on E-Bay and I had a bit of a hunt around before settling on a set of 50mm jobbies.

As you can see they came with some longer bolts but I also have my GPS mount bolted to the handle bar mounts so I bought another 4 slightly longer bolts just in case.

On my initial attempt at installing I decided that I didn't like how much pressure they were placing on the brake and clutch lines so I found someone with some engineering skill how was able to take 10mm of each riser.

Once that was done it was time to fit.  This was a pretty simple job and the risers even had a thread tapped into them to allow the repositioning of the brake/clutch lines so that there was enough slack in them.  Shaving off that 10mm also meant that I didn't need those flash stainless bolts I bought either.


So they're on now and I've only really ridden the bike around 50km with them on so no decent distance to test comfort but I can say that they haven't had any detrimental effect on comfort or handling.  Swapping from the Connie to the Tenere (just with the bikes on their main stands) demonstrated a pretty similar feel with the only really noticeable difference being the width of the bars - the S10 having the wider jobbies.

I'd better plan in a decent pootle...

Monday, September 18, 2017

Mechanical Mission

I am not a mechanic.  I understand how some mechanical things work and have just enough knowledge (knowledge <> skills) to be dangerous.  But I'm keen...

With the Concours just having celebrated a big birthday and it finally due to get some exercise it was time to give it some loving.

The first job I completed a week ago and that was easy (having done it a few times), replacing the air filter.  I also had intended to dive into the big job of changing the plugs but ran into an issue with a damaged fairing bolt that I couldn't move and didn't want to totally destroy.  A trip over to the old man's shed sorted that pretty quickly.

And so, on Sunday it was time to start removing tupperware (and a lot of other stuff) to go in search of the plugs.

It begins...
 Dad and I had done this job about 60,000km ago and I knew from that experience that it wasn't easy.  There is a motor (and what a motor) under all that plastic and other stuff.

Nope, can't get my mitt in there yet...
All sorts of stuff needs to be removed or pulled aside.  You cannot just remove the tank (like a lot of bikes) as the airbox is basically built into the frame and the area between the top of the motor and the frame/air box is tiny.

The RHS is a bit easier and you see the donk sooner
When we first did the job we couldn't get any of Dad's spark plug removal tools in anywhere near the plugs and sat around for a while scratching our heads trying to work out how we were going to perform the operation.

In the end I decided to check the bike toolkit and low and behold there was a special tool in there which has a joint in it to allow you to get it in under the frame and drop it down the plug hole.  It can then be turned by a ratchet and then skinny hand (don't have one of those BTW).  I tried to show how little room there is in the pictures below - tricky to get a decent picture.

This picture appears to show more room than there actually is...

Anyway, with a lot of perseverance and holding my tongue the right way I eventually got the first plug out and a new one in.  That was a nice bit of encouragement with just three to go...

I did 3, 4, 2 and then 1 with 4 being the easiest followed by 1 and 3.  Number 2 was definitely the most awkward.

Anyway, by lunchtime (I think I started just before 10) I had the plugs in and half of the bike back together.  Another half an hour or so in the afternoon had the rest of the bike back together - and yes, I fired her up before putting everything back together just in case I'd made a blue.

Here's a comparison of an old #3 and its replacement.  Mechanics out there (Dad) will be able to diagnose all sorts of things from the colour etc, I can't.  I hope the old girl is still in good health...

An untrained eye sees some carbon build-up...
After buttoning things up I took her for a wee pootle into town to pick up some oil and I reckon she felt like she was enjoying the new plugs.

Maintenance not quite finished for the day, the hot oil was dropped out and replaced along with some more fresh oil for the final drive.

Now all she needs is a warrant of fitness...

Monday, September 11, 2017

Keen as mustard!

Something inspirational I stumbled across on Advrider.

Good choice of bike - DCT making one thing a little easier.

One of the guys at work actually has a cousin in a similar position.  He (the cousin in the chair) has modified his own GSX-R750 with a similar system and I've seen him out riding it a few times on the Coast to Coast.

All power to them!