Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dummies guide to cleaning

I ride my bike daily in all sorts of weather, and friends are always intrigued how I keep it looking like new, despite the fact it's coming up to a 4th birthday soon.  This is what I use:

  • Rinse bike with water, then use car wash (Turtlewax) in a bucket and use a cloth to get off the solid stuff.
  • I then dry it with a clean towel and let the water remnants evaporate in the sun.
  • I usually then lube the chain, and give all of the pivot points a squirt of lube
  • I then use pledge on all of the plastics - the blue one designed for hard surfaces.  It works beautifully on the fairing, indicators, mirrors, black plastics like the guards and the Givi cases and instruments. (I keep Pledge on the bike to keep my visor clean too)
  • I then use Turtlewax Ice liberally on all painted surfaces and wheels.  It leaves no residue and shines beautifully and can be used every time.  It's even good on plastics, and much easier than waxes.
  • I use wadding polish on the exhaust, and use Solvol Autosol on the more stubborn marks
  • I then get a clean microfibre cloth and buff everything up
Keeping a coat of wax (or in this case some synthetic polymer) on the bike keeps it looking clean - no corrosion.  I use CRC to clean oil and tar spots off things and I find it's the little things that matter..

It leaves me with a clean bike, but also gives a good opportunity to see if there's any fasteners loose or anything that needs attention.

I know, I should be riding and not cleaning, but when I can't get out, the bike is all the better for it.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cleaning Gear position switch

I have a GiPro ATRE fitted and noticed that it was getting erratic showing 5th and 6th gear, often reading "0".  The neutral light was also getting variable, and it was clear that the gear position switch was playing up.  Ordered one from the US and replaced it and all was good again for over a year. (Item 40 below)

Since then it started playing up again, so I got some contact cleaner, removed the switch and sprayed it until it ran clear.  Worked a treat, and I have fixed another one the other day.  Definitely the preferred option in the first instance is cleaning it, although I have had to clean it more and more and decided to replace it.

The GSF1250 part is 37730-18H01 but I ordered number 37730-18H02, which is the later switch for the GSX1250FA with the identical engine.  Works perfectly and I am hoping the different part number means Suzuki made it more reliable.   I have not seen any GSX owners reporting issues

Regarding cleaning, Jools listed some helpful photos and is happy for me to link to them, so try this for a step by step if you need it:

Jools' post pictures are reproduced below with his consent:

1.  Undo the red arrowed bolts

2.  It will look like this.  You can just see the gear position switch behind the gear shifter rod.  You don't need to remove it - just use a long allen key or drive head.  The sensor on the front just below the shifter rod with the single allen bolt is the speedo pickup (if your speedo is playing up, check that it isn't caked with old grease) 

3.  This next picture shows the switch up close.  Undo both bolts and pull the switch gently back, being careful not to displace the o-ring

4.  Flush the switch with contact cleaner until it runs clean, put blue loctite on the bolts and replace.  Don't overtighten it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New levers

I was looking at a GSXR1000 the other day which had some black Pazzo style shorty levers.  They looked good.  I bought a set of shorty ones off Ebay for USD$24.90.  They arrived promptly from Hong Kong and the quality is good.  I wasn't keen on the shorty ones as my hands were a bit big, so a guy at work took them and I just got a standard length set off the same seller (Goodparts 112233).

Just fitted and they look great.  They are T6 Aluminium and look and feel like Pazzos.  Even if they wear fast, at $24.95 I can afford to go through a few sets!

You do need to swap over the cylindrical brass widget from the stock lever for the clutch master cylinder pushrod to slide into:

OK -Stop press.  If you get off your bike in a hurry to vomit (don't ask - it was viral), and in your haste knock the adjustment lever on the clutch to "1", your bike won't start, as it's just enough to not trigger the clutch interlock.  It will make you swear.  A lot.  Until you find it.  I kid you not.  Good security too!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuneup time

I thought I'd do my own 18K service.  I took the day off work and:

  • Oil and filter (the removal tool is a must)
  • New plugs (old ones were OK, but what the hell)
  • Cleaned and oiled the BMC filter
  • Cleaned and oiled the chain and all the pivot points
  • Checked tyres/coolant etc
  • Balanced the throttle bodies.  There's 3 ways of doing this.  One is the bike shop using the Suzuki SDS and laptop and balancing tool.  The next is using the Suzuki test switch and a balancing tool.  (What I used).  In the absence of a switch or the SDS, you can apply vacuum to the IAP sensor (number 1) and lock the tube with vicegrips.  You can't just hook the balancer up without it, or it'll choke up and die.  The test switch method was easy.  Plug her in, turn on, start bike and let it heat until the fan comes on.  Remove fuel tank, connect the balancer (see below) to the vacuum lines and adjust to the no. 2 cylinder.  A big difference and a lot smoother.  A lot.
I bought a Morgan carbtune (62 pounds ex UK with free postage), and it was easy.  An investment worth having