Sunday, October 31, 2010

Three years doing so!!

It's been three years doing this blog and I honestly still don't know why I really started it. I kicked it off with a overnight trip with some friends on Halloween weekend 2007. The same year I got the KLR which was a big difference from my ZX-10R, big like 120Hp less and a really sloppy frame and wooden brakes. What it did do was change the way I thought about the ride and how to take it all in. Instead of picking a destination for the weekend and getting there as fast as possible now I guess you could call it putting my way and feeling it's cool to take some pictures of the places that were a blur before.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Forking A Goldwing And A Burger

Well the riding season is winding down quick here in the land of Lincoln (that's Illinois if your a little behind on your state motto's) and by buddy's Goldwing has had a bad fork seal that need's love. I figured we could yank the forks out at my place and bring them to a dealer we trust for the rebuild. It would take two weeks to get the bike rolling again but really would save on the labor and having some piece of mind with the work.
While we were at it we bleed the brakes, which is a huge hydraulic system. Linked brakes, ABS, and the anti-dive system to get flushed out. The clutch fluid was also cleared out and was in desperate need for bleeding. The fluid came out looking light orange juice. We used I think about 40OZ of fluid total.
The last thing for the wing was the air filter since the bike had +40K and it was original. Let me tell you this was like dismantling the space shuttle. Everything behind the windscreen has to come off. I kept joking with Jim that this thing better be fucking dirty!!
Here's a abbreviated version, Filter on a wing..

We got really lucky with having two warm weekends in a row and the bike was back together ready to go out for a ride. Getting the bike back on two wheels took about three hours and put us through lunch and now around 2:30. A little late for my original idea of a few twisty roads about fifty miles away. The change of plans brought us to Nick's Tavern in Lemont IL. Years ago I would of said "NO" to ever trying this place again but with new owners and good on-line reviews, a second try turned out to be a winner.

Yep, I took out the Ninja again. Poor bike is really in need of some twisty roads like Missouri!
The burger that keeps Nick's doors open and now includes a smiling waitress.
After the burger and a bigger belly we putted over to the forest preserves for BS'ing and bad jokes.
It kind of felt like the old days when we used to a run together with the now defunct NITRO riders.
Hopefully I'll get out a bit more on the KLR and friends...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

She's a no good!!

My trusty KLR gave a surprise last week and was a no start. Hit the button to go pick-up my son from his friends house and nothing. It had power to the lights and all but wouldn't crank. At first I just thought "oh its just in gear" but the neutral light is on?? Nope just won't crank and the best part was it was in my garage and not a few thousand miles from home! :) It doesn't mean I was trilled, I was pretty ticked off. See, I'm a car mechanic and these thing's are not supposed to happen to us.
After coming out of my bike is fracked up shock I went and grabbed my son and shot over to the auto parts store to buy a test light since my was at work. When I got home I had to wait to start testing because we were throwing my four year old a birthday party. Crap, right!!

New test light and testing of the test light. This is the NO.1 step always test your light new or old. Here I'm just using my battery tender plug the test and my ground to test the kill switch and crank button.

First step was check power to the crank button. I had a good light to the yellow/red wire and with the button pushed I had nothing on the black wire. NOTE: the engine kill switch must be on for voltage be supplied to the yellow/red wire.

After a close look the area that the spring sits on was slightly green and needed to be cleaned up. A dremel with a nylon brush is perfect as it won't melt the plastic or remove metal around the contacts.

Remove the spring and DON'T let it go flying away because you can't just buy the spring. The spring real gives poor contact surface area to be part of a switch but this is the way it is.

Just clean with light pressure and don't melt the plastic. The only spots that need cleaning are where the spring sits in the button.

The other side of the spring contact.
Buff out both ends of the spring and DON'T let the spring got. Trust me bad words will follow!
The spring is back in place but before you do, add some dielectic grease to the surfaces the spring sits in, not a lot is needed. Also getting the switches back into the housing is a little tricky with big hands. Kill switch goes first with just the screw you see here and then the two for the crank button. Don't forget to replace the tiny zip-tie that held the wiring to the housing.

After all this she has been starting perfectly for a week. I have been through a lot of rain with this bike compared to the ZX-10R and my old ZX-9R on all these road trips. One dark winter I'll have open up the switch on the ZX-10R and see how it fairs.