Thursday, 28 August 2014

Jayne playing with Sylvie's rusty balls... as in bearings!

A mechanical update story for you all and a lesson in knowing better.

I have recently taken my precious SV650 off the road for a rebuild and replacement of the suspension. I have been complaining for a while that the rear suspension on my bike is too harsh and it hurt my back to ride. So as soon as I won my court case against the B@st@rds who have permanently injured my back, Halfords, I spoke to a good friend and ordered a custom made rear shock from Penske. This shock has been made with a spring set for my weight on the bike and has a remote reservoir for damping functions. I also bought a set of new forks, Showa USD sportsbike shocks as fitted to the R1 and these came with an excellent set of Blue spot brake callipers and a Braking Wave disks fitted to the new front wheel.

My plan was to ride to my mates house in Yorkshire to get it all fitted, along with the modifications to the computer so that I could still have a working speedo. Anyway as big plans like this can go, my back got worse and we called it off, which was a shame because all of the parts had been shipped North!

So back to my rear end and I decided to start work on Sylvie myself and began to strip her down, finding rust and the occasional bit of neglect along the way. First port of call was the engine, which has just started to play up a little, however my wonderful Darling Carol had that fixed in a couple of heart beats and Sylvie's heartbeat was back to her usual gentle purr.

Then came the strip down. Off with the whole front fairing so that I could rewire the indicator lights and tidy up the loom, I could also get access to the computer and I will admit to giving consideration to opening it up and changing the LEDs for different colours to illuminate my clocks. However such a change was just vanity and not worth the effort.

I also discovered a major fault in the ignition circuit and traced this to a damaged connector, the well known and renowned evil Green Connector of Doom. I promptly cut the little Shitebag out and replaced it with a good one from a Quad bike and this one wont burn out.

The stripping continued and I started on the back end. However if one more person tells me that I should turn my bike into a stripped down single seat streetfighter, I am going to hit them in the mouth with a three foot long torque wrench and break as many teeth as I can. This comment is getting very old now.

Getting to the rear shock is a serious PITA and resulted in having to grind out a huge FO bolt that had a captive nut hidden in the folds of the under engine exhaust. Sports V-Twins have a torturous exhaust route and the bolt was in the hardest to reach part of this. Once again with the help of my beautiful Carol, I was able to fix this and we pulled off the full stainless exhaust system, which after eleven years was rather dirty with burned on crud.

So out came the back wheel, off came the rear shock and the bottom rocker that activates the shock when the swing arm moves was removed and examined, leaving behind a big space on the bike that now has no back end.

Pulling out the swing arm was made complicated by the use of a recessed castellated nut, but I was able to make a removal tool by cutting an old socket into the required shape. Chrome vanadium sockets are damn hard work to shape and my fingers are now worn to stubs, it is a good job I don't spend a lot of time fiddling with my moomoo! Anyway, once I had made the tool, the swingarm came out with ease. If only my own coming out had been so easy.

The bearings in the suspension rocker though were completely screwed, not just rusty or pitted, but seized and ruined. This is the reason why my suspension was so harsh, why every small bump felt like I had just jumped the Grand Canyon!

I now have to push the bearings out, which is going to require using my brain rather than the massive sledge hammer I have in the garage. Thankfully my gorgeous Carol has come to the rescue again and I hope to have new bearings in by the end of the week.

What do you think of my nice silver swing arm?

So what if anything can we learn from this adventure in filth, grease and worn out parts? Simply this, which was told to me by a special friend. "The big Japanese Bike manufacturers all get together once a year and buy a small pot of grease, which they then share between them!" Yes folks, always remember to strip and service your bearings yourself. 

Monday, 11 August 2014

A Wat, a Cave and a paddle down the Sok