Saturday, 16 January 2010

Shakedown run

Last week I took the bike in for its 80,000km service and also to have an electrical gremlin in the charging circuit seen to. I picked the bike up on Thursday, but I was unable to give it a shakedown run until this afternoon.

© Marc Michon - 2010

The first thing I noticed was that the indicator idiot light was flashing very rapidly when I had the left-hand indicators going. After a visual check I noticed that the front left indicator didn't work. So I took it apart, thinking that the lamp was dead. However, the lamp was still OK, so the problem must lie elsewhere.

© Marc Michon - 2010

Once on the road, everything seemed to go very well; for an engine that's racked up 80,000km in barely five years, it really goes like the proverbial shit off the equally proverbial shovel. It was nice and strong through the 'box, with no noticeable flatspots.

If anything, I might observe that it's lost a bit of the edge of "bad attitude" and has changed from the street dog with bared teeth that it was into a slightly more civilised animal; however this will probably revert over time. But things changed every time I stopped at "STOP" signs and traffic lights: the idle speed was all over the place, which was a real ball-ache!

The idle speed should be at 1200rpm, but when I adjusted it accordingly, after a couple of kilometres it would rise to 1500rpm only to drop back to 1200rpm and then fluctuate between 1200 and 1400rpm; at one point it even rose to 2000rpm! So every stop was a cue for a quick fiddle with the idle speed adjuster.

I also noticed that the handling seemed a bit lively; in my view this is probably due to too much pressure in the front tyre (I like running between 2 and 2.3 psi up front), but as I didn't have my pressure gauge with me I couldn't check tyre pressures - I don't trust pressure gauges in petrol stations.

On the way back to base, I discovered that the horn wasn't working - the hard way. As i was negotiating a roundabout, a dozy cow on a 125 twist'n'go moped merged onto the roundabout without looking for oncoming traffic. I hit the horn button... and nothing happened. I had to resort to eloquent hand gestures and choice "poetic language" to convey my indignation to her!

So the result is a bit mitigated: on the one hand the engine is still as strong as ever through the revs, and breathes great now that the carbs are balanced. However the continuing electric gremlins (indicator, horn and erratic idle speed) mean that another visit to the workshop is in order.

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