Saturday, January 30, 2010

First Run of 2010

Helen and I took the opportunity of some decent conditions for a change and took out the bikes for a quick shakedown run over the moors today.

I was really rusty as first and struggled to turn the bike on our estate. But within a few miles I had got back into the swings of things. We just headed down the motorway to Milnrow and then over to Shaw. We then turned left and headed to Denshaw, half was up this road we found some snow and ice all across the road, it was also heavily potholed in places. At Denshaw we headed up and over Saddleworth Moor where the conditions were much better and we were able to enjoy it. It was bitterly cold but I was OK with my new Goretex textile bike gear, apart from my hands that is.

We then headed back down into Ripponden before taking the main road over Rishworth Moor and then back round on the loop again over Saddleworth and back to Ripponden again. Due to the other road being in a very poor we decided it was best to get back on the motorway at Rishworth and head back home.

It was good to get out on the bikes but it was obvious what damage the recent cold spell had done to the condition of the roads. We will certainly have to take it easy for a while until we are sure that all roads have been repaired and gravel and debris removed.

I did several brake tests on the ZX-9R while we were out and they have certainly improved. The front has gone from all or nothing braking to having a nice full progressive braking range. The rear has gone from completely useless to actually being a little but too good, as I managed to lock it slightly on one of the emergency brake tests. The brake lines are certainly an upgrade I would recommended doing, but only do it yourself if you are confident at bleeding brakes as these are a real pain to do.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

8,000 Mile Service on ZX-9R

Due to the recent awful weather conditions Helen and I haven’t been able to go out on the bikes at all, which has really annoyed us both.

Front Brake Lines Due to this I decided that it would be an ideal time to take the ZX-9R to bits and carry out some of the maintenance tasks required. The main thing that needed doing was the 8,000 mile valve check. To get to the top of the engine you need to remove various things including 2 of the ram-air pipes. To access these and remove them from the frame I had to take of all the side panels and the front nose cone assembly including windscreen off the bike.

Once I had removed them and the fuel tank I was able to start removing all of the other things in the way. I removed the air filter box and then I removed the carbs, once I had removed some more pipes and wiring it was then possible to access the top of the Rear Brake Linesengine. I removed the head and then performed the valve check on the engine. Possibly because this was the first time this has ever been done, I found that 11 out of the 16 were out of spec (all tight). I was able to sort out 3 of them via swapping out with some of the other valves shims, but had to order the rest in. I got them off Ebay for around £2 each rather than the £8 that Kawasaki wanted for them.

After I had put the bike back together I installed 2 more carb take offs for cylinders 2 and 3, which then enabled me to synchronise the carbs. They were a little bit out but with a little bit of fiddling I was able to pretty much get them back in sync.

While I had all the bodywork off I also installed some blue Hel braided brake lines. I used the 2 full length race line kit for the front and the standard single line for the rear. It was a complete nightmare bleeding the brakes and took what seemed like forever to complete. But once complete it, I was very happy with the feel of the brake lever and pedal. The old brake fluid probably couldn’t have helped as I guess it was probably the original stuff from the factory.