The End!

Finally got sick of the "off the road, fix it up, break it again" CB500. It's gone. I was nearly glad to see it go! But then again, after all the time, money and attention I gave it I'm still a little sad to see it go.

Brought it down to MotoTechnic run by some of the soundest lads around and had the fork seals done on it and an oil and filter change done while it was there. Took a tour of their workshop, drank copious amounts of coffee and had a look at some of the bikes they had for sale. After my fifth cup of coffee I was handed keys for a yellow VFR800 (the FI one, just pre-VTEC) and was told "put some juice in it and take it for a spin."

Because I hadn't been on the CB much I decided I'd stay off the motorway and stick to riding it around in traffic. Man that V4 was smooth! It was well clean too. Standard can still on it but when the throttle was hammered there was a sweet sound out of it. Being followed for the first 10 minutes of my spin by a hearse wasn't the best of signs though! Ha ha!

So anyway, I decided that it would be a decent bike to upgrade to from the CB. Upon my return I said I'd have a think about it, ring the insurance company to find out what the damage would be and talk to the credit union about a loan. I also wanted to get rid of the CB and my old (2007) DT on trade in. All done and dusted a few weeks later and I've now got a VFR in banana yellow! Wasn't too gone on the colour to begin with but it's kind of grown on me. That said, once I have the money I think I might get it resprayed.

So that's it. The CB is gone. Such a great and easy bike to work on. I can't promise I won't buy another one again and do something special with it (cafe racer anyone?). I'll whack up the last of the pics at some point in the future but I'll have to make myself another blog for the VFR. First post will explain how to remove the saddle! Working without a Haynes on the VFR for the moment as I don't have the 40 odd quid for a new one from Halfords. Anyway, watch this space on that one!


Why do I always end my posts with "Updates Soon"?

The 7 inch headlight assembly I ordered arrived from eBay shortly after I posted last. I took it out of the box expecting something truly magnificent but was let down... The lovely chrome leadlight I had seen in the pictures and presumed was metal was made from chromed plastic. The only part of it which was metal was the rim.

"Great," I thought. I could use the rim on the existing headlight bowl and I'd be back in business. Not so. The design wasn't the same. I probably should have guessed before I tried to make it fit.

Anyway, I said enough is enough and went onto David Silver's website and shelled out for a new headlight rim that I knew would definitely fit. It was delivered in about a week and I had to admire it for a few minutes before fitting it. (It actually makes the headlight bowl look a bit shabby to be honest!)

Charged up the batter on Saturday two weeks ago and took the bike to the petrol station. Both tyres were pretty badly flat. The rear was about 4psi. Scary stuff!

Gave the CB a bit of a wash and a thrash around by Raheny and the coast road last Saturday in order to make sure that the battery was ok and also that my left hand mirror bodge (more info on this at a later stage) would hold. The motivation for this was a run on Sunday down to Laragh and Glenmallure and boy was it totally worth it!

The weather was absolutely amazing for it. Met up with a pile of GS riders a Ducati and a stunningly restored Norton 750 Commando and took some nice and not so nice roads through the Wicklow Mountains as far as Laragh for breakfast. Got a nice bit of a sunburn drinking coffee outdoors in Glenmallure to boot!

I'm sad to say the CB isn't in the best condition though. Having it parked up for so long has taken its toll. The front forks felt a bit lumpy on the way home and when I stopped at the lights I realised why... Both seals had been spewing fork oil for the majority of the spin. Now I know the bike is well due a service but that just makes me feel bad!

Some problems with point fixation and a general unease after being off the bike for so long has encouraged me to save for some lessons. Need to make a choice now. Do I keep the CB off the road and completely strip it down and restore it (and possibly modify it a little) or do I part it out?

Decisions, decisions. I'll take some photos and do a complete breakdown of what I'd like to do in the coming weeks. Ideally if I can get a workshop set up where the shed is currently I'll take it off the road (and get the tax exemption form stamped by the Gardai!!) and tear it down and build it back up properly over a few months.

Until next time, keep 'er in between the hedges.

On again / Off again

So about a month after getting the bike on the road I decided I'd take the headlight rim (which was rusted to bits!), remove all the chrome and respray it in gloss black.

I managed to get it all cleaned up, sanded down and put filler on it. Then I sprayed 4 coats of primer onto it, wet sanding in between each coat. That was December.

So the bike is sitting (battery probably well and truly dead) since then. Yesterday I decided just to go ahead and buy a new 7" headlamp. It was shipped today and will be fitted once it arrives.

I've been procrastinating and having to use bloody public transport, all the time paying bike insurance. Smart idea? No not really...

Updates soon.

Back in business - nearly!

I'm over the moon at the moment. Nearly back on the road! Brought the bike complete with rung engine mount (Sorry Tom!) down to TQSRacing and tasked Tom with fitting the R&Gs. Given I had rung the mount and it was probably welded in there from the last 13 years the bike has been on the road it was a big ask. I have to say, Tom never fails to live up to the title of being a decent skin. Aright, enough of the brown nosing... but if you're on the Northside of Dublin and ya need a mechanic for anything from servicing to fault finding or whatever bikewise he's the man to go to!

So got the bike back Wednesday the 22nd and after all the hours spent drilling the bolt out the total bill was very competitive! Even got the battery charged up before I collected it.

Between one thing and another I didn't get a chance to start the bike since then and haven't taken her out for a proper spin yet. So tomorrow morning I'll be down to the motor factors to buy a charger. Then a good clean and a carb sync is in order.

Still need to get down to the clutch to check the basket and replace the plates and springs with the heavy duty EBC ones I bought on ebay many moons ago. Then a service, new oil / oil filter and check the gap on the spark plugs at some point.

Hopefully will be out for a spin on Sunday morning with a few of the lads. Think Peter has a new GS since the last time I saw him. Should be good fun! Will update (promise this time...) with pics and some more progress soon.

Take 'er handy


Ok, so I haven't updated the blog since February 27th. The bike has been off the road since January 27th... When I changed the Chain and Sprockets I brought the bike down to TQS Racing, got the fork seals and brake pads done and got the chain riveted properly (after the cheapo riveter breaking...).

Rear pads didn't need replacing, front ones I replaced with HH sintered pads. Tom warned me that the front brakes felt a little lumpy but it could just be a case of running them in. On a quick test spin back from his workshop I felt they were lumpy and immediately got the idea of replacing the disc. Bought an EBC disc for the front and changed it over a weekend (must check my camera to see if I took photos, don't think I did though) and thanked myself for having bought an impact driver and a torque wrench in Halfords last year!

Immediately when I took off the front disc and placed it on top of the new one it was apparent that the disc had warped. I hadn't noticed it with the old pads so I imagine that they had been worn in with the warp already present.

I also purchased a set of R&G sliders (which on the CB replace the front engine mount) so I set to work trying to get the front engine mount out. Bad idea! Firstly, the nut on the engine mount looked like a sabre-tooth something or other had a go at it at some point in the past. What was a 16 nut was rung. I overcame this by using a 15 which I hammered onto the nut with a rubber mallet. Took about a half hour to get the blasted thing off. Then I proceed to break a socket wrench belonging to my old man (which I replaced with a Draper socket for him! Thanks for being understanding dad!) and I bent another cross wrench. Headed down to Halfords and bought myself a breaker bar to see if that would do the trick. No joy.

In the process I managed to ring the bolt. So I left the bike sitting idle (I know, a sin, right?!) until I could afford to drop it round to Tom again. Dropped in the bike a week or two ago in order to give my stress levels a break and my wallet a bit of a workout.

Still waiting on the bike back. Can't wait to get out for a spin... Devil's work is in idle hands though so I have been toying with the idea of converting my DT from dirtbike to SM (although how Super can a 125 SuperMoto be?)

Will update soon with pictures of the work I've done (I know, promises promises) and plans for what I'm going to do to the bike. In the mean time I'm going to make the old disc into a clock which should be fun.

Small update...

Got the chain and sprockets ordered, delivered and fitted there on valentines weekend. Stupid riveter I bought snapped though. Will post a full update and pics of what I got done (with the aul lad helping no less!) soon.

Also got new fork seals, brake fluid and front brake pads sorted courtesy of Tom @ TQSracing and he sorted out the riveting of the chain properly. Sound man, good prices too!

Have ordered EBC clutch plates and springs and am going to sort a clutch basket also. Cityspares say they have one for 40 euro but I'll have to bring the one in from the bike for comparison. I reckon I'll sort this and do a service (Oil, Oil Filter and Air Filter) all at the same time.

Keep watching for pics and more updates.

Sometimes there just aren't words...

Minor disaster this morning. Chain snapped just down the road from home. I had heard a snap and lost power. Then I revved the engine I could hear a rattle. First I thought it was the clutch cable but clutch action seemed fine. So I pulled in. All sorts of things start going through your head in a situation like that. I even though, "f**k I hope it's not a piston or something!"

Put the bike on it's stand and took a look. The chain was trailing behind the bike. Bike seems to be running fine but won't know if there's any serious damage until I get a look at it later on.

Yanked the chain out from the front sprocket and had to walk the bike home. Was sweating buckets by the time I got back and got into work an hour and a half late.

Will take a look later on to see what the story is with damage etc but at the very least I'll be replacing the chain. I'll possibly do the sprockets too while I'm at it.

Bugger anyway...