Monday, June 14, 2010

A working Sunday...making amends.

So Saturday was spent in the bad books of my better half for my criminal neglect. Sunday? I'm afraid Sunday I fared no better, because of my neglect for that OTHER lady in my life. That's right... 'Baby'.

I had been fairly slack and idle over the winter with regards to her. No oil change, the brakes were 'suspect', nor had I replaced any of the other fluids... Truly (again) reprehensible behaviour on my part. Sunday morning I decided to get to it. I hopped in the SUV and motored down to the local Powersports dealer, to fetch 4 litres of Pro Honda GN4 10W40 SJ oil, an oil filter and a bottle of Bel-Ray DOT4 brake fluid. The 3 sets of EBC sintered brake pads I had already purchased (see previous rants on here...) and they had been hanging in the shop for some time now.

I felt like a proper heel for neglecting her for so long. Considering all the pleasure she gives me... Today was the day to set things right! So from 0900hrs until 1500hrs, I worked on Baby. I started by removing her windshield, her bags, her seat and her tank bib. I then removed her dash and let that hang down in front, between the rad cover and the front forks.

I had started by removing the chrome covers which hid a variety of bolt heads, etc. These are held on by a dab of RTV silicone and a small set screw. Once these chrome covers were cleaned, I was able to access the drain and filler bolts for the rear drive unit, as well as the rear axle nut. I drained the old 80W90 hypoid gear oil and replaced it with 4.2 oz of the fresh stuff. The drain plugs were well cleaned, as well as the area around them, before they were replaced.

I popped her rear wheel to remove, disassemble and clean the rear brake caliper and bracket. I then swapped out the brake pads which were getting mighty thin, should be truth be known. I then reassembled the rear wheel, cleaning and coating the axle with fresh molybdenum grease, before retorquing it to 81 ft./lbs.

I then bled the rear brake, cleaned up the whole area and moved to the opposite side and replaced the chrome covers. Next up were the front brakes. Again the process was repeated, whereby the brake calipers and brackets were disassembled, cleaned and reassembled, with brand new EBC brake pads. I re-installed the front caliper assemblies, torquing the bolts to 25 ft./lbs. Then the front brake system was bled and topped up with fresh DOT 4 fluid.

I then ran the bike up for a couple of minutes, to heat the oil. After shutting her down, I drained the engine oil while I busied my self washing the parts which are normally covered by the seat and tank bib. I then applied a good coat of McGuire's Car Wax (paste, of course) to all the paint and let it set up. I cleaned the oil drain plugs and their crush washers for the front and rear engine drain holes. When the bike had finished draining, I cleaned up the areas around the drain holes and re-installed the plugs, torquing them to 22 ft./lbs. I then removed the oil filter and let the bike drain again.

While it was going through the final draining, I polished the waxed parts until they glowed. Having cleaned the leather parts, I then re-installed the bib, the dash and the saddle. I washed and waxed the side covers seperately, before re-installing them. Finally, I skimmed the new oil filter with fresh oil and installed it. I then added about 3.45 liltres of fresh 10W40 SJ oil and ran the bike up for a few minutes to let it settle. I checked the level, then finished topping her up. She was good to go.

I re-installed the windshield, giving it a cleanup with a good shot of Plexus. This stuff is magic. It waterproofs, prevents fogging, conceals little scratches... It's really good! It was just about 1500hrs by the time I had finished working on the bike. Crawling around on a concrete floor does not agree with my body and as I sit typing this, I really know it. I was sweating from every pore in my body and was dying to get out in the wind. But I wasn't done yet...

We had a showing between 1600hrs and 1700hrs that day. The lawn was looking a little ragged so of course, my better half had asked if I might mow the lawn before the showing. I had now less than an hour. Our mower is of course electric, the back yard is filled with obstacles, you get the picture. But still, it got done and by 1545hrs exactly, was backing Baby out of the driveway, cussing roundly like a sailor with Tourette's syndrome, drenched in sweat, but finally outbound...

I couldn't bear the thought of a jacket of any type, so I opted for a black C.O.B.B. t-shirt, my riding jeans, gloves and lid. As I hit Innes and started making my way to the Rockcliffe Parkway, the cooling feel of the breeze was nothing short of Heaven on earth. I carried on to Colonel By Drive, Carlton University, Hog's Back, then Prince of Wales. I came back via the Bowesville Road and Rideau Road. It was a wonderful, if very short ride and she ran like a champ.

I had made good on my maintenance obligations and felt much better for it. Now... I still have to bleed that hydraulic clutch system out...

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