Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bike Servicing

There hasn't been much happening at all around Chiller HQ of late for a number of reasons, some of which I will fill you in on, in an upcoming post. For the last 2 weeks I have been bike less due to dropping the R1 off for a 50 K service at the local Yamaha/Triumph dealer. (just read that back and it looked like I was saying that I'd dropped it - heaven forbid I had images of all you bloggers out there cringing behing your keyboards)

I have pretty much serviced the bike myself since it had its 10K service done at the dealers many moons ago. If you have a bit of know how and a Haynes service manual so you can get those pieces to go back together again without a) breaking them, b)busting your knuckles, c)swearing profusely then its not that hard to keep the thing maintained yourself. The Haynes Manuals are pretty comprehensive and will show you how to pull just about everything apart just as long as you have the right tools and the time and patience. And then if you can overcome the biggest hurdle of them all.

What could be harder I hear you say than getting in to all those hard to get at spots, like under the tank and in between the frame to get at those nasty bolts that your normal socket won't fit into the slot because said frame is in the way. Well in my case of late it's been pure LAZINESS.

There were a few things that I needed to have done like lube all the levers and cables, and I've found it hard to get motivated to get out there and get stuck in and do all that. I'd also noticed that after the last 2 -3 rides that the chain was loose after each ride. I hardly ever have to adjust the chain as I am fairly good at keeping it clean and maintained. My cleaning process on the chain is the same as Tarsnakes but I usually clean it a bit more often, with kero and a brush every 3 or 4 rides or after a big ride of several days whichever comes first.

I looked at the chain and checked it at the back sprocket and it had about a 4-5mm gap when I pulled it out at the centre of the rear sprocket. The recommended amount of slack there is only 2mm. Looking a bit further at the rear sprocket I noticed that the teeth looked to be spiked instead of peaked at the top and it was starting to get hooked shaped as well. Yep she's ratshit alright. I replaced the original chain at about 25000 km's, not because it was worn out but because I thought I should as it was getting on in age with some high mileage. I replaced the originals with Renthal Sprockets and a RK chain. The renthal sprockets were quite cheap and made of light weight anodised aluminium.

It was quite easy to get the old chain off when you have an angle grinder handy. I just knocked the heads off of one link and a screw drive wedged into the chain and she popped right off. The sprockets fitted in nicely, the hardest part was finding a socket big enough for the nut on the front sprocket.
New Chain and Sprockets
The Renthal sprockets and RK chain didn't last as long as the original Jap fitment chain and sprockets. I'd accumulated about 28000 km's on these but they were totally knackered. I thought about putting something else on but then came to the realisation that it would be unlikely I would still have the bike and put another 25000 on it. Hopefully by then I'll have convinced the minister of finance and warfare of the benefits of a newer bike.

Looking around the dealers whilst waiting for them to find my key I decided to have an ogle at the new bikes. There were lots of sports bikes, tourers, cruisers and sports tourers. One bike really caught my eye and even I surprised myself as I'd never even considered the brand before having only owned jap bikes before. But looking close up I really liked the triumph speed triple 1050, with its trick single sided swing arm and under seat exhausts whats not to like. (Christ I can see a giant sized head across the ditch). Ahhh to little money and not enough time.....sigh.

Over the winter I'd gotten a bit lazy and couldn't really find the motivation to replace the chain, so I thought I'd get it serviced at the dealer. I noticed a difference right away when I got on and pulled the clutch lever in, it was so easy to pull the lever and hold it in for extended periods even in traffic on the way home. The clutch lever probably hadn't been lubed since it was new. It's only about 5km's from the dealer to home, but that's just far enough for some F%#kwit in a blue magna to change lanes into not only my lane and cut me off, luckily I had an escape route to my left as my turning lane just showed up as he did it, but he also cut in front of Mrs Chiller in the car cutting her off and causing her to brake hard enough to set off the ABS in the process of trying to avoid hitting him. Probably some drugged up coke head. He didn't even turn his head and look, I know I was watching him. Tool. Rant out.

Anyway the R1 is ready for our spring time which is poking its head out at the moment. Just one more little hurdle to get over before getting back out there........ stay tuned.


  1. Yes it did look like you were saying you'd dropped it, I'd even started to let out a cringe and a eeek before I read it all properly.

    I really have to find a Haynes manual, not sure they do my model but I think they do the 750 which is kinda the same, I really should check that out one day.

    Nice rant .. you didnt swear much at all really, I'm impressed.

    At least it is starting to warm up, here's hoping you get out there soon :)

    1. Sometimes it hard to hide that Tourettes syndrome, but they full well deserve and ear full for doing that sh1t.

  2. I was once told "there are those that do, and those that pay those that do." Not laziness on your part - think of it as supporting the economy.

    A speed triple will just get you into trouble..... at least that is what Troubadour tells himself when he ogles them. He says he'd kill himself on one as he knows how fast he used to ride his Sprint ST.

    Glad the asshat that cut you guys off didn't do any damage and you two are okay. Sad thing is you two probably aren't the only ones he cut off that day.

    1. Speed triple get you into trouble eh, maybe i should keep the R1 cause they are no trouble. No trouble at all sir... yes sir... haven't heard that one before, i'll have to use that somewhere.

  3. Whoo roll on summer.....bummer about the mis hap, some times when I ride home from work I swear it would safer riding in India!

    1. Yeah I know what you mean, Sydney is hectic. I don't commute normally just have to get through traffic for weekend rides.

  4. Hi Steve,
    I'm with you bro! I still do oil changes and basic stuff but I'm at the stage of life where I'd sooner pay someone to do the time-consuming stuff as I have lots of other things I'd sooner be doing. Like riding or fishing for example!

    Pleased to hear that you and your wife avoided a potential disaster - you really have to be on your "A" game all the while now. I read that something like 10% of road users are seriously impaired by alcohol, legal medication or illegal drugs at any given time so you really do need to keep on top of it all!

    1. Your absoulety right about the impaired drivers, not to mention even worse the distracted drivers who are to busy texting, sexting, eating and those putting on their make up behind the wheel rather than actual driving their cages.

  5. Steve, like you I don't commute on the bike. Every day as i drive to work I'm astounded at the number of people talking on the mobile phone or women applying lipstick. Just to top it off there was a guy reading the paper as he drove in traffic last Wednesday! Talking on mobiles just doesn't seem to be policed here, yet I see them every day on the way to work.

    Now, once your eyes start wandering, the new bike lust will be VERY difficult to resist!

    My understanding is that while my bike is under warranty I;m not really allowed to do the oil changes as I will void the warranty. Do you folk know if that is true? I'm not much of a mechanic but I always did the simple services on my VFR800. Actually I've just bought a new set of 3/8th sockets and plan to buy a torque wrench so that I can do a bit more work myself. I have mates who are damn good home mechanics and I'm always a bit envious of them.

    Awaiting the next installment Steve.

    Cheers Jules.

    1. Jules
      I see Melbourne traffic is as bad as Sydney traffic by the sounds.

      I probably wouldn't service your bike whilst its still in its warranty period because if anything did go wrong they could blame you and refuse to warrant the machine. But after that it's up to you who services the thing.