vrijdag 13 december 2013

Slippery Animal

Maybe it's the time of the year but the past weeks, the Beast didn't seem to be in a particularly nice mood.

A week ago, the front cylinder had become the home of a knocking noise, so awaiting further inspection by a mechanic the bike was parked for a week. I reckoned part of the sound was due to my own error - normally, when hibernation beckons, I change the oil before parking it away.

This time however, winter seems late. That's a good thing in terms of riding, but it also meant the oil change kept being postponed, leaving the stuff in there longer than is recommendable (13K where I usually do it within 10K). The penny dropped a 130 km away from my tools, so after a 90 minute stress run back to Project-HQ (in complete darkness, as it was late in the evening) I changed the oil in record time, only to find out the sound persisted.

A trip to the garage showed the problem was in fact a loose spark plug - the one which is the worst accessible had given itself some more room to play with. It was remounted, but the trip away from the garage (which was just closing its doors for the night) reveiled a new problem.

All of a sudden the clutch seemed non-existant, the bike struggled below 3000rpm, it coughed, got off the gas at random intervals... so pretty much everything that wasn't a problem before bringing the Beast to the mechanic was now making my life a living hell.

The next morning then, back to the garage. The problem might've been easily fixable, but I'd be damned if I had to correct a mistake someone else has made (I do that for my daily job already!).

And as it turned out, it was an easy fix. One of the spark plug connectors hadn't been properly fitted back, thus one of the four plugs wasn't firing. A simple push down, and finally the Beast was rumbling as happily as it should again.

Let's hope this'll be the end of the engine Gremlins for now. Just to make amends, I'll swap the oil filter the coming month, and make a start with getting the stuff for brake line renewal. Time to get modding!