Sunday, 25 March 2007

Kick it!!!

One luxury item that I was wanting to get for my bike was a kickstart for the bike. Rensche's come with one fitted but mine, as standard was only electric start. For those that don't understand, the bikes come fitted with electric start motors and we will use them every time, but when the battery or electrics dies for what ever reason then the electric start is as useful as a hole in a bucket. You then have to push start or jump start the bikes and I have no plans of trying to do that in the thick desert sand. The kickstart will therefore get the bike going when the battery dies. I ordered the kickstarter unit from Japan via Riders of Yeovil, a local importer of Jap Hondas.The guide was is Japanese, as useful as the touratech instructions that are only available in German. Anyway it advise 2.5 hours to fit the kit...well it took me almost an hour to get the clutch basket off as the bolt and been abused by a chisel and pursuader...6 hours later and it was fitted.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

The fully prepped "Blue ???"

Still haven't found an appropriate name yet but something will come up in due course. Anyway's here's what it (sexless for now as well) looks like:

Monday, 20 November 2006

The new and improved XR250

From when I collected the bike the clutch had been slipping very slightly but to the point that when I was going at 100km/h and I rode into the wind the clutch would start slipping. Conquest was happy to take the bike back and see what was wrong.

A week later they phoned up and I could collect the bike. When I got in the bike it immediately slipped badly. The mechanic took it for a spin and it improved slightly. So that Saturday we took it around to Lulworth Cove and when we got back from having a coffee the clutch wouldn't engage at all. We ended up having to phone up vehicle recovery to get us home.

The next morning Conquest collected the bikes from our home and two weeks later, after waiting for parts, I collected the bike and it ran perfectly. They showed me what happened: the previous owner had installed the clutch plates in the wrong order so that instead of starting with the friction plate they started with a metal plate from the inside of the clutch basket. This metal plate then started cutting into the clutch basket like a lathe until the clutch just didn't engage at all.

As said it now pulls like a train...well as much as a 28bph engine can pull like a train...

The following bits have been added to the bike:
  • Givi screen: These little bikes can hardly reach 55mph so please do not be led to believe that the screens are for wind or rain protection. They are just a handy glove compartment and map holder (refer to photo)
  • Acerbis hand guards: Some call them bark-busters but as we wont be getting near dense forests I would rather call them lever-savers. To protect the levers when the bike falls over in the carpark.
  • Bash plate: Again, "bash-plate" would imply grinding the underside of the bike against massive boulders and fallen trees but as we will be riding mostly tar roads and the occassional well graded gravel road these are mainly there to look the bizz and reduce gravel chips hitting the engine and causing corrosion.
  • Braided brake hoses: these really do make braking a lot sharper. The bike comes standard with rubber tube hoses which expand as you apply the brake resulting in less effective braking (made worse in hot weather). The metal braided hoses allow the pressure on the lever to be transmitted directly to the pads...does that make sense.
  • Bespoke luggage rack: Made a few sketches, dropped the bike off at a boat building biker with a welding machine and he produced the racks. They are NOT luggage carriers. They are there to keep the luggage out of the rear wheel and are make flimsy enough so that in the event that we fall over they will bend and it can be easily straightened out. This instead of the force of the fall being sent directly to the bike frame which would be more diffcult to straighten out. Yes you could call it a low tech crumple zone.
  • Daerr C29 top box: The bike inherited the box from it's predecessor as we had these fitted to our BMW's (refer to old posts) These are the only secure luggage items we are taking to store our documents.
  • Home made metal chain guard: Simply because the previous owner disposed of the original one and the bike needed one to pass it's MOT.
  • Raised bar on handlebars: to hold GPS etc. I got a set of Acerbis mounting brackets and a short length of 18mm tube, drilled two holes are Voila!
  • Heated grips: Doubt if we will need them but transferred them from the BMW's. They help to take the bite off in cold mornings.
  • 22lt Acerbis Tank: 500kms between petrol stops...that's like doing Windhoek to Keetmanshoop none stop. There are some cars that can't even do that...nuff said

The following bits have been repaired on the bike:

  • Clutch basket replaced
  • Cracked rear rim replaced
  • engine replace...

Sunday, 19 November 2006

Fresh off the container...

When we got home from collecting Rensche's bike I once again got a feeling in me waters to have a look in Biketrader and low and behold there was another XR250 and it was just round the corner at Conquest Motorcycles in Wimborne. The next morning I phoned them at 8:45am and ask them to keep the bike for me till lunchtime. I popped across to them and took the bike for a spin. It was in immacualte condition and had just come off a container and was not yet registered. I put down a deposit there and then. The owner said that he had recieved 3 keen calls about the bike after I had called and was surprised at the recent interest shown in these bikes. He also told me he too was waiting for the 'phantom' container from Japan so just as well we didn't wait for it to arrive. The bike is being registered so I will collect it next week.

XR250R, 1998 (R reg), standard light, 9lt tank, electric start only, £1850