30 January 2016 #2. Indicator reflector.

Whilst working on the headlight I noticed that the front, left hand side indicator was a bit dull. Closer inspection found that the power wire was frayed and so that was a quick re-solder job to repair. Just out of curiousity I compared the current aftermarket indicators to the original, broken indicator. What I found was that the original Suzuki indicator has a small reflector behind the bulb. Nothing flash, just a small amount of lightly polished metal.

A recent tip I had received to improve a headlight's beam was to clean the reflector, so keeping this in mind I thought, why not make my own reflector, can't hurt, right? So with some Permatex Ultra Copper that I had bought and used for the exhaust, a Diet Coke Can, some spring loaded clamps, tin snips and some metal polish I have a new reflector. Yet to do the same for the right hand side or the read indicators yet but will do so. I'm not sure how hot standard bulbs get and if any RTV silicon would work but the Ultra Copper works on very hot surfaces such as the DR800 exhaust, so I know all bases are covered.

I wonder if I use a different can if the aluminium would be more polished to start with? I have an empty Red Bull can on the floor of the 4WD, will it make the bike faster?

30 January 2016. Speedometer cable maintenance.

The V-Star has been running so well that I have put the DR800 into the shed to do a whole bunch of minor maintenance, including setting right all the wiring for the headlight and indicators. Whilst I had the front end apart I look at the speedo cable and the way it fouled the electrical cabling when turning left. A little research revealed that it did not install it correctly and it had an extra bend in it. So I went about putting the cable right as per the manual and then asked the question, should that cable be cleaned and lubricated?

A 20 minute session searching through Google and well, it turns out that yes, it should be cleaned and lubricated. Failure to do so could destroy the cable and my guess that the replacement cost would range between $40.00 and $200.00. The possibility of damaging the speedo itself crossed my mind as well, although I am not sure if this would actually happen.

Of course the Institute of the Internet and University of Youtube had more theories on the best way to do than the Australian Parliament has on economic growth. The other similarity is that many of them had serious shortcomings. One theory was to just fill the speedo cable from the top with WD40, which of course would leave plenty of dust and rust inside the cable. Another was to take it apart, clean it and lubricate the inner cable with any grease available. I agree with the thorough cleaing but many greases dry out or mix with dust to create a grinding paste.

The final theory, the one I went with, was to clean out both the inner cable as well as the outer layer and then lubricate with with either CRC Dry Glide or WD40 brand Dry PTFE lubricant. I think that both do the same thing, using a Teflon product suspended in a fluid to lubricate the cable. The local hardware store had the WD40 PTFE and so that got the nod.

Cleaned both the cable and sheath with mild degreaser, flushed with WD40 and then very light machine oil and left hanging to dry whilst we went out for an hour. When I wiped down the inner cable with a rag, I was very surprised to see how must dust and rust actually came off. So the need was real, not imagned and I will add this task to the yearly maintenance for all bikes. Sprayed the inner cable and outer sheath with the WD40 Dry PTFE and put it all together. I then spun the cable by hand to compare the resistance before and after and there was a noticeable difference. Very happy with another minor improvement that cost almost nothing. Here are pictures of both products:

As an aside, I do find the WD40 brand products a bit easier to use due to the integrated straw. It makes being accurate with the spray much easier.

31 Dec 2015. First video

Hi everyone,

Just a quick video of some of the ride on 31 Dec 2015.

Thursday 31 Dec 2015 out and about the Glasshouse Mountains

On New Year's Eve, Mark K and myself trundled around the Glasshouse Mountains area. Despite only being about 30 minutes from home, I really haven't spent much time out here. That's a real shame and I hope to address that. Mark is very familiar with the area and so this ride wasn't about going flat out, more about having a nice easy look about. We probably spent more time chatting, as well as lunch and morning tea, than riding but the views are fantastic and the company was great. With only two of us we had to take it easy for the sake of safety, as you normally need three as a bare minimum for a safe group. In case of a serious accident, you need to have an injured person, one to administer first aid and monitor vital signs and the third person to fetch help, if needed. We did come across a group of guys whom had a slightly injured rider with them. The rider's boot had pulled straight off his foot so I can only guess what soft tissue injury he sustained.

This first photo is from the Glasshouse Mountains Lookout Cafe:

This second photo is from the Glasshouse Mountains lookout, just a few kilometres up the road from the cafe.