In our shed
Editor's current daily rider suffers electrical ohm my god moment
Jim’s DT125R gets electrical attention, while Alan reveals his latest purchase, a Yamaha FZS600 Fazer
TDT IS THE HOOT I thought it’d be for a flat-out door to door thrash along the South Lincs/ North Cambs lanes in which maintained momentum is everything. If I’m not sporting a huge smile when I get to work or home, then it’s not a DT day.
That narrow seat's a pain – literally – especially with longer trips planned. The solution is an Air Hawk comfort seat. At £112.50 it isn’t cheap, but I can use it on any bike. It's an inflatable extra that secures in place on top of the original seat. I’m planning a mini-tour on the DT in spring of southwest Wales, so that’ll be the Air Hawk’s first proper test.
When I jump on the DT to head home I still need the headlamp (until the clocks go forward). The lights aren’t amazing, but then the DT’S battery is small and the electrics basic. The lights tend to dim whenever I use the brakes or indicators.
A quick check reveals the battery is down on charge, so it's given a boost, but knowing how problematic resistance in old wiring can be, I thought the issue worthy of a more thorough investigation. An inspection of the connectors from the main loom to the rear light and indicator circuit showed the connector block from main loom to rear sub-loom was full of dirt – already starting to corrode the thin metal connectors. Cutting these grotty elements away reveals further bad news. Resistance has been so high it's blackened the wiring. That sub-loom is now in the bin, and Alan and I made a new one (see page 98).
Although not a permanent cure the lights now dim far less. We also checked the earths and reg/rec, both of which required a clean and brush up. I’ve ordered a new battery to see if that cures it.
With the spanners out I also removed the rack and pillion ’peg hangers. Pete from the ever-helpful Motorcycle Works in Werrington, Peterborough, is going to give them a fresh coat of black powdercoat.
I’ve also replaced the speedo cable. The dial stopped working so I presumed the cable had snapped – not uncommon. I bought a pattern cable off ebay (£6.95) and fitted it to the bike, but the speedo needle still refused to budge off zero. A quick spin of the wheel failed to make the new cable internal rotate so the problem appears to be in the drive unit on the hub. The original cable was a swine to remove from the housing (it should just pull straight out), so when I have the front wheel balanced next week I’ll remove and inspect the drive. It’ll either be an easy repair or a couple of quid for a replacement.
By next month I should have taken delivery of a nice, new and unrestricted DEP exhaust system. The stock expansion chamber is restricted so as well as saving weight and improving the bike’s looks I should see a gain in performance too. Thanks • The Motorcycle Works, Peterborough, 01733 578883, themotorcycleworks.co.uk • Motohaus (Air Hawk), 01256 704909, motohaus.com • DEP Pipes, 01622 765353, deppipes.com
Drive the problem not the cable
Dim and dimmer