In our shed

Edi­tor's cur­rent daily rider suf­fers elec­tri­cal ohm my god mo­ment

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Contents -

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

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