BUY IT. FIX IT.
TO SOLVE A NAGGING PROBLEM START WORKING BACKWARDS
A mate of mine messaged the other day to see if I had any theories to offer as to why his bike had suddenly developed a mysterious front end wobble at speed. It’s often the case that a problem can be traced back to the last piece of work done on a bike.
He wondered if perhaps the head bearings were incorrectly tightened. On inspection these proved to be OK. “Oh,” he revealed, “I’ve put a fork brace on it.” My friend described its design. I was unhappy to learn that the brace had no provision for adjustment to ensure the fork legs remained dead parallel. He removed the brace and went for a ride. No improvement.
He’d upped the preload for a two-up tour and hadn’t returned the shocks to their usual solo settings. Maybe jacking up the back had put too much weight on the front when the pillion and luggage were removed. Shocks back to where they were before and still the issue persisted. “Oh,” messaged my friend, in what by now was becoming a familiar pattern, “I put an aftermarket swingarm on it too.” He goes off to check whether the shock mounts are positioned differently from the stock swinger. It transpires they are different, the holes 15mm higher than stock.
You have to step back from the problem and look at the causal chain that led to it. When you’re too close to an issue you often miss what’s causing it. I’ve done it many times but am gradually learning. Time spent thinking about a fault is at least as valuable as time spent attempting to fix it. Also, when a mechanic asks you what you’ve done to the bike, full and frank disclosure is the only sensible option. You’ve wasted enough of your own time so don’t take up more than is needed of his – after all, it will cost you. Alan Seeley (no longer of Scotland)
“WHEN A MECHANIC ASKS WHAT YOU’VE DONE. FULL DISCLOSURE IS THE ONLY OPTION”
Check that whatever you fit doesn’t alter the handling characteristics of your bike