Trial Magazine

Maintain Your OSET

- Article: Oliver Smith and Trials Media

For any motorcycle, it takes tender love and care from the owner to keep it performing to the highest level. Not only this, but it also helps the rider to understand each and every nut and bolt and its function within the machine. The late great Joey Dunlop, the greatest TT rider of all time, would be the only one to touch his racing machines as he then knew he had no worries when he headed down Brae Hill on full throttle. As history records, this was man and machine at its very best, and he needed a clear mind to focus on the task ahead. This is no different to an OSET, or any other trials motorcycle in general. The more you know about your machine, the more you can appreciate what it is going through – and then how to fix it when it goes wrong. It is of utmost importance in long-distance trials such as the SSDT and one day Scott Trial, where it’s man and machine against the elements when there is no one else to help. In this feature, you will find a brief overview of the most essential maintenanc­e aspects of an OSET to help keep your machine spick and span and able to perform at its very best.

Aclean machine and workshop and some basic mechanical knowledge are essential to carry out the tasks below. If you are not sure on any aspect of the techniques below, please take your OSET or any other machine to your nearest dealership, where qualified people will carry out the work. If it’s yourself who carries out the work we recommend that at all times the appropriat­e safety protection is worn and that measures to ensure your safety are taken and adhered to.


First and foremost, it is essential to start out with high-quality tools. 01 The more you get to know where each and every tool is and what part of

the machine it is used for, the less time it takes to get back out riding!


Like with any motorcycle, the chain stretches with use and needs adjusting to stop it becoming too slack. If it is too slack, it will delay the power output to the motor – albeit a few millisecon­ds – as the chain must pick up slack before it can transfer power. With it too slack, it will also produce a noise that any motorcycle enthusiast will cringe at. There are similar consequenc­es to the chain being too tight, which adds to the risk of snapping the chain, but also affects the suspension stroke and could damage the motor/engine internals. This adjustment process is the same on all OSET models. All you need is 19mm and 13mm spanners. 02 Loosen the 19mm nut on both sides of the swinging arm.

03 Get your 13mm on the adjusters at the end of the arm.

04 To tighten the chain, turn clockwise, and to loosen go anti-clockwise. Remember to do this evenly on both sides to ensure that the wheel runs in a straight line. You can always measure the exposed thread, but it’s also worth checking with the eye.

05 To check the tension, use your index finger and thumb to grab the chain on the lower run in the middle, and it should be able to move by between 1cm and 2.5cm; do not rotate the rear wheel whilst making this check.

06 More movement than this and it is too loose; less than 1cm and it is too tight.

07 No chain can run without a sprocket! One of the simpler jobs on the bike is checking the rear sprocket which can come loose over time with heavy use. Use a 4mm Allen key. Evenly tighten the bolts; this is very important, so take your time and go around, tightening opposites on a rotational basis.


Staying with the rear wheel, we move on to the spokes. These are especially important to check when the machine is new as everything is bedding in. If spokes get too loose, the wheel can twist out of alignment, and it will need straighten­ing profession­ally. The rear wheel is usually the worst culprit; however, it is still worth checking the front periodical­ly. 08 To tighten the spokes, all you need is either a 4mm spanner or a

bicycle-spoke adjustment key seen here.

09 Start at the valve and work your way all the way around on both sides. If you find multiple spokes that need tightening, do not fully tighten them as this will also pull the wheel out of alignment. Go around the wheel and evenly tighten every spoke until you are satisfied they are all good to go. When this is done, as a final precaution, sit behind the rear wheel and spin it with your hand to see if the wheel is straight.


Now we move on from what takes you forward to what you need to be brought back down to earth and stop! It is of the utmost importance to have your brakes working at the optimum level. Control, modulation and a sense of safety come along with a pair of solid brakes. It does not apply only to OSETs as every motorcycle needs to have them looked at periodical­ly. Typically, the culprit of brake fade or general lack of braking power is due to worn pads. Time and time again you see riders arrive at events with nothing but metal left to grind away on the disc! IT will lead to more problems like piston pressure build-up, and more.

10 First, take your 5mm Allen key to the back of the left fork leg. There you will see the bolts that hold the calliper to the fork. With the short end of the tool in the bolt head, use the long arm as leverage for the bolt as they are often tight. Gently loosen these until they have released the calliper and it’s moved away from the fork bottom.

11 To change the brake pads, all it takes is a 2.5mm Allen key. Using the short end of the tool, rotate anti-clockwise until the bolt comes out. Put this to one side for safekeepin­g. Once this is out, using your index finger push the pads out of the top of the calliper. 12 This will release a spring-loaded clip that holds the pads apart. Swap the pads out for new ones and follow the same process backwards to reinstall the pads and the calliper. When the pads are out, inspect the calliper for any mud or dirt sat in the small crevices. If needs be, using a compressor, blow out any standing dirt – but as always with using compressed air, wear safety goggles.

13 Carry out the same process on the rear brake. Where it might be easier, use an Allen ‘T’ bar for removal and replacemen­t of the calliper.


Now for the battery; without it, the OSET is only sat there looking pretty! Even though this may be self-explanator­y, it is important to make sure the connection is spot on.

14 To access the battery and all the electronic­s, take off the side panels by undoing the Velcro along the downtube and top tube of the frame. Do this on both sides of the machine. From here you will see the battery nestled inside the frame.

15 The battery itself is held on by a longer piece of Velcro. Undo this to release the battery. The easiest way to disconnect the battery is to pull it out of the tray slightly, so you can fully grasp the textured metal at the bottom of the battery connection.

16 Loosen this anti-clockwise to disconnect and then pull slightly to pull off the black terminal. Be cautious when extracting the battery as it is heavy and can easily catch you off guard. Check the connection­s are in good order and replace the battery by reversing the steps for removal.


Always keep your OSET washed and well fettled; you will benefit from this in more ways than one. Not only does washing the machine make you feel better, but it also allows you to see any damage you have sustained whilst riding that you may not have noticed! Like with any motorcycle, you must take extreme caution when washing as water ingress, especially with the power of a jet-washer. It can cause some issues for many different machines. We also like to remove the battery before washing, just as an added precaution. As with all motorcycle­s, avoid directly spraying the wheel bearings and fork seals. On an OSET also avoid directing water at the motor shaft. As with almost all parts, low-pressure washing is better than high pressure.

17 One precaution to take on an OSET is to put a plastic zip-lock bag

over the throttle. Secure this with electrical tape to get a decent seal.


Finally, be sure to give your bike some TLC after the wash. We like to blast the water off with an air hose, and then liberally spray WD40 on most of the machine. Cover the brake discs and callipers as, obviously, oil and brakes do not mix! Wipe the WD40 off with a rag. Use chain lube on the chain, and spray some on the foot-rest pivots and rear shock pivot points. Once the battery is charged, you’ll have a clean, shiny bike that’s working at its best.

18 Always give your machine a test ride to make sure everything functions as it should. A happy machine makes for a happy rider – Enjoy your OSET!

 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom