As far as timing goes, this worked out quite nicely, as it’s just at that point where winter is about to well and truly set in. Us southern softies have had it quite good with regards to snow so far, although we’ve seen a few sub-zero mornings and some strong winds over the last week or so.
As well as the usual service schedule gubbins, it’s prudent to consider a few extra bits and pieces because of the extra strains the bike will suffer during winter use. Well, that’s true for those of use who won’t be putting the bike away over the cold season (out of stupidity or necessity?!) anyway noteworthy things that were encountered…
- Valve clearances were spot-on and didn’t require any adjustment. Thus supporting the theory that they do indeed begin to settle down as miles mount up.
- The engine oil was quite dirty, maybe the engine runs hotter due to how lean the air-fuel mixture must be to get 120-130mpg. No metal fragments, which is excellent, but within the last 500 miles or so before this service, I found that the level had dropped to about 1/2 way on the dipstick, so it needed a top-up.
- Oil filter strainer – the one you’ve all been waiting for! Check out this how-to for more information about what to do with the oil strainer in the sump. Mine was quite dirty, especially considering that I never looked at the YBR’s one until 38’000 miles, and it was clean!
- Centrifugal oil filter – not checked – I’ll explain why in another post! And it’ll probably never get checked either – regular oil changes mean it should remain clean, and accounts from people checking them at high mileages on bikes like the CG125 (25’000 miles+), show that they found insignificant amounts of dirt in there, hardly worth opening everything up for. Only worth checking if oil changes have been infrequent, or there has been engine damage and you suspect metal fragments will have accumulated in there.
- Air filter – replaced. The old one was fairly dirty – it’s a paper type that can’t really be cleaned with any solvents, and dirt gets so embedded in there that compressed air and tapping will not have that much effect.
- Crankcase breather – had no liquid in it at all! Oh well…
- Front brake pads – I expected that this would be the time to replace them but was pleasantly surprised to see a fair bit of meat left on them, so after giving them a roughening with some wet-and-dry paper and cleaning them up, back in they went.
- Steering head bearings – needed no adjustment (no play in the steering head) and no ‘notches’ – points where the races wear unevenly due to corrosion or heavy-handedness (wheelies!).
- Chain – did not require any adjustment, which was nice!
Okay – here’s some winter-specific things I’ve also done:
- Lubricated clutch and throttle cables with a PTFE based spray lubricant and aerosol cable oiler.
- Partially stripped and cleaned/greased the front brake calliper – essentially pump the pistons out halfway and clean them up, either with a brake cleaner that’s safe around rubber (Wurth Brake and Chain Cleaner is) or use brake fluid. A smear of red rubber grease around the pistons before pushing them back in also helps protect against corrosion as well as providing a little lubrication – insurance against sticking pistons that will require a full calliper strip down and new seals! Also cleaned and lubricated the slider pins with red grease to ensure they don’t corrode and cause the calliper to seize and bind against the disc.
- Lubricated the following points:
- Clutch lever with LM grease.
- Brake lever/master cylinder piston contact area with red grease.
- Brake pedal pivot with lithium grease.
- Gear-shift pedal pivot with LM grease.
- Side-stand pivot with LM grease and its switch with silicone spray.
- Rider and passenger foot-rests with lithium grease.
- Treated the entire machine to a coating of ACF-50 – an excellent corrosion inhibitor used in the aerospace industry. It has an excellent, well-earned reputation amongst motorcyclists who ride all-year-round as well, including myself. Basically put it everywhere metal apart from the brake disc, the part of the brake pedal your foot touches, and the clutch/brake levers. Then leave the bike for a few months – it’ll look terrible but once you wash it off, you’ll reveal gleaming beauty! It’s also good for electrical connections. Smells great when it burns off the exhaust/hot engine parts too!