Time to Start Working on the Motorcycle

So with bang on (only) three and a half months to go I need to get cracking on the work I need to do to my Yamaha Road Star.  By 1 September I want to be at a stage where all work is completed so there is no last second mishaps.  This means I only have ten weekends to get everything done which should be fine, providing I don’t mess anything up along the way. There’s a number of tasks to do including:

  • Installing my rear Yamaha cast wheel
  • Change the exhausts from my Bub Jugg Huggers to my Bub Big Willys (quieter)
  • Rebuild front and rear brake master cylinders
  • Transfer case oil change
  • Engine oil change + some fresh spark plugs – I’ll be running Amsoil the whole way
  • Install new clutch plates
  • Hook up some kind of charging system for my iPhone
  • Get the sissy bar rebuilt now that I have installed some helicoils
  • Get the steering head bearings done
  • Oh and a heap of other stuff I’m sure

A small problem with doing this work at this time of year in Canberra is it gets quite cold.  No fun at all trying to work on a motorcycle in a freezing cold garage but at the end of the day I just have to harden up and get it done. And of course I still need to reach that $2,500 mark in fundraising for the Steven Walter Foundation – I get a little closer to each week.

Getting the Road Star Ready

Floating Rotor
Shiny new rotor

With the trip only (only?) 10 months away I decided I would put to good use a week off between Christmas and New Years and spend a couple of days doing maintenance to my bike.

Tasks completed:

  • installed new clutch cable
  • replaced the fork oil
  • installed SpeedBleeders in the calipers
  • fresh brake fluid for both front and rear brakes
  • new brake pads
  • new brake rotors
  • new manifold
  • adjusted the jetting in the Mikuni 42mm FlatSlide carb

Casualties (aren’t there always?):

  • stripped the head of a bolt in the front master cylinder (drilled out)
  • stripped the head of a bolt on the rear rotor (angle grinder and tapped out with a centre punch)
  • snapped a bolt off in the top triple tree pinch bars (no action)

All in all pretty happy with how things went.  I’ll have to be careful for the first few rides with both new pads and rotors but I’m sure the old girl has appreciated the attention.

Cable Repair Kit

You may have read my post where I broke a clutch cable in the middle of Canberra and had to make my way home without a clutch through red lights, RTA blitzes and homicidal Kangaroos.  Well not wanting to be caught in that situation again, and certainly not while I am in the middle of nowhere during the Ride Around Australia, once I got home I started to search for emergency cable repair kits because I don’t need to go through that experience again.  Believe it or not, they aren’t exactly out there in abundance, but I did finally find Venhill in the UK.  They do all kinds of motorcycle and kart cables AND an emergency repair kit.

Venhill Cable Repair Kit
Could have used this in October!

This kit has a cable for the clutch and a cable for the throttle.  I’ve confirmed the kit has enough generic parts to hook up to the Road Star’s clutch and throttle.  The throttle parts work for both the stock 40mm Mikuni and a 42mm Mikuni Flatslide.

For this kit to work you will have to make sure you have in your toolbag some cutters to cut the wire, a set of pliers to crimp the clutch side “trumpet” and a very small flathead screwdriver for the solderless nipple on the throttle.  Of course you will also need appropriate tools to remove your tank if the throttle cable goes and appropriate tools to adjust the clutch cable tension if required (you should already have those on your bike).

In practice you remove the broken cable from the existing cable sleeve, thread the new cable in, fit either the trumpet or solderless nipples as required, make sure the cable is absolutely flush with the barrels and you’re back on the road.

You can source all the parts you need seperatly but I figured I would get the generic kits because I never know when I might have to help out a brother or sister on the road.  If you can’t find a local distributor you can buy direct from Venhill like I did, I bought two kits and including postage to Australia they totalled $23.24 Euro (Around $35USD) and they were here in under two weeks.

They come with a natty little hold bag and as you would expect take up no room in saddlebags and possibly could even be stored under the seat, as long as you make sure you don’t crimp the cables in the process.