Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bike Stand Pad - Brilliant!

I ordered a bike stand pad for "Lucille" and within 48hrs it arrived on my doorstep.

Not only this but the total cost of this item was £2.39 and that included postage.

Just in case any one is in any doubt as to what these are, basically it is a small piece of toughened plastic which sits underneath the foot of your stand to spread the load of the bike whilst on wet ground, ie grass, gravel or anywhere you feel that your bike is unstable.

I could of really done with this whilst camping on my trip!

It is currently being put to use as "Lucille" is currently residing in the back garden and when not on the patio is on loose gravel!

This works a treat and for the money you cannot go wrong!

Lights haven't arrived yet, so I have left the old one's where they are for the time being.

I've been out on a few little runs, but nothing serious. She still appears to be running sweetly.

Really should give her a clean, maybe over the next couple of days.

The journey continues.........

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Honda C90 Oil Change

I thought it about time that I did an oil change on poor old "Lucille".

The last one was done the night before my departure for my little jaunt around the UK!

So with fresh oil at the ready, which happens to be Tesco's Mineral Motor Oil 10w/40 cheap as you can possibly get, I set about sorting out something to catch the oil in.

Now, what worked perfectly was an empty plastic milk bottle led on it's side with a small slit cut into the side and my trusty funnel stuck in it.

Slid underneath the sump plug and hey presto, a unique and disposable oil catcher!

I left it to drain for a good hour in the sun, so most of it came out. The milk bottle can either have a piece of "Black Nasty" Gaffer Tape wrapped round it to seal the small hole. Or like I do, decant the oil into an old 5ltr jerry can for disposal down at the recycling plant.

I have just got back from taking "Lucille" out for a quick ride through the New Forest. With a new tyre on the rear and with 6mm of tread on the tyre, she did feel a bit twitchy to start with, but I've been out for over an hour and a half and it feels better all ready.

After tweeking the brakes they feel good, well, good for C90 standards!

The other thing I did today was refit a rigid "L" plate to the rear number plate along with a strengthening piece of metal acting as a clamp to secure both the "L" plate and my rubber mud flap to the number plate.

I also have on order a "30W CREE U2 LED Spot Fog Lamp Light Motorcycle Car Truck Waterproof" from Amazon. I have ordered two as these are to replace my running lights which I will be mounting on my screen as they do not give off as much light as I require.

The 30W Cree LED lights should be loads more powerful and hopefully make my night time drives a little less stressful.

I have also ordered today a foot plate, with so many good reviews, and for the price it is the one piece of kit I should of had right from the start!

So there you go, "Lucille" is running sweetly and is being pampered.

I was going to go away for a few days, but with moving house recently I cannot justify the time off when there are so many things to be done, such as painting!

Boring I know, but it has to be done. Hopefully I can get away for a weekend later on in the year once things have calmed down with the house.

The journey continues...........

Thursday, July 17, 2014

C90 Rear Tyre Puncture

On the way home from work last night, which so happened to of been a particularly rubbish day I suffered a puncture on the rear tyre of my Honda C90.

Coming down a hill at 30mph, I did have a bit of a wobble!

This is the second puncture I've had since owning the bike. The first time I was a good distance from home and needed to be recovered as I did not have the necessary tools or spare inner tube to do anything about it.

Last night was not much different, but after two miles of pushing "Lucille" which thankfully was on mainly flat ground I got her back home.

It's not easy pushing a bike with a flat tyre, but I'm very glad I was on a C90 and not on a BMW GS!!!

So today I thought it would do me good to have a go at removing the wheel, and swapping over the inner tube.

Easy you say, well it would be if you knew what you were doing! Armed with a Haynes manual and some YouTube videos I set about the task.

I first propped the bike up on it's centre stand and on a house brick to give it a bit of levitation. This would make it easier to get the rear wheel out from under the arch.

Firstly I removed the brake adjusting nut from the brake rod, once it had dropped free I replaced the nut on the rod as I could loose an elephant in a 2 man tent!

Then I undid the nut holding the rear brake torque arm and once more replacing the nut on the bolt and through the dangling arm.

Next round to the other side of the bike, removing the split pin, and undid the centre spindle nut.

With this off, it was just a case of a gentle tap to remove the spindle.

Once this was clear, knocking the spacer out of the way, the wheel dropped off the cush drive and rolled passed the number plate and straight out. Easy!

Locating the cause of the puncture was not a problem. A large self tapping screw had worked it's way straight in the middle of the tyre!

I had a set of tyre levers, so set to work on prying the tyre off. Not an easy task, but I got there in the end. 

I had a good look at the tyre whilst it was off and all though I could of re-used it, I decided against it. They cost peanuts and with a trip to Wales coming up decided that a new inner tube and tyre would be the best way forward. I had a spare tyre and tube to hand so no problems.

Getting the tyre back on was far easier than getting it off! Just remember not to pinch the inner tube when easing the tyre back on.

I used my 12v air pump to fill the tyre running straight off my 12v supply which is fitted to my bike. Totally self sufficient!

Then it was a case of slotting the wheel back in, making sure all the cush drive rubbers are in place, then easing the spacer back in.

The spindle with a gentle wiggle and tap found it's way back through and then loosely doing up the nut.

Re-attaching the torque arm and the brake rod. Whilst doing all of this the chain was re-tightened and the back brake sorted so the peddle once more is firm.

Finish off the main nut and replace the split pin, then have a quick look to see if I have left anything lying around!

Job done, rather pleased with myself as this was the first time I had done this. I now feel totally confident that if I were to have a flat whilst on my travels I could sort myself out and be on my way again without requiring any help.

The front brake got a tweak whilst I had the spanners out, my next task is to sort the lights as mentioned in a previous post.

The journey continues.....................

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Planning Next Trip On Lucille - Honda C90

In a few days time I've got two weeks off. With Kiera on a pre-booked holiday with the kids for the last week of it, leaving me a week free - once I have done some decorating and flat pack furniture construction!

My original plan was to see how far distance wise I could get in a 24hr period, then slowly make my way back home using the remainder of my holiday to do so.

But, why kill myself, as that would take more than a day to recover from, and as I feel like a bit of a break I have come to my senses and decided against it.

Instead my rough plan is to head for Wales. Aiming for the Brecons to start with, then head down towards Tenby and work my way up along the coast.

Stopping when and if I feel like it, which will be a real luxury after my epic trip around the UK which was flat out all day long only stopping for fuel!

This time it will be relaxed. I want to capture as much as I can on camera, something else I sadly did not do enough of on my last trip. There was always pressure to get a few more miles under my belt.

I won't bother booking anywhere, instead relying on pot luck and chance. This may well be fool hardy as the summer holidays will of just started and this could be my undoing, but there are plenty of places to pitch a one man tent if you look hard enough!

"Lucille" since returning from Cornwall has taken me into work everyday. A round trip of 18 miles approx if I use the more direct route. However I have been known to take a little detour!

This is a view of the Needles, off the Isle of Wight, no more than a 10 minute detour from my route to work - perfect!

If I was to go 10 minutes off my route to the North it would take me through the New Forest! What a place to live and work in!

Also what a saving in fuel! £40 a week in the Mitsubishi Pajero 2.8ltr long wheel base or £10 for 2 weeks of fun!

"Lucille" has performed with no problems at all, not using any oil which I check every couple of days. The last time it needed topping up was in Liverpool! Since then she has gone down to Lands End, back up to Lymington and used daily, approx 800 miles!

My seat has split about an inch long but a good piece of wide electrical tape has sorted that, but one area I do need to sort is my lights.

The fitted light would be better if it was a couple of tea lights, main beam illuminates the tree tops. Brilliant for owl spotting! Dipped illuminates 10 yards in front and nothing on the ground. OK I do have a basket on the front, but with it empty the tarmac in front remains a bit of a mystery!

I fitted a set of running lights hoping they would help a bit with illumination. They do to a point but riding home last night they kept flickering on and off, a loose connection somewhere. The soldering iron will be out and all connections soldered instead of crimped.

I think it's time to buy a proper set of lights to mount on the front and move the running lights up and mount them just below the screen. No one can say they didn't see me coming then!

 Apart from that everything is working perfectly and I am really enjoying the C90 experience.

I've been asked a couple of times now am I getting a bigger bike and taking my test. Well, Yes to taking my test, but in all honesty I am really not sure about a bike!

I love the simplicity of the C90, the fact that it is cheap to run and insure is a massive bonus and for the novelty factor it cannot be beat.

So who knows, things change at an alarming rate for me so am happy to go with the flow.

The journey continues.............