25 April 2011

Repairing the damage, part 2

It took a while, but all the parts finally arrived.  Even though I replaced the broken Zero Gravity screen with another one, a few weeks later I found myself with a second broken Zero Gravity screen making me regret my decision to stick with Zero Gravity.

Nearly a month later, I had to replace the Zero Gravity Double Bubble because the left corner broke while I was making a u-turn.  I probably should have trimmed the thing or maybe have been more mindful of how much the hand guards contacted the sides but either way, out with the ZGDB and in with a Maier Aero Bubble (MAB)--with no extra wings.
The Aero Bubble is a couple of inches shorter and not as wide but does pretty much the same job as the ZGDB.  After using the ZGDB, ZGST, and MAB, I think I prefer the ZGST.  I also got a Yamaha Touring screen but it's pretty much the same as the MAB and a lot less stylish so I put the MAB back on.

A few days later, I met up with Cruzman and got my replacement right slider.  Out with the old, in with the new!

A few weeks later, the new fairing arrived.  The swap went pretty much without issue until it came to the fairing inserts when I realized the stay was a little off.  I was a little too tired to deal with it then so I just made do until I could address it later.

Unfortunately, I lost a mounting tab on the headlight.  Still have the others so I'm not going to replace it unless I find an intact headlight for such a great price that I can't say no!
Missing Tab.
A couple of weeks after I installed the fairing, I got my brother's polisher and some scratch remover and went to work on the scratch on the front fender.


There's still a little bit of scratch left, but it's not nearly as noticeable as before.  I guess a little more work with the polisher and scratch remover and I could get rid of it.  I was a little reluctant to do more because I didn't want to go too far.  I've got some deep scratches on the tank so I need to get a more aggressive scratch remover than the stuff I used from Wal-Mart.  Maybe then I'll give it another go.

The same day, I finally installed the FZ1 emblems.

Me being me, I did one side better than the other!

Unfortunately the crooked fairing got annoying the more I rode.  Then the switch for the aux lights stopped working and I discovered that making do can cause problems.  I decided to move the switch farther back by elongating the hole.  While I was at it, I removed the fairing again and got the fairing stay straighter.  At least enough so that it doesn't annoy me any more.

Fixed the oversized hole with black duct tape.
I also got tired of the scratched levers and ordered some new ones, this time in blue anticipating the black forks I plan to do later in the year.  Black levers, Black Forks, Black Upper Triple, Black Fork Adapters...I thought it might be too much.  Little did I know, they took the pic of the levers in the dark or at least low lighting so when I got them couple of weeks after I fixed the hole and straightened the stay, they were not the same blue as pictured.
Shinetrust's "Chameleon" Blue levers
I considered getting some other ones, but these change shades depending on light conditions so I'll stick with them for a while.  When I changed the levers, I noticed the FDB black ones were tweaked on both sides.  I'm guessing that attributed to the change in feel on the brake side but I barely noticed a difference on the clutch side (probably because it happened so soon after I got them).

So far so good except the handlebars still felt a little off.  In an attempt to fix the handlebars, I loosened the re-tightened the risers.  That seemed to do the trick until...

I finally did the tire change.  I removed the tires and sent them to the shop to be mounted.  It really felt like cheating and when I learned the price to mount them off of the bike went up, I decided it's time to finally build a tire changer so I can do them myself.

While I had the tires off, I changed the rear rotor for the one I got off of eBay at the same time as I bought the badly colored side covers (that I still need to paint).
A little brake bleeding and I now have a better feeling rear brake than before.  It's a lot softer and probably needs more bleeding but it does work.  The brake pads looked good on the rear but I'll need to change the front ones because the one of the left ones (inside I think) is really really thin.

Then I put the new Bridgestone BT-023s on and discovered my crooked handle bar was back.  The bike still tracks good so I decided to get a replacement handle bar.  This time I didn't even bother to paint it black, again thinking of my future black forks.  We'll see how long that lasts though.

On the left is the painted Gen2 bar compared to the unpainted one I got to replace it.  There is a slight difference between the two but nothing like what I expected.  The paint looks bad because of me spilling brake fluid on it when I bled the front brakes.  On the right, is the gen1 bar compared to the gen2 bar.

Cruzman reminded me to be careful when I was removing the heated grips and I thought I was until the wire that goes to the switch snapped.  No need to be careful after that so I just ripped them off.  Good thing they were only $6 delivered!  The eBay ones worked well; they heated my hands without over heating them so I'll replace them with the same kind unless somebody can give me a reason to get more expensive ones.

Tweaked bars?
Replacement bars
I forgot to put the hand guard handles on!
This time I learned something:  I didn't know the difference between tightening and loosening cables.  One of the throttle cable ends looks pretty bad because I had the pull side too tight and was forcing it to get it into the throttle tube.  Once I figured out it was too tight and loosened it the right way, it when in without too much struggle.  Lesson learned.  I guess when I have to remove the carbs the next time, I'll replace those cables to to be safe.

Another thing I did was go back to the OEM bar ends because there's something wrong with the Throttlemeisters.  The clutch side never fit because the threads are just wrong.  They won't fit into any of the three handlebars I have without binding within a few turns, even after I used a thread file.  The throttle side, well...

I don't think it's supposed to do that.  It's binding and I can't get the far enough away without always holding the throttle sleeve.  The big spacer is too big and there aren't enough of the smaller ones.  Now it doesn't turn right so I need to contact them about this.  Hopefully be out of the money I paid for them.  The guy I bought them from said he didn't have any problems with them.  I'd like to believe I played with them too much before I finally installed them and possibly caused the problem myself than to believe he knowingly sold me a faulty set.

That's about all I got.  I did clean the swingarm and under tray for the first time since I bought the bike.  All I've got to say about that is I would never buy one of those shiny new undertrays because if you ride your bike on any road it's just going to get really nasty!

I've been doing maintenance along the way too.  I've serviced the EXUP valve, adjusted the Throttle Position Sensor (who knew that'd help with cold starts?), bled and flushed the brakes all around, and inspected the brake pads.  I'm still waiting for LED turn signals.  I decided to get the same ones Cruzman has after seeing him in my rear video.  They're bright enough even if they are more yellow than amber.  The big thing left is the carb sync--I've been going to do that every day now for about a week and half.  Maybe tomorrow?

I also must say I love the BT-023s so far.  They don't feel slick at all.  I haven't taken a long ride with them yet so technically I haven't worn the new off of them.  I can't tell it though other than a little slide when I was testing out my rear brake bleeding, these things stick like glue.  Turn in is pretty quick, just like the Angels, quicker than the 021s.  I just hope they live up to the hype of longer wear.  In the end, I only got a few hundred more miles out of the Angels--some of that due to the lack of confidence.  I probably could have gotten a few hundred more miles out of them but they were going away pretty fast.

Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer

The best pic I took of the clean rear end!

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