First ride

Today I decided to try and fix the rear number plate light. As I’d mentioned in an earlier post, the bollts seemed somewhat corroded, and guess what?, when I tried to undo the light unit one of the bolts bent and the other snapped off.

I guess it wasn’t totally unexpected, and the bulb is a weird size with prong fitments that I don’t think I have floating round in my collection of spares, so I’m going to  have to go to the local shop and hunt for one shortly. There is enough thread on the remaining bolt to allow the unit to be refitted, but it’s yet another example of how bolts can corrode over time, and I’m guessing these two have never been removed in its 18 year lifetime.

After the light had been removed next came a fight with the rear wheel, after removing the spindle to reposition the scotoiler mount. Each time the axle bolt is removed the whole wheel assembly seems to fall to pieces and is a nightmare to put back together. Eventually I succeeded and decided I’d waited long enought, 43 days to be exact, and was going to finally go for a ride.

First impressions are that I need to ride in at least one gear lower than I’m used to. 93bhp vs the 160 I’ve been used to shows up as a lack of torque and the need for a lot more revs. Nothing much happens below 6000rpm, so the way of riding becomes more frenetic than before.

Once I’ve appreciated the comfort of the seating position, the next impression is how the brakes don’t pull up evenly. Given one of the master cylinder screws is damaged, I’m going to have to drill it out and buy a replacement before I can think of either bleeding the system through or replacing the OE hoses with braided ones. Changing the brake lever span to maximum did nothing to generate more feel so work toi be done here.

The forks dive under braking. 100,000kms of BMW duolever suspension has meant I’m not used to this facet of riding, so somethimg else to get used to. I’ll firm things up on the  preload and see if things improve. I should probably have checked tyre pressures as I’m sure they’re low, or at least I hope they are, otherwise there are some strange suspension issues going on!

***UPDATE***  I checked the tyre pressures the next day and found them to be 21.5/26.5psi instead of the prescribed 33/36psi,  No wonder it felt odd! Shame on me for not having checked them before I rode it.

One thing I did enjoy was the exhaust note, not too loud but fruity enough to be interesting.

So what did I think after my short run out? Well it’ll take some getting used to for sure. Less torque, different handling, and  so much less power than I’m used to will be a challenge, as will the work still to be done on improving both the cosmetics and the handling.  The looks are growing on me, and a 10 minute ride is nowhere near enough time to gain a true impression, so watch out for my next post when hopefully I’ll have some extended ride impressions to share.