If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Warm hands, hopefully

I have spent today (yes, the whole of today) fitting some heated grips to the Yamahaha (so named as it is such a laugh).

I bought them yesterday from a dealer about 15 miles away from here. It's one of those shops where things are a bit dusty, and some of the bikes are a bit shabby, and there is always a cup of tea going on. Today I decided to fit them, so I took them out of the packet - which was a strangely easy thing to do. It just fell open in my hands, and I realised that someone had opened it before me. Then I looked at the contents, and the little plastic bag inside with all the screws and brackets and things had been ripped apart and was suspiciously large for what was inside. The instructions started with "slide the grips onto the handlebars using the glue supplied". No glue.

I went back to the shop (30 mile round trip), and took the remaining set as replacement. These had not been opened - I checked before I left. When I got them home - no glue. So I went into town (6 mile round trip) to get some suitably adhesive product. I got some "Universal glue - sticks anything to anything". I glued the grips on and started on the wiring. After half an hour, I checked how the grips were sticking. The left grip felt like it had been welded into place, but the right one was spinning uselessly around the bars, and as this is the throttle control, and therefore the Go command, this won't work. There is too much clearance between the grip itself and the throttle tube that it is supposed to be gripping, and the Universal adhesive didn't have the gap-filling properties that I had hoped for. So I resorted to Araldite. No going back.

So a job that should have taken a hour or two (with tea break) took me most of the day.

It's stuck well now, although it has made the throttle control a little stiff. It doesn't snap back when you take your hand off like it should. I think a bit of Araldite has got where it shouldn't. Still, it might work as a kind of cruise control. I'll give it a couple of days, and if it's not acceptable I will have another look. I'm sure there is an answer.

The grips are a little thicker than the old ones, and that will take a bit of getting used to, but its first test was a success, and a couple of minutes had the grips as warm as toast.

The "Temperature Control" sits quite neatly on the handlebar and doesn't get in the way of anything. It's the red and white thing in the photo below.

I also took the opportunity to fit some alloy bar-ends. The bike came with some aftermarket handlebars (nearly all used Yamahas do, as the original bars are made of toffee and bend if the rider sneezes). These were not the colour I would have chosen myself (a rather unpleasant metallic purple) but I'm not replacing them until there is a need. I got some bar-ends to match, on the in-for-a-penny principle) and now I think they look quite fetching. Certainly better than the gaping holes that were there before.

Colour scheme by Stevie Wonder. On drugs.

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