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

- George Washington

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Enough Already!

I seem to have written about nothing else but this 10:10 crap for the last few days. So:

The lawnmower developed some serious problems, and the Lawnmower Man came to collect it on Saturday. This left a space in the garage, and heavy rain was forecast, so I decided to put the XT in the garage out of respect for its age and general decrepitude. Except that I couldn't, because the front wheel wouldn't turn. I got it in there by lifting and dragging in the end.

On Sunday I took it for a ride, and it was very sluggish. I pumped the front brake a few times and then stopped after a mile or so. I burned my finger on the front disc. The front brake was dragging like mad. So I went home. By now it was pushable, but only just.

Yesterday afternoon, I took off the front brake caliper (it needed levering off with a crowbar) and cleaned it up. Although there is no corrosion on the pistons, they are very stiff and sticky, even after a thorough clean and a pushback with a G-clamp. However, the bike is now rideable again, with a front brake that is only 'slightly' sticky. I may need to overhaul the caliper. (This is the 'new' second-hand caliper that I got in Swansea last year.)

That is all the motorcycle news for the present.

Thank you.


  1. I used to have the same problem with my old Suzuki GS500 . Working abroad I usually left it for a few months then dragged it out for a spin when I got home. But of course the pads had seized against the discs. I got quick at stripping them down and cleaning them up. A big hammer helped aswell :)

  2. The bike had been sitting outdoors for a few weeks without moving, and I thought it was a bit of rust on the disc, but the disc is clean. It's the pistons that won't go back very easily. One retreated under finger pressure, but the other needed a big FO clamp to move it. Both are clean and bright with no corrosion in sight.

    I had a GS500 for a day as a loaner when my Ducati was in for some warranty work. I liked it. It was a very easy bike to ride, but plenty to keep the rider interested.

  3. I know what you mean about the pistons. Mine had that problem aswell.
    Yes the GS500 is still my favourite bike. I wish I hadn't sold it now. It was bullet proof and brilliant on corners. The only drawback was long distances as mine had no fairing ( the later models had a small fairing). My hands used to die on long distances aswell. Not sure if it was weak hands or the stiff clutch and sloping design of the handlebars.
    I got a Yamaha Fazer 600 after that but never liked it much. There was a constant vibration above 70mph that the garage could never sort out.
    I'm bikeless now but might get one next summer. Although I said that last summer :)

  4. The GS is bombproof, never mind bulletproof! The local dealer lent me one for a day, one that wasn't needed for their bike training operation. It went well - no FireBlade, but respectable - and cornered in a lovely, predictable way. I was well impressed. It had suffered at the hands of numerous clumsy trainees, and yet it didn't feel baggy or abused at all.

    Start making plans for a bike next summer, now. That is an order.

  5. Yamahas, eh? I think all of mine suffered caliper bind at least once in their lives. Mind you, I'm pretty sure they all had the same EXUP-derived calipers, so that could be why.

    I discovered the phenomenon on my old Suzuki GSX550 (which is the only other bike I've had that did suffer from it), during the first winter of ownership. Puzzled by the occasional glimpse of a dull red glow through gaps in the fairing, it seemed like a good idea to investigate. And after prising the remains of my fingertips off the disk, a number of better diagnostic tools than "hand" occurred to me...

    I always thought the GS500 was a nice little bike to ride, based on a few loaner experiences. A little bit vibey, perhaps, but no worse than other parallel twin middleweights of the day. That was the original "E": never got the chance to try one of the later F models.

    Winter's always a good time to look for bargains...then you'll have a bike all ready for next summer!

  6. We never learn, do we? All that stuff about flames and open fires when we were kids. And yet there we are - I bet that's very hot - fuck me, it is hot - nurse!

    My excuse is the disc shroud on the XT, which makes it all but invisible from the LHS of the bike.


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