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

- George Washington

Sunday, 20 February 2011

That switch again

I am happy to report (and touching every wooden object wthin reach as I do so) that since I replaced the XT's ignition switch it has run perfectly. Of course, the petrol filler key is the same as the ignition, so I am now carrying two keys round with me. One has a green marker ("unleaded") and one has a red one ("fire and sparks"), and of course most of my riding these days is after dark, so I have had to attach a small LED torch to the keyring as well, so I can see which is which.

I dismatled the old switch and, not only were the contacts filthy, but the spring that keeps the moving contacts touching the fixed contacts was as sloppy as an old sock. I'm surprised any electricity flowed through there at all. That annoying buzz from the headstock area at certain engine speeds has gone too, so maybe that was a symptom as well.

So, HERE'S HOPING that the problem is fixed.


  1. So there was probably nothing wrong with the fuse holder all along...

    When I started as an apprentice sparky one job was the annual maintenance contract at a local clothing factory. Like most such places they shut down for 2 weeks holiday, and we had to give all the electrical equipment a good going over.

    40 years ago motor switchgear was easy to dismantle, and I had the task of removing all the contacts and cleaning them up on the workshop buffing wheel. Nowadays they are throw away items...

  2. No, there was definitely a problem with the fuse. Nothing at the switch - remove fuse, clean contacts, replace with new - power to the switch. But the XT likes to keep a trick or two up its airbox, and sometimes will present two problems (with similar symptoms) at the same time. Just to keep the owner awake.

    I loved it when you could dismantle stuff, do some proper maintenance including oil cans and wire wool, and keep things running by skill rather than just throw-away-and-replace.

  3. It's one of the reasons I'm fairly scornful of the climate change lobby: the fact that there is no effort or will to even try and remove built-in obsolescence at source. It's no good expecting the ordinary punter to somehow refurbish throwaway stuff that's designed to be binned while manufacturers are still churning it out like there's no tomorrow. If you really mean it, target the consumer corporations, not the poor buggers on the other end of the capitalist dream.

    Computers are the same: when I started on those, we used to spend hours getting a single circuit board to work properly, even down to resoldering connections. Nowadays, it's more economically viable to throw the entire box away than consider replacing a single part.

    Still, good to hear the XT's running right proper now. Long may it continue.

  4. Built-in obsolescence = massive waste = over-consumption of resources = planet fucked.

    I wouldn't ally myself with the 'green' lobby, but I hate waste and I try to reuse and recycle everything I can, simply because wasting things in a world where some people don't have enough is immoral. The greens can't somehow see that my old Land Rover, which is infinitely repairable and has its rape of the earth's resources long in the past, is a far greener vehicle that a brand-new, plastics-and-nasty-chemicals so-called eco-car, even if it does only do 20 to the gallon. The car scrappage scheme was ecologically disastrous, whereas a car rescuing scheme would have had my full support.


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