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I started on my chain and sprockets. I get breathless and exhausted so easily since the original lockdown in the U.K. I am not sure if it is just unfitness due to staying indoors for over five months or the inflammatory lung disease that was part of the reason I had to isolate for so long.

So I removed the front sprocket, broke the chain, removed the wheel, then removed the rear sprocket before it was all too much and I gave up for the evening. So tomorrow I get to put it all back together.

It was not so much the disassembly that wore me down but the cleaning. It is why I did not want to have to change the sprockets yet, but it was even worse than I expected. I have no idea how the front sprocket managed to turn when there was so much gunk in there.

I have managed to clean that area out the best I can. And I did a good job on the chain guide which was pretty bad too. But the sprocket cover still needs cleaning out in the morning. Plus giving a general clean to the insides of the swing arm whilst I have easy access.

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I wished I had paid someone else to do the job now!
 

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I wished I had paid someone else to do the job now!
Some of my recent maintenance chores have left me feeling the same way. But since I have plenty of spare time, as long as I'm not damaging more parts than it would cost me in labor going out... I guess I'm still coming out to the good. Mind sharing what type chain lub you use? That guard looks nasty, but the lub's not dripping all over the place, so my guess is it's staying on the chain also.
 

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I suppose to be fair, there is probably about 20k miles of accumulation. And that is only what stuck to the cover.

It is probably mostly WD40 Motorbike Chain Lube, as an ALDI supermarket opened near me a few years ago and they frequently sell that, as well as the wax and chain cleaner, as one of their occasional items. I do sometimes use the wax too, but the climate here obviously favours lube.

If I run out and Aldi does not have stock then I will normally use Muc Off All-Weather Chain Lube, as that is the brand Halfords sell. They are the main chain for auto maintenance in the U.K.

One of the reasons I was interested in a chain oiler is the laziness of not having to clean and lube it so much, but the other was to avoid the mess of lube. The first owner of the bike replaced the chain guard with a rear hugger. Which is booth good and bad, as it makes removing it slightly tricky as one of the bolts is behind the exhaust. So it is harder to regularly clean things like the chain runner.
 

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My bike must be cursed.

As I did not feel well enough to do anything yesterday, so went to finish the job this morning. I did the best I could cleaning out the front sprocket, not exactly like new but all but gunk free.

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I am always worried about the chain being riveted enough, yet just as worried about making it too tight. So hopefully this will hold. It was about as tight as I could turn the tool anyway.

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(The link is a VX2, but the chain is a VX3, I have no idea what the improvement is.)

However I never bothered reattaching the rear hugger, foot peg, or adjusting the chain and tightening the rear axel because the bike will not be going anywhere soon.

And also because the final international men's cricket match of the summer is on TV. Amazingly England will have played 18 matches, over 42 scheduled days, against four countries, across two biosecure stadiums, during various lockdowns and restrictions, and with no positive Covid-19 tests. It is only a shorter game today, so just the seven hours long, excluding the dinner break.

The reasons the bike is not going anywhere though is this:

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That must have been there since the last time I rode. The tyre felt deflated when I removed the wheel, but having not used it since March that seemed understandable. Only when reattaching the wheel did I see it.

I am not even sure if it is repairable, there is a British Standard for tyre repairs and it only allows them accross the middle 50% for motorcycles. Annoyingly the puncture there appears to be the outside of object.

But I have medical appointments the next two days, which will tell me whether I will be able to ride anywhere soon anyway. So at the weekend I will probably put everything back together, and send a photo to the local mobile tyre repair service to see what they can do. Hopefully it will not need replacaing as it is only just over 8k miles old.
 

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I am always worried about the chain being riveted enough, yet just as worried about making it too tight. So hopefully this will hold. It was about as tight as I could turn the tool anyway.
(The link is a VX2, but the chain is a VX3, I have no idea what the improvement is.)
Instructions for DID's chain riveting tool give this spec for the diameter of the rivet flare: 5.5 to 5.8mm.......................520VX2
 
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I have a generic chain tool, and buying the rivet link separately it did not have any instructions with it, so thanks for that.

I will measure it at the weekend, as I can always add a bit more if necessary.
 

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I have a generic chain tool, and buying the rivet link separately it did not have any instructions with it, so thanks for that.

I will measure it at the weekend, as I can always add a bit more if necessary.
Some chain kits come with a setting tool. If not measure in between the side plates with a caliper and set the new link to that.
 

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This is almost identical to the chain tool I have:


Except in that one the inset plate pressing attachment probably fits in the tool. Although given the reviews, my non-branded one does at least actually rivet.

Anyway, what I did to my bike today was have a chance to measure the rivets, and they are both 5.4mm, so I guess I better add a bit more pressure to them at the weekend.
 

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I finished phase one of working on my bike, my part of getting it back on the road. The only thing stopping me riding it now is the puncture. And being untaxed. But I have emailed a photo to the mobile repairer, but I am expecting a much bigger bill for a new tyre.

So today I did a bit more riveting, it is only the minimum of 5.5mm but I also did the side plate check that ADIOS600 suggested and, though I forget the measurement, it is the same width as the other links. So reattached the rear hugger, foot peg, adjusted the chain, and tightened it all up.

With the wheel needing to come off for the tyre repair I was not sure if it was worth adjusting, but they will probably just loosen the axel and leave the adjustors in position so can put it back as it was. I also completely forgot I bought one of those cheap chain alignment tools, so just used my trusty piece of string to measure the axel to the swing arm pivot on both sides like it was still 2019.

It will not look this clean again for a while:

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I am no sure what that rightmost label means, it seems to be suggesting a 24lb weight limit when carrying luggage with a rider?

After that I added the second arm to the G.P.S. mount and feel I got that positioned okay. I regret buying the security knob now and might end up replacing it with a nut and bolt.

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After an odd appointment with a doctor yesterday, I can still ride after all so after the tyre is fixed will come a test ride then phase 2: replace the RAM ball on the brake reservoir and fit the chain oiler (I would remove the left side ball too, but I need to find the bag with the original bolts); replace the USB that is rusted inside (square thing in the second photo above), remove the useless mirror mounted lights, and just tidy up all the custom wiring under the seat, which will include re-wiring the G.P.S. mount. Not really a big job in total.

Phase 3 will be to actually buy some lights and install them. I want something as bright as I can get with a spot beam so I can feel able to riding at night. Ideally with a halo (angel eye) to use as an always-on running light, as the only ones that allow dipping are cheap ones where you have to cycle through a strobe mode too.
 

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Found a new way to "break" it.

Sadly the tyre is dead and will need replacing, so scheduled that for tomorrow afternoon. Only 8,306 miles old, which is still an infant for a Road 5. Hopefully the front one should last as long as a new rear so they can expire together.

So I decided to remove the useless lighting, which meant removing a side panel to feed the cable out. But when i went to put it back together the centre of the rivet pin went straight through and disappeared. Luckily I knew where I had a spare, so went and got that. Pressed the centre pin and it bounced out an no idea where it went! I have more spares somewhere, so not the worst problem. But when I went to screw the panel to the frame it was as though there was nothing behind the bolt. Because there was nothing behind the bolt.

A rubberized nut sits in the frame and the rubber was just torn that it no longer held the nut in place. So for now I took the rivet pin from the other side panel to have something extra to help hold it in place. Then I found the missing rivet pin, so could use that on the other side. Still no sign of the spare one, though. Hopefully lost in the bike, to be rediscovered when i next remove the battery, though I am sure it landed on the ground.

But even with the tyre fixed, I do not want to risk riding the bike until I have a replaced nut for the side panel. £5.99 for an O.E.M. replacement, or £6.99 on eBay for a pack of eight thrid-party ones, with bolts. With the risk the other panel will end up the same when I remove it to install the new wiring, I went for the latter.

It is feeling like I will not be able to ride again this year, because no matter how trivial there always seems to be something else.
 

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Found a new way to "break" it.

Sadly the tyre is dead and will need replacing, so scheduled that for tomorrow afternoon. Only 8,306 miles old, which is still an infant for a Road 5. Hopefully the front one should last as long as a new rear so they can expire together.

So I decided to remove the useless lighting, which meant removing a side panel to feed the cable out. But when i went to put it back together the centre of the rivet pin went straight through and disappeared. Luckily I knew where I had a spare, so went and got that. Pressed the centre pin and it bounced out an no idea where it went! I have more spares somewhere, so not the worst problem. But when I went to screw the panel to the frame it was as though there was nothing behind the bolt. Because there was nothing behind the bolt.

A rubberized nut sits in the frame and the rubber was just torn that it no longer held the nut in place. So for now I took the rivet pin from the other side panel to have something extra to help hold it in place. Then I found the missing rivet pin, so could use that on the other side. Still no sign of the spare one, though. Hopefully lost in the bike, to be rediscovered when i next remove the battery, though I am sure it landed on the ground.

But even with the tyre fixed, I do not want to risk riding the bike until I have a replaced nut for the side panel. £5.99 for an O.E.M. replacement, or £6.99 on eBay for a pack of eight thrid-party ones, with bolts. With the risk the other panel will end up the same when I remove it to install the new wiring, I went for the latter.

It is feeling like I will not be able to ride again this year, because no matter how trivial there always seems to be something else.
Put a positive spin on it and believe you are just ticking off the list of jobs. A few more good riding days ahead.
 

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With a new tyre I will only be one nut away from riding, so it will be a race between Royal Mail and the government announcing a second lockdown!
 

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Fiddled.

72541


Got a new tyre fitted yesterday. As the punctured one was flat it needed inflating to be able to move the bike. Then I remembered I bought a mini compressor whilst isolating (I bought a lot of stuff, I got a 150–600mm camera lens I still have not used) which i put in the top box for emergencies. So a perfect chance to test it out.

Plugged it into the 12v socket in the top box, and waited. The speed seemed reasonable for something small, then I stopped it at exactly 40 psi. Low, but enough to move the bike easily. I then used a digital pressure guage to see the actual pressure. It was the weirdest thing, but it agreed. The gauges on pumps are also wrong, and this is similarly just an analogue dials. But 40 psi.

It was this one, under £12, although probably only available in the U.K. from the A.A., I am pretty sure it is just a rebadged generic Chinese item, so probably available under different local motoring brands:


I found the Honda bolts, so I removed the RAM balls I was not using from the front of the mirror mounts.

Today I started work on the electronics, so I removed the old USB, installed the new one, and set it up to run from a mini relay, powered by the option connector. As the latter only has 7.5A total and includes heated grips I decided I would run everything from the battery, including through a 25A relay for switched stuff. Almost certainly overkill, but cleaner and safer.

Although some things needed replacing anyway, part of the reason for rewiring everything was to make it tidier, but at least at the end of today it was as bad a tangle of cable as it had ever been. Tomorrow I plan to rewire the G.P.S. cradle, so at least then the old wiring to the front of the bike will be gone, and with all the cables running to the left side of the bike. so arriving in the same place

I never got to install the chain oiler, but I did make a start installed the tubing whilst I will setting up the cables, so the end of that is sat on my footpeg as I work out how to get it on the swingarm without being eaten by the chain.

Also tomorrow I have some new lights coming. 5" ones! They should sit on the crash bars with only 1" overhang. Which should also look ridiculous, but if they let me see at night I do not care. Sadly a switch for them is not due to arrive until Friday, so I will be unable to properly install them yet.

So in the photo, left and right RAM balls removed, mirror mounted lights removed, tubing for the chain oiler sat above the brake reservoir, and the G.P.S. cradle pushed out of the way (the knob again, I will replace that with a nut and bolt tomorrow) for the new USB mounted on the left mirror.

That unit has a 12V socket, two USBs, and flashes the battery voltage and amps between them. It also has an illuminated power switch on top, which is annoying as I will leave them on all the time as they are connected to the relay.
 

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Not much. Tuesday was very hot and sunny in London, but that may have been the last day of summer. It has become much cooler with frequent showers, so not ideal for working on the bike.

I could not find the fob needed for the security knob to reset the G.P.S. mount. So I just used a pair of pliers in a small utility knife I keep on the bike to grasp the inner prongs are turn it. I replaced it with a nut and bolt both for space and it is probably more secure too.

I rewired the G.P.S. cradle too, which was needed as when riding the power kept cutting in and out. I had to disable the "turn off without power" feature as I was forever having to hit cancel. Not that I know whether it was the cabling, the cradle, of the TomTom itself at fault, but it needed doing.

I fitted mounts to the crash bars to mount lights. It was hard to find ones which fit a vertical bar and have an upright mount point sitting out in front. So the ones I ended up with seem very heavy duty, I think if I every have an accident the lights and bike will be destroyed, but they will remain intact.

I did not fit any lights, because I messed up and thought that it was a generic Chinese item and I was buying from a cheaper seller. It turns out it was the same seller but just a single light instead of a pair. So that will be returned and I have a pair coming on Saturday. I did rest the light on a mount though just to see how it would look. 5" definitely looks big, though not quite as stupid as I feared it might. The real test will come in the dark though.

Nor did I install the chain oiler, because of the rain. I have the canister mounted above the brake reservoir and the tube routed along the frame to just behind the rear hugger. That will protect it from the chain to get under the swingarm. But as I need to tape arm which directs oil to the sprocket and chain, and a couple of holders for the tube, I did not want to risk doing that when everything is wet. That can wait until a long enough dry spell.

Finally, I still have not received the rubberized nuts to be able to screw on the side panel (and ride). I wonder if the new Covid wave is effecting the post as it seems everything I have bought on eBay that was posted has arrived late recently.

All a bit frustrating now that is taking so long, and that once again I have missed good riding weather. Still if I wait until Thursday before riding then it will be October and I can save another month of tax.
 

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After some rain this morning it was a dry day. Cold and windy. But dry. Still no post.

So instead I went to clean the underside of my swingarm, and it is the weirdest thing. It was pretty clean. How does that happen? Replacing the flimsy double sided tape on the attachments with some No More Nails permanent mounting tape*, I fastened the chain oiler along it. All done.


1. Twist the canister 90°.

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2. The pressure in the cannister pushes the oil down the tube routed along the bike until it comes out under the swingarm.

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3. It drips onto the chain and sprocket.

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It is supposed to be cable tied too, though if the tape holds they are unnecessary. Best not to take risks, though.

90° is supposed to give three minutes of dripping, though I did not time it it seems to be working in that oil dripped out and then stopped sometime shortly after. Hence the can in a jug to collect it whilst setting it up.

One of the YouTube videos I looked at suggested having it against the sprocket. I am not entirely sure if that is best, but I can lower the arm and shorten the tube to move it out if I feel it is not working.

My only concern with the oiler is that it will not give enough protection to the chain with the bike sitting in the rain. Which is what killed the old chain. Possibly though I could protect it with some ACF50 as I can now separate the lubricating and protection functions.

Although any lightweight oil can be used, I bought some Scottoil to start with, mainly because it is supposed to clean as well as lubricate.

Meanwhile, here is a photo of the ridiculously strong lighting mounts. Never mind an LED, they can probably hold a whole floodlight stanchion.

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Tomorrow I want to check the chain again as it felt loose today, but I never rechecked it after the new tyre was put on. The LED lights are also due to arrive tomorrow. I have a nice switch for them, though not sure if the bars are a tad too thick for it. That would be annoying. But that is a project for next week.

I still need to tidy the wiring under the seat at some point, but otherwise I think I have done everything that needed doing:

Repainted top box arms
Installed pannier frames
Installed lighting in top box
Replaced crash bungs with crash bars
New sprockets and chain
Relocated GPS cradle and replaced wiring
Replaced old rusted USB with new one
Removed unused RAM balls mounts
Had rear tyre replaced with one without a puncture
Installed lighting mounts
Installed chain oiler

There is just one things missing, the most important, riding it. I just want to ride.

Please come tomorrow, rubberized nut, so I can ride on Sunday. It is due to be in the low to mid 50s °F / low 10s °C and cloudy, but dry.


* No idea how No More Nails** compares to 3M, but it claims to be waterproof and capable of holding over 6lbs. The oiler arm is a couple ounces and I have had good experience with the tape int he past.

** You would think the name refers to not need to use nails to mount things, but I think it refers to how you grind down your finger nails trying to remove the backing from the tape.
 

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A week ago my wife and I were asked to go hiking with some friends. I had no idea this existed, but about 30 minutes North of the city there are some small mountains and hiking trails. I love outdoors, forests, heights, waterfalls. All good things. Took me back to my childhood.



(Sorry for the shirtlessness, but it was warm, and it was a pretty intense hike)

The road to get there turns to gravel for the last ~200 meters. My wife made the mistake of saying I couldn't bring my bike there. 🤔



Today while working from home I felt distracted so I opted to clock out early and go for a ride. And I chose to go back to this hiking destination. There was a waterfall that we never made it to last weekend, and I wanted to show my wife that the R can easily handle gravel roads and so can I. 🚳



I actually went further on my R than I went last week in our Ford Ranger. :p I was feeling pretty confident on that gravel too. At one point I actually almost dropped the bike. When I first got there I had ridden past where I had been before so I pulled over on the side of the road to try to read the tourist signs, and didn't realize that it was a further reach than normal. I barely managed to catch the bike standing on a slope in gravel, but I did!


(Sorry I'm so sweaty, it was a long enough hike, and I wore my full gear instead of leaving it behind at the road... Also, I hadn't showered in a week or more... Rest assured, I showered tonight and I needed it...)



The waterfall wasn't as impressive as the lookout view above. The hike wasn't nearly as bad to get to the waterfall as the lookout either. Which was good because my motorcycle boots have basically no tread, and the paths to reach the cliffs where the lookouts are got pretty steep at times.

Anyway, there is a whole rock wall where the waterfall is and I actually climbed it to see the top. I suspect during Spring when the snow is melting there would be water rushing down the entire rock wall and it would be pretty cool. I'll have to try to return in the Spring to see if it's more spectacular then.



After returning to the highway I decided to explore a nearby community that I had heard about, but never really ventured into. I was trying to get to Lake Superior for a neat photo of the nearby windmills with the rough waves in the background, but alas there was no public path from the road to the water. I took this screenshot of my position after I reached the dead end. I love how on Google Maps it looks like I'm off-road. In reality there was great quality roads all the way back in there. The cliffs/waterfall were on the other side of the Trans-Canada highway (17).
 

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A rubberized nut sits in the frame and the rubber was just torn that it no longer held the nut in place.
Bloody Honda!

So the rubberized nuts arrived. Only to discover that was not all I needed.

When I looked up the parts diagram for the Side Cover / Rear Cowl it showed the bolt screws into NUT, COWL SETTING, 5MM (the rubberized nut), so that is what I ordered.

And as what fell out of the bike was a nut surrounded by some rubber that must have fused together as well as torn that is looked like it was one part.

What that page did not show is that I also need a GROMMET, SIDE COVER to hold the nut in the frame, as that instead comes under the Frame Body page.

It is a part who only purpose is to contained the rubberized nut, they are both equally as useless without the other. Why show them completely independently of their purpose?

So I did nothing to the bike today, and another month will pass without riding. Although another month of tax saved. Although this is less than the cost of a new grommet.
 

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On Saturday I went for a day ride, and it was a blast. My stories are always overly verbose so I opted to link to this thread instead of posting direct.

 
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