Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Bike preparation - nearly there!

One job that was not strictly necessary but I did it anyway was to strip the old graphics off the fairing as they were looking rather tired, the new look is only a slight variation on the old; black instead of orange and a refresh of the Nomad racing stickers, although I'm still thinking of extending the black to the top of the fairing:

If you're really observant you might also spot that I fitted a new front mudguard, no need for this either but as one came with the plastics kit, I decided to fit it.

The final few parts I had ordered all turned up but to be honest none were required for the MOT so I fitted the main beam tell-tale light then it was off to for the MOT…

Not having ridden the bike for some time, I was a little concerned to find the handlebars pointed markedly to the left when the front wheel was pointing straight forward. I had forgotten that the forks had twisted in the yokes when I went down in the mud at the Ryedale Rally.

I mentioned this to the MOT tester and he wasn’t at all concerned and went ahead with the test although it failed!

Luckily this was not due to the forks and only due to some (very) slight movement in the front wheel bearings, I rode home, fitted a new set that I had in the spares box, straightened the forks whilst I was at it and was back to get the new MOT only 45 minutes later!

The funny thing was the tester asked me to operate the lights for him and was standing in front of the bike when i put main beam on, so could not have seen that I had a main beam indicator light, so that was a wasted effort!

On getting home I checked the MOT testers manual on-line only discover there is no longer a requirement for one on the MOT test. It's one of many things that you need by law (in this case Schedule 5, Part 1, Section 11 of the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989) but which is not tested on the MOT.... go figure?

Later I did a few more bits and pieces; the front sprocket went on without drama and the new spark plug took no effort. I also replaced the front brake pin (and R clips) as the old one was looking worn.

As previously mentioned I ordered a new number plate and went for a small tapered design, I unwrapped the very small envelope and was rather surprised to see how small it actually was! OK the idea of the small plate is to prevent it getting broken when racing in closed course events that don’t use the public highway but of course as a Rally event all bikes must be registered for the road, so the number plate (of some description) has to remain as proof of that.

I keep one fully legal plate for MOTs (and as you can see above, even that one has cracked).

I have another full size but flexi plate (1mm thick polycarbonate) for trail riding, the legality of this might be questioned as it doesn’t have the British Standard marking on it but complies with all other legal requirements and as the most common reason to get stopped by the Police on a tail bike is for having a small plate, this avoids that in the first place. Flexi plates are not indestructible but will take a lot more abuse than a standard plate.

Then I have a small flexi plate for racing as noted above, even this is not fool proof as I smashed my last one on the Ryedale Rally, although I have to say this new tapered plate is the smallest I’ve ever used and as it doesn’t extend beyond the sides of the hanger, should be protected from most abuse I can dish out. I'm planning on using it in Portugal so let’s hope the Portuguese Police don’t know how big a UK plate is supposed to be J not that we actually saw any Police on the Rally last year!

All that remains is to fit the new switch gear on the left hand bar and it’s all ready to go!

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