Monday, June 16, 2008

Back on the road, didn't crash

It's only taken about 19 months (maybe longer) but the ZX-6 is up and running again. Took my new tires (which have been sitting in a closet for most of that time) in to be mounted and balanced and new valve stems installed. Reinstalled wheels. Install another new battery. Also had installed some months ago a K&N air filter. Good thing too as the original factory foam filter had rotted. Bike starts, not instantaneously, but it runs pretty good for having old gas in it. By now after working several hours on it, dark clouds are blowing in. I decide to up the ante and roll it onto the driveway and wash it. Rumbling begins. Right about the time I get it fully cleaned and start to dry it, the raindrops start. Roll it back until the carport for waxing. Took it back out after dark (while still wet) for a test ride (and to get fresh gas), and immediately found that the front brakes are quite soft. I decide they are good enough to get to the gas station. Filled up. It's sad that it costs almost US$20 to fill a motorcycle tank; I put in more than 4 gallons of 89 octane. Went for about an 8-mile ride. The gunk in the carburetor is killing acceleration below 4000 RPM until it warms up. It's good at 5000 RPM. At 6000 RPM, you start to feel the Spaceballs torque curve kick in (plaid is about 10-12,000 RPM), but on a wet road at night with some fog and soft brakes, I wasn't going to push any harder than that. Made it home and tested the front brake some more and discovered there's a "clank" sound when I release the front brake. Traced this to the left front caliper. Apparently there is too much clearance now between the pads and the rotor. Planning to replace the brake fluid as it is 10+ years old.

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