Sunday, 19 April 2015
A day in the garage
Today I did a bit more work on my Yamaha SZR 660. I'd bought this a couple of years ago, had started to 'restore' it, but hadn't done any work for a while.
To recap, when I bought it, it was a very tatty 'non runner' that had been abandoned in a damp shed for four years, was very dirty, alloy was a bit corroded, had damaged bodywork on the left hand side where it had fallen off of its stand, and the rear tyre had a slow puncture.
What it was like when I bought it
Today I cleaned up the rear wheel, wire brushed the corroded parts, then gave it a couple of coats of satin black paint.
To find the slow puncture, I fully inflated the tyre then rubbed soapy water over it to see if I could see any bubbles. I found that it was leaking between the tyre and rim at a four points, luckily all close to each other. I deflated the tyre, broke the bead near the leaks, and cleaned out corrosion and dirt from rim and tyre. I inflated it and checked for bubbles. Only one point leaked now, so it was break the bead again, smooth down the sealing surface of the rim, cleaned it again, and inflated it. This time no bubbles!
Before I could inflate the tyre I had to 'pop' it back onto the rim. Not having a compressor, I used a couple of CO2 cartridges from my tubeless repair kit. Each time the tyre popped back on the rim first time, then I could inflate it with a footpump.
The swing arm looked very tatty as a lot of the paint had flaked off and the alloy had started to corrode. I cleaned it with some paraffin (kerosene for my US readers) and an old toothbrush, this gets old chain lube off fairly easily and cheaply. I spent a LOT of time removing corrosion and old paint with a wire brush in and electric drill, smoothed the surface with wet and dry, then gave it a couple of coats of silver paint.
Last job was to fit a new numberplate. When I'd got the bike the plate had been broken, so I had to order a new one.
(Note to non UK readers: here a vehicle keeps the same number through its life, irrespective of how many owners it has. Number plates are sold by approved sellers, and you can order them online.) Some sellers insist on seeing your registration document and a form of ID, but the company I used didn't. I'd ordered it on Thursday night and it arrived on Saturday morning, it was one of the cheapest companies I could find (£7.49 including postage), and the quality is very good.
Note I took the care to drill the mounting holes through digits so that you don't notice the black plastic mounting screws.
The bike is in fairly good condition, just very dirty and neglected. I'm planning on selling it when it's finished as the riding position is just too extreme for me (wouldn't have been 20 years ago!).