I spent some weekend time pampering my bike. Pressure washed the engine area to get rid of some built-up gunk and applied a layer of wax (more specifically, a layer of polymer sealant – Autoglym’s Extra Gloss Protection) on the paintwork. It’s been some time since I treated the paint and I thought it was about time.
And since I was on the subject of paint, my fuel tank lid has accumulated some scratches and paint peel on it. Some of which was my own contribution (fuel station’s nozzle hitting the paintwork), but the majority of it was by the previous owner of the bike. You see, when I purchased the bike pre-owned, the fuel tank lid was already quite badly scratched up.
My 200NS has run for 44,000kms and coming to 4 years. And that includes the arduous 2-month SE Asia Tour earlier this year. I don’t think the fork oil on my bike has ever been changed. The Bajaj owner’s manual calls for a fork oil change interval of 10,000km. But this is one of those things that is commonly neglected – and yes, I’m amongst the guilty ones.
You see, I bought the bike pre-owned and I have absolutely no history of its previous maintenance. So I took the bike to Universal Motors and tried to schedule for a fork oil change. But the mechanics there dissuaded me and casually mentioned that “it’s not a necessary procedure unless it starts leaking oil”. And since there was a pretty long queue with 5 other bikes before my turn, I decided to hold out the fork oil replacement for awhile at least.
Just then, it almost seem as if my Pulsar had a soul, it didn’t seem to like the neglect treatment. And in protest, the fork seal start leaking 6 days after my visit to UM. So, now I REALLY have to get it changed. Continue reading “Pulsar 200NS Fork Oil Change”
After my IU power re-wiring, my motorcycle could now rest for more than 6 weeks without starting up and the battery is still good for firing up the engine. I’m happy now. However, in the meantime, I’ve received several well-meaning advise from fellow motorcycle riders that such a modification – the re-wiring of the power of the IU to only come on when the ignition is turned on – is not allowed / illegal under the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) rules.
I tried searching online to find out if there is any truth in this. But search as I might, I couldn’t find any official rule or law stating whether this modification is legal or not. LTA does publish a list of allowable and non-allowable (illegal) modifications one can perform on their private vehicle, but the IU power wiring was stated nowhere. The only “sources” (if I could even call it a proper source) that I found were forum postings of people discussing the legality of the modification. There were even some forumers who claimed that LTA informed them that the modification makes the vehicle illegal and will fail the (required) annual inspection when brought in to one of the inspection centres.
Honestly, unless the government’s goal is to be “big brother” and wants to track the vehicle 24/7 (if that is even possible with the current generation of IU units), I cannot phantom why such a re-wiring – for the purpose of conserving battery on a lightly used vehicle – would be illegal. So, not satisfied and not wanting to get into any legal trouble with the authorities, I wrote in to LTA and enquired.
I wrote about my killing of the motorcycle battery by deep discharging it some time ago. I also later found out that it was the IU unit that was eating up my battery juice when the bike is turned off. Previously, it took only FIVE days (5 DAYS!) of not firing up my motorcycle to completely drain my battery to levels where even the instrument cluster refused to work. And it didn’t just happen once, it happened a whole of 3 times before I swapped out the IU power wiring to only power up the IU unit when the bike is turned on.
Now, I’ve been a little busy of late and admittedly haven’t been riding my motorcycle. Boy! I sure missed my Pulsar! Anyway, it has been SIX weeks (6 WEEKS!) since I last fired up my Pulsar’s 200cc engine. So, out of curiosity, and before I fired up the engine again, I removed the seat cover and measured the voltage of the 6-week-neglected battery.
12.57V! That’s a VERY healthy voltage!
So with some excitement, I put the seat cover back, and mounted my motorcycle. I inserted the key and switched it on – so far so good! And then I hit the started button.
Ahh! The sweet roar of my Pulsar coming to life after 6 weeks of neglect was pure music to my ears! Needless to say, I took her for a spin today, with a huge smile hanging on my face.
Two young boys were playing nicely. Sinbad and Malvyn were, in fact, brothers. In the midst of their brotherly play and without realising it, Sinbad’s left shoulder accidentally brushed against Malvyn’s right cheek.. The cheek, comprising mainly of soft tissue, hurt badly for Malvyn. Out of youthful spite, Malvyn raised his right hand and smacked on Sinbad’s left arm. Sinbad was caught surprised. He didn’t understand why Malvyn would deliberately hurt him. So, after a couple of seconds, Sinbad regained his composure and hit Malvyn on his right arm as revenge.
By this time, Malvyn felt really wronged.
“Why was Sinbad hitting me again?”, Malvyn thought to himself. The sense of injustice was building up within Malvyn, and he retaliated with an even stronger blow to Sinbad’s right arm.
Before long, a fight escalated, and Mum had to step in to intervene.
Does the scenario above sound familiar? Yes, that’s exactly what is happening between Singapore and Malaysia regarding the toll and vehicle entry permit charges that both sides have been increasing in retaliatory responses.
After some initial research, I purchased the Lazer Corsica Z-Line convertible helmet sometime earlier this year. I got it at a decently good deal from Regina Specialities. I think it was something like S$120 or so. Hey! And it’s PSB-approved too! That means it’s fully road legal in Singapore.
I liked it for it’s convertible feature – the removable chin bar converts the helmet from a full-face to an open-face quickly. Perfect for greater protection when required and functions as an open-face during those hot mid-day sunny weather.
I’ve always believed in riding a motorcycle in proper protective gear. I’ve got a very decent modular helmet, a pair of good riding gloves, a great mesh riding jacket with armour, and a very nice pair of waterproof Goretex riding boots. But when it came to the bottoms, I had a somewhat okay pair of riding pants I bought online before my 2-month SE Asia motorcycle trip.
According to the Chinese website I purchased the riding pants from (does Alibaba sound familiar?), it was built with 600D polyester. And after using it on my tour, it held up pretty well despite the 2 falls I experienced in northern Laos. While there were some not-so-obvious scratches around the right kneecap area, the material held up and protected me from the rough skin-tearing Laotian asphalt. So then, why was I looking for a new pair of riding bottom? The armour on the made-in-China pants were horrible. Although it says “CE” on the what-appeared-to-be foam pads, I highly doubt they were really CE-certified. Moreover, the placement of the knee armour was Continue reading “Resurgence Jeans – The most technologically advanced pair of riding jeans?”
Since I published the blog posts on my dead motorcycle battery, I have received a couple of queries asking me what I used to charge my lead acid battery and where I bought it from. And after I told them that I built it from some electronic scrap parts and it cost me close to nothing, they were surprised.
So, I’ve decided to write this post to share with you on how you can build your very own DIY home made battery charger for almost free – well, if you already have most of the parts like I did. And even if you don’t, you can probably get it quite cheaply from an electronics parts store such as those in Sim Lim Square. Continue reading “$1 DIY Motorcycle Battery Charger”
Ok, I’ve travelled for quite a bit with this oil now, and feel sufficiently confident to offer an opinion.
It’s been some 300km’s or so since I fed the Pulsar 200NS with this cherry-coloured liquid from Motul. In the meantime, I’ve ridden it like a city commuter in Singapore’s traffic, travelled some really short distances daily for a week (~5min trips), got stuck in a jam somewhere along the Causeway, taken it onto the Malaysian North-South Highway (NSHW) and doing speeds, well, near the limits of this humble 200cc machine. So I’ve pretty much put it through various tests.
Time for an oil change. My previous Pulsar blood was a concoction of Respol fully synthetic 4T 20W50 (800ml) and Motul 300V 15W50 (400ml). The Repsol was what remained from the oil change when I was in Phnom Penh’s Bajaj dealership, and the 300V was what remained of the oil that I brought along for the long SE Asian tour.
To be honest, I did like the 300V. But my own research suggested that the 300V, while being an excellent oil, was really designed for “racing use” (only). At the recent Singapore Bike show, I had the opportunity to speak to the technical representative at the Motul booth. He confirmed my suspicion that the 300V was built for “racing use” and the 7100 4T was probably more suitable for my purpose – daily commute and touring.