After quite a bit of use, the once-shiny stainless steel exhaust headers on the BMW R1200GS is beginning to look a little dated. Thick brown-black crud and rust has collected on its surface and looks like it’s slowly eating into the metal. I’ve seen some YouTube videos on an inexpensive homemade solution to rust removal….
Keeping your motorcycle safe while touring in a foreign land is important. The bike is, after all, not only your primary trip companion, but could be your only transport home too. A simple disc lock may be enough to deter the casual thief from stealing the bike – although it won’t stop the really determined ones from lifting it onto the back of a truck.
But, is there a “wrong” way of doing it?
In my recent 1000 Corner Malaysia ride, a fellow riding buddy had a brilliant idea he picked up from a YouTube video. To make it really difficult for the bad guys to brute force crack the disc lock by drilling it, lock it such that the keyhole opening is facing the INSIDE of the brake disc instead of the usual OUTSIDE.
Do you keep your motorcycle helmet in your topbox or side cases? What about your riding jacket and riding gloves? If you do, like me, then you’ll find that the boxes start to smell after awhile. Now here’s a tip…
The added advantage is that this leaves your helmet and riding gear smelling fresh and ready to wear when you return to bike from that lunch / dinner / shopping stop!
It’s been a tad over 7,000km since my last oil change. And of late, I’ve noticed that gear changing on the 400X seem to have gotten a little clunkier. Definitely not as smooth as I once remembered it to be. And so there I was contemplating the decision as to whether I should pamper my machine with some fresh engine oil.
But then, this clunky gearshift appears to be rather random too – sometimes shifting from one gear to the next feels like the gearbox of an agricultural tractor; but on other occasions, it could feel as smooth as a well-oiled precision machinery. And so I figured that it shouldn’t be the case of the engine oil approaching end of life.
Most affected owners *should* know by now that Honda had a massive recall on multiple motorcycle models due to a potential failure in the starter relay switch. A failure could lead to a fire or even the bike suddenly stalling – which is a potential accident risk. The potentially faulty starter relay switch seem to affect multiple Honda motorcycle models manufactured in 2014 and 2015. My CB400X is a 2014 model. *GASP!*
Being the 3rd owner of the vehicle and only recently acquiring it, I have no idea if my bike’s starter relay is affected, or if it had been swapped out. And since this is a SAFETY issue and a possible FIRE HAZARD, I decided to be prudent about it and do some investigation myself.
After traveling some 2,000km and taking my 400X on my first road trip to Thailand, I’ve come to realise that the speedometer and odometer (or tripmeter) readings are waaaaaay off.
While I understand that most vehicle manufacturers build the speedometer to overestimate the actual speed, my Honda was actually UNDERESTIMATING instead! As I have my handlebar-mounted GPS turned on throughout the journey, I noticed that while the speedometer was reading approximately 100kmh, my (GPS) actual speed was 106kmh instead!
And to add to the problem, my odometer / tripmeter readings are way off too. While comparing notes with several fellow riders, the distance between 2 refuel stops should have been about 220km apart – my trip meter was reading 197km only. To confirm this irregular phenomenon, I took a mental note on the distance to the next destination on my GPS – approximately 135km. But when I arrived, my bike showed that I have traveled for only 120km!
Just before the handover, he had agreed to replace the bike battery (it died while viewing) and perform a once-off engine oil change. I specifically asked if he used a fully-synthetic oil – and he said YES; though he couldn’t recall the oil name (red flag!). So he arranged for tow and got the agreed stuff replaced.
With the recent acquisition of the Honda CB400X, it’s now time to get it tour-ready. The previous owner threw in a a puny 35L top box and that was hardly enough for my needs. I’m a storage hog and I love ample storage space on my motorcycles. I just love the idea of the ability of my mechanical steed to carry me and my luggage to far flung places – adventure on a whim!
So what better way to equip the Honda mid-sized adventure bike with some adventure luggage? A set of adventure aluminum boxes, of course!
I had initially wanted a set of Givi plastic luggage that will give the bike an urban tourer look. But I know of someone who got a set of Givi V35 side boxes and accompanying rack that would have cost as much as a *COMPLETE* Kappa aluminum luggage set – INCLUDING a 48L top box! GASP!
So after much research, I thought that a set of Kappa K-Venture’s from the ever popular Lim Ah Boy gave the most bang-for-the-buck. And I went for the KVE48A top box and a set of KVE37A side cases. Kappa, being Givi’s sister brand, carries a set of aluminum luggage that’s strikingly similar to Givi’s more well known set of Outback Trekkers – only cheaper! Continue reading “Kappa K-Venture Luggage Upgrade on my CB400X”
At 55,000km on the odometer, my 4-year old Pulsar was due for an oil change. So after returning from a short Sunday morning ride to JB, I went to LAB and got myself some Motul 7100 15W50. Changing engine oil is a relatively simple maintenance procedure, and I’ve almost always been doing it myself. But today’s oil change was anything but typical.
As I drained the used engine oil and removed the magnetic oil strainer, my heart skipped a beat when I witnessed this:
For those who have been following my blog, you’d probably know that I experienced an engine breakdown due to a catastrophic camshaft bearing failure less than 1 year ago. In fact, I was almost stranded in Chiang Mai, Thailand, some 2,500km away from home where there wasn’t any Bajaj dealership in the country at all. I had to FedEx the engine parts up from Singapore to get the bike fixed. Similarly back then, the magnetic oil strainer caught a massive amount of metal shavings from the grounded down camshaft bearing.
My Pulsar has just reached it’s 4-year mark, and it’s certainly showing signs of its age. I was just at Universal Motors yesterday for a gear lever replacement. And when I got home that evening, I noticed that the left side of my radiator assembly was shaking loose.
The 200NS radiator is held in place by four mounting points. And to damp it from the motorcycle’s vibrations, each of these four mounts are coupled with a rubber “silent block”. Turns out that TWO of the FOUR mounts were broken! One at the rubber damper, and the other was a metal fracture on the radiator itself! GASP!