Motorcycle chain cleaning is an essential maintenance procedure on all chain-driven bikes. While everybody have their favorite chain cleaner, the topic of the suitability of WD-40 as a chain cleaner (and as a chain lube) is amongst the most controversial ones in chain maintenance chats. Some swear by it, while others swear at it.
The biggest concern motorcycle owners have on the choice of cleaning fluids on their o-ring (or x-ring, or z-ring) sealed chain is the effect of the fluid on the o-ring itself. The 0-rings serve as a seal that locks lubricating grease between the pin and the roller of the chain, significantly increase the chain’s useful life as compared to non-o-ring chains. Any deterioration of this rubber o-ring will allow grease to escape and contaminants such as dirt, mud and other yucky stuff into the tiny crevices inside the chain, leading to a drastically reduced chain life.
The idea that WD-40 reacts with rubber, swelling, softening and making it brittle has been debunked. MC Garage produced an excellent video to demonstrate this:
I’ve resisted this modification for awhile. But after reading reports of failing regulators / rectifiers (RR) and stator coils – not just on the Bajaj Pulsar 200NS, but not an uncommon failure on almost any motorcycles, I’ve decided to add a voltmeter to the bike so that I can keep a constant eye on the health of my motorcycle’s electrical system.
By the way, did you know that the number one cause for RR and stator coil failures is NOT the addition of electrical accessories, but rather a bad battery? The typical electrical loads additional (reasonable) accessories demand from the bike’s electrical system is usually very, very well within what the electrical generation system can handle. But when a battery goes bad, and if a single cell within the 12V lead acid battery shorts (a typical 12V battery has 6 cells), this draws a significantly increased amount of current from the bike’s electrical generation system. This large current draw puts a tremendous strain on the electrical system until something – typically either the RR or the stator, or both – gives way and burns up. So remember this – periodically replacing a battery BEFORE it goes bad is good preventive maintenance for your bike’s electrical system. And this is one reason why I choose to replace old batteries instead of waiting for them to go bad.
With a new chain on, I decided to take a peek at my front sprocket.Some of you might have remembered that I performed a deep cleaning of my front sprocket only about 800km ago. And so I expected it to be relatively clean now. But when I popped open the sprocket cover…
It’s been 14,000km since I had my engine top rebuilt in Chiang Mai and I’ve not done the valves clearance check on my Pulsar 200NS. And since it was the Chinese New Year holiday and I’ve completed my CNY visiting, with some time at hand, I decided to DIY the valve clearance check this afternoon.
After removing the 4 bolts on the engine head cover / valve head cover, carefully remove the cover taking care not to damage the gasket. I visually inspected my head gasket and found it to be in excellent condition (approx 6 months old), and although I bought a new piece for this procedure, I had decided that it was good enough to re-use. I’d probably replace it if / when it starts to leak. Continue reading “Valve Clearance Check on my Pulsar 200NS”
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.
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”
Arghh! I couldn’t start my motorcycle again this morning! The last time I fired up my Pulsar 200NS was Tuesday – that’s only 5 days ago. Granted, I haven’t been riding much. But still, it was ONLY FIVE DAYS!
Since the last battery death and replacement, I’ve double checked all my additional electrical components, and am ABSOLUTE CERTAIN that, apart from the IU, none of the other additional electrical circuits are powered up when the bike is turned off. I’ve even went so far to remove my remote controlled alarm – which I suspected could be the cause of the battery drain.
I had only replaced the battery on my Pulsar 200NS motorcycle 3 months ago – just before I took it on a 2-month tour around SE Asia. My previous battery was about 2 years old and I didn’t want to risk a bad battery on the trip.
But shortly after returning to Singapore, and while performing maintenance on the bike, I had absent-mindedly left the key in the ignition and in the ON position. That severely drained the battery and was left with less than 5V. After an eventful jumpstart, stalling the engine down the road, and a good samaritan assisting in “push starting” my bike using his own motorcycle and his leg, I managed to get to KL and back without incident.
Was shopping at Daiso earlier today. Yes – that famous $2 store where everything goes for $2. And I came across this inflatable seat cushion. Thought that it might come in useful for longer motorcycle rides – similar in concept to the AirHawk, only much much cheaper. I’m yet to figure a way to secure it to the seat. But at $2, it won’t be too painful if I lose it. Just make sure I keep it slightly under-inflated.