The Pulsar 200NS comes with an adjustable nitrox-charged monoshock rear suspension. Although the damping is not adjustable, the spring preload is.
At my recent tour to Betong, and because I was riding with a group, I realised that when it came to corners, I seem to hesitate quite a bit more than the other bikes. It could be a case of chicken, or that my Pulsar was the most underpowered bike. But when I was discussing this issue with a fellow biker, he suggested that it could be due to the suspension setup of my motorcycle.
The Pulsar 200NS rear gas-charged mono suspension comes with NINE (9) levels of adjustment settings, with 1 being the softest and 9 being the hardest spring preload. The factory default setting is a very soft level 2. While this may be suitable for most “average sized” solo riders, heavier riders (like me) or riders with pillion and / or luggage should increase the preload for better damping.
This is crazy… At the Sunday Morning Ride, I was just talking to a fellow biker about carrying an extra bottle of engine oil for a long trip. And when I returned home after the ride, washed and waxed by bike, I realized that my oil inspection window was… EMPTY!
I had initially thought it was still “warm” after the ride and allowed some time pass to allow the oil to flow back down. But checked the oil window the next morning, still empty – no matter how I tilted my bike. 🙁
So I thought the high RPM run on Sunday might have something to do with it. No external oil leak was observed. So my worst fear was an internal engine oil consumption – aka oil “burning” up. Was it an engine gasket issue? Perhaps a valve oil seal failure? But it was only 17,000km since my engine was rebuilt in Chiang Mai, and I’d be very disappointed if an oil leak or oil consumption occurred.
Yes, I’ll admit it. I pamper my ride. A lot. And it isn’t just my motorcycle. I do that on all my previous cars too.
The 200NS comes with a black-painted exhaust header instead of some shiny stainless steel. It’s been some months since I painted the exhaust header on my 200NS, and there are some new signs of very, very light corrosion. I’ve had good experience with Rustoleum’s High Heat paint on the exhaust and still have more than a half-can remaining.
I recall someone asked me if the exhaust stays black (forever) after the Rustoleum High Heat paint treatment. While I would love for it to be the case, the truth is that I will have to periodically repaint it. Well, that person subsequently mentioned that it was too much of a trouble for him and he was really looking for a more “permanent” solution. Dude! It doesn’t exist! Even polish and wax have to be periodically re-applied! Unless, of course, your machine is a showpiece and remains perpetually in display and not used at all. Continue reading “Detailing the 200NS Exhaust”
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”