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"Fast Bikes", January 1, 2013

KEEPING COSY IN WINTER...

We ride all the time, every day, all year, but not everyone does. So, storage tips ahoy!

An extreme level of storage would be to strip your bike and keep bits in your drawers...

Q I know it may not be very ‘hard core’ but I’m happy to admit I’m going to store my CBR600RR up over winter to avoid it getting eaten alive by salt. Any tips?

Dan, email

A There is no (well not much) shame in trying to keep your CBR looking good Dan, winter can really screw up a bike – lightweight aluminium and salt are a horrific combination. When storing a bike there are two schools of thought – full tank or empty one. FB goes for a full tank to avoid corrosion but with some fuel additive added to help stop the petrol ‘going off’. If you can, store the bike on paddock stands to avoid the tyres resting in the same position as this can flat spot them and stick the battery on a trickle charger. Some people swear by removing the battery to do this, it’s your choice. If you haven’t got paddock stands then put some old carpet under the tyres and move the bike every few months. It’s always a good idea to start the engine every month and allow it to get up to temperature, a good tip is to wait for the fan to kick in and then turn it off. When taking the bike out of storage always change the oil as water can get into it through condensation and FB would recommend draining the majority of fuel out of the tank and refilling with fresh petrol. It may sound daft, but blocking the air scoops isn’t a bad idea – mice find airboxes excellent starter homes…

TURN OFF, THEN ON?

Q Dear Fast Bikes. I’ve been reading FB for ages and I see that you quite often use GPS data logging recorders for your speed test data. I recently bought a Performance Box from RaceLogic and while I know it is a relatively cheap recorder, I’m getting loads of hassle trying to make the thing work properly. Any tips?

Andy, Northants

A You wouldn’t believe the number of hours the FB team have spent swearing at data loggers Andy... When experiencing issues, the first thing FB does is a ‘cold start’, which helps the unit re-log onto satellites if it has been stood still for a while. This can be accessed through the ‘menu’ under ‘set-up’. Trial and error (a lot of error) has also shown us that using an external antenna is a good idea and also metal sticky tape. We aren’t sure why, but it seems that bikes with underseat pipes can upset the antenna and putting heat insulation tape (the stuff with a kind of tin foil surface on one side) with the metal side facing up under the antenna seems to help. If you uncover any other tips please let us know!

SLIPPING AWAY...

Q Fast Bikes. I bought a fairly tatty TL1000R a few months ago in an eBay auction. Although the bike looks a bit tired the motor ran fine and I know from forums the TL is bullet-proof so I was pretty confident. After treating it to a bit of TLC I went out for a blast and the clutch started slipping. I took it apart and the clutch plates look fine with no signs of wear, which was a bit worrying. I called the previous owner and he said the plates were less than 2,000 miles old. Have I bought a shonker?

Ivan, email

A The TL engine is fairly robust and FB reckons that the issue is pretty simple. When you say you treated it to some TLC did you by any chance change the oil and filter? The TL has a wet clutch and if the bike has been run on semi-synthetic oil and you have treated it to fully-synthetic this can make the plates slip. There is a myth that TL can’t be run on fully-synthetic, which isn’t true, however a mix of oils can lead to slipping issues. Unfortunately, you need a new set of clutch plates to get rid of the contamination.

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