Some bikes slip by essential modifications, make sure yours doesn’t!
Bet there aren’t many Thundercats about now that look as clean as this one!
Q Hi Guys. I recently bought a Thundercat as a winter hack. It ain’t pretty but from what I understand it is fairly bullet-proof and at £800 with eight months MOT I figured I couldn’t really go wrong. My only concern is the front sprocket nut. I have seen posts on forums about this being an issue but I don’t know if this is just misplaced gossip. Can you shed any light?
Andy Brown, email
A This sprocket nut issue is very real and affects the Thundercat, FZS600 Fazer and also some early R6 motors and the FZ6 Fazer models. The original Yamaha design was to use a retaining nut to hold the front sprocket in place with a locking tab washer. In some cases this failed to do its job and as a result the nut worked loose and destroyed the output shaft. Yamaha acknowledges the fault (although didn’t issue a recall) and released a deeper nut with more thread (part code 90891-101124) that cures the problem but you need over 17.5mm of thread to screw it onto. If you are in any doubt if your bike has the modified nut then pop to your local Yamaha dealer and they will be able to help. Just nip the nut up before you leave to be on the safe side, although at £800 you’re onto a winner regardless!
Q I bought a ZX-7R a few weeks ago and the fairing lowers are covered in fairly tacky stickers. Having ventured out into the cold of my garage I have tried to remove them but they keep breaking and it is killing my nails trying to scrape the tiny remnants off. Any tips?
A A nice simple one here Dave. Stickers become brittle in the cold which makes them become an absolute nightmare to remove. While the glue remains intact, the vinyl of the sticker breaks. Pop indoors, grab the missus’ hair dryer and gently heat the sticker before you try and peel it off. You will find this softens not only the glue, making it easier to remove, but also the vinyl of the sticker so it will peel off without breaking.
Q Dear Fast Bikes. While on holiday in France a few years ago I spotted something called E10 fuel for sale. Since returning to the UK I have heard conflicting reports about E10 and the possibility using it will damage an engine. I am planning on taking my 2011 BMW S 1000 RR to Le Mans this year, is it safe to use E10 or should I avoid it?
A French petrol stations started to sell E10-95 in 2009 and since this date it has become common place over in the land of cheese and snails – and beyond. E10 is a blend of regular unleaded fuel and ethanol with approximately 10 per cent of the mixture being ethanol, the problem is it is often located right next to the Euro 95 unleaded pump, which is normal unleaded just like the stuff we get in the UK. So is E10 safe to use? Ethanol is highly corrosive to metal fuel tanks and other components within the fuel system, however this only really applies to classic vehicles as modern machinery has far more robust components. How do we know this? A lot of us are already using E10 in the UK without knowing it! The law states that petrol sold as unleaded in the UK can be up to 10 per cent alcohol (unleaded has been around 5 per cent since 2010), and as alcohol is cheaper than crude oil as well (as the associated tax breaks) it’s safe to assume that most petrol companies are taking full advantage of the saving. So in short Ivan, if you have filled your BMW up with regular unleaded you’ve probably already unwittingly ran it on E10!