Saturday, 17 August 2013

‘Tango'd’ 9000 Mile Service ......... Done!

I cannot believe I’ve owned ‘Tango'd’ for 6 weeks. Where has the time gone? I’ve even managed to add 550 miles in that time which is not bad considering I was in Spain for a week and a half of that time.

So with just 9348 miles on the clock why did I decide to get a professional service done at Keith Dixon Motorcycles. Well after flushing so much muck out of the brake lines it got me thinking, ‘what if the engine oil is in the same state?’

A quick look in the service book confirmed my worst fears, the last service was done at 7856  miles just 1500 miles back but exactly 2 years ago on 10th August 2011.

Riding over to Keith’s Tango'd felt smooth, responsive and the sound from the new Akrapovic SP Exhaust System is superb. The brakes are steady but still not as sharp and solid as I would like them. This is something I will have to address at a later date. Don’t get me wrong they work and work well but I’d like more of an instant bite same as Mr T’s.

As the service was just a check over I opted to have a brew and wait, immersing myself in ‘Yamaha  Bike Heaven’ at the same time.  After what felt like a very quick hours browsing (but not spending) Tango'd was ready. I nipped back upstairs to settle the bill. 

The service bill reads

Oil Filter........................................   £7.49

Washer...........................................  £1.15

Spark Plug.....................................   £7.48

Semi Synthetic Oil.........................  £20.33

Labour - 1 Hour.............................  £55.00

Grand Total....................................  £91.45

I was delighted reading the bill, £91 was just brilliant news, I just love this XT660X. The mechanic had to clear two error codes from the ECU, annoyingly I forgot to ask what they were. He also set up the CO Emissions followed by a thorough check over. Tangoed was then given a clear bill of health much to my relief, well you never know whats going on inside the engine when you buy a bike second hand.

Riding home the motor ran silky smooth and with a noticeable change in tone to a really low hum, accentuated by the exhausts. Tangoed was even more responsive on the throttle than on the ride in. 

The piece of mind that comes with having a professionals input is priceless making the £91 a worth while investment as far as I am concerned. 

Later on in the day I had a ride out over the tops towards Halifax. Doubling back I just happened to pass Adventure Spec in Mytholmroyd so did a quick U -turn and popped in to see if they had any Pivot Pegz for the XT660X. As luck would have it they did and so with what I saved on the service compared to Mr T’s service costs I treat Tangoed to a set as I love them on Mr T.

I do like my Pivot Pegz

Fitting took all of 15 minutes and I have to say they look superb.

The only other things I plan doing to finish the project off is to find and fit a good quality tail tidy and finally fit a set of LED indicators all round.

The tail tidy is turning into some what of a challenge as the chap on the XT660.Com Forum no longer makes the tail tidy and the only other ones listed is an R&G Tail Tidy made for the XT660 Tenere.

On the other hand, the choice of LED Indicators is overwhelming. My first choice was the Oxford Nano Indicators but at £55 a pair I’m having second thoughts. Especially as I can buy original Yamaha LED Indicators the same as on Mr T for £47 from Keith’s.

And that folk’s as they say is that, for now anyway! Till the next time “Ride well and stay safe”.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Carbon Fibre Vinyl Wrapping Raymondo Style

Well having bought a roll of Carbon Fibre Vinyl Wrap (CF Wrap) on eBay absolutely months ago I thought it about time that I actually use it to cover something other than my office desk.

No honestly!

Now, not being a professional in the use of this stuff I first did a little home-work on YouTube. This has got to be the funniest by Custom Spray Mods! 

A Cracking Video

As I could not get Ben away from his games console a video was out of the question! So it’s a photographic walk through of how I covered the side panels on ‘Tango'd’

First of all I needed to remove the wrap that was applied by a previous owner. The old CF Wrap was of a different pattern and not finished off as well as I wanted it to be. 

Just not in keeping, so it had to go

Then I gave the panel a wash to remove all traces of grease and dirt.

Clean and ready to cover

I like to cut the CF Wrap with sharp scissors rather than using a Stanley Knife or loose blade simply because I find it easier.

The first cut is a rough over sized shape, followed by a closer shaped cut.

First cut

If I have any straight edges that will remain on show I make sure that they are the first edge to be cut.

Second cut with straight edge

If it’s a small panel lay the CF Wrap flat on a clean bench and place the panel on top.

Here the straight edge is clearly visible 

I try to stick as much of the CF Wrap on without the use of the hair dryer as it is easier to handle whilst still in its ‘stiff’ condition. Once you apply heat, the CF Wrap becomes extremely malleable and can become difficult to handle.

Getting a good start point is important

I use a clean white cloth to smooth the CF Wrap on, or a damp piece of kitchen towel.

Difficult edges are overcome with a series of small nick’s, cut’s and folds to ensure a tidy finish.

To avoid this!

Take your time

Cut up to the edge

Fold carefully applying heat when needed

To achieve a neat finish
Slowly does it every time

As for creases and kinks in the panel that is where the application of heat from the hair dryer comes into its own.

Try to fold the CF Wrap into the creases
Without stretching over them

Remove all excess CF Wrap 
Before folding over 

One of the biggest problems I find is folding the CF Wrap over the edge of panels that have curves and ridges. My biggest mistake was applying the heat and then stretching the CF Wrap too much. This inevitably caused the CF Wrap to come away from the ridge and form an air pocket once the CF Wrap cooled down.

Almost complete

How I over came this was to release the CF Wrap and slide it into the crease without pulling it over the edge of the panel. Then after smoothing the CF Wrap into the crease I spend an extra 10 minutes reheating the over hanging CF Wrap and re-applying it over the very edge of the panel.

The finished item

At this stage the panel starts to look like the finished item. If the excess CF Wrap is out of sight i.e. bolted underneath the forks then less time and energy is wasted as its pointless no one will ever see it anyway.

Job a good'en
Even if it is the other side!

Here’s a series of before and after shots to show what can be achieved with Carbon Fibre Vinyl Wrap - and a little patience. 

From this to .....


And this ......

To this with a little TLC

Job Done!