Saturday, 24 January 2015

SV Experiences the Cold Winter Fall

So last week I rode into work, walked into the staff room and started to defrost myself. About 10 minutes later my line manager comes in and tells me that my bike has fallen over. Rushing outside I see if lying on its ride hand side. After struggling to lift it up I came back into the building requesting help. We got it back upright so I could inspect the damage.

Initially it didn’t seem too bad - brake lever had snapped and front right indicator had smashed. Easy fixes. I found out who was involved and they admitted full liability, relieved that the damage wasn’t too bad.

I went back out to inspect the bike with a colleague. On removing the right side panel I noticed further damage. The arm bracket for the crash bung had snapped off and there was a ring around the exhaust that was hanging down. I decided that it would be best to take it to my nearest Suzuki Garage - Mission Motorcycles in Milton Keynes for inspection and let him know the result.

Further inspection showed that the bar ends were scuffed and everything else was pretty much as expected. Total cost around £310 which the person decided was small enough to pay in cash, which he did. All sorted - or so you would think…

Once the parts turned up and the garage started the work they unveiled that the right hand side fixing bolt into the cylinder had completely sheared off. It was impossible to get out without removing the cylinder and drilling out the bolt. This would mean that a new cylinder head gasket et al. would be required. Main cost being labour at 3 and a half hours. This practically doubled the quote to just under £620.

Of course the person involved wasn’t too happy with this situation as the original estimate was half of this which he had already paid in cash. The next day he agreed to go through his insurance to pay for the repairs. I contacted my insurance with his insurance details but they said they were unable to help and that I would have to contact his insurance directly - which I found a bit strange. So I did and they were very helpful, took the details and rang him for confirmation, which he did.

So now I am waiting for them to contact Mission Motorcycles for the full quote so that the work can be finished and I can get my bike back - which has heated grips, muffs and heated clothing, essential for the cold weather. In the meantime I have been riding my girlfriend’s old SV, which has hand muffs but that is it - I’ve been having some very cold 30 mile journey’s to work this past week!

So moral of the story guys…. if you want the problem resolved quickly, without any nasty surprises it is probably best to insist that the insurance companies are involved unless you are absolutely sure that the person who caused the damage will pay out for the full repairs. I am hoping to get the bike back before next Friday - the date of Panda’s funeral where some of us are escorting him by bike to the service. For information on this story please see this post: 

I hope all you bikers are taking care in this cold weather. It isn’t the best conditions for riding in and I have seen a few bikes fall victim to the conditions. Just take care out there :).

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Awkward SV650S 11K Service...

First and foremost... Happy New Year! It is now 2015 and what better way to start the year than to service the bike.

My 2008 SV has never been a problem to service and has always been very reliable. However, it would appear that the bike is started to wane from the 60 mile daily commute it has started since September 2014.

I started a job at a school in London and due to heavy morning traffic, particularly around Luton, the bike is the best vehicle for the commute. I can get to my destination in around 45 minutes and therefore ride in most weather conditions. The bike ideally needs servicing at the end of every term. Christmas has marked the need to do the 11K service - which is basic service really plus an air filter change.

We started by checking out the spark plugs, which just needed a clean really. It's worth remembering that there are 4 spark plugs in 2003+ SVs whereas the curvy's (pre-2003) only have 2. To get to one of the spark plugs the right-hand side panel needs to be removed. First problem was trying to undo the nuts that hold the two side panels together underneath the front of the bike. For whatever reason it wouldn't undo and therefore we had to snap this to take the panel off. With all spark plugs cleaned up and replaced the bike struggled to start. Definitely sounded like it wanted to but failed to. So we left it on the charger for a bit and gave it time to settle down. Emma then went back out there and tried again and this time it fired up fine. So there was a first clue that this was perhaps not going to go as smoothly as it obviously should do.

I then went to work and whilst I was at work Emma said she would do the oil and filter change for me. Two hours later she managed to get the filter off. Apparently it didn't want to know and she had to completely butcher it in the end to get it off. Why it was so tight I have no idea seeing as we would have done the oil change last and we never over tighten it. Also, the weather hasn't been awful during the last term so we were completely baffled. On the plus side the air filter does not need changing as it is a reusable K&N filter. Didn't need much cleaning either.

Brake pads and tyres are fine so that is the end of the struggle. The bike has done over 46k miles in total but up until now it has always ridden well. Maybe it wasn't happy to be heading into the new year who knows... Next service requires valve clearances and throttle bodies so that one is out of our expertise!