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