Wrenching and fixer-upping

Since I shouldn’t be all doom and gloom and remember all the work I’ve put into getting my bikes running, here’s a somewhat positive post about all the fixing and maintenance I managed to do over the past month or two (with major thanks to Mark Price without whom I might have dragged this out by another month or so). :P

My initial sentiments about not bringing the bikes to the shop to get all the work done and being stubborn enough to want to do it all myself – the good part is that I learned a *lot* about how my bikes work, the kind of knowledge that you cannot get from books alone. The bad is of course that I lost out on so much riding time. Ideally I’d have had one bike running and been working on the other, but things didn’t turn out that way. I think I’ll be relieved when I can finally stop futzing with them and just ride.

I prioritized doing just enough to get it roadworthy. Keep in mind that this bike hasn’t run since that little incident at the Canadian border last July.

– Replaced hosed regulator rectifier with one from a Honda CBR – saw the idea here, bought replacement regrec cheap on eBay, swapped out connectors, hooked it up and it just worked. I had a daft idea of mounting it somewhere in the front of the bike so that it wasn’t restricted under the tail section with limited airflow, so we hooked up four feet long cables for it, only to find that there weren’t many convenient locations up front, and mounting it near the engine to prevent it from running hot was ummm… not very smart. So I now have four feet of cable wound up in my tail section. LOL… it works though, which is the important thing.
– Replaced battery
– Oil change, replaced oil filter
– Cleaned K&N air filter
– Replaced handlebar
– Replaced bar end mirrors
– Replaced cracked headlamp glass
– Mounted Givi windshield correctly (one side was missing a rubber grommet so that there was a gap between the windshield and the headlamp, which I suspect had a lot to do with the rattling sound I kept hearing)

The only thing we didn’t manage to do was to put the handguards back, leading the to the inevitable quips of “How many engineers does it take to figure out how to mount a pair of handguards to a sportbike?”

Things remaining to do:
– Fix ignition key problem – it takes on average three tries and bucketloads of patience to get the key to turn in the ignition. I will either need to re-key everything or bypass the starter circuit with a switch or something.
– Lube cables
– Replace coolant and oil
– Replace front end with Gixxer front end if I can find it cheap
– Replace exhaust

Things I’d love to do:
– Fix dented tank
– Get Sharkskinz fairings, paint and mount them. I am tempted by the thought of getting my bike to look totally new on the outside instead of actually coughing up the $$$$s to buy a new one.
– Replace seat covers or seats if I can find some cheap and used from a crashed SV

– Took out carb and inspected it to figure out starting issue
– Straightened out bent brackets on both turn signal indicators
– Charged battery (I hate taking out the XT’s battery and fiddling with those tiny screws)
– Oil change
– Cleaned oil filter

Things remaining to do:
– Fix fuel issue so the damn thing actually runs
– Replace starter cable (the hack from last fall works fine, but I’d rather just have a new cable)
– Put Acerbis handguards back on after I find the elusive long bolt that I lost from off of one of them
– Install new Clark tank
– Sell tail rack and order tail plate and SU rack from here, giving me the option to add either hard or soft luggage

Things I’d love to do:
– Add kickstart
– Add centerstand