It’s work Jim, but not as we know it

Define your idea of fun. Does it involve some laughing and shouting? Well my idea of fun these days is getting my hands absolutely manky while working on my motorbike. Odd? To a mechanic that’d be work, but for me it’s fun – granted, I probably don’t look like I’m having fun, what with the swearing, aching knees, and general bad temper with anyone daring to distract me..

So last night was fun. Right?

I got the new radiator for the bike on Tuesday evening. Well, I got my mate, Bruce, who lives near(ish!) to the shop to get the radiator, and then I drove over in the car to his place to collect it. I was all set to fit it, when I realised the new radiator didn’t come with the thermostatic fan switch. Dam. That evening was spent in deep depression – I understood that my old radiator would already be winging its way back to the factory in the south of England, and a new fan switch cost around £50!! For a tiny little thing – ridiculous!

Wednesday morning I called Dunfermline Motorcycles – my radiator was still there – relief! Yes, they would get the switch out for me. Yes, Bruce was happy to swing by the shop yet again and collect it for me. What a star!

Wednesday evening we were all going to see my daughter perform in ‘Oliver’ at her High School (fabulous, by the way!) and after I’d deposited the family back home it was time to head over the Clackmannanshire bridge again to collect the bit I needed from Bruce.

When he’d gone to collect the part, it wasn’t out of the radiator yet, so the mechanic there set about removing it, and at that point he noticed a few other bits still on the radiator – minor things like mounting rubbers and metal clips to take the stone guard screws… I reckon there was a discussion about keeping all those little bits back, just to see what I’d say…. Anyway, there was a little bag of bits awaiting me at Bruce’s, but it was far too late once I was home (11:30pm) to start any work on the bike.

Finally Thursday evening arrived, and I set to. The new radiator needed all the little clips, rubbers etc put on it, and the fan bolted on, then it could be fitted to the bike.

new rad

Fitting to the bike was straightforward enough, until it came to bolting the radiator to the oil cooler beneath it – that just did not want to line up. That was eventually sorted with the dremel. Now the holes line up!

With everything in place, it was time to pour in the coolant, bleed air out of the coolant pump, and bleed air out of the thermostat housing. With that done it was all sealed up and ready to test. Only the fan switch connection was leaking. Dammit. I got it sealed eventually, just tightening it up a tiny bit at a time. The leaking stopped. Then I fired the bike up and ran it until it warmed up and the fan kicked in. All good, no leaks. Bike off and leave to cool.

fitted

While the bike cooled down I set about fitting the replacement for the burst sports rack – a proper Givi top box bracket – certainly a more serious bit of kit than the sports rack, which looks rather weedy in comparison!

Once the bike was cool enough I could check the coolant levels and pop the fairing back on (I’m getting REALLY good at that!) and the bike was good go at last!

This morning I opened the garage door with some trepidation… I was greeted with a nice dry garage floor – relief!

Riding into work it was a lovely sunny morning and it felt great to be back on the bike.

At lunchtime I nipped out while it was still dry (rain forecast) to again check no suspicious puddles – none.

The ride home was uneventful, and after dinner I set to the bike again – a tiny top up of coolant, probably not really needed, but done anyway. A few other wee items – oil level check and top up and oiled up the speedo cable.

Hopefully that’s the recent run of bad luck with the bike done…. for now…… !

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