Tuesday 31 October 2017

CBF Starter Motor Fix

On a recent visit to the city centre my Honda CBF250 failed to start. The instrument lights came on but the starter remained silent. I enlisted the help of a passer-by to give me a push. The CBF bumped started easily so I got home ok. Back home the starter would work occasionally. There was power getting to the motor so I had a good idea what was wrong.

The first thing to check on a DC motor is the brushes. These are made of carbon and wear down with time. One of the two brushes was well below the service limit so replacement was necessary.

After market brushes are available but I didn't fancy trying to connected them up. The starter draws a lot of current and I'm not sure my soldering would have took it. I bought an original Honda set that come with the brushes connected to the plate and terminal.

The little starter motor. This might be small but a replacement unit is £588.18 ($777) - much more than my whole bike is worth!

The parts. I got them from Fowler's. I ordered on Sunday evening and they arrived this morning (Tues), so good service.

The old and the new - note the length of the brushes.

All back together and the little bike's starter is spinning like a top! Given the weather maybe I should just use the car.

Monday 30 October 2017

An Autumn Scene (and a Quirky Story)

At this time of year I usually present you with some photographs of autumn foliage. I haven't got many this year. To capture the colours of the leaves you need some sunshine and this has been in short supply recently. I took this snap in the Clyde Valley recently but wasn't going to post it until I read the story of the location.

The photograph is across Milton-Lockhart Bridge. This is a private road and the gatehouse at the far end of the bridge suggests that this is the entrance to a stately home. And so it was, "was" being the operative word.
There is a photograph of the bridge crossing the River Clyde I took some time ago. It is a sturdy and well-proportioned masonry arch.

Beyond it once stood Milton-Lockhart House, built in 1839. This is where the story gets strange. In 1987 Japanese actor/director, Masahiko Tsugawa happened to be passing the house, by this time derelict. He arranged to buy the property and have it transported to and re-erected in Japan. Its journey east was partly by the Trans Siberian railway, permission being granted by President Mikhail Gorbachev. 

The house, as it was.
Masahiko looks happy with his purchase
The house, now renamed Lockheart Castle, at its new location in Japan.
The house is now the centre of a medieval village and home to the World Santa museum.


Thursday 26 October 2017

Featured Bike - Yamaha MXT850 Niken (2018)

Yamaha have shown this wacky bike. Or rather trike. It's a tilting three wheeler based on the MT-09 (FZ-09). I'm struggling to see the point in it but it will be interesting to read reviews of the machine.

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Every Picture Tells a Story #10 - The Journey from Hell, September 2000.

Rawtenstall is a town north of Manchester that is known for its cotton mills, now long quiet. In the past it was also known for its annual bike show. So 17 years ago I thought why not go, it's only a 430 mile round trip.

The show, the Rossendale Valley Motorbike Show, isn't really a show, as far as I could see, just a lot of bikers meeting in the town centre. The weatherman had promised fine weather and so it was. At first. I had a pleasant run down in sunny and warm condition but as the day progressed it got cloudy and then the rain started.

I took refuge in a pub that had a rock band playing but eventually I thought I'd better head for home. By this time the sky was as black as night and the rain was torrential. I should have found a hotel and forgot about work the next day but I ploughed on. I remember the water was so deep on the motorway that the FJ created a bow wave like a ship.

Only 200 miles from home!

I can't remember why I stopped on the motorway. You're not suppose to without good reason. The bike was running fine and I had all my waterproofs on, maybe I just couldn't see were I was going.

I made it home, soaked to the skin. The funny thing was that my legs were dyed back from the colour washing out of my leather trousers.

Bikes in the town

A beast of a trike - note anti theft device on seat
The bike show ended after 15 years in 2010 (I think) because it was becoming too popular and the police said they had insufficient resourced for such a big event.

An interesting day out but I still shudder a little when I hear the name of the town!

Wednesday 11 October 2017

The Water of Urr

I went on a run yesterday to this (fairly obscure) river in Dumfriesshire. It's not very big or picturesque but, as is often the case, it's what I found on the run that's interesting.

Just east of the mouth of the river I found this fine view over Mersehead Sands

The view is from this rental cottage

I could also see the Robin Rigg wind farm in the Solway Firth

Kippford is at the mouth of the river - a place I'm sure I've never visited before today


On the other side of the river is the village of Palnackie which has is a small harbour where some ships were being repaired

The village is the location for the World Flounder Tramping Championships. See here for the grisly details https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flounder_tramping

Army truck in the village

I've featured this before. Stepend Ford at The Haugh of Urr. It looks pretty deep to me

It's hard to imagine that it would be dry enough in Scotland to ever cross the ford. I'm sure that the word "DEEP" was added to the ford sign after an "incident"!

The SV shining in the fleeting autumn sun

"Thou shalt not fish on the Sabbath"

Only ten miles from the sea and the river now is just a stream

An autumn scene in the woods