Friday, February 01, 2013

Small Victories

JayG was tooting his horn regarding some household repairs he accomplished with a minimum of bloodshed or financial hardship... It always nice when you can make semi-technical repairs without burning your house down or otherwise putting your life at risk.
Good on ya, mate...

I had a couple similar experiences in the last couple weeks- Both involved repairs to my Prime Transportation Unit- the FJR1300...

Upon return from Australia, on my first ride I discovered one of my headlights was out...

This is not A Good Thing
You know all that nice plastic they hang all over the bike to give it a nice aerogoddamic design?
Well, they also do that so they don't have to be real concerned about the aesthetics of the crap underneath the fairings. So, it's pretty much a mess under there, and working on stuff under the fairing, unless you have delicate & petite girl-like hands, is a cast-iron bitch. This is doubly true if you have Clydesdale-like hooves as I do.

(Just like mine, but much, much cleaner...)

And if you have ever worked on a bike that has nice form-fitting fairings, you'll know what a pain in the ass it is to get them off, and more importantly - back on.

Needless to say, I was apprehensive about replacing the burnt-out bulb.

Since the FJR has 2 headlights, I was not in danger of getting cited for a moving violation- but I knew I needed to get it taken care of fairly quickly.

I briefly toyed with the idea of taking it to the bike shop for professional grade (and professional cost) repair. Reflecting on past experience- the local Yamaha dealer had some weird temporal distortions - a 10 minute job always takes 90 minutes to perform at shop rates of $75 an hour.
And it always takes at least 3 days to get accomplished.
Sorry- the FJR is all I have to push my rotund ass around, so that is not an option.

I went to Cycle Gear and picked up a new bulb- then got to thinkin' - always a dangerous pastime - the bulbs will almost certainly be of different light quality. Best get two and change them both.

Next- get on the Interwebs and see what the FJR on-line community says about changing the bulbs-
Lo & behold!- You don't have to remove the fairings- they can be changed by accessing the back of the headlights from inside the fork plenum, if you are reasonable dexterous.
Well- it took 25 minutes start-to-finish to replace both bulbs, and it was a bit difficult, but it wasn't anything like doing brain surgery by braille that a couple FJR people made it out to be...

Next- I was hearing the tell-tale sound of my rear brake pads getting thin...
Let's check the Interweb first-

Several Youtube videos and FJR tech instruction videos and half my lunch hour later I had a new set of rear brake pads installed on my machine...

I was a little more apprehensive about brakes- if you botch the headlight repair you can recover fairly easily. Screw up your brakes and you can die, spectacularly, or worse- kill someone else.

So, I took the FJR for a very sedate trip around the parking lot, testing my handiwork- seems to work ok. No loss of pressure, no unintentional binding... Check the torque on the bolts after a short ride...
All good there.
Next.. Take a quick ride with lots of uniform braking to bed the pads...
Wow... Nice.
So... $35 bucks for pads and half my lunch hour.
As opposed to $200 at The Shop.

JayG is right- some folks that are more mechanically minded than Yours Truly would wade right into this without hesitation and would have much more confidence it their work-
I'm a systems and network hardware tech- I NEVER expect things to work correctly the first time... If they did, I'd be out of a job.
But I also agree with JayG's closing paragraph-
We are responsible for our own equipment, and our own safety. We can
delegate care for our equipment to others - like I could have called a
repair center and had them send someone to fix the oven - but that costs
a lot and takes extra time. We can delegate our own safety, as well;
however that either costs a bit for private security, or takes time - as
the expression goes, when seconds count the police are only minutes
away. Everything comes with a price, be it money, time, or a little bit
of both.
Lots of truth there...


1 comment:

Old NFO said...

That it is... And take the little ones, there are FAR more of those than the big wins!