Monday, 30 January 2017

Winter maintenance update

Well it was a busy weekend on the spanners for me, tinkering with the EXC 300.

I managed to complete everything on my list, with the exception of a new problem I found with the brake light. For some reason, it's not lighting up under braking. Since it's an LED light and both brakes aren't triggering it, it may be that there's a problem with the microswitch at the front brake lever, because the light is working otherwise.

Anyway, here's a list of all the issues rectified this weekend. Now that these are all done, I've dropped her off at good old ET James for an MOT so she can get back on the road soon.
  • Replaced gearbox oil
  • Fixed the side stand
  • Removed hand guards
  • Installed new grips
  • Fixed the lights
  • Found the electrical short and fixed it
  • Serviced the electric start
  • Charged the battery
  • Replaced the gear lever
  • Replaced the fork protector stickers
  • Sorted out the rear mudguard fixings
  • Strengthened the clutch perch
  • Re-seated one of the fork seals
  • Fixed a footpeg retaining clip
  • Replaced the lower shock bearing
  • Installed a new number plate
  • Flushed the carburettor to stop a fuel leak
  • Replaced the chain split link clip
  • Installed a new set of rear brake pads
  • Gave her a good wash!
The lower shock bearing was a bit of a pain to fit - as usual with bearings, getting the old ones out isn't too difficult, but getting the new ones in without damaging them can be tricky without decent access. One side was OK to get the pivot bearing in (the brake side) and the seal, but the chain side was annoying because both the chain and chain guide got in the way when it came to knocking in the seal evenly. In the end, I whipped the chain off the sprocket and out of the way, and removed the chain guide so I could get at it properly. Job done!

Oh and one more thing - never, ever buy cheap ratchet straps. They are an investment, buy the good ones, otherwise it's very much a case of buy cheap, buy twice, and you may even have a damaged bike to contend with too. I was lucky this time; I got to the shop after a particularly bumpy trip up the A470 (it's being resurfaced) to find my bike firmly wedged across the bottom of the trailer, having gauged the wall with the throttle cable adjuster. Luckily no damage was done this time, but some new, heavy duty straps are on their way for next time.

A video posted by Ioan Whittick (@ioanwhittick) on

Monday, 23 January 2017

2017 update - Dakar rally fever

Well it's been a while, but I'm finally getting round to sorting out my trusty little EXC 300. She needs a bit of love before she's ready to hit the trails properly once again.

With any luck, over the next couple of weeks, I will be sorting out all of the following niggles:
  • Replace gearbox oil
  • Fix the side stand (the whole thing fell off and now all I have left is the stand itself)
  • New grips
  • Fix the lights
  • Find the electrical short and fix it
  • Service the electric start
  • Charge the battery
  • Replace the gear lever
  • Replace the fork protector stickers
  • Sort out the rear mudguard fixings
  • Strengthen the clutch perch
  • Re-seat one of the fork seals
  • Fix footpeg mounts
  • Sort out the shock bearing
You may be wondering where all this is leading?

I've made no secret of my love for rally racing; when the Dakar Rally arrives every year, I am completely hooked and I can't help but wonder when it will be that I make the start line. Cryptic as that may sound, those of you who have already put 2 and 2 together (and not made 5) will know that I want to pursue roadbook rally racing.

In practical terms, what that means is that I will need to swap my beloved 300 for what's likely to be a 4T rally bike.

More news coming soon...

P.S. don't get me started on KTM side stands!