Sunday, 24 January 2016

Plugs, Calipers and Frozen Feet

The spark plug (bottom right) is easy to get to once
you remove the distributor caps mounted to the frame.
Yesterday began with a spark plug change on the Concours.  There are two (for lack of a better term) distributor caps (CoG got me sorted, they're coils!) in the shape of cylinders attached to the frame under the fuel tank.  Removing these makes for a fairly straightforward spark plug swap.  Someone had been in here before as one of the distributors wasn't properly attached to the frame (the rear bolt was seized).  With the unit removed it was relatively easy to free everything up in the vice.

I used to be pretty good at gapping plugs by eye, but I hadn't done it in a while.  I got better as I worked through the plugs and the last one only needed a minor adjustment.  The plugs all came out without issue and the new ones went in by hand and then got torqued to spec (14Nm).
The two middle plugs are tucked in behind the radiator and don't collect much road cruft.  The two on the outside
have a tougher life.   Other than being filthy, the plugs didn't show any internal issues.
With the plugs sorted and the under tank electrics cleaned and seated properly, I turned my attention to the rear brake caliper.  I've got a replacement metal brake line, so the old rusty rubber one is going in the spares bin.  The caliper came apart quite easily.  The rear brake on the Concours has always been excellent, but was starting to whine as the pads got thin.  With nothing seized and the main bits just needing a good cleaning, I think this will go back together nicely with new pads and brake lines.  I'd meant to order a caliper rebuild kit from Canada's Motorcycle, but my order got mixed up with a bearing puller I didn't need.  At least now I can tell you how good their return process is.

follow-up:  I requested a return on January 24th and got a shipping label in a reply email a day latter (which I thought was good).  I sent it off that day.  I just got a confirmation email today (Feb 3 - 10 days later) saying it will be another 3-6 days before I see a refund... and I'm charged seven bucks for returning it.  Compared to's over the top customer service (immediate, free returns, what can we do to prevent this happening in the future?), I'm left thinking twice about shopping on

While I'm waiting on the rear caliper rebuild kit I can do the fronts, which is what I'm aiming to get done today.  It's officially frickin cold outside (-20°C overnight, -12°C now), and even with the thick rubber mats I've got down in the garage and the heater going, I still ended up with foot cramps from the cold at the end of three hours in there yesterday.  Winter in Canada can get pretty tedious.  This is one of those days.  If someone called and said they could fly me somewhere warm to ride a bike next weekend, I'd be in heaven.

The two cylindrical distributor caps (COILS! bottom middle &
top right with the spark plug wires coming out of them)
are held down by two bolts.  Once removed from the
frame spark plug access is straight forward.
A longer view of the spark plug.