Welcome to page two of the XJ900 Rebuild 2006
at Bron-y-aur, Clachtoll

June 22nd 2006

Yesterday I was wittering on about "learning" having taken place. Well, today I want to talk more about learning, because that is what happpened yesterday. Following on from the refitting of the Carburetors, which I called "Stripped and cleaned" I now know that the Haynes manual has a flaw in it's text. Where it says "Remove the main jet" it shows only a picture of the main jet and not the emulsion tube which passes up through the boby of the Carburettor and appears in the venturi. This is what I took out and cleaned thinking it was the "Main Jet" which it most probably is:
Main Jet
As instructed in Haynes, I remov4ed the Main jet, as in the pictures This is what I cleaned...The Main Jet!!

On closer examination I realised that there were more jets to be cleaned, especially the big main emultion tubes which, on finally getting them removed by using a metal drift and hammer, and tapping them, looked like this:

Dirty Jest
More things that make you go Hmmmm

So, not such a clever mechanic after all? I would say that was a dirty jet? In fact all four were exactly the same and took soem time to clean using solvent, rags and pipe cleaners as well as a hair from the back of a dragon!!

ok, so it was a wire from the wire brush!! but where is your sense of adventure :))

Clean jets
What it should look like
And so another day melts away cleaning and refitting Carbs. I'm very good at this now although I have yet to work out how to "withdraw the float mounting pin" I've tried everything to get those floats off but I seem to be simply riveting them in place for all time. This is all the more disturbing given the fact that the carbs keep overflowing when they are first fitted. Messy, smelly and dangerous. It soon stops though.
So, Carbs fitted again, ready to push "Start"

<pclass="MAIN">And off she goes again. Much better, screaming with a nice throaty roar, sadly however I don't have my hand anywhere near the throttle. Hmmmmm?
Much puzzlement ensues, tweaking and screwing and all I manage to achieve is unbalancing the Carbs. Thing is, it will run for a short while quite well and then things start to go down hill, tickover gets rough and unstable eventually grinding to a complete halt. ON one of these occasions I hear a hissing noise from the fuel Filler cap, so...off with the cap and strip it to make sure the air vent is not blocked. Not sure if it was but, as soon as I remove the cap, the bike starts and runs perfectly. Yahoo....and then it stops again a few minutes later...Boooo. Cap gets rebuilt...eventually, lots of scary looking springs and levers in there, and I'm back on the problem. I decide it must be something to do with the fuel feed becaue, when I move the fuel tap to [PRI] which stands for Prime, things are fine, in fact so fine that I managed a short ride to the end of my track and back...in the rain but, the PRI position is just for starting the bike following a running out of fuel, the rest of the time there is a vacuum operated valve to ensure that, should a fault develop with the Carburettors, that your entire tank of fuel does not end up on the Garage floor. So..
I take the fuel tap apart...Can't get it out of the Tank but then, the Haynes manual does suggest I should only do this if I have no other options. Both sides of the tap come apart quite well however and I find nothing much of note. I do however manage to clean the rust off of the surround of the tap operating lever and realise that I've forgotton how to work it!!
I thought straight up and own was "ON" which it is, that Pointing right was "PRI" which it is and that pointing left was "OFF" which....it is not! it's "RES" which , as everyone knows is Reserve. Since I only put one Gallon of fuel in the tank then it is obvious to anyone with half a brain that one would need to be in "RES" to have reliable running!!! Numpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
That having been sorted I slope off to tackle more simplistic issues like cleaning and polishing and some painting. Grumble Grumble mumble....[Walks off stage left]

So...as you can see, we are very nearly there. Hasn't taken long. Well, actually, if you add up the hours I've been in the Garage, it's taken ages. By the end of this week I'll have racked up over 40 hours in the garage. So, a weeks work really :))
That's all for now. I'm off to start my list....and find stuff to add to it no doubt.

June 23rd

I start my list

First I remove the centre stand, clean it up and give it coat one of Black Hammerite. At the same time (well roughly) I clean and paint the front main fairing bracket and the number plate mounting bracket, and leave them all to dry. That is as much as I can manage on this day, getting fed up!

The centerstand dries The Fairing frame dries
Centre Stand hanging out to dry Fairing mounting Frame doing something similar!!

24th June 2006

Putting on a spurt

Feeling a bit more energetic today and I get a lot of my list covered. I refit the centre stand and the fairing bracket. I refit the rear light, after putting the number plate mounting bracket back on (it includes the light mountings) 00000000
The Lights are on Tail light assembled
I have a complete rear lighting system And from this angle too!!

I notice that the tool tray is missing!??, No idea where this went but it's not critical!!Tool tray missing

Now I can re fit the main fairing and sort out the rest of the wiring. I Have a few electrical problems to deal with. First the clock refuses to maintain it's memory beyond switching the ignition off. I trace the wiring to find a constant 12V feed and find a broken red wire which I re-join to it's partner with a bullet connector. Job done! Also, now the "pass" light switch has stopped working, this is the fellow that you flash the headlight with to let people know you are there and intend to overtake them! So...I take it apart...and with a sound like flying bullets, a minute Ball Bearing shoots off into the depths of the garage and I spend the next half an hour crawling around on the floor looking for it...and I do! I's an important Ball Bearing which gives the switch its positive "feel".
That done I clean up the corrodfed switch contacts and treat it to a drenching in WD40 to try and avoid this happening again.

So, now I have a full set of operational electrics as well. Not long to go now.....I put the Main fairing on, which happens much more easily than I had anticipated. I had to "invent" a few of the mountings but, at last, the bike looks finished.

Before After
Before Fairing After Fairing

The Carburettor Balance

Making it run

A lot has been pinned on the carburation problems being because the things are out of balance so, it was with trembling hands that I fitted the Balancing guages on Sunday moring (25th June)
[edit 18th March 2008] Had it pointed out to me today by a helpful reader (Thanks David) that I failed to mention the Y.I.C.S blanking tool which is required to close off the connector drillings which Yamaha have put into the inlet manifolds of this machine. Y.I.C.S stands for Yamaha Induction Control System. Yes, I purchased thei special tool from a delar years ago when I forst got the Davida guages. The Guages have since disappeared but, thankfully, I still have the Special tool. [end Edit]
Brother Douglas had arrived with his forks to be rebuilt and a loan of a set of Davida balancing guages. As it happens I own a half share in a set of these but failed to get them to me on time!.
I connect the Guages and hovewr over the start button.

Ready for ignition
Will I or won't I?

With a brave heart I stab the "start" button.....The XJ roars into life and the guages read:

Guages out of Synch
Oh, you beauty...That would do it!

So...in I dive with a smallm screwdriver. Balance Carb one to Carb two...Then Carb three to Carb four and, finally, carbs one and two to three and four....:

And we have synchronisity

Well now, that sounds better...don't you think? Seems like I'm almost finished. The Engine bars have already been taken off, polished and replaced..came up rather well too for piles of rusty Chrome. So, it would appear that all I have to do is get legal!! I failed to fit the nearside rear footrest as I can't find a nut to secure it anywhere. I;m sure the MOT Garage will have one. So, all at ones, I book an MOT a Spinningdale and attend at 1430 hrs on Monday 26th June 2006 for my MOT test (Ministery of Transport)


Me at the Garage Bike at Toms
Rufty Tufty biker type waiting for MOT XJ900 waiting for MOT test

I now have only to get myself a Road Tax disc to be legally a biker again. That is proving more difficult than it needs to be as my Insurance Documenmts are still in Transit. Never mind, it will happen soon.

Thanks for checking in from time to time to track the progress of my bike rebuild, it's been nice to know that someone is interested.
If you have any comments or questions please feel free to mail me and I will try and answer.
IN the meantime, I shall maintain as detailed a WebLog as I can regarding my Biking in the future.

Robyn Rides again
Robyn says...It's Finished! Yippeeeeee

Waited over a week for my insurance cover note from Bennetts insuranceand, in the end, cancelled the policy before I started using it! There is no excuse for inefficiency. I found Ebikeinsuranceinstead and, after agreeing to taccept the online quote and supplying payment details, I was offered an instand printable cover note which, by virtue of the small size of my community, I was able to use at the local Post Office to finally get my Tax disc.

So, eventually I got to take the bike for it's first test ride and...it rained and rained and rained....!
Also, the bike is not going as well as I first thought. There is a huge flat spot at low revs which makes the bike quite unusable unless you are running at fairly large throttle settings. Just when you need the power to pull you round lower speed twisty corners you get more splutter than roar and tend to nearly fall off which is not good. I tried adding some petrol additive to try and clear out any debris I had been unable to get at in the Carburettors but, after a further 100 miles of that I had to give in and admit that I would have to take the Carbs off once more.
So, on Saturday morning (8th July) I got up early and ripped the carbs off once more, I'm getting good at this job now, especially since I discovered that the air box moves back about two Cm's if you slacken off the retaining bolts on top!
I spent some time manufacturing a screwdriver to remove the pilot jets this time. I filed down a screwdriver which was too big originally to get in to the pilot jet recess. This time I managed to remove all four pilots and found all of them choked with that brown varnish stuff! No wonder I was having problems.
The job took me just over one and a half hours and the bike? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>....ooom Transformed. My brother and I went for a short 100 mile jog up the west coast to Kinlochbervie and back again, via the chip van in Scourie. Although it wasa bit windy, a bit wet and, in places a bit cold, it was a very enjoyable trip with no sugn of my previous flat spot trouble.


The Other half takes a ride

Bye Bye Bike

Today (and last night) Mrs Pirie decided that she would overcome her fear of the overly large XJ900 and go for a trip. Last night went well, she was gone for hours and hours! The only part that she won't do is put the machine in the Garage as there is a tricky slippery slope to negotiate. But then, who needs to do that when they have a husband to park it up for them.
Today was a lovely sunny day so, Mrs Pirie decided to take the bike to work. She also decided to try and take it out of the Garage.

I can do this...I know I can do this!!

But then, just as we were almost ready to go....panic set in and:

Will you do it for me?

And so, of course I did. We got on to the flat and, with a little push...Off she went

And slip the clutch in, and we're off

Last I heard she had arrived safely at work but...can't help worrying. It is just that little bit too big in the seat for Dorell but she is determined to use it. That's my girl :))

Long time no see update time

Since putting the bike back on the road I've had little or no time to use it sadly! but then, that was the reason it went off the road in the first place.
Douglas, my brother and the cause of all this lunacy!, has decided that the CBX 750 is not the bike for him and has now sold it and moved on to a Suzuki GSX750FP which he got from a friend in Aberdeenshire. He is much happier with this bike although, it's been lying around for a while doing nothing and....strangely, it has running problems, flat spots, backfiring, won't tick over. Now where have I heard that before?? Watch this space for a further Carburrettor stripping session soon :(
Other news includes the aquisition of a new helmet. My previous old Shoei was showing it's age and, the fact that it dodn't fit me too well either was always against it. Strange thing is, it had size 60 printed inside it and it almost span around on my head. My new helmet is also 59-60 and it's a snug fit...almost tight?? Anyway, all things considered it was way past time for a new lid.
I decided on a CabergV2 Race. There would appear to be no info on the Caberg site regarding this model so perhaps it is UK specific? Anyway, I chose a matt black version and, I think the feature that sold this model to me was most definately the built in drop down Tinted visor. This is really useful (as well as cool) and is operated by a small slif=ding lever on the left side of the helmet, just behind the Main visor hinge. If the sun shines you drop down the black tint inner visor. When the sun goes away...up it goes.

Caberg V2 race helmet
Front view of Cagerg V2 Race Matt Black Special exposure to show off the drop down Visor

I've used this helmet for a few weeks now but, only on Monday this week (14th Aug) did it get fully broken in when the Motorcycling Pirie clan took a road trip right around the top of Scotland from Lochinver, Via Thurso and Dounerea, back to Lochinver, around 275 miles in all. This was carried out in one day (Big deal I hear you say) Actually we just went off to Spinningdale Motors again to MOT the new Suzuki and, the weather was so nice, we decided to go home the scenic route. Sadly I hadn't taken the Camera, which is a shame because it must be one of the worlds greatest Motorcycle trips, having a mix of fast twisty double track, Twisty scenic single track routes, fast scenic single track routes and even Mad flat out wide double track routes. Most of these have little or no traffic on them and, all in all, a great journey. But, like I say, no camera, no pictures...sorry. I do have a map and directions though....I think if you click here You should get to see them but, these things have a way of going wrong!!
Anyway, the XJ proved that it's not just a plodding Tourer...although, I think I already knew that :)) Also, the average MPG remains in the high 50's no matter what I do. Average is still 59 Miles per gallon although it's usually over 60 MPG on long journeys and down to a meagre 56 MPG on short quick runs!! Nothing wrong with that in my opinion.

One thing that did stand out on this journey, given that Douglas prefers to stay as follower, is that the lack of mirrors is a problem. I am constantly having to try and look back which, with bulky leathers on, is not easy. Sometimes I have lost sight of my companion and have to slow down to check if he has come to grief or just dawdling...! So, on to Ebay we go again and ...a result.

No mirrors is a problem Mirrirs?  No  problem
No mirrors is a problem Mirrors? No problem any more

And finally folks, a rainsuit. It's all very well having the mother of all rain suits such as my Hein Gericke "Survival suit" but, in summer, it's too hot. I needed a lightweight waterproof to carry with me at all times and, again, Ebay to the rescue where I found a SIDI packaway rainsuit for 20.00 UKP. It is so compact that, apart from having an integral packaway bag attached to the back of the suit and with a strap to hang it around your waist, it will actually stuff in to that space under the tail fairing, where the tool tray should be. So, a blessing in disguise? I have yet to test it on a wet ride but..I did stand under the garden hose for 10 mins and remained dry. Sad or what :))

Keep on biking and, keep on reading. We have a date for stripping the carbs on the Suzuki so, I'll do my best with some pictures and a story.
Until then, be safe.


Day trip

Or, why waterproofs are a necessity

The carburettors on the new Suzuki were cleaned but, sadly, few pictures were taken. What a load of work doing a set opf carbs is!!! Well, I suppose I should have known that but, if you add the removal of acres of plastic into the equation then things become even more frustrating.
There are a couple of pictures, since I started out wit good intent, but then things became messy and complicated so I had to stand behind Douglas and issue orders :)) Ok, so I was there in an advisory capacity only ;).
I'll pop these pictures in below and then, there are a few pictures from a ride we took around the west coast south of Lochinver, through Ullapool, Gairloch and Garve junction and back up through Ullapool again. Around 230 miles in all

The Few Suzuki Carb cleaning pics

Strip Suzuki barenaked Suzi
The bike arrives and is stripped Bare Naked Suzi!!

Plastic Missing bits
The Plastic The missing bits

The first  Screw It wont come out
The first screw It's Stuck

And then we got involved.

Now somethings come up and I can't finish this. More on the Day Trip later.


A short trip in the rain

So, after spending some time on the Carburettors of Douglas' Suzuki a trip was planned. I woke on the day in question to weather like this!!

A beautiful day to ride
A fine day for riding

This is taken about a mile and a half from my house on a hill whjich has featured in many a car advert in the past! IN any case, it all looks like a perfect day for a bike ride. We decide to do the round trip from Lochinver to Lochinver Via Gairloch.and you can click on the link to see a map of that trip. Unfortunately, about the time we arrived in Ullapool, the weather decided to leave the building and arrived back in totally different form!

Collecting Douglas And  we arrive in Ullapool
I collect Douglas (are those clouds I see) And finally folks...Time to put on that rainsuit. Welcome to Ullapool

Suited and Booted
And ready for the road again. Turn back now!!

Sadly we decide to continue as, surely it can't get much worse and we've come this far!!. We continue after fuelling up the hungry and small tanked Suzuki at the filling station in Ullapool. Of course the lean, huge tanked tourer that is the XJ won't need filling up probably at all on this journey!
So, onward and upward we go. The journey round the coast through Gairloch is a beauty. Sadly this beauty was lost on the day to the weather and taking the Camera out of it's warm, waterproof hidy hole was definately a very bad idea so, consequently, it didn't happen that often. We did get a break in the rain for Lunch number one though. Sensible biker had brought Soup and bread...! So, we stopped at Corrieshallach Gorge, 1 200 foot deep crack in the rock just at the junction of the A835 and A832.

Corriebridge1 Have yous seen how deep this is?
Douglas leads the way....! Have you seen how effin deep this is?
How effin Deep
How effin Deep it


So lunch was had sitting on a flat rock just to the side of that bridge and then off we went in the direction of Gairloch again, after allowing the local Ducati users group to roar and burble past heading North.
We arrive in Gairloch in the pouring rain and partake of lunch 2 (The sequel) This time in a Cafe down by th Harbour where we indulge in Bacon and Black pudding rolls (If you have to ask you don't want to know!) before heading off once more along the rest of the unfamiliar route to Garve junction, after allowing the local BSA users group to chug and tinkle past.
By the time we were in Gairloch the rain was fairly set in and taking the camera out was less and less welcome. I did get a couple of pictures however so, in the spirit of this web offering I offer you the Gairoch pictures

Gairloch Town 1 Gairloch town 2
The man himself in Gairloch (in the rain) by the local septic tank I believe!! The two bikes, parked on the Septic Tank looking back through Gairloch main street
Last Gairloch
A last look at Gairloch (and the XJ) before moving off to wetter climes

I had actually updated this page with one or two more pictures and a few more wet and depressed words :)) but, somehow it has become truncated. That's the Web for you. So, I'm going to revisit page two just for the sake of continuity

The remainder of the Gairloch "Swim" Trip

We moved away from Gairloch following lunch 2 since it didn't look like the weather would improve much. Douglas had decided that he was determined to remove his waterproofs for at least a part of the journey and so chose this bit to do just that. As it happened, so did I and...well, a few short miles later:>

Back on with Waterproofs
Stopped by Loch Marie to put back the waterproofs

The remainder of the journey was wet and dismal. There was one funny moment though. We were spinning along in a cloud of spray just south of Achnasheen when I noticed Douglas behaving very strangely ahead of me (Sometime he leads!) He was wiggling about and looking down between his legs and basically looking uncomfortable and then...it struck me what was wrong. Leaky Waterproofs! We've all been there right? I laughed so much my visor steamed up badly and I had to open it a crack to demist! Very funny. We made one more stop opposite Ben WyvisTo finish my coffee and have a biscuit in the rain. And it was raining!! If you look closely at the puddles you can see the raindrops dancing three feet in the air ;)

The coffee Stop
We're drinking in the Rain...just drinking in the rain.

Following this rather fabulous stop we carry on to Ullapooland, after another stop for a thirsty Suziuki:

Fuel 2
Gulp Gulp Gulp gulp...Buuurrrrp

Once again, the long legged huge tanked XJ sits and looks on impassively with no fuel requirements until at least 250 miles have been covered and, even then, I would be reasonably happy up until 300 miles when things might get a little tight. 60 Miles per gallon on a 5,5 gallon tank
We continue on home and spend the next two weeks drying out!!. Here endeth the story of..Day trip to Gairloch. Amen
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