Sunday, March 07, 2010

At Least I'm Starting to Smell Like a Mechanic

The Kawasaki Concours has an active owners group called naturally the Concours Owners Group (COG) which has an active and useful forum. There are also lots of suppliers of after-market and original equipment parts - one of the favorites being Murphs' Kits owned by a Concours rider.

I ordered the Kneesavers peg lowering kit, a replacement left footpeg bracket, highway bars and a fender extender from Murph. The peg lowering kit drops the pegs 1 1/2 inch and includes Goldwing GL1800 foot pegs. I need the replacement bracket to replace the cracked and welded one - that weld may hold forever but I don't want to take a chance that it will break when I'm standing up on the pegs. The highway bars will give me a chance to change leg/knee position and help on those longer trips. The fender extender provides additional protection to prevent the radiator from being struck by rocks and road crud kicking off the front tire. I want to get that bike ready for longer trips when the warm weather comes. My plan is to install the above items, replace the plugs, check/adjust valves and synch the carbs within the next couple of weeks - or shortly after my Carbtune shows up from England.

I spent a good part of the weekend fiddling with motorcycle stuff and riding. I found out the scale weight of this Concours is 680 pounds. The owners manual says the dry weight is 595 pounds. Go figure. I'm ready to transfer the title once I get the Bill of Sale and mileage statement from the previous owner in California.

I lucked out and found the previous owner of the KZP at home - and he was happy to fill out the form for the state stating what I paid for that bike, so I don't have to pay a couple of hundred extra in "use/sales" tax.

I changed the rear drive oil in the Concours. The oil fill plug was on tight and I finally figured out the wrench from my old 1978 shaft drive Yamaha fit the oil fill plug so I added that Yamaha wrench to the Kawasaki's tool kit.

I cleaned the air filter with some kerosene I bought at the Co-op in Marysville (that stuff is fairly hard to find). I also cleaned the chain on the KZP with kerosene - and decided next time I'll wear some rubber gloves to keep from totally drying out my skin. I used some of the gear oil as chain lube to see how that works. I was using PJ1 Blue Label Chain Lube and then switched to Dupont Multi-Use Lubricant - but the chain had picked up a lot of road crud. I lubed the chain with some gear oil this time because I want to see how much crud sticks to that compared to those sticky lubricants I was using.

I spilled kerosene on my boot, while doing the cleaning, so I have that distinct sweet smell that you may recognize if you've been around jet engines or other places where they use kerosene as a solvent or a fuel. I like it and think it would make a good men's cologne... the downside is it may only work if you are trying to attract other men. I also learned from the internets that some old-timers used kerosene as an additive when washing their cars. I used some of the gear oil/kerosene on the chrome and other parts of the KZP and it looks pretty good. Another plus with finding the kerosene is I also have some fuel for my Optimus No.00 camp stove if I want to make a cup of tea in the backyard or something like that.

I greased the swing arm on the Concours. Had to get a 90 degree adapter for my grease gun from Autozone to get on the fittings.

The Sportster didn't need anything so I just rode it.