Last year the tester at the MOT station didn’t like the slightly low headlight beams (set to offset loaded panniers) and wanted to raise them. Unfortunately I think he raised the left-hand to the point of possibly unseating the ball at the end of the adjuster screw from the reflector. Friction alone on the other pivots probably only holding it in place to his satisfaction. About a month ago the same headlight went out of vertical alignment a little, then finally the other evening, suddenly dropped completely (and very noticeably!) so the low-beam was now tripping over the front wheel!
First check – bulbs out and try to move the reflectors up and down. Right-hand no movement – fine, left-hand very wobbly, plus the adjuster unscrewed completely by hand. So, headlight out as it’s far easier to work on.
Remove the rubber gaiter and bulb and a visual check of the reflector mountings is possible – they looked OK, so I cleaned up the adjuster and applied the lightest wipe possible of grease on the ball to help it seat more easily, I honestly couldn’t have applied less if I’d just shown it a photo of a grease tub! Then screw in the adjuster and kept going (very gently!) a half turn at a time once it had seated against the reflector socket. I also used a little brass-tool to help pull lightly) on the reflector mount to help the process. I guess I went about three full turns before the ball made a loud ‘pop’ and dropped into position. I don’t know which was more relieved – the stresses in the reflector or my pulse-rate!
Once the day was at an end, it was time to set the beam height …. the manual quotes 90% of the bulb height from the ground at 10m distance while sat on the bike. I did them one lamp lit at a time, then double checked with both lit and also checked the horizontal alignment at the same time. Total time about 10 minutes and hopefully a happy MOT guy in a few weeks time!
Buttoning it all up went OK, but it was obvious the rubber dashboard lower/headlight shield has finally seen the best of its days with numerous splits starting. So a template was drawn, then reproduced in CAD and some 2mm rubber sheet ordered from Flea-Bay – cheaper than Aprilia, who want over €60 for the same part (AP8168916)!
OK I’ll come clean. I’m a bit of a closet bodger – there I’ve said it. Let’s be fair though, the art of bodging is a skill in itself. A well carried out bodge, with novel and outlandish use of alternative materials to affect a successful repair or upgrade is a beauty to behold. But then again a bad bodge will bite you on the arse quicker than a rabid badger having a rather bad-badger day.
So what did I bodge? Well the LED’s in the Capo’s binnacle might be nice and bright but the wiring behind them certainly wasn’t! Of course a lifetime of working with electric/electronics gives one a certain feel for the bodge to be enacted – why use a decent connector when twisting the wires together and slapping on a bit of insulating tape works just as well …… right?
To be fair it was a temporary solution until I’d got hold of some connectors, except I kept forgetting and one thing led to another … And in the blink of an eye, a couple of years had gone by! Last week however, good old Motrag came to the rescue (again!) with a box full of 2 and 3 way Superseal connectors. I really do like these – 14A rated and waterproof (IP67) compared to the Molex items dotted around the Capo that are 5A and most certainly open to the elements. The only downside is that they are more bulky than the Molex so you can’t cram as many into a tight space!
Of course a cunning and artful bodger could fit these without the correct tool to crimp the connectors, but I yielded to common sense – besides Manuel had put a nifty set of crimping pliers in the box as well! Now all the panels are removable with a mere flick of a locking-tab, no longer do I wish for an extra appendage to assist in separating wires/tape while juggling with the panel. Sheer bliss! Here is a copy of the Superseal installation manual.
The local Lidl had a few bits of bike gear in the other day. Some open-face helmets, casual jackets and summer gloves. The gloves are marked CE and had a symbol on the label that I’d not seen before. Below it is written EN 13594:2015 ……. so when I got home I looked it up.
Most of the information initially came from French websites, where it seems motorcycle gloves are going to become compulsory items to wear in the near future and could well use this as the minimum standard allowed. It turns out that EN13594 involves a bunch of tests – burst/abrasion etc and is graded as Level 1 or Level 2. Level 1 must be abrasion resistant for 4 seconds and knuckle armour (if fitted) absorb 9Kn (5J) of energy. Level 2 doubles the abrasion resistance to 8 seconds and halves the energy transmission. The legislation appears to become mandatory in 2018 but can of course be complied with now, so expect to see gloves appearing throughout 2016 with these symbols on the labels.
So back to Lidl …….. Here’s a budget store selling approved and tested (Level 1) summer gloves for €15.99 ( approx. £13)! OK, they are entry-level approved, but hey at least they are tested to some standard, unlike the vast majority of gloves I looked at on various UK mail-order websites. Who’d have thought it! 😀