Suits you sir!

How long should a textile bike suit last? In the case of my old Halvarssons Safety Suit, 15 years seems about right! In all fairness though, the Safety Suit is a bit of an odd-ball when it comes to bike clothing. An interchangeable outer waterproof ‘skin’ with the Safety Suit itself sandwiched between the skin and the inner thermal liner. 

With care and washed in accordance with manufacturers instructions, the only bits that seem to wear are the inner and outer skin. TBH I ditched the inner years ago as it made the suit too damn hot, even in winter!  The outer skin has been changed a couple of times, but in the end they all lose waterproofing eventually and now it seems, there’s just none about since Halvarssons stopped making the suit.

In the end a chap can only take being warm and wet for so long – the Safety Suit had to go. But what to replace it with? One look at the motorcycle clothing market made it immediately obvious that a lot of changes had taken place over the years – EU PPT Directives as well as advances in materials. Oh and the prices are rather unfriendly as well!

After a great deal of homework and a couple of visits to local stores here in Oxfordshire, I decided on the new Bering Yukon suit. The fit is lovely and it feels like decent quality – I especially like the 5 year warranty! I also like the ‘laminar’ design that bonds Gore-Tex directly to the outer layer …. this (allegedly) means less moisture take-up and faster drying time. We’ll see about that one ……


Fuel Tank Overhaul – Preparation

Last year (I know, a year ago!) I mentioned that the fuel sender was up the spout and the fuel level display was all over the place. In August 2018 I placed an order for a new one and then sat back and waited for a couple of months for it to arrive, then put it on the shelf and went on my merry way, happy to use the trip meter to gauge refuels.

Now though, the website is back up and running and I’ve developed a sudden and strange desire to resurrect all things Capo, such as finally start working toward a complete fuel tank strip and refurb which is long overdue. I had a look on the shelf to find out what I have and what I need to do the job. Here’s the list:

  1. Caswell Epoxy Fuel Tank Sealer (On the shelf)
  2. Aprilia fuel filter – AP8102971  (On the shelf)
  3. Fuel level sender unit – AP8124588  (on the shelf)
  4. Aprilia corrugated fuel hose – AP8144226  (on the shelf)
  5. Wiring loom – AP8124664 (on the shelf)
  6. Short fuel hose ( on the shelf) 
  7. Fuel pump (to purchase)
  8. New Zero-Leak ear clamps (on the shelf) HCL Clamping UK
  9. Seal for loom – AP8144475 (On order)
  10. Pump plate seal – AP8144478 (on order)

So that’s not a bad start … and I’m not sure if I want to change the pump anyway (still pondering this one) and the old seals can be measured and alternatives found if they don’t arrive in time. Applying the Caswells looks like it takes a fair bit of preparation to ensure the job is done once and done right, everything else is plug’n-play or crimp’n screw depending on how you look at it! 

I’m estimating a week overall, allowing plenty of time for the tank to dry after it’s initial cleanout and then a further 48 hrs or so after the epoxy lining is complete prior to reassembly. So the thumb-twiddling time will be put to use rebuilding the fuel pump/filter assembly.  The downside appears to be the Caswell resin …. it’s very sensitive to the temperature range it’s applied at – and I only have an unheated garage to work in these days. So I think the job will have to be carefully timed to suit a week of warm, dry weather in the UK (yes I get the irony!) – Late June or July maybe?

Anyway, more on this as a suitable time approaches. Finger crossed! 

May update

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid rear panelsWell it looks like the website is up and all the links work again – hooray! In the end it took about 24hrs of fiddling in the database to sort out, but I got there in the end thankfully.

Meanwhile, the rear panels were removed from the Capo for a trip to the paint shop. The years have been pretty kind to the base coat, but not the lacquer unfortunately, especially where the decals are located. As luck would have it, I already have a set of decals that were kindly given to me by Manuel from a few years ago.

We use for some parts on our autonomous cars and the results have always been excellent, so it’s fantastic that they are willing to have a look at the Capo panels for me. Plus it’ll be great to finally get a color match given that Aprilia don’t provide paint codes.