While the Caponord was stripped for the vacuum check-valve replacement, I decided to get my act in gear and finally, once and for all, unequivocally ….. Sort out the MCCruise control/throttle cables. Last year I relocated the CIU (Cable Interface Unit) to the left hand side of the throttle body. This had pros and cons ……….. The upside was a lighter feel on the throttle grip, the downside, the Servo/CIU and CIU/Throttle body cables were overly long and the Servo cable fed into the CIU from the wrong side. However, the cruise was working perfectly and so it became one of those ‘mañana’ jobs!
Well today is that tomorrow! First I jotted down a list of what had to be done:
1. Make a spacer to fit onto the side of the CIU. This is to move the throttle cable adjuster further out and make the inner cable a better fit on the spool.
2. Drill new cable holes in the CIU so it can be rotated 180° so the Servo cable enters from the rear not the front as is the current arrangement.
3. Shorten the CIU/Throttle cable while allowing for the new spacer at the CIU – 350mm down to 190mm.
4. Shorten the 1,150mm Servo cable to a more reasonable 750mm!
I have to say here and now that I do like learning new skills or adapting old ones to suit a new task. I also have to admit that in a good few years on this Earth, I’ve never made up or adjusted the length of clutch/choke/throttle cables before! So time to adapt the electronics soldering skills and brush up on required technique courtesy of the Internet. Now I’m not going to bore you to tears telling you how to do it – there is tons of advice on various websites/YouTube. Suffice to say, sort out the duff advice from the good, have the right equipment to hand and practice, practice, practice …… do the job once and do it right! All the cable bits and pieces I needed came from Venhill in the UK.
By late afternoon everything was buttoned up and the cruise control recalibrated after the throttle bodies were rebalanced, fault codes cleared and TPS reset via TuneECU. As the sun faded behind the hills I cracked open a cold beer happy with how the day played out …. Time then to put the tools away and get back to revising for the next Amateur Radio Exam!
The MCCruise has been installed for approx. 25,000 miles and worked perfectly throughout. The CIU was relocated because the initial location proved to be problematic – causing slight binding of the throttle cable. This meant that the cables supplied in the kit (as specified by me) were now the wrong length and the orientation of cable entry into the CIU was wrong.This is not the fault of MCCruise, what they sent is what I asked for! Should anyone else wish to go down this route I will of course be glad to provide notes/measurements etc so a kit will be a simple bolt-on job.
Well yesterdays arrival of a spanking pair of Michelin Anakee 3’s makes the total number of tyre types fitted to the Capo a head spinning …… 5. The OEM fit Tourance, oodles of TKC80’s and Karoo 3’s and one fantastic set of Anakee 2’s. They were by far the best with excellent grip and long life – so the Anakee 3’s have a hard act to follow, I wonder how they’ll compare.
With the back wheel dropped out, I decided to give everything a once over and quick scrub-up – nice and shiny like. The vernier showed the rear disk had finally met the minimum thickness (4.5mm), so off it came and on went a nice almost-new one from an 07 bike …. a floater instead of fixed. Now I must admit to being more than a little perplexed at what the hell Aprilia were thinking about when making the rear a floater – front yes, but rear! What for, where’s the benefit? With 74,710 miles on it, I can’t ever remember riding around thinking ‘damn this bike’s just screaming out for a floating rear disk’ But in the end, it’s what I had in my sack of goodies, so it’s what went on. With the rear done, the fronts looked a little sorry for themselves, so I pulled them off and gave them a once-over and spring re-tension …… I must say they do look rather nice again!
Rear wheel bearings, seals and cush rubbers are original and all in perfect condition, so the spares can stay in the cupboard for a while longer yet. The front bearings and seals that I replaced back in 2009 (@11,700 miles) are also fine – packing the void between the bearings and seals to prevent water getting trapped seems to work wonders! So now she’s all buttoned up and a final wipe with a soft cloth and ACF50 to fend off the corrosion gremlin should do the trick nicely.
Sometime last year I decided that 2015 was going to be the year that a whole bunch of parts were going to get cleaned up and recoated – engine/sump protection bars (especially the mounting brackets), headlamp guard and passenger foot peg hangers for a start.
The accessory parts seem to be made substantially cheaper than the bike parts themselves – stamped, pressed, bent and welded with a flash of cheap paint to top it off. All well and good for a couple of years, but the elements soon work their magic and the stuff begins to look jaded and rusty. No, if you want it to look good and last, you’ve got to pick up where the Aprilia contractor left off ….. Debur, remove weld spatter and radius any and all sharp edges you can find, THEN get a quality finish applied. That’s the plan anyway!
So to kick off I took the spare rear brake lever and began to radius the sharp edges and smooth the lumpy stamped (or laser cut) edge … I have to say it was looking (and feeling) rather nice when I downed tools and wandered indoors for a brew.
It was while standing there aimlessly waiting for the kettle to boil that I thought about adding a grease nipple to the pivot – Aprilia have done a good job in making the bolt grooved to hold a reservoir of grease AND fitting two ‘O’-rings (OR114 – 1.78mm section / 11.11mm ID) to keep the grease in …… but a grease nipple would make packing the grease in and replacing it soooooo much easier!
In the end it only took 30 minutes ….. grinding a flat on the underside, drilling and tapping a 6mm hole and screwing in a 90° fitting. What do you think?
As we fast approach the fun and games of ACIM, I figured it was time to reintroduce the Capo to two things frequently lacking in its life ……. washing and polishing. Yes, the hose pipe, chamois leather and Salvol autosol have been dragged out, dusted off and liberally applied to said Capo. My how she twinkles now, well as much as matt paint can ever twinkle that is!
Unfortunately for the Capo, there has been one cleaning job on the list that I’ve been putting off, and I have to admit that the list was written several years ago – the rear wheel refurb! After a couple of cold ones, I finally mustered up the courage to tackle the gunked on grease, the lashings of welded road crud and the inevitable rusty nipples. It nearly had the better of me once or twice, but tenacity and sheer bloody-mindedness (plus a couple more cold ones!) saw the job through to the bitter end. And here’s the finished article, not too shabby if I do say so myself ….. and that chain/sprocket have now got a whopping 38,730 miles on them!!!
Before it all went back together, the Scottoiler dual-injector was checked over as were all the bearings, seals and cush-drive rubbers – and of course it would have been remiss of me to have not taken the front sprocket cover off and give it a Mk1 eyeball check – looks OK for now, but I’ll get one on order! 😉