Did you get around to watching ‘The Last Motorcycle on Earth’? Well this post is about a little of that fiction meeting reality right here, right now.
After much deliberation it looks like E10 fuel got the UK government green-light in February 2020 and will be on a forecourt near you in 2021 … probably/maybe. It’s been on the horizon for almost a decade, but thankfully we’ve not had to deal with the tank bloating, seal destroying gut-rot fuel that’s the scourge of the EU .. but times are a changing as the song says. It looks like the current ‘Premium’ fuel (E5) will become the ‘Super-Unleaded’ and E10 the Premium. Like Europe, it’s use will be optional unlike some countries where it’s introduction and use are mandatory. One note of concern though …. the proposal only protects E5 supply for up to five years after E10 is rolled out, presumably supply could then disappear from forecourts almost overnight, making refuelling an unmodified Capo awkward to say the least. And five years isn’t a long time!
On occasion I would use it while travelling through Europe, but only one tank at a time, then I’d use E5 fuel to clear it out of the system and always on a journey where I knew I’d burn through it before I arrived at my destination. I never left it stewing in the tank for longer than a couple of hours. So this looks like it’s time for one of those other jobs that have sat firmly on the garage shelf for the last 12 months – lining the fuel tank with Caswells Epoxy resin. Even after that’s done, I think I’ll try to steer clear and take the price hike to ‘Super-Unleaded’ on the chin…… while I can anyway.
As I rolled off the bottom of Stokenchurch hill with a clear motorway ahead and a remaining journey time of 15 minutes, it was time for a little post-ride reflection. The dashboard temp gauge dropped another degree and sat at 5C – hardly the 20C at midnight when I’d left Italy 19hrs previously! Never mind, the Oxford heated grips were doing their thing, keeping my podgy fingers nice and toasty in my BKS winter gloves. From the front of the bike, the white beams of the Sealight X2 LED’s turned night into day – from hard shoulder to armco barrier a reassuring spread of light paved the way.
With 550 miles of night-time riding under the belt in the last 24hrs, I can truly say these things are awesome and Euro motorway speeds (130Kmh /80Mph) are a doddle, even on tricky motorways with tunnels that sneak up on you and bends that you just don’t expect on a motorway – all in a day’s (or night’s!) work for these babies!
As I approached Oxford, I dipped the back brake to cut the cruise control …….. the cruise control …… I haven’t given it a moment’s thought for a long time. It just does what it’s supposed to, no drama, just smooth throttle control over long tedious distances, up hill and down. The sign then of a cracking piece of kit, when it fades to the back of the mind as it quietly gets on with the job. Without it I’d be stuffed, my wrist just cannot do these sort of mileages anymore …. so I doff my cap in appreciation for a fine piece of kit that keeps me crossing continents – cheers MCCruise!
So everything is happy bunnies in the house of Moto-A’s Capo? Not quite unfortunately …. the fuel sender has decided to sulk and the fuel gauge can no longer be relied upon to be anything more than decorative! My guess is the sender itself needs cleaning or replacing as everything else checks out OK. Not a big issue in the scheme of things and a way of remembering how we used to do things – fill-up, reset the trip and ride up to a mileage above which you know you’ll be pushing – and repeat! Happy days ….
So now, 48Hrs on, a new fuel filter (Ducati 42540101), fuel pump (Bosch 0580453427), ‘Zero Leak – Low Profile Ear Clamps’ and Caswells epoxy fuel tank sealer have been ordered to complement the spares on the shelf – large gasket, short section hose (filter to plate), corrugated fuel line (filter to pump) and wiring harness. Hopefully this little lot will keep the fuel tank in tip-top condition for many years to come!
I finally got around to changing out the open-to-air 4-way connector that feeds the fuel pump and fuel level sensor. In went a nice 4-way Superseal (14A rated) with the connectors crimped, soldered and given a light coat of dielectric grease before sliding home into the waterproof housing.
Hopefully no more erratic fuel level due to oxidation on the pins! While I was at it I pulled the spare fuel pump harness (AP8124664) out of its bag and changed its connector as well. I’d look mighty foolish if I’d pulled that out of my spares kit at the roadside and the connectors didn’t match!
While under the hood, I noticed that the outer coat of the fuel return line (marine-grade ISO 7840 A1) is showing signs of deterioration and kinking near the swaged end at the fuel tank. I’d noticed it back in September, but unfortunately it appears to be a little worse now. Time then to order a new cLCD 170-04 1/4″ barbed quick release connector from Tom Parker (UK) along with suitable Oetiker clamps – I’ll only use clamps that need to be crimped, never ones with screws that can work loose. I’ve no problem doing the return hoses myself, but when it comes to the high pressure side, I leave it to the professionals. Last time that was MF Hydraulics in Oxford and I’ll be happy to use them again come the day.
The marine hose has lasted well (9 years) and that’s to be expected given that hose for marine applications has to meet very strict guidelines, however I think hose rated at SAEJ30R9 with its improved impermeability and tolerance to Ethanol is probably better suited on the Capo nowadays. Either way I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it! The high pressure line and main return line are holding up just fine with no sign of wear or deterioration.
We all like a bargain ….. more than ever at this time of year judging by the British press (Black Friday), so I have to admit I had a grin like a Cheshire cat as I rode back home late Saturday in the dwindling light and rain. Why?
Well on Friday, while some folk lost all sense of self-respect fighting over 40″ TV’s and coffee grinders, I’d stumbled across a fresh advert on a small online marketplace. A couple of calls later and I’d arranged a trip over to l’Aquila the following day, to bag myself a lovely load of Caponord spares for the princely sum of ….. well let’s just say we never got out of double-digits! Here’s a breakdown of what I got from a low mileage 2005 ABS model:-
- Throttle body including injectors, TPS and throttle cables
- ABS pump, mounts, sensors and wiring loom
- Rear brake caliper, bracket, pump, pedal and brake light switch – with footrest
- Sidestand and switch – with footrest
- Oil cooler and mounting brackets
- Coolant tank, cover and mounting brackets
- Main wiring loom including relays and diode block
- 4x HT leads
- Drive chain slipper block
- Gear lever
- And last but not least … a box of assorted plastics.
It also transpires that he may well have the swing arm as well – €15 to you guvner and €5 postage …. I’m just waiting for the confirmation and that’s my birthay present sorted! 🙂 Unfortunately, no wheels/discs. They’d been sold along with the forks for (wait for it) €150 ……. 🙁
So after stripping the throttle body and ordering up new seals, I decided to model up the manifold/injectors. Click on the injector picture above to open the fully exploded manifold and below are a couple of views of the whole assembly.