2007/09/24

Work on your bikes party with Hugh

It is hard to believe that I already put more than 3k miles on my bike in less than a year and it is about time to check the valves. I thought about doing it myself but was not quite sure if I can do this or not. After all, I'll have to take the bike and engine apart to get to the valves. Fortunately, Hugh from the Ninja250 club offered to show me how this is done on his bike. So today I rode up to Toccoa to visit Hugh and work on our bikes together.

I took SR106/SR145 to get to Toccoa. The weather and road is quite nice and I enjoyed the ride a lot. I missed a turn on my way there but fortunately didn't get lost. When I finally got to Hugh's house I am only about 15 mins late.

On my way there I saw the sign of Cromer's Mill Bridge. I know that's one of the few covered bridges in Georgia and would worth a stop to take some pictures. However, I didn't try to find it because the sign didn't say how far away the bridge is and I don't want to be late. Only after getting home I found out that it's probably less than 5 mins away from the sign. Maybe I'll try to go there the next time I visit Hugh.

Hugh already got the fairing and fuel tank off when I got there so we dived right in to the engine top end. As Hugh put it, valve adjustment is easy once you've done it a couple time. Actually I think it is even easier if you are just watching other people doing it. I read through the shop manual and the FAQ from the Ninja250 club a couple times but couldn't quite understand the whole process. But as Hugh demonstrates the procedure to me everything I read starts to make a lot of sense. Too bad that I've to wait for my bike to cool down before I can check the valves, so I couldn't just have mine done at the same time and have to do it another time. Hugh was very kind that he agree to ride down to Athens sometimes with the valve adjustment tool and help me do mine. Hope we can find a time to do that soon.

After we are done with Hugh's bike, he helped me to change the coolant on mine. I guess the previous owner(s) have never changed the coolant but luckily the old stuff that came out didn't look too bad. We even washed my bike a bit, which I have never done before. My attitude toward bike washing is "an hour spent on washing bike is an hour wasted, I would rather go riding any time". But this time we have to clean the spilled coolant anyway so it is nice to see the bike is all clean and shiny.


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