Monday, April 15, 2013

How to Change the Dust/Wiper Seal on Your Vstar 650

As you know, I recently replaced the dust seals, also know as wiper seals, on my VStar. Here is a quick run down of what to do should you face this same problem. I was a tad rushed during the job due to the great riding weather I was missing, so I didn’t take the time to document each step with pictures as I should have. At any rate, here is how to remove and replace the dust/wiper seals….

1) Raise and secure the bike, ensuring you have enough space, and support to remove the front wheel.

2) Loosen the pinch bolt that holds the axle in place, you will find this on the lower slider next to the axle.

3) Loosen and remove the speedometer cable from the speedometer drive gear unit located on the wheel.

4) Remove the axle, and slide the wheel and brake rotor assembly out and away from the forks. At this point, the speedometer unit can be removed from the wheel and placed in such a way as to not let dirt or debris get in the unit.

5) Loosen and remove the two bolts holding the brake caliper in place, and remove the caliper. For this step you can simply place the caliper on a box or stool, keeping the brake line attached, preventing having to bleed the brakes when re-attaching the line.

6) Working with one fork at a time, loosen the pinch bolts found at the back of the triple trees, one for the top, and one for the bottom.

7) The tube should slide right out. If not, gently nudge it from the top, while applying a little pressure from under the triple trees. This should remove the fork tube completely from the bike.

8) Use a small flat blade screwdriver, held laterally, to gently persuade the rubber dust seal up. You will not need to apply a lot of pressure here, and should not press the screwdriver down into the fork, or else you could damage the fork seal.

9) With the old dust seal removed, simply slide the new seal down the tube until it rests on top of the fork slider. You can make a round sleeve to slide around the tube and drive the seal in evenly, or carefully tap it down making sure not to damage the seal as you guide it in.

10) Repeat this for both fork dust seals.

11) Reverse steps 1-6, reinstalling the fork tubes, wheel, rotor, and brake caliper. For each, there are recommended torque specifications. In most cases, I generally just tighten the bolts and make sure everything is secure. The first time or two doing this job, I did use a torque wrench. As of late however, I have found it a tad unnecessary.

There you have it. It’s a simple fix, and will keep your VStar’s fork seals protected from any dirt and dust, preventing any damage that may otherwise occur. As mentioned previously, I have a couple of ideas that I’m still mulling over. With a little luck, some more brainstorming, and hopefully some time off to work on my VStar, and I’ll be back with another update. Until then…ride safe!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Few Slight Changes

Yes, you are at the same VStar 650 blog you've been visiting for the past few years. Recently however, I decided to give it a facelift. After all, I've significantly changed the looks on my bike, so I may as well do the same for my blog. I have retained the original colors, black and red like my Vstar, but have simply swapped around the format a tad. I have also added an EBay search bar for any related parts to my modifications that you may wish to look for. For now, that is it for the blog changes. The content will stay the same as it has in the past, and I will continue to update periodically with anything new I decide to embark on. Until then...ride safe!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Why Do I Ride?

   As a motorcycle enthusiast I’ve noticed there are certain times of the year when the mundane idiosyncrasies of life, and less than agreeable weather, culminate in an all encompassing, and overwhelming force seemingly driven by the sheer task of stagnating creativity, and attempting to diminish the strength of passion for the open road that can only be found in a bikers heart.

   The dull, drab, grey skies of winter, the torrents of cold, bitter downpours, and the harshest cutting winds slicing to the depths of ones soul, compounded with the wet, icy conditions found over the beloved country route I have grown familiar with encroach, and stifle the promising relief that I’ve found in riding. The all too familiar sting of winter seemingly freezes any attempts for reconciling thoughtful planning around the hopes of personalizing my motorcycle, mocking my future enjoyment for those far too distant springtime rides. My endurance, tested for months on end, is slowly growing weary of the repetitiously clouded skies, and ever looming silent highways. Then, from out of the darkest of days, the lackluster ambiance of winter is ripped through, shredded with the raw precision, and sharpness of a worn, dull, rusty razor. The unyielding first blast of warm springtime air thaws the slumbering life that old man winter held deep in a hypnotic trance. The shackles that once restrained an abundance of life have been broken, landing with a resounding crash, echoing with a loud ring of freedom. The arms of the open road are stretched forth wide, beckoning, and eager to embrace me as its long lost friend. Serenity, having waited patiently through out the long cold winter is now drawing aim with the stillness of a hunter, easily finding its mark as I appear an all too willing target. With the deathly blow of my winter’s memory, I am once again at peace, engulfed, and warmed by the essence of all that surrounds me.
    Dreaming and planning can once again percolate amid those dusty neurons, awakening and sending a renewed electricity charging through the artistic synapses that have hibernated far too long, birthing forth some grand new idea. My collective thoughts so far lead me down a road that is not, “one less traveled”, as Robert Frost would suggest, but that is unique to me, familiar and comforting, one wherein I simply strive to incorporate any idea that comes to mind, and I have yet to personally see. I am not an extremist, nor do I possess or exhibit television worthy talent with an incredulous bike build. I simply like to create something I can admire, seeing my individual ideas come to fruition, all while knowing that as simplistic as they may be, some dreams do come true. It’s this reassuring freedom of mind; a creation of what once was not that drives my overwhelming enjoyment of Motorcycling.
   I guess you can say I am a true example of the seemingly spiritualist nature a biker derives from their chosen life style. Regardless of back ground, I’ve yet to meet another rider that did not appreciate the same sense of calm found while enhancing their life through Motorcycling. Finding a oneness with nature, and an affirmation that we are a part of something that is of a far greater magnitude than our cognitive perceptions can stretch, are indubitably related as integral characteristics within the shared community of bikers. It is this camaraderie, and an exuberant understanding for what compels that innate and seemingly instinctual urge for freedom of mind, body, and soul surging within every biker I know that is truly the reason why I ride.