I always feel a motorcycle is a constant work in progress rather than a cold approach as something fixed and the chapter closed. The last part in this series is focused on the rear of the Tiger. As I address this point, my bike is in for two important jobs – the brakes and suspensions. There was some drama with my rear brakes where the brake pads, once engaged, would not separate and let the wheel run free. The problem diagnosed was the front bolt of the caliper that was driven into the mounting was not straight hence the floating rear caliper would not retreat to its position. It needed rethreading and this time with a straight alignment. That solved the issue with the rear brake caliper. Now I had another dilemma: my front brakes had lost its bite. Following some head-scratching, we figured the ABS modulator had an air buildup and needed to be bled. Once that was sorted, my front brakes had all the bite I needed (dare I say from a cub to a full-grown tiger).
Addressing the front brake issue brought to surface another issue – my suspension. With more dive in the front, the front suspensions yelped for some TLC. This brought me back to the compression clickers which did not really work as it was supposed to. I set aside some time (very important) and got to the top caps of the suspension only to find that the damper rod that attaches itself to the top cap adjuster was not connected as it should be thus failing to function efficiently. So the suspensions now need to be opened up for a thorough check (set aside more time here). Going back to my trustworthy source aka the manual, it appeared that a spring and a ball in the cartridge unit appear to be the possible pain points. That will be looked at when I set aside some more time.
Bonus TLC items: changed the sprockets and chain. Decided to go back to stock. I had mentioned earlier that I had changed the front sprocket to a -1 (15T), and while that was fun and I loved how responsive it was I had swapped my stock exhaust with an Arrow. A remap resulted in low-end response that I was looking for. So I went back to my 16T with a nice looking Esjot rear sprocket with a D.I.D chainset. Now every time I change something that’s worn out, it just makes the bike run like new. A chain sprocket swap seemed to be an ideal replacement: 1) it brings back the way the motorcycle is supposed to run and that has to do with the reduction in tolerances between the chain and an older worn out sprocket and 2) it makes the power delivery so much smoother without any loss through the transmission.
An overlooked part of my otherwise obsessive maintenance check included inspecting and greasing the suspension drop link and the rear swing arm bearings. These are the most exposed parts and being at the bottom tends to get a lot of dirt and grime in them. One needs to also ensure these are torqued properly at regular intervals. Apart from these, wearables such as tires and brake pads are a no brainer and need to change as per need and wear and tear. Keeping your bike in check is something that will take time but I’d say walk around the bike and look at parts that you feel that may need some care. Recall your last ride and what felt ‘off’ or different from the usual and could use improvement. All this goes a long way in keeping your ride and your garage trouble-free. Enjoy!