Saturday, 30 November 2013

Brake Fluid Maintenance

Changing your motorcycle brake fluid sometimes can be a pain in the ass for some people but with proper tools, it is very easy to be completed. The method I am going to show apply to non ABS and ABS model with ABS model consume slightly more brake fluid because of the system volume. 

Many may just ask, why should I change my brake fluid, well, many times brake fluid maintenance can be the most easily ignore maintenance task for many riders. Brake fluid have to pick up the heat transfer from the brake calipers and eventually it will deteriorate just like any other engine oil or lubricant. Make no mistake, brake fluid is not a kind of 'oil' even it does hold the oil composition in it, it is more like a chemical which is blend to provide force while withstand the heat at a degree. Remember to use the recommended brake fluid grade from your manufacturer else you just gonna burn money on the brake system again. There are DOT 3, 4, 5 and 5.1 brake fluid available, using a DOT 3 on a DOT 5 system will just result in blowing out your brake fluid. The higher the number means the higher the wet(with moisture absorbed into the fluid) and dry(0% water content which is impossible to obtain under normal operating condition) boiling point it can withstand. As a result, check before apply always the important thing before you start.

Below is the method i use to 'reverse' replace the brake fluid from the reservoir, machine used is Kawasaki ER6n

Tools you needed

a)A syringe (as big as you can)
b)A tube (match the syringe end)
c)Brake fluid
 d)Spanner which match the bleeder nut


1)Remove your master pump reservoir cap.

2)Plug in the tube to the caliper bleeder valve and loosen it with your spanner.

3)Started to 'suck' it out from the reservoir through the  bleeder valve. Remember to stop once you reach the level which touches the hole of the master pump(to prevent sucking in air).

4)Tighten the bleeder nut and started to suck the remaining old brake fluid from the reservoir with cloth or paper, clean it. 

5)Top it up with new brake fluid and loosen back the bleeder valve, suck the new brake fluid to flush the system as step 3. Top it up again and normally you will just take 1-2 cycle to flush the system. 

6)When finish, tighten the bleeder nut and top up the reservoir according to manufacturer recommendation (remember not to fill it too high up as the diaphragm will not have enough air to create enough pressure on the reservoir), move to the next caliper or proceed to step 7.

7)Before installing back the reservoir cover, remember to pump your reservoir several times to make sure no air is trap inside the brake line. Install the reservoir cover.

Enjoy your fresh Lemon Tea, do not dispose brake fluid irresponsibly to the environment, it is highly corrosive!!! 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Red Devil

MV Agusta has always been a hot rod in the exotic bike market for centuries; even the all mighty Ducati in some way cannot match. I been riding a MV Agusta Brutale 1090RR for about a week and pretty much understand the concept of what MV has to delivered. Never ridden any of their sport models, either the F3 or F4, it has been a challenge for me to figure out what will I be encountering on these beast. Italian machine has always been an untamed animal for me especially for those V twin beasts. Unlike Japanese machines which always the trademark for smoothness and easy to use, use it everyday concept, it can be a little too boring for some.

Looking in to MV F4 model, since 2005 they had changed their F4 into 1000cc from the previous 749cc range. It has been some problems which impact the riding experience for the last one and two years model, even though it can be very fast on the road, but with an experience on a BMW HP4 before, I belief that the comparison between the two in some aspect will be reliable and trusty. The new F4RR model which I received is the upgrade version from the last year model, upgraded ECU unit, electronic control Ohlin suspension; steering dampers and also monobloc Brembo front brake calipers. Not much upgrade from the R version but these are more than enough to make it into a fearful one, it is hard to make something already good better.

The engine is a 998cc 4 inline DOHC with radial valve configurations, power rating is 195bhp at 13,600 rpm. The new FeRR has a lighter crankshaft, forged titanium connecting rods, revised cylinder head porting and the valves use a single spring instead of two. All are aim to make the engine more rigid and respond more lively, it is indeed very light and agile to be rev along. Compare with previous model, the F4RR receive a better fueling system and even at a lower rev, the engine still running smooth and if to rev it high, power output does  not change abruptly, unlike the F4R, the riding experience is basically ruined by the engine behavior. The quick shifter acts like charm and make spiritual riding even more excited, including the electronic braking, climbing up and down Genting Highland is as effortless as I was on the HP4. Engine throttle respond plays a huge role in maintaining perfect control on the bikes especially on twisty. There are traction controls modes for selection and this come in handy when in slippery condition. While the vibration is quite high compare with others German or Japanese 4 in lines especially at a lower gearing. The engine midrange performance is impressive, low speed commuting is just nice and very minimum throttle adjustment is needed, the tremendous torque at low rev range is so high which make starting in 2nd gear and immediately shift to 4th gear while accelerating happens just a click of an eye. To summarized how the engines compare with its own brother the Brutale 1090RR, the F4RR engine is far more civilized, controllable and forgiving but if it is to compare with the BMW HP4, it can be a little lack here and there and resulted as a more raw, crude machine overall; just not to forget that Italian always make something spicier then plain; in another words, perfection can means no character. If it is to state out the differences between F4RR and HP4, the F4RR is more like a bike which delivers more ‘mechanical feel and vibration’ while the later one is so smooth as you are slicing across butter.

F4RR feel nimble at the corners, totally planted suspension combine with the magnificent Pirelli tires, I just whack across all the corners confidently. The Ohlins suspension does a very good job in keeping this machine stick to the road at any speed and road condition. Basically speaking, it is just another fool proof bike after the HP4, even a fresher able to handle them well thanks to its advance electronic and weight distribution, however the narrow bar and awkward sitting position can make it what I refer as a ’15 minutes’ bike. Steering in and out is precise and swift, braking makes effortless on the monobloc Brembo brake calipers. Good suspension and brakes is the shining point of F4RR, it makes the good handling F4R even more breathe taking. The 191KG weight is somehow a little heavy on this bike because of its slightly higher center of gravity. One of the very good feature is the auto adjust suspension setting, the suspension able to adjust to different mode of riding style, without have to physically set the suspension setting and this apply to the steering damper as well. The styling of F4RR is typical MV Agusta, it is very hard to resist this exotic machine, what I can think of is never bring an MV Agusta to the track but street, it is made to be admired and catwalk in the public, it means everything in fashion.
As a conclusion, this piece of ultimate machine may not be the most comfort or user friendly bike to be ridden day to day but it has the magic for you to take it out for a spin by any of the crappy reason that you can find. It happens to me as I had my wrist aching after half an hour on the bike but the next 3 hours I was wondering around at Genting Highland and having my cup of coffee at the top. The hot Italian girl next door is always an attraction of the crowd and it always does.