There are few things more relaxing than spending a couple of hours in your garage, doing a task that you know how to do, you’ve done before, and you have all the right tools for.
I had a new tyre put on the Falco‘s front wheel yesterday, and I needed to get it put back on so I could use the front paddock stand on the Elefant.
As the front brakes had to come off anyway in order to remove the front wheel, I thought it would be a good opportunity to give them a bit of a clean before it ends up being sat around for most of the winter. Pump the pistons out a little bit, give them a good spray with brake cleaner, a scrub with an old toothbrush, and a wipe with a rag. A little smear of rubber grease around the visible part of the pistons, then push them back in.
There was almost a comedy piston-falling-out moment, when I forget that one caliper had nothing stopping the pistons moving when I pushed the others back in, but fortunately I realised just in time to stop an egress of brake fluid… phew.
Refitting the wheel was a bit of a pain: the design of the front spindle means that it’s easy to end up with the left fork in the wrong place, if you don’t get the spindle positioned correctly. In fact, the first time I had a new front tyre on my first Falco (R.I.P.), the fitter cocked it up to such an extent that it was hard to push the bike around, because the caliper was fouling the disk so much.
Once I was happy with the position of the front wheel and spindle, the brake pads were given a fresh smear of copper grease, replaced, and everything tightened up in the correct order (or untightening, bouncing the forks, and retightening, as per the workshop manual, to make sure the forks are correctly aligned).
A couple of beers whilst doing it, some decent tunes on the stereo, and I was perfectly happy. If only it wasn’t so cold; the next little job (replacing the Elefant’s speedo drive and front wheel bearings) might need thermals, as well as my padded overalls.