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A simple service gone to hell

So how does a quick service before the first ride of the season turn into a 3 year long full strip down of an Aprilia RSVR factory 1000?

Broken HT lead
Broken HT lead

March 2013 getting ready for an Easter ride out, the bike had been washed (maybe not the most through job ever) and put away after the Christmas toy run, optimate attached. I tend to change the plugs, oil and filters at the start of the season like a lot of people do. This year however things went horribly wrong. I went to remove the sparkplug cap same way I have done so many times before and the whole HT lead and cap came off in my hand, “Shit”. I did make the Easter ride out but I had to borrow a friend’s bike as mine wasn’t going anywhere.

Closer inspection revealed that the cable may have had a break in its internals for a while. A search on eBay showed the best way (read cheapest way) to replace this part was to buy the complete coils with HT leads attached from a breakers. Once I selected a suitable part I purchased it and a week later back out to the garage to fit it.

New problem, the coil pack is a pig to get at so tank off, fairing off and away we go. While removing the coils I notice this.

Melted loom

That’s right my loom has melted, I’m lucky I didn’t inadvertently turn into ghost rider. Turns out the cable running from the alternator between the V of the engine on the RSVR to the regulator rectifier is known to overheat and melt. I was extra lucky as it melted into my main loom. So now I had some more parts to find. I examined the loom and concluded the safest course of action (read definitely not the cheapest way) was to replace the whole wiring loom. You never know what hidden damage had been done, plus I didn’t fancy barbequed testicles if it shorted out more spectacularly.

At this point the bike really needed a good through look over what other issues were hiding behind that beautiful Italian exterior. Unsurprisingly a few other lovelies presented themselves immediately (sadly more would be found as I went along).

Rusty oiltank mount
Rusty oiltank mount

This is a radiator mounting bracket from a 2005 motorcycle bought brand new in 2007 with about 5000 miles on the clock. I would not look out of place on a 40 year old barn find. Nothing else for it decide on a complete strip and rebuild.

Why did I do it? I found so many niggles and issues along the way but it’s something you might encounter if you ever think of doing a restoration or rebuild of a motorbike.


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