Woe is me!

I admit that just recently, my enthusiasm to blog has waned some-what. It takes a certain amount of discipline to take the time to blog. I suspect that most readers of this blog only really get something out of half of the blog. My chosen subject matter, motorcycling and computing are for the most part, quite disparate subjects. I write about them, because these two subjects I feel I’m reasonably well enough versed in to have a semi-informed opinion. (I’m also smart enough to be painfully aware of how much I don’t know about either subject!) But, I digress…

One of my self-imposed disciplines with blogging, is to take turns with the subject matter. That makes me due for a motorcycling post. Here in-lies the problem. My motorcycle is “off the road.” Hence, I find it difficult to find something worth writing about.

Honda motorcycles have a good reputation for being first rate machinery. This doesn’t stop them being renowned for two mechanical problems.

  1. The Regulator / Rectifier breaks.
  2. The Cam chain tensioners break.

The regulator/rectifier’s job (to quote from Justin Couch’s excellent article) :

“…is to provide a constant DC voltage and current to the bike’s electrical system. From this all the electricals run.”

Honda’s regulator/rectifiers regularly over-heat*. It’s not a new problem with Hondas and like Justin, I am left wondering why they have never done anything about it…

My bike however, is suffering from cam-chain tensioner problems. In a four stroke internal combustion engine, the cam chain (or belt) turns the cams which open and close the inlet and exhaust valves of each cylinder. The piston moves up and down inside the cylinder too, so it is essential that the timing of the valve remains synchronised with the piston movement. Where this doesn’t happen expensive fast moving parts of the engine can bash into other expensive fast moving parts of the engine and that’s when things get both extremely ugly and extremely expensive to fix. When the engine is under load (i.e. accelerating) then there is sufficient tension in the cam chain for the valves and pistons to remain synchronised. But, when decellerating, there is a natural tendancy for this tension to be lost. No prizes for guessing what the cam-chain tensioner does…

So, having had a Honda Blackbird break a cam-chain tensioner, I have become very wary of strange ticking noises the engine may develop. This time, the “failure” has not been so absolute as it was with the Blackbird. The bike is still running – I just don’t want to push my luck! Fortunately, replacing the dodgy part will be covered under warranty, but it doesn’t make the self-enforced side-lining of the bike any easier to take!

But, on the plus side, at least I can now go back to writing a computer software blog article!

(* Be thankful they’re “Honda”, not “Ronda”! There was way too much alliteration as it was!)