Top Hornet Maintenance Tips

Looking after the chain.

The lack of a centre stand on the Hornet makes chain adjustment and lubing difficult.

My advice is make it easy on yourself. Get a paddock stand. Mine cost 29.99. And is worth it's weight in gold.

Lubing the chain

Always lube your chain with an 'o' ring friendly oil, spray or wax.
Don't be tempted to just use WD-40. It's great for cleaning the cack off it, but not so good as a full time lubricant. For a start, over prolonged time it will eat the 'o' rings and damage them, because it isn't 'o' ring friendly.
WD-40 is a light grade oil mixed into a penetrating water displacing solution. It evapotrates to leave a thin layer of oil which is great on thousands of other things - not the best stuff for chains.

There are plenty of good Lubes out there - from sprays to waxes. Some are messier than others.
I use a good quality spray type called Motul. It's a special 'sticky' formulation designed to cling to the chain.
Avoid getting the old pump action oil can out. You'll have crud everywhere.

The best time to oil your chain is after a ride, when it's warm and will be more receptive to lube. Either way, always let your lube sit for at least 10 minutes before riding off.
A well (and evenly) oiled chain will help with quieter gear changes too. Many people oil or spray from one side of the bike - effectively leaving the blind side dry. This can cause binding.
Oil carefully and evenly and avoid using too much too soon. Better to build up a nice even coating than have it running down your arm and all over the driveway!

Also, I often use old cloths everywhere to stop any over-spray onto the tyres and swingarm.

Chain Adjustment

The chain should be checked as often as possible. Chain adjustment shouldn't be rushed.
Take your time a get it right the first time. There's nothing worse than getting it a few turns wrong and spending the best part of an hour kicking the hell out of the back tyre as you try to knock the chain loose again!
If you haven't got a clue what you're doing. Let the dealer do it. They won't charge you much and will probably do it while you wait if you let them know you're coming.

Follow the Owners Manual carefully for exact adjustment instructions.

A few tips to add...

Rotate the wheel both forwards and then backwards - checking at regular intervals.

The optimum chain tension is between 30 and 40mm slack (with no-one on the bike).
It's a very fine line between over tight and loose.
Overtighten it and you'll get a nasty grating or whining, especially under acceleration. It will also put stress on the drive bearings and will wear the sprockets more quickly.
Too slack and you'll get chain slap, rattle and clunky gear changes.
If you get stuck - it's better to be a tiny bit looser than a tiny bit over tight.

Always always always check the tension in several different places before 'tightening up'.

When tightening the main nut - don't rely on an old spanner or a dodgy socket set.
Guessing how tight it should be isn't good either. Relying on the 'three grunts and it's tight' technique is not good practice! It ain't worth the risk.Use a torque wrench. Set it to the tension stated in the manual. They're only 20 from Argos and it could be the difference between a nice ride and a nasty ride. Know what I mean?!

One last thing - if you tighten your chain on the Saturday before your big run on the Sunday - for Christ's sake take it for a spin before you set off on the big run!
I've been on two rides this year where people have adjusted the day before without checking for rattles, bangs, whining and grinding. Lots of fed up Buzzers waiting around as Stoopido Numero Uno mooches off to re-adjust his chain!

Fitting a Pyramid Plastics Fenda Extenda.

In my opinion, the Carbon Look Fenda Extenda from Pyramid Plastics is one of the best additions you can make to a Hornet for both winter and summer riding.

19.95 gets you a cleverly moulded piece of plastic to extend the front mudguard just enough to protect the radiator and upper part of the front downpipes (prone to corrosion) from sone damage and water spray.

The Fenda is supplied with 4 self tapping screws - but if you're like me, and you don't want to start drilling holes in your prized possesion, you'll seek an alternative fixing method.
Well, the best way to do it is with the help of some strong silicon sealant. The best stuff is the UPVC kind they use to put Double glazed windows in. It's strong, slightly flexible and waterproof. It also forms a nice little seal to stop mucky water running between the joins. If you use it sparingly - you can also remove it in the summer should you want to.

  • Remove the front Mudguard. (2 side screws and 2 brake line bolts) You have to squeeze wither side inwards slightly for it to slide out without scraping the paint off.

  • Apply a thin curve of UPVC silicon sealant. (too much and it'll just ooze out of the joint and you won't be able to squeeze it together neatly.

  • Clamp the two together with a couple of G-Clamps for a few hours. (Or sit and press the two together for a few hours in front of the telly - like I did. Duh!) Make sure the join is neat and even all the way round and the the surfaces mate together flat.

  • Pop it back on in the morning and Bob's your monkey! (don't forget to squeeze the sides of the original mudguard in slightly when you re-assemble to avoid scraping)

  • I'll be leaving mine on all year round. That's for sure.

    Send in your tips and hints and I'll post them here.

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