Category Archives: Tools and tips

TuneECU free diagnostics tool

Making the most of your Tune ECU

Update! Android versions now available for download via Google Playstore

If you own a motorcycle which has fuel injection installed, you will probably have an Engine Control Unit (ECU) installed which controls and monitors various aspects of your motorcycle.

In the past the only way to analyse your ECU was to visit the local dealer who had access to expensive diagnostic tools, such as the Texa Axone.

Texa Axone 4 Mini Navigator TXBE Full motorcycle diagnostic cable kit

End Date: Saturday Feb-9-2019 10:59:31 GMT
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Due to the rise of open source software development and on-line owners forums, you can now access your engine ECU to diagnose and review your ECU by downloading free software.

USB OBD2 Cable for Triumph Motorcycles TuneECU Program FT232RL Chip OBD Tune ECU

End Date: Wednesday Jan-23-2019 8:10:02 GMT
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I started to experience running problems with my 2003 Aprilia RST, and found the options to accurately review fault codes via the motorcycle dashboard are limited and clumsy.

If you experience intermittent faults it was virtually impossible to diagnose because the dashboard would only display the latest fault code after turning off the ignition, removing the seat to connect up the diagnostic circuit, then turning of the ignition.

If the fault didn’t reappear when the ignition was turned on you would be back to square one – very frustrating! After lots of searching around the internet I found a website called TuneECU which provided free software to analyse your ECU through a custom made cable. The website also contains information regarding how to make the cable for your specific bike, alternatively you can buy the correct cable from most online auction sites (I got mine from

Before you get started with TuneECU you should be aware that you can cause some serious damage to your ECU (and your bike) if you don’t know what your are doing, so please read all the tutorial information on the website and watch the various YouTube videos.

I found TuneECU to invaluable for diagnosing problems, rather than trying to work through the fault tree in a maintenance manual. I hope you enjoyed the article, and find it useful for your modern barn finds!

Ride safe,

Al (

Suzuki GSXR1100 clutch slave cylinder rebuild

Suzuki GSXR1100 clutch slave cylinder rebuild

When I removed the sprocket cover and clutch slave cylinder, it was clear the slave cylinder was in poor condition. The outer surface rim was damaged, and the inner cylinder wall and piston were worn beyond repair.


End Date: Wednesday Feb-6-2019 13:57:53 GMT
Buy It Now for only: £24.10
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Clutch Master Cylinder Repair Kit for 1995 Suzuki GSX-R 1100 WSK-S (L/C) (Race

End Date: Wednesday Feb-6-2019 5:53:24 GMT
Buy It Now for only: £26.21
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I ordered a complete replacement clutch slave cylinder, and also painted the sprocket cover whilst removed from the bike. Hopefully I’ll have some time this weekend to reinstall, and hopefully resolve my clutch problems!

Ride safe,

Al (

Suzuki GSXR1100 master cylinder rebuild

Leaking Suzuki GSXR1100 master cylinder and rebuild

I’ve been having a few problems with my GSXR1100 clutch recently, where when the clutch lever is fully pulled-in it still feels like the gear wants to engage when the engine is revved. I tried bleeding the system a few times but didn’t see any difference, so looking at the master cylinder was the next logical step. The master cylinder dust seal showed signs of leaking, so I decided to undertake a complete overhaul.

The first task was to strip and clean everything in the ultrasonic clear before installing the repair kit. Hopefully this will resolve this resolve the problem, but also expecting to service the slave cylinder, which hasn’t been off the bike for a long time.


End Date: Wednesday Feb-6-2019 13:57:53 GMT
Buy It Now for only: £24.10
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Clutch Master Cylinder Repair Kit for 1995 Suzuki GSX-R 1100 WSK-S (L/C) (Race

End Date: Wednesday Feb-6-2019 5:53:24 GMT
Buy It Now for only: £26.21
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Another job on the list!

Ride safe,

Al (

Aprilia RSV rear suspension service

Servicing Aprilia RSVR rear suspension

I’d been putting off this job for a while, and finally managed to make a start on servicing the rear suspension last month. I purchased a complete linkage servicing kit from Aprilia Performance, which includes replacement bearings, linkage pins and dust seals for the “dog bone” linkage and centre link on the swingarm.

Whilst the rear linkage was removed I also removed the rear shock absorber, which I sent to MCT Suspension to be serviced and rebuilt. The rear shock has now been returned and ready for installation.

I’ve taken my time to ensure the linkage bearings have been correctly installed within the “dog bone” and centre link on the swingarm.

The “dog bone” bearings were fairly easy to install but the swingarm centre link bearings were more challenging. I made several attempts to install the centre link bearings, but each time I tried one or both of the bearings wouldn’t line-up correctly and the linkage pin would install correctly.

I eventually had to give the bearing recess a good clean with a polishing mop attached to my Dremel flexible drive. After giving bearing recess a thorough clean with the polishing mop the new bearings were a lot easier to seat correctly, and linkage pin moved freely when pushed through the new bearings. If you don’t have a Dremel in the garage, I’d suggest getting one with the flexible drive attachment which makes the fiddly jobs a lot easier.


End Date: Wednesday Feb-13-2019 22:16:32 GMT
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Hopefully I’ll get around to finishing the RSV rear suspension rebuild over the next few weeks, then I’ll need to look at the rear wheel bearings and sprocket carrier bearing. A never ending list of jobs!

Ride safe,


Motorcycle preparation for winter storage

You spent a lot of money and time on your motorcycle and you want to make sure that it stays in the best condition for as long as possible. To do this, preparing your motorcycle and storing it during winter is something that you need to take care to do in order to keep your motorcycle in the best condition possible. There are specific tools that are required for this task, but these are great investments into ensuring a longer lifespan for your beloved motorcycle and avoiding costly repair bills.

Figuring out Storage

motorbike-407186_1920Before you can even prepare your bike for the winter storage, you need to figure out where you are going to store it. It is preferred to store your motorcycle inside a heated location, whether it is inside of your own garage or at some commercial storage location. You may even have a friend with extra space in their garage that is willing to help you out. If not, the dealership where you purchased your motorcycle may offer this service for a fee. If this is not an option, you can store your motorcycle in an unheated garage or shed. If this is also not an option, you can leave it outdoors. Just remember that if you do this, make sure the motorcycle is covered up, and preferably raised of the ground.

The Preparation Stage

You may think that it is an easy process to store your motorcycle. This is not true. In fact, there is a long process that is actually involved with preparing your motorcycle for winter. Here are the steps that you need to take in order to make sure your bike is ready for winter:

Change the oil

oil-filter-995249_1920Once you have ridden around on your bike for the last time for the riding season, you need to change the oil. This will help ensure that your bike is ready next time you take it out for a ride. In order to change the oil on your bike, you will need to pay close attention to the instructions in your owner’s manual. This manual will have information on the type of oil that is needed, the size of the filter, and any additional information that is relevant. For this step, you need to make sure that you have the following items:

  • The right oil filter
  • Motor oil
  • Socket wrench
  • An Oil pan
  • A funnel

The owner’s manual is absolutely necessary here. If you do not know how to change the oil, it is a basic process that you can find online.

Wash the motorcycle

Washing your motorcycle before storing it is the best way to ensure that the dirt and grime on the bike will not ruin the finish during its storage in the winter. If you have ridden your bike during autumn and early winter, you may have ridden on roads treated with grit and salt, and therefore effective cleaning is very important. For this step, this is what you need:

  • Soap (use a recommended cleaner and not washing up liquid)
  • Sponge
  • Bucket
  • Hose or pressure washer on a low setting

Put the sponge in a bucket that is filled with the soap and water. Use this to clean off all of the dirt and debris from your motorcycle. Then use the hose to rinse it off. Allow the bike to dry off in the warm sun before storing it.

Clean and lubricate your chain

chain-775665_1920Although maintenance of the chain should be part of the regular maintenance process, cleaning and re-oiling the chain prevents any corrosion forming on the chain while the bike isn’t being used. Also doing this step as part of the winter preparation means that the oil will have less chance of coming off the chain when the bike is ridden again.


Also consider covering the chain with an old rag or cloth to prevent the chain oil coming in to contact with the inside of your bike cover.

Fuel tank and fuel system

EPA_E15_warning_labelDue to the ethanol and detergents in modern fuels, you should consider preparing your fuel tank and fuel system when placing your bike in to winter storage. For more information on fuel, please read the fuel article here.

Putting Your Bike in its Storage Location

If you are placing it in your own storage location, turn off the bike when you get it inside of your garage or shed and let the engine and mufflers cool down before moving onto the next step. If not, drive it to the warm and dry location that you are taking it to and proceed as above with cooling off your bike.

Covering the Exhausts

Exhausts are a place spiders and bugs like to nest, and also exhausts are more susceptible to rust when a bike isn’t being used due to trapped condensation. For this step, you will need:

  • Motorcycle exhaust plugs (recommended) OR
  • Plastic bags and rubber bands

Place the exhaust plugs in your exhaust. If you do not have this item, which is highly recommended, put a plastic bag over it and use a rubber band to hold it in place.

Connect Your Battery to a Charger

battery-995257_1920A trickle charger is something that is incredibly useful to you. It will offer a steady stream of current to the battery, which will allow it to stay charged even during its inactivity. While the charger is unplugged, place the red connector on the positive and the black connector on the negative. Then, you can plug in the charger. For this step, you will need:

  • A trickle charger
  • Electrical outlet
  • Your battery

Remember to check and top-up your battery with distilled water if you have an unsealed battery.

SEA FOAM Diesel Petrol Engine Injector Cleaner & Fuel Stabiliser. SeaFoam SF16

End Date: Tuesday Feb-12-2019 15:57:03 GMT
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Finally, Cover your Bike

After all of this, you can finally cover your bike. This is a necessity when storing your bike outside but it is definitely recommended even for indoor storage.