ZX-14 – Unchained

My last trip on the ZX-14 was two weeks ago, and something that stuck in my mind was that I needed to get a couple of days of maintenance done on my bike. Marv and I arranged to have the weekend of the 13th and 14th to get some things done. I was due for a new front tire. My chain had 22,000 miles and, although it wasn’t showing any signs of failure, I thought it would be better to do the replacement now than in the middle of the summer riding season. So, off come the old parts, and on go the new ones.

We put the bike on the lift for two days of TLC. After getting it raised on the lift and up on the wheel stands, we pulled the front wheel and replaced the tire. Marv performed his tire balancing act, while I broke down the tire changing tool. While the wheel was off, we decided to clean the pistons in the brake calipers. Well, we were going to, until we got a look at the pads. I was due for a new set of pads in each front caliper.

We had to make a quick drive down to Skagit Powersports for a new set of EBC brake pads. In the back of my mind, I remembered that the rear brake pads were getting down to replacement levels too,  so also bought a set of replacement rear pads.

30 year box

My 30-Year Box. This is where I go when I need a screw, fastener, or when I’m not sure what I need.

O.E.M. and Replacement

O.E.M. and Replacement

New rear sprocket

New rear sprocket

O.E.M. and Replacement (2)

O.E.M. and Replacement

We got back to the garage with the new brake pads, toothbrush-cleaned the caliper’s pistons, and polished the caliper pins.  The front wheel was reinstalled, and we turned our attention to the chain and rear caliper pads.

I broke loose the counter-sprocket, while Marv ground off the head of a chain link.

Counter-sprocket removed

Counter-sprocket removed

Grinding off the master link pin heads

Grinding off the master link pin heads


We gained access to the counter-sprocket

We pulled the rear wheel and performed the same maintenance on the rear we had on the front. We reinstalled new steel sprockets, chain, and brake pads. The bike was ready for the road, but I still had a few things I wanted to get done on it.

I ran the bike down to the bottom of the hill and back to warm the oil, and then pulled it back into the garage and onto the lift. We removed the oil plug and the filter. On with a new filter, and in went five quarts of oil. We were done for the day.

Checking in

Checking in at home.

Sunday morning we removed the radar detectors from the cowlings on both bikes. I found the sensitivity was severely limited with the concealed installations. In spite of the negative aspects of having the detector mounted on my handlebars, I chose to go back to my old method. Marv and I spent a few hours getting the radar detector wiring on each bike relocated. We finished it off by updating the detector’s software. Around 2 pm we pronounced my ZX-14 ready for the 2013 season, and a kick-off ride next weekend to Maupin.

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