Friday, 6 April 2018

An Island to an Island Over 4 Days...

Another little Coast to Coast adventure has taken shape over the last year or so in my head... This time starting from Walney Island in South Cumbria, crossing the Pennines into Northumberland with a plan to loop out onto Holy Island before a return trip via the edge of Scotland. Some wild lands, some beautiful back roads, lots of river crossings and a tidal causeway just to add a bit of difference. A total of 550 miles door to door.

Enlisted into the trip is a good mate Gareth, on his lovely shiny and new KTM 300 TPI, and Lucy will join us for a couple of days if the weather is good. We have panniers packed, bikes serviced and a great sense of expectation and excitement about seeing and riding a lot of new lanes for us both!

The first thing thing to sort is the mammoth drive for Gareth as he is coming to Cumbria from near Portsmouth, so a mere 7+ hour drive on a Thursday night straight after work! And on Monday he has to reverse it all... Now that's commitment to ride!

We set off early Good Friday morning, plenty of roadwork mixed with few green lanes to get us started for the day. It was fresh, to say the least but dry and the day promised to be a beauty.

We got down to Ulverston in time for lunch so we stopped off a great little cafe to on the tip of Roa Island, which lies at the end of a long causeway. It's a nice area in some ways, remote and full of a different breed of people to the mountains in the Lakes. We had a little chat with a lady who took our photo for us, then a good gossip about bikes with a lad in the Bosuns Locker cafe. After some nice hot food, off we set northwards, with some fresh lanes in our sights!

Fuel turned out to be a priority for Gareth, so a quick detour brought us to a garage then we retraced some of our steps from the morning passing over some longer lanes in the southern Lakes. A chance encounter with a man and his wild boar had us laughing for a fair bit, it's not often you see an Aussie walking up the road with his pet wild boar!

Grisedale saw us stop at the Fox for a photo and then it was over to the Coach Road near Keswick to meet up with Lucy.

After a couple of lanes, the bag holding Gareth's tent and sleeping bag fell off and we had ridden a couple of lanes and some minor roads before this was noticed. Gareth needed fuel, so he set off to a nearby petrol station and Lucy & I backtracked, eventually finding the bag still on the Coach Road!

Lucy left us at Penrith to return home, so we rode on, eventually camping in a field overlooking the River Eden. We sat up drinking wine, eating pies and listening to the owls hunting before turning in for a good nights sleep.

7am the next morning dawned a little damp. I managed to spill my pan of water, leaving just enough for a coffee but no breakfast. So we packed up and set off, climbing up onto the Pennines where plenty of fun was to be found! Snow, we rode into a white out, then fresh soft snow on the surfaced roads which meant when we pulled into Alston for fuel, we also needed fuel for our bodies!

Sausage and bacon butties in the doorway under the heater with some hot chocolate, now that's a good way to start a day!

Our next couple of lanes saw us roll into more snow, then first lot turned us around so we back tracked to the surfaced roads and rode gingerly on. At the gateway to the next long lane, we met a gamekeeper who asked us to stick to the track as they were having some issues with lads riding illegally over their moorland.

We stuck to the track as much as we could, but on two occasions we ventured onto the edges which were above the deep soft snow as they were spoil heaps from gully clearance work done earlier in the year, recalling a bit of road law which states you can bypass an obstruction up to 15 yards so long as there is no damage or safety issue for others.

We met a second gamekeeper as we were nearing the end of the largest snow patch and had a good chat about things in general, really nice hard working folk, out in shite conditions because of some folk who think it's open season to ride on all open land...

We carried on our journey, with the snow getting thicker, then temperatures getting colder and us getting more and more soaked!

Gareth started to have problems with his tyre spinning on his rim, the rim lock was getting battered and had come loose, this had damaged his tyre and was in danger of wrecking his rim, so at another petrol station, we decided to beat a retreat back to mine. the forecast was for heavier snow and rain and we still had a whole load of unknown rivers to cross, we were now soaked and Gareth's bike needed some TLC.

Pub, log fire, beer and food was the ending to the day after a two hour tarmac road ride back to Cumbria!

Hey ho, try again in the summer when it's warmer and preferably after a dry spell so the rivers will be low...

Happy trails

Friday, 16 March 2018

The Isle of Man: A first visit to the trails...

Cumbria TRF arranged a visit to the Isle of Man for the group last weekend, two of the lads, both called Ian have been many times in the past and know the lanes well, so we were all in good hands...

I drove down to Lancaster, caught up with a mate for some beers and Thai meal, then mooched around the Heysham area as I don't really know the place at all. I haven't been to the Isle of Man for nearly 30 years, the last time was with horses that needed some R&R. We used to go every year before I was into bikes and the TT was always on at the same time, we used to curse that the roads were closed!

I travelled light onto the ferry with just an old road bike bag with a change of clothes in it. It was a little disconcerting to see how the bikes were tied down with a bit of oily rope, but they were in one piece when we got to the island, so all good!

Once there we checked into the place we were staying at in Douglas and went for some beers!

The place we stayed at was a little quirky, lovely people, nice and chilled out and great breakfast, but don't touch any of the fittings in the bathrooms!

Saturday dawned wet and full of drizzle, a proper dreich day and forecast to stay that way all day... hey ho, everyone got geared up and bikes ready, then we set off to do a loop around the south of the island. Around 85 miles saw us up in the mountains and down at the sea, some great little lanes and some beautiful long lanes.

Lunch was in Peel at a lovely big visitors cafe, where we dripped all over the floor as we ate hot paninis and drank tea to warm up. We especially liked the longer rocky climbs and the fact that in every farm there were old vehicles stacked up in hedges and any nook and cranny. It's apparently really expensive to scrap vehicles over there, so the owners just pile them into the hedges and let the bushes grow over them!

We had our first ride around some sections of the TT course, which is always good fun

The night was spent out in Douglas, a visit to the casino, some restaurants and the odd bar or two, with some of the lads rolling in at 3am like teenagers all over again!

Sunday was a much better weather day, with some lovely views and even blue skies. This improved the riding conditions a lot, which was a good thing as the northern route for the day went up high and into the mountains on the island. Some really great trails, all well sign posted and even maintained. There is a clear management programme set up here, something several counties in England could do with installing!

Lane after lane passed under our wheels, we bumped into a couple of other groups out for the day, had the usual chat and banter and then was off again.

For me, I really enjoyed the place, it was great fun, the riding was superb coupled with the fact that the local people were really genuinely friendly and welcoming. I really enjoyed the Viking history and all the place names that made you feel like you were much further afield. It's a place I'll happily go back to and hopefully next time Lucy will be able to visit too

happy trails...

Thursday, 22 February 2018

The Adventure Spec 'Linesman Jacket', a riders review...

I was lucky enough to meet up with some of the guys from Adventure Spec at a bike meet in Cumbria. It was a weekend run by Danny from Haggs Bank Bunkhouse near Alston and Adventure Spec were running a trail riding weekend. Danny had asked me to lead a group for him and whilst there, Lucy & I got talking to Dave Lomax, one of the partners.

Over a few beers and dinner, we somehow ended up with Dave sending us a couple of bits of kit for us to use on our summer trip through Europe as pioneer riders on the Trans Euro Trail. Dave just asked us for some honest feedback about it. This post is about one piece of that kit, the jacket I used which is the Linesman Jacket.

The jacket is a bit of a revolutionary design concept which Adventure Spec are leading the way on in the motorbike adventure touring scene with a new range of clothing. The guys at AS were the part of the original design team behind the KLIM motorbike clothing range and so have tried and tested their theories and they also have a background in the world of outdoor adventure, things like climbing, running, mountain biking etc.

The kit in the mountain world is all cutting edge fabrics, lightweight design, very technically designed to aid movement rather than limit it and it is always based upon a system of putting or taking off lightweight layers as you need. This is a very big change to the motorcycling world, where thick heavy fabrics are the order of the day, lots of pockets, heavy duty protection and waterproof, for the UK anyway.

The Linesman Jacket is all of the things the mountaineering jackets embody, but for a motorbike. specifically for an adventure motorbike.

So some feedback from me, just as a rider who has now been using this jacket for the last ten months.

At first impressions, I was sceptical of the fabric and the weight of the jacket. It felt heavy when I first took it out of the box and as it was brand new it was a little stiff too.

I looked it over and noticed straight away how well made it was, it felt a quality garment. When I looked at the armour, I found the reason  for the weight. it's a soft foam, but it's an absorption foam, so pretty dense as it's made to take heavy impacts and reduce them before their force reaches your body, there are removable shoulder and elbow pads and a hefty back protector.
Pockets too, plenty of pockets, including two on the back taken from the mountain bike world, but these mean zips and extra bits of fabric, this is a part of the weight and finally there is the fabric for the shoulders and elbows. This is a ballistic type of synthetic fabric which is used in stab proof jackets for the military. AS had to develop a whole new cutting system to get the right bits for the jacket because they couldn't cut it to shape in the normal ways!

When I put the jacket on, it felt good and fitted pretty well for my shape and size and just felt right from the off, the weight seemed to disappear which I still haven't got my head around, but hey ho...

For the TET, the ten or so countries we travelled through were pretty hot, often more than 30' c on a daily basis in the afternoons, I found that if I removed the armour and wore the Linesman as a jacket it was pretty good, but then I had no upper body protection, so in the end opted to just wear it all the time. It has removable arms, which I also tried, but again I didn't really like having my arms exposed and I had no other armour with me, so just went back to wearing the full jacket.

At these temperatures, it was too hot to wear to be honest and a lot of the time as soon as I stopped or got into any longer technical ground. I'd soon be sweating like a pig and getting tired because of it, so I took to taking it off whenever we stopped and completely opening the ventilation zips whilst riding, this made a huge difference, even the pockets have mesh inside to help with this!

I tested the abrasion resistance several times and to this day the jacket only has one mark on it and it has now been tested a lot... Even sliding down a tarmac road twice!

Since I've been back in the UK, the Linesman has become my go to jacket for green laning in Cumbria and multi day trips all over. At first I was a little hesitant when it came to the heavy rain as it's not meant to be a waterproof jacket. It required me to change my mindset a bit and go back to my mountaineering dressing process. After the first ride out in a downpour though I relaxed and just carried on riding, putting a lightweight waterproof jacket over the top when it got really windy and wet.

The jacket wets out on the sleeves and if you don't put on a waterproof can become a little cold in the winter winds and rain, but add that extra waterproof layer and you can just keep on riding.

In the snow this winter we've had, it's been perfect, allowing my sweat the pass through the fabric and get blown away on the winds. This will also have something to do with me pulling out my old climbing base layers and wearing them in multiple layers underneath plus a synthetic gilet which I have found to be the perfect setup for my days out. The mix of all these layers just allows your body to breathe, which helps with your energy efficiency and also keeps you warmer during exercise.

I tend to carry my phone in one of the chest pockets, my wallet in the other and nothing in the hand warmer pockets. I wear a really lightweight necktube, two or three base layers, the gilet and that's it. Then in my great little Kriega r15 rucsac, I carry a lightweight waterproof jacket for if the weather gets really bad.

Going forward I now know that my jacket issues are resolved, the Linesman will be my jacket of choice for our next part of the TET in Scandinavia this summer so next up for me will be to replace my trousers, buy some decent boots and look for a new helmet...

Lucy used the Baltic Insulated Jacket on our trip and has been living in it since we got back, so I'll see if she has time to write up something about that, as again it's another well thought out piece of kit that does it's job well.

Cheers for now...

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Beta 290 2010 - Linkage & Rear Shock Bearings Replacement

Well, it's been months since I took my little trials bike out for a play, so when I did I wasn't too surprised to see the rear end looking a bit saggy and forlorn. When I tugged at the rear lifting strap there was a telltale easy lift before the weight of the bike was felt and a definite sloppy feel to the whole back end. I rode it for an hour on my little play area but it all felt so slack so I wheeled it back into the garage and left it sit until I have just found the time to sort it... This full time working lark really interferes with riding time!! ;-)

So after finding out the entire rear end bearings set is around £200 ish, give or take, I thought I'd find out what actually needs replacing before I splashed the cash!

Being lazy at the moment, I didn't bother to clean the bike so everything is a bit grubby, but that just means I can clean it all as I go and re-grease everything as it gets refitted.

It took awhile to strip things out as all the nuts & bolts are different sizes ranging from a 10mm to a 14mm.

The steps I've done are;
1. Pop the bike on a stand & remove the rear wheel
2. Remove the tail guard
3. Remove the rear shock mudguard
4. Remove the right footpeg
5. Undo all the nuts & bolts on the rear linkage
6. Undo and remove the rear shock
7. Remove the rear linkage.

At this point I checked the swing arm bearings for any play, they were fine so I will leave them for this time. But the rear linkage is shot and the top bearing on the shock is also knackered, so I've taken them out, with a little help from a very heavy mallet and a vice!

Everything has clearly been in there a long time and gone both dry and rusty, so no wonder it's feeling a bit saggy.

Ordering the parts...

The Splat Shop sell the parts as a kit for £151.00, this is a full replacement kit. You can buy the individual spherical bearings, (12x22x12) for the Beta rear shock from here too for around £20

BVM Moto sell a kit which is missing the short ends to the bushes, I'd guess this is because these don't get as much wear and so can be re-used, their kit is £109.00

I found plenty of other sites, but you have to trawl through loads of pages of parts to find what you are after, this is very slow and time consuming and you need to know the sizes of things, so I'm going to go with the BVM kit as I hadn't really planned for this expenditure this month!

Once this lot comes I'll reassemble it all and hopefully have the bike running sweet for the charity trial that is being held on October 29th around the Melmerby area.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

KTM 350 EXC-f - 2012 Servicing Stuff

With just being back from 3 months of riding time, with very minimal servicing, it was time to give the bike an overhaul. Both of the 350's have performed faultlessly over that time, with the only issues being clogged fuel filters and a couple of wheel bearings wearing out.

The 2012 is going to need a top end rebuild shortly I feel, but I want to ride until the end of the summer, so have decided to adjust the valves and service everything.

The jobs in this post will be:
1. Oil/Filter change
2. Air filter change
3. Brakes - Pads change
4. Front brake master cylinder service
5. Bleeding the brakes - Front & Rear+

Oil & Filter Change.
On this bike, there is one paper oil filter & 2 filter screens to be changed/cleaned. The specified oil is 10w/50 fully synthetic, at 1.2 litre for a full change. (You can use 10w/60 and I have done in the past, but have swapped back to this these days). I've read a lot about oils over the years and the simplest thing I've found is to buy the best you can afford but change the oil regularly. In the UK 1 litre of oil is around £15.00, the paper oil filter is about £3.50, (but you don't need to change the paper filter every time if you're a light user of your bike).

The process is simpler on this bike than the older 400, mainly because there is no only one paper filter. I've listed the steps I do below;

Tools for this are a 13mm ring spanner/socket, 8mm ring spanner/socket,circlip pliers, oil drain tub, medium sized funnel, some old cloths and a small torch.

1. Start the bike and warm it up for a couple of minutes to circulate the oil and make the viscosity and little thinner. It also moves any crap around into the oil that has settled to the bottom of the engine whilst it's been standing.
2. Remove the belly pan
3. Open the oil filler cap on the right side of the engine
4. Position the cloths and oil drain tub underneath the bike, take the 13mm spanner and locate the nut on the chain side of the bike at the bottom of the engine, facing the rear wheel. This has a magnetic tip on the inner pointy bit.
5. Crank this open and remove. Once it's out and in your hands, before you clean it, check it for metal deposits and the colour of the oil. There should be a copper washer on it to, you'll need this later on. Clean it once you'ce checked it over.
6. Leave the bike to drain for at least half an hour
7. Undo the oil screens, remove them, clean them, check their O rings, replace as necessary, then return them back into their slot. Check your manual for the torque settings for these.
8. Undo the two nuts holding the cap in place for the paper oil filter. they are 8mm. Take these out and ease the cap off, there is an O ring in the cap, so be careful not to damage it. I remove the paper filter with a set of circlip pliers. Once it's out, I clean the hole inside of old oild and check the whole thing for damage. Leave it to drain.
9. I clean all around the engine whilst I'm waiting for the oil to drain, especially the bottom part around the oil drain hole.
10. Check the copper washer isn't damaged on the oil drain nut, then return it to it's home and tighten it carefully. Do not overtighten this, if you thread this  you will have a much bigger job on your hands! Check your manaual for the torque settings again.
11. Replace the paper filter, put a smear of fresh oil onto the rubber seal of the paper filter before you pop it into the casing, press it home carefully. Replace the filter metal cap and again be very careful not to over tighten the 8mm bolts.
12. Fill up a container with 1.2 litres of fresh oil, I rest the funnel between the engine casing and the kick start, then pour the oil into the engine slowly.
13. Once it's all in, I pop the oil filler cap back on and let the oil settle for 5 minutes. I then start the engine and let it warm up. It takes time for the paper filter to soak in the fresh oil. Once the engine has warmed, I turn it off and let the oil settle again, then stand the bike upright and check the oil level in the sighting glass below the rear brake pedal. If it's about half way then it's done, if it's low then I add a tiny bit more through the filler cap, but being very careful not to over fill as then you'll need to drain any excess.

That's it, oil change done!

Air Filter Change
Changing the air filter regularly makes a huge difference to the power of the engine, the life of the engine and your fuel economy. It's an often overlooked area, but it really does save you money in the long term.

You can buy pre-oiled sponge filters or oil your own, the prices vary between £12 to £30 dependant upon several factors as always. Pre oiled ones are more expensive. The filter oil is about £8 a can and does loads of filters. For me, I buy the unoiled ones and oil them myself, you need to be a bit proactive with this as they need time to drain. If you have too much oil on them, it gets into the fuel system and clogs it up.

There are loads of videos about the process on YouTube.

Most of the time I don't bother to clean them, I just oil a new one and use that. But if I'm running low on cash or if I'm out on a bigger trip then I'll do the cleaning job.

The process is easy and you don't need any tools really.

1. Remove the air box cover
2. Unhook the double wire and open it up
3. Pull out the air filter, do this gently as it rests on the inside edge of the air box on some plastic lugs.
4. Take the foam air filter off the plastic case by pulling off the corners and taking the central male/female part out.
5. Clean or discard as you see fit.
6. Check and clean the mesh on the plastic guard
7. Remount the clean & oiled filter
8. Replace it back into the air box making sure it sits flat on the lip of the air box intake.
9. Re-hook the wire, there is a middle male/female bit in the central part that needs to be popped into the central hole in the air filter.
10. Re-fit the airbox cover

Air filter change done!

Brake Pads Changed
The pads on both the rear and the front are pretty simple to change. I generally take the calipers off to inspect the whole set up as well, but if you're just changing the pads, then there is generally no need to remove the rear caliper as the pads will slot right in with it in-situe. For the front though, you need to take it off.

Brake pads come in two types, sintered and organic. The sintered pads are really good for road use where you're braking hard to peal off speed, the need heat to build up to make them work well. For trail riding the organic pads work better as they are a little softer and require less heat to make them work better. They also have the added bonus of not wearing out the softer discs on a modern dirt bike so quick, which ultimately saves you some cash!

Front Caliper
Tools needed are a 10mm socket, a long handled flat headed screwdriver, a pair of cutters, a pair of bottle nosed pliers, an old toothbrush and some copper slip grease.

Again, the process is pretty simple.

1. Cut the cable tie holding the speed sensor cable in place
2. Undo the 2 x 10mm bolts holding the caliper to the fork stanchion
3. Ease the caliper off the brake disc. (You may have to use the long handled screwdriver to prise the pads apart a little).
4. There should be two split pins holding the pads in place, ease these off with the bottle nosed pliers and the pads should then just drop out into your hand.
5. Make sure the pistons and inside face of the caliper are clean and not damaged. Use an air tool to blow any crap out if you have one and if not, use a toothbrush to clean around the piston edges etc.
6. Make sure the pistons are retacted all the way, then smear two thin circular patches of copper slip onto the back side of the pads about where the piston will touch. (This reduces the squeal you can get from your brakes). In some cases there may be a seperate piece of steel plate between the pads and the pistons, if so clean this and put it onto the new pads, then put a smear of copper slip onto the piston side of the plate.
Be very careful not to get grease on the braking pad and clean your hands before trying to remount the pads.
7. Slide the pads into the guiding slots in the caliper, the pads will only fit well when the end without the pin holes in it are seated correctly.
8. Slide the cleaned pin back into place to hold the pads into the caliper, pop the retaining spring clips back into place, then spread the pads apart as far as they'll go with the screwdriver, do this gently so as not to damage the pad material.
9. Remount the caliper onto the disc, bolt it back up, check the torque settings.
10. Now replace the cable tie around the plastic body of the speed sensor cable, trim the extra off.
11. Pump the brake lever on the handlebar several times to make sure the pads are seated against the disc.

Rear Caliper
1. Spread the pads apart with the screwdriver
2. Pull the two split pins out of the retaining pin with the pliers
3. Slide the pads out of the caliper & discard
4. Make sure the pistons are retacted all the way, then smear two thin circular patches of copper slip onto the back side of the pads about where the piston will touch. (This reduces the squeal you can get from your brakes). In some cases there may be a seperate piece of steel plate between the pads and the pistons, if so clean this and put it onto the new pads, then put a smear of copper slip onto the piston side of the plate.
Be very careful not to get grease on the braking pad and clean your hands before trying to remount the pads.

5. Slide the pads into the guiding slots in the caliper either sde of the disc, the pads will only fit well when the end without the pin holes in it are seated correctly. There is a spring sheet that helps to get this in place on the top of the caliper.
6. Slide the cleaned pin back into place to hold the pads into the caliper, pop the retaining spring clips back into place.

8. Pump the foot brake lever several times to make sure the pads are seated well against the disc.

Servicing the Front Brake Master Cylinder  
Periodically the rubber seals on the master cylinder pump degrades and then allows air to pass into the master cylinder and the rest of the brake system. KTM have a kit for this, so you just buy the kit and replace the parts, then bleed the brakes and it's sorted.

Tools needed are 10mm socket +ring spanner, circlip pliers, Dot 4 brake fluid, cloths.

To change it out, you'll need to do the following;

1. Remove the two screws in the top of the master cylinder cap, do this gently as they are very soft.
2. Use a rag and soak up the brake fluid in the reservoir
3. Take the brake lever off and it's rubber cover.
4. Take the handlebar bracket off and lift the MC off the handlebar, you probably have to loosen off your throttle a little to get at the bolts.
5. Pull the rubber boot off the inside face of the MC carefully and catch the spring underneath
6. Study the seating of the circlip to make sure you know it's correct location, then remove the circlip from the inside face
7. Pull out the plunger and spring from the inside of the MC body.
8. Clean every part of the MC casing.
9. Open up the replacement parts, lay them next to the old parts and check they are the same.
10. Wipe some clean Dot 4 brake fluid around the seals on the plunger O rings and the shaft to lubricate the whole thing. (If there is some lube with your kit use this instead).
11. Insert the spring and the shaft into the MC, then ease the circlip into place. Check this is seated correctly.
12. Replace the outer spring and the rubber boot.
13. Remount onto the handlebars, do not overtighten the bolts because if you thread them you have another job to sort out.
13. Remount the brake lever and the rubber boot
14. Bleed the brake system through - (See below)

Bleeding the Front Brake
This is an annual job for me or anytime I feel the brakes aren't working well. It's a job that a lot of people have problems with, mostly because of a lack of being slightly anal about the process and also because they leave the caliper drain plug open a bit when they release/pump the brake lever. Take your time, check every stage, clean everything, use clean/fresh brake fluid and if necessary get someone to help you with the brake lever, but be very clear with the instructions of when and how to do things.

Tools needed are an 8mm ring spanner, Dot 4 brake fluid, cloths, a length of clear plastic hose & a jam jar.

1. Make sure the bike is upright and the brake master cylinder is level.
2. Remove the dust cap from the bleed nipple and put the 8mm ring spanner on it carefully. This is another soft metal part, so don't damage the hex shape by being heavy handed and make sure the spanner fits well.
3. Place the plastic hose onto the nipple trapping the spanner in place, the hose should be a tight fit, the loose end of the hose goes into a plastic jar on the floor. It doesn't really need any fluid in the jar, it's used more to catch the waste.
4. Remove the two screws in the top of the master cylinder cap at the handlebar, do this gently as they are very soft. There is a rubber seal on the inside, be careful with this.
5.  This next bit is where you need to be careful as well, you need to be able to reach the brake lever and the 8mm spanner on the bleed nipple easily. Once you can, press the brake lever into the handlebar, then open the bleed nipple. fluid will come out, close the bleed nipple, then release the brake lever. Make sure you do this in a sequence and try not to go to fast. Continue this until the MC reservoir is about half full.
6. Top up the MC reservoir with fresh fluid.
7. Keep repeating 5 + 6 until the fluid coming out the hose is clean and clear, with no air bubbles in it at all.
8. Once your happy the brake lever has a nice feel to it and the lever is not going back to the bars, then take the hose and spanner off the bleed nipple and clean the whole area with a rag before replacing the dust cap.
9. Replace the MC cap with the fluid near the top of the viewing glass and tighten the cap screws up gently making sure the rubber seal is in place.
10. Roll the bike around and pull the brake lever several times, the forks should dive and the bike should feel smooth on the brakes. If not repeat the whole process again.

NB: If you've replaced the MC piston and internals, you may need to leave the lever compressed against the handle bars with a cable tie overnight. This allows the rubber seals to swell as they soak up some brake fluid. They then work much better and the brake system will bleed through much easier the next day.

Bleeding the Rear Brake
Again another annual job for me, actually easier to do than the front as you're right next to everything. the Master Cylinder sits behind the right footpeg and the bleed nipple faces the rear shock.

Tools needed are the KTM ring spanner for the cap on the MC, (it's an odd size and this is made forthe job), 8mm ring spanner, Dot 4 brake fluid, cloths, a length of clear plastic hose & a jam jar.

1. Make sure the bike is level and all the work areas are clean.
2. Take the cap off the rear MC, lift it out being careful not to damage the large rubber boot on the inside. Clean it and check the O ring on it.
3. Remove the dust cap from the bleed nipple and put the 8mm ring spanner on it carefully. This is another soft metal part, so don't damage the hex shape by being heavy handed and make sure the spanner fits well.
4. Place the plastic hose onto the nipple trapping the spanner in place, the hose should be a tight fit, the loose end of the hose goes into a plastic jar on the floor or a box. It doesn't really need any fluid in the jar, it's used more to catch the waste.
5. Press the foot pedal down until it stops
6. Open the bleed nipple and let the fluid come out
7. Close the bleed nipple
8. Release the pedal, wait for the sytem to move fluid around, then repat the proces of 5/6/7. You can hear the fluid move. If you do this too fast the pedal will not do anything, so take your time and get a feel for the process.
9. Repeat this until the fluid runs clear and you can see no air bubbles coming out of the clear hose.
10. Make sure the MC is full, leaving a tiny bubble of air in the viewing glass, then reseal the MC with the screw on lid and use the KTM spanner to gently tighten it up. The rubber boot will take up a lot of space in the tiny MC.
11. Pump the brake pedal a few times to makle sure it feels good and then start the bike and take it for a ride to test the brake, it should work well and smoothly. If not repeat the whole process until you're happy with the feel of the brake.

OK that's the lot for now, next up with be valve clearances...