Category Archives: News

News – 21/08/2019

A few comments received lately suggest that there might still be some interest in these pages, so here is an update. I’m sorry that I missed some of these comments at the time – the alerts had gone into my junk email folder. I’ll keep a look out for future comments.

ST1100 Final 01

I rode the ST1100 for a few hundred miles after completing the rebuild, but I realised that what I wanted from a bike had changed, and the modified PC800 suited me better. Rather than trash my work and start another rebuild, I sold the ST1100 to a fellow Pan European enthusiast in September 2016. It appeared on the cover of PANtasia, the magazine of the Pan Clan, in May 2017 – honour indeed!

PC800 X10 After

I’m still using the PC800 (which I think of as the GL800). The intended smartening-up has not happened yet, but maybe this winter? I did replace the windscreen and modify it to cut down turbulence and increase ventilation. It’s been very reliable, though reluctant to start after a few weeks of not being used, and does cover its engine in a fine oil mist from the cam covers (a common problem). I had the seat rebuilt with a gel insert which made a big difference to comfort.

DL650 pic 1

I acquired this bike last spring – a stripped-down 2006 Suzuki V-Strom DL650. This is the state of it when I bought it. It had been written off, then put back on the road, but the modifications were quite badly done, so I had to spend a lot of time putting them right. I haven’t changed the appearance much except for cleaning and a bit of paint. It is great fun to ride.

If anyone would like any more information on these bikes, I’ll try to oblige.

News – 25/05/2016

ST1100 P4 N4 May 2016

My naked ST1100 passed its MoT test at the second attempt on 12 May 2016. Here it is outside the test station with an unmolested Pan behind it. Mine had failed on notchy steering bearings, which I got the bike shop to replace with taper roller ones. They also did an engineer’s report to persuade the insurance company that it had been repaired to a road-worthy standard after having been an insurance write-off (in 2007!). Thanks to Full Trottle Motorcycles of Warwick for being very helpful.

The bodywork paint is Halford’s Volkwagen Pacific Blue Pearlescent from rattle cans, with a slightly too-thin coat of petrol resistent lacquer on top. I had intended to change the handlebars for wider ones, but the old ones seem OK, and keeping them saves replacing the brake lines with longer ones. It’s more fun to ride than I remembered, but I miss the ability to bung a change of clothes in the panniers, now that it’s got no luggage capacity. I took it to the Rugby Bike Fest last Sunday, and had to carry my riding gear around in a rucsac. The bike got a few curious looks, but it’s not in show condition, with the paint on the frame and exhaust looking rather tired.

The tyre deflation problem on the PC800 was solved with Slime in the back tyre (thanks to my friend Robin’s suggestion – may your Harley’s troubles be over). The temperature gauge was fixed by running a wire from the thermostat housing to the frame to restore the temperature sensor circuit. I’ve cut two vent holes in the old windscreen (and cracked it again in the process) which has helped with the problem of the exhaust being sucked forward by the low pressure area behind the fairing. It passed its MoT test first time again! It looks quite scruffy beside the nice new paint on the ST1100, but riding is more of a priority than appearances this summer.

News – 26/03/2016

I’ve cut down and re-shaped the old the ST1100 side panels (which were cut-down and re-shaped original panels), and tidied up the front panel and tail-piece. On the occasional milder day I was able to take all the panels into the garden to spray them with primer. For a bit of encouragement I put them all on the bike and took a few photos.

ST1100 P4 N2 Mar 2016

ST1100 P4 N1 Mar 2016

There is still work to do – such as mounting the number plate, final bits of wiring, finishing painting the panels and re-painting the exhaust pipes – but the objective of having it MoT-ready is in sight. It won’t be finished then, but it might be on the road.

The PC800 passed its MoT after I’d cleaned the brake pistons and fitted the new windscreen (in case the crack in the old one might be a fail point). Still got to sort out the air leak from the back tyre, fix the temp gauge and find a solution to exhaust fumes being dragged into the bubble of still air behind the fairing, but at least it will be rideable when we get a decent spring day.

News – 02/02/2016

Recent updates: 31/01/16 ST1100 Lights, Clocks & Fairing

Garage Jan 2016

Two bikes, nothing to ride. The PC800 is laid up with seized front brakes and a leaking back tyre. The brakes are a mystery – I replaced the pistons and seals in the calipers last year and it’s not been out in the wet since then. They only seized up a few weeks ago. I don’t fancy rebuilding them again, so I’m avoiding it by getting on with the ST1100. Progress is being made on the front fairing panel, clock & warning light housing and back-end bits and bobs. I think I’ve got the dummy tank surface to an almost paintable state, ready for when the weather allows outdoor paint spraying.