On the way home on Monday afternoon, my oil light came on as I was coming to a stop at a set of traffic lights. About a mile down the road, it went out again, only to light up as I pulled up onto the driveway. The next day, the light went out as per normal, but then came back a few miles from work. Now concerned that I was low on oil, I left the bike to cool and when I checked at lunchtime, noticed the telltale signs of an oil leak dripping from the back of the belly pan.
The leak was by no means bad, but something clearly wasn't right and it appeared to be coming from the oil pressure sensor in front of the clutch on the right side of the engine. Hmmmm.
I took the direct route home that evening, keeping the revs down. The smart play would have been to call the AA, but I really couldn't be bothered. The oil light stayed off for most of the journey, coming on again at the same lights and on the driveway.
Now, backtracking a little bit, on Wednesday of last week I think it was, I tried to start the FireBlade, but with no joy. With a fully functioning, at the time, 1098s, I didn't see the need to rush and panic about it, but now with both bikes injured, I called up my local mobile mechanic, Kevin Butterfield of Motor Vehicle Solutions (www.m-v-s-solutions.co.uk).
Since moving to the area, Kevin has built himself up a great reputation for being honest, quick, cost effective and a great problem solver. Texting him in the morning, Kevin was good to pop round on his way home that afternoon. How's that for quick?
Kevin and I have known each other for a few years and not only do we hang out at the same cafe and go the same local bike meets, he's helped me out in the past when the rear wheel bearings needed replacing on the 954.
Kevin quickly deduced the problem and told it to me in two ways, the 'dealer way' and the 'this is whats wrong and how I plan on fixing it' way.
Playing with the relevant fuse and holding the throttle open to open the butterflies and get air in, it took Kev, just under 5 minutes to get the bike running again. Awesome and Kevin's coffee was still piping hot.
In my eyes, it was a nice simple and cost effective fix to the problem. Yes the solution was a simple one, but its a case of knowing where to look and act, rather than actually doing. I still hold a fear for exploring and problem solving, mainly as I'm worried that I'll make it worse. This is where Kevin is so great. He has no problem with me asking and subsequently explaining the problem and the solution. Its like a school day.
So, with a working Fireblade, I was able to use that for commuting, something I hadn't done for over two weeks, such had been the fun I was having on the Ducati. Having worked out where I thought (or at least hoped) the oil leak was coming from, and googling the problem, I ordered a new oil pressure sensor from Moto Rapido in readiness for the repair.
So after the sensor arrived yesterday, today's job was simply to replace the part. In what was one of the easiest jobs I've ever done, including a fairing panel going back on without cross threading any nuts, I whipped off the old sensor, cleaned up the oil spillage, popped the new one on and put it all back together in record time. The real test will be on a longer ride, but I'm feeling quite confident after running it up to temperature on the driveway.