Bent Brake Pads!

2015-06-21 08.33.10
It’s just the brakes

Both front callipers have bent the outside brake pad. It’s clearly down to me not replacing everything correctly but I’ve srtipped and rebuilt these brakes a hundred times. I put it down to the change of rubbers (and pins) I did before last summer. The better fit of the new rubbers stops the carrier from retracting properly. Not a problem once the whole thing’s together and on the bike, but an obstacle to getting the thing on properly in the first place.

2015-06-21 08.32.44

It Lives!

Tiger is back in one piece and we’ve ridden round the block a few times.


2015-04-25 11.40.11

Brakes! At last!

2015-04-25 09.50.13

I may have indulged in a titanium double banjo bolt

The good:

  • Front brake now stops the bike.
  • There’s plenty of feel but it’s a good job there’s a span adjuster because the lever doesn’t move much any more (hoo bloody ray!).
  • Mirror fits.
  • Brake light switch fits and probably works (forgot to check).

The bad:

  • It was a bugger to bleed, even with a vacuum puller.

The ugly:

  • The right hand guard no longer fits but I’ve left the left one on.  It’s all a bit lopsided.
    • I have some Acerbis ones left over from my brief dalliance with a Triumph Explorer.  They don’t fit the Tiger but I may be able to persuade them on.


2015-04-25 09.51.26

A small selection of my thermostat housings

I changed the thermostat/temperature sensor/housing for a second hand one.  They are plentiful on eBay because you have to be an idiot to break one.  I broke mine by levering the pressure release cap off with a screwdriver.  You don’t need to do this; just push down and turn a second time, like a normal person.

eBay was actually full of units off Triumph Sprints, not Tigers.  Presumably the Sprint was more popular here in Germany than the Tiger.  Anyway, they looked the same in the picture are, indeed, identical except the Sprint unit has a brass blanking piece instead of a temperature sender.  It’s easy to swap.

I now have four housings:

  • The one I broke.
  • A broke one I bought off eBay because my German is rubbish.
  • A perfect one off a Sprint that is now on the bike.
  • Another one off a Sprint that is still somewhere in what DHL laughingly call a postal system.
You carry a 17mm spanner with you because it fits your mirrors.  Stop discarding it.

I was hoping to increase the release pressure so that the header tank could work properly (it empties itself the first time the engine gets hot).  In the end, though, I’ve put it back together with the standard 1.1 bar release.  So that was a total waste of time and money.

The Master Cylinder is Here!

2015-04-13 15.39.39
Game of Thrones Season 5 started airing before it arrived.

2015-04-13 16.40.16
On, looking good but contributing nothing to braking, yet.

It’s here at last! NINE DAYS later than DHL said it would get here. The new one is stamped 5/8, the old one is 1/2.  At first glance, this looks like a modest increase but it’s actually enormous and could be an overkill.

I’ve already bolted the thing to the handlebars, connected the brake light switch and transferred the mirror.  None could be easier.  If I swap one bolt over, there’s a good chance even the hand guard will survive the upgrade.

What I HAVEN’T done it to transfer the hydraulics.  The double banjo bolt at the master is the old road-worn one that began life at the front-left calliper.  I feel a titanium replacement fro Pro-bolt coming on.

New front brake master cylinder

Okay, I’ve ordered this.  It’s a front brake master cylinder, complete with lever, from a  ZRX1100.  I was fed up of whinging about the brakes so I just ordered it from eBay without thinking about it too much.

I then had the following conversation with my mate Jason.  Anyone who knows Jason knows Jason knows.

We’re home now and the master cylinder is due to arrive today.  I have to keep a watch out the window because DHL can’t get a heavy item like this up the 5cm door step to our building so they tend to just leave a ‘you were out’ notice then bog off for a fag.

Hopefully, the master cylinder will arrive shortly.  I’ll slap it on, test the bike and update this blog with the good news that the infamously bad Tiger 955i brakes are now fab.

Otherwise, I’ll quietly remove this post and order a more sensible alternative.

I should really credit this chap

Surprise, surprise: it didn’t arrive. No chance of it coming till Tuesday, now, because of Jesus, chocolate and not really being dead when you die. Or something.

I might as well get on with other maintenance.

Berlin to London for an MOT part 2

The bike passed! I’m glad we used Gray’s in London.

Okay, so what have we learnt?

The route:

  • Europe is bloody freezing in March/April
  • Bielefeld (where?) is easily forgotten


  • You can’t beat proper bike gear for staying warm & dry
  • Helen’s micro down jacket was much more versatile than my stripy fleece type thing
  • Nike Combat compression thermals are brilliant; no need for anything else under cordura winter coat, so you don’t feel like Michelin Man
  • I need a better system for not losing small expensive items like 64GB USB memory & phone adapter (didn’t make it out of first hotel)

The bike needs:

  • A better horn
  • A bigger front brake master cylinder (already ordered off eBay)

Berlin to London for an MOT

Hmm. A year after resurrecting our Tiger 955i and riding it home to Berlin from the UK we are… a bit stuck for an MOT test certificate. Luckily it’s the Easter school holidays, all the marking’s done and we’ve got nothing better to do than ride the 2300km round trip to go and get one.

Tiger running well but I must check the new steering head bearings before it goes in for the test. I may need to bleed the brakes yet again, too.


Tiger 955i brakes are just rubbish. For last summer I changed the pad retaining pins and started using red grease instead of copperslip. Over winter they seized completely. For this trip I’ve changed the lines to a racing configuration (two lines from the master instead of a bridge between the calipers). It’s made bog all difference. For the big trip, I’ll change the disks to EBC floating and replace the pistons. I might have a go at the master cylinder, too.