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The Bike Is Behaving Strangely Today

Blog Date - 10 Mar 2019

By Rod

The bike is behaving strangely today. It's around mid-day, the sun is out, and the temperature is around 10c. I decide I can grab an hour for a quick ride!

Rod's fully faired Zuma 250 in white and blue, looking clean and smart

On riding off on the bike the Zuma feels strangely heavier than I remember, and as I start slowing down for the first junction the gearbox feels strange. Instead of the normal click as I change down I am rewarded with a clunk!

As I lean the bike into the first series of bends the bike under-steers slightly and needs a little more counter steering than normal, but once in the bend it has found a new stability and feels very safe.

I approach a roundabout and as I change down through the gears I get the unfamiliar clunk again from the gearbox, accompanied by a pull to the right when I blip the throttle. On exiting the roundabout I notice that I have reached my chosen cruising speed in half of the normal distance.

On the ride back I notice something which may account for the strange gearbox noises, the bike seems to have changed its gear ratio, or found another gear! Normally when travelling at 70mph the engine is revving at 9000rpm, but the engine is now revving at only 3500rpm at 70mph.

Why is the bike behaving so strangely?

I have taken a new picture to see if there are any clues?

A used but clean and smart BMWR1150RT touring motorcycle, much much bigger than the 250


Have you diagnosed Rod's issue? Guest posts don't need to be long or detailed, just motorcycle related and entertaining. Contact ren@bikesandtravels.com

Reader's Comments

Bob said :-
I really like the idea of the GW250F, they are very cheap to buy and it looks like a complete package - have you sold it or got the BMW as well?
14/3/2019 10:27:22 AM UTC
Rod said :-
Hi Bob, The Inazuma is on ebay.
Not sure how much info I can put on here, as this is not a sales site!
It is on for auction which ends on Saturday. You can ask questions through ebay
14/3/2019 10:51:18 AM UTC
Upt'North said :-
Rod, good luck with the sale.
Regarding your BMW, I would like to know what you think of the brakes if they are the servo/abs variety.
I also seem to remember the 1150's were the pick of the bunch.
Upt'North.
14/3/2019 11:20:02 AM UTC
Rod said :-
The brakes are very good. The servo / ABS unit was replaced by BMW, and the bike has only done about 800 miles since the replacement. I have only done 200 miles on the bike and I am still finding the linked brakes very powerful when using the rear!
14/3/2019 12:44:21 PM UTC
Bob said :-
I've had many big bikes, they're good at first, but the first time you come to do a tight turn on a steep lane it all looks a lot less like fun.
By the way, what sort of MPG was the Inazuma giving?
14/3/2019 1:53:16 PM UTC
Rod said :-
Yes Bob, the weight of the bike is the compromise with bigger bikes!
The Inazuma would normally give between 80 - 85, mpg but it depends how you ride it.
I have had 110 mpg from the Inazuma, and I have had 70 mpg.
The 70 mpg figure is riding on faster 'A' roads and Motorways.
Having said that I do not thrash the bike, and I know some riders get below 70 mpg.
On the subject of big bike weight and the maneuverability problems, I know them well, as I owned a Kawasaki GTR1000 for 19 years.
14/3/2019 2:18:34 PM UTC
Upt'North said :-
Yes Rod I remember that rear brake, I was riding the 1150 RT on test at work and whilst riding slowly I just pressed the rear brake for reassurance and to assist a low speed manouvre and it almost fell on its side. That wouldn't have been a cheap job either although the only other solution would have been to remove ABS + servo and I would have thought that would be quite involved.
Glad it was sorted for you.
Upt'North.
14/3/2019 4:19:51 PM UTC
jammy said :-
Ha ha, very good, I was thinking what the hell, this chap has only just found top gear on his Suzuki??...until I scrolled down and saw the Beemer!!
14/3/2019 5:50:09 PM UTC
Bob said :-
Wow yes, I think they made GTR1000s from collapsed star matter!
I bought a R1100GS a few years ago - I enjoyed the engine but the weight was too much, it spoiled the ride as I had to always think about the road surface and there were some places I didn't dare go, I kept it 4 weeks and sold it on.

14/3/2019 10:13:25 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Stick ya details on Rob. I don't mind.
15/3/2019 7:01:15 AM UTC
Fly said :-
Rod, I have been looking at the Inazumas. Being vertically challenged they are one of the few bikes I can fit comfortably. Why have you decided to move on to a different bike?
16/3/2019 10:13:36 AM UTC
Rod said :-
Hi Fly, I am also vertically challenged at 5'4" so I understand the restrictions.
I have owned the Inazuma for 18 months, but around 9 months ago I started to feel that the lack of power was restricting my riding, and I have been struggling with a decision (or should that be indecision) to sell it.

I like the relative light weight of the Inazuma and its very good fuel economy, and it does what I want most of the time, but I have changed my riding to suit the bike by riding smaller 'A' roads and 'B' roads.
This is the problem for myself with the Inazuma. It is fast enough, but not powerful enough.

The Inazuma has very disappointing overtaking ability, and when riding faster 'A' roads and Motorways it is revving much higher than I am comfortable with. As I have posted at 70 mph the Inazuma revs at 9000 rpm, on the BMW at 70 mph it revs at 3500 rpm. That is the main reason for the change, a more relaxed ride with an under stressed engine.
16/3/2019 12:13:28 PM UTC
Upt'North said :-
9000 rpm at 70 mph!?! I bet it sounds like you're riding a nest of angry hornets.
I see the sale's going quite well, good luck.
Upt'North.
16/3/2019 5:58:56 PM UTC
Rod said :-
The Inazuma red lines at 11000, and I have been told that it is designed to be revved, but I am just not comfortable with the bike revving that high for longer periods.
16/3/2019 8:03:41 PM UTC
Rod said :-
Bike has now sold for more than I have paid for the BMW, so I am very happy!!!!
16/3/2019 8:05:58 PM UTC
Fly said :-
I didn't win the auction but I did put a cheeky bid in yesterday! Congratulations on the sale, Rod, and have fun on the BMW.
16/3/2019 9:05:51 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Blimey. Whenever I try to sell anything I get half what I hoped for or indeed nothing at all. Rod you lucky git :-)
17/3/2019 7:35:36 AM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
You're not trying. A year or so ago I bought a box of bits at a (real) auction because in it was a very rusty toolbox for the Norton. These fetch £100+ on ebay so I thought I had a bargain at £80 for the box.

When I got the box home I discovered, nestling at the bottom, a modern electronic BTH twin cylinder magneto in unused condition. Sold it on ebay for £400. Also in there were various Norton twin parts that I had no use for and collectively I made another £150 or so on these.

So my toolbox cost me -£450 or so.....
17/3/2019 12:11:45 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Maybe I'm just not lucky. Probably too tight to buy anything that I might sell later...
17/3/2019 7:47:23 PM UTC

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