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Cam’ time?

BMW S1000RR 16Q: I was recently at a National superbike race and got talking to some of the guys who race the BMW S1000RR, mainly because I have one.

They told me that they tend to change the cam timing on their race bikes, but cannot change the actual camshaft itself. I did ask them if it makes any difference to performance but all I got was raised eyebrows and pathetic grins.

So, could you guys tell me the benefits of doing this and is it really worth fiddling around with mine, I only use my bike on the road for fast breakfast runs? Looking forward to your response seeing as you seem to know everything around these matters.


A: As a rule, if you change the cam timing of the stock cams, it doesn’t really make any more horsepower or maybe a few depending on where they’re set. What it does do is move the power around depending on the track. So, for example, you may achieve more midrange or a bit more top-end and then possibly lose out on the stock mid-range settings. The original camshaft is what BMW believe to be the perfect compromise to begin with.

So, if I were you, I’d just leave the factory settings alone for road riding and spend your money on something else instead. Hope that clarifies thing for you?

Pricy wires?

2016 ninja managementQ: On the new 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10, which is already very expensive at R290,000 (thanks Zuma dude!), there is a factory option of fitting a different/replacement ECU and, apparently, it also has to have a completely different wiring loom to go with it as well!

Now the price of this addition is, I’ve been told, 50k! Now that seems to be a lot of money after spending close to 300k to start with, right?

So what are the benefits of going this route with what is already claimed to be the best ever 1,000cc superbike ever made, well for this year at least?

Great site as well, by far the best we have in South Africa.

Martin Ward

A: The ECU you’ve mentioned allows the Kawasaki to have more race mode features, which will really only be beneficial during race conditions and not necessary for ‘normal’ use.

Once fitted it allows the ZX-10 to have ‘auto-blip’ downshift and more programmable options for the engine, like engine braking, rpm limiter, shift delays for the quick-shifter, and, and, and…

But for 50k more it’s not really necessary unless you can ride it as hard as Johnny Rae for example. And we all know how much it costs to go racing to high levels and try to save valuable seconds in the process, hence the shocking price of this addition.

Charge me

GS1000G chargeQ: I own an old 1981 Suzuki GS1000 G, the one with the shaft drive. It’s covered, well… I have no idea really because the speedo has broken, and I fitted a new cable but it still doesn’t work. But that’s not why I’m sending this.

The bike doesn’t charge so the battery is always dead. YES; I put in a new battery but it’s still not ‘playing’ nicely.

So basically ‘know-it-all’ dudes, what are my options and what can I do to get some voltage out of the old girl?


A: Well, you either have a faulty stator sitting behind the left side engine cover, which needs to be checked by a decent electrician to be sure. You won’t have to buy a new one, if so, because they can be repaired. Or, more than likely, it’s the regulator/rectifier unit, they break, a lot.

That can also be checked easily to see if it’s malfunctioning. Go onto the Internet and many people will tell you how to do so. If so you’ll have to replace it with either a used one from a breakers, or buy a new one. The genuine Suzuki part will be horrendously expensive so check on the Internet for replacement alternatives, there’re many?

Stay in!

1983 KawasakiGPz1100Q: I’ve just been reading about this recall on Yamaha’s ‘super-fancy’ R1 regarding gearbox issues. And this is why I’m writing because my old 1983 Kawasaki GPz1100 also has very irritating gearbox issues as well.

Yes, I know it’s an old bike with 85,000km thrown through the motor but the problem gets worse by the day. First gear is OK but when I go into second it always jumps out and scares me! If I change gear slowly, it’s not too bad. The gear linkage was all ‘sloppy’ so I had new bushes and things made to make it like new again, but it hasn’t really cured the problem. I can hold it in gear but I’d imagine that’s not a good thing to do.

So, you clever guys, what are my options here because I believe parts are very scarce for this particular model?


A: I wouldn’t worry about parts because Kawasaki are very good with spares for their old models, like this, or you’ll find them on the internet somewhere.

But the problem lays with the selector dogs on the second gear and the slots they go into on the accompanying drive gear. They ‘round-off’ over time, and consequently jump out when engaged and cause this problem.

So you now have two options. Buy new gears and install them, or source a complete second hand good condition gearbox for this model. Or, take out your existing gears and find a reputable engineer than can undercut your old gears, but make sure they know exactly what they’re doing or you’ll have to go through the process all over again!

Either way you’ll have to remove the motor and split the crankcases to repair the gears, so make sure you’re up to that task also, or take it to a Kawasaki dealer, which will not be cheap, obviously. Hope this helps?







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