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Broken cap.


Q: Hi dudes. I’ve recently stumbled across your site and I love it, me and my mates are now on it every day and I really like Bill’s tests – no bullshit, for once.

Anyway, I read the article on a guys BWS who mentioned his clutch problems and I now have a question for you regarding my six year old BWS.

The ‘fukkin’ thing keeps on breaking plug caps! The little wire inside the cap that holds the cap onto the plug breaks off and then the cap falls off, and the bike stops, and you’re fukked! It is a NGK cap so I expect more from them and I’m sick of replacing it, and when I do it does the same again!

So please give me any advice on this irritating matter and while I’m here what plug number would you recommend, because I seem to get through those a lot as well – later…


A: Yes, those Bakelite type plug caps do indeed seem to break up on a BWS – the stock cap never seems to give problems though? But, if you go to a motorcycle dealer and buy this blue silicone cap, also from NGK for around R45, it will cure the problem. You’ll also have to screw the ‘bullet’ end back on to the top of the plug, which eliminates that wire thing inside the cap and will then have a much more secure attachment - I’ve attached a picture of one for you to see.

As for the plug number, it depends on what’s been done to your bike, and make sure the air filter is also clean because this will cause the plug to foul as well. The stock plug is a B7HS, I’d recommend an ‘8’ 

for slightly modified, or perhaps even a ‘9’ if it’s been tuned with a pipe and stuff. Try these out and see what works best, because they’re relatively cheap plugs to buy?

Baffling BWS?

yamaha bwzQ: Hi guys, I know you only seem to answer questions on ‘real’ motorbikes but I was wondering if you could perhaps help me with my poor little Yamaha BWS?

It’s covered just over 12,000km now and it’s completely standard besides a Leo Vince exhaust. I still use the stock air-box and I didn’t, or haven’t, changed the main jet because the plug colour seems to be correct, and it’s done over 8,000km since I fitted the pipe so I’m sure it would have blown up by now if it were running too lean.

Anyway, recently it has no power off the line and seems to take forever to get going. I took off the drive belt cover and then inspected the belt and rollers, all seemed to be in good condition. I cleaned everything nicely before putting it back together and it was a bit better for a few ks until the problem once again returned. I also cleaned out the carb and especially the pilot jet and all seems to be OK in there as well.

So what can you tell me to look for seeing as it’s only a scooter and surely it can’t be that hard to fix? Thanks…

Chris Easter.

A: Take off the drive cover again and take out the primary clutch with the rollers behind it. You’ll then see that this mechanism all slides on a central steel bush with a grease retaining seal on each end.

If this is not properly lubricated with very high temperature grease it will most certainly cause this problem. Guys who race them do this to their bush nearly every race because of the reason you’ve stated.

So try this out and I’m sure your speedy pull-off will return?

Weaver ‘bird.

CBR blackbird waverQ: I’ve now owned my precious Honda Blackbird for 12 years and during our symbiotic relationship we’ve covered just over 87,000km, with no problems besides a broken battery that I’ve replaced.

However, recently my ‘bird has developed an annoying little weave that seems to be exaggerated when I pass over white lines or repair bands in the road surface.

My tyres are relatively new and I run the correct pressures as suggested in the owner’s manual. I’ve also checked the head bearings and they are smooth and tight. All of the wheel bearings are in a similar good shape as well.

So what would you guys suggests I check over next? Any help will be well received and thanks again for your ‘free’ technical advise and support.

James Mitchell.

A: There’s one, or two actually, things that you haven’t mentioned. They’re called the swing-arm bushes or bearings. And with a bike of this mileage and power I would most certainly say that this is your problem and they will cause the bike to perform a weave when worn, especially over white lines and the like.

So take out the back wheel, remove everything else that needs to be removed and pull out the swing-arm, and then you’ll be able to see and remove the offending parts.

Honda dealers will be able to order the parts for you and they’re relatively easy to fit and then find the correct torque settings off the Net for the swing-arm shaft and tighten everything up. Then you’ll be back to where the bike’s handling should be.

Suzuki basket case.

GS850Q: My 1981 Suzuki GS 850, the one with the shaft drive, has recently begun to make a horrible noise that seems to be coming from around the clutch area, and it has me worried!

It has me so worried that I decided to take off the clutch cover and have a look inside, which turned into a nightmare because after putting the clutch cover back on it then pissed out oil all over my foot and I spent many hours on the phone trying to find a gasket. I did eventually find a ‘pirate’ gasket that cured that problem, anyway…

So I took out all the plates, steel and friction, but none of them were broken or damaged or badly worn and the big nut inside the hub is nice and tight so I put it all back together but still the irritating noise remained.

So my question is, what should I look for next and have you ever had a similar problem with this type of motorbike? Your help on this matter will be greatly appreciated.


A: You should have gone further whilst you were inside the engine because your problem does indeed arise from the clutch, or more specifically the clutch basket itself.

Take it to pieces again, as your did before, and remove the ‘big nut’ 

you described. If you have trouble undoing it try putting the bike into gear and standing on the back brake whilst the plates are still in there, it makes life easier, then pull out the whole assembly off the gearbox shaft.

Once you do have a good look at the back of the clutch basket and I bet the rivets that hold the back plate onto the basket are all worn and loose. This will cause the noise problem and an even bigger problem if they break off, because it might just wreck the entire motor.

So, don’t ride anymore until you fix this! Go on -line and you’ll easily find a heavy duty replacement back plate, rivets and springs in a kit and then you’ll need to find a good engineer to fit it all together, but do it now rather than later?










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