techhelp header V2

Send your queries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and let's see if we can help?

Weight gain - good carbs and bad carbs

Hi, Noddy here from and I just thought you guys would like to see these, which we weighed the other day?

CARBS 02The carb’s weighing in at 4.5kg are from a 1978 Honda CB550, which are quite heavy to say the least. The carb’s weighing in at 2.9kg are from a mid 1990s Honda NC23.

Quite amazing how 1.6kg have been shaved off, and that’s including the bell-mouths. Just though it’d be interesting to show how the constant quest for saving weight happens with every part of the motorcycle.


Thanks for that and if any of you have similar things to show us please mail Bill, at the email address at the top of the page...

Toyota saved me

TOYOTAHi guys…

I’m not asking a question about my bike’s problems, instead I thought I’d tell you about a recent issue that I managed to fix.

I have a Royal Enfield 500 Bullet that broke a piston ring and subsequently damaged the piston irreparably. After many calls and searching throughout South Africa I could not find a replacement piston, which was irritating to say the least.

After a few beers in the pub, with piston in hand, my friend said he thinks he has one that looks very similar and might work. He owns a car spares store in Pretoria. So the next day I took it to him at the shop and he pulled out a piston from a brown paper bag.

To my surprise it was 99% identical except it was 1mm wider in diameter. So I took him the barrel, as it has plenty of ‘meat’ in/on the liner, and he bored it out to fit the piston with the correct clearance. I then put the bike back together and it has now ran perfectly for over a 1,000km.

The piston came from a Toyota Cressida and cost R350. Now how cool is that and I thought it would make an interesting article for your site.

Piet Stobaart.

Now that’s very interesting and thanks for your time and effort to let us know, and our readers too if they have the same problem. Well done.

Bill Hunter

Bad vibrations.

1981 Suzuki GSX1100Q: I have a very clean 1981 Suzuki GSX1100, the one with the silver/blue tank colours. I’ve owned it for over tens years and use it daily to go to work and, enjoy weekend runs with the wife happily sitting on the back.

It has always been serviced and taken care of and has just over 81,000km on the clocks. However, recently it has started to vibrate badly on idle and seems to be a bit ‘juddery’ when I let the clutch out and pull off.

I’ve already taken out all of the clutch plates and springs, which all seem to be fine with plenty of ‘meat’ left on the friction plates in particular. The springs aren’t broken either and seem to have all the same tension on each.

So if you could pass on any advice to point me in the right direction I would be very grateful. I do know Bill used to drag race with these engines so he might be the one to ask?  Looking forward to your answer…

Peter Stoffard.

A:  I would say the problem still lies within the clutch, or basket to be more precise, and you’ll have to go back inside the motor to investigate further.

Take out the plates and centre hub and you’ll see a large nut (32mm), which is what you’ll need to remove. You don’t really need any special tools, just put into gear and hold down the rear brake, which should stop the clutch basket from rotating, then undo the nut after bending back the tab-washer.

Once the basket is in your hands look at the back-plate and damper springs, these normally cause this issue. The springs are too soft from stock and go ‘slack’, which can cause the back-plate to crack, causing vibration. If it has broken some pieces might be in the sump, so you’ll have to clean them out and make sure you find ALL the pieces.

The best thing is to replace the back-plate and springs with a heavy-duty conversion. Randburg Motorcycles in Jo’burg can assist with this and then your bike will last forever, and probably longer than you will.

Bill Hunter

Dead screen.

BMW1600Q: My current bike is a six-cylinder BMW 1600GT, which I’ve had the pleasure of owning for over two years. It’s always ‘looked’ after my wife and me, and we’ve covered many kilometers with zero problems, until now.

Recently the screen doesn’t go up and down as it used to. I’ve checked all the fuses and cleaned and oiled the linkages, as far as I can get into the top of the faring that is.

I’ve heard horror stories about replacing the electric motor that drives it, and other parts, that can cost over 20k. So we’re hoping you could possibly pass on some advice on where to look or try to repair things before I take it to BMW and lose my bank account, as we all know?

A: First question, I bet your battery went flat? It’s very common when this happens on this bike and therefore needs to be re-calibrated by a BMW dealer. When the battery goes flat the on-board computer loses its ‘memory’ so to speak and needs to be reset.

Or you can bring it to as hey have the equipment now to get into any BMWs ‘brain’, and you’ll be happy to know it won’t cost much either.










Copyright © Billys Bikes 2019. All Rights Reserved.