Off to the mechanic’s place today, and looking at heated grips.

The brake fluid level can now be seen again in the reservoir window.

I’m getting the brake fluid drained and replaced today at Masaki-san’s place.  He’s also checking heated grips for me. I was hoping to get Honda OEM ones, but they’re no longer made for the Transalp.

I’ll also be needing a back tyre soon. The guy who owned it last put a really cheap Dunlop knobbly on it and it’s such a crap tyre. It has already gone into a slide twice on me. The next tyre won’t be a knobbly, rather a full on-road tyre, seeing that I spend zero time off-road and 100% of my time on-road.

On another note, the handle bars and all on them really did look like time was taking it’s toll. They were looking pretty groggy. I couldn’t see in the little window on the brake fluid reservoir and I’d cleaned it with a sponge on numerous occasions with no luck, but this time I had planned to use a toothbrush to get in around the base of the cables and the tough places to reach with a sponge. I gave the window a good scrubbing and lo-and-behold, I cleared 80% of the fog off it and I could actually see the fluid inside. There’s a little bubble in there, hence the visit to Masaki-san today. And after giving the handlebars a good cleaning all over, they have come up really clean. The brake fluid reservoir was really groggy and I thought it was scrapes and aging which would be there forever, but the thing has come up gleaming.

Not bad for a 20-year-old bike, eh? That's a Honda finish for you.

UPDATE: Just back from Masaki-san’s place and he changed the brake fluid on both the front and back brakes. I brought 1 litre of brake fluid with me and it used it. When he’d finished I asked him to give the bike a good check over to see if there was anything else needing done. He spent 10 minutes going over it and gave it a clean bill of health. He reckons the front brake pads will need changed after another 10,000km, but that’s about it he reckons, and seeing I engine brake a lot, he reckons even longer.

Then he asked me for ¥1,500 for the work done. ¥1,500! I gave him ¥2,000 and felt embarrassed giving him so little. I love the guy.

He also checked out heated grips for me and he told me that the Transalp can only have ON/OFF switch grips, rather than varying temperature switch ones, because of the type of handlebars and grips. He said that in order to be able to use the latter, you need to have the kind of grips with the screw-on attachment on the end. However, the TA doesn’t have that attachment. He’s going to order them and I should have them on the bike by the second week in January.

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