I think it has reached the point when I both should and probably need to go for a servicing. So, having long ago established I am a pillock, how does that all work then?

Seriously, what bits get serviced? How long does it take? Presumably you have to book in advance? How much does it cost? Treat me like someone who had to look on YouTube to find videos of how to buy petrol (because it really was not that obvious in advance if you have never had to do it before).

And any recommendations for where to go for it from south London?

If your down saaf of river and don’t mind getting your hands dirty would recommend OMC as service your bike and you will
Learn as you go along to other then that have Scorch north of the river

If you like dealer stamps you can phone a dealer and book it in there. They also have facilities like courtesy bikes and coffee. Then you get a stamp in your service book as a bonus.

Michael, long time no see! How you getting on mate? If you’re not up to anything on Sunday, come over and we can sort out most of what needs doing.

General list consists of oil and filter change; check and clean brakes; check and grease pivot points like leavers and cables; making sure your wheels don’t move in the wrong direction (side to side).

There is usually a checklist of other bits based on number of miles or time since last done. All freely available on the Internets.

Otherwise as Dan said, OMC are a good bunch of guys and I can get you to Scorch up north if you fancy going for a ride.

If you’re a bit of a mechanical numpty or your bike’s still under warranty - both of which apply to me! - then it’s well worth just dumping the bike off at your preferred dealership and taking advantage of the free coffee and courtesy bike while they do it all for you. You can easily look up online what’s covered at each servicing interval for your specific model if you have the time, space, tools and motivation to do it yourself, or have a chat with wherever that you’re going to take it and you should be able to get a rough estimate of how much parts and labour will set you back.

There’ll be no surprises here, I say if a jobs worth doing its worth doing well and if you want it doing proper Do It Yourself.

On filling up with petrol I remember when service stations were just that and they offered a service where an attendant would dispense the fuel for you and offer to check your oil and water levels too. The first time I entered one of the new fangled self service forecourts, like many others, I sat there for some time waiting for the service before an announcement came over the Tannoy system explaining how things had changed, for the better? You decide!

Back on topic, get on down to OMC, or perhaps even you local college, and enrol on a motorcycle maintenance course. Even if you don’t want to be ‘Doing It Yourself’ its good to know what’s what around your bike.Get yourself a Haynes Workshop Manual for your bike, a small set of combination spanners, screwdrivers, 3/8" metric socket set etc. Tools will pay for themselves halfway through your first service or, if mixing your bodily fluids with machines is really not your thing take it to an independent mechanics workshop such as Scorch. Note the independents work harder for you because they rely purely on reputation for their trade rather than the umbrella of a Manufacturer Dealership. For the things to be checked read the service schedule for your particular machine, list what you want doing and take the list along to the workshop for a quotation and to explain what you want done. You’ll soon realise there is more to a so called ‘full service’ than meets the eye.

where in south London are you? will help people on recommendations.

I am not against doing things myself, but I think it probably needs expert attention so maybe not the best time to start learning. And I am in Streatham.

There are two problems which I think need looking at. The steering (or front suspension) sometimes squeaks a bit before it is warmed up. It turns (and bounces) fine, and I do not hear it after having set off, so hopefully something just needs lubricating?

And the gears.

Sometimes it slips out of second gear, a few times (after stopping) it has even taken a few minutes of shifting up and down to get it to even back into first. When I first had problems with it slipping into neutral it was suggested it was probably me not shifting fully, and being more firm did seem to stop it happening. Now though when it slips I hold the lever up as far as it goes for about a second yet sometimes it still drops out, so I doubt it is me this time.

Although an oil change is not listed as required until servicing, I did one anyway when the gear problems began thinking it might help, as it uses the same oil for engine and gears. Nope.

Otherwise it is just past due the second service anyway (and, incidentally, just out of warranty) so seems best it gets a proper look over anyway, assuming that is what a servicing does. When I bought the bike it was only just under 500 miles, six months old, and written off (cat D) after apparently being ridden into something. So it had its first servicing when repaired then, and I am now a few hundred miles past the next which was due at 3,500 miles. Hopefully I will be able to do and pass my tests before next summer to avoid having to ask what an MOT is.

TimmyFox - Well I have not been on the floor since you last saw me, so on that basis things have been going great! Still plenty to keep working on, but a lot more confident and comfortable. I believe Scorch is in Watford? If that is where everyone recommends and there is no one good enough this side of the river then it would be great to take you up on that offer to go there.

It’s not a gray xj6 with blue wheels is it?

Engine oil changes at 3,500 miles - shakes head, what bike is it?

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that sounds very much internal to the gearbox - the selector fork’s not shifting the bits about properly, or the pins on the gears are fucked so they’re not engaging properly. It’s a symptom of a lot of very bad gear changes or a lot of wear. That’s not a small job, the gearbox is about as internal to the engine as you can get. That’s a very strange thing to manage to get as early on as the second service or the approximate end of a warranty, if you’ve a reasonable relationship with the place you got it from I’d take it there to get their opinion.

I think SV1000s have a 3.5k service interval.

It is only a YBR125 Custom, and to be fair having just checked the manual it does also say to do it annually too, which is effectively what it was when I did it. Although I had been checking the dip stick anyway to make sure it never went low.

But aye, it does not say it needs doing any more frequently than that. Either 3,500 miles or twelve months.

OK and its just one litre of oil with no oil cooler so its working fairly hard

Hmmm gear issues on a non maintained bike i would go with chain tension adjustment incorrect before stripping gearboxes …
Squeaky steering i would suggest cable routing has just got to that point where the flexibility of the cable cover has started its old man sounds of creaking when moved or its just catching/rubbing on something else making the noise … bet 80% of bikes do it at a stop or slow speed full lock turn to turn

Well if you want to come that far over, Frank Dunstalls in elmers end, I swear by them and I know other here have gone there as well and rated their work.


Not sure if I still have your number. I have a habit of clearing out names and numbers I don’t recognise every now and then. If you still have mine, drop me a text and we’ll organise something. We can definitely take a quick look to see if anything is catching cable wise, and adjust your chain to see if that improves gear selection. Be good to catch up anyway.


Maybe at least some good-ish news in light of that, I was wrong about the warranty. For some reason the handbook lists me as the first owner (?) but with the original purchase date of September 2nd, 2013 so still a few days to go. Just. Was sure it was the start of August.

But how likely is it to be a warranty issue rather that user damage? Unless it is an obvious defect than surely the original owner having crashed would be enough to invalidate the warranty. And though I do not think I have done anything that bad to it, I would not put it past me. When I say I was firmer with the lever I only mean making sure to lift it all the way rather than flicking it, and I have never even tried clutchless shifting as not seen any need to. A few drops but not since late last year, so several months and a few thousand miles before it started happening.

No relationship with the dealer, I just responded to an ad on AutoTrader, but I believe they have a good reputation, Sondel Yamaha in Blackfen. Which to me is the wrong end of the south circular and then off to the far beyond, but if necessary can contact them to see what they say.

TimR – I do check the chain does not have too much give in it with other basic checks and I think it looks okay. And other than the oil change (and replacing a blown lightbulb) the other maintenance I have done is lubricating it, though using some of the old engine oil as I am lead to I believe that is a thing you can do. Less from being cheap, though I am originally from Yorkshire, but mainly as a way to (very very slowly) dispose of the old oil.

The Sleeper – Elmers End is practically just around the corner, so thanks for the recommendation. Good to have a couple of options.

TimmyFox – I still have your number so will send a message in the morning, thanks. If you can give it a look over then at least can decide the best course of action.

The annoying thing is the problem is not consistent, which is why I though an oil change might help rather than thinking something was damaged internally. Sometimes it will be okay, maybe slip once or twice, others it just keeps happening and gets stuck. But after it slipped into neutral stopping me on a mini roundabout on Saturday it has gone from being an annoyance to something I think I should be a bit worried about.

Thanks all for the advice.

Too tight a chain could also cause that symptom, it’d be best to get someone to have a good look at it. I’ve also seen people have that sort of problem where the gear lever has been bent and fouls the crank case so you can never quite get the thing up into gear properly.

If it’s in warranty I’d drop by the shop and tell them what the problem is, they might well have a look at it for you on the basis of that, and if you do later decide there’s anything warrantyable going on you’ll need to have told them during the warranty period. It’s really unlikely to be anything major on such a new and unstressed bike, though, so I’d not be surprised if their first look over identifies the cause.

Despite the rain we’ve given the YBR a good look over and done the following…

Cleaned, Lubed and adjusted the chain - which was a little slack
Checked all the usual pivot points, levers etc.
Checked head bearings which were all fine as you would expect on a 4k mile bike.
Checked the wheel bearings just for fun.
Found the offending cable that is causing the noises up front. Turns out it’s just rubbing on the guide, no issue as there is a plastic sleeve as well as the actual cable surround.

Any further issues with 2nd gear, we’ll pop down to see Matt at the OMC. Happy days.

Well, so far so good. I took the long way home to take in a couple local congested high streets (West Norwood is oddly popular) then home in time to see England lift the urn. Only around fifteen miles, so too early to judge properly, but constantly in and out of second in all the stop-start traffic without problem.

But, now the back brake squeals on use! Worked absolutely fine, for stopping, a bit to help when crawling along, and keeping out of the way the rest of the time. Looking it up it seems fairly normal from dust in a drum, annoying but nothing to worry about? Some just probably got displaced when adjusting the chain.

To be honest I kind-of like it. Having a bit of a heavy foot, particularly in my indoor boots, it is nice to have a warning if it slips too much before it becomes felt. It certainly could sound a lot nicer, mind. Will it go away on its own or need attention? Watching a couple of videos it does not seem too difficult a job to clean, but annoying to have to dismantle when everything now seems set up right.