The Milk Bottle Fix

Dad my bike has done it again...

After the last big down pour of rain Emma’s Suzuki SV650 drowned after water flooded the front spark plug well shorting and killing the front cylinder. The bike doesn’t go well on only one cylinder. As it happened after work I assumed that water had sprayed up from the front wheel and somehow got into the spark plug well.

Today however it drowned just sitting in the car park while Emma was at work.

So radiator off, spark plug cap off, and rag stuffed down the well to dry it out. Once it was dry we set about finding where the water was coming from. The majority of the issue will be the plug cap not sealing properly which will require a new plug lead or something to better seal the cap in the head with. But without anything on hand to do that and rain forecast for the next few days I just need to get Emma back on the road.

After pouring water on the tank and frame we observed the path of the water and how it got to the front cylinder head. There are already various covers that redirect water away from the cylinder or from water being sprayed up from the front wheel, however there was a couple of places that allowed water down over the plug cap. That included from behind an existing cover so I wanted to extend that a bit, and from a drain hole on a cover above the cylinder where electric connectors were mounted.

So looking around the house for material I could use to create a temporary solution to divert water. I didn’t need it to be permanent just something to hopefully get us out of trouble. A plastic milk bottle.

Extending the back plate was easy – cut a flat piece of plastic and affix it to the existing cover with a couple 6mm plastic push pin rivets (normally used for fairing panels) that I had sitting around.

The challenge was the drain hole as I didn’t want to block it off as that will cause other problems. Looking around I spotted the handle of the donor milk bottle and with a little creative cutting it looked like it would do the job of allowing water to escape and to divert it away.

Donor plastic milk bottle
Testing the fix

I’m under no illusion that this is not a long term fix but as the bike is largely parked outside we are hoping that this should get us out of trouble in the short term until I can either get a new plug lead and/or something to seal the current cap. To remove these only takes the removal of three plastic rivets.

4 thoughts on “The Milk Bottle Fix

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