Major T595 Service - including suspension

As I'd been busy racing the FZR for the last three years, the T595 had been somewhat neglected. So it was time to give it a full service. And I mean 'full', as in pretty much everything it says to do in the manual, like replacing brake lines and greasing linkages (although I drew the line at replacing the brake caliper seals as you have to buy the pistons as well and at 40+ per caliper it didn't seem a necessary investment). The basic plan is to get the bike back to as close to 'as new' condition as I can, as I'm hoping that doing this will be cheaper than part-exing it against something else and with a few additional tweaks will make it perform even better than new. I'll try and cover what I did here, with pics and prices where I have them.

Before we start, here is my over-riding, not to be missed, please do this 'Top Tip':

"Register with and upgrade to 'Premier Member' status."

You will now be able to access the Knowledge Base. In here you will find part numbers, part diagrams, how to's, video assistance and anything else that you might need to know. Combine that with a searchable message board frequented by a wealth of experinced owners makes life a lot easier. For example, if you search the Maintenance Tips and Tricks section for 'spark plug tool', you'll find a thread that tells you the tool you need is a 12mm, and that most socket sets come with a 10mm and a 14mm, which is why neither of the ones you have to hand actually fit.....

I won't cover everything I do with words or pics, because I forgot to take pics at every stage and some things are easy enough anyway, right? And I apologise for some of the pics below, there was a smudge on the lens so its not your eyesight thats gone blurry. I will try and list the jobs and parts prices but to get official Triumph part numbers go to the knowledge base.....

List of jobs/parts:

General Service Items:
0.00 - Lights/horn/tyres/chain/battery
0.00 - Fuel filter (didn't do it - good bloody start!)
0.00 - Spark plugs - checked gaps (didn't change them as they only have about 1500 miles on them)
34.66 - ITG air filter from Wilcox Engines
35.50 - Oil (Castrol R4 Superbike), filter & sump plug washer
10.00 - Check and adjust valve clearances (2 shims @ 5 each from Fowlers in Bristol)
23.38 - 10 new linkage/drag/drop link bearing seals** (INA G20x26x4 @ 1.99 each plus vat)
28.55 - 6 new linkage/drag/drop link bearings** (KOYO 20.26.20 @ 4.05 each plus vat)
48.88 - 1 drop link sleeve - the one that goes into the swing arm (from Fowlers)
15.84 - 1 drag link sleeve (from Fowlers)
5.22 - 2 drop link sleeves (2 @ 2.22 + vat)
1.32 - 2 washers (2 @ 56p+vat)
10.00 - Swinging arm needle bearing and 2 seals
213.35 Total - General Service Items
Optional service items:
106.76 - 108 link chain and 18t front sprocket (from B & C Express)
28.50 - 45 tooth rear sprocket (28.50 from Sprint Manufacturing )
137.82 - Rear WP shock service and powder-coat spring (MH Racing)
210.16 - Front forks service and unseize seized adjuster (WP springs already fitted - MH Racing)
45.00 - 2 HEL front braided steel brakelines and fittings (from
528.24 Total - Optional service items
25.00 - Powdercoat the swinging arm
20.00 - Powerbronze Hugger (second hand from's classified ads)
10.00 - Double bubble screen (second hand via Andy Rochester)
23.00 - 2 packs of chrome dzus (23 from performance motorcycle parts)
78.00 Total - Asthetics
Tuning specific:
227.99 - Tuneboy software (from, see Tuneboy for details)
227.99 Total - Tuning specific
Tools and consumables:
10.00 - Brake fluid (Halfords)
40.00 - Mityvac brake bleeder tool (40 from Premier Tools)
5.00 - Lubricate cables (used Silkolene Silkopen graphite spray)
9.33 - Greased bearings* (used Silkolene Pro RG2 waterproof grease
5.00 - New coolant (from Halfords)
3.50 - 12mm Draper spark plug socket
72.83 Total - Tools and consumables
1,116.91 Grand Total - so much for the saving money aspect...

*headstock, rear-wheel and all suspension bearings and linkages.
** from BRT Bearings

The plan was to make the bike better, which I guess can be split into 4 areas:

1) Service it. Ensure the important parts are as near to 'as new' as possible, replacing stock parts with performance parts where price is comparable.
2) Make it handle better. It seems to run wide and I have never spent any quality time setting it up.
3) Make it faster. I want to use this on track days as well as the road, so I want it more track focussed than before.
4) Make it look as good as new. The bike is 7 years old and is starting to look it...


I started by putting the bike up on the ABBA stand and removing the WP rear shock, as the spring was rusty and the whole unit looked like it could do with a service. I dropped it in to Mark Hammond at MH Racing who said the spring was the right one for my weight. I weigh 83Kgs and the spring had 140-165 printed on it. Mark got the spring powder coated in white and serviced the shock. I lifted the front of the bike using a Champion front stand (about 70 from Demon Tweaks) and removed the forks (theres a big allen key in the Triumph tool kit, which I used either for the front wheel or the forks). The forks already had WP springs fitted. All WP fork springs are progressive springs uprated by about 15%. Mine have WP97 on them, another guys from the T595 board had WP99 on them but a reply from WP UK said that the springs are the same apart from age. One of the adjuster screws on the forks was seized, so I dropped the forks into Mark for a full service too. Mark reckoned that the forks hadn't been apart for some time, possibly since new (apart from someone swapping out the springs). The list of parts was quite impressive: oil/seals/dust seals/inner & outer bushes for the forks and oil/nitrogen/main seal/o ring/dirt scraper for the shock. Mark says it should be set up pretty much spot on for me so to just bolt it all in. Total cost was 347.98.


After I'd removed the shock I lifted the swingarm up and the drop link stayed at the same angle to the swing arm as it already was. I thought this was odd, as theres bearings in it, so I tried to move it with my hand and it was solid. I checked the manual and it looked like it should move, so I tried tapping it with a rubber mallet, and it moved a bit. So I looked on and sure enough there were many threads about these bearings being seized, so I decided to strip all the linkages.

The drag link came apart easily enough and all the bearings were knackered. I got the bolt out of the drop link okay, but couldn't shift the sleeve. This sleeve goes into the swingarm and at the outer edge there is a thread so that you can insert the pinch bolt from the rear of the swingarm (the one that clamps the eccentric adjuster in place) and use pliers on this to pull the sleeve clear. That didn't work either, it was solid. I coated the sleeve with penetrating oil and left it. Tried again the next day, pliers on the bolt, still no joy. Time to get serious.

Some time ago I bought an impact wrench from Argos for about 20, which runs off a 12v battery. The idea now is to do the bolt up thats going into the sleeve, but use a tube of some sort against the swingarm so that as the bolt tightens it pulls the sleeve out of the swingarm through the tube towards the impact wrench. The tube needs to be pretty solid, and large enough to allow the sleeve to be pulled through it and small enough so that the bolt head doesn't go through it. Clear as mud? Have a look at the first few photo's below. What I did was use ring spanners. Took an age, getting the sleeve out so far, then having to fit another spanner, then so far, another spanner. Fair bit of noise, violent banging of the wrench, used a tin of penetrating spray but finally got it out. I used sockets and vice to press out the bearings in the drop link, and tapped the bearings out of the drag link using a hammer and drift.

When I refitted the bearings all went in fine, using the vice to press them in, but when I put the shaft in the drag link it was notchy. I tried to drift it back out, but it wouldn't budge. The following day (and we'll ignore the bit in the middle where I had a bit of a strop on - sorry Ade) I used a dremmel like tool to grind a slot into the bearing and then it popped out no trouble. I ordered an official Triumph bearing from Fowlers and it was 12 and didn't seem as good a bearing as the BRT ones I'd used that were half the price! Anyway, I put some emmery cloth around an old srewdriver blade, put that in a drill and then sanded the inner of the drag link down to clean it up a tad. Then put the shaft though, put the bearing in place and pressed it in with the vice and this time it was perfect. Greased it up with PRO RG2 grease and re-fitted it all. The oficial Triumph manual has torque settings of 48/95/100Nm for the various bolts, but I'd seen a message on T595 saying that this was wrong and when using these values they'd stipped the bolts. It also said to use 48Nm on all. In the end I did them up to 48Nm with the torque wrench and then used a standard socket wrench to tweak them to what I 'felt' was right.


The original T595 has the eccentric adjuster set to move from the middle backwards, so the wheelbase is longer. Later models were delivered the other way around, so the wheelbase was shorter. If you rotate the eccentric adjuster forwards, you'll get a shorter wheelbase, which in theory would make the bike change direction easier. There are a few problems with doing this:

- The brake caliper hanging plate has a slot in it which will only allow the adjuster to be turned forwards 'so far'. The purpose of this plate is to keep the caliper and pads in line with the disk. The solution is to take a file to the slot and elongate it to allow the adjuster to be moved forwards. The metal is very soft so using a decent file and a vice the job was done in minutes (see pics below). Alternatively you could probably by a hanger plate off a later model.

- The chain and sprockets determine how far forwards the rear wheel can be moved, as you have to achieve the correct chain tension. So, you can either buy larger sprockets or you can remove links from the chain. Standard chain and sprocket sizes, according to B&C Express, for the T595/955i Daytona models are:

T595 97-98 108 link chain, 43 rear, 18 front
955i 99-01 108 link chain, 42 rear, 18 front
955i 2002 106 link chain, 44 rear, 19 front
955i 03-05 106 link chain, 42 rear, 18 front

I wanted to shorten the gearing to gain acceleration to make the bike more track focussed and I'd read that using a smaller front sprocket wasn't ideal due to adding stress the output shaft, making the chain work harder wrapping around a smaller sprocket and possibly damaging the chain guide on the swingarm. So I ordered a 45t rear sprocket, along with an 18 front and 108 link chain. I figured that I'd probably be able to fit a 45 with the 108 link chain, and if I wanted to shorten the wheelbase I could remove a link or two.

Unfortunately, the 108 link chain was fine with the 45 sprocket but didn't move the rear wheel as far forward as I'd like. 106 links would be too short (I cut the old chain to test it) so I either left it as it was or fitted a larger front or rear sprocket. As this involved spending more money I did neither, I'll live with it for now and maybe fit a 46T rear later.


A close inspection of the swingarm showed that the paint was coming off in a few places. Judging by what I'd found with the bearings so far, I decided to remove the swingarm, get it powder-coated and fit new bearings. After all, it probably needed it and I was halfway there already. The first hurdle was now having to supprt the bike without the ABBA stand. T595net'ers suggestions included turning the footpegs over and using axle stands under them or suspending the bike from above. I wanted something fairly solid, as the suspension was away for 3-4 weeks, so I used 4 pieces of wood to make a stand and it's worked perfectly. I put the wood in place, screwed it together, lowered the ABBA stand and then used a wooden mallet to tap the wooden legs straight. Perfect!

Getting the spindle out was easy enough but then you need two special tools to undo the locking ring and remove the clamping ring. A visit to T595net suggested the tools were 50 (bugger that) but that an old socket would do the job. So I used a hammer and drift to undo the locking ring and butchered a 25mm socket to make the special tool. All I did was cut it with a hacksaw and use a grinder to even it up a bit. Popped it on the impact wrench and the clamping ring was soon off. See pics. Getting the needle bearing out is a pig, you have to destroy it and try not to damage the inners of the swingarm at the same time. You can't knock it out from the other side as there is a lip. All I can say is use a strong chisel and be equally careful and brutal! It was 25 to have it powder coated in silver. Refitting the bearings was a case of tapping(!) them in using a correctly sized socket (25mm for the needle, I forget for the other).


I've done clearances on the FZR many times so I figured this would be easy enough. Turns out its easier than the Yamaha, as you don't have to remove the cams to get the shims out. Its possible to do this with the coolant tubes in place, but as I was doing a full service and replacing the coolant anyway, I drained it and removed the pipework. Then you remove the coils (two bolts each) and cam shaft sensor* (front left, one bolt) and then the bolts that hold the cam cover down. You can remove the plugs too, to make rotating the crank easier. Remove the clutch cover (I had the oil drained anyway) so you can turn the crank to turn the cams, so you get the pointy end of the cam facing away from the shim/bucket at the same angle as the bucket sits in the head. Use feeler gauges to check the gap, it should be 0.10mm to 0.15mm (intake), 0.15 to 0.20 exhaust. Two were out of spec. To get the shims out without the Triumph Valve tool you need:

- small flat blade screwdriver, slightly bent, with the tip ground a bit sharper
- a magnet (a screw-driver/extendable magnet is perfect)
- a huge flat blade screwdriver. Mines got about a 10mm by 1mm thick tip
- a spare pair of hands (not essential but makes life a lot easier)

I used the big screwdriver to push the bucket down, by putting the tip on the shiny edge of the bucket (see pic below). Its a bit of effort to push it down, but once 'shoved' its easy to hold down. If you have a friend they can use the sharp small screwdriver to lever the shim up (theres a space in the bucket to access the shim) and once the shim is up a bit your friend can use the magnet to withdraw it. I did this on my own, holding the big screwdriver down with my chest - but it was a lot easier with Cath helping! The shims will have a number printed on them but its worth measuring them with a micrometer if you have one. Work out the size of the new shims you need. There is a spreadsheet in the Knowledge Base to help you do this (and yes I know I asked Paul T to check my workings but I wanted to be sure!). I ordered the shims from Fowlers and they were about 5 each and Cath helped me fit them, printed number facing upwards. Then recheck the clearances and put it all back together. I then borrowed Paul T's vacuum gauges to balance the throttle bodies, which was much easier than I expected it to be (you can get to the adjuster screws with the tank in place by removing the cover at the front of the tank).

For my reference, the clearances were:

inlet 1 = .09mm changed shim from 2.65 to 2.60, clearance became .14mm
inlet 2 = .12mm
inlet 3 = .12mm
inlet 4 = .13mm
inlet 5 = .12mm
inlet 6 = .12mm
exhaust 1 = .17mm
exhaust 2 = .22mm changed shim from 2.75 to 2.80, clearance became .17mm
exhaust 3 = .20mm
exhaust 4 = .20mm
exhaust 5 = .17mm
exhaust 6 = .17mm

Tolerance values are 0.10mm to 0.15mm inlet, 0.15mm to 0.20mm exhaust

*NOTE - there was a change at some point so some bikes do not use the cam shaft sensor. Rather than remove the sensor from the bike, Triumph just removed the block it plugs into from the loom. So, when you are putting everything back together and you can't find anywhere to plug this into, chances are there isn't anywhere.


I asked around and the general consensus seemed to be that the BMC filter would be a good bet for power but at 57 would also be the most expensive. K&N would be slightly cheaper, but as everyone has one I wanted to try another brand, for comparisons sake if nothing else. I wasn't going to buy a stock one as I wanted better power performance, so in the end I went for an ITG filter . Their website looks pretty impressive and as it was supplied by Wilcox Engines who have done development work on the T5 engine I figured it would be proven. Fitting was easy, remove the tank, undo the bolts holding in the filter/holder into the airbox, remove the holder, pop out the old filter and press in the new one, making sure there are no gaps, replace in airbox and bolt back together.


After I removed the forks and had supported the front of the bike under the engine I checked the head bearings and they were tight and really notchy. Really bad in fact, to the point that I was amazed at how much was wrong with this bike when it looked externally like it was all okay. I removed the yokes, used the air compressor to clean the bearings and then greased up and refitted. To get the right tension I just tightened up the nut until there was a small bit of resistance and I'll check these bearings monthly and see what happens.


The service manual recommends changing the brake lines every 4 years. I decided to go for 2 direct lines to each caliper, rather than one to the caliper with a link line from that line to the other caliper. When I bought the bike the brakes were outstanding. However, as the bike stands a lot at the moment, when I go to ride it I have to pull the leaver a few times first to get feeling back into the brakes. And on a trackday last year I suffered from brake fade, where the lever came back to the bar, suggesting that the brake fluid is past its best.

Reading through the message board there seem a number of ways to improve the brakes, including:

- fit a better master cylinder (Brembo PR19 being the m/c of choice - loads of money!)
- switch to dual lines
- clean the pistons and calipers
- do a complete fluid change and bleed thoroughly
- tie the lever on overnight
- replace the caliper piston seals (I think Sprint do a seal kit for 14 per caliper, so I might do this later)
- put one caliper on with the pads only 5mm on the disk, pull the lever so the pads angle, push the caliper on and bolt it in place, repeat with other caliper

I've replaced lines before and know that getting fluid into the lines is a pig of a job, so I bought a Mityvac brake bleeding kit. What a cracking tool! You just use the adapter to change the tube sizing so the smaller tube fits over the bleed nipple, pull the lever a few times to create a vacuum, undo the nipple slightly and the fluid gets sucked out. Way simpler and cleaner than any other method I've tried and well worth the money. The pics below of the calipers off the bike is from when I was bleeding out the fluid prior to replacing the brake lines. As I'd got this far I decided to split the calipers and clean the pistons. They were in pretty good shape and the seals looked good, so hopefully the brakes will be back their best, like they were when I bought the bike. I also noticed that the calipers on the T595 are incedibly similar to the FZR and the pads are exactly the same. So, if you want Triumph pads and can't get them, order pads for a 1991 FZR400rrsp 3TJ model (chassis 3TJ-141580 if you need to quote a chassis number). The brake master cylinder is the exact same Nissin item too.


Seeing as the rear shock was in such a mess when I took it off I decided to fit a hugger. Then I looked at the prices of them and changed my mind. Then I checked the classifieds on the board and saw that Simon Smith was selling his for 15 - bargain. Not the colour I'd choose but its functional and does the job. Fitting was straightfoward as I had the exhaust can and rear wheel off anyway. I needed two slightly longer bolts and then it was on.

I wanted a double-bubble screen but again couldn't bring myself to shell out the full price for one. Andy Rochester, a racer buddy from NG, saw a screen for sale for 10 somewhere and bought it for me. Its not clear, so again its not what I'd have chosen, but its functional and cheap. I'll try it out and if I like it I might get a clear one later. Fitting was easy, just pop the nuts out of the existing screen and into the new one and bolt it on. Bling!