I got a reminder in the post yesterday to tax the XT, which runs out at the end of the month. I tried to get the new tax disc online. If you have never used this system, give it a try. All you do is enter the reference number off the reminder letter, and the system checks if the bike is insured and MoT'd, and then you can pay by card. The disc arrives a few days later in the post, job done. The whole thing takes about five minutes and is brilliantly efficient. It's one of the few government webthings that actually works and is better than what it replaces (in my case, a 6-mile round trip plus half an hour waiting in the queue in the Post Office, plus another half an hour to dig out the required documents beforehand).
Unfortunately, yesterday it told me that the bike did not have a current MoT Certificate, and was unable to complete my request. I had the certificate in front of me, and it expires on 15 May (over a week away), so that was gold-plated bollocks for a start. Anyway, I needed to get the new MoT done before I could tax the bike. Lamo's Motorcycles were able to fit me in this morning.
Lo and behold, it passed. Yea, and thanks be unto Him who makes old trailbikes to pass the rigorous exigencies of the MoT test, even unto the fourth generation. I wasn't surprised, as everything has worked on the bike for quite a while now. I am getting used to it being a reliable form of transport, rather than a work-in-progress. I put new tyres on it last summer, and new brake pads, and an exhaust without holes in - I would have been astounded if it had failed.
But I did get one 'advisory' - the guy noticed that the rear brake piston was sticking out a bit further than he was used to, and suggested that my rear brake pads could be getting to the end of their life. (The pads themselves are not visible without dismantling the brake.)
Ha ha, I laughed. I put those pads in only 2000 miles ago. You must be mistaken.
But when I got home I checked. The pads were almost down to the metal. Oops. Well spotted, that MoT inspector.
I posted earlier this year (here and here) about the new Goldfren HH pads I had fitted (cheap ones, off eBay, never again). I replaced the front ones almost immediately with EBC pads, as I was very unhappy with their performance, but I left the rear pads on, as the rear brake gets only light use and I figured they would last until I replaced the fronts again. And then, after a measly 2000 miles, they were worn out. 2000 miles, on the rear end of a light and fairly slow trailbike, is appalling. I would have been disappointed with four times that mileage.
I'll be up in the big city tomorrow, so I will try to find some proper ones. EBC ones.