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Discussion Starter #1
I wanted to start another thread to offer tips and tricks and ideas to share with other riders and request some good ideas from other riders that they would share. I don’t street ride but I would hope some of my off road and racing tricks might translate to the pavement pounders as well. I was hoping to add simple maintenance and repair and bike preparation and stuff that may be helpful to some of the newer or less experienced riders. And some of the old school dirty sneaky tricks the old veteran riders used to share( if they liked you)
So I will try to add some stuff as I can,and ask for pictures and descriptions of some of your great ideas. Please put your not so great ideas in my stupidity challenge thread. And deposit your nonsensical ideas in my crap pile etc.etc. etc. thread. Now... if I can think of anything???:|
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Simple basics

Every motorcycle will probably be transported at some point. My bike gets transported with every use and tie downs are simple and easy with tie down loops on rear muffler bolt and fork triple clamps. Inexpensive and simple to install. Mail order purchase from Canyon Dancer products
 

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I have a No-Mar Classic in the garage and do all my own tire swaps. The tech at the local dealer said to be careful breaking the bead so as not to damage the TPS inside the wheel. Anyone else change their own and have an idea how to locate the TPS before breaking the bead?

Also, I want to hook the rear accessory leads to the fused leads for my Gerbings heated gear. Someone said the heated seat hookup required a dealer hooking up the computer and switching it on. Do I need to do this for heated gear that comes with it’s own controllers or is the computer check just for bike-controlled adjustment?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My kind of guy

Well good on you for doing your own tire swaps. I am only familiar with the pressure sensor that is incorporated into the tire valve. I don’t know the specifics on your model but I would expect to find it there. I kind of looks like a hearing aid that pops in the rim.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Above my pay grade

Still wondering about the accessory leads. Are they always-on or just on with ignition?
I was hoping one our street bike savvy forum members would chime in with a helpful suggestion for you as I have no specific knowledge of your bike and could only offer generic advice to your question. I would only caution not to add circuits to existing ones. And check accessory fuse circuit for wiring capacity before using. Wish I could be more helpful. But if you had a dirt bike I’d probably have tons of ideas....:grin2: best regards
 

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Testing of the rear accessory leads, The yellow wire is always on, the red is switched. I haven’t fished them out, but would think the color code up front would be the same. The accessory leads, the lighter outlet and the license plate light are all in the same 10-amp fuse. So no good for powering heated gear, as mine has 2 15-amp fused circuited leads.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
More stuff I remembered

After posting several unrelated posts I remembered an old dirt bike trick I invented or stole(forgot which) my old enduro practice trails were in a swamp and near several deep streams and small rivers. Drowning your bike sucks on a good day and blows friggin chunks when swamp water is crawling with real or imagined snakes and such. Waterproofing airbox is mandatory and a bit of duct tape and air box water check valve will have you waterproof up to the bottom of seat. Some water crossings could put entire front tire underwater and bike would not normally drown. But ignition systems would be submerged and even when our newer bikes used CDI ignition the water will infiltrate under ignition cover. Simple physics here, your motor is running hot as balls through the woods and you quickly quench it in cool water...instantly pushing water past the quickly shrunken cover on your hot motor. You can cement cover with silicone but water will find a way inside past wires or some other location. My trick was to drill and tap small hole in case under ignition cover and connect small hose into airbox inside clean side of filter. This caused a slight suction from motor vacuum to help remove moisture from ignition cavity. This trick may be helpful to some riders with e start motors keep starter and starter drives cleaner under that cover. It was not a substitute for proper cleaning under ignition cover but was helpful keeping ignition moisture free.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Radiator science

Recent discussions of radiator leaks on motorcycle radiators reminded me to post up some basic do’s and dont’s With radiators and cooling systems. Automotive flush and leak stop compounds and coolants can all be bad news for motorcycles. Some, but not all automotive cooling system additives are incompatible so read ingredients. Radiator leak repair is best for expert repair shops.(mylers) every hack wrench donkey will tell you they can epoxy a radiator leak and it works perfectly. I heard that lots of times. I have also observed the epoxy break off and spray riders with superheated coolant. Radiator repair when welded or soldered correctly will last without any worry of leakage when you don’t want problems(riding alone in coyote canyon) putting epoxy on the outside or stuffing it into a radiator tube to repair it can restrict coolant flow or break off inside and circulate and restrict coolant in radiator tubes. Large amounts of epoxy patch compound can act as an insulator on radiator and inhibit its ability to radiate engine heat as needed. Motorcycle radiators are designed to be super lightweight compact and efficient, but they are not at all durable as a result. Some aftermarket radiators are offered with increased surface cooling capacity and slightly heavier materials and are less expensive than factory radiators. No rider enjoys the price of an expensive radiator problem, but common sense would dictate proper, reliable repair or replacement makes more sense than possible troubles with unreliable patchwork repairs. Just sayin
 

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Discussion Starter #12
More radiator blather

A few other cooling system tricks I wanted to share are old school, but work well. I feel strongly about proper cooling system repair but sometimes older machinery or low budget prohibits a proper repair. For these situations I offer a variation of an old school recipe that dates back to my father and model T and model A fords. The old timers used organic material or grains in radiators to force the diluted solids into leak and expand when exposed to outside air. It works but would be ineffective on most aluminum radiators due to extreme expansion and some radiators use rubber gaskets to seal header end tanks. I developed a method that works well that can be used as a last resort and will not damage cooling system. Mix a teaspoon of oatmeal with a half teaspoon of ground cinnamon and grind with spoon to powder. Add tablespoon of egg white and mix the whole mess with a few ounces of clear water. Mix completely. Drain cooling system and add some clean water and add oatmeal goo mixture and top with clean water and run motor until hot and leave under pressure. The mixture will work like the old school methods but the egg white acts as a binder and flexes with expansion/contraction cycles. Drain cooling system after using a few weeks and top up with proper coolant if leak repair was successful. Multiply dose by 6 for your old clunker truck. Works for them as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Buying used bike blunders to avoid

A recent post reminded me of the many pitfalls and disasters that await the unsuspecting or inexperienced used bike buyer. My experience is learned from many years buying and selling used bikes both as a consumer and dealer. A few ideas here and I would welcome other forum members to add ideas for some of our members to help them make better purchases. I have a few no-go items for me for the smaller bikes. Unless the kids parents are stinking rich or mechanics,best to avoid used minis unless the dad/tuner is a good mechanic. If the BUYER has limited mechanical ability,better to buy junior a new bike from the showroom all at once or buy new bike from parts department piece by piece. Always be careful buying mid size bikes suited for teenage kids. Those hormone charged nitwits can break anything that rolls. Buying a bike from a teenaged owner is usually a bad idea unless the bike was competently serviced by adult. Not to bag on kids here but very few are mechanically competant to clean an air filter or know how or why to do it. Always avoid the bikes for sale that are advertised as “modded up” or “sick mods” those are red flag signs of an attempt to modify a bike for more performance, and usually with questionable quality workmanship or results. My logic here is, most of these would be tuners can barely change oil without stripping threads on plug, how much would they be able to assess and improve performance? Would you allow one of those teenage tuners to service your car? Of course not. Best to avoid these tuning fails completely. Best to look for a stock bike. Try to shop for a bike that was impulse purchase by an overly optimistic buyer that bought a bike and never used it much and got tired of looking at it in shed and finally puts it up for sale after not riding it for a few years. You will see posts here and elsewhere from members that have purchased 10 and 20 year old bikes that look new and unused, and were purchased at bargain prices. You may have to do some service to bike but it’s better than rebuilding something that was abused and worn out. The best used bike purchases are the older rider that have a bit more disposable income to purchase bike and accessories and then finds he won’t ride it much and keeps bike for years in storage and gets disgusted seeing parked bike and decides to sell it cheap. Any other ideas from other guys here? Let’s hear your experiences!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Air filter primer

Anyone that rides a dirt bike would agree that air filter service is a required and messy and tedious pain. I hate it a little more than most people because I’m a bit of a lazy bastard. Service intervals vary with conditions, but here in the northeast most bikes are safe with a 2 to 3 hour service interval. This is usually a single trail ride. I keep 3 filters. This allows one in the bike, one oiled spare and another clean one because it’s less unpleasant to clean 2 at a time if possible. I also double my service interval by using filter skins over top of foam filter and just remove the thin mesh filter cover after riding and foam filter underneath is plenty clean enough to run another 2to3 hours. Then I soak dirty filter and filter skin overnight in detergent and put them in mesh bag and put them in clothes washer(when wifey is out of house) and squeeze out excess water and air dry. After drying a few days I oil them lightly and squeeze to distribute oil. Leave overnight and re oil lighter spots and squeeze again. Best not to soak filter, better to under than over oil it. Store filter in clean plastic bag until needed. Same for filter skin cover. Oil it lightly. I always grease airbox face with K&N filter grease and make one hell of a mess. Always run fingers around perimeter of filter to ensure good seal to mouth of airbox. And wear disposable gloves or you will be like a sticky human fly trap:surprise:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
More electrical blather

Recent electrical troubleshooting post reminded me of some problems and solutions and suggestions I have used. I would offer a story from my experience with a very competent service tech struggling with a no start after lots of grief and struggle with an older bike and his new-tech methods failing to correct problem. When he related symptoms to me I asked him a simple question that puzzled him. When he told me his no start was after customer replaced battery and non-starting continued the bike was brought to his shop for starter replacement and new starter continued to click. I asked if it was a hard or soft click. A soft click may indicate low battery a hard click may indicate a charged/hot battery and possible wiring or ground problem. I took a quick look at soft clicking no start and borrowed an old school analog voltmeter and determined a voltage drop at positive battery lug which required another 1/4 turn to tighten fully. Bike started as magic. Customer replaced defective battery and neglected proper tightening, service tech neglected to check basics and needlessly replaced starter. Shop disconnected ground lug for starter replacement and never checked positive lug.:surprise:Simple study and double checking could have saved that customer a hefty troubleshooting charge, and he was charged for starter replacement. :surprise:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Simple common sense soloution to street and dirt bike kickstand digging in ground and dropping your bike on handlebar or clutch lever. I keep a small metal scrap in my transporter and in strategic points around where my bike will be parked in soft terrain. I pick up small aluminum scraps and avoid dumping my bike any more than needed
 

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Discussion Starter #17
More air filter blather. Took some pictures to illustrate dirt bike air filter service while servicing my nightmare. I try to keep work area clean. Everything ready at hand. Bike was previously washed with air box plug installed. Cover remains on while airbox is vacuumed clean of grit and crud. And wiped clean and spotless with many paper towels and mineral spirits. Use low pressure compressed air and vacuum to remove any more grit and wipe clean again. Tedious work but easier than rebuilding an engine after its been ruined by abrasive grit wear. More coming soon
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Air filter and pre filter skin are oiled and installed on filter spreader cage. picture shows filter oil as applied. filter and filter skin will be squeezed and caressed, but not strangled or crushed before installing to distribute oil evenly. Heavy filter specific sealing grease is spread in a thin bead around mouth of airbox. Filter skin is only pulled to end of filter and not around sealing face of filter. Not exactly according to filter skin instruction, but i remove it after 1 ride and run stock foam filter for my next ride, which cuts this maintenance chore in half for me. I dislike this job and try to make it as simple and painless as possible
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Air filter and pre filter are carefully set into airbox ensuring proper seal all around sealing face by putting fingers around filter rim. You did see the disposable gloves in picture right?? I use a bunch of them for this sticky, messy job. The filter oil is sticky and gooey. The grease is messy, but it all serves to feed clean air into the motor.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
A little wheel bearing story and installation ideas. My mighty XCW took a big hit recently when a healthy sized log took a bad bounce off my front tire and jammed my rear wheel at about 50 or 60mph in the woods. Normal post ride inspection and cleaning found a loose wheel bearing. Found this all balls kit on RMATV and ordered. 3/4 of the price of the stock kit and claims a bit stronger. A complete kit with bearings,spacers,seals and instructions. No interchangable parts with stock parts and stock snap ring is deleted as spacers and larger bearings will now stack up in hub to retain bearings and center hub properly. Outer spacers will be smaller diameter and will seal on axle with o rings to remain watertight. This is an improvement over stock method.
 

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