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Discussion Starter #1
OK kiddies. Time to help me write another Article Forum item.

I'm looking for definitive procedures for the simple regular or annual servicing for the backyard mechanics or wannabe's among us.

I got the idea for this while writing up the procedure I use for cleaning throttle cable and twist grips. Seems like there's a lot of this sort of stuff that keeps coming up. So it's time for a FAQ writing session.

I'm not looking to replace the darn shop manual that you should all go and buy but rather I'd like to describe how some of the simple stuff can be done. Things like cleaning the cables, flushing through new brake fluid, new coolant or replacing an air filter without dropping the screwdriver down the carb. Minor stuff like that. It would be nice to concentrate on Spring Bike Tuneup items as a companion to Actionmechanic's Rider Tune Up article :thumbup

I'll start by copying over the throttle cable stuff...
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
CLEANING AND LUBING THROTTLE AND CLUTCH CABLES;

Start by stripping and cleaning and lubing the twist grip and throttle cable. If these are gummed up with old lube and crap then you're fighting with it all the time. The twist grip should SNAP back with a strong click when you let it go from max throttle. If not then your controls are in need of cleaning or perhaps your throttle cable assembly is shot.

The cable can cut into the jacket over time and becomes stickier. But try blowing it out with some cleaner first and then lube it with fine oil before you toss it.

ONLY use grease in the area where the cable ends go into the barrel of the twistgrip. The barrel to bar slip fit is usually greased but I found that this makes the whole thing too "sticky" and the grip sort of oozes closed. Now I just put a thin wipe of motor oil onto the bar and inside the barrel. Nice and snappy that way.

Use a thin'ish oil for the cable. If your system uses the 90 degree bends at the twist grip then a bit of Moly bearing grease on the first couple of inches AFTER you oil the cable will help reduce friction at the bend and the Moly should "stick" to the stuff in there and offer some benifit over a longer time after the grease is gone.

Get one of those cable lubing gizmos for blowing out the old crap before you oil it. Some brake cleaner or WD40 run down there first should clean out the old junk. Keep blowing it though and working the cable util it comes out clean. THEN oil it. The special cable oil in a pressure can is primo stuff for use with the Gizmo.

When you reassemble it all be sure there is a plastic slip washer between the rubber grip and twist grip housing and that the rubber grip has a small gap so there's no pressure between the grip and the housing. The grip can creep/shift with time and this is often overlooked. Similarly when you're ensuring that the grip isn't rubbing the housing don't forget about the other end. Be sure the grip or barrel isn't jamming or rubbing on the bar end.

% % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % %

I just redid this topic for someone here while forgetting that I'd done this post way back when. There's a slightly different slant on this version. It may fill in some gaps....

How to clean and lube your cable Parte Deux-

First off go and buy a can of WD40 and a spray can of cable lube and one of the clamp on gizmos for sealing off the end so you can squirt the fluids down the cable.

Now line up the slots in the adjuster barrel and lock ring with the slot in the clutch lever perch. Pull the lever and when you release it pull on the cable jacket to draw the jacket out of the barrel and slide the cable out of the slot. Work the cable end out of the lever. With the free play you should be able to work the cable end out of the lever down on the other end by the clutch activator lever.

Now you can check on how gooey the cable is and look for any frayed strands. If any at all are frayed then it's new cable time.

Assuming the cable is OK but it feels stiff then it's time to lube. Clamp the gizmo on the lever end of the cable and hook up the WD40 can. Blast some down the cable until it pours out the other end. A paper towel down there is a good idea. With some WD in the cable and coming out the other end I'll bet it's pretty black. Undo the gizmo from the cable and work the cable back and forth. Hook up the gizmo and spray down some more WD. Work it again. Repeat all this until the WD comes out only slightly grey or clean.

NOW it's time to use the cable lube. This lube is a light oil only. Using the gizmo spray some of that down there until it blows the WD out the other end. Let the excess drain out onto another paper towel.

When it's not running out any more check the cable operation. I'll bet it's delightfully easy to push and pull the cable now.

Hook up the bottom end of the cable. For the top end put the cable end into the lever and then get some slack by using some pliers or some other trick to operate the clutch lever down on the clutch bell so you get your slack in the cable. Work the cable through the lever slot and put the end of the jacket back in the barrel adjuster and let go down below.

Another trick is a small shot of chain lube on both the cable ends. That'll ensure that the ends can rotate decently in the clutch lever and down on the activator arm without putting a lot of bending stress on the cable.

While you're at it put a small shot of the chain lube onto the clutch lever pivot bolt. Or better yet while the cable is out pull off the lever, clean the bearing and bolt and lightly grease the bearing in the lever and the bolt and re-assemble.

With all this done the clutch is going to be as good as it gets. If it's still too much for you then it's time to start exercising with one of the spring gizmos to work on your grip strength. But I'm willing to bet that it's the cable and lever that's gooped up.
 

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How's this?

<A HREF = "http://www.jonesboy.com/tutorials/plug_change/"> Changing plugs on a modern sportbike </A>

It's not complete, got a couple hours in it this evening, let me know what you think, edits, etc.

-Matt
 

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great info !! i gotta manual but most of the times, i think that the "coles notes" version from the "tried & tested" are the way to go ..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
jonesboy said:
How's this?

<A HREF = "http://www.jonesboy.com/tutorials/plug_change/"> Changing plugs on a modern sportbike </A>

It's not complete, got a couple hours in it this evening, let me know what you think, edits, etc.

-Matt
Didn't read every word yet but DAYAM that looks good. Especially the pictures. VERY NICE WORK. I'll PM you with any suggestions I manage to find.... like minor spelling errors or dangling participles.... :rolleyes

That your site? Is it stable for the long term? If so I'll just link to it.

OK guys. The guantlet has been slapped across our faces. I don't expect the same level of quality for every submission but we can't just let Matt take ALL the marbles home... :D
 

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Yeah, the site's stable, go ahead and link to it. It's been around for about four years and I'm not too keen on letting it expire :)

I don't think it was really *that* great, but thanks for the kind words.

Hope it helps. :)

-Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You're too modest. It is finely written and has an air of lightness what with the comedy relief comments that should really help those that are nervous about the whole concept.

There ARE a few Yami specific bits that a couple of us should be able to help with. For example there's no heat sheild on either of my bikes. The air box seems to perform that function all by itself. The only other item is that niether of my bikes has those devil clamps that hold the airbox to the carb mouths. On both of mine the airbox just screws down to the carb mouth flanges and have either gaskets or O rings to form the seal that's needed. The screws that do this are accessable from inside the airbox around the carb mouths. Since the screws need to come out it's hard to cover the mouths with the towels like you show. So instead I ball the towels up and stuff then down the mouths.

.... Guess I don't need to PM you with the suggestions now. That's all I found.... :D
 

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Wow, and I thought that the VFR plugs were a pain.
Would a step by step list of "my bike won't start" troubleshooting fit into this thread?
Do the lights turn on? y/n, Does it make a noise? y/n
It seems to be a very common question on the forums later in the season.
-Sandworm
 

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Discussion Starter #10
CHAIN REPLACEMENT TECHNIQUE TIP FROM OUR OWN BEAN

Bean said:
Instead of having to take the front sprocket cover off and whatever else you have to take off to get to the sprocket to replace your chain. Do the following.


STEPS:

1: Remove your master link.

2: Paper clip your new chain to your old chain (to the end hangin off the rear sprocket).

3: Pull your old chain out untill both ends of the new chain are accesible.

4: Remove old chain.

5: Line up one end of the new chain with the other end to mark where any extra links need to be removed. (Do this after you have moved your tire to almost as far forward as it will go) Mark it with a paper clip on the outer plate.

6: Opposite of step 2.

7: Opposite of step 3.

8: Remove the extra links (marked by the second paper clip) by whichever means are available to you.

9: Repeat step 2.

10: Repeat step 3.

11. Attach master link. Open end of clip pointing in the opposite direction of chain travel.

12. Ride!!

**Note: You can safety wire your master link by inserting a wire just behind the master link plate and twisting the wire on the side with the clip. Bend the twisted bit of wire (about 5mm twisted legnth) in the opposite direction of chain travel as in step 11.
TeeTee said:
For 8 an angle or stationary grinder works super well. A dremel will work if you're very, very patient..... and have a good supply of grinding bits.

The same grinder will also work to remove a link of the old chain if it doesn't have the luxary of having a master link.

Just to top the ice cream with a cherry clean the side plate of the master link really well with brake clean or other good degreaser. After you safety wire the keeper a smear of RTV Silicone sealer will help make sure there's no surprises. If you don't have safety wire ask. There's too many of us around here these days with track bikes. We ALL have more safety wire than we'll ever use. A few inches for your master links won't break us.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Aluminium foil to control oil during filter changing

For the oil filter actually. So many bikes with the inline 4's have the filter sitting sideways and perched over the exhaust. During a filter change it's impossible to prevent oil spilling over the pipes requireing a nasty cleanup or living with a blast of smoke for the next 20 kms.

I used to use bits of plastic bag to keep the oil off the pipes but as you all know bag plastic has a devilishlly perverse mind all it's own and results were mixed at best.

For about a year now I've been using aluminium foil to form a catch tray or divertor over the pipes. It's easy to do and unlike the plastic takes and holds shapes like a charm. I haven't done it yet but it might even be possible to use a couple of bits suitably formed to catch and channel the oil so that you don't need to take off the fairing lowers for those of you that can reach the filter without removing the lowers.

Anyway, I thought I'd share this little clean tip with you all. Happy foiling...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
huck-jai said:
Good Stuff! I think there should be a FAQ page for this kinda stuff.
There is. You're looking at one of them thanks to what I intend to be permanent stickies. And the other for more "fixed" material is the Ariticles area.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Fixing paint scratches or chips

Here's one method that has worked for me.

  • Get the matching color (duh!) and use a very small brush or broken off toothpick to fill in the scratch with 2 to 5 coats of paint until the fix is a little bit thicker than the paint around it.
  • Let dry for a few days at least. Now it's time to sand it down flush to the surrounding paint. Mask off with masking tape around the scratch so there's about 2 to 3 mm of spacing all around the paint "blob".
  • Use 1200 grip wet or dry paper with water to sand down the "blob" until it's flush with the paint around it. A light touch and dry and look often is the key to success here. You need to dry it to see how it's going.
  • When it's down flush remove the tape and use rubbing compound first to further smooth the repair(s) and then polishing compound to start the shine coming back.
  • When it's not getting any better for shine then stop with the polishing compound and switch to a good " deep cleaning" wax. These clean thanks to a very fine polishing compound in them so they will bring out the final shine.
  • Stand back and smile.... :D
Metallics never will be match perfectly thanks to the particle density being different but for basic solid colors you can make it hard to find the damage this way. With a little luck and a fine touch you may not even be able to see the damage. If it's a candy color it's more difficult as you have to bring up the transparent color very carefully.
 

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So, You Wanna Jet Your Bike, Hmm?

by CrotchetyRocket

Lots of people think carburettors are some arcane and mystical creature and that getting them right is akin to finding a unicorn or a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Carbs are miracles of the mechnical art and deserve respect for doing something inherently very complex, as well as they do. Now, for those of you that don't have degrees in Fluid Dynamics and just want to jet your carbs to match you new pipe or clear up the mistakes the factory made; here's some guidance.

First, you are going to have to get to the carbs. This has varying degrees of difficulty, depending on the bike. A ZX-11 is a pain for example, due to enclosed bodywork but, a ZRX-12 is fairly straightforward. Usually, the procedure is, remove seat, remove tank, remove airbox and you're there. To remove the tank, shut off the fuel, unbolt it, and move it so you can disconnect the fuel and vacuum lines (if equipped) from it. Carefully lift the tank off and set it somewhere safe on something soft, so it won't get nicked or bashed.

Removing the airbox also varies. Typically, there are a number of bolts holding down the lid and when you have those off, the ones holding the base are revealed and can be removed. There may also be a seperate plate held to the carb mouths or it may be integral to the airbox but, you've got to clear all this away so, you are looking at naked carbs.

What you'll see when you've done this is the carb mouth. You'll be able to see a slide with a needle attached to it. The needle goes into what's called the emulsion tube. Just inside the carb mouth will be 2 small visible tubes or holes, likely in the lower part of the carb body, one in line with the needle and one just off to the side. The one in line is the main air jet and the one to the side is the pilot jet. On the bottom of the carb you'll see a casting held on by screws. This is your float bowl which contains, no surprise, a float as well as a needle a seat assembly.

Now for some definitions and functions:

Pilot jet: This controls fuel flow mostly for idle and low speed operation. Through the combination of the pilot jet, the pilot air jet and the pilot screw position, this is richened or leaned.

Main air jet: This controls the flow of air to the emulsion tube/needle assembly and is primarily responsible for midrange fuel flow. The air enters the emulsion tube and blows the fuel into a fine mist; "emulsion" means, at it's simplest, "mixing".

Now you'll need to remove the carbs to proceed. Usually you can install a jet kit without seperating the carbs or removing the throttle cables but, not always. You'll almost certainly have to remove the choke cable. Unscrew its holder from the top of the carb it's attached to and rotate the cable 'til it comes out of the holder/lever arm.

The carbs need to be drained before you can go further. Usually, you'll see a little pipe sticking out of the float bowl with a screw near it. When you undo the screw fuel will drain from the float bowls. Use a small container or a length of vacuum hose to a container to capture the draining fuel.

The carbs themselves will likely be held onto their respective manifolds by worm clamps of some kind. Loosen all of them. At this point, check to see if there are any vacuum lines or electrical connections to the carbs and disconnect and label them, so you know where they go and don't come crying to someone like me because you forgot where a line or two go!

The carbs will usually need a little rocking to loosen them and then try to pull the entire rack off smoothly and carefully. Flip the rack over so the float bowls are up and you are ready to install your jet kit.

Stuff rags or paper towel down the intake manifolds to prevent junk from entering the engine. Look carefully for a little brass or plastic cap near the front (throttle plate side) of the carb. This covers your mixture screws and will need to be removed. I use a "pin vise", a tiny hand held drill available at any hobby shop, and a small tap to pull the plug. Be careful! You don't have to go far in to punch through the plug and you don't want to bugger up pilot screws behind it.

Undo the bowl screws but, pull only one bowl at a time. Inside you will find a couple of metal tubes screwed into the top of the float chamber, and a plastic float. The bigger tube is the emulsion tube and will have a little orifice screwed into its bottom. This is your main jet. The smaller tube is your pilot jet. Near the float hinge you'll see a tiny little metal cylinder attached to the hinging float. This is the float needle.

Time for more definitions and functions:

Emulsion tube: Flow through this is controlled by the needle rising and falling and is responsible for midrange performance, primarily.

Main jet: Mounted in the bottom of the Emulsion tube, this little orifice controls mixture at wide open throttle (WOT), primarily.

Pilot jet: Delivers the fuel for idle and low speed running conditions. It works in combination with the pilot air jet and the mixture screw position to fatten or lean the low-speed mixture.

Float: Like the water level sensor assemby in your toilet, it tells the carb its float bowl is full.

Float needle: This is attached to the float and opens or closes by pressing on a seat. This allows or shuts off fuel flow to the float bowl.

Your typical jet kit will contain main jets, emulsion tubes, needles, clips and washers for the needles and possibly pilot jets as well.

I start by removing the pilot jet, if required. This is usually equipped with a cut for a slotted screwdriver. Unwind it, carefully place it aside where it won't get lost and install the new pilot jet. Then set the pilot screws you uncovered when you pulled the little plugs to the starter setting you jet kit suggests.

Next, I move on to the main jet and emulsion tube. Remove the main jet first with your slotted screwdriver, being careful as these are made of soft metal and are easily distorted. Set the jet where it won't get lost and remove the emulsion tube with a 1/4 inch ratchet and what is most likely an 8 or 10mm socket. Replace the tube with the one in the kit and replace the jet with the suggested starting point jet from your kit. 5-10 inch/pounds are all you need to install these. Do not overtighten them or you'll strip the carb body and have to buy a new carb.

Next comes setting the float height. Usually, you'll have to rotate the carb do the hinge is upward and just touching the needle. Also usually, you'll measure from the bowl flange to the base of the float. I use a meachnics caliper for this but a decent millimetric ruler will suffice. A good tool shop can supply a ruler that is ruled from the very edge of the ruler, not 2-4 mils in as your elementary school rulers are. The right setting will vary but, usually 4-5 mm is what's required. If it's wrong, remove the screw holding down the float hinge, remove the float, remove its needle and carefully bend the tang on the float the required way to correct it. This is a pain in the butt as it may take a few tries to get right and you have to reassemble it every time to check it. Be careful not to drop the needle, the mounting screw or the float hinge bar. They are easily lost and hard to replace individually.

Float height is often overlooked and can cause low speed running problems if set too high or high rpm power problems if set too low.

Once this is done, replace the bowl and repeat for all the carbs.

I'd suggest a short break here; no coffee or beer though; these beverages don't go with jet kit installs very well!

Once you're back and ready for action, flip the carbs over right side up and you'll be looking at some big caps held down with screws. These contain your slide diaphragms, slide springs, the slides themselves and the needle.

Further definitions and functions:

Slide: Using engine vacuum and slide spring tension, the slide opens and closes like a choke on the air horn of an old car carburettor. What this does is, essentially, make the carb variable in terms of size so you can get clean throttle response at low rpms/light throttle and yet have a carb volume large enough to feed your ravenous 12,000 rpm monster at WOT.

Slide diaphragm: Corralls the engine vacuum moving the slide. It is usually made of a nice nitrile rubber.

Slide spring: Forces the slide into its naturally closed position and helps control the rate of slide opening.

Needle: This is hung off the bottom of the slide, is tapered and goes into the emulsion tube. It rises and falls with the slide, allowing fuel to leave the emulsion tube, to particularly enrich or lean the engine in midrange conditions.

Unscrew one of the caps, being careful here as the spring will want to fire stuff into the darkest recesses of your garage, never to be seen again.

Put aside the cap and spring and you'll see the diaphragm. Grasp whatever hard part is in the middle of it and carefully pull it straight up and out. Make sure you don't tear that diaphragm or you may have stress similar to when you tear the other type of diaphragm many of us are familiar with!

Typically, there will be a clip in the middle of the diaphragm and you'll need to undo this. This will allow you to carefully tap the slide top onto a surface and the needle will fall out, possible in accompaniment with a washer. Make sure that the washer goes back in if that's what your kit calls for.

Take the needles from you kit, install the e-clip provided in the starting point groove at the top of the needle, the washer if it fell out, and drop them into the slide hole. Do not apply any side force to the needle you can avoid. Then put the clip back and reinstall the slides. Repeat for all the carbs.

Now you'll need to reinstall the carbs. I'd suggest going to the pharmacy and buying some Astro-Glide or, you can use silicone brake grease. Don't use any petroleum based grease, including Vaseline!

Smear a little Astro-Glide inside the rubber manifolds the carbs were attached to. This will ease their entry. Push straight and square and slide the carb rack back onto the manifolds, connect up the choke cable and anything else you removed, move the throttle to ensure normal operation and reinstall the airbox assembly.

You will now need to synch the carbs. A very nice synching tool is the Morgan Carbtune II. I recommend it. You simply cannot skip this step.

Hook your synch tool up to the ports on the manifold. You may have to remove a bolt or two and install some vacuum hose barbs. These are generally provided with any synching tool.

Supply fuel by either reconnecting the tank temporarily or using a small fuel supply you fab yourself. Turn the fuel on to fill the bowls, fire the bike and set the idle as low as it will run without heavy stumble (usually 800-900 rpm).

Synch the carbs as 1-2 and 3-4 pairs first, then use the centre synching screw to synch the pairs together. The screws you are adjusting are between the carb bodies usually and have little springs on them under the screw heads. It may take a bit of time to get this right; it's worth it.

Reinstall the tank permanently and any bodywork and take it out for a spin.

Stay tuned...for an article on tuning your jet kit! The fun has just begun!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
FloMan said:
If you have plans to travel far on your bike this summer, you might want to invest the modest amount of $50 or around there and buy the following items:
Pump/CO2 adapter: $39, at any bicycle store
CO2 cartridges: $1 or $2 at any bicycle store or outdoors store
Tire plugging kit: $8 at Canadian tire

If you happen to get a flat in the middle of nowhere( like the Rockies for example), you will not be stranded. Plug your tire with the kit, then use the pump and 2 or 3 CO2 cartridges to reinflate it and Voila, you are back on the road. Replace the tire as soon as you get back to civilization. It's a very cheap and very compact solution to a potentially life threatening problem.(Getting stranded in the mountains is not fun).
Here is a pic of all the items. Put everything into a small plastic case( like a first aid box) and you're set to go. Don't expose the CO2 cartridges to extreme heat or they'll explode. Direct sun light is ok though.
An excellent kit for under your saddle for anyone that ventures out on longer rides. Even on the "Loop" it's a long way from help if you flat during mid run.

Just don't expect to go fast or lean far after this. These cheap plugs are outside insertion types and they are only intended as an EMERGENCY AND TEMPORARY fix. It's survival time and limping home as saner speeds and lean angles is prudent. Remember that you've just used all your CO2 or worn yourself out with the manual pump getting back on the road. Don't mess it up by trying to hang with your bud's and dislodging the plug for a SECOND flat. Yes it sucks but the moral is "live to ride another day". Or if that doesn't turn your crank then how about avoiding "I got home at 2AM after pushing the bike with a flat for 3 hours."

Thanks for a fine post there Floman.



 

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Forgot to put this in with the "install..." article...

HTH

Crotch


So, You Want To Tune Your Jet Kit, Hmm?

by CrotchetyRocket

Wow, where to start. It seems daunting. Tuning this new jet kit you just installed. Don't worry; if you take a systematic approach and take good notes, you can do this.

A disclaimer first: If you don't have access to a dyno facility with a qualified operator, you may be doing some testing on the street. I don't advocate this and am not responsible for the trouble you get yourself into, if you choose to do that.

You've obviously started tuning your jet kit by following the manufacurer's baseline recommendations for your bike.

It's possible your bike may run really well on the manufacturer's baselines but, in most cases something will not be as you like it.

If you're not happy, here's where to start. First, create a table with these columns: Main Jet, Pilot Jet, Pilot Screw Position, Float Height, Needle Clip Position.

Then, note down the existing setup you are starting with.

First, you want to make sure you have the right main jet in there. The jet that gives you the highest top speed, WOT, in a gear is the right one. Also note if the bike runs harder, WOT, at low engine temps and softens as temps rise. This will indicate you are too rich. The opposite is true if it's slower when cooler than when hot. Make your changes one jet size at a time, maintaining the stagger the stock jets had. Main jet stagger is the richening of the inner two cylinders on an inline 4 or the rear cylinder on a twin. This is to help those hotter cylinders stay cooler.

Once you have the right jet in place, the rest follows from that so, make sure it's right. Let's move to the opposite end of the running spectrum and work on the pilot jets and screws. Some jet kits come with pilot jets, some don't. There is a bit of "play it by ear" here. Usually, if the manufacturer wants a new pilot jet installed, it's ok to do it. If the bike is exceptionally soggy off the bottom and adjusting the pilot screws does little or nothing, go back to the stock pilot jets, which will be leaner, in most cases.

Pilot screw position affects the engine throughout it's operating range. Blip the throttle LIGHTLY and watch it's response. If it hangs up before dropping to the factory idle specification, screw the pilot screws in, in 1/4 turn increments, until it drops straight to the set idle speed. If it drops below set idle and struggles back up, turn the screws out by 1/4s, until it goes away. Take complete notes of everything you do on the chart you made.

Let's move on to the midrange, now that we have a handle on the low end and WOT. The midrange is between 4000 and 7000 rpm on your average sport bike. Needle height is controlled by clip position on the needle. Raing the needle (lowering the clip) richens the midrange transition by introducing fuel sooner. This can eliminate the dreaded, and very common, 4-5000 rpm hole that many bikes have. The reason the hole is there is because manufaturers delay the rise of the needle as long as they can to meet emissions regulations in other nations.

Lowering the needle (raising the clip) will lean the transition to the needle/emulsion tube enrichment by delaying the entry of fuel in the midrange. Lowering the needle is typically not what is required as the needle taper on jet kits is more accurately machined and less radical. Usually, a little fattening is required, if the bike is flat when the throttle is opened 1/2 way at 4-5000 rpm, especially if it runs strong below and above that. Once again add clear notes to your chart to document your changes.

Next, let's move on to the last and most irritating aspect of tuning a jet kit: Float height setting. Float heights are adjusted as per the instructions in my previous article. Float height will tend to affect low rpm/high load operation because typically, float heights are too high in stock position. Low speed/high load running (WOT, 2500-3500 rpm) will be richened by high float heights with no corresponding high rpm benefit. Run the lowest float height you can without affecting high rpm, WOT operation. Once again, keep clear notes of where you are. Lower it in 1 mm increments until the performance window above clears and runs best.

Lastly, wait for your engine to cool, pull your sparkplugs and give them a good clean and gap before riding. That is, assuming they are low mileage examples to start with. If they are more than 10,000 km examples, it's probably a good idea to change them before you tune the kit, to eliminate any possibilty of tuning around a slight misfire.

When you pull the plugs, look at them. I mean, really look at them. Compare them with any number of charts in your manual or online for what plug colour means what. The plugs are your point men for trouble and will tell you alot, if you listen to them.

I know it sounds pretty time consuming, especially if you have to yank the carbs for every change, but, the results are worth it in every corner or straightaway you encounter while you ride that bike.
 

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polishing aluminum frames, wheels, other bits

I've gotten some PM's over the last while about polishing frames and other aluminum bits yourself. I don't want to keep typing it out so I thought that it might be appropriate just to post it up here. I did my wheels, frame, swingarm, heel guards, upper tripple, and the gas cap. The frame was done on the outside only and I did not do the steering head as that would have required the removal of the forks.

Supplies, not all are necessary(M=must have): Wet/dry sandpaper, 220-2000 grit(M), Mother's aluminum polish(M), Oven cleaner(all crappy tire), aircraft paint remover(lordco), 4x4 orbital sander or similar, Black and Decker mouse sander.

Procedure: Strip off everything on the bike that might get in the way, plastic, etc. if your doing wheels or another part, just pull them off, remove the tire and valve stem or other attached hardware. Most frames and some other bits are anodized, that stuff is nearly as hard as the sandpaper. Cover everything you don't want to burn the anodizing off of, putting plastic over the motor is a good idea. Spray the anodized parts with the oven cleaner. It usually takes about 10-20 minutes to eat through the anodizing. Less time is better in this case, you have to be very careful with this stuff as it can do A LOT of damage to you frame and that's not something to piss around with. Start with something small if you are unsure. heel gaurds are a small and more idiot proof project to tackle before the frame. When the anodizing is corroded away, the metal will be a dull grey color underneath when all of the slag is washed away. It's very easy to tell but if you are unsure, try sanding it a little bit. The metal will be a dull grey and the anodizing will usually be a dull silver or white. If your doing a large part such as the frame, wash everything off thuroughly with a garden hose for about ten minutes after. If there's still a lot of anodizing left, try it again but let the oven cleaner sit on there for only about 5 minutes. It doesn't need to be completely stripped but the more of the anodizing off the better. It is a bitch to sand but will come off if you really work at it.

Like I said before, if you're not comfortable, don't do it; you are putting a very caustic substance on a very important structural part of your bike. It can do a lot of damage if used incorrectly. I have been told that you can use a less potent acid but I am not sure which one. You can still sand it off but it will take a lot of frigging sanding. With any painted surfaces like the wheels, use the aircraft paint stripper. Time varies but it won't hurt to have solvent on the wheels for a long time. I have heard days and hours. The paint will just melt away or rub off after sufficient time. The rough casting in the center of the wheel will never come clean, don't worry about that. I just sanded the paint right off when I did it. Beadblastering could cut the time down a lot.

Now that you have bare metal to work with, it's time to get down to business. Most wheels have rough casting in the centre section and some frames have rough castings in some parts as well. You can sand with as low as 180 grit, 220 is better. No lower, the scratches that you put in with the coarse paper will have to come out too. The Mouse Sander eats through this part of the job with ease, especially with the center part on the wheels as it fits into most of the tighter places. You can get away with sanding by hand and but your hands will hate you for it. Trust me, the places where the power tools can't reach are absolute murder. It's best to save as much time as you can on the easy stuff.

Now that you have the rough casting ground down flat, you can start with the wet/dry sanding. Pour a nice bowl or bucket of water and put a few drops of dishsoap in. This is a very dirty job so don't use anything too nice. The surfaces where you had to use the course grit, use the next size up. I can't explain how to sand but one thing to remember throughout this, the more time that you spend on the coarser grit, the less you'll have to on the next one. Give up on a 'dead' piece of sandpaper. You can literally spend a few hours sanding away with a worn out piece and get as far as you would have in 10 minutes with a new piece. Wash the sandpaper and the area fairly often so you can keep an eye on your progress. I know that it says not to use the orbital sander to wet sand but that is an idiot proofer. Take the precautions not to electocute yourself and it can save your hands a lot of pain and do a very fine job. If you don't like the idea, buy an expensive sander made for the job or just do it by hand. 400 grit seems to be the magic number here. When you get to that grit, start sanding on the other parts as well. If you wanted to check on the metal when stripping the anodizing, use that one, anything coarser seems to do nothing but gouge the already smoothe metal. Do a very thorough job sanding from here on. I moved from 400 to 600. It's all downhill from here. If you do a really good job with the 600, you can move up to 1500 or even 2000 grit. 2000 grit is the finest worth going. I like to the 2000 by hand, just a personal preference.

Now get lots of cloth rags, old holey socks, anything. Cotten works fine, so does silk. They'll all be garbage when you're done using them. Even with 2000 grit, the metal is still quite dull. The Mothers is what will bring out a chrome like shine. The Mouse sander came with a polishing pad that made the metal glow. I tried doing this part by hand a few times. You can do a nice job but I'm telling ya, the Mouse sander makes the difference between a nice shine and a beautiful glow. It won't glow right away but give it some time and the shine will come out. Use the rags to rub the excess off and keep adding more Mothers as you need to. This usually the part where you see if you did a sloppy job with the sanding. Every scratch and imperfection shows up here. If you are not happy with the finish, get back to sanding through the grits again. If the scratches aren't bad, start with 600 grit where they are, and work back to 2000, then try polishing again. Light scratches will polish out if you sit the polisher on there long enough. You have to make a judgement call of what will take more time. The longer you polish, the better it looks; believe me, this step can draw the line just ok and stunning.

Your done. Congratulations! I just have to keep my bike clean and the metal doen't oxidize very quickly. I've riding in all sorts of weather and road grime, even a few dirt roads since polishing the bike. I just have to keep it washed regularly and it still looks very good. I'll have to take everything off and touch it up in the winter. Overall I am very happy. This is definitely a winter project. It would take a matter of weeks to do it again but it took me months to figure out the best way to do it. The gas cap looks great polished but corrodes very quickly so I don't reccomend doing it. Wheels are a BITCH. There's a lot of places on mine that the tools just couldn't do so it was mostly by hand there. Don't do wheels unless yours are easier or you REALLY want polished wheels. Anything flat is very easy to do and it's best to start there. SRAD frames are big, highly visible and flat. I did the large rough section at the back all the way to the welds that attach the steering head. It would have required further disassembly to get that done and it's not highly visible anyway. I took the swingarm off and polished the rough part as well. The frame doesn't have many awkward spots for tools so is a good place to start and looks really good.


Ps: In the spirit of all of the other posts here, this is how I did my bike. I started with zero experience and got good results by following what I learned online and trial and error. I've added and subtracted a few things but only because they worked well for me. If you wreck yours or end up with a half finished project, tough shit. I take absolutely no resposibility for my advice. Like I said, this is a big project that can be very rewarding but the stakes are high if you make a mistake. If anyone has anything sees a problem with the procedure I've posted or has anything that they want to add, just PM me and I'll fix it if it makes sence.
 

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Anyone know how to sync. the valves? Mine are starting to tick and rather than take my bike in I thought I'd better learn how to do it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanx, Tristan
 
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