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this is my...boomstick!
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Teach me said:
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
Don't want to synch them, couldn't anyway. We want them to operate in their own proper time. And ticking isn't necessarily a bad thing. Valves tend to tighten over time and it's when the motor gets real quiet that you have a problem. A loose valve is just noisy, a tight valve is on its way to its grave.

This job can be easy or hard depending on the bike. A ZRX 1200 is easy, a Yamaha 5 valve is a pain. It's really just about careful measuring, note taking and lots of trips to the bike store. Honestly, I can do this but, all the fiddly crap that goes with it made me take mine is to BK to have them do it. Getting old, I guess. They have every shim they need, gaskets available if one rips, etc. It wasn't that expensive either.

You'll need a really good set of angled feeler gauges for this, a decent outside caliper, and a good pencil and paper. You check all clearnances as specified in the manual and tighten or loosen those that are out. Problem is, most sportbikes use shim under bucket designs, meaning you have to remove the cams, support the cam chain, wiggle off the bucket to get at the shim. This is jeweller's work and can be fiddly.

Get a manual and go for it, if you have alot of time on your hands. Good luck.

Crotch
 
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Flushing brake lines is a long tedious job if you have to do it yourself. Get a friend to help and even better get yourself a vacuum type pump to pull the fluid through the line. Way easier and sooooo much faster!
 
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REMOVING SCRATCHES FROM VISORS/WINDSCREENS.
Disclaimer: i'm not responsible if you use 200 grit instead of 2000 and fuck up your 150$ iridium screen beyond all recognition.
This applies to clear or maybe normal tinted screens(no mirror tint,no iridium),with light scratches. deep scratches=nothing you can do.
Step1-tools&supplies-
*drill+ 2 foam polishing pads( i made mine out of some firm 1'' thick green foam and bolts/nut/washer,cut with scissors,assemble and dress with a rasp file to make totaly round) or normal polisher with fine foam pad.
* Sandpaper-2000 grit or finer. You can go in a couple steps i guess if you want to get a deeper scratch out(first1500-then 2000) i havent tried anything coarser than 2000. dont wanna put scratches in it that you won't be able to buff out.
* Meguiars Clear plastic Cleaner+Clear Plastic Polish. both availible at KMS Tools and some other stores.
Step2-wet sand the scratch-spray water or soapy water and lightly sand the scratch till you get it out or as much of it as you think is doable. *keep it wet and make sure you dont get any dirt or shit on the sandpaper-no point using 2000 grit paper if you get 100 grit piece of dirt between it and your plastic.*
Step 3 Buff with Clear plastic cleaner-either soak the pad in the stuff or pour on the visor/shield- soaking is a bit less messy. Buff till you get the sanding scratches out.*wipe off with soft cloth when done*
Step 4 Buff with clear plastic polish- final stage. same deal as previous step, just finer stuff for better clarity. its also more liquid so it will make more mess.
.Buffing-stage 3 and 4 should be done with moderate pressure and make sure you dont touch anything with drill's chuck-gouges from that WILL be unfixable.
 

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CrotchetyRocket said:
Don't want to synch them, couldn't anyway. We want them to operate in their own proper time. And ticking isn't necessarily a bad thing. Valves tend to tighten over time and it's when the motor gets real quiet that you have a problem. A loose valve is just noisy, a tight valve is on its way to its grave.

This job can be easy or hard depending on the bike. A ZRX 1200 is easy, a Yamaha 5 valve is a pain. It's really just about careful measuring, note taking and lots of trips to the bike store. Honestly, I can do this but, all the fiddly crap that goes with it made me take mine is to BK to have them do it. Getting old, I guess. They have every shim they need, gaskets available if one rips, etc. It wasn't that expensive either.

You'll need a really good set of angled feeler gauges for this, a decent outside caliper, and a good pencil and paper. You check all clearnances as specified in the manual and tighten or loosen those that are out. Problem is, most sportbikes use shim under bucket designs, meaning you have to remove the cams, support the cam chain, wiggle off the bucket to get at the shim. This is jeweller's work and can be fiddly.

Get a manual and go for it, if you have alot of time on your hands. Good luck.

Crotch
i just wanted to throw in there , that valves don't typically tighten over time , they loosen , and the gap between the cam and the valve becomes greater , it is possible to set your valves at home , however most bike manuals wont give you spec for the valves simply because you can fuck alot of shit up in there . you should have a certified mechanic take care of stuff like that , escpecially if your bike is still under warranty .
 

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this is my...boomstick!
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Eh, eh. They tighten over time because the valve wears the seat away and closes up the tolerance. That's why older engines are often quieter before than after a valve adjust. This is way more common on the exhaust side, as these valves run hotter and spring tension is far more critical to heat transfer.

I have seen lots and lots of engine guts and tight valves on older equipment is very often the norm.

CR
 

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agreed,i just did a zx7r 98 and 1 exhaust valve was at .154mm and minimum is .22-.31mm crazy stuff,been awhile since i saw one that tight!


CrotchetyRocket said:
Eh, eh. They tighten over time because the valve wears the seat away and closes up the tolerance. That's why older engines are often quieter before than after a valve adjust. This is way more common on the exhaust side, as these valves run hotter and spring tension is far more critical to heat transfer.

I have seen lots and lots of engine guts and tight valves on older equipment is very often the norm.

CR
 

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CrotchetyRocket said:
Eh, eh. They tighten over time because the valve wears the seat away and closes up the tolerance. That's why older engines are often quieter before than after a valve adjust. This is way more common on the exhaust side, as these valves run hotter and spring tension is far more critical to heat transfer.

I have seen lots and lots of engine guts and tight valves on older equipment is very often the norm.

CR
my bad ,
that makes complete sense , i usually assume the bikes is new as the majority of my experience has been on newer or lightly ridden bikes, never come across that issue. thanks for the straight up.i learned something today !!! cheers
 

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Tee Tee,

I'm trying to lube my GSXR 750 throttle cable, but my Clymes (SP?) manual hasn't arrived yet. How do I remove the cable ends from the throttle housing? Or is that not necessary? The bike has the metal tubes that guide the cable into the throttle housing.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Chumly said:
Don't buy a Honda VFR 800 VTEC ABS if you are a newbie DIY'er!
:roflmao :roflmao :roflmao
This isn't QUITE the type of posts that I was expecting here but I suppose negative advice is as pertinent as positive stuff.... *SNORT*... :roflmao
 

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More filling!
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Okay Bruce, this may be a bit far down the path from the basics, but I just built and used a throttle valve synchronizer using tupperware, vinyl tubing, a latex glove and glue.

And by the way, you can use this same device to synchronize carbs, even four of 'em because you first sync the middle two, then you sync each outside pair. If you back check this a couple of times, I'm convinced it will be just as good as one of those fancy tools for doing all four at once.

First you need two smallish identical tuperware bowls, a large baloon (or a latex glove cut open, like I did), tubing that fits snugly on the vacuum nipples of your throttle bodies or carbs, some glue (rubber cement seems the obvious choice) and a drill.

1) Drill one hole in the bottom of each tupperware bowl (see, now, you should have gone and purchased some instead of raiding the kitchen).

2) Cut two lenghts of tubing (3 feet seems logical) and pass the end of each through the bottom of each of your bowls. I use a little heat on the end (lighter?) to flare the tubing, let it cool, then pull it back snug. A little rubber cement insurance/sealant is probably a good idea.

3) Glue your rubber membrane (either cut open large baloon or latex glove) over the lip of one bowl, taught but not stretched. I used a rubber band to help hold it in place while the glue set.

4) Now glue the other bowl against the first one, so you now have a rubber membrane between two identically shaped and sized air chambers, each with a tube coming out.

5) Now for the hard part, finding the vacuum nipples on your throttle bodies or carbs, removing the little rubber covers without tearing them or loosing them....what's that you say.....yours are already missing......maybe you should replace those first and see if your bike runs much better! Back to the project at hand. Slip the loose ends of your tubing over the two nipples you wish to syncronize.

6) Now run your bike and observe the rubber membrane. If it bulges one way or the other, guess what, you're out of sync. OR THERE'S A LEAK IN THE DEVICE YOU JUST BUILT. Check for leaks. Once convinced there are no leaks, follow your service manual's instructions for adjusting your throttle valves.

In my case I struggled and cursed and finally got the tubing on the very hard to reach throttle body nipples on my '02 V-Strom (I refused to actually remove the tank and air box as my manual instructed) and ran the motor. AHA! I thought, it works and they are out of sync, because my baloon bulged to one side!..........but then there was smoke. SMOKE?! It turned out that my tubing was touching my exhaust pipe and had melted, causing a vacuum leak on one side of my device and giving the appearance of an imbalance between my throttle bodies. Once patched with a short section of silicone tubing I happened to have, perfect balance was indicated by my slack rubber. Er, MEMBRANE. So ultimately I convinced myself that my throttle valves do not need to be adjusted, and I'm ready to ride again. In the rain.

EDIT: a friend offered this version:
http://www.powerchutes.com/manometer.asp
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Riveting a master link with no special tools

This has come up in a number of posts so here's what I suggest. It's in two parts since they were responses that I've cut and pasted here. So ignore the references to other posts that are not in this thread.

Dremel or angle grinder to remove as per above. Make sure the sparks spray away from the bike. Then either the tool to stake on or you can use a ball peen hammer to rivet the end over as suggested by Sushi. Note about peening of any sort. Lots of smaller whacks instead of a few big ones. Big ones can bend the pin. Lots of little ones will nicely mushroom the end over. The taps should be only just a little harder than what you would be willing to hit your own hand with. Push the link into place and run a strong zip tie or wire around it and bind tight. Back up the other side of the pins with a second hammer head or big MF'n lump of steel to take the energy out of the whacks. Then tap tap tap tap tap......... tap tap tap tap.......... tap tap tap tap.... tap the unformed pin ends until you see it nicelly swelled out a bit larger than the original and the end is mushroomed over. Cut away the wire or zip tie and yer done.
And part 2....

Two people for the hammer option is pretty much a must.... or at least makes it a LOT easier. O ring chain or not, it works either way. BUt with the O ring chain it's just a bit more important to ensure the links are firmly clamped and bound so the bouncing of the hammer peening the end doesn't rattle the plates apart and leave a bigger gap than it's supposed to leave.

Staking is a slightly different operation than peening by rights. Staking is more related to splitting and bending the metal to bind it while riveting or peening is mashing the metal to spread out through compresive deformation. For example if you use a straight blade cold chisel to start the operation by forming an X across the pin face then that's technically staking. Then the followup mushrooming operation with the ball peen hammer is... well.. peening. Hence the name of the hammer... You can buy ball peen hammers as well as cross peen hammers.

If this is your first time doing something like this then practice staking and peening on a cut off 2 to 3 inch nail. Drive the nail through a bit of wood and then cut off and file square the point. Now start tapping the end of the nail with the ball peen end of the hammer and work at mushrooming over the end so it's larger than it started for about 1 mm down from the end but the nail is still straight. If you find yourself bending the nail then you're hitting it too hard. Lots of light taps is better than a few hard hits. If you can't seem to avoid bending the nail then your hammer is too big. Smaller definetly has it's place with this technique rather than "bigger is better".
 

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oh thats the throttle
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im just curious what the recommended way to removing general gunk (aka dirt/grease/grim/oil bits) from bits of the bike.

ex. i have a pair of 04/05 gsxr750 brake calipers that im going to swap onto my sv front end, but thought it would be nice to get them all clean and shiny before doing so.

if i took them apart could i soak them in something?? or just attack them with some engine cleaner + rag?

anyone?
 

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Get outta the fast lane!!
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im just curious what the recommended way to removing general gunk (aka dirt/grease/grim/oil bits) from bits of the bike.

ex. i have a pair of 04/05 gsxr750 brake calipers that im going to swap onto my sv front end, but thought it would be nice to get them all clean and shiny before doing so.

if i took them apart could i soak them in something?? or just attack them with some engine cleaner + rag?

anyone?
I dunno about the calipers but for getting chain grime off your rear rim the best cleaner I found is WD40. Spray, wipe. Then afterwards I go at it with Zep Orange Cleaner from Home Depot. I suppose brakekleen would work too but not sure how that stuff is on painted surfaces (if it dulls the finish or not).

Anybody know what the best is to get some oxidation off the aluminum end caps of my muffler cans? I've got the Yoshi's. Someone told me once about some kinda acid wash like what they use to shine up aluminum boats. Tried vinegar but it's not strong enough. Also tried giving it a good rub-down with SOS pad but no love. Would polishing compound do the trick? Expert opinions? Seen a few posts on aluminum polishing but I'd rather not get out the sandpaper if I can avoid it.
 

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Chris Harder
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For cleaning grimy bike bits a low flash point solvent is recommended by owners manuals. Short of buying solvent from Lordco or Cambodian Tire, Kerosene also works.

Any solvent or any oil based cleaner will contaminate your brake pads, and the only fix is to buy new ones. If you get shit on your rotors you can just clean with brake cleaner. Careful, it's pretty toxic.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
For cleaning grimy bike bits a low flash point solvent is recommended by owners manuals. Short of buying solvent from Lordco or Cambodian Tire, Kerosene also works.

Any solvent or any oil based cleaner will contaminate your brake pads, and the only fix is to buy new ones. If you get shit on your rotors you can just clean with brake cleaner. Careful, it's pretty toxic.
Low odor oil house paint thinner works well also. And many hardware stores also carry Varsol which again is an excellent low flash point slow drying cleaning solvent.

I recently bought some orange citrus Revy house brand degreaser and it also did a far better job than I thought it would do. But with any of the citrus degreasers you need to mechanically clean it fairly well first. This applies to a solvent degreaser as well but you don't need to do as good a job as with the citrus options.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Checking your bike's charging system and other battery issues-

Checking the charging system-
To test the charging system you'll need a voltmeter. These are available from Canadian Tire for typically under $30 for one that'll do the job.

Get the bike running and hook up the meter across the battery on the 20 volt or a scale that will safely display up to 20 volts. At idle it should be higher than 11.0 volts assuming a battery that was just recharged overnight to full charge status. Rev it up slowly to about 6000 RPM. At between 2000 to 3000 RPM the system should raise the voltage to around 14.2 to 15 volts. From that point on it should not go any higher than maybe 15.2 volts. If it runs up to 20'ish or higher than your regulator is shot. If it doesn't come up at all then either your alternator coil is shot or the rectifier portion of the regulator (they are both inside the same block) is shot and you're not getting any juice being generated.

But if it rises to around 16 to 18 volts but in a sluggish manner then your regulator may be OK but the battery is suffering from a high internal resistance. If this seems to be the case remove the battery and get a battery shop to load test it to confirm this one way or the other.

Charging your battery-
Motorcycle batteries do not like to be fast charged. But many car chargers will not provide a low enough rate to a motorcycle battery even on the low or trickle settings. Do not attempt to charge your motorcycle battery with a car rated charger unless you know it has a maximum 1 amp setting intended for motorcycle or recreational vehicle batteries that are similar to motorcycle types.

Jumping your bike-
If you jump start your bike off a car or other battery because it was totally dead do not be surprised if the bike runs rough and misses. The low voltage of the battery isn't providing enough power to properley spark the bike. This will last until the charge level comes up a little. Typically on the open road this will take roughly an hour. Bike charging systems do not enjoy the gross over rating that car systems do. Even then the battery may not be charged up enough to actually start the bike for a good 3 or more hours of riding at normal speed on the open road.

In town if traffic is heavy do not count on the bike being able to charge the battery at all. Most bikes are running off the battery instead of off the alternator until they are running higher than around 2500 RPM for a typical sport bike. So if you're caught in traffic you're actually draining your battery instead of charging it. Keep this in mind if trying to struggle home with a jump started bike in bad traffic.

Chargers and winter storage-
Canadian Tire has a 1 amp motorcycle battery charger that comes on sale at least once a year. Keep an eye open for this and buy one when you can. At the same time pick up a lamp timer. When you put your bike away for the winter remove the battery and keep it in the house somewhere like the laundry room. Plug the charger into the timer and connect the leads to your battery. Program the timer to come on for 1/2 hour a day. This will be enough to keep your battery ready to go all winter but not overcharge and damage it.
 
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