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Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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  #1  
Old 19 Aug 2021
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Maintenance of modern bikes (DL)

The procedures for maintenance of modern bikes makes me crazy.

The owners manual for the DL 650 has 6 pages of instructions for how to remove the fuel tank !!!

The GT model has one ruber band to remove.
The GSX model has one 8 mm bolt to remove.

On the DL model, you have to lift the tank to replace the air filter.
(6 pages of instructions beore you get to the air filter)
On old bikes, you remove / open the seat. And there is the filter box.

On the DL model you have to remove the fuel tank (Remember ? Six pages) to be able to top up coolant.
On the GT, you open the cover on the tank.

How can you design stuff this way ?
So that it requiers six pages of instruction to rempve the fuel tank.
And so that you hide regular maintenance items as Air filter and cover of coolant reservoar?

For changing the main bulb(s). You have to remove the whole panel !!
On the old bikes, you removed 3 screws...

On the DL, you have to remove the cams to replace shims.
On the GS engine, you could compress the springs and replace the shims, with the cams in place.

I get the idea of restoring an old bike, and skip the new one.
It is to much hazzle to maintain this type of stuff on the road.

A shaft driven Suzuki GS 850 . A winter in my garage.
And I will have an reliable travel bike, with bullet proof engine. A bike that is easy to maintain.
Krauser panniers and here we go.
23 liters of fuel. What modern bike can match that ?

https://www.cyclechaos.com/wiki/Suzuki_GS850
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  #2  
Old 19 Aug 2021
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Basically I agree. On the other hand, I had my DL650 in the shop for its first-ever maintenance of any sort (aside from tire and oil changes, plus periodic spritzing of the chain with WD40 followed by no lube whatsoever). At 18,000 miles it needed nothing at all--valves still in spec, chain not worn (but with one tight link), air filter had accumulated some bugs, spark plugs all fine but changed while the fuel tank was off, etc.).

By the same mileage, my same-vintage KLR had needed a couple of tuneups, chain and sprockets, added fuel filters, bits of wiring modification when fuses blew or safety cutouts malfunctioned, valve shim changes, and extensive engine work due to a grenaded doohickey. In the balance, the DL has required less maintenance despite the greater complexity.

Just one more data point, whether relevant or not.

Mark
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  #3  
Old 20 Aug 2021
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Maintenance

Well, we have different ways to look at things.

I have restored bike during 20 years, 1-2 bikes per year.
And done 97% of the work myself.
I do not use work shops to do regular maintenace.
Only for things that require expensive machinery. Like boring cylinders, valve seat, valve jobs.

Just to have to give the bike to a workshop for regular maintenace shows the problem I described.

=
I had my DL650 in the shop for its first-ever maintenance of any sort...
At 18,000 miles it needed nothing at all.
=

Gives 2 follow up questions:

) How may hours did it take the workshop to come to the conclusion that it needed nothing at all ?
2) What was the cost for that ?
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  #4  
Old 20 Aug 2021
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Tongue firmly in cheek...or not...

You DO want the dealers to stay in business right? And who do you think KEEPS them in business? Certainly not the home mechanic. And the factory knows that. BUT they also have to make bikes lighter, more reliable, more powerful, better handling, more comfortable - and pass emissions regs and get great fuel mileage - AND SELL to a fickle cheapskate public. I'm glad I'm not a designer, way too many conflicting needs.
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  #5  
Old 20 Aug 2021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markharf View Post
Basically I agree. On the other hand, I had my DL650 in the shop for its first-ever maintenance of any sort (aside from tire and oil changes, plus periodic spritzing of the chain with WD40 followed by no lube whatsoever). At 18,000 miles it needed nothing at all--valves still in spec, chain not worn (but with one tight link), air filter had accumulated some bugs, spark plugs all fine but changed while the fuel tank was off, etc.).



Mark
It's the saving grace of the DL650. Mine is the same: to the local independent shop every ~20,000 mi- check the valves (they never move) and while in there: change out plugs, air cleaner, and flush the coolant. Never anything wrong, and the bike is totally reliable. Now at 55,000 miles. Other than home oil changes, it costs a few hundred bucks every 20,000 miles.

If I'm doing the work, I would much rather work on my DR650. It's reliable, but does need more service- every 3,000. Fortunately, it's simple enough to be fun to work on.

..............shu
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  #6  
Old 20 Aug 2021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik_G View Post
Gives 2 follow up questions:

) How may hours did it take the workshop to come to the conclusion that it needed nothing at all ?
2) What was the cost for that ?
Far less than my KLR had cost by the same point in its long, generally reliable life.

I'm not on this thread to debate the relative merits of doing your own work vs. hiring it out. At this point in my life, doing my own work is much more difficult than it used to be (various arthritic body parts, a few chunks of metal where used to be bone and flesh, some spine surgeries, bad eyesight), and it costs me more in missed work opportunities (self-employed) than it could ever save in shop charges.

I've done my own mechanical work quite a bit in the past, starting with my first car, a 1967; I do very little now. And while I complain as loudly as everyone else about the increased complexity in everything around me, I also notice that everything aside from household appliances generally runs better, longer, and with fewer repairs. Oddly enough, much of it is even cheaper in constant dollars.

I might see it differently if working on motorbikes was my idea of a good time. It's not--I'd rather ski, mountain bike, hang with friends, and ride. YMMV, naturally.

Mark
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  #7  
Old 4 Sep 2021
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Smile Happy Biker

I met a happy biker yesterday.
He used to ride a Suzuki DL 650 (as I often do).
But the bike had got some kms on it, and time for maintenance...
Something he is used to do himself ( As I am)
And he was so disappointed with the complexity of the Suzuki that he changed bike.
He had exchanged the Suzuki for a Royal Enfield Himalayan.
And now he is happy again



Maintainability is an important characteristics, for some of us.
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  #8  
Old 11 Sep 2021
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On the Tenere 660 ABS version I took around the world the battery was under the tank. It was 12 or 14 bolts/screws to remove and 3 tubes. And it was quite complex, the last mechanic who tried to take the tank off gave up! And with all the electric issues that bike had it needed the tank off several times pr week….what a nightmare… One of the reasons I never ever will touch something with the Tenere name on again, or hardly any Yamahas at all….
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  #9  
Old 12 Sep 2021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakeboy View Post
On the Tenere 660 ABS version I took around the world the battery was under the tank.
Hello

Just on the ABS model, the XT660Z from '08 had it under the seat.
The ABS has also less suspention.
Never understood why yamaha did that.

I would never buy the ABS model because of the location of the battery.

sushi
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Last edited by Grant Johnson; 13 Sep 2021 at 22:10. Reason: fixed quote
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  #10  
Old 12 Sep 2021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sushi2831 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakeboy View Post
On the Tenere 660 ABS version I took around the world the battery was under the tank.
Hello

Just on the ABS model, the XT660Z from '08 had it under the seat.
The ABS has also less suspention.
Never understood why yamaha did that.

I would never buy the ABS model because of the location of the battery.

sushi
If I knew what I now know I would also never had bought that bike.

I will never ever buy a bike that has the battery placed under the gas tank, thats for sure.
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Last edited by Grant Johnson; 13 Sep 2021 at 22:11. Reason: fixed quotes
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  #11  
Old 13 Sep 2021
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I seriously fell out with a dealer over the Dl650. Full service and when I took a look at the nail polish marks on the tank bolts they were perfect. So either

The dealer was so good he lined up the anti-vibration marks and filled in the cracked open bits in the perfect shade.
He owned a teleporter
He hadn't changed the back/top spark plug he'd charged me for.

As to why bikes are designed like this it's simple. No one ever walked out of a show room because the oil change involves taking the engine out, although maybe Ducati showrooms have seen a few think about it. A lot of buyers rush to buy anything that looks different or has some new mechanical minutiae.

I just ordered a Moto Guzzi V7. I suspect the easiest way to change the rear tyre will be to remove the bevel box. It's just what you have to do when you like the engine and 6 gallon tank and fashion now dictates a 150 tyre in a 130 design swing arm. It's crap but so long as we buy what is offered they'll do it.

Andy
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  #12  
Old 10 Oct 2021
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Regarding my beloved DL650. Yes, getting to the valves and even just the air filter can be a real pain.

However, being the farkle addict that I am, I've taken off and reinstalled the tank seven times now, and I'm getting ready to do it for the 8th time to replace a fuel pump/filter, clean the K&N, swap out the coolant and replace the plugs preparation for an about 8,000 mile Mexico/CAM trip.

The first time sucked. However now I've done it so much I can, without exaggeration, get the tank off the bike in 20 minutes, and get it back on in less than 1/2 hour. (Getting to the cam chain tensioner 12mm rear cylinder bolt is entirely another story.)

Like anything, the first time sucks, but subsequent times are light years easier.
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  #13  
Old 14 Oct 2021
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And it's getting worse.

I work for a Suzuki/Kawasaki dealer as a technician. Bikes are designed to be built as quickly and efficiently as possible now. With almost no thought process going into the ease of servicing or repair.

Fairings are becoming intricate webs of clips and fasteners that break if you breath on them. Some bikes now need the entire rear section removing with half the electrics to access a battery or air filter.

However, it does get a lot easier the more you do it and the more you learn your bike. 90% of the frustration is working out how to do it really. I can pull the tank, airbox and throttle bodies of a DL650 in twenty minutes. Because I know how. Because I've done it many times.

Take the time to work your bike out whilst at home in a warm, dry garage. And it will be a doddle when on the road.
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Last edited by *Touring Ted*; 3 Mar 2022 at 06:55.
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  #14  
Old 14 Oct 2021
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clips and fasteners

Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
And it's getting worse.


Fairings are becoming intricate webs of clips and fasteners that break if you breath on them.
This is a major problem. Even if you know how to do it.
All thee small plastic stuff that is done for fitting once. End then never to be touched. And we are talking about new bikes. Imagine in some years, when the plastics are harder and more fragile
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  #15  
Old 14 Oct 2021
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Maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
And it's getting worse.

I work for a Suzuki/Kawasaki dealer as a technician. Bikes are designed to be built as quickly and efficiently as possible now. With almost non thought process going into the ease servicing or repair.
Might be a business idea. Keep your work shops busy. And earn more money after the sell, than from the sell itself.

And it gives you a new type of customers. The ones that not even change oil. But just leave the bike to the dealer for xxxxx km/mile service.
And the dealer needs a computer with correct SW
=
Maybe wrong thread to talk about HD. But this is what HD has done. In Panhead and Shovelhead times you needed to have your tools with you. And know how to work with them. Now they sell a huge amount of HDs, to people that does not know anything. And would never dream of bringing out their spanners. But they can drive HD with HOG patches on their back. And pretend beeing hard core bikers. Without this change, HD would be dead.
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