I have to wonder, if you just left your bike alone, would it be more reliable?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by SportsGuy, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. murgatroid42

    murgatroid42 Great Adventurer

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    Stop that nonsense talk right now. What you said is definitely true, but it benefits people like me who finally figured out to buy a 'pre-farkled' bike because I can save a lot of money. Too bad about the original owner. :patch :lol3
    #41
  2. AceBogan

    AceBogan Moto-statistic escapee.

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    Lots of great discussion and observaitions on this thread so far. There is also the element of reliability based upon usage (does usage match design intent).

    For example, if I take my KTM300xc-w on a short technical DS ride, it would be in its element, but if it is buzzed out in 5th for long periods, parts have fallen off. Or if I need to refuel in a remote station, there may not be premium, or I may not be able to properly emulsify the pre-mix when I fill up. Problems here would reduce the bike's reliabilty, even stock.

    On the other hand, if I take my DR200 on a highly technical trail ride, there may be a lot of clutch slipping, or I may drop it when crossing logs or rock outcroppings. The DR is not designed to be dropped without some damage. The stock DR is much happier buzzing along smoother trails and highway.

    Properly performed mods to a bike to extend its desired usage parameters can surely make it more reliable. Choosing the proper bike from the start would seem to be the core decision.
    #42
  3. BergDonk

    BergDonk Long timer

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    I'm taller and heavier than average, and older too maybe, at 58 now. I've also suffered joint injuries resulting in a 'stiff' elbow, knee reconstructions and I'm arthritic, so for me first up a bike must be comfortable, so bars and pegs and seat get modded. I keep my bikes for a long time usually, so they need to be reliable, so I pull them apart and resassemble the suspension, wheels and frame as soon as I get them. I also upgrade springs and valving to make my bikes suit me, and if the fueling isn't right, I fix that. Engine internals I generally leave stock, unless a reliability issue warrants it, like my DRs NSUs, or my FE650's water pump seal, or the roller followers in my FE501.

    I learnt years ago, when my only transport was a CB500, that basically stock mechanicals for reliability makes sense. Mind you it was fun to ride when it went, and I learnt heaps, Yoshi cam, rods, 750 carbs, 750 pistons, CR gearbox, electronic ignition, and home made monocoque frame, etc , etc.

    Mucked about with cars too, but keep them stock these days, although I have done some suspension work to my 4wd.

    Memories:
    [​IMG]

    Sort ergos and suspension, learn to ride, and upgrade any engine reliability issues only for me these days :rayof

    Steve
    #43
  4. milzispete

    milzispete Conquistador

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    Why we pay so much money for 'the latest and greatest' bikes and then rip them to pieces is beyond me ( and I do it every time )
    I've owned the very best super sports bikes for nearly 20 years and done very little to them as they are awesome from day 1 and obsolete in 5 years.
    ADV and in particular MX bikes are the same so why spend a penny on them?
    Let's face it, if a super sports bike had awful suspension (BMW gs800) and GOD awful fueling like a KTM 690 enduro we would just buy something else..
    I think manufacturers are just taking the piss out of us. if you buy a round the world adventure bike it shouldn't need much doing to it surely !!!

    You wouldn't spend 16k on a Yamaha R1 and then just eat Sh!t and spend money to make it go above 100mph now would you.

    I know I sound like I am off topic here but some bikes are just 10% f*cking awful from the factory. The fact we spend 1000's of Dollars just to make our bikes (worse in most cases) better is irrelevant. Manufacturers should sort the f*ckers and then we wouldn't have to clown around like a manatee humping a sea mine just to be able to ride them on and off road...

    Wankers
    #44
  5. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    no
    #45
  6. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Moding done badly can definitely make a machine less reliable. Modding done well alters reliability in a predictable way, sometimes for the better, sometimes worse. If you have to ask a question like the title of this thread, don't touch the bike! :lol3
    #46
  7. HandKPhil

    HandKPhil Been here awhile

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    Ever notice how those engineers at NASA used to obsess about a repair or modification to a satellite? They'd build mock ups on the ground months before the Shuttle ever lifted off. They'd run simulations until the cows came home, then they'd run a few more. They'd lay their tools out, and plan their repair strategy step by step, until everyone knew their role and could perform it in their sleep.

    My strategy when modding one of my bikes is eerily similar :lol3

    When a mod comes together as planned, and is successful, I get a pretty deep feeling of satisfaction. In short, I think a lot of us mod because it engages our intellect, gives us a creative outlet, and makes the whole motorcycling experience richer. All that, and it's also guilt-free and non-fattening. :wink:
    #47
  8. peman

    peman Adventurer

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    oh i remember modifying my rm125 when i was 18, thought advancing the timing made if go like hell, till the piston melted, still got the piston to this day, i learnt a lot that day.

    on the other hand on my pe175, i made the rear shocks longer, which made it a lot better.

    with my friend he built a rmx from ebay parts and for a few months now can not get spark from it,
    which i beleave is from not knowing the bike well enough, for eg. is that the right coil or flywheel
    and is driving him mad!

    does mixing and matching different models make the bike better? eg from drum to disc!
    or does it make it a pain to order parts when you aren't sure what front forks are on there.
    #48
  9. modeselector

    modeselector Common as muck

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    Once you leave the pavement, a stock bike's weakness can be substantial and modding becomes necessary for your safety as well as enjoyment.

    Sure would not want to get a leg or other body part pinned under the stock can of a 690, or have front fork failure on a stock F650, or taco a rim on a stock F800 or....point is~EPA, manufacturers accountants, etc. often cheapen the experience and suck the life out our bikes.

    I say put some life back into your moto and pimp that ride for safety's sake! :pope
    #49
  10. SportsGuy

    SportsGuy icanhazdirt?

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    People buying new exhausts for their bikes rarely do so "for safety". You want safety - make sure there is a spark arrestor in the can and keep it there. Wrap the stock can in tape, etc. (No, I wouldn't either... ;) )

    Yes, the stock can gets hot, but non-stock get hot, too. Not AS hot, but the also don't have a cat inside them, so that poses other issues.

    And sometimes with the new can comes drivability issues. Meaning a new intake, and computer reprogramming and bingo, you're on the slope before you know it.

    It's a tough call IMO. Regarding bolt on mods like crash bars, skid plates, etc., I say load them on - protection for the bike and rider are critical. :)

    I've built so many cars and truck sover the years that I don't really care for deeper mods today. Buy the right tool for the job, etc...realizing there is a cost barrier for some with this approach.

    And having said all that, you'll still find times when you should mod engines, etc. The KLR Doohickey comes to mind - weak part from the factory that should be upgraded.

    Ultimately, it all remains a personal choice. :) Which is why bikes are so friggin' cool.
    #50
  11. modeselector

    modeselector Common as muck

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    I could imagine a guy showing his wife the "cook an egg on a 690" video and telling her he must get something "cooler"...ya know for the sake of safety.
    #51
  12. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    I have a 690R and I left my exhaust stock. It hasn't melted anything people like you claim is the big risk. Doesn't even seem that hot to me. Certainly not on the scale you preach.

    I left the exhaust on my Yam Wr250R stock too. It's quieter and retains the bike's perfect fueling.

    My mods are mostly for comfort, travel or safety. The safety part for me was a Spot tracker and steering damper.
    #52
  13. modeselector

    modeselector Common as muck

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    I'm having a bit of fun with my comments.

    But on your serious note, the SPOT should be kept on your person vs. bike in the event you have a get off to better your chances summoning help. Done preaching.
    #53
  14. SportsGuy

    SportsGuy icanhazdirt?

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    I'm as interested in the steering damper. On the highway I feel like a Dakar rider on sand...or like I'm riding a puppy's arse...in the strictly platonic sense...
    #54
  15. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    An R1 is essentially a race bike, and the rules and requirements to successfully produce that sort of machine are well-defined by racing rules, and well-honed by racing success.

    The problem is that there is no such thing as a "round the world adventure bike". If there were, and if there was a market to warrant producing such a thing, perhaps some manufacturer would offer one.

    Of course, this being ADVRider, there would have to be many different versions of the round the world adventure bike, since there would be many different requirements. Some impossible combination of fast, light, stable, huge-fuel range, infrequent service needs with minimal parts & specialized tools, reliable as a hammer, good off-road, good on-road, good 2-up, hauls freight like a camel, tolerates poor quality fuel, common tire sizes & type, etc., etc.

    So for each of us, a "round the world adventure bike" might be some specialized version of:

    KLR
    DR650
    R1200GS(A)
    500 EX-C
    690 Enduro
    990 Enduro
    WR250R
    V-Strom 650
    TU250
    Super Sherpa

    Mission impossible, of course but it sure is fun reading about other folks mods and bikes and trips here on ADVRider!
    #55
  16. RyanR

    RyanR Been here awhile

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    Other than taking the cover off to check valve clearances, changing the oil, cleaning my air filter and generally keeping things lubed up I haven't done anything to my CRF250x. Hell it's still plugged up with the emission crap on it. And I'm over 11,000 miles on mine with nary an issue. And that's on a motor that eats valves every 20 hours according to the collective wisdom of the internet. :rofl
    #56
  17. jckid

    jckid Been here awhile

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    In the past I've done the usual power-up mods on my bikes. With my 610 Husky, it worked out great, using the factory power-up kit and Leo Vince. On my carbed bikes, it hasn't gone as smooth...fine tuning jetting can be a pain. So this time around, when I picked up my 2011 WR250X, I decided to keep it stock. If there was a factory power up kit for it (like the Husky), I would probably do it, but since there's not, I'm not going to mess around with trying to fine tune it. I'm putting my money into things like a Renazco seat, windscreen, better tires, and some bling to make it my own. So far it's worked out great. I think sometimes it is better just to leave well enough alone.
    #57
  18. Bud Tugly

    Bud Tugly Gnarly old curmudgeon

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    Excellent thread, and many good points made on both sides of the issue. Hey, if you use a dual-purpose bike mostly on the street and rarely venture off-road other than a few rides down a smooth gravel or dirt road then you'd probably be satisfied with them as delivered. IMO that's the way most buyers actually treat them and the manufacturers set them up accordingly.

    If you're more demanding of off-road performance then you have to tinker with things like suspension and engine response more than the "average" buyer. It's pretty much the way most SUVs are rarely driven off-road except for a small select group of owners.

    As others have said, there's no simple answer as to whether that tinkering affects reliability. Mostly depends on if you know what you're doing and use quality components.
    #58
  19. what broke now

    what broke now Petroleum Brother

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    Plus, if we proceed to improve our mounts and fail dramatically, we don't create space junk. Pretty hard to part out a satellite on ebay
    #59
  20. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

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    CRF250X...how much power does that bike make in bone stock condition? I might be able to live with that compared to what my KLX250S came with.:lol3

    There's no right or wrong to this thread except to say that there's no truth to the blanket statement that modding always makes a bike less reliable. As always...exceptions, exceptions, exceptions. Some are scared to mod their bikes, some are fiscally unwilling to mod their bikes, some bikes don't necessarily need to be modded, and some get the same satisfaction out of modding their bikes as they do riding them. None of those positions are necessarily absolutely right or wrong. If they were, we'd all probably be riding the same brand and type of bike. What are the odds of that happening?:lol3
    #60