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. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    I got to say, one of the best mods I ever did was to change out the vacuum carb on the dr650 with a pumper.
    It was easy and quick, and the throttle response was loads of fun.
    The bike would loft the front wheel easy just using the throttle in 1st and 2nd, and sometimes in 3rd.
    The bike also ran much better (smoother) at lower rpm's, and the reason they use a vacuum carb is only for emissions.
    I would not give a damn if it reduced the reliability one bit, it was too much fun, plus jetting it right (instructions were spot on) made the motor run cooler.
    Honda has a commercial out saying there is nothing that could not be better, and its true.

    If you reduced the power of all bikes 50%, they would ALL last longer.
    #61
  2. bomber60015

    bomber60015 Anatomically Correct

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    In general, I think the answer is yes, it wouild be more reliable.

    I read pieces on guys with million mile awards from their manufacuters, and all of those baikes are essentially stock . . . .

    The last couple of decades, really, factories are building really good motorcycles -- the days of extending the front forks to gain ground clearance, and adding a couple of degrees of ignition adfvance to wake up the motor . . . . .history.

    Thank goodness, I say -- now, what to do with my Tach and Dwell meter?

    ;-}
    #62
  3. SportsGuy

    SportsGuy icanhazdirt?

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    BINGO! This is a critical part of the conversation isn't it? I LOVE tinkering with my 690 Enduro R. My brand of tinkering includes bolting all kinds of stuff I think I'll need to the bike. Not playing with engine mods, but hard parts that go on and can come off. I can play with the install for hours in the garage. Happy to fab my own LED light mounting brackets, etc.

    But, I want the engine to run reliably, so my choice is to leave that sucker alone. I'm on a mission to increase performance by losing weight - myself. Every ten pounds I lose, the bike feels fresh, new and hooliganistic on a whole new level!

    But I have to agree with that statement - sometimes the enjoyment is in the wrenching. Other times its in the riding. And on those two curves, we all occupy individual locations.
    #63
  4. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    Nah, guys like you preach all the effing time. Plus you really have no practical experience (as your catalyst remark demonstrated). Take your Spot preach for example too. Your advice sounds good but doesn't work in practice. Not in desert racing or long range adventuring in the wilderness. Not if you want to be tracked.

    Why not tell us exactly where you carry your Spot and how you attach it to your body? Post a pic maybe...

    We use a Spot a lot. We use the tracking service. We have an emergency protocol with our safety crew (Mine are my 2 sons). They know where I am when things stop for me and have a drill to follow.

    But yes, should the motorcycle go over a cliff I'd be stuck for awhile. You weigh things based on your experience. I have crashed motorcycles offroad a zillion times. I want to be tracked more than I want to reach into my pocket to push a button. :D

    Most of us in the real world carry the spot in a dedicated bar holder. I carry mine in the map case of my tankbag. Not optimal, but tracks well enough in most conditions.
    #64
  5. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    In the old days, one mod lots of people did was to add an oil cooler and/or an oil filter.
    Plenty of bikes do not hold a lot of oil, they make expanded sumps for Guzzi's, many add oil capacity to some ktm bikes and even tw200's.
    Anyone who thinks the designs we end up with are the best is blind, the epa and the bean counters play a big role, from cheap tires, cheap shocks, not enough oil, not enough cooling, lean mixtures, low electrical power output, vacuum carbs, restrictive air filter boxes, etc.

    And besides, motorcycles are supposed to be about fun, not getting 100,000 miles out of a bike without having to do anything to it.
    #65
  6. oldxr

    oldxr Long timer

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    Usually most modern motorcycles are jetted or programmed lean for emissions and alot of uninformed owners make this condition worse by running some kind of aftermarket exhaust.If a thumper is ran on trails at low to middle rpms this wont effect engine life.But if you run at highway speeds with a load the engine will probably last longer with a slightly richer mixture-this makes a cooler running engine.I wont do any internal engine mods on my bikes unless the engine has to be opened up.My bikes are always rejetted and a/f ratio checked on a dyno.
    #66
  7. what broke now

    what broke now Petroleum Brother

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    "Nah, guys like you preach all the effing time."

    Thank christ and rice crispies you showed up with a sermon to show us the way, Pantah! :lol3
    #67
  8. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    Running lean is a problem. I hate modifying an engine because I do seek reliability above all, but these days engines are being squeezed to meet emissions standrads. I understand why we have those standards and much stricter requirements elsewhere but taking an egine and trying to squeeze performance while restricting emissions leads us to the dead end we seem to be approaching with carburettors pretty much disappearing. The world's population has doubled since I was born half a century ago and air pollution is a problem but lean running factory settings are a curse. Adding crash bars luggage and changing tires are not what I would necessarily consider "modifications" while changing the fuel mixture is, and it has to be done right for a successful improvement.
    #68
  9. modeselector

    modeselector Common as muck

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    It's incredible how reliable today's bikes are. While meeting a friend at the local dealer, I was killing time and looking over a new Yamaha WR. Everything from the fasteners used, the quality of the welds to how the plastics met each other with minimal gap - it's impressive.

    In many cases, were pretty spoiled with the reliability of a stock bike, right out of the crate. :pope
    #69
  10. mountaincadre

    mountaincadre Been here awhile

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    Following this thread has brought back a lot of the old demons(to mod,or not to mod, that is the question)in the past i have modded bikes purely for the reason that that is what everyone was doing and was accepted as being the norm(this i think is an age related problem) i have also modded because i knew it would be an improvement on the original part(think sas system and asmatic breathing on lc4's). There is then specific to problem mods, by this i mean the kind of mods you do to your bike because of where/what you will be doing(long distance touring/racing/etc). I believe it is in the very nature of bikes and of those who ride them to" tinker" , when i was an apprentice my journeyman would tell me that "nessesity is the mother of invention" whenever there is a problem to be solved we solve it, that is our nature, and so the eternal question remains, "To mod or not to mod".
    #70
  11. Roostboy101

    Roostboy101 Narry Uvencherer

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    The big motorcycle companies hire engineers that have no knowledge and no tools to perform what they need to do. Obviously "we" can make things better in our poorly lit garage :rofl

    The perfect example of this is snowmobiles. Sleds are always on the throttle due to the amount of drag and basically no coasting. Dad always told me when I was young "if you want to ride, you buy the speed from factory and then use it... if you want to fuck with your shit all day, tinker with it and pipe it and whatnot..." It's true. The guys that "hop up" their sleds sometimes actually lose power and theyre always dickin with em!

    I'm here to ride. Don't get me wrong, I love to tinker. Seems I always have a tinker toy in the garage but I keep it seperate from my riding machines. When I go out for a ride I want to know I'm going to have a good day n hammer it hard!

    But, to each their own right! :freaky
    #71
  12. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Its true,some guys have to hop up anything they have.They're usually the ones stuck on the trail after crashing or their hop up backfired somehow.

    Hopping up something like a DR650/KLR boggles my mind,of all bikes, why pick a near 400 lb econo boxer to try to make into something it cant be?

    Even if it somehow made a bunch of power,its still a huge heavy ill handling bike that can squash you like a bug in a crash. Its not a racer nor meant to be. I realize theres some perverse joy in messing with engines and carbs but...

    Just take a ride on a good running 450 or 500/530/525/690/630/610


    The power is there stock,the weight isnt. They work right out of the box,pretty much.

    I like riding my DR but Ive tried flinging it sideways on fire roads and thrashed it a little here and there,it lets any sane man know its a boat and will bite back hard.
    #72
  13. Roostboy101

    Roostboy101 Narry Uvencherer

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    Yea it didn't take me long to figure out you end up spending as much or more by hopping up something lesser than just biting the bullet at the beginning. You have a point on the KLRs n stuff. And yes I do understand tinkering, but why with that? After you put $2k into a KLR it's a ummm uhhh oh yea IT'S STILL A KLR! And I would be less likely to buy a modded bike than an all factory one.

    Oh well, like some said, they get as much thrill out of screwin with their stuff as they do riding it. Different strokes... but I would say (to answer OP) IMO you're much more reliable if you just leave the stuff alone! I heard all this hype about 08 WR250R fuel pumps. I considered getting one. I didn't. I'm at 8200 miles. It could fail tomorrow. But why fix it today if it aint broken!

    Then again I also heard about XR4 swingarm bolts. Thought that was hype too. After 2 weeks of sweating, heating, swearing, beating, lubing.... it finally came out. Sooo not hype all the time...
    #73
  14. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Backyard Adventurer

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    I've been told by some older Harley riders who know, and who have the huge miles on their machines to show, that leaving Harley motors alone was the best thing to do if you really thought you wanted to see how far past 100,000 miles on one you could get.

    Start fucking with 'em and they start self-destructing.

    But... Am I happy I raised the stock needle on my Vulcan 800? Yes.

    Am I happy I put in a new needle and jetted (very possibly more-correctly-then-stock for the sea-level I ride at) my DR650? Yes (it ran terrible when I got it).

    Many miles from now I may be shown otherwise, but in about 6,000 miles my DR650SE has run nothing but better than when I bought it used and with 2400 miles on it.

    I haven't had to mess with it again, and I'm guessing that until the slide wears, IF it wears, and IF I feel some problem from it doing so, I can run it as it sits for a long time to come (though I need a bigger seat and a bigger fuel tank).
    #74