Show us your TransAlp modifications!

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by modrover, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. Santa

    Santa Focused on the Future

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    So, watch those chains guys.

    We need a little PSA here, someone with a stock TA should post a photo of what correct chain tension looks like.
    I cannot as my bike has the AT swingarm.
  2. mas335

    mas335 xendurist

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    I agree, maybe we should create a top 10 list of the most important things one should not ignore on a Transalp.

    Page 3-11 in the Honda service manual, 1 3/8" - 1 3/4" chain slack free play. I can't image not bothering to learn the basics.

    One thing I don't agree with in the Honda service schedule chart is to change oil and filter every 8,000 miles. Like Ray said it is the life blood of a engine, I'm a bit OCD about this sort if thing and change it every 2,000-2,500 miles.
  3. Ladder106

    Ladder106 It's a short cut, really

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    One of the common traits of this engine that seems to run throughout many threads and user sites and shared experiences is:

    (a) Transalp engines will use some oil if run consistently over 5000 rpm for long periods of time.

    (b) As the engine hours/mileage increases, this oil use also increases.

    The engine seems to run well and consistently well into high hours and it's only at the very end of service life that oil consumption reaches unbearable levels.

    This means, therefore, that one is well advised to check oil levels when on long trips with many miles at highway, motorway, freeway speeds.

    - and -

    One should check oil levels frequently in high hour/miles engines.....yes, even if you change the oil at frequent periods.
  4. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    I don't see anything in the design that looks odd. Have any of you guys figured out why this happens more than other motors or does it ?
  5. Cruz

    Cruz Lost but laughing.

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    The tappet cover gasket on the rear cylinder of my 87 600 has developed a slight weep/leak of oil that is slowly becoming worse.

    Do I have to drop the motor from the frame to change the cover gasket or can it be done in the frame?

    Thanks. :ear
  6. mas335

    mas335 xendurist

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    See this link below, page 713 post # 10690.

    Depending on how bad the leak is you can also try a very thin washer commonly used for water faucet valve repairs. Typically they are brass and measure around .020 to .025 thousanths thick. Place each of them under the two valve cover screws ( IF 87's use the same screw design). This will allow the screws to compress the valve gasket the same thickness as the washer before the screw shoulders against their stops. I would use the thinest washer you can use to stop the leak.

    The valve cover screw design has a shoulder that bottoms out and limits the compression of the valve cover gasket while being able to be tightened firmly. The washers in effect make the shoulder length slightly shorter which requires the valve cover gasket to compress more before the screw hits the stop. Remember you are compressing the valve cover gasket and you can cut the gasket if it is compressed too much by using too thick of a washer.

    I have found that most all leaking valve ( tappet) cover gaskets are still soft and flexable enough to compress some more and this should stop the leak or at least reduce it. I just go ahead and change them for new gaskets but I think this works to, at least it's worth trying and may buy you more time before needing to replace them.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39170&page=713

    [​IMG]
  7. potski

    potski Wiley Wanderer

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    Hi guys...
    A think a top modification would be a kick start.

    IMO all ADV type bikes should come with both electric and kick...guess it's possibly beyond the engineering realms of us normal bods on here..
    A couple of times I really could have done with one; flat batery no way of a push start...... guess we have all been there.

    Cheers
    Potski :freaky
  8. mas335

    mas335 xendurist

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    Cruz, Sorry, I failed to answer your question!

    I see no reason why you need to drop the engine. Not being exactly familiar with the 87 engine differences I am guessing the cooling hose tubes mounted on the heads are in the same location. You will not be able to remove the rear valve cover without removing the water tube. The front valve cover can be removed without removing the front water tube but only if you pull the front coils, ( as best as I remember).
  9. Crash48

    Crash48 Secular Lord

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    [​IMG]
    Installed new chain and sprockets with slack at 1.5 inches... photo after 600kms - bike on sidestand.
    jerrekan likes this.
  10. Cruz

    Cruz Lost but laughing.

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    Thanks for the excellent info and pics Mas.
  11. Dr E

    Dr E Chasing after theory

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    One issue with gaskets is they will all tend to age and either go brittle or fail at some point in their life. There are many types of sealant out there that people like to use, but a common problem is both how much and what are their draw backs. With silicon based sealants excess seepage into the inner space (water pumps, oil pans) to mention a couple, you run the risk of having the excess ooze that is left inside your motor pulled through your engine clogging oil passages and other vital components.

    [​IMG]
    photo uploader

    This above image is from the oil filter of a Porsche Boxster we were working on and is a common issue when "more" is not better. The source was traced back to the oil pan gasket where the owner had used copious amounts of sealant due to worn oil pan bolts.

    On all of the engines I work on be it cars or bikes, when there is a gasket that I want to be sure does not leak, yet is capable of easily being removed I use Aviation gasket sealer. Why? This is both gas and oil resistant, forms a leak proof barrier and stays pliable. When servicing is required, removing a component that you are not left with the scraping and peeling that tends to come with using other adhesives. Additionally, if you have metal on metal components, this sealant appropriate for those locations as well. The sealer has the consistency of a very heavy molasses and all you have to do is wet the surface with a small brush. A bottle this size has lasted me over a decade.

    [​IMG]

    With all this said, opening up your oil filter is a good practice to see what lurks in the recesses of the filter material. Conditional changes may first be noticed by what you see your filter stopping.

    picture sharing
    jerrekan likes this.
  12. Clockwatcher

    Clockwatcher Been here awhile

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    This is the truth......most guys will not admit that their motor uses oil.
    I am personally a little suspicious of an older motor that does not use at least a little oil.
    Most ADV'ers are pretty much anal about oil, and do change it often, this could be disguising an oil usage issue. How many measure the drained oil?
    Oil usage might not be noticeable at 2500 mi. but could be destructive at 5000 miles ( might be on an extended trip to a foreign country and proper oil not available) .
    It might be an interesting experiment to ride your bike for an extended oil change interval just to see what the usage might be , if any. I know mine uses oil between changes, I ride long distances often and I have over 76k miles on a 23 yo motor.............:ear
  13. ravelv

    ravelv from Baltic side of river

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    Seems still depends on design and each engine can have this "threshold"... On my car (x16xel engine) motor starts a bit consume oil if I keep it constantly over 3000rpm's.
    On TA I mostly keep not more than 5000rpm's, oil is not consumed noticeably. And I change oil like on car- around 10 000km's or once per 2-3 years, which comes first. Old oil from engine is quite clean always. So, I don't see reason to change oil more frequent, except when most riding is done in city or heavy offroad. But I ride mostly in "light" mode around 90-100km/h on highways


  14. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    Yes, I'm quessing that the TA motor is no worse than most at oil consumption. It is prudent to check on oil level and changes. Most of these 20 + yo motors are nearing the mid range of their wear/mileage limits at least. From my experience, that's better than most bikes. It's easy to forget that the typical KLR, KLX, WR, XR, etc that a lot of us are familar with, is pretty much done at 7 to 10k miles and very few make it much past without serious maintance. In the rare exception where a ring sticks/brakes or a valve stem seal fails while your on a long trip and you don't catch it in time, well, SHIT HAPPENS.
  15. mas335

    mas335 xendurist

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    Sounds right to me. Did you disconnect and remove the side stand indicator light switch, I don't see it.



  16. mas335

    mas335 xendurist

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    I have never heard of a XR (650) or a NX650 being pretty much done at 7-10K miles unless neglect or abuse was involved. I have seen a few NX650's with 50K miles and still running fine. I thought KLR's were more reliable than that? There seems to be more than a few DR350's dead at 10K but they run the crap out of those little engines.
  17. dfc

    dfc Reluctant Cannonball

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    I know of a fellow on a local dual sport board who recently posted his KLR had just turned over 100K, so it aint unheard of.

    YMMV
  18. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    We probably rode ours a little hard. Well, as hard as old guys can. After the Continental Divide Ride and the TAT + a few Mexico, NM/CO rides, the '99 KLX. '03KLR and '03 XR650R we were riding were gettin a little tired, where we felt we didn't trust them to go on another long trip and be reliable. All had 7K+ miles and everyone has moved on to a fresher/newer model. Sure, partly because of new bike fever, and paranoia, and the never ending search for the perfect bike. We're all too old and don't feel the need to push it. Well, we couldn't push it very far.:D Let's face it most riders don't have the knowlede, experience, or will to do maintance of any kind much less major repair on their bikes, cars or anything else. ...For those who want to use em till they can't go any farther, your choice. I don't take any chances with maintance and after seeing your work on here I don't think you do either. I realize that many get much higher mileage and the Honda is probably the best of the bunch for that. All bikes have their own little particular quirks/problems that might need attention and no one model is right for everyone. That's part of the fun.
  19. mas335

    mas335 xendurist

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    **Let's face it most riders don't have the knowlede, experience, or will to do maintance of any kind much less major repair on their bikes, cars or anything else. **


    I have to agree with you on this statement, craigslist is filled with these kind of butchered bikes. It seems to be a problem that has gotten noticeably worse in the last 5 years. We are watching a mechanically illiterate generation expand.
  20. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    Of course, your right. Most bikes are not near their end at 7K miles. I have been riding small displacement single cylinder dirt biased bikes, because I can handle them more comfortably. And I like to sell them with fairly low miles while they are still worth more. Then find a real low mileage used model from someone who didn't know what they wanted or what they were doing. The last 4 bikes I had ( KLX300, KLX450, KLR650, and DR350) all had less than 1K miles on them. Then I can do the mods I like and ride em till I get the best miles out of em and move on. It's worked good so far. One of the few advantages of living in a over populated place like Dallas/ Fort Worth (it wasn't so in 1944 when we moved here) , It's a target rich invironment, Just have to be fast on the Craigslist adds or they're gone. Don't think I've ever lost money on a bike, not counting taxes, insurance and regular maintance stuff. I almost never buy a bike I can't resell the next day and break even. The TA is the exception. I don't plan to ever sell this one. It's just too cool.