Tech: Old Reliable vs New Fangled

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by MotorcycleWriter, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Gripsteruser

    Gripsteruser Got a handle on it

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    Your definition is not how Reliability Engineering sees it. Issues vary in their effects and there is a method for accounting for that.

    For instance - engine failure in a single engine airplane vs engine failure in a 4 engine airplane. The 4 engine is 4X as likely to have a failure but the consequences of the failure are likely to be much less.

    There is a Reliability Engineering analysis activity called Failure Modes and Effects Criticality Analysis (FMECA) used to work out the issues and their consequences. Since it's time consuming it's costly. But it can help change design decisions if the reliability or maintainability goals aren't met. And of course it depends on some assumptions that may be proven wrong in actual service when theory encounters manufacturing defects and production tolerances (" BMW final drives are bulletproof" :-)

    But to give a thumbrule of Reliability - The more stuff in the system, the less reliable the system. (You're gonna be doing more maintenance to keep it running 100%.)

    Another - the more lines of code in the software, the higher the probability of a defect lurking in the software.

    Another - jack with it long enough - you're gonna break it. :-)
    #81
  2. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    I doubt that. For most people in the US a motorcycle is a LUXURY. Very few people here own one as their sole means of dependent transportation. Since it's a luxury, I doubt many people that own them are sweating paying to keep them running or else they probably couldn't afford the thing in the first place and shouldn't have bought it.
    #82
  3. 4PawsHacienda

    4PawsHacienda Been here awhile

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    I think that sometimes I use the reliability factor as justification to buy something new that I think I want, other times as justification not to.

    I do find myself paying attention to Jim VB's advice and suggestions, I appreciate his willingness to share - it's up to me to decide to follow or not.
    #83
  4. Bloodweiser

    Bloodweiser honestly

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    Read carefully.
    That conversation was about TOOLS.
    #84
  5. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    motorcycles are a luxury cause they are money pits, your always replacing something, even if its not an engine part, chains, sprockets and more tires, fork oil, seals

    yes, fuel injection is more reliable than the carb that was on the bike 30 years ago, but so is the carb that would be built today, the modern carb is probably more reliable, it may not be as efficient, but efficiency and reliability are 2 different subjects, just one sensor among several has a glitch and if your lucky the FI goes into limp mode to get you home
    #85
  6. Paebr332

    Paebr332 Good news everyone!

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    This is only true ceteris paribus. In other words, the rule of thumb only applies if you are adding more stuff that has a similar failure rate to the original stuff.

    Replacing a mechanical component with lots of electronic components which each have 5-9's reliability will actually increase the overall reliability of the system in most cases. Electronics have a different reliability hazard function than do mechanical components. Mechanical components tend to suffer significant infant mortality failures followed by a period of random failures, and then experience an end-of-life/wearout phase with ever increasing failure rates (mechanical wear in mechanical systems is a fact of physics). This is often called the "bathtub curve." Electronic components usually follow a decreasing failure rate curve with most failures being infant mortality failures. Wear out is by and large not an issue with electronics.

    Counting the individual pixels on your display screen and transistors on your chips means there are literally millions of individual components in the device you are using to read this post. Add in all the electronic components in the internet between your device and the ADV servers and you get an inkling of just how reliable electronic components are. Electronics component reliability is orders of magnitude higher than mechanical component reliability. If it were not so, you would not be able to read this post.
    #86
  7. BadKarma

    BadKarma Long timer

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    Except for Keihin CV's on every EVO I've ever run them on from Sportsters to Electra Glides. And for a performance minded biker, Mikuni HSR42's. set 'em and forget 'em. Use clean fuel and keep your filters clean. That's it.
    #87
  8. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    Some of us do use our bikes as our full time all weather transportation, some of us do need to be concerned with the expense of service and repairs, some of us keep our bikes many years.

    For some of us, user maintainability trumps technical superiority.
    #88
  9. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    I want my refrigerator to be reliable, I want my furnace to be reliable, I want my motorcycles to be fun.
    #89
  10. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Here, I'll help you out:

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/most
    #90
  11. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    In 40 years of riding, street and dirt, cross country trips, etc, I have been stranded ONCE.

    That was a few years ago on a 1969 Triumph Daytona.
    The aftermarket tappet adjusters I used (mushroom head) started chipping their edges off, which got into the oil pump and trashed it.
    Oil pumped into the motor, but not out.
    That after 45,000 miles of hard riding it.

    True, it always needed work, but I used the bike hard.

    I almost did not make it home a few times, an old IT175 sucked in a reed valve on the trail. I used a soda can to replace the missing assembly and rode home on the other reed.

    In the 70's, I burnt a hole through the top of the right side piston on another Daytona, I sort of did it because I got fed up with it slowing down at full throttle.
    I made it home on the left cylinder.

    Most bikes can be very reliable if you look after them.
    Most breakdowns are the owners fault in my book, cables, carbs, chains, wires and connections are things that need looking after, batteries should be replaced before they get old.

    Modern bikes can have fuel pumps, which should be replaced at some point.
    Every component on a bike has some expected lifetime, you just need to know about what it is and replace it beforehand, or carry a spare.

    Points, fuel pumps, carb parts, cdi units, throttle position sensors, you think about what could kill your bike and plan for it.

    A new bike will have nothing to worry about in most cases, except some Euro brands with a lot of electronics, an old bike will have almost every part suspect.

    There is no reason an old bike can not be as or more reliable then it was when new, if you go through it.
    #91
  12. Gripsteruser

    Gripsteruser Got a handle on it

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    I agree with everything you wrote.

    But it may be too fine a point for this discussion.

    If JVB rates a carb gasket leak the same as an FI fuel hose joint leak then we aren't yet working with common understanding.
    #92
  13. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    I agree, I don't consider pushing a dead motorcycle fun
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  14. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    That's funny because you've got TWO bikes that I've had to push before. :rofl
    #94
  15. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    That was why I do it. Your idea of an issue and mine may not be the same, so ANY issue must be considered an issue. A leak may or may not strand you, but it is still an issue.
    #95
  16. Skyshadow

    Skyshadow Banned

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    Just getting back on after a few days.....have a few things to add

    You can have a 125k mile 05 r1200gs and if you did not ride it hard and put it away wet it should be reliable. However if you ride the way I do where dust and dirt gets into everything and keeping it spotless is impossible then reliability due to simplicity comes into effect. I had a early oilhead once and I spent more time fiddling with the motronic and plugging and unplugging the O2 than I would care to admit. Once a wire shorted and I had a harness fire in the 10 miles of wiring that was it...I went back to simple.

    I think it comes down to if you ride you bike as designed the reliability is revealed. If you put 100k+ highway miles on your GS and say it's reliable you have no argument as the GS was designed as a dual sport.
    #96
  17. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Straying from the other points on issues, this is my 125K mile GS:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    and my old GS with 55K in 2.5 years when I sold it:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Maintenance and care are far more important than how you ride and where you park!
    #97
  18. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Maintenance and care are important. But how you ride makes a huge difference on how things hold up. Believe me I've more then proven that. There's a reason folks get 15K miles out of a Pilot Road when I only get 2500. Same reason people get 150K plus miles out of a Vstrom with no issues, when I'm replacing the motor at 43K.
    #98
  19. scootrboi

    scootrboi Long timer

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    I attended a Open Wrench Night at a private bike building garage, riding in on my 50s vintage scoot. There was a Britbike on the repair stand, something old with an Amal carb. I asked about the metal hoses on the outside of the cylinder. External oil lines. I mentioned my bike didn't have an oil pump. That piqued the host's interest, he is interested in how different schools of thought design motorcycles. I showed him how the oil vapor was delivered to the valve levers by removing the oil cap and feeling the air pumping out. There are little points molded into the inside of the cylinder head cover that drip the condensed lubricant onto the bushings. The oil is distributed by the crankshaft that splashes oil around. This may sound primitive, but it is part of an old formula for reliability. No oil pump, no tiny passageways, no moving parts except the already moving crankshaft. The engine doesn't turn very fast, and ignition points last many years, and are simple to set. This simplicity and formactive design makes diagnosis of a problem so elementary that even I can do it. The valves have a single angle, the last time I burned a valve I lapped in a new one, no machining. The pushrods need no attention. The final drive is an enclosed engine component. The bike was designed by aircraft engineers to be reliable, and they succeeded.
    #99
  20. Skyshadow

    Skyshadow Banned

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    +1 maintenance is important...but application separates the reliable from the unreliable. For the record..I HATED my oilhead due to the weight and complexity. I LOVE my g/s due to the weight and simplicity