Super Tenere 100,000 miles around the world...

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by dcstrom, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. dcstrom

    dcstrom Long timer

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    Hey guys and girls, been a while since I posted here, but it's about time...

    Currently sitting out part of the winter in Bulgaria (apartments are cheap this time of year at Black Sea resorts!). The last half of last year was spent around Iran/Armenia/Georgia/Ukraine/Poland/Czech, ending up in Germany for most of November/December. While there I was lucky enough to get some help from Yamaha Germany, and Touratech (another story!). This is what we found at the 100,000 mile service.

    I figured that Germany would be a good place to have a major service done, having just turned over 100,000 miles in Poland. I had no real problems with the bike (that I knew of) except for a cracking rear rim, which had been bugging me for some time. I approached Yamaha in Germany to see if they could help me out with the rim, and perhaps a service at the same time.

    Turns out they were just as curious as I was to see how things had held up, and went through the bike top to bottom, with typical German thoroughness.

    First, this shows most of that 100,000 miles...

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    CLUTCH
    With the mileage covered I had expected the clutch to be pretty well worn, but it was in really good shape. Little wear on the basket, steel plates still have machine marks on them, and not much wear on the fiber plates. It could have gone back in, but the updated parts available from the 2014 model went in instead.

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    CHASSIS, SUSPENSION AND RUNNING GEAR

    Ohlins shock was in a bad way, I'd had it rebuilt in France (it had about 60,000 miles on it) but (unknown to me) not all worn parts were replaced. That means new parts working against old ones and wearing much faster than they should have, so full rebuild required involving many more new parts that it should have. It was borderline as to whether to just get a new one, but 600 euro rebuild was a saving of 400 euro, so...
    Clutch master cylinder was quite worn, could have been rebuilt but the guys opted to replace it.
    Levers were worn, they replaced those too.
    Full lube of suspension components, all bearings good.

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    WHEELS AND BRAKES
    The rear rim cracking has been a bit of a headache – the first one cracked at 83,000 miles/134,000km, not that bad really considering the weight carried and the kind of roads travelled. I had it replaced in France, but the person who did the job didn't follow Yamaha's torque recommendations and the spokes were too tight. This led to premature cracking - I had one crack welded in Armenia, but it cracked again at the weld, along with 4 other cracks. No way around getting a new rim!. It was much easier for Yamaha to replace the wheel than lace up a rim, so that's what they did, including the rear disc – the original disc was shot.

    The front rim had a few dings that had accumulated over time, to the point where the tire would have a slow leak when running tubeless (so I ran a tube in it). Taking the dings out might be an option (but maybe not legal in Germany? I'd had some taken out twice in Sth America, $25 each time, quoted in France 250 euro!), but again better to replace wheel, especially since it had some previous dings as well. They replaced disks and pads too, although not strictly necessary since I'd put new Brembo disks on about 20,000 miles ago. I guess it was worth it for them to have me running stock brakes? I don't know.

    New standard tires... Rear K60 still had some life in it, but front Mitas was shot and anyway, not planning on much dirt for a while, go for it guys! :-)

    Wheel bearings were fine too, but now I'll never know how long they would have lasted. At least with new wheels and bearings, that's one less wear item to worry about.

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    ENGINE
    Valve clearances were spot on except for one tight exhaust. Last done in Paris 40,000 km ago. Throttle bodies were pretty filthy, in part my fault for overfilling the engine oil on a few occasions. Excess oil gets blown into the airbox and then into the engine. Bodies removed and cleaned, and the usual adjustments performed.

    One of the things I was concerned about at this mileage was cam chain wear, so I specifically asked the guys to check it. They said, hmm, that will be a problem if it IS worn, since sprockets should be changed at the same time. And the lower sprocket is part of the crankshaft...
    Good news, there was no detectable wear in the cam chain, so nothing to be done.

    FUEL PUMP AND FILTER
    I'd been concerned that one day the pump might fail or at least the filter would be blocked. I was prepared for the latter, carry a filter in the spares kit (this is from a Suzuki, or something - I found the information in the maintenance section here.). Turns out the filter was chock-a-block with muck, so it's surprising the bike was running as well as it was. Yamaha doesn't list the filter as a separate part, so the entire pump was replaced.

    Fuel pump was pretty easy to take apart, no reason not to replace the filter every 60,000 miles or so, if you have the part. I didn't use the part I had because I got a whole new pump, but I did a test fit and seems like it would work. Part is "Intank Strainer Suzuki EFI Motorcycle ATV 2008-2015 15420-05H00 15420-44G00", $15 from highflowfuel.com

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    Fuel filter was chock-full of muck, I'm surprised it wasn't causing any (noticible) problem.

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    ELECTRICS
    A couple of times the engine has has a slight miss after riding through a huge rain storm. Later I'd found water in the right side spark plug holes, and some corrosion on the plug caps (which are also the coils). All 4 replaced as a precaution. These are expensive, I wouldn't have replaced ALL... maybe just the worst one. I kept one of the "good" old ones as a spare.

    Through my own carelessness I'd melted wiring going to the accessory socket (it required a 3 amp, at one point I blew it and couldn't get a 3 amp replacement. I put a 10 amp in instead “just until I can get a 3amp”. So now we know that the plastic on those wires will melt… the socket was still working though, so I didn't realise the problem was as bad as it was! Wiring replaced.
    Headlight bulb replaced – the 4th one for the trip I think.

    Headlight fuse is a bit mysterious – the plastic was melted but not the fuse wire itself. Don't know when or why that happened, something to keep an eye on.
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    ABS
    I hadn't noticed a problem with the ABS, the dash light was behaving normally but I hadn't activated it for some time. When the techs went over the bike they found a problem with the ABS unit - corrosion. This was the big ticket item, and it was all my own fault! They asked me “have you ever changed the brake fluid?” Apparently the fluid was more water than brake fluid! I HAD changed it, at 40,000 km, but that was a long time ago now – 3 years and 125,000km. And we just did a “manual” change, using the old fashioned method. This is probably proof that the special vacuum tool should be used to pull out the old fluid. It's possible that manual pumping doesn't get it all, hence SOME of the fluid in the system was still the original. TUBEBENDER, I don't recall, did we use a minivac or something?

    A new ABS unit had to come from Japan, since there were no US versions in Germany. Got here in 4 days. Thanks YAMAHA!
    The moral of the story is, change your brake fluid according to recommendations, make sure it's done properly. It could save you $1000 or more down the line.

    FINAL DRIVE
    Slightly leaky main seal replaced, the 3rd one since new. And that's it… final drive is perfect otherwise. Apart from a couple of minor leaks, there has been not a single issue with the final drive unit. Not many "other" bikes can say that :D
    Huge thanks to the guys at Yamaha - great people, great company that builds great bikes. I couldn't be happier with mine.

    This is everything that was replaced;

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    YAMAHA GERMANY DID GREAT!
    But if I was doing this service myself, and paying parts and labour, what would I have done that would have been different to what Yamaha did?
    Had the full regular (40,000km) service done
    Had the brakes bled (but glad I had these guys on it, someone else might not have detected the ABS problem). Let's say they did detect it...
    Replace ABS unit.
    I had a slight off-idle hiccup (not the usual one!). If not fixed after the service, I would have replaced the corroded plug cap. (hiccup is fixed now, don't know if that's due to the new plug caps or something else)
    Replaced the rear rim, and not done anything with the dings in the front.
    Rebuilt the clutch master cylinder
    Had the leaky final drive seal replaced.
    Checked the clutch - and put it back in.
    Checked the fuel pump filter, changed it, and reinstalled.

    This is the cleanest she's been for a loooonnngg time!

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    SUMMARY and LESSONS
    For a bike at this high mileage, and considering some of the riding has not been easy, AND the fact that because I don't have access to a workshop very often (meaning the bike gets a lot less TLC than it would if it was parked in my garage at home - and is parked out in the weather a lot, with just a cover) it has come through amazingly well.

    If you suffer from a cracked rear rim - if replacing with Yamaha MAKE SURE you get someone who knows what they are doing to lace it, and to the specified torque. I considered replacing with an Excel, but they are not immune to problems either, and they are not TUBELESS. (yes they can be made so, but that process can be problematic too.)

    The big hit to the pocket book was by far the ABS unit - over 1000 euro. But that probably could have been avoided had I been more diligent about proper bleeding of brakes. For anyone with ABS bikes, I would suggest it's good practice to bleed brakes AT LEAST EVERY TWO YEARS. Mine went 3 years (time flies eh?) and the water in the fluid caused corrosion in the ABS unit, and cost me a bunch of money.

    Now, go out and ride the shit out of your Super Tenere. I know I am!

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    #1
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  2. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    Here, but lost. Am I lost if i know i'm here?
    Just a wee bit jealous. Good luck with further travels
    #2
  3. GrahamD

    GrahamD Long timer

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    Good to hear from you Trevor. Glad everything is going well. And a bit of a green tinge has crept in here as well. Best wishes for the next 160,000Km.
    #3
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  4. randomride

    randomride Motorcycle Junkie

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    Thank you for the wonderful write-up and update on how things are going. Keep on living the life.
    #4
  5. CheapB

    CheapB Long timer

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    awesome, good to see how well she's held up overall. Living the dream! :beer
    #5
  6. CJBDRdude

    CJBDRdude Ridin'offroadCJ

    Joined:
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    Upstate NY.. rockin it in Valatie!!!
    Excellent write up/ review of your S10! Keep riding and checking in with us lesser traveled guys.
    #6
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  7. William42

    William42 Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for posting.
    #7
  8. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Thanks for the detailed report on the quality build of this bike. You're missing 1 front fender fastener! :lol3
    #8
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  9. dcstrom

    dcstrom Long timer

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    Yeah the fender fastener is my biggest problem at the moment. I'll take it!
    #9
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  10. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    Great writeup. What's the difference between the German and US ABS units?
    #10
  11. Old Git Ray

    Old Git Ray Now retired...YeeHaa

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    +1.

    I know the US/EU ECUs are different but I had no idea the ABSs were different.

    Also, what was the actual problem with the ABS. I am on my second one too. Mine kept letting air into the rear brake line. God only knows how.

    As a side issue, the new ABS unit I have is slightly different to the old one in that previously the ABS light stayed on for two seconds after startup, the new one requires two revolutions of the wheels before the light goes out.
    #11
  12. RED CAT

    RED CAT Bumpy Backroader

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    Thanks. Good write up.
    #12
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  13. HydroDog

    HydroDog Been here awhile

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    What oil do you use to get that kind of mileage? :lol3

    Please don't reply!

    Great write up, thanks for sharing, Keep going forward and write when you can. Thanks
    #13
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  14. dcstrom

    dcstrom Long timer

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    Ray, problem was corrosion from water in the brake fluid. I should have changed more frequently!

    Nope, my ABS light goes out on startup.
    #14
  15. dcstrom

    dcstrom Long timer

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    I have to, oil's important! The answer is... whatever I can get! Usually with some searching I can find moto oil. The only exception was Iran, where car oil (with low friction additives) was my only choice. Didn't seem to have any negative effect on the clutch.
    #15
  16. Georgios

    Georgios Been here awhile

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    I always use car oil with low friction additives (fully synthetic), also without any negativ effect on the clutch. I figure that these oils lubrication is a little better (because of the additives).
    It´s not a S10 though, but a Suzuki V2.
    #16
  17. rider33

    rider33 Long timer

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    'exceptional write-up and journey, good luck on the next hundred thousand miles.
    #17
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  18. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv Super Moderator Supporter

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    wow what a sturdy bike! safe travels mate
    #18
  19. lukasteam

    lukasteam Life is beautiful !!!

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    Excellent reliability report !!! Yep , Super Ten in one hell of the world touring machine !!!
    #19
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  20. happyclam

    happyclam Been here awhile

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    Thanks DC, keep riding. The last 6 weeks of weather here in MD. have been awful. Been just staring at my bikes.:johntm
    #20
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