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Old 06-21-2009, 08:16 PM   #1
jerryneyk
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Question What SHOULD we do for routine maintenance

Just curious mates...

In the Haynes manual it has all sorts of obscure maintenance, like changing the brake fluid every 2 years, greasing the wheel bearings, etc, fork oil change 2 years, replace fuel hoses every 4 years etc. I have a 1998 EN500.

Any opinions on how critical these are? I change the oil yearly but have been using old dino oil-thinking that if I go all synthetic I can possibly not change the oil for two years since I don't rack up that many miles in a summer on it.

Opinions? TIA!

Last edited by jerryneyk; 06-22-2009 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 06-21-2009, 08:22 PM   #2
jmak
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I have a 1991 Vulcan EN500. The owners manual has an extended list of items to check at different times. One I recall is check the bolts. In a bike, I am not sure that using synthetic would mean you could get longer life out of it but I would guess you could wait a little longer to change it. My son has a 2000 Triumph Legend TT and we changed the oil today to Shell Rotella T 5W40 I believe was the weight.
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:33 PM   #3
les.izmoore
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I generally try to follow the recommended maintenance schedule in the shop manual.
As I ride my cycle daily, the items I find myself doing the most are...

1. clean and lube the chain every 400 miles.
2. check oil and coolant level weekly.
3. check tire wear and air pressure weekly.

Other than that, I try follow the manual. When it comes to replacing hoses, I inspect and decide if it is necessary or not.
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Old 06-22-2009, 06:02 PM   #4
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Default Air in the tire

One of the best small things you can get are the little tire pressure gauges that fit on the tire pressure valve right on the bike. A quick glance and you can see if you have to put air in the tire.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:18 AM   #5
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Default Most of it

We try to follow the maintenance schedule, but use some common sense on a few things. Inspect brake hoses, replace as needed. Change brake fluid when changing brake pads etc. We do clean and lube the chain every 500 miles, change the oil and filter with full synthetic every 5000 miles, and clean the air filter every 1000 miles. Just use the same common sense that you use on your cars and you will be fine. I mean do we all really take our cars in and have the brake fluid flushed every 2 years like my owners manual says?? I don't think so. That being said, DONT ever forget to maintain and check your tires. They are the most important things to look at every ride.
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Old 06-25-2009, 04:22 PM   #6
brown recluse
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Never, never overlook the valve adjustments. Valves that have the right clearance make a huge improvement in starting, idling and acceleration. Too tight and you can do a bad number on your motor.
It is something that takes a little effort to learn, but worth every bit of it. If you buy a used bike, make that something you do with your first oil change unless you have solid proof it was done on schedule.
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Old 06-25-2009, 05:42 PM   #7
les.izmoore
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Thumbs up Maintain Your Valves

Quote:
Originally Posted by brown recluse View Post
Never, never overlook the valve adjustments. Valves that have the right clearance make a huge improvement in starting, idling and acceleration. Too tight and you can do a bad number on your motor.
It is something that takes a little effort to learn, but worth every bit of it. If you buy a used bike, make that something you do with your first oil change unless you have solid proof it was done on schedule.
Yes indeed! A valve adjustment was the first thing I learned how to do when I bought my used Vulcan 500. I'm so glad I did because it turned out the clearances were about .002" lower than the lowest recommended settings of .005" to .007" on the intake valves, and .007 to .009" on the exhaust. It runs awesome now, that ticking on one of the cylinders is gone (it sounds like a smooth sewing machine now), and I get 60mpg if I keep it a 55mph. I was getting 50 mpg before.
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Old 07-09-2009, 02:28 PM   #8
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OK, in a week or so I am going to a friend's shop and going to spend a few days working on the bike and hope everything turns out OK. Here is the list

- Change fork oil
- Change brake fluid
- Rotate tires (just kidding)
- Lube chain
- Clean carb and rejet due to K&N filter
- Check chain tension, and lube
- Replace fuel hoses if I can
- Check and adjust if necessary valves (had it done 2 years ago but I dont trust them)
- Have a beer

My only fear is that after I do the carb it won't start. The shop is at my landlord's and he does jet skis for a living. If I run into trouble, I will pay them to get it running. At least it won't have to be towed.

Did I miss anything? Bike is 11 years old and has about 15000 miles on it. Front brakes are OK, no idea on the rear drummies. Seems to be OK.
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Old 07-09-2009, 02:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryneyk View Post
One of the best small things you can get are the little tire pressure gauges that fit on the tire pressure valve right on the bike. A quick glance and you can see if you have to put air in the tire.
There are common problems with these "easy gauges", so I tend to avoid them. If they crack, or don't seal evenly, or get put on slightly off thread, etc, they turn into their own slow air leak. Also, due to the fact that these accessories keep the pin in the valve stem under constant pressure, taking them off can often lead to problems, such as rapid air escape, filling issues, etc.

Even the local Wal-Mart mechanics here in my neck of the woods warn folks away from those, citing more problems than benefits. Not sure of your experience with them, of course, but wanted to get in my .02.

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Old 07-09-2009, 03:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sketso View Post
There are common problems with these "easy gauges", so I tend to avoid them. If they crack, or don't seal evenly, or get put on slightly off thread, etc, they turn into their own slow air leak. Also, due to the fact that these accessories keep the pin in the valve stem under constant pressure, taking them off can often lead to problems, such as rapid air escape, filling issues, etc.

Even the local Wal-Mart mechanics here in my neck of the woods warn folks away from those, citing more problems than benefits. Not sure of your experience with them, of course, but wanted to get in my .02.

What a bummer-I love them, it's such a no brainer, assuming they work. Does anyone make such a foolproof system? My last car which I had to give back before Microsoft laid me off (don't get me started...) had an automagic system for tire pressure which was very cool (Ford S-Max...great minivan i think only available in Europe for now).
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