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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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2013 Voyager: Standard "new bike" discussion

Here comes my new bike and I've learned a lot from this forum so far...

I need to make a list of things to watch as I maintain this motorcycle on my own so keep the good info coming:

1. I've learned the factory belt tension is too tight: 1.4mm @ 10 lbs. Wow, that seems way too tight for the bearings and shafts. Will take it home and back it off to 5-7mm.

2. Break-in says it should be the "granny" approach. Keep it below 2,500 rpm at shift points. Do the rings really get seated this way???

3. I'm thinking about removing the California Coke Can and vapor line BS. If I don't, anyone ran into problems when filling the gas tank? If this stuff is a PITA to remove, I may just leave it on.

4. How does the transmission behave with 15w40 oil? (assuming I go to synthetic at 3000 miles or so) Better or worse than 10w40? Noisy valves, noisy shifting? Your experience with different viscosities would help here.

What other things should I IMMEDIATELY be thinking about when I take it home other than going over the bike and taking a look at the belt tension??

Once again, thank you bikers for your insight!!!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 10:39 AM
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When I bought my bike, if I knew back then what I know now I would have broke in my motor differently. I would not have done the" grainy approach". There was a big discussion in the past on this forum about breaking in an engine. If you cannot find it with a search let me know and I would try.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 10:58 AM
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A quick note on the oil

15w40 and 10w40 are going to be the same. They are both 40 weight when the engine is warm. The first number (W for Winter) is the weight of the oil when it's cold (winter temps). This makes it a little thinner facilitating easy start up in the winter. Once the engine is running, or on a warm day, they are both 40 weight.

There is a lot of discussion on break in Some say the rings only seat when you run it hard, others say the additional manifold pressure created during a 'hard' brake in will suck oil past the not-yet-set rings and glaze the cylinder walls. My only suggestion would be to do a lot of reading and research on the subject and make a decision on your own.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerdybiker View Post

4. How does the transmission behave with 15w40 oil? (assuming I go to synthetic at 3000 miles or so) Better or worse than 10w40? Noisy valves, noisy shifting? Your experience with different viscosities would help here.
Most on this forum will likely concur that it doesn't seem to matter what type of oil or what viscosity you use when trying to quiet the tranny.
Note that I've worded this carefully in an attempt to avoid an "OIL DEBATE"

Even Full Synthetic 20w50 will break down within just a few days and the tranny will be as noisy as ever. The big, straight-cut gears shear the oil molecules like a food processor reducing the viscosity and thereby, reducing any noise-dampening effect.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 07:52 PM
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Get RacnRay's throttle mod. good investment

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 09:53 PM
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I broke my 2011 Nomad it by running it on a 1500 mile trip. First half in the rain. Rode it from 25-70 mph. Mostly 70 mph. I did start the trip after the 600 mile oil change but still rode it the same way. No problems with 13,500 on it.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 02:17 AM
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I have been breaking mine in as recomended by the mfg (Kawasaki). Or as you call it, the granny method The first 500 miles at 2500rpm max and the the next 500 at 3500rpm max. Now, you all got me worried. Should I have taken this approach or should I have riden it like I stole it? I guess really though, only time will tell
I do know that between 2000 and 2500 is where I seem to get the best fuel milage. After 2500 up to 3500 it seems to be balls to the wall

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 03:17 AM
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I've got a 2010 Nomad and "rode it like i stole it" from day one, its now got 12,000 km's on it and no issues so far.
BUT i've gotta say, the first day i rode it out of the shop i reckon it was a pile of shit. At that point i regretted not getting a Triumph Rocket 3.
Here we have a 1.7 litre engine between our legs and it was running like a 250Virago.
After you mod the pipes,mod the air intake and add a fuel processor, things will be much better. Its just a shame that Kawasaki restrict them so tightly.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damo222 View Post
I've got a 2010 Nomad and "rode it like i stole it" from day one, its now got 12,000 km's on it and no issues so far.
BUT i've gotta say, the first day i rode it out of the shop i reckon it was a pile of shit. At that point i regretted not getting a Triumph Rocket 3.
Here we have a 1.7 litre engine between our legs and it was running like a 250Virago.
After you mod the pipes,mod the air intake and add a fuel processor, things will be much better. Its just a shame that Kawasaki restrict them so tightly.
You'll be okay. When is the last time you went to buy a bike and they said "Oh, he didn't break it in right, it's liable to blow up within 30k"

There are two schools of thought, both with very valid points, as to which will allow your bike to make the most power, run the coolest, and last the longest. Either method, however, is going to at the very least create an "on par" bike. If break in was do-or-die we'd be seeing a lot more engine issues on these forums. The issue at hand, is which will make more power and last the absolute longest before burning some oil.

I did the granny method too on the wifes shadow (bought my bike already broken in). Not knocking the other method either, I'm not an engineer, what do I know. I've seen enough stuff on both sides to make my head spin, so I've just kind of retreated to the owners manual and just stuck with whatever they said.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 04:23 PM
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Who was it on here that had a link that espoused the reasons for running a new bike like crazy as the proper way for break-in? It was nuts but the explanation made sense.

It would not apply to me because I'll never have a new bike to break in but some of the stuff coming from this web site can confuse the heck out of you.


Always best to use good judgement and common sense and if you are lacking, run your new bike like it was stolen.
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