Saturday, July 21, 2007

My First TBS + Riding sans Fairings

Temps in the low to mid 90s, thunderstorms forecasted for the afternoon/evening. Sunny most of the day.

Last night I changed the oil on Maria, it was quite dirty after only 3000 miles of riding, but it was some hard riding to Wisconsin and back!

This morning I removed her fairings, cleaned and oiled her K&N Filter (which was filthy), checked her valve clearances and found the exhaust valves on the left side a smidgen too tight so they were adjusted. The other valves were just fine so I left them alone. After I had replaced the head covers and remounted the front turn signal assemblies; I rode on over to a friend's house to learn to use his manometer to do a throttle body sync after my valve clearance checks.

Rob uses a setup similar to the one below, except that he had his rigged up for four carburetors which is what his 2006 Kawasaki Concours has. After some trial and error, he modified his manometer to be close to what is shown below and we used it successfully to ensure both idle and off-idle vacuum readings were even. This means that both throttle bodies are drawing the same amount of vacuum which means they're working in balance as I work the throttle. It makes for a smoother ride. Maria did seem a bit smoother during the ride home afterwards but then again I could be imagining it. : )

The manometer was sure easy to use and the guide I'd found on the internet on how to do it with a twinmax carburetor synchronizer came in handy as well even though we were not using a twinmax. Here's the guide.

I'll be building myself one soon, in time for the next 6000 mile service which will involve yet another valve clearance check and the subsequent throttle body sync.

Once I got home I realized that part of the 36k service is the replacement of the spark plugs. I dashed over to the dealer, maria still sans fairings:

Once at the dealer I got two for the main spark plug and two for the secondary spark plugs. Apparently the secondary ones burn a bit hotter than the main plugs, this to relieve some of the surging issues that earlier 1100s and 1150s had which BMW never admitted to even exist. One thing though, BMW is sure proud of their Bosch NGK spark plugs! I ended up paying $10 for the main plugs and $12 for the secondary plugs! Wow. I think next time, look online. I am all for supporting the local dealers but geez....$10 for ONE spark plug?

Part Numbers
Main Spark Plugs: 12-12-7-653-771
Secondary Spark Plugs: 12-12-7-681-415
Make sure you match the six digit(?) alphanumeric when you swap spark plugs, it's apparently important to have the hotter ones underneath.

I also managed to break the weird plastic spark plug connector remover tool. Had to use vise grips which marked up the connectors but not too badly. I'll have to buy a replacement next week, it's only $3 so what the heck.

Though tempted, I forewent the removal and replacement of the alternator belt since it looked to be in fine shape when I looked at it before the trip, I'll still have the spare with me in case it breaks of course.

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