Sunday, May 9, 2010

Rainy day maintenance and upgrades

A cold and wet rainy day brought the opportunity to tackle a few repairs, maintenance tasks, and upgrades I've been putting off. It was nearly noon, so I decided I should eat before I start.


Then, a quick trip to the liquor store.
Next, gather all the tools I will need.
The first job is to check those pesky screws that hold the neutral sending unit under the clutch basket. For some reason, Suzuki doesn't tighten them properly and should they work loose, it could lead to catastrophic engine damage. This threat is always at the back of a DR owner's mind, that is, until they take the time to check them.
Remove the clutch cover.
Number the bolts.
Lay out the bolts in order.
Clutch cover, brake pedal, foot rest removed.
There's the neutral sending unit. Many DR owners report that 
those Phillips screws are found to be finger tight (or worse). 
However, I was surprised to find they were quite snug. 
I snugged them a little more just to be sure.
The tool used to reach the inner screw. Without it, 
I'd have had to remove the clutch basket.
I had a good look at the clutch plates, inspecting them for wear. 
I used my digital vernier calipers to measure for wear of the 
plates and the clutch springs. Everything was well within the service 
limits according to the manual, in fact, the clutch components 
showed almost no sign of wear 
(not bad considering the bike has over 15,000 Kms).

I had a new gasket on hand but this one was in 
such good condition I decided to re-use it.
Clutch cover replaced, and I swapped the chrome OEM case 
bolts for some new polished stainless steel hex bolts.
The only oil I use, plus a new Hi-Flo filter.
And a magnetic drain plug.
Then it was on to more farting around with the carburetor.  I've had the new TM40 running very well lately, however, because of the giant hole I've cut in the top of the airbox, the noise from the intake system is quite loud. I'm a fan of the performance it has provided, and I love the deep tone of the GSXR exhaust system, but the intake noise is excessive. So I covered up about two thirds of the gaping hole, leaving an opening that is definitely larger than the snorkel hole. Restricting the air requires a corresponding restriction in the fuel delivery, so I went from a 145 main jet to a 135, and from a 20 pilot jet to a 17.5.  I left the needle where it was previously, on the 2nd notch from the top.
Remembering how much fun the Yamaha R6 throttle tube was on my old SV650, and knowing that the SV650 throttle tube fits on the DR (because I've been using my old SV650 tube since changing grips last summer), so I decided to order Part Number 5SL-26240-01 from my local Yamaha dealer ($15).  The difference between this throttle tube and that of the DR650 (or the SV650 for that matter) is that the R6 tube gets you all the way to wide open throttle in just a 1/4 turn. Once you do this mod, it will take a little getting used to, but I guarantee you won't go back.
The R6 throttle tube is a wicked upgrade, and it's cheap at just $15.
Galfer stainless steel braided brake hose. When you grab the brakes really hard (like in a panic stop) the OEM rubber hose expands a lot. With a braided steel line, the hose doesn't expand, instead the caliper responds with authority because the hose does't give, and the brakes are quicker to react, and it has a noticeably improved feel. Also, the longer the hose, the better the improved feel (the rear brake hose is much shorter and you wouldn't feel it as much, but with the front hose being so long, you definitely notice the difference).

I went for a short test ride last evening (after the Whiskey wore off). The engine seems to start easier in the cold, but required more choke, and it wanted the choke to stay on a little longer. Once warmed up, the engine's power and the throttle response seem identical to before, however, the intake system noise is far more subdued. Previously, the intake noise overpowered the exhast noise, now, the intake is quite tame, and you can hear the deep growl from the muffler. Awesome. I went for a brisk ride around the neighborhood last night, and for a longer test ride early this morning - including a few minutes on the highway. No surging, less exhaust system popping on deceleration when you chop the throttle. Wheelies are the same as before. I'm hoping my fuel consumption may see an improvement.

And the R6 throttle tube is every bit as much fun as I remember on the day I put one on my old SV650. It will take a little getting used to, but it's pure fun. This is one of the greatest mods .... the ratio of fun factor to price can't be beat.