Friday, July 29, 2011

Motorcycle Maintenance and Motorcycle Philosophy...

... rendered more difficult by the early onset of Senility.

I ain't no mechanic... never wanted to be.. and in pure truthful honesty... still don't want to be... Busting greasy knuckles on frozen bolts in places the engineers did their best to make 'em inaccessible, while rolling around on the cold dirty concrete of a garage floor, just don't twist my throttle.

I'm more of a clean shirts, cold beer and hot women sort of rider. :)

But... I'm the first to admit it... Riding a high performance machine, into places where help is a long ways away, like the Alaskan Highway, without being awful familiar with the machine that's carryin' you... is probably Motorcycle Touring on the road to foolishness.

and... uh... as lazy as I've gotten in my old age, I've been living for a bit in that foolish world of payin' somebody else to do my Simple Maintenance. Bad, Bad, Biker Cowboy!

So... yesterday I decided to put my lazy ways aside and get back to doin' my own maintenance on the Raider, rather than paying someone else to do my dirty work.

Now that's an education. How can something with two wheels, be so much more Complicated then a big diesel... to change the freaking oil?!! :)

I collected the oil, filter and a couple of fresh sealer washers from Yamaha, and started to work, knowing that there's not one, but TWO, drain plugs on the 113 cid. mill that resides in a Raiders frame.

First, I used my son-in-laws motorcycle/atv jack and lifted the bike up. OK... that's good, except now, there's no place to put a drain pan, so drop the bike back down off the lift, and I'll just do the work with it sitting on the ground...

Uh... NOPE... the lift won't come down... jack it back up, hit the release again, it only comes down part way... with a mechanical thunk! replay a half dozen times... What the hell?

It wouldn't come down...

Well Brian...It's a damn jack! It's not the freakin' space shuttle... Took me ten minutes to find the "Mechanical" safety load lock gizmo, so I could get the Raider back off the lift...

I'm tellin' you... Senility is an awful thing!

So then, it's back under the bike with it sitting on the ground. I can juuuuuuust get a drain pan shoved under that low sittin' bike... after I loosened the drain bolts... all two of 'em, If I stand it up a lil' as I push the pan with my foot. And then juuuuust get my fingers on those bolts to remove 'em, and the oil drains out... right?

Nope,Wrong again!

Maybe a quart runs out... leaving 4+ still in the scooter. This machine takes more oil than my 450 HP Hot Rod 390 Ford V8 Took! almost 5 1/4 quarts!

So, I think; "Ah Ha! The filter ya dummy!" and pull that... another pint or so... and, the oil tank remains full...

Truth is, this is the first dry sump bike I've owned... if it was a horse? or a Cow?... or even a damn lawn mower... I've got it handled... but... A Motorcycle Mechanic, this buster Ain't! :) Puh-Thetic

I search for a while, crippled up Ol' buster crawlin' around the garage on his hands and knees, trying to keep his $%@#  Damn glasses on his nose so he can see ANYTHING... and not really being able to see under that low ridin' scooter. Felt around with my fingers and just didn't find anything that gave me that "Ha! There it is!" warm glow...

Finally surrendered my ego and called a dealer, who pointed me to the THIRD, drain plug... the one that drains the dry sump oil tank, and badda boom, it's drained.

Only now, I've only got Two, replacement sealing washers. The parts guy at the dealer was new, and didn't know the scoot had Three drains either, when I bought my supplies. :) Knowing that miserable Murphy is just waitin' for me to leave him an opening to cause trouble... I make a second run to the dealer for a third washer and back to the bike to put her back on the road...

... except that the back bolt of the two crank case drains I knew about, won't tighten down... can't get a wrench to fit in there to tighten it up... took a while to finally find a box end in my box that was thin enough to fit into the recess around that bolt head... but being stubborn as well as senile, I did finally get her done...

Yup... a mechanic, Motorcycle or otherwise... I ain't. But, at least I've put my "I hate gettin' greasy" ego aside and am givin' the bike the proper attention she deserves! :) as well as finding out that this Ol' dog can still learn a thing or two... like... just a lil' bit of humility! :)

This morning... trying to figure out how to get to the air box, to service the filter... and knowing it's under the fuel tank... I found a PDF of the service manual on the Raider forum. See! I'm learning! :)

What a job That is... for a guy who don't wanna Mechanic... to change the air filter! Sheesh... seems like I'll have most of the Motorcycle lyin' on the floor, before I can get to the filter! You have to remove the whole dang fuel tank... and 19 gazillion disconnects... to dig on in there...

I'm tellin' you... engineers have got to be sadistic suckers...

I'm gettin' greasy.. whether I like it or not... and I still have to write up the last couple days of our ride to Deadwood! ... and all while I'm still on the road, away from the rig, attending a wedding...

Sheesh! I'm ready to just climb back on the bike and split the wind!

Grab Your Handles and Ride!

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Anonymous said...

morning Brian i just got around to changing the oil on mine also yesterday from our trip, as you know i run synthetic oil in mine ..may be a bit lazy but i only drain the main oil res and put a new filter on every 5000 km ( 3000) miles. i found for how much oil comes out of the "dry" sump it wasnt worth it unless you are going to flush it out. so changed the spark plugs new oil, filter and cleaned the k@n filter and am good to go for another 5000 km.. that trip we did and at that heat and speed was hard on those bikes.


Anonymous said...

and one more thing i fill the new filter up with oil before i screw it on.. just so it not pumping dry.and usually every 3rd oil change i will flush it out with oil and then change it right away.