1 2
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
6/10/19 6:00 a.m.

Put about 60 miles on it this weekend!  The first thing I noticed was that the lowering link was letting the tire hit the rear fender, and it chewed through the rear turn signal wiring:  

That's a big fail, and the bike came with the stock links in a bag so I swapped those out:  

Raised the front to match and went for another ride:  

It was great!  Other than a little overheating, the bike was well behaved.  Looks like the radiator cap isn't letting coolant back in, so I drained and flushed the coolant and ordered another cap:  

Didn't stop me riding it to dinner, though.  I just need to make sure to keep the coolant topped up since it won't draw from the overflow tank until the cap is replaced.

The only other little issues I encountered (and fixed) were the battery clanking around and one of the mufflers being loose.  And the headlight is terrible, which I don't have a solution for yet.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
7/2/19 6:27 a.m.

Battery took a dump.  Replaced it.  Replaced radiator cap too, still not pulling from the overflow when it cools down.

Bike is still awesome other than that- I've been refilling the cooling system by blowing into the coolant overflow like a bagpipe before I start the bike, which I'm sure anyone who has seen me in a parking lot has enjoyed cheeky

It has been getting 40-45 mpg, which could probably be better but it runs great so I'm not complaining.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
7/12/19 12:10 p.m.

Noticed some bubbles in the coolant- these engines are known for head gasket issues.  Hmm, what else has an aluminum engine with notoriously garbage head gaskets and a factory recommended bandaid?

Dumped it in, went for a brief ride to circulate it:

Hopefully it helps.  If not... who cares, $400 Aprilia!  Gaskets are cheap anyway.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
8/2/19 4:49 p.m.

Pablo went on a pretty decent day trip last weekend with some friends:  

It was a mixture of paved and gravel twisties and this bike is pretty perfect for that.  The pace wasn't super fast and I had no overheating issues, but the bike DEFINITELY has a blown head gasket.  A pretty benign one, but the bubbles in the coolant reservoir every time the bike is ridden hard don't lie- I'll need to replace it at some point.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
8/4/19 11:28 a.m.

Tore things down a bit to retorque the head bolts:

Mostly easy, although I really hope whoever put the rear valve cover bolts under a motor mount has gotten past whatever terrible thing in their life caused that to seem like a good choice.

Look at how wacky the valvetrain on this thing is!  5 valves, skewed cam lobes, and one screw adjusted rocker arm while the rest are shim and bucket:

Retorqued the head bolts to 40ft-lbs and found two of the four to be a little loose.  Reassembled, went for a ride:

Still blows some bubbles into the coolant if you romp on it for a while, but totally rideable as it sits.  I'll track down a good gasket and plan to tear into it some weekend.

Samebutdifferent New Reader
8/5/19 8:31 a.m.

Looks nice and clean top side with the exception of that crazy valve train configuration.  That's nuts! 

Head gasket should be simple enough for you to handle.  yes

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
8/17/19 4:07 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

I'll track down a good gasket and plan to tear into it some weekend.

I'm not very patient, so "some weekend" is now.

First hurdle- Alaska was not kind to the exhaust studs:  

Removed by hammering on a smaller socket, some fared better than others:  

Before long most stuff was removed:  

I can't get over how wacky these cams are:  

Then I fought with the head for an embarrassing amount of time- hours, in fact, before I discovered this one tiny bastard of a bolt hiding behind the starter.  It goes up, instead of down like EVERY OTHER FASTENER on the head, and was caked in so much front wheel schmoo that I couldn't see it:  

With that gone, I could lift the head up slightly, prop it with a couple of spray can caps, and remove the studs with some channel locks:  

With the studs removed, the head was able to come out of the frame:  

Some cleaning and a little filing to remove gouges I put in it when prying the head off:  

Put the old gasket in the "window of shame"

And the new one on the block:  

Head is a tight squeeze when trying not to hurt the new gasket:  

And... installation is the reverse of removal or whatever.  I don't know the torque sequence so I did everything in a star pattern and went three passes of 20/40/42ft-lbs on the studs.  This is how it currently sits, waiting for me to get the carbs, exhaust, starter, and various coolant lines back on it before I can see if I actually fixed anything:  

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
8/18/19 1:46 p.m.

Put it back together some more, ran it like this to make sure everything is ok and bleed the coolant:

Success!  Everything works so I put it the rest of the way together, put new brake pads on, and rode it:

It needs some little things here and there but so far so good I guess- no overheating at least, although I still see some bubbles in the coolant which I'm hoping are just residual from filling it.

TurnerX19 HalfDork
8/18/19 3:59 p.m.

Pretty good birthday presentsmiley

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
8/24/19 10:20 a.m.

A little exhaust sealant here:

Some fuel sealant there:

And some rtv on the cam chain tensioner and we're back in business.  Rode down this extremely loose railroad bed without issue:

I think I'm still under $900, even with the pricy OEM head gasket.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
9/3/19 10:52 a.m.

Yesterday I patched up some wiring and fixed the heated grips as well as I could without taking the whole system apart- they now work on "low" but are so hot that I can't imagine needing "high" anyway.  I'll call it a win!

1 2
Our Preferred Partners