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First time BMW owner here


Brodiepunker18

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Brodiepunker18

Hello all! 
 

I just wanted to introduce myself and say I’m excited to have my new bike! My name is Eric, by the way! And I live in Wisconsin!

 

I’m new to BMWs but not to motorcycles. Although I have been interested in them for several years now.

 

I just got a 1999 R1100RT with a smidge over 61,000 miles. And so far I absolutely love it! 

 

There isn’t a whole lot I want to do to it, I’ve done the few things I definitely NEEDED to do right away…added Clearwater lights, engine guards, and swapped the taillight and front signals for led. I also had to do my shocks…I know everyone has their preference but I went with Progressive Suspension for both and am extremely happy with my decision!

 

here are a couple pictures and I look forward to learning more about my bike as I ride it and maintain it!

 

DD575EF9-370E-4569-B254-144B80967AAE.thumb.jpeg.a4a47ac3303d0b8eeb20a559a3701456.jpegDE112508-5660-4745-957D-16D5E0689215.thumb.jpeg.074245dbc0cf0debe0d8b27c5094696d.jpegE6714D34-BCA0-4AAF-8A43-669CEAC8617F.thumb.jpeg.900fa42417118df713ec2c1c2797a2af.jpeg

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wbw6cos

Welcome to the forum, Eric.   As you may know, pictures mean that it happened.  Nice bike.  Be sure to check out the Oilheads forum as there is a lot of info about your bike, among others.  Lot of board members in and around your neck of the woods.

 

Cheers,

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Hosstage

Depending on where you are in Wisconsin, take a look at the Driftless thread, a weekend ride through some great roads in the Prairie du Chien area.

Coming up mid June.

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Lowndes

Hello, Brodiepunker18!!

 

I, too, have a '99 RT in blue.  

 

Tell me about the Progressive Suspension.  I'm interested.  Have Wilbur shocks on two other Beemers of that era, they are great but pricey.  

 

Did you get the maintenance records with the bike??  There are several well known and discussed "issues" with these bikes, but likely some have been addressed already by the PO.

 

I changed ALL the bulbs but one to LED.  The dashboard "ALT" light has to be an incandesent bulb because of the alternator's activated field.  The headlight LED made a huge difference.

 

You've got a good seat, engine guards, aux lights, and the bike looks pristine.  Someone took VERY good care of it.  You will like the weather protection and ergos of the bike.  Soooo comfortable to ride. 

 

 

Lowndes 

 

 

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As I always say... Welcome to the Asylum!

You will enjoy the bike.

 

That vintage continues to be among my favorites for several reasons... chief among them is the ease of self-service and the lack of mysterious high-tech do-dads.(compared to the electronic marvels of newer models/years)

 

Straight ahead engineering at it finest,... in my humble opinion.

Enjoy the ride but dress for the slide... (good gear is worth it....)

 

... and by the way what were you riding before?

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Brodiepunker18
14 hours ago, Lowndes said:

Hello, Brodiepunker18!!

 

I, too, have a '99 RT in blue.  

 

Tell me about the Progressive Suspension.  I'm interested.  Have Wilbur shocks on two other Beemers of that era, they are great but pricey.  

 

Did you get the maintenance records with the bike??  There are several well known and discussed "issues" with these bikes, but likely some have been addressed already by the PO.

 

I changed ALL the bulbs but one to LED.  The dashboard "ALT" light has to be an incandesent bulb because of the alternator's activated field.  The headlight LED made a huge difference.

 

You've got a good seat, engine guards, aux lights, and the bike looks pristine.  Someone took VERY good care of it.  You will like the weather protection and ergos of the bike.  Soooo comfortable to ride. 

 

 

Lowndes 

 

 


 

thanks! The progressive shocks I’ve used on other bikes. The rear shock has the remote adjustable preload like stock…the front you can adjust the height for proper sag. After I rode 2up I realized how bad the shocks were. I don’t have any experience with either the Wilbur or ohlins shocks I read about everyone preferring. They are hand built and dyno tuned…It cost me about 900 for both. From what I see on the progressive website currently, the rear shock jumped from 750 in April to just under 1050…and not available until July.(I did see it on eBay for 587 currently…and the front is 394 if you can find it…I lucked out getting the only one available anywhere at the time.I don’t have a picture of the rear shock but here’s one of the stock front next to the progressive front shock.

6A49558A-D89A-4886-AE1A-1777438F51F2.thumb.jpeg.16fc0d504fbadb1a539fe34aee637922.jpeg

 

 

I don’t have the maintenance records, however I do know that I am the second owner. He didn’t want to sell the bike but got hit by a deer traveling cross country and had to trade it in to continue his trip the next day. The bike is immaculate otherwise. I can tell he definitely took great care of it. I do know that some things are different, the handlebars…I discovered that the seat is actually a Sargent seat which is nice as well.he had put in the led headlight as well.

 

the only frills I’m interested in adding at some point are heated handgrips and heated seat since I like riding from March to first snow typically…and maybe a bit taller windshield. I feel like I need like an inch or two more.

 

 

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Brodiepunker18
13 minutes ago, hopz said:

As I always say... Welcome to the Asylum!

You will enjoy the bike.

 

That vintage continues to be among my favorites for several reasons... chief among them is the ease of self-service and the lack of mysterious high-tech do-dads.(compared to the electronic marvels of newer models/years)

 

Straight ahead engineering at it finest,... in my humble opinion.

Enjoy the ride but dress for the slide... (good gear is worth it....)

 

... and by the way what were you riding before?

 

Thanks! I’m glad to be here!

 

i prefer the vintage bikes honestly. This is the newest bike I’ve ever had.

 

my first bike was 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 that I rode into the ground over 30k miles over 3 years.

 

my other bike that I’m restoring currently is a 1980 Yamaha XS850SG Special. 
 

1FF93369-1297-44C8-B152-CBB500F1CE96.thumb.jpeg.970d60d8eb19c2fd2d5d619883837909.jpeg

I never ride without my gear…helmet,jacket,pants,gloves…I rode without my gloves once and went down hands first at 50mph and lost both palms. I won’t do that again.

 

 

 

 

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Miguel!
1 hour ago, Brodiepunker18 said:


 

I’m interested in adding at some point are heated handgrips 

 

 

My 2001 R1100RT bike didn't have heated grips. I was able to add OEM grips (purchased grips and switch from eBay). The connectors and wiring were on the bike fortunately. You can see details here. Check out the oilhead forum too. 

 

Cheers. Miguel

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Brodiepunker18
20 hours ago, Hosstage said:

Depending on where you are in Wisconsin, take a look at the Driftless thread, a weekend ride through some great roads in the Prairie du Chien area.

Coming up mid June.


I’ll definitely looking into it! I wouldn’t mind meeting some people and going for a ride! 

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Lowndes
11 hours ago, Brodiepunker18 said:


 

thanks! The progressive shocks I’ve used on other bikes. The rear shock has the remote adjustable preload like stock…the front you can adjust the height for proper sag. After I rode 2up I realized how bad the shocks were. I don’t have any experience with either the Wilbur or ohlins shocks I read about everyone preferring. They are hand built and dyno tuned…It cost me about 900 for both. From what I see on the progressive website currently, the rear shock jumped from 750 in April to just under 1050…and not available until July.(I did see it on eBay for 587 currently…and the front is 394 if you can find it…I lucked out getting the only one available anywhere at the time.I don’t have a picture of the rear shock but here’s one of the stock front next to the progressive front shock.

6A49558A-D89A-4886-AE1A-1777438F51F2.thumb.jpeg.16fc0d504fbadb1a539fe34aee637922.jpeg

 

 

I don’t have the maintenance records, however I do know that I am the second owner. He didn’t want to sell the bike but got hit by a deer traveling cross country and had to trade it in to continue his trip the next day. The bike is immaculate otherwise. I can tell he definitely took great care of it. I do know that some things are different, the handlebars…I discovered that the seat is actually a Sargent seat which is nice as well.he had put in the led headlight as well.

 

the only frills I’m interested in adding at some point are heated handgrips and heated seat since I like riding from March to first snow typically…and maybe a bit taller windshield. I feel like I need like an inch or two more.

 

 

 

Brodiepunker18,

 

THANKS for the pics and info on the Progressive units.  I'm going to look into those.

 

NO frills here just the "bear necessities" for a safe and comfortable ride.

 

If your flexible ("rubber") brake lines are OEM they are well past their sell-by date.  Galfer, Spiegler and several others make kits for these bikes, any color you want, braided SS over PTFE tubing with swaged fittings.  It's a DIY, half day job.  The DOT4 degrades the OEM lines from the inside.  A well known problem.

 

The HES wiring is also a very well known issue and yours may have already been replaced by now, BUT it's almost impossible to tell if it has even, if you had it on the table in front of you. In fact, a dead HES will look totally OK from the outside because the sheath is undamaged, just very dirty from 15+ years of riding.   The OEM wiring insulation inside the covering sheath degrades from the engine heat and the wires inside short out leaving you most often, dead in the water.  AMHIK.  You might be able to see the actual wiring at the connector (under the tank, behind the Alt, and hard to get to) to judge if the insulation is good or flakey (upgraded or OEM)

 

Here are my pics of the failed wiring and the rewired unit.  One of the members on here in Canada, GSAddict, rewires your sensors with heat rated wiring, replaces the connector and does beautiful work.  See if you can tell the before and after HES:   https://goo.gl/photos/xriJRtXqd1mHDmZ78

 

 

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Brodiepunker18
3 minutes ago, Lowndes said:

 

Brodiepunker18,

 

THANKS for the pics and info on the Progressive units.  I'm going to look into those.

 

NO frills here just the "bear necessities" for a safe and comfortable ride.

 

If your flexible ("rubber") brake lines are OEM they are well past their sell-by date.  Galfer, Spiegler and several others make kits for these bikes, any color you want, braided SS over PTFE tubing with swaged fittings.  It's a DIY, half day job.  The DOT4 degrades the OEM lines from the inside.  A well known problem.

 

The HES wiring is also a very well known issue and yours may have already been replaced by now, BUT it's almost impossible to tell if it has even, if you had it on the table in front of you. In fact, a dead HES will look totally OK from the outside because the sheath is undamaged, just very dirty from 15+ years of riding.   The OEM wiring insulation inside the covering sheath degrades from the engine heat and the wires inside short out leaving you most often, dead in the water.  AMHIK.  You might be able to see the actual wiring at the connector (under the tank, behind the Alt, and hard to get to) to judge if the insulation is good or flakey.

 

Here are my pics of the failed wiring and the rewired unit.  One of the members on here in Canada, GSAddict, rewires your sensors with heat rated wiring, replaces the connector and does beautiful work.  See if you can tell the before and after HES:   https://goo.gl/photos/xriJRtXqd1mHDmZ78

 

 

Lowndes,

 

you’re welcome! I hope if you go that route that you enjoy them!

 

yeah, safety and comfort was my first priority after I bought the bike…that’s why I did the engine guards and the Clearwater lights first. And ordered the turn signals/rear tail unit as well(this was about the only thing I wanted to customize to “look good” and it really does bring the bike into the 2000s with the clear lights).

 

yeah brake lines I’ll probably have to do in the next year or so. They look good. They are all rubber except the line from the master to the junction block is braided. 
 

ive kinda been looking into known “problems” of the bike and did read up on the HES. I’ll probably wait until winter for that unless I have issues prior to then.

 

im going to do as much preventative maintenance as I can to avoid any catastrophes…I really am looking forward to just riding and not worrying about fixing something every other weekend. 😂

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Welcome.  Nice looking bike.  That model RT, (I had a 2004) is best looking bike BMW has ever made.  Just one man's opinion.  

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9Mary7
10 hours ago, dba said:

best looking bike BMW has ever made

Agreed. I like the 1100 RT's best.:18:

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  • 1 month later...

Brodie- That HES probably won't give you any problems until you are caught in the rain sometime. I thought mine was ok till she cut out and the tach went bonkers on the NY Thruway in the rain. Replacing the wires is usually all it needs.

 

yes, the 1100RT is the best looking RT out there. Dave

2599FA61-EBD7-42DE-BB7A-728D0A36FE3B.jpeg

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Michaelr11
11 minutes ago, Dave P said:

That HES probably won't give you any problems until you are caught in the rain sometime. I thought mine was ok till she cut out and the tach went bonkers on the NY Thruway in the rain.


Is that the way you want to find out about that?

 

All 1100RT/R/RS/GS bikes left the factory with that incorrect HES wiring.  If it was not already repaired, then you can either fix it at your convenience in the garage, or you can find out when the bike dies out on the road in the rain.

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Brodiepunker18

While that may not be the best way to find out about it, I’m going to take the chance. Everywhere I have turned, I’m finding out how well taken care of this RT was. So I’m going to have hope that I don’t have trouble. 
 

I know the problem exists with the bike, but until I tear into it I’m not sure if it has or hasn’t been fixed.

 

I'm going to gamble with Schrödinger’s cat. 

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Skywagon

Good looking scoot....I couldn't tell from the picture, but it looks like it still has the original rubber brake lines.  If it does it isn't a matter of will they break...it's a matter of when.  It isn't a matter of have they deteriorated internally and pushed rubber into the system, but how much.  There are numerous threads you can find here and in google where BMW rubber hoses have failed.

 

I know it's a pain and an expense, but it's worth the effort.

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Brodiepunker18

Yeah it looks like most are still rubber. The one from the front master to the split is steel braided.

 

Ill probably tackle that sooner than later and redo them all.

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Lowndes

Brodiepunker18,

 

That line from the front master to the junction/split is usually the first to go so it looks like the PO already replaced that portion.  It gets more usage and more flexing with the steering and Telelever movement.  Your bike has the ABS and the line from the master connects to a steel line on the right side of the frame under the tripple clamp, then to the ABS unit under the tank, then a steel line back to the tripple clamp, then connects to the rubber line to the split (see pic below).  So, there are actually two flexible lines from the master to the split on your bike (and two more shorter lines from the split to the calipers).

 

ALL of the flexible (rubber) OEM lines (front and rear brakes) are subject to this DOT4 hydraulic fluid and the failure.  The two failure modes are;  1) a burst line that leaves you with NO brakes on that wheel, and DOT4 sprayed everywhere (it destroys paint and plastic), or;  2) a locked-up brake caliper.  Crud from the decomposing brakelines travels down to the calipers where it accumulates and makes a "check valve" that lets pressure into the pistons but not out. AMHIK.  BTDT.

 

Full disclosure:  I don't sell brakelines, or anything else related to motorcycles, nor am I related or know anyone (except the local Cycle Gear shop) that does.  

 

Also, the HES on my '99 RT decided to quit one morning all loaded up on the way out of town for a ride.  Fortunately, it was only a mile from home, but it was in the middle of a huge 7 lane intersection.  One second it was purring away peacefully at a red light, the next it was dead and would NOT start, not even a grunt, just like I hit the kill-switch.  I immediately knew exactly what it was (from reading about it here), pushed it into a nearby parking lot and called a roll-back that brought it and me home after an hour and a half wait.  I don't sell HES or wiring either, but I know the guy that does rewiring on these (has done 3 for me).  This is the typical failure but sometimes they will backfire or make a slight attempt to start but won't.  Kinda like a lightbulb, it works or it doesn't, and No warnings.

 

The upper line goes to the master cyl, the lower connection is a double going directly to the two calipers (no splitter).  Notice the decomposing wiring sheath common to bikes of this era.

 

AM-JKLXzuS5IloiLD4VlQtwDL1G-SGisLrqcEKZn

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Brodie- hey I wonder if you maybe have a converted police bike? I noticed yours has wire wheels, and its black. I think the RTP models (cop bikes) all had wires. Or maybe someone just refitted it with wires. The RTs do look great in black. D

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dirtrider
42 minutes ago, Dave P said:

Brodie- hey I wonder if you maybe have a converted police bike? I noticed yours has wire wheels, and its black. I think the RTP models (cop bikes) all had wires. Or maybe someone just refitted it with wires. The RTs do look great in black. D

Afternoon Dave

 

Spoke wheels were an option on the civilian 1100RT. 

 

If (Brodiepunker18) 1100RT was an ex police bike then someone would have had to change the front fairings as I don't see a bushing sticking through the front fairing for the police (RT-P) crash bars. 

 

 

1100RT.Police.JPG

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Brodiepunker18

@Dave P When I was at Driftin’ a couple weeks ago, someone else had asked me about the wire wheels too. I believe it was @KDeline
 

however I don’t have the bushings in my fairings as @dirtrider mentioned.
 

speaking of the spoke rims…I noticed the tire sizes I have don’t match what is listed for the 99 RT. My rear is a 17 and front is an 18? 

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dirtrider
52 minutes ago, Brodiepunker18 said:

@Dave P When I was at Driftin’ a couple weeks ago, someone else had asked me about the wire wheels too. I believe it was @KDeline
 

however I don’t have the bushings in my fairings as @dirtrider mentioned.
 

speaking of the spoke rims…I noticed the tire sizes I have don’t match what is listed for the 99 RT. My rear is a 17 and front is an 18? 

Afternoon Brodiepunker18

 

That does match my BMW parts book for spoke rim sizes,, my book shows  17" rear & 18" front for spoked wheels.  

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Brodiepunker18

That makes sense! I will say that the 17 for the rear will definitely open up my options for tires! So that’s positive!

 

and as much as I’m not a HUGE fan of the spokes, they do look good on the black RT. And from what I’ve seen and heard, it isn’t a common look which is nice as well. 😎

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dirtrider
14 minutes ago, Brodiepunker18 said:

That makes sense! I will say that the 17 for the rear will definitely open up my options for tires! So that’s positive!

 

and as much as I’m not a HUGE fan of the spokes, they do look good on the black RT. And from what I’ve seen and heard, it isn’t a common look which is nice as well. 😎

Afternoon Brodiepunker18

 

I always liked the spoke wheel option as it does make tire selection on the rear easier. The spoke wheels are also more forgiving as they flex a little when hitting large potholes or square edged obstacles so they don't bend as easily. 

 

Then my favorite they do ride a little softer due to the spoke flexing.

 

You also get one added bonus on the rear as you can adjust the spoke to off-set the rim in relation to the hub so you can gain a bit of tire side wall clearance to the swing arm if using a fatter tire or use the offset  to counter some of the PTTR  (Pull To The Right).

 

But as you have probably already found they are PAIN to keep those darn spokes clean.

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Brodiepunker18
3 minutes ago, dirtrider said:

But as you have probably already found they are PAIN to keep those darn spokes clean.


I washed the bike twice so far…I keep it covered when not planning on riding.

 

It definitely was a bit of a pain to clean…luckily for me nothing was heavy and crusted so it wiped off pretty easily. The more I keep them clean, the easier it will be. 

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On 5/16/2021 at 2:19 PM, Brodiepunker18 said:

Hello all! 
 

I just wanted to introduce myself and say I’m excited to have my new bike! My name is Eric, by the way! And I live in Wisconsin!

 

I’m new to BMWs but not to motorcycles. Although I have been interested in them for several years now.

 

I just got a 1999 R1100RT with a smidge over 61,000 miles. And so far I absolutely love it! 

 

There isn’t a whole lot I want to do to it, I’ve done the few things I definitely NEEDED to do right away…added Clearwater lights, engine guards, and swapped the taillight and front signals for led. I also had to do my shocks…I know everyone has their preference but I went with Progressive Suspension for both and am extremely happy with my decision!

 

here are a couple pictures and I look forward to learning more about my bike as I ride it and maintain it!

 

DD575EF9-370E-4569-B254-144B80967AAE.thumb.jpeg.a4a47ac3303d0b8eeb20a559a3701456.jpegDE112508-5660-4745-957D-16D5E0689215.thumb.jpeg.074245dbc0cf0debe0d8b27c5094696d.jpegE6714D34-BCA0-4AAF-8A43-669CEAC8617F.thumb.jpeg.900fa42417118df713ec2c1c2797a2af.jpeg

 

The 1100/1150 RT's just seem to get more gorgeous as the years go by. My favorite design element on yours is the front fender.

just beautiful.

Congratulations. These are phenomenal bikes.

  • Like 1
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CMikeWil

Morning Brodiepunker18,

 

Welcome to the Forum & congratulations on the purchase of that beautiful RT.  I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one with the spoked wheels…your bike really stands out with those installed.  You’ve lucked into a community of some pretty savvy oilhead owners/wrenches here!

 

I’m with several of the others here who feel that the 1100/1150 bikes were a stying high point for BMW.  Like all bikes, this RT had it’s mechanical weak points (more accurately, areas that were more likely to need maintenance/replacement - areas to watch out for…), but most of these are pretty easily addressed by the average DIYer with a little mechanical ability.  The members here have walked me through the HES replacement/rewire, brake line upgrades, charcoal canister check/potential removal(did the 1100 bikes have this installed?) and a few others.  

 

Keep the updates coming, and we look forward to seeing your forthcoming posts.

 

Mike

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Brodiepunker18
4 hours ago, CMikeWil said:

 


Im pretty sure I have a charcoal canister. That’s mounted behind where the left bag is right? What benefit is there for removal? I’d rather not mess with the emissions too much especially since it runs like a top currently! I’ll have to look into what needs to be done with it. I want to maintain the bike more than anything. There really isn’t a whole lot I want to change that I haven’t already changed or added…

 

I did add a Shad 58x expanding top case to it a couple weeks ago.

EE7BA6AF-EA75-496D-AFC1-598F7872713E.thumb.jpeg.f2b9bef840473a7347eae9b6f1074aa1.jpeg
 

As of right now, my maintenance list includes the HES(unsure if it’s been changed or fixed), brake lines, and the charcoal canister…everything else is spot on mechanically and I’ll take as it comes…hopefully more in the off-season so I can enjoy the ride when possible!

 

thanks!

-Eric

 

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CMikeWil
1 hour ago, Brodiepunker18 said:


Im pretty sure I have a charcoal canister. That’s mounted behind where the left bag is right? What benefit is there for removal? I’d rather not mess with the emissions too much especially since it runs like a top currently! I’ll have to look into what needs to be done with it. I want to maintain the bike more than anything. There really isn’t a whole lot I want to change that I haven’t already changed or added…

 

I did add a Shad 58x expanding top case to it a couple weeks ago.

EE7BA6AF-EA75-496D-AFC1-598F7872713E.thumb.jpeg.f2b9bef840473a7347eae9b6f1074aa1.jpeg
 

As of right now, my maintenance list includes the HES(unsure if it’s been changed or fixed), brake lines, and the charcoal canister…everything else is spot on mechanically and I’ll take as it comes…hopefully more in the off-season so I can enjoy the ride when possible!

 

thanks!

-Eric

 

 

Like you, I had no desire to fiddle with anything emissions related as long as the bike was running good.  You’ll see many differing opinions on that here; I’ll stand back and allow those with more experience to weigh in with opinions.

 

That said, I was replacing internal fuel lines this past year with some guidance from the forum members.  One individual did suggest I take a look at the lines on each side of the charcoal canister.  The concern was, as best I can explain, that if raw fuel (and not just fumes) had vented out of the tank and made it’s way into the canister, the charcoal can begin to degrade/fragment and may make it’s way on to the tank and/or filter.  I checked this periodically for 15 years and found no sign of degradation.  This past winter, I found sediment in the lines on each side of my canister.  Rather than try to source a new filter, I simply removed mine and directed the vent line down through the frame aimed toward the ground.

 

I believe folks here had cautioned that you are most likely to see fuel vented after shutting the bike off immediately after fueling up/with a full tank.  I’ve simply been careful to fill up 8 or 10 miles from home (and not overfill the tank) and have no trouble with fuel venting after shutting my bike off.

 

 

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9Mary7

The other problem with the evaporation canister is that a plugged one can create vacuum inside the fuel tank to the point that it distorts the fuel level sending unit.

Chris Harris on youtube has several vids on the benefits of removing the canister.

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