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Doing One's Own Tuneups


epteamadv

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Hello,

I've owned over sixty motorcycles but have done very little mechanical work. Scraping carbon off the heads of two strokes and adjusting the valves on a few singles and R100GS's is about it.

I'm moving to an area where no dealer is close. How difficult is it to do the valve and throttle body work for the 6,000 mile checkups for the mechanically challenged? Are the 12,000's significantly more complicated?

I currently have an R1200GS but am seriously considering an RT.

Thanks,

Ed Allen

Thanks

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Welcome to the DB! Bunches of info to be gleaned here.

 

As for your servicing, it is VERY simple. I would highly recommend attending a tech daze and getting with those who have gone before. If you are around, there is a tech daze going on in N. California at the end of October at my place. I have all the tools and manual for your bike if you are interested in coming on up.

 

Here!!

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How do I reserve a spot for this tech day?? Does one just show up?? Snoman

 

Just show up!!!! See you there. Reply to the post so I know to have plenty of food for everyone.

 

Bring your own fluids if swapping any along with any specialized tools (ask if they will already be here to save having 40 torque wrenches, etc. when one or two will do) and make sure you are ready to have a great time learning and socializing. If you have a SO, bring her! They have more fun than the wrenchers, so I am told!

 

If you are looking to do something in particular post it as, more than likely, someone has done it or will be able to help out, thereby speeding up the process and possibly getting more people who want to do what you want to do to come as well. The more the merrier!

 

That's it. See you there!

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One thing I would like to learn to do on the RT is a valve adjust. I used to do it on my old VW bus, a relatively simple process. The dealer in Fresno made it sound like rocket science, hard to believe when this engine has been around in the same basic format for 80 odd years. Anyway, what do I need to bring? feeler guage, multiple feeler guages?? Thanks in advance- Snoman confused.gif

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You need two 30mm and two 15mm feeler gauges. (You'd want to check the service CD for sure, but that's what it was for my hexhead r12st). You'll want torque wrenches with both torx and metric wrenches. You will want an open head wrench and metric allen (or is it torx? And I can't remember the sizes) for the actual valve adjustment. However, chances are REALLY good that someone will have everything you need at the tech daze.

 

I asked the same questions prior to my first tech daze last week and really didn't bring much (just my torx wrenches). I'm pretty glad that I did it that way as I have a much better idea of what kind of tools to buy.

 

Edit: You can get the service cd shipped to you from motobins. That's widely accepted as the least expensive way to get the cd's.

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And all of those tools, including the CD, will already be there as I have them so don't sweat if you forget or can't find something! thumbsup.gif

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Thank you for your input. I'll be out of the country at that time but might be able to drive up from San Diego to attend another. Perhaps some are offered more locally.

Robert Allen

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I asked the same questions prior to my first tech daze last week and really didn't bring much (just my torx wrenches).

was the above mentioned TD local? i've been seeing a lot about TD's and figure i should get to one. would love to find one local. i was thinking about this one in N CA, but don't know if going out RT 80 at the end of Oct is such a good idea.

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I asked the same questions prior to my first tech daze last week and really didn't bring much (just my torx wrenches).

was the above mentioned TD local? i've been seeing a lot about TD's and figure i should get to one. would love to find one local. i was thinking about this one in N CA, but don't know if going out RT 80 at the end of Oct is such a good idea.

Depends on your definition of "local" smile.gif It was the Arnold, CA Tech Daze just over a week ago. It was a bit of a ride (stupid Nevada keeps getting in the way... smile.gif) but well worth it. I'd love to have a TD here in Utah (in fact I had this very discussion with Jamie at the TD - he said if he's available, they would try to come up for it... But then again, anything west of the Mississippi seems to be local to them. thumbsup.gif ). However, I probably can't be the one to host it - townhomes in college-ville aren't exactly prime TD locations. If this whole "global warming" thing doesn't kick back in soon, any TD in Utah will have to be next Spring at the earliest.

 

(Heading outside now with some aerosol cans to help things along.)

 

However, I think the topic/discussion will come up at Torrey.

[/hijack]

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Depends on your definition of "local" smile.gif It was the Arnold, CA Tech Daze just over a week ago. It was a bit of a ride (stupid Nevada keeps getting in the way... smile.gif) but well worth it. I'd love to have a TD here in Utah (in fact I had this very discussion with Jamie at the TD - he said if he's available, they would try to come up for it... But then again, anything west of the Mississippi seems to be local to them. thumbsup.gif ).

Whattaya mean west of the Mississippi!! eek.gifgrin.gif

 

Leslie and I have ridden to the east coast three different times in the last few years and I was seriously bummed I couldn't make it to SAMSAR's TechDaze in New England last year! bncry.gif

 

For me it all depends on how my work schedule lines up. I'm a TD slut! grin.gif

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Hey TD Slut, I mean Jaime

Can we talk you into hosting another tech day in San Diego for us newbies sometime? Your tech day in February was awesome. I would be happy to supply at least a case of beer. I was able to use the information I learned to do my first servo brake bleed 3 weeks later.

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Well for me personally I know I had business stuff going so I could not make it. I bet the new poster that started this thread would probably rather ride to your place vs. NoCal. Should save him about 1000 miles of riding the freeway. I am planning to get some Ohlins for Ruby in mid Jan./Feb. so I would love to come down for that job. I have had thoughts of hosting one myself.

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You need two 30mm and two 15mm feeler gauges. (You'd want to check the service CD for sure, but that's what it was for my hexhead r12st). You'll want torque wrenches with both torx and metric wrenches. You will want an open head wrench and metric allen (or is it torx? And I can't remember the sizes) for the actual valve adjustment. However, chances are REALLY good that someone will have everything you need at the tech daze.

 

I asked the same questions prior to my first tech daze last week and really didn't bring much (just my torx wrenches). I'm pretty glad that I did it that way as I have a much better idea of what kind of tools to buy.

 

Edit: You can get the service cd shipped to you from motobins. That's widely accepted as the least expensive way to get the cd's.

 

Of course you meant .15 and .30mm feeler gages. smile.gif

 

There is always another way too.

 

Click here to see a simpler method.

 

Jim cool.gif

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Of course you meant .15 and .30mm feeler gages. smile.gif
MAN, I noticed that AFTER the 30 minute edit time had passed. I thought I'd made it that far without anyone noticing, so why bring attention to my own mistakes. Surely no one would notice... smile.gif

 

Do I at least get bonus points for linking to the correct items? smile.gif

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Valve adjustment on all oilheads and hex heads are the same. Get the 15mm and 30mm feelers from a dealer or someone who has the inside info at Tech Daze. The wrenches you need are a torx set for 3/8 drive rachet, a 5" or so rachet extension, a 10mm open end wrench, a 3mm hex wrench. I have BMW valve cover protectors on my bike and you can't get those off with normal torx/rachet. I bought the BMW tool kit, which I don't regret. I has a torx wrench shaped like a hex wrench that allows me to remove the guard without pulling off the whole side panel.

 

I do have to remove the lower bolts (about 5, I think) to the plastic, but once that's done, it's possible to just pull it out a little and get in there for access. No need to remove the panel.

 

The BMW valve adjustment is very easy. There's a 10mm nut that locks the adjuster down and the adjuster itself has a 3mm hex on it. You put the wrench on the hex to hold it still and loosen the lock nut, turn the clearance a slight bit in or out and retighten the nut.

 

The tricky bit is 1. Finding TDC and 2. Using all 4 feelers at once. You must use them all because, believe me now or believe me later, each one affect the other. You wanna make sure all four are just right. It's critical, because, if you're anal about this, your bike will run smoother.

 

I have never made any adjustment to throttle bodies. The 1200s have servos that keep the TBs balanced within a pretty wide range, so it shouldn't be necessary. I've got 27,000+ on my 1200RT and it's running smoother than the day I bought it.

 

This is not meant to be a full instruction...Get someone to show you once...but just sort of an introduction.

 

I made a deal with my BMW dealer. I change the oil and do the valves, change the air filter and other easy things.

 

He is lord of my brakes. In exchange, I buy all my BMW supplies from him, including riding gear. I support him because he's 3 miles from my house and I don't want him going away like so many others have.

 

I like this arrangement, because I can get the valves adjusted on my schedule rather than the dealer's. I know the valves are going to be adjusted JUST RIGHT. They usually have a backlog of service work anyway, so they're happy to have a happy customer with very little work on their part. Because I support them with my other retail business (which sometimes makes me cringe), they're not going to suffer financially by my hand.

 

-TB

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