Author Topic: Kid in a candy store...  (Read 3164 times)

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Offline Cognizant

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Kid in a candy store...
« on: October 01, 2008, 10:13:00 pm »
Wow, you folks have put together an amazing repository of useful information for Concours owners!!  My hat's off to ALL!!!!  So I had an chance to purchase a 1992 ZG and my research brought me to this forum/group.  I can only say that what you have offered to share with the world here had a significant influence in my decision to purchase the bike.  Thank you for that!  So today was my virgin journey on the Concours.  I havn't ridden for about 15 years.  I spent the first 20 years of my driving experience on motorcycles in Atlanta.  Begining with a 1976 Kawasaki H2 750 two stroke triple (great first bike - not sure how I survived...)and over the years had variously a Honda CM400T, CB750F, CB900F, Suzuki GS1100E, Honda VFR700A2, CB1100F, and a few less memorable others.  A bad crash on the Suzuki resulted in a promise to stop street riding.  (So I traded the Suzie wreck for a CR500 and that caused more injuries over the next few years than ever occurred on the street!)  Anyway, now married to someone other than to whom I made the promise, and because my new wife indicated her interest in doing some two-up riding, I began the (re)search to find the correct bike.  Having been alotted 2000$ by the wife/CFO, my search ended today.  For 1800$ (reasonable?) for a cosmetically pristine, seems to never-have-been-dropped example with 66K miles.  All pieces present, corbin seat/backrest, all paint and plastic perfect, rifle windscreen, SS fairing screws, steel braided brake lines, vista-cruise, progressive fork springs and some kind of air shock, does have a minute dime-sized dimple in the tank.  And a thick folder of maint. records that I have yet to read (been busy putting 150 miles on her today :))  A special thanks to whoever compiled the "things to look for when buying" thing that I read somewhere on this site.  Anyway, the Bike runs well - but...my impressions of my first experience are somewhat mixed.  I was surprised how noisy the motor/drivetrain seemed.  I have not driven a fully faired scooter before (well the VFR but I liked that sound and especially the gear driven cam whine!) and I'm sure that the fairing reflects a lot of sound.  Stock exhaust BTW...  The motor feels strong but seems much less free reving than my old CB's or the Suzuki.  Maybe the torque biased tuning has something to do with that.  What a delightfully wide powerband!  The full-tank top heavyness took a bit of getting used to two up.  The ample throttle/rear brake control technique suggested here is the way to go!  But with a 29 inch inseam (ok I'm a midget) an inch lower would be nice.  Vibration, which I sort of didn't expect after reading stuff here, was disturbing.  I don't know when the last balancer shaft adj. was but it will be top of my list.  Maybe some bar-end weights.  But it is WAY more than other in-line 4's I have had.  Cam chain slapping noises on decel, at least I hope that that is what I am hearing.  Will read up on potential fixes.  Clutch won't fully disengage when completely cold, fine when warm.  The actuator is hydraulic yes?  No simple cable adj. eh?  Is this an indication that it is clutch time?  The previous owner must have the suspension set for two 700 lb riders because there was little compliance over bumpy stuff - need to sort all that out.  I didn't really get it too far over today, roads were wet and slippery, but it certainly sheds the adverse weight and high CG effects once it gets rolling.  Nimble and solid....nice.  It rained along a few stretches, I was flat amazed at how dry and insulated I remained.  Very Nice!  Well I have all I can do not to go out and wash her with a toothbrush at the moment - she is pulling on me like gravity.  As you can tell I am full of excitement (and words!)  So, again, thanks for putting this all together everyone, it is so great to have all of the rich technical content available one-stop!  I am very happy to be a Concours owner and look forward to meeting some of you folks along the way.  Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have!    

Offline smithr1

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« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2008, 12:24:00 pm »
It is nice to hear the drive train.  Your cam chain adjuster may need some help.  I helped mine by removing it and making sure it was functioning correct.  When you put it back in you have to let the adjustment all the way out, insert it and let it adjust.  You can stick a small probe in the back and see if it takes a little force or a lot to make it click to the next click.  If it takes to much force I would remove it and reset it.  If just a little force is needed then try that and seeif cam is quieter.  It may still be your just not use to being able to hear it.     Buzz should not be much worse then any inline of that size.  Having said that I have had three Concours and the first two were not that bad buzz and this one now is.  I have done almost all the fixes and it is still a bit more buzz then the others.  It my just be worse on some.  I use thick grip wraps and or gel gloves and that is all it takes to have NO issue with it for me.  Wait and do a full tune up and a few of the listed fixes and it might get better.  Just don't do the balancer shaft adjustment.  It has been proven not to help anything.  The procedure just keeps getting passed down by well meaning desperate people.     The clutch is hydraulic.  Changing the oil is just like bleeding a brake.  Do it.  That oil gets bad as fast as brakes do because of the heat of the engine on the master.  Also oil the lever.  I have seen the lever not want to release all the way causing the slipping of the clutch you are seeing.  Not many of us have been able to trash clutch plates that fast.  I think they are fine.  A 92 may be old enough to have star spring issues but that usually shows as pulsing in the lever but not always.     Check all the suspension settings and make sure you start with something close then dial it in.  ----------------------------------  I will answer any question.  It is up to you to figure out if I should have.    <p align="left">My Photos<br
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Offline Greg Habel

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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2008, 01:12:00 pm »
Great to have you here with us.  Check out the CDA area for tips on drop prevention and other people's stories.  Use only the back brake at parking lot speeds; especially when turning around.    Welcome back to riding too!  Greg H from Mass, Connie Droppers Anonymous Awards Dude  COG# 7010,a Tracey  CDA 120  99 Connie "Herrin Christabelle", 05 Ninja 250  
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Offline Brett0769

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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2008, 01:21:00 pm »
With the low speed maneuvering, fanning the clutch and using rear brake ONLY is the way to go. She's big and busty, but she's surprisingly nimble once you figure out how to handle her.     I'd do all the standard maintenance items, fluid changes, valve adjust, carb sync, etc. before I'd start looking for exotic problems. That plus washing and waxing are the best ways to really get to know her. Also, I think the full fairing doesn't so much echo the engine noise as lessen the wind noise, so sound you couldn't hear on a naked bike will be clear on Connie, especially if you have a tall windscreen. The fairing protection on the Concours is superior, which you've already experienced in the rain. Unless there's hard rain, I don't even have to put on rain pants, the only place they'll get wet is around my ankles.        
« Last Edit: October 02, 2008, 01:22:00 pm by Brett0769 »
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Offline S Smith

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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2008, 01:42:00 pm »
If you like what you see, consider becoming a paid member of the club. The Northeast Area is VERY active with lots of events to choose from.  Instructions to pay dues and become a full member are posted online.    --  Steve Smith, #3184  COG Northeast Area Director  (somewhere in south central CT)     If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space.
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Offline krumgrinder

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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2008, 06:21:00 pm »
Hey Andy, welcome to the gang!    Yep, nothing quite like that new bike burn... even if she's just new to you!  Seems like all my vehicles are late-model used, now that I think of it... :p    Have fun with it and feel free to post questions and ideas.  Steve K.  '02 Concours  COG# 6550  AMA# 965469  'No matter where you go, there you are...'
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Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2008, 08:45:00 pm »
 Sounds like you're going to enjoy the bike, and COGGERS are very willing to share so you get the best experiences in owning a connie. I can adress some of your technical issues with the bike... The buzz is different and more pronounced on this bike as opposed to your others as the others had the engine rubber mounted in a cradle. The connie was a very early design of a stressed engine / frame composition. In other words, the engine is solidly mounted, and gives rigidity to the frame. A great idea on many fronts but it does transmit more vibes. Coupled with the engines very heavy connecting rods and pistons, the secondary imbalance is certainly higher than any of the following zx series engines that grew from the zg1000 / zx900/ zx1000 lineup. Don't mess with the counterbalancer adjustment, as previously noted, it doesn't affect the counterbalancer timing, only the gear mesh with the crank.     If you can do yourself one major favor, go through the carbs top to bottom and be sure they aren't prone to have leaking fuel float needles. Check the petcock too. Hydrolocks are common on these bikes, and the results can be catastrophic - IE bent connecting rods.      To seriously help control the buzz, you can sync the carbs @ 6000 rpm. set up your sticks, rev the bike to 6000 and note where the mercury is. let it idle and adjust, repeat til you get them even @ 6000. forget about what it looks like at idle, it'll be fine, and the 6000 rpm sync will give you the smoothest running engine you can get.      HTH and welcome, Steve   Shleper of the 7th gear unit and performance exhaust cam sprockets.       My bike - "SHOODABEN" - 1109cc's of what an 04 concours "shoodaben"!
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Offline Colin

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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2008, 10:20:00 pm »
Just a quick follow up to Steve's comments and a warm welcome to the Forum as a Guest?    If you pay up for the full membership you will have immediate access to even more goodies in the Library not least of which is Chalkdust a compendium of tech tips and 13 back issues of our magazine both of which have a veritable cornucopia :) of great information from the thousands of COG members over the last 20+ years.    I can highly recommend Steve's sprockets especially the Exhaust mod as its by far the best way to get more power over a wider band for very little cost.    Its very likely you can reduce the buz from where it is now with the tips provided and others covered in Chalkdust. I would recommended taking a look at the cluch springs as even with the newer springs they do fail. Murph www.murpskits.com has these and many other "goodies" but be careful his wares are HIGHLY addictive, and many of us have been "screwed" by him (see his site to  get the joke)     Cheers    Colin      Colin Prior  Cogmos Committee Chairman  Lake Forest Park WA  COG#7767  
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Offline Ranger Jim

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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2008, 01:21:00 pm »
RE: Buzzz. Check the motor mount bolts. A loose/broken/missing mounting bolt will contribute to the buzz. Adjust the valves and synch the carbs as those can help lessen it as well.    RE: Clutch diengagement. Try an oil change. Also when starting her up, let her run for a bit with your clutch pulled in (gives the plates a chance to release each other). That it is only a factor when cold leads me to believe it's not a big issue.    Join COG.  
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Offline Cognizant

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« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2008, 05:26:00 pm »
WOW, Thanks for all the sound advice!  Considering the noise, I believe Brett you are correct - the lack of wind noise makes the drivetrain noise more noticable.  I have put another 200 miles on her, mostly two-up with the wife and am getting much more acustomed to the character of the Bike.  The shaft drive is, for the most part, pretty transparent at anything less than 7/10ths (Below which all of my two up riding falls).   Disassembling the sticky throttle grip and cleaning the bar and the inside of the grip improved drivability tremendously.   Tomorrow I will remove the lower plastic to check the engine mounting bolts, the cam chain tensioner, and you have disuaded me from doing the balance shaft adj.  Also I will bleed the clutch actuator and see if that improves cold disengagement.  I might get ambitious enough to do a valve adj. we'll see...  One other thing that I noticed today was the range of temp readings indicated on the guage.  Steady cruising indicated about 1/3 deflection of the needle, in traffic it rises to about 4/5 deflection before the fan comes on.  Is this normal?  Additioanlly, as my comfort level increases after such a long hiatus, I am realizing how powerful she is.  I thought initially that she was a bit doggie, but 6-10K is all-I-can-eat strong...for now at least.  In an effort to better dial in the suspension I looked for the spanner wrench to adj the spring preload, not found.  I tried to loosen the locking ring by tapping with a screwdriver placed on one of the dogs.  It didn't even wince.  Tapped so "spiritedly" that I began to deform the dog and still it wouldn't budge - YIKES!  I guess I will have to acquire the proper spanner, but I was surprised that it was jammed on so tight.  Not reverse thread is it? (looking from top view I was trying to rotate it counter-clockwise...)  Again, thanks so much for all the kind words of welcome and all of the generous suggestions to help.     I went a bit over-budget with the bike/helmets/accessories etc., but the next moto-dollars that become available will go toward a membership here.  I am eager to spend the winter giving her a comprehensive going-over and bringing her back to her former glory.  Oh ya, I almost forgot, after nearly 400 miles now, a little two-up action, a little sport carving, and just some early morning slow smell-the-roses stuff, I think the Concours is an amazing multi-purpose machine.  We are all geniuses for purchasing one!  Hey - thanks again.  I will report on tomorrows activities...  
« Last Edit: October 04, 2008, 05:30:00 pm by Cognizant »

Offline Brett0769

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« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2008, 06:32:00 pm »
This is probably a stupid question but... Did you remove the cover and the 27mm nut at the top of the steering head?     Check out the part diagrams through Owner Link at Kawasaki.com. That'll give you an idea of how it's all put together.      
« Last Edit: October 04, 2008, 06:40:00 pm by Brett0769 »
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Offline Cognizant

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« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2008, 07:53:00 pm »
No....why  

Offline rowmer1

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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2008, 12:30:00 pm »
If you have adjustable pre load on your rear suspension "using a spanner wrench" you probably have an aftermarket shock. Stock ones adjust with air pressure and a valve for damping. That could be the reason it feels stiff. I know the stock rear shock on my 92 has to be at 40 psi before it starts to feel stiff.  

Offline Brett0769

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« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2008, 12:47:00 pm »
The steering head nut is held fast by a lock nut, which in turn is held in place by a 27mm nut under the plastic cover that you see when sitting on the bike. You need to remove that cover, then the 27mm nut, then loosen the 4 bolts on the LOWER triple tree. Do the adjust(take your time and do it right) then re-torque all of the above and replace the cover. Do a test ride and re-adjust as necessary. The best thing you can do for yourself to help with all this is join COG and download 'The Best of Chalkdust' from the library. Then order the Clymer Manual. The Clymer manual will provide good pics an instructions and Chalkdust will tell you when Clymer is wrong or wasting your time. :)  
'06 C10  Brett Hatfield  AMA# 1019197  COG# 8229 (CDA# 0267)    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/brett0769/2793453582/" title="Trip Home by Brett0769, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3223/2793453582_bba89ca959_t.jpg" width="100" height="75" alt="Trip Home" />[/url]

Offline Cognizant

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« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2008, 01:42:00 pm »
Brett,  I have a clymers and have adjusted steering head preload on other bikes...but I am wondering why you are suggesting this.  Does it relate to a symptom I described or is it just a good idea to check?  The front end feels tight and tracks perfectly.  
« Last Edit: October 05, 2008, 01:43:00 pm by Cognizant »

Offline Cognizant

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« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2008, 01:47:00 pm »
Row  Yes it is aftermarket...has both a spring pre-load adj AND an air valve.  Looks like a schrader valve but it is completely inaccessable with the shock mounted.  Hmmm...  

Offline Brett0769

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« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2008, 10:28:00 pm »
Maybe we've got crossed wires. I'm talking about being unable to turn the castle nut.  
'06 C10  Brett Hatfield  AMA# 1019197  COG# 8229 (CDA# 0267)    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/brett0769/2793453582/" title="Trip Home by Brett0769, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3223/2793453582_bba89ca959_t.jpg" width="100" height="75" alt="Trip Home" />[/url]

Offline Cognizant

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« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2008, 11:04:00 am »
Brett,  Thanks for the help but I think you may have wanted to direct it to another member.....BUT THANKS!!      

Offline Brett0769

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« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2008, 11:16:00 am »
Right member, wrong adjustment. I guess I should read a little more carefully before throwing out advice. Sorry for the confuzzion.  
'06 C10  Brett Hatfield  AMA# 1019197  COG# 8229 (CDA# 0267)    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/brett0769/2793453582/" title="Trip Home by Brett0769, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3223/2793453582_bba89ca959_t.jpg" width="100" height="75" alt="Trip Home" />[/url]

Offline smithr1

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« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2008, 11:33:00 am »
About your question on temperature gauge...    On the three Concours I have had having it reads at or below 1/4 during riding but all of them the fan came on at just over 1/2 way up the scale.    ----------------------------------  I will answer any question.  It is up to you to figure out if I should have.    <p align="left">My Photos<br
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Offline Cognizant

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« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2008, 11:53:00 am »
Well, I did a little maintance but not as much as I had intended... Topped off the coolant reservior, seems to have lowered the max indicated temp by about 1/8 of full scale - maxes out at about 2/3 now.  Also did the cam chain tensioner adj and WHAT A DIFFERENCE!  Sounds like a healthy engine now w/o any scary noises.  The little spring on the ratchet pawl was not seated square and as I cycled the push rod it would repretedly deflect from square.  I was thinking that removing it and extending it a bit might cure the problem as it appears that the spring may have shortened over time.  But I just reseated it and reinstalled the assembly and, for now, it seems to be working fine.  Bled the clutch slave and that helped cold disengagement somewhat.  Between the cam tensioner and the freeing up of the throttle grip the bike is much more pleasurable to drive.  Now, if I could just get that spanner collar on te rear shock to loosen!!  Again thanks for the continued generousity and much appreciated help!!  
« Last Edit: October 07, 2008, 11:54:00 am by Cognizant »