Author Topic: Maintenance and the new owner  (Read 60776 times)

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Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Maintenance and the new owner
« on: February 03, 2015, 03:30:06 pm »
...and the old owner, too.

  We're seeing a number of guys who have just purchased their first c-10. They come here all happy, particularly if it's a low mileage unit. Then they start getting advise from the seasoned owners. "You need to do a/b/c, oh yeah, while you're there, d/e /f are now easier to do. And while you're at it, replace g/h/i. You'll probably want to upgrade k/l/m and then enjoy the bike for a while"  I can see this as intimidating and off-putting. let me explain why this is the advise given, and maybe it will ease the process.

  Basically you've bought an old bike. The newest is 9 years old. In some respects, low mileage is worse than a higher mileage unit. The issues will always be centered around areas where there is fluid or rubber. A low mileage unit wasn't used much, so the owner probably felt fluid changes weren't necessary. Additionally, the fuel wasn't changed often, which is the perfect storm for tank and carb related issues. A higher mileage bike that's been well maintained may be cheaper in the long run, but we all like those low - mileage finds. Just don't lull yourself into thinking low mileage equals low maintenance, because it doesn't.

  Do yourself a favor - and I do live by this- when you get your new to you motorcycle, the first thing you do is service all areas with fluid and / or rubber. Great looking old tires will get you killed. Replace them.  Engines that run poorly due to ignition, valve or carb issues are an annoyance. Brakes that don't stop are deadly.  Hydrolock is the only real achilles heal of the bike. Learn what is important to do right now, and what can wait. A new windshield or seat is way behind good brakes and tires in the scheme of things.

  You might think you bought a motorcycle for cheap transportation. You're fooling yourself. The maintenance on a motorcycle is much more important, and requires much more diligence than owning a car. Maybe you've never thought of it this way, but here it is in a nutshell... cars don't fall down, motorcycles do. Low tire pressures on a car is manageable, on your bike it may cause you to crash. There are no second chances, no "re-do's" in an accident. Proper maintenance may be the difference in crashing or not. I'm sure in my case my choice to put premium tires on my bike is the only thing that kept me from hitting a mountain when I blew a curve in North Carolina.

  Think about it. Motorcycling is a blast, but we all know it's not a "safe" endeavor. Making it less safe because you failed to be diligent in your maintenance, and choosing to ride an under maintained motorcycle is, well, stupid. This is why the advise is so encompassing. Be glad you're getting it, too. Coggers know this bike inside and out. The knowledge accrued about the zg1000 over the last 26 years is why you're here. Take the advise shared here to heart, and if you're wise, act on it. Do the maintenance, and enjoy the peace of mind.

  Like I said, motorcycles fall down. Keep that in mind, and proceed accordingly.  :motonoises:

  HTH, Steve

 

 
« Last Edit: February 04, 2015, 10:53:28 am by Steve in Sunny Fla »
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Offline mattchewn

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2015, 03:52:23 pm »
Steve,
Well said. I couldn't agree more.
Matt
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2014 KTM 690 Enduro R  Wheelie sweet!!

Offline Bergmen

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2015, 04:27:36 pm »
Excellent advice, Steve. I'm always surprised at owners that try to go cheap with important items like tires (there IS a difference between cheap and inexpensive). Back in the day (1960s), even the best motorcycle tires were crappy so one didn't have much choice. You just had to live with out-of-round, hard rubber, slippery, fast wearing tires because there were no other choices. Couple these with Neanderthal brakes, crap suspension and weak flexy frames and it could get pretty exciting if you overdid it.

Nowadays, the tire choices are magnificent - if you shop for performance over cost. We never had it so good and I'm happy to put the best on my rims that I can find.

Dan
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Offline DC Concours

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2015, 05:34:06 pm »
Good points Steve. I am going to do my coolant change this season. It "looked and smelled" fine so I left it alone last season on my low mileage bike.

To your point of mileage, I just cannot get myself to buy a bike with over 29K miles on it! Seems too used  ;)

And to the point of tires, sure in the 60s all tires were equally crappy and you didn't have much choice. But in this day and age a cheap tire is still very safe for normal operation as an expensive high end tire. The difference is the warm cozy feeling one gets emptying one's wallet. Much like the feeling I got many years ago buying my expensive Shoei helmet.  :-[

Offline forman

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2015, 05:48:20 pm »
I like this Steve in Sunny Florida guy!

I bought my C 10 with 35k miles that had sat idle for over a year and had a previous hydrolock event that had been repaired.  Every question I've asked him about my bike or its performance has been answered honestly and expertly by a by god sure enough motorcycle mechanic/enthusiast.  He speaks the truth, in fact if he told me his bike poops little pink marshmallows... I would believe him.

Oh yea I bought my bike from him. 

Offline mattchewn

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2015, 05:55:49 pm »
forman,
Some of us on here may have recently come to the conclusion that "sometimes" SISF knows what he's talking 'bout, sometimes. 
 :)) :)) :)) :)) :)) :)) :)) :))
Matt
2015 C14  Poison Ivy. I feel the itch!
2014 KTM 690 Enduro R  Wheelie sweet!!

Offline smithr1

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2015, 06:18:56 pm »
Quote" I'm sure in my case my choice to put premium tires on my bike is the only thing that kept me from hitting a mountain when I blew a curve in North Carolina. "

I have been trying to make this point for years of being here.  You may drive the flat, sr8t road with no traffic every day for the last ten years so you feel you don't need good tires when in fact you need them every bit as much as canyon carving nuts.  One day something will happen and your tires COULD be that difference between not stopping in time, not making the corner, not avoiding that crazy...  What will be between you and the road when that day comes?
---
Bob Smith (smithr)
Austin, Texas baby!
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Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2015, 06:20:17 pm »
forman,
Some of us on here may have recently come to the conclusion that "sometimes" SISF knows what he's talking 'bout, sometimes. 
 :)) :)) :)) :)) :)) :)) :)) :))
Matt

  or I make it up on the fly - you decide  ;) Steve
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Offline mattchewn

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2015, 06:23:43 pm »
Steve sure does make it sound good either way though don't he?
Matt
2015 C14  Poison Ivy. I feel the itch!
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Offline works4me

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2015, 08:00:01 pm »
Steve sure does make it sound good either way though don't he?
Matt

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.  :rotflmao:

Offline Puddlejumper

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2015, 11:22:47 pm »

I called Steve shortly after purchasing my C10 roughly 4 months ago.  I immediately purchased new tires for it and once I did a little research on this forum, I called Steve to ask about his carb overflow mod.  Steve asked about the bike, how I plan to use it and then proceeded to give me detailed maintenance suggestions.  I had bought the bike from a used bike shop and was under the assumption it was in good order.  I mainly wanted to get my carbs upgraded to defend against the possible hydrolock failure.  After discussing the details with Steve, I decided to do a complete rebuild on the carbs and replace the exhaust cam sprocket. 

In addition to the above, I have since overhauled my cooling system, changed the clutch fluid, brake fluid front and rear, adjusted the valves, repaired the airbox, changed the engine oil and diff oil, lubed my throttle cables & completed the ignitor circuit ground mod.  My plugs and ignition cables seemed to be in good order.  The cooling system was the real weak link though.  The water was brown, the thermostat was rusted open and I had signs of slow leaks around the front coolant manifold. 

The bike runs great and I am much more confident that it is both safe & reliable when I take it out for a ride. 

The morale of the story is that Steve gives very sound advice.  If you aren't the original owner and/or you didn't get detailed maintenance records, you don't really know the state of your newly acquired ride.  If you have some mechanical ability and can follow directions, you can do a lot of the work yourself.  Between COG, Youtube and a standard shop manual, the information is readily available.  If this isn't your thing, have someone else do it.

Bernie



Offline rickm_tx

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2015, 12:17:05 am »
Great post.  Thanks for taking the time.

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Brakes are for sissys.

Offline LakeTrax

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2015, 12:27:33 am »
Good thoughts & advice Steve...

Sorta funny, last night I was hangin' at my shop drinkin' a couple cold ones while eye-balling my "new-to-me" car and my C14.
I got to thinking about some random things I've read lately concerning motorcycle safety, the love of motorcycling, and societal views on motorcycling in general.

Then this thought came to my mind...
"I will always prefer to be on 2 wheels vs. 4...
Only half as much can go wrong!" ;D

Offline ACISROC

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2015, 12:59:54 am »
Thanks for the post Steve in sf, well said.
There are "Bold Riders" and their are "Old Riders" but their are very few "OLD BOLD RIDERS"
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Offline Mettler1

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2015, 03:35:09 am »
Good thoughts & advice Steve...

Sorta funny, last night I was hangin' at my shop drinkin' a couple cold ones while eye-balling my "new-to-me" car and my C14.
I got to thinking about some random things I've read lately concerning motorcycle safety, the love of motorcycling, and societal views on motorcycling in general.

Then this thought came to my mind...
"I will always prefer to be on 2 wheels vs. 4...
Only half as much can go wrong!" ;D
         SOCIETAL??  I don't think those words of that nature are allowed on this forum. ::) ::)
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Offline Smooooth

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2015, 12:33:19 pm »
Like many of us here, I would not be where I am in this passion without the knowledge and support of Steve........

Thank You!!!

Stephen
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Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2015, 01:52:50 pm »
Like many of us here, I would not be where I am in this passion without the knowledge and support of COG........

Thank You!!!

Stephen

  there, fixed it for you  :great: Steve
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Offline Smooooth

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2015, 02:00:45 pm »
Like many of us here, I would not be where I am in this passion without the knowledge and support of COG........

Thank You!!!

Stephen

  there, fixed it for you  :great: Steve

LOL - posted during my first cup of coffee.....   And you are absolutely correct.   :-[

Stephen
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Offline LakeTrax

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2015, 05:24:36 pm »
Good thoughts & advice Steve...

Sorta funny, last night I was hangin' at my shop drinkin' a couple cold ones while eye-balling my "new-to-me" car and my C14.
I got to thinking about some random things I've read lately concerning motorcycle safety, the love of motorcycling, and societal views on motorcycling in general.

Then this thought came to my mind...
"I will always prefer to be on 2 wheels vs. 4...
Only half as much can go wrong!" ;D
         SOCIETAL??  I don't think those words of that nature are allowed on this forum. ::) ::)
Don't make me equivolate! :pokestick:

Offline Jayfrog214

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2015, 07:40:37 pm »
As a 'noob', this forum and the folks on it have been awesome. I have met several already and gained friends, knowledge, and riding buddies. The fact that Steve in Sunny FL. called me to give me the low-down on concours ownership showed a love of the bike and a respect for those who get chosen by it. So I just want to take a moment to say thanks.

And now back to our regularly scheduled program....

Peace
Jay :motonoises:
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2015, 09:14:24 pm »
Good advise Steve.
Like he said, the list of things are suggested because of the knowledge/experience of this club.
And, yes the long list can be intimidating to the New Guy.

Here I have a thought that others can expand on.

Assuming the New Guy brings home a perfectly Connie, he wants to ride, not start replacing everything..
We do understand!
                "BUT"
   3 things, (tires, brakes, and fluids) "must" be checked before you go out for that first ride.
   While your on that ride, take it EZ.
    Get to know the bike before you twist the "Loud" Handle...
   Make a "to do" list of the other items. (Not a "When I get around to it" list)..
   As you get to know the bike,,,  start checking and or replacing all the things on that list.

You won't regret it.

Ride safe, Ted
« Last Edit: February 05, 2015, 02:25:04 pm by connie_rider »
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Offline Mcfly

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2015, 09:34:51 pm »
Thanks again Steve!

Even better news is the 1st Gen Concours is very 'maintenance friendly'.  A little
mechanical knowledge, tools and a shop manual and you're pretty much good to go for
getting this stuff done yourself, and saving money and potential aggravation.

At first I was intimidated by the bike, maintenance wise... maybe it's all the plastic,
but once I dug in I found this platform very easy to work on, and seemingly overwhelming
jobs quickly became easy and routine.  Not sure/Questions?  COG has answers.

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Offline Clem

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2015, 09:53:26 pm »
I want to chime in as well while this post is still current and thank Steve and others for all of the support offered in this forum. The Connie is a great bike but Steve's post is a good reminder that it's an aging platform with maintenance needs that will only increase over time.

My skills are limited but the wrenching I've attempted so far has gone well and I look forward to getting back "under the hood" and soon. I know with the support of this forum and COG I'll get the job done.

Now if I can just find the courage to crack her open past 7K rpm a little more often, holy moly!!
2001 C10, lightly farkled

Offline Rod

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2015, 10:58:55 pm »
SISF is the man!!!

Offline Derek

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Re: Maintenance and the new owner
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2015, 01:39:04 am »
Wise advice and I it all should have been in first my year plan but... due to a cheating wife  I was not in a good place last spring/summer and although I did the basic maint checks to ensure basic safety (level and pressure checks) I did not do the complete fluid change over.  I just needed to ride to get in a better place.

Well I have arrived in my better place, come spring fluid changes are on order, Carbs are off and are about to start the long journey to SiSF for a spa treatment with added overflows tubes!

Order has been put in to Murph's  for some new farkles and some others from COG members  added for safety and comfort are also scheduled when the great white north isn't so white anymore!

Best of all... great advice and support from the GOG membership
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