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Author Topic: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds  (Read 1093 times)

straffordrt

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AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« on: March 21, 2014, 01:40:28 AM »
Hi, sorry for asking this question, seems to be a lot of discussion on the topic.  Love the looks of the AVL engine versus the UCE and have a beauty in my sights.  However, I will be using it to commute to work as well as weekend rides around the country side.  I can handle routine fixes and maintenance but am looking to reliably run it daily at 60-65 mph during my commute.  Will a well maintained AVL (looking at a 2007) hold up or should I loose some looks and go with the UCE?  Thanks--Ken

REpozer

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2014, 02:55:41 AM »
My AVL likes to cruise at 55-60 mph. I have been at speeds of 75 mph in a burst
Yes, the AVL is very dependable
I would not want to maintain speeds above 65 mph long term. 65 mph would be on the edge of the envolope for long high way rides.
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DanB

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2014, 03:05:44 AM »
Hi, sorry for asking this question, seems to be a lot of discussion on the topic.  Love the looks of the AVL engine versus the UCE and have a beauty in my sights.  However, I will be using it to commute to work as well as weekend rides around the country side.  I can handle routine fixes and maintenance but am looking to reliably run it daily at 60-65 mph during my commute.  Will a well maintained AVL (looking at a 2007) hold up or should I loose some looks and go with the UCE?  Thanks--Ken

I commute as well on my 06 AVL. The bike really likes 60mph. It's very comfortable. 65 no worries in my opinion. Won't go much above that for extended time period.
Suppose I were an idiot, and suppose I were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself. ... Mark Twain
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Adrian

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2014, 09:30:56 AM »
Hi,

Head says UCE/EFI as it's a current model, heart says AVL based on personal experience (and a cry from somewhere deep down in my soul says 1960 Redditch-built Fury, but we'll ignore that for now  ;D).

At the moment all the things most likely to go bang on an Electra-X or AVL Classic can be fixed, i.e. sprag clutches and cam followers, some UK owners have had the big end bearings fail, but if you have a good one you will love it. Bill Harris has just posted about his, which has reached 35,000 miles, so the factory must have been doing something right with them. That said, beware the odd lemon among the peaches, but if the one you're considering has been chugging around quite happily for the last seven years then anything majorly wrong with it should have come to light by now.

Cruising speed depends on what state of tune they're in, but with a good aftermarket carb, unrestricted down-pipe and sporty (but not too open) muffler you will be happy with the result. For town/city riding, if that features in your commuting, drop the counter-shaft sprocket from 18 to 17 teeth, which gives a more responsive bike with little or no drop in top speed. What would your daily mileage be?

Regards,

A.

straffordrt

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2014, 10:29:49 AM »
Thanks for the input.  Realized that the bike I'm looking at is an irod-head.  Does this change the picture?  Daily commute is 30 miles each way, half 45 mph and half 60mph.  Ken

ace.cafe

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2014, 11:33:46 AM »
I would say that the AVL has the ability to cruise at 65mph., because of the improvements in cooling that it has.
Home of the ACE Fireball 535 Bullet,  Ace GP Hi-Lift Roller Rocker Head . Pistons, cams, etc. Highest performance Bullet engine mods available .  AVL mods. Redditch 700/750 Twin mods. UCE kit soon.

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Techmaven

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2014, 03:54:11 PM »
My 07 AVL has been on a 175 mile hwy ride at 60-65...it likes 55-60 better since vibes get worse above that speed. The trip netted 72mpg also!

Arizoni

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2014, 04:30:06 AM »
straffordrt
I'm guessing you meant to say "iron-barrel" rather than "iron-head".  All of the Bullets have aluminum heads but the cylinder body can be either iron or aluminum.

The AVL has a sleeved aluminum cylinder so much of the overheating problem at faster speeds do not happen.
The iron barrel on the other hand can't remove heat as well so the max sustained speed is more in the 50-55 mph area.

Because someone could paint a iron barrel cylinder with aluminum paint for whatever reason it's best to look elsewhere to see if the engine is a AVL Lean Burn or a older iron barrel.
The most obvious difference is the overhead valve covers.
If the bottom surface of each cover is running parallel with the ground, it is an iron barrel.
If the bottom surface of each cover is running at a 45 degree angle to the ground, it is a AVL.
Jim
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High On Octane

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2014, 12:12:29 PM »
straffordrt

........Because someone could paint a iron barrel cylinder with aluminum paint for whatever reason it's best to look elsewhere to see if the engine is a AVL Lean Burn or a older iron barrel........


The easiest way to tell?     ???
Bring a magnet with you.  If it sticks to the barrel, it's iron, if it doesn't, it's aluminum.  ;)

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ace.cafe

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2014, 05:14:34 PM »
Only stock Iron Barrels have cast iron cylinders.
There are aftermarket alloy barrels available, and we always recommend that they be used on modded bikes like our Fireball.

So, you can't definitively determine the model by the cast iron barrel because it may have been upgraded to alloy. It's a popular mod.
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dginfw

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2014, 06:46:14 PM »
So is the general concensus among AVL owners that 60-65mph for extended periodsis safe for a stock motor?
Since the compression release isnt really that (isnt it more of a compression preventer?) How useful is it in getting past TDC?
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barenekd

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2014, 07:59:21 PM »
If it's an AVL, it's not an iron barrel. It should easily 65 mph cruising. The "Compression release" if it's an automatic one will keep the valve open while kicking it,so it's easy enough to push the piston over TDC. This is the downfall of the automatic releases. Since the compression is lower, it makes the bike harder to start. I was about to put a manual compression release on my G5 just to improve the kick starting. I could always start spinning the starter with the lever pulled then release it for the start. That would save the sprag.
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tooseevee

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2014, 11:58:47 PM »
So is the general concensus among AVL owners that 60-65mph for extended periodsis safe for a stock motor?
Since the compression release isnt really that (isnt it more of a compression preventer?) How useful is it in getting past TDC?

           It's absolutely of no use at all as a kick start aid like the old ones. The only thing they're good for is killing the engine. Always. Never kill the engine with the key.
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Ice

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2014, 05:46:00 AM »
So is the general concensus among AVL owners that 60-65mph for extended periodsis safe for a stock motor?

Yes sir it is.

Since the compression release isnt really that (isnt it more of a compression preventer?) How useful is it in getting past TDC?

  It would be easy to add a de compressor/compression release or a second spark plug to the AVL head.
 They were all cast with two plug bosses. Only the Twin Spark models made for the Indian Domestic Market were drilled and threaded for dual plugs. The overwhelming majority were only drilled for one. The second boss is still there waiting to be used if one desired to do so.

 All that said; Bill Harris deleted the tappet lifter/de compressor bits from his AVL scrambler and has no problem getting past TDC. It's just technique.

 
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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2014, 09:21:01 AM »
Hi Ice,

there's a bit more work than that on the AVL head as some of the fins have to go, the 2nd boss must be a feature on the UCE head.  But it's still well worth doing on the AVL head, though for riding in hotter climates you might want to keep more of the fins than I did.

A.






dginfw

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2014, 06:51:52 PM »
Adrian, did you write a post describing your mods on the AVL? If so could you link to it?
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Techmaven

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2014, 10:54:41 PM »
I always start my AVL beginning at tdc..I've never used the release. It's always been a one kick starter. If it didn't have a compression release, I wouldn't think it needed one.

boggy

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2014, 11:27:59 PM »
Same... I don't use the decomp lever to get to TDC.  Once you get the feel for it, it becomes very, very easy to find.  I do use my decomp lever when I'm killing the engine.
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tooseevee

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2014, 12:21:11 PM »
Same... I don't use the decomp lever to get to TDC.  Once you get the feel for it, it becomes very, very easy to find.  I do use my decomp lever when I'm killing the engine.

           +1

             The "decompressor" on the AVL is totally useless as an assist to finding TDC with the kicker.

             The only thing it's good for, as you say, is killing the engine to save the sprag. If you use the decompressor instead of the key to kill the engine there's no danger of the engine turning backwards. THEN turn the key off. 
« Last Edit: May 24, 2014, 12:23:22 PM by tooseevee »
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Techmaven

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2014, 10:55:05 PM »
           +1

             The "decompressor" on the AVL is totally useless as an assist to finding TDC with the kicker.

             The only thing it's good for, as you say, is killing the engine to save the sprag. If you use the decompressor instead of the key to kill the engine there's no danger of the engine turning backwards. THEN turn the key off.


So I guess I'm not losing my mind when seems my AVL de-compressor makes no difference when I try using it?

tooseevee

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2014, 03:23:08 AM »

So I guess I'm not losing my mind when seems my AVL de-compressor makes no difference when I try using it?

            Yes, you're not losing your mind.

             When you pull the lever on an AVL you're not "opening" anything. You are just rotating a cam which holds the exhaust valve open (if it's opened by the push rod) by jamming against the push rod & not allowing it to go back down. The exhaust valve is closed at TDC compression so you can pull on that lever all you want & you're not going to release any compression to help you feel TDC.

               It's good for killing the engine because the engine won't turn backwards as it does once in a while when you kill the engine with the key. That's all it's good for.
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Adrian

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2014, 04:32:36 PM »
When these machines were more (?) popular, some riders found the valve lifter worked better with an old-fashioned chrome decompressor lever fitted to the bars rather than the sorry plastic thing on the left hand switch cluster. Cost you just a few $ to try it out.

A.

tooseevee

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2014, 08:34:51 PM »
When these machines were more (?) popular, some riders found the valve lifter worked better with an old-fashioned chrome decompressor lever fitted to the bars rather than the sorry plastic thing on the left hand switch cluster. Cost you just a few $ to try it out.

A.

           On an AVL that lever still won't release any compression if you're using it to just barely get past TDC to kickstart whether it's black plastic, chrome or solid gold. And no matter how hard you pull on it.
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Adrian

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Re: AVL Reliability at Cruising Speeds
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2014, 12:21:14 AM »
I have to admit I lost patience with the valve lifter on my Electra-X once the tappet cover cracked around the lifter shaft and leaked oil quite badly, so I never tried the old style lever. Just fitted a plain tappet cover and winced everytime some unpleasant mechanical noise came up from the starter area.  The decompressor option has worked just fine on the AVL project, I may even treat my Electra-X to one before the sprag  finally gives up.

A