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Author Topic: Happy new Electra owner  (Read 3506 times)

Gaffer

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Happy new Electra owner
« on: November 19, 2007, 10:05:18 AM »
I picked up my new Electra at the end of August and since then have been a guest at this excellent forum so thought it was time to register and have my two bobs worth. This is my first post at any internet forum so -  fingers crossed.

With a bit over 2000 kms on the clock (that's 1200 miles for you lucky guys who still use real measurements) the bike is officially run in but still getting smoother as the miles go by. When I first took her up to 90 kph I thought the bike was going to fall apart but now the sweet spot is around 95-100 kph.

Being 400 kms from the nearest (and only) dealer in Western Australia I am doing all servicing myself and so far, not being much of a mechanic, am finding it quite straightforward despite the inadequate owners manual. The only trouble I had was when I completely drained the engine and changed the filter and opted to put in the recommended 2.25 litres. This put the mark on the dipstick a good inch over the maximum but I ran the bike anyway and had oil leaks everywhere. I drained out about 500 mils and eventually the leaks stopped. Now I keep the dipstick at about the 3/4 mark and have absolutely no leaks at all.

I always kick start the bike when cold and have discovered one important difference from the accepted routine: fuel &choke on, free clutch plates with a couple of strokes, decompress and give 3 or 4 strokes, decompresser off and find compression stroke, decompress and ease past the compression then a bit more, only a little bit, about 3 inches at the extremity of the kickstart, ignition on and give her a kick. No boasting she starts first kick every time with this routine but if I don't go that little bit further I don't seem to get all the way to the next compression stroke and of course the bike doesn't start.

It is satisfying to start the bike with one easy kick but then isn't riding a bike a series of small pleasures like this? Changing smoothly through the gears, leaning into a curve and accelerating away again........ I'm just loving riding this bike.

indian48

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Re: Happy new Electra owner
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2007, 10:33:31 AM »
As a new owner of the same bike, welcome to the forum. I have done just 600kms, and as part of progressive speeding up, have come close to the 80km mark. The bike started vibrating a lot at that speed, so I am happy to hear that this is something that gets better as the bike runs in.
I have also been fortunate about the oil level advice I got here, that has kept my jeans oil free till now. I had topped up a cold engine to the halfway point, and when I checked it hot, but drained, the level was too high. Because of what I had read here, I extracted the added oil back out, and the bike is doing fine till now.
I can't wait for the bike to get past the running in,,,not so much for the higher speeds, but for an easier lope in 5th, and for a general absence of tightness all around.
I agree that the nicest part of riding the bike,,,any bike to be honest,,,is accelerating out of a corner!!
If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well

indian48

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Re: Happy new Electra owner
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2007, 10:40:40 AM »
And re changing the gears, as most people here would know, I find that blipping the throttle after you declutch to change down, just before you move the shifter down, makes for a slicker change of gears,,,,particularly if you are changing down after coasting with a shut throttle for a while. Not quite the entire double declutching routine, but close enough to make a significant improvement. Its great to find that fifteen year old skills are not all lost!
If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well

Spitting Bull

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Re: Happy new Electra owner
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2007, 11:22:04 AM »
Welcome, Gaffer! Good to see that the running-in is going well. Your experiences exactly match mine when I was running in my 350. Have you found that the bike has magic powers yet?  Mine won't let me switch off the engine, get off and put it away.

Tom
One cylinder is enough for anyone.

Thumper

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Re: Happy new Electra owner
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2007, 06:27:46 PM »
Welcome Gaffer!

I just turned 3000 miles on my own Elextra X.

As you are, I too am performing most of my own maintenance. Here are some notes I've taken:

http://members.verizon.net/allofusmorrows/RE_maintenance.htm

If you have any of your own, I'd like to read them!

Happy thumpin' down under,
Matt

Kiwichick

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Re: Happy new Electra owner
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2007, 07:34:38 PM »
Welcome Gaffer

I've got a new Electra too, across the ditch in NZ. 

I'm only at 500km, but am loving every minute of it.  When I sold my last bike, a bit disillusioned, I wondered if my riding days were over - maybe I was too old, too tired, too busy.  But with the new RE, I find myself thinking about the riding, planning the maintenance, rehearsing the kickstarting, reliving the joy of just being out on it. A bikie at heart!  The RE has brought back the thrill I got riding right back in the early days.

Welcome!

indian48

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Re: Happy new Electra owner
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2007, 12:21:39 AM »
I am in India, and I got back to riding after 15 years, when I got my bike last month. I echo what Kiwichick says about the magic of the RE and what it does to you. And if I am not on the bike, I am in the Snidal manual that I got just yesterday, or here on this site. Like everything else in life, I need to find a balance, or at the least, I am going to be out of a job!
But I am meeting interesting people too, here, and in real life. The meeting with the director of the Solo ride in the Himalaya DVD was a highlight. And I am now pretty certain that I will go into those mountains when the passes open in summer, July 08. Only decision to be made is to go in a group, or go it alone. Heart says alone,,head is till not quite there!
Long live the RE and its devotees!
If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well

Gaffer

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Re: Happy new Electra owner
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2007, 09:44:36 AM »
Thank you for your replies and welcomes.

I don't have a little thumbnail picture under my name - how do i achieve this?

No comments on my trick of taking the engine a little further after passing the compression stroke, I find it makes all the difference between success and failure.

indian48

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Re: Happy new Electra owner
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2007, 02:30:20 PM »
Go to profile on the top of this page, then to modify profile on the left, then forum profile information, and select the upload my picture radio button,,,good luck!
I have noted the tip on kicking the engine to life, and will try it out the next time I get to that,,,not till Thursday unfortunately!!
If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well

indian48

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Re: Happy new Electra owner
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2007, 01:11:09 AM »
Attached is a response that I sent to a 7 month old RE rider in India, who I am in touch with on the RE India site, who is a happy Bulleteer. But, he is getting somewhat disenchanted with the bike and I thought that folks here would be interested in my response to his questions/comments,  hence I have copied it here as well. I think we will see him on this site soon!
Iain,
I am not surprised to hear what you say, but the dealer attitude is disappointing. In fact I was so put off by the first dealer I went to here to buy the bike, that I gave up on buying! I then went to another dealer, who seemed a lot more interested in selling the bike, but I do have serious concerns about the first service coming up, although I have no glitches so far. I have asked you a question about your service experience in a post up this thread, and while I will appreciate an answer to that as well, I think I know what I am going to hear. I think I will get the first service done there, but by the time the next one is due, get the tools and the learning to do it myself.
My first 650 kms has been flawless; but another guy who got the same bike because he saw me opting for it over the Electra, has not been so lucky. He has had oil seepages, and even had his jeans oiled up. He is sounding a little pissed off at this time. On the other hand, he could not resist running the bike to 90 km/hour in his first 700kms!
I recommend that you also register and stay in touch with the community on the RE USA site, I am registered there as indian48, and I have also bought the workshop manual written by Snidal online there - and that is a very good investment for a RE owner. The good thing there is that responses are much better, and there is a lot of very useful technical help from everyone around. On this site it is more about rides, which is good,,,and about a lot of other not so valuable stuff.
Finally, I got the bike to get myself on it, as well as in it,,,I find that auto maintenance, including washing my car, relaxes the mind. But there is not much one can do inside a car engine these days,,,and hence the Bullet. And it also is a bike that needs a lot of TLC.
Re the plugs,,,they should not foul as they are doing,,not on a four stroker, where there is no oil being burnt in the chamber at every stroke. In 30kms of
running, if you look at the plug, and know how to read it, you can do a very good engine diagnosis. It is a lost art these days, but you will find information on that on the net. Based on that reading, if necessary, you need to be making minor tweaks usually - to the carb, or to the ignition timing, or to the tappets, or to the valve timing. If you do not do that then over time, the problem will worsen, and just changing plugs is typical modern age response that goes around fixing the symptoms for every disease, rather than getting to the root causes.
Actually, I am struggling to get my company to understand this as well, in its desperate efforts to transform to cope with the dramatic change that has happened, and will happen in the external environment in India.
I think I have talked a lot more than I planned to,,,,an old vice.
Sorry.
Kumar 
If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well

indian48

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Re: Happy new Electra owner
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2007, 01:35:07 AM »
Gaffer,
Used your tip this morning to start the bike from cold,,,not having run it for four days,,,and it started at the second kick with a starting intent. Thank you!
Actually, this is also the first time I have been able to start it cold sitting astride it, with my right leg which is weaker than the left, since I am a left hander. Till now my cold kick starts were with the bike on the center stand, and using my left leg to kick the engine over.
And I also was able to avoid the use of the decompressor totally, which has been another of my intents. It just takes a little patient pressure for the engine to move past TDC on the compression stroke. Reason I want to do this because I read somewhere that in the AVL engine, the decompressor raises the exhaust valve ( as opposed to a separate valve ) and if the exhaust valve does not seat itself properly once you let go of the decompressor lever, it is not good news.
If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well

Kiwichick

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Re: Happy new Electra owner
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2007, 05:41:47 AM »
Do any of you (except India48, I know you won't!) follow the Pete Snidal manual advice, and use the decompression lever when starting using the Electric start?

He suggests pulling the lever down to the midway sticky point, then using electric start but letting it go back up just as it starts turning over.

What's your experiences?


Biddy

Gaffer

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Re: Happy new Electra owner
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2007, 09:39:30 AM »
Can't get that little picture up there! is it necessary to compress the image first or make a thumbnail of it before browsing for it in the modify profile page?

To Indian 48 - for an easy cold start its best to pump the kickstart 3-4 times with key off to draw mixture into the engine. Not to say this can't be done without the decompresser but it's a lot harder. I use it all the time without any problems.

indian48

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Re: Happy new Electra owner
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2007, 11:47:47 AM »
I do not remember that I had to do any compression of the jpeg before browsing for the upload.
I did kick the engine over a few times with the fuel and choke on, but the ignition off to prime it.
If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well

indian48

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Re: Happy new Electra owner
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2007, 12:05:53 AM »
Thought I will post this one here as well!!
"This is why I prefer to stay away from the decomp lever by the way, its not any macho thing!
And while that is so, I also want to hear the reaction  to the Snidal recommendation you posted here, of keeping the decomp lever in use while using the ES, all the time till the bike fires and start running. What I can't figure out with that is that if the bike is to run on its own, compressed fuel air mix has to ignite, for that to happen, it has to compress in the first place, and for that to happen, both valves have to be fully closed! On the other hand, if you find that the bike starts with the decomp lever at work, then something about the real world does not gel with the fancy logic above, which means that however fancy, it is still wrong!"
Can any one shed light on this too?!
If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well