Dealer advice. Comments? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-24-2008, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Dealer advice. Comments?

I just picked up my new bike last week and here is some advice from my dealer. I appreciate any comments:

1) I know there has been a lot of discussion about this in these forums but my dealer recommended premium fuel. Many people here suggest regular. Maybe I should just use mid grade and hope it's okay.

2) He says to lube the chain with wax rather than oil.

3) He says that the tires are covered with a film of wax as part of the manufacturing process and to ride the bike around a parking lot for awhile to scuff them up.

Also, the bike is going to be stored in sub-zero temperatures for a few months so I'll take the battery out and bring it inside. The gas tank is about half full. Should I mix some fuel stabilizer up with some gas in a gas can, slosh it around, and then pour it into the Versys right to the top? Gas doesn't seem to degrade much during cold weather (I never do anything with my lawn mower to winterize it and it always starts first pull in the spring) and I really don't want to add another chemical to the gas if it's not needed.

Thanks
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-24-2008, 11:38 AM
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1) Premium. Not necessary. Owner's manual says 87 is fine. I use 87 in mine. Octane rating discussions (*cough* arguments) are all over the interweb, even a few on this board. People will tell you to run all sorts of fuel in there.

2) Another widely debated topic. I've tried a few different products & haven't found one I like yet...

3) He is correct about a coating on the tires, though I don't think it's wax, it's a releasing agent to keep the rubber from sticking to the mold during manufacturing. Take it easy in the turns for a bit, they can be a little slippery at first.

No experience with winter storage, but I believe most will tell you stabilizer is a good way to go for your fuel. Also good to bring your battery in as well, maybe even put it on a trickle charger. Any northerners wanna chime in on this one??



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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-24-2008, 12:01 PM
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1) Feel free to waste your money any way you see fit. RTFM. If it says 86 (R+M)/2 octane rating minimum, there's no good reason to run anything higher grade and several good reasons not to.

2) WD-40. Cheap, available everywhere, easy to clean, and it freaks the holy hell out of the "Motorcycle Specific Chain Lube Only" zealots.

3) An actual piece of useful info from a dealer... it must be X-Mas time 'cause the miracles are a-happenin'! Yes, be careful with new rubber. I've taken to throwing the bike on stands and taking the random orbital sander to new tires since the time I was scrubbing in new tires a little bit by going up and down my street, was slightly leaned over, gave it a little gas, and the back end stepped out a couple feet. The pucker mark on the seat wasn't too bad.

WRT fuel stabilizer, it's probably a good idea, along with filling the bike up. What you don't want is any moisture to get into the fuel system, hence the stabilizer and full tank. That being said, I ain't never winterized a bike here in Southern California.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-24-2008, 12:15 PM
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Best stuff I have found for lubing the chain is this, but the most important thing is to keep it lubed every 300-500 miles and it will last for up to 20k miles. Actually my learned friend Gustavo found it, but don't let that put you off.



If you fill the tank to the brim, it is less lightly to suck moisture in when temp changes occur. Alternative is to totally drain it-but that's a real pain.

If you live in the US get one of these from www.harborfrieght.com. I go away for 3 months every year and put it on my 5 year old BMW battery and it always starts right up.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=42292

Don't be put off by the price, I've checked it with my voltmeter and its spot on. It puts a very low charge 600m amps, any time the battery drops below 12volts, then kicks off when the battery comes back up. As a rule of thumb you can assume a battery will loose about 1% of its charge each day, so in about 3 months, specially of cold weather, you could expect your battery to be dead.

Great think about this charger is, assuming you have a garage, you can leave battery in the bike don't have to take it out.

Machog
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-24-2008, 12:23 PM
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Red face

I'll chime in on a few things.
As Bear said, there's lots of debate about which fuel is best. Refer to the manual and you'll find that regular is recommended. I've got 12,000 miles on my bike, almost all with regular, and no problems.
Chain lube is another topic of debate. Your dealer probably sells a couple of different products that come in spray cans, some formulated for off-road, some for on-road. I use a Motul product, but I bought a small can of Kawasaki brand chain lube for a long trip I took last summer. It was formulated with graphite and I found it messy, so I won't use that again, even though graphite is an excellent lubricant. I think the manual recommends lubing the chain every 400-600 kms, or about every 2 tankfuls. When it gets dirty clean it with a kerosene soaked rag. An easy way to lube the chain is to tip the bike over on its side stand so the back wheel comes off the ground. You can either get someone to balance it there or stick a short piece of wood under the swingarm, then you can spin the wheel.
Again, consult your manual for the procedures to follow when storing your bike. Pull the battery for sure, but the manual also says to drain the gastank by siphoning off the fuel. It's not as easy as it sounds so I always just fill the tank, add stabilizer and run it for a minute to let the stabilized fuel get into the injectors. I made the mistake of overfilling the tank last winter and stank up my shed pretty good with gas fumes from the overflow tube leaking on the ground. The manual says to get the tires off the ground or at least onto some plywood to prevent the rubber from drying out, but I figure tires wear out a whole lot faster than that's ever likely to happen, so I ignore that recommendation. Then you're supposed to lubricate a bunch of places, like the side stand, the clutch and throttle cables, etc. It's all in the manual.
Don't be too paranoid about thinking you've ruined the bike by using the wrong gas or chain lube or whatever, these bikes are built strong, even stronger than that poor neglected lawnmower.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-24-2008, 12:52 PM
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Oh goodie another chain lube thread

WD-40 just seems like a bad idea. It's very thin penetrating oil and won't hang around long, seems like you'd need to spray it constantly. Great for cleaning up though.

I have a can of sticky grease that foams as it comes out. Works fine but very gooey to clean up. I won't be sorry when it's gone.

I'm going to try that Teflon stuff next.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-24-2008, 01:25 PM
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The internal parts of the chain are lubed with a heavy grease, which is where lubrication is necessary. The metal-metal contact of chain on sprocket isn't going to be alleviated by any lubrication product. Your "seems like a bad idea" versus my—and several buddies—20,000+ mile chain/sprocket life using WD-40 on 140+ hp bikes... I think I win. It's your money, though.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-24-2008, 02:16 PM
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By that logic you don't need WD-40 either

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-24-2008, 03:38 PM
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The point of lubing the chain is to keep it clean and rust-free.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-24-2008, 07:46 PM
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Charly, is this a motorcycle dealer you are quoting? Here is the best advice I can give you - Find another dealer to ask questions, not to mention to have your bike worked on...

Gas is well covered above. Chain lube, it's a matter of preference, a wide range of options covered above as well. FWIW, I've used everything from WD-40 to chain wax and now that Teflon lubricant Mac is "pushing". Everything mentioned above works, it's just a question of required frequency of "lubrication" and cleaning. I like Teflon best so far, if for no other reason that it doesn't leave a messy goo behind and there is little to clean.

Tires do not have any sort on wax on them. They do have a slick layer of rubber that needs to be heat-cycled and abraded to give you the normal performance. Take it easy on the first few miles, build some heat into the tires and and start to lean it progressively more as you go on that first ride. My tires are usually fully broken in in about 10 miles of twisty roads or one lap of the racetrack.

For long term storage I use STA-BIL. Pretty easy to follow the instructions on the bottle and have not had an issue with the bike I use it on. Make sure the tank is topped off, you want to leave as little air gap as possible, that's where condensation and rust start to build up.

Happy holidays,

Gustavo
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-25-2008, 08:20 AM
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Must agree with Gustavo (as I usually do) about the dealer. It doesn't sound like he knows much about bikes. I find there is an interesting paradox to motorcycling: the decision to get a bike is mostly emotional, and yet to engage in the pasttime without getting hurt one has to be rational, i.e., to think about safety and proper bike setup and maintainance, etc. I think a good dealer addresses both sides of the equation. Sadly, some dealers are only interested in the sale, not the long term success of the transaction.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-25-2008, 02:49 PM
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I've been using PJ1 Blue chainlube for a few months and it's awesome. It thickens up after you spray it on so it doesn't fling all over the place.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-25-2008, 05:53 PM
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1. 87 is fine, more is not better.

2. An O-ring chain maybe internally lubricated and sealed, but you still need some kind of lube between the chain rollers and the sprocket teeth.

3. Mold release compound not wax. I say don't even worry about it. Think about it. If there is mold release compound on the side of the tire, say, towards the edge, the only way to wear it off is to get the tire to contact the pavement at that point. So, you have to lean it over to get that off. Just be smooth and not abrupt.

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-25-2008, 09:51 PM
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There are a lot of good chain lubes out there but WD 40 is not one of them. IMHO

It contains solvents and will dissolve any lubricants it comes in contact with. The

only beneficial affect is cleaning the contaminates off the chain. If that is what you

want to do , it'll do a great job of that.

Mike
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gorilla View Post
2) WD-40. Cheap, available everywhere, easy to clean, and it freaks the holy hell out of the "Motorcycle Specific Chain Lube Only" zealots.


FTW!
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 10:03 AM
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Maybe in SoCal . Very little rain!!................... Mike
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 10:45 AM
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wd 40 gas stabilizer

I learned this from a locksmith. no ware on a can of WD-40 will you see the word lubricate. It's a cleaner. Also, Your lawnmower has a carb with jets that are huge in comparison to the jets of a fuel injected engine. go with the Stable. it lasts up to 3 months.
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-27-2008, 08:50 AM
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1) Gas, run 87. I believe you should not run 90+.
2) Chain, use 90W (80-140) grease. Wipe it on with a rag. It also cleans the chain.
3) You could run the bike completely dry. If not, use a gas stabilizer.

From Wikipedia - The octane rating is a measure of the resistance of gasoline and other fuels to detonation (engine knocking) in spark-ignition internal combustion engines. High-performance engines typically have higher compression ratios and are therefore more prone to detonation, so they require higher octane fuel. A lower-performance engine will not generally perform better with high-octane fuel, since the compression ratio is fixed by the engine design.
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-27-2008, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Oh goodie another chain lube thread

WD-40 just seems like a bad idea. It's very thin penetrating oil and won't hang around long, seems like you'd need to spray it constantly. Great for cleaning up though.

I have a can of sticky grease that foams as it comes out. Works fine but very gooey to clean up. I won't be sorry when it's gone.

I'm going to try that Teflon stuff next.
... and I have 46,000 kms on my A18 KLR 650 on the ORIGINAL chain, and ALL I use on it (AND for my Versys) is (slowww drum roll )

WD40

Ed
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-28-2008, 03:21 PM
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[QUOTE=charly;21355] I just picked up my new bike last week and here is some advice from my dealer. I appreciate any comments:

Since you appreciate any comments, I'll add mine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charly View Post
1) I know there has been a lot of discussion about this in these forums but my dealer recommended premium fuel. Many people here suggest regular. Maybe I should just use mid grade and hope it's okay.
Excellent dealer suggestion. I don't suppose the guy explained why the dealer advice contradicts the manual? I've tried different grades of fuel to determine any mpg differences, which is the only reason I would use premium in a bike for which the ENGINEERS and DESIGNERS say that regular is fine. Finding no better mileage, and not currently being a motorcycle engineer, I use plain 'ole regular.


Quote:
Originally Posted by charly View Post
2) He says to lube the chain with wax rather than oil.
There is no single controlling authority on this matter, except for my opinion. Here's the right way....use whatever you want, or use nothing at all. Clean it or keep it dirty. Whenever someone offers an opinion on how to maintain your chain, simply agree with that opinion and then continue doing it your way.

There are only two rules that most everyone does agree on: 1. Watch the chain slack and adjust when necessary, and 2. Replace both sprockets and chain at the same time whenever one, two, or all three appear to need replacement (except for temp gearing mods.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by charly View Post
3) He says that the tires are covered with a film of wax as part of the manufacturing process and to ride the bike around a parking lot for awhile to scuff them up.
Yeah! He got one right. Any dealer who can get one piece of advice right while giving three pieces has earned his right to a profit, a decent standard of living, and our collective admiration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charly View Post
Also, the bike is going to be stored in sub-zero temperatures for a few months so I'll take the battery out and bring it inside. The gas tank is about half full. Should I mix some fuel stabilizer up with some gas in a gas can, slosh it around, and then pour it into the Versys right to the top? Gas doesn't seem to degrade much during cold weather (I never do anything with my lawn mower to winterize it and it always starts first pull in the spring) and I really don't want to add another chemical to the gas if it's not needed.

Thanks
I don't know much about cold weather, but gas degrades quickly these days regardless of temps. Stabil is good stuff, whether it's for the bike, lawnmower, or chainsaw.

If you don't use stabil, just drain the tank, and offer it back to your dealer to put into his bike as a show of appreciation for all he has done for you.

BTW, did your "dealer" tell you that stuff, or was it your salesguy who doesn't know motorcycles but desperately wants to provide a sense of good service??

Enjoy the scoot.


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