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The past few days, I have been caught in a couple of Down Pours!
The manual says clean immediately after riding in the rain.
How critical is this?
What are you opinions?
 

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You have to remove gas tank to change air filter and while your under there you may want to change your plugs if you go to all that hassle. I changed mine at 20k mi. Not a big deal it takes a while there are how to lessons on the forum if you do a search.
 

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I followed the advice of the manual during early ownership. Especially after plowing over an hour through a downpour that had interstate traffic at 35 mph with flashers blazing.

I wrung the filter in a rag and only got oil - no water.

I have since then done numerous amphibious street rides with no ill effect other than a pair of swamped boots.
 

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I don't think rain can cause a huge problem with the filter, but if it gets sucked into the intake you are facing much more serious problems> water doesn't compress. The bike would need to be almost submerged for that to occur. Sounds like lawyer-speak to me.

On the other hand, do not neglect regular air filter cleaning: I just did mine on a used V with 33000 km (21000 miles). Looked like it had never been cleaned, almost plugged with dust. That's gotta hurt power too.

While we're on the subject (not to hijack this thread!) I also decided to do all the routine maintenance and found the clutch cable badly frayed, hanging on by a thread, totally dry. C'mon people, how much time does it take to lube, 15 minutes? Less time than it takes to change out a new one... cheaper too. Or maybe you enjoy the thrill of clutch-less down-shifting to find neutral in heavy traffic?
 
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