August 13, 2008

Motorcycle Maintenance

One of the joys of owning a motorcycle is maintaining it. Really. They are much simpler machines than most cars and mine in particular makes use of some good old fashioned American engineering. I needed to change the air filter and spark plug on my 2006 Buell Blast so with the service manual on screen, parts and tools in hand, I set about it. Now one tool I didn't have prior to this was a torque wrench. Because of the aluminum heads on my bike it was strongly recommended to use such a wrench to prevent over tightening. So I got one.

The most unusual aspect of changing the spark plug was the need to move the gas tank to gain the best access. Overall that task was easy and I found a way to not have to drain the tank first. With the tank out of the way the top of the cylinder head is exposed for visual inspection. I did notice the PCV valve fit very loosely within the grommet. Apparently this is a minor issue and well known to other Buellers. I removed the spark plug and took pictures so that I could show others who can tell how well, or not so well, the engine is burning its fuel. I replaced the old plug with a brand new iridium plug.

I replaced the air filter with a K & N brand washable type. Installing it is very simple. Hopefully my engine will breathe a little easier as the old filter seemed pretty dirty. Atmospheric conditions here in Colorado mean filters can get clogged fast so having one that can be cleaned easily will save the money of buying multiple paper filters. Besides, I also got some K & N decals which prove just how cool I am, you know.

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