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Old 11-27-2011, 03:56 PM   #16
bmwloco
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If you have air in the tires, a good engine, and you are stable enough to keep it up at slow speeds... it should run for as long as you want to hang onto the bars.

Having ridden through Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, San Francisco, Boston for years - you have no worries.

Have a great parade.
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Old 11-27-2011, 04:59 PM   #17
Tripletreat
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slow movin' on an airhead

I've worried about this issue when stuck in traffic in summer too. I once had the engine start making a really weird sound, but it recovered and I never found any damage to anything. I would recommend, however, after long periods of hot running that you treat the bike to fresh oil.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:12 PM   #18
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If you stall it, you'll be screwed. The battery will be close to flat sooner than you think.
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:10 AM   #19
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You poor people, aren't you allowed to lane split? That's the reason I commute on my bike. It's a bit of a grey area here, but unless you're being an idiot, it's usually ok, got waved to go on by a cop not long ago.

Anyway, who is going to chase you when the road is packed?
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:25 AM   #20
backdrifter OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kokopelli View Post
You poor people, aren't you allowed to lane split? That's the reason I commute on my bike. It's a bit of a grey area here, but unless you're being an idiot, it's usually ok, got waved to go on by a cop not long ago.

Anyway, who is going to chase you when the road is packed?
Go back and read my original post - this is for a parade. I guess I could lane split, but I don't think the floats in front of me would like that!
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:47 AM   #21
norton73
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All I can say is after working at a multi line dealership in the DC area, the week after "The Ride to the Wall" we sold a lot of clutches
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:55 AM   #22
Steve G.
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Thanks for all of the responses. I would have a support truck just in front of or behind me. I could always have them carry a few bottles of water for me in case I needed to dump them on the cylinders. I think I'll plan on giving it a shot.



Hi Stagehand, yes, I'm thinking about next year. I would have loved to participate this year, but unfortunately all I have so far is a shiny frame and fork!

You don't want to be dumping cold water on ANY hot engine,,,,warpage, cracking,,,,heck, I've even heard of valve guides coming loose if that's done.
My thoughts, it's an air cooled engine, and when an air cooled engine does not get moving air, engine cooling falls directly to the oil as a secondary cooling median. That's why they have oil coolers on airhead GS's. So,,,really good oil, and a cooler will help tremendously if you plan on doing alot of summer parades.

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Old 11-28-2011, 07:02 AM   #23
robtg
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Prolonged idling with hot thin oil is really tough on cam and followers.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:08 AM   #24
Beater
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From a different thread:

The PO (My Uncle) said he was driving to my house on a 95F day in stop and go traffic in Atlanta. Halfway to my house (stopped) the bike had trouble idling, it seemed to stutter. Then the stuttering seemed to increase and become evident at higher RPM's. He then turned around to head home. Once home he let her cool, and then tried to restart her. Needless to say she would turn over, but the bike never chugged or ignited.

I immediately suspected the ICM. That silly glue on the back had given up the ghost. I had a ICM from an 81 R100 on the shelf ... and even though they are different part numbers (and look a bit different), they had the same plug, so I gave it a shot. She fired right up ... immediately.

Conclusion: His 91 R100GS (with an oil cooler) was sitting in stop and go traffic in Atlanta for ~45 minutes and the outside temperature was 95F. The 'engine' didn't overheat ... but the ignition system did. Something similar happened to bgoodsoil on his trip to Mexico.

These bikes are made to ride ... through the air ... not idle at a standstill.
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:31 AM   #25
Kokopelli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backdrifter View Post
Go back and read my original post - this is for a parade. I guess I could lane split, but I don't think the floats in front of me would like that!
Yep, sorry I shouldn't have chimed in :-) Other people have brought up the stuck in traffic scenarios.

Airheads have been used as police bikes for many years. So they must have been looking for something durable. I would say, if the parade is fast enough that you can keep moving in first gear, without having to mess with the clutch, you'll be fine.
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:51 PM   #26
disston
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I got stuck one day on I 95 north of Washington DC. It was a 95* day and traffic was moving but ever so slow. I ended up taking the apron. Only did 15 or 20 mph on the apron but I was passing everybody else. This went on for several miles. I was just freaking out with it idling for too long. Might have been 15 or 20 minutes before I speeded up on the apron. The bike wanted to die before this. It had a hard time staying at idle. I had to rev the throttle to keep it running. It was not a happy engine. Maybe if it was a 50* day I would have done better but I don't think it would have been a lot better. I think I would have felt the same eventually. I don't like to idle the engine this way. It is an R90/6. It is Air Cooled.

I notice the Harley guys don't seem to have problems with idling in parades? Do they?

Charlie
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:03 PM   #27
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My dad's airheads have done rather poorly in DC traffic. IIRC the stator plate or diode board or something of that nature tended to melt on his R100RT (I think its an RT - an airhead guru I'm not) and the coil, I think, didn't like hot running on his ('69?) R60 (or was it an R65?). A vented front body peice on the R100 and aftermarket diode board seemed to help, but he also moved away from DC and its traffic at about the time those parts went on I think.

A co-worker has an 80s era naked 850cc airhead of some sort and it's spent its whole life in tight cities (NYC and DC) without issue.

So from that sample size of 3 I'd guess that later model, smaller displacement, naked airheads are the way to go in the city. The naked 850 best, at least in the city. It was fairly tall for good visibility, but felt lighter and was narrower than the RT.
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:54 PM   #28
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I got caught on my former R75/5 once in Philly summer traffic for about 45 minutes at around 90 degrees. It was between exits with no shoulder (Schuylkill for those from the area). Started to stumble at idle. I pulled off as soon as it was possible, let it cool down, and then took side streets.

I'm sure the bike will survive, but between the clutch, the electronics, and the lack of cooling, a parade is subjecting the bike to some avoidable abuse (IMHO). You are perhaps abusing the rider as well Better to go ride it near its limits. This way if something breaks, you are at least having fun
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