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Old 01-12-2013, 07:07 PM   #46
BikePilot
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Moding done badly can definitely make a machine less reliable. Modding done well alters reliability in a predictable way, sometimes for the better, sometimes worse. If you have to ask a question like the title of this thread, don't touch the bike!
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:13 PM   #47
HandKPhil
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Engineering as performance art

Ever notice how those engineers at NASA used to obsess about a repair or modification to a satellite? They'd build mock ups on the ground months before the Shuttle ever lifted off. They'd run simulations until the cows came home, then they'd run a few more. They'd lay their tools out, and plan their repair strategy step by step, until everyone knew their role and could perform it in their sleep.

My strategy when modding one of my bikes is eerily similar

When a mod comes together as planned, and is successful, I get a pretty deep feeling of satisfaction. In short, I think a lot of us mod because it engages our intellect, gives us a creative outlet, and makes the whole motorcycling experience richer. All that, and it's also guilt-free and non-fattening.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:51 PM   #48
peman
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oh i remember modifying my rm125 when i was 18, thought advancing the timing made if go like hell, till the piston melted, still got the piston to this day, i learnt a lot that day.

on the other hand on my pe175, i made the rear shocks longer, which made it a lot better.

with my friend he built a rmx from ebay parts and for a few months now can not get spark from it,
which i beleave is from not knowing the bike well enough, for eg. is that the right coil or flywheel
and is driving him mad!

does mixing and matching different models make the bike better? eg from drum to disc!
or does it make it a pain to order parts when you aren't sure what front forks are on there.
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:56 AM   #49
modeselector
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Once you leave the pavement, a stock bike's weakness can be substantial and modding becomes necessary for your safety as well as enjoyment.

Sure would not want to get a leg or other body part pinned under the stock can of a 690, or have front fork failure on a stock F650, or taco a rim on a stock F800 or....point is~EPA, manufacturers accountants, etc. often cheapen the experience and suck the life out our bikes.

I say put some life back into your moto and pimp that ride for safety's sake!
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:08 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modeselector View Post
... pimp that ride for safety's sake!
People buying new exhausts for their bikes rarely do so "for safety". You want safety - make sure there is a spark arrestor in the can and keep it there. Wrap the stock can in tape, etc. (No, I wouldn't either... ;) )

Yes, the stock can gets hot, but non-stock get hot, too. Not AS hot, but the also don't have a cat inside them, so that poses other issues.

And sometimes with the new can comes drivability issues. Meaning a new intake, and computer reprogramming and bingo, you're on the slope before you know it.

It's a tough call IMO. Regarding bolt on mods like crash bars, skid plates, etc., I say load them on - protection for the bike and rider are critical. :)

I've built so many cars and truck sover the years that I don't really care for deeper mods today. Buy the right tool for the job, etc...realizing there is a cost barrier for some with this approach.

And having said all that, you'll still find times when you should mod engines, etc. The KLR Doohickey comes to mind - weak part from the factory that should be upgraded.

Ultimately, it all remains a personal choice. :) Which is why bikes are so friggin' cool.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:19 PM   #51
modeselector
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Originally Posted by SportsGuy View Post
People buying new exhausts for their bikes rarely do so "for safety".
I could imagine a guy showing his wife the "cook an egg on a 690" video and telling her he must get something "cooler"...ya know for the sake of safety.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:31 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by modeselector View Post
I could imagine a guy showing his wife the "cook an egg on a 690" video and telling her he must get something "cooler"...ya know for the sake of safety.
I have a 690R and I left my exhaust stock. It hasn't melted anything people like you claim is the big risk. Doesn't even seem that hot to me. Certainly not on the scale you preach.

I left the exhaust on my Yam Wr250R stock too. It's quieter and retains the bike's perfect fueling.

My mods are mostly for comfort, travel or safety. The safety part for me was a Spot tracker and steering damper.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:51 PM   #53
modeselector
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Certainly not on the scale you preach.
I'm having a bit of fun with my comments.

But on your serious note, the SPOT should be kept on your person vs. bike in the event you have a get off to better your chances summoning help. Done preaching.

modeselector screwed with this post 01-13-2013 at 08:01 PM
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:25 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modeselector View Post
I'm having a bit of fun with my comments.

But on your serious note, the SPOT should be kept on your person vs. bike in the event you have a get off to better your chances summoning help. Done preaching.
I'm as interested in the steering damper. On the highway I feel like a Dakar rider on sand...or like I'm riding a puppy's arse...in the strictly platonic sense...
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:51 AM   #55
jon_l
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Originally Posted by milzispete View Post
I think manufacturers are just taking the piss out of us. if you buy a round the world adventure bike it shouldn't need much doing to it surely !!!

You wouldn't spend 16k on a Yamaha R1 and then just eat Sh!t and spend money to make it go above 100mph now would you.
Wankers
An R1 is essentially a race bike, and the rules and requirements to successfully produce that sort of machine are well-defined by racing rules, and well-honed by racing success.

The problem is that there is no such thing as a "round the world adventure bike". If there were, and if there was a market to warrant producing such a thing, perhaps some manufacturer would offer one.

Of course, this being ADVRider, there would have to be many different versions of the round the world adventure bike, since there would be many different requirements. Some impossible combination of fast, light, stable, huge-fuel range, infrequent service needs with minimal parts & specialized tools, reliable as a hammer, good off-road, good on-road, good 2-up, hauls freight like a camel, tolerates poor quality fuel, common tire sizes & type, etc., etc.

So for each of us, a "round the world adventure bike" might be some specialized version of:

KLR
DR650
R1200GS(A)
500 EX-C
690 Enduro
990 Enduro
WR250R
V-Strom 650
TU250
Super Sherpa

Mission impossible, of course but it sure is fun reading about other folks mods and bikes and trips here on ADVRider!
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:13 AM   #56
RyanR
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Other than taking the cover off to check valve clearances, changing the oil, cleaning my air filter and generally keeping things lubed up I haven't done anything to my CRF250x. Hell it's still plugged up with the emission crap on it. And I'm over 11,000 miles on mine with nary an issue. And that's on a motor that eats valves every 20 hours according to the collective wisdom of the internet.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:29 AM   #57
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In the past I've done the usual power-up mods on my bikes. With my 610 Husky, it worked out great, using the factory power-up kit and Leo Vince. On my carbed bikes, it hasn't gone as smooth...fine tuning jetting can be a pain. So this time around, when I picked up my 2011 WR250X, I decided to keep it stock. If there was a factory power up kit for it (like the Husky), I would probably do it, but since there's not, I'm not going to mess around with trying to fine tune it. I'm putting my money into things like a Renazco seat, windscreen, better tires, and some bling to make it my own. So far it's worked out great. I think sometimes it is better just to leave well enough alone.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:29 AM   #58
Bud Tugly
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Excellent thread, and many good points made on both sides of the issue. Hey, if you use a dual-purpose bike mostly on the street and rarely venture off-road other than a few rides down a smooth gravel or dirt road then you'd probably be satisfied with them as delivered. IMO that's the way most buyers actually treat them and the manufacturers set them up accordingly.

If you're more demanding of off-road performance then you have to tinker with things like suspension and engine response more than the "average" buyer. It's pretty much the way most SUVs are rarely driven off-road except for a small select group of owners.

As others have said, there's no simple answer as to whether that tinkering affects reliability. Mostly depends on if you know what you're doing and use quality components.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:42 AM   #59
what broke now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandKPhil View Post
Ever notice how those engineers at NASA used to obsess about a repair or modification to a satellite? They'd build mock ups on the ground months before the Shuttle ever lifted off. They'd run simulations until the cows came home, then they'd run a few more. They'd lay their tools out, and plan their repair strategy step by step, until everyone knew their role and could perform it in their sleep.

My strategy when modding one of my bikes is eerily similar

When a mod comes together as planned, and is successful, I get a pretty deep feeling of satisfaction. In short, I think a lot of us mod because it engages our intellect, gives us a creative outlet, and makes the whole motorcycling experience richer. All that, and it's also guilt-free and non-fattening.
Plus, if we proceed to improve our mounts and fail dramatically, we don't create space junk. Pretty hard to part out a satellite on ebay
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:52 AM   #60
TNC
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Originally Posted by RyanR View Post
Other than taking the cover off to check valve clearances, changing the oil, cleaning my air filter and generally keeping things lubed up I haven't done anything to my CRF250x. Hell it's still plugged up with the emission crap on it. And I'm over 11,000 miles on mine with nary an issue. And that's on a motor that eats valves every 20 hours according to the collective wisdom of the internet.
CRF250X...how much power does that bike make in bone stock condition? I might be able to live with that compared to what my KLX250S came with.

There's no right or wrong to this thread except to say that there's no truth to the blanket statement that modding always makes a bike less reliable. As always...exceptions, exceptions, exceptions. Some are scared to mod their bikes, some are fiscally unwilling to mod their bikes, some bikes don't necessarily need to be modded, and some get the same satisfaction out of modding their bikes as they do riding them. None of those positions are necessarily absolutely right or wrong. If they were, we'd all probably be riding the same brand and type of bike. What are the odds of that happening?
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