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Old 09-18-2013, 03:57 AM   #1
roadapple OP
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What a difference a set of plugs can make

I replaced my original OEM Bosch plugs on my 06 R12GS last week along with a new air cleaner element. The bike has 23k miles on it (yeah, I hear the boos and hisses) -- I have two bikes that get equal time. Before doing the change, I didn't think the bike was running as good as it should -- not bad I thought, but not idling as smoothly as I remembered and maybe a bit more sluggish on acceleration. After I browsed some spark plug threads, I decided to try the NGK DCPR8EIX iridiums. Supposedly the OEM plugs are made to last a long time and supposedly 23K miles is within their lifespan. The OEM's looked pretty good coming out -- a light toasty tan color. Long story short, I'm amazed at the difference in the way the bike runs now. I honestly don't think the bike has performed as well even when it was new -- the idle is flawless and the acceleration is more brisk. Maybe new OEM plugs would have made the same difference -- who knows? What I do know is that I'll be changing plugs more often in the future. The iridiums need changing more often but it's a small price to pay for such a noticeable difference.
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:52 AM   #2
STUFF2C
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Maybe after 50k miles I need to consider changing mine. thanks for the tip!n reminder
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:21 AM   #3
genka
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I replaced mine at about 40k, and didn't notice any difference. Regular spark plug maintenance was very important on the old bikes with points ignition. Modern electronic ignition systems can compensate for wider gap or fouled electrodes. You probably experience a placebo effect.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadapple View Post
The iridiums need changing more often but it's a small price to pay for such a noticeable difference.
I had never specifically looked into how long Iridium spark plugs last until I read this, I had just assumed that they last about as long (or longer) as Platinum plugs which is around 100k miles in automotive applications.
Found out that isn't necessarily the case, some Iridium plugs are designed to last over 100k miles and others just 30 thousand, which would be much less in the GS motor.
Thanks for that.
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:07 PM   #5
def
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Maybe some of the improvement was the filter?
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:35 PM   #6
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Where do people buy their plugs?
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by johnd04 View Post
Where do people buy their plugs?

Same place they buy everything else:
Costco or Ebay.
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by def View Post
Maybe some of the improvement was the filter?
Could have been, unfortunately not a controlled test. I bought the plugs on ebay, one of the least expensive listings with buy it now -- $7.50 each including shipping.
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:49 PM   #9
roadapple OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genka View Post
I replaced mine at about 40k, and didn't notice any difference. Regular spark plug maintenance was very important on the old bikes with points ignition. Modern electronic ignition systems can compensate for wider gap or fouled electrodes. You probably experience a placebo effect.
No. Definitely not placebo effect, the bike is running noticeably better. But as stated, the new air filter may be the reason -- or a combination of the two.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:15 PM   #10
def
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadapple View Post
No. Definitely not placebo effect, the bike is running noticeably better. But as stated, the new air filter may be the reason -- or a combination of the two.
Why don't you re-install the old plugs and see what happens. Spark plugs are like oil...most of us change waaaaaaay too often and then imagine some miraculous performance gain. Me? I have never seen any gain other than easier starting when installing new spark plugs.

As for oil, the only thing I ever saw from an oil change was my lawn mower sounded a bit quieter after I put the used Mobil1 15w-50 from my boxer into it.
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:01 PM   #11
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From what I know, modern electronic ignition vehicles don't use up spark plugs unless something's wrong with them. My Nissan Altima ran just fine on its first set of spark plugs for 300,000 miles. Never got a valve adjustment either. I did change the oil though every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:20 AM   #12
roadapple OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by def View Post
Why don't you re-install the old plugs and see what happens. Spark plugs are like oil...most of us change waaaaaaay too often and then imagine some miraculous performance gain. Me? I have never seen any gain other than easier starting when installing new spark plugs.
Yes, that would be the way to check it out, but I've got waaaaaaaay too many irons in the fire to reinstall old plugs and air cleaner separately and repeat with new ones. All I know for sure is the bike is running better and I'm happy with that. It's also possible that just one of my old plugs may have had a problem.
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:35 PM   #13
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Similar experience to ROADAPPLE

Just changed the plugs on my '08 GSA. The bike has just under 69K on it and
the plugs about 23.5K miles.

I wasn't in any hurry to change out the plugs, but the bike seemed to be
a bit down on top-end power and the idle was a little rough. I had just
checked the valves, rocker arm clearances and balanced the TBs at 66K,
so I didn't think those were the culprits.

I ordered a new set of plugs ( NGK DCPR8EKP ) and installed them. These are
the same plugs I had in the bike. The electrodes on the old plugs looked
somewhat worn and the left secondary plug looked darker brown than the
other three plugs and slightly oily when I removed it. After replacing all the
plugs and connecting the wires, I ran the engine with one plug disconnected
at a time and all 4 seemed to be firing.

Like ROADAPPLE, I noticed an immediate smoother idle and a noticeable
power difference. The shifting has also been smoother. I am riding down to
TN from NH and back ( two-up ) at the end of the week. At this point, I think
the plug change is going to pay off.
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:44 PM   #14
JetSpeed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaRider View Post

Like ROADAPPLE, I noticed an immediate smoother idle and a noticeable
power difference. The shifting has also been smoother. I am riding down to
TN from NH and back ( two-up ) at the end of the week. At this point, I think
the plug change is going to pay off.

No way!
You can see from the previous posts that it's a waste of time to change your engine oil or spark plugs.
It's got to be all in your head.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:30 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by JetSpeed View Post
No way!
You can see from the previous posts that it's a waste of time to change your engine oil or spark plugs[...]
...but it's never too late to brush up on your reading skills.
I said I did change my oil.

BMWs probably also need valve adjustment once in a while. For the Nissan on the other hand there is no factory specified valve adjustment interval.
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