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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I wanted to get new plugs in the bike. There had been a few indicators that things were amiss. It wasn't firing up as fast as I thought it should and I figured a battery and plugs would probably help. Your know, this is the extent of my diagnostic capabilities - WAG. However, I ordered and installed a new battery. Instant improvement and I learned a little something. I had a hard time getting the bolts in the battery to engage the nuts under the battery connectors. To help out, I bent some strips of thin cardboard so they had a little 'spring' in them. There was enough lift to help me engage the bolts more easily. Then I read reviews on installing plugs. To quote Dirty Harry: Man has got to know his limitations. I had a mobile mechanic come over and install new plugs in Sparky yesterday. Even with the proper tool and know-how, it took him a while and it was obvious I made a good choice with my limited mechanical abilities. Hey, if you want something taken apart, I am all over it, but it you want it reassembled properly, call Lesblank or one of the other gifted wrench-men on the site.

I'm not sure the plugs had ever been changed before. They were gummed up on the inside and sported rust and 'a rich patina' on the outside. I found Iridium plugs that were a good price online. I put Iridium plug in one of our SUVs and have noticed differences in power and mileage. Or maybe I just want to believe I feel it. Anyway...

When the work was all done I took Sparky for a short run. 70 degrees. New plugs. New battery. A splash of Seafoam. Two-week old Bridgestone Excedra radial tires. The chance to encounter a few new bugs. Great way to spend a little time on a Saturday afternoon. And props to those of you who can do things like changing out the plugs. I could do it in my '69 Nova with the straight-6 but it is a bit more complicated on the Strat.

Side Note: The mechanic who did the work for me is a sport-bike rider. He lived in Chicago and moved to Louisiana a few years ago. Told me he did the 1200 mile trip in 7 hours. He showed me some pictures of his Kawasaki Z900R, He told me has 'tweaked' it a bit. Crazy stuff!
 

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Plugs can be a bit problematic on newer bikes. Usually have to remove tank, plastics, etc.
My dual sport bike falls in that category.
I put the iridiums in my bike also and asked members here on input.
Starts much better and idles smooth.
Think I will switch to iridium plugs in my dual sport and 4 wheeler also.
 

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One thing life has taught me is if i can't do it my self i can't afford to do it. I have learned working on electric on the house, re plumbed the whole house my self. Drywall ceramic tile not much i haven't done. Never had a bike in the shop. I do have a great mechanic for the cars for stuff i can't do my self.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
One thing life has taught me is if i can't do it my self i can't afford to do it. I have learned working on electric on the house, re plumbed the whole house my self. Drywall ceramic tile not much i haven't done. Never had a bike in the shop. I do have a great mechanic for the cars for stuff i can't do my self.
I mentioned this before, I have great admiration for those of you who can. My father never met a job he couldn't tackle. I just leave a trail of chaos, blood, and expletives. There are some things I can take care of, but that is a short list. More power to you!
 

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Side Note: The mechanic who did the work for me is a sport-bike rider. He lived in Chicago and moved to Louisiana a few years ago. Told me he did the 1200 mile trip in 7 hours. He showed me some pictures of his Kawasaki Z900R, He told me has 'tweaked' it a bit. Crazy stuff!
DUDE! That is an average of 171 miles per hour. That is not only crazy! That's rather dumb in my opinion.

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One thing life has taught me is if i can't do it my self i can't afford to do it. I have learned working on electric on the house, re plumbed the whole house my self. Drywall ceramic tile not much i haven't done. Never had a bike in the shop. I do have a great mechanic for the cars for stuff i can't do my self.
I am like you. I know I have the ability just about anything.
However, as I've gotten older. I have learned that time is money. I value my free time. So, if I can pay some to fix something correctly & faster then I can. I do it.
Eventhough it bothers the bejeezus out of me to pay someone for a job I can do.

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I am like you. I know I have the ability just about anything.
However, as I've gotten older. I have learned that time is money. I value my free time. So, if I can pay some to fix something correctly & faster then I can. I do it.
Eventhough it bothers the bejeezus out of me to pay someone for a job I can do.

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You have to realize when you are better off paying to have it done. Like an exhaust on the car. Years ago they only lasted 2 years. Now rarely.
 

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When I was 12 , I told my dad I wanted to race motorcycles....He said ok, he would buy a yz125 Yamaha...but he would not pay for a Mechanic to keep it running...so I have been fixing my own rides ever since....By the time I joined the Navy , I was racing 125 and 250 class in MX and riding 250 trials....I was an apprentice machinist...enlisted in the Navy as a machinist and at 18 was working on Naval Submarine Nuclear Power Plants....I hated it...I am 6'5" working on subs....so at 21 , I re-enlist and changed to Aviation Electronics...because of this I am not afraid to screw up any machine, sometimes it takes me a while to get it working again....but I will try anything once.
 

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If i was real good at geography I think milwaukee to to orlando is 1100 miles. I would think Chicago to Louisiana is more like - 800 Miles so we have to redo our math. If i was real worried i would look it up but i am in a lazy mood.
Edited: Looked it up 950 miles
 

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I did this calculating...
Chicago IL to Lafayette, LA. is 950 (roughly)
In 7 hours that is 135 mph.
Chicago IL to Shreveport, La is 850 (roughly) in 7 hours is 121 mph.

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CONGRATS to you for getting a mechanic if you were not sure you could do it yourself

you can do hundreds of dollars of damage to the bike doing something as simple as changing the sparkplugs or changing the oil, simply by screwing the plugs in too hard with a big wrench or the drain plug, and stipping out the aluminum threads in the heads or engine case

if you feel inclinded to wrench on your bike next time, get a torque wrench first and have someone show you how to use it properly.

That wont stop you from making other mistakes, but it will stop you from the most common cause of problems on motorcycles and other aluminum engine vehicles - stripped threads

there is nothing wrong with paying a good mechanic to maintain and repair your ride - some of us are life time experienced do-it-yourself guys, and some people are musicians and artists and teachers and programmers... and have never picked up a wrench in their lives

its all good
 

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.

Side Note: The mechanic who did the work for me is a sport-bike rider. He lived in Chicago and moved to Louisiana a few years ago. Told me he did the 1200 mile trip in 7 hours. He showed me some pictures of his Kawasaki Z900R, He told me has 'tweaked' it a bit. Crazy stuff!
Maybe he rode his bike to the airport and hopped a plane ?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
CONGRATS to you for getting a mechanic if you were not sure you could do it yourself

you can do hundreds of dollars of damage to the bike doing something as simple as changing the sparkplugs or changing the oil, simply by screwing the plugs in too hard with a big wrench or the drain plug, and stipping out the aluminum threads in the heads or engine case

if you feel inclinded to wrench on your bike next time, get a torque wrench first and have someone show you how to use it properly.

That wont stop you from making other mistakes, but it will stop you from the most common cause of problems on motorcycles and other aluminum engine vehicles - stripped threads

there is nothing wrong with paying a good mechanic to maintain and repair your ride - some of us are life time experienced do-it-yourself guys, and some people are musicians and artists and teachers and programmers... and have never picked up a wrench in their lives

its all good
Thanks. The Stratoliner is a more complex bike than my Suzuki Volusia was. I could change the plugs and oil, pop in a new air filter, etc. I didn't have to disconnect any gas lines or unplug wires. Made it less intimidating. And yes, an aluminum frame makes a difference. I noticed early in my time on this forum there were a lot of mentions of torque wrenches and torque specifications. You only have to explain something to me about 37 times before I figure out there is significance to those discussions. I was all proud of my bad-self for putting new risers on Sparky, but compared to a lot of you, that one little upgrade pales in comparison to your expertise.
 

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Thanks. The Stratoliner is a more complex bike than my Suzuki Volusia was. I could change the plugs and oil, pop in a new air filter, etc. I didn't have to disconnect any gas lines or unplug wires. Made it less intimidating. And yes, an aluminum frame makes a difference. I noticed early in my time on this forum there were a lot of mentions of torque wrenches and torque specifications. You only have to explain something to me about 37 times before I figure out there is significance to those discussions. I was all proud of my bad-self for putting new risers on Sparky, but compared to a lot of you, that one little upgrade pales in comparison to your expertise.
91740
 

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putting risers on the handlebars is a serious job

having them come loose would be terrible

and you have to make sure the cables still all route so you can turn the steering stop to stop.... without pulling a one tight
 

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Discussion Starter #19
putting risers on the handlebars is a serious job

having them come loose would be terrible

and you have to make sure the cables still all route so you can turn the steering stop to stop.... without pulling a one tight
Zip ties and duct tape, baby! Among the greatest inventions ever. Those handlebars will never move. 🤪

The routing of the cables was my biggest concern, but my Rivco risers worked out very well. The cables are about at their max, but everything works as it should.
 

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I had one come loose on my bike. It seems a previous owner had stripped one of the bolts and had a helicoil put in. It came apart. I was only going about 30 when I noticed it but I was 50 miles from home. I didn't have the right tools so I stopped at a hardware store and picked up a set of wrenches. It would still bite a little but always came loose a little later. Stopped every 20 minutes to tighten it on the way home. Scary ride.
 
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