which ones last the longest? which ones make the best spark? which ones do you use and why? and why change them out every 10,000 miles or so when there are some that last 100,000 miles?
I use to spend the money for “splitfire” plugs long ago before I found out their “advantage” wears off too quickly. I’ve stuck with platinum plugs since then, but Amercian has me considering the new iridium plugs. I’ve heard those are what are being used that give 100k miles before time up.which ones last the longest? which ones make the best spark? which ones do you use and why? and why change them out every 10,000 miles or so when there are some that last 100,000 miles?
As a rule, a properly gapped spark plug will burn hot without being too wide at high rpm to cause a misfire. Ironically, the manufacturer's recommended spark plug gap is not optimal! The recommended spark plug gap is designed to be adequate for cold starting and smooth driving on a vehicle that is in need of an engine tune up. If you drive your bike normally and tune the engine regularly, you can increase the spark plug gap by about 0.010" for better performance and better fuel economy. However, if you drive at full throttle most of the time, you should reduce the gap by about 0.010" for better performance. The spark plug itself, and the residue that forms on it, would indicate whether the gap is too big or too small. A light brownish discoloration of the tip of to porcelain insulator indicates the proper operation of the spark plugs with the gap being ideal or close to ideal for the most recent engine speeds. That being said, to check the spark plug gap at high engine speeds, you'd need to run at full throttle and immediately turn the ignition off without allowing the engine to idle. But ultimately, you'd need to run your car on a dynamometer to find the best spark plug gap, and the right ignition timing for your enginebonus question: is it better to gap a spark plug towards the higher end of the recommended range or lower end?
Thanks for that info Bill. Appreciate you chiming in here with some valuable information. I think I’ll be springing for some iridium plugs here at my next service change. ?https://cartreatments.com/copper-vs-iridium-vs-platinum-vs-double-platinum-spark-plugs/
You might think that all spark plugs are the same. After all, the general purpose of a spark plug is to generate an electric current for igniting the compressed air and fuel in the combustion chamber. However, there are some differences when it comes to spark plugs. Certain ones are more efficient and perform better than others. It all depends on what type of spark plugs your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends.
All spark plugs have a central electrode and a side electrode. These electrodes were traditionally made of copper but now they are being manufactured from materials like iridium and platinum. Also, the center electrodes are being made much smaller than they used to be. This means that less voltage will be required to generate the electric current for the combustion chamber.
Overall, you will find the four main types of spark plugs are copper spark plugs, iridium spark plugs, platinum spark plugs, and double platinum spark plugs. Some have better uses than others, depending on the vehicle that you’re driving. Below you will find more details on these spark plugs and what they are good for.
Copper Spark Plugs
This spark plug is mostly made from solid copper. Its central electrode is made from nickel alloy and it has the largest diameter of all the other spark plugs. This means it’ll need more voltage to generate an electric current. Nickel alloy is a material that is soft and not very durable. This means it won’t last long. It is best to use copper spark plugs in older vehicles which didn’t have high electrical needs.
Pros – Better for older vehicles built before 1980.
Cons – They don’t last as long; Requires more voltage.
Iridium Spark Plugs
Iridium spark plugs will last the longest. Iridium is a metal that is harder and more durable than platinum. Although you will have to pay more money for iridium spark plugs, you will get what you pay for. These spark plugs have a small center electrode which means they use less voltage to generate the electric current. That is why many car manufacturers are starting to recommend iridium spark plugs for their vehicles. If you already have these spark plugs installed and you need new ones, do not downgrade to platinum or copper because they will diminish the performance of your vehicle.
Pros – Harder than platinum; Lasts the Longest; Uses Less Voltage
Cons – Expensive
Platinum Spark Plugs
A platinum spark plug is similar to a copper spark plug, except that its center electrode has a platinum disc which is welded to its tip area. The copper spark plug only has nickel alloy material in this area. As a result, the platinum spark plug is more durable and can last as many as 100,000 miles. These plugs also generate more heat, which means that debris buildup will be reduced. If you have a new car with an electronic distributor ignition system, platinum spark plugs are recommended.
Pros – Lasts longer than copper; Reduces debris buildup
Cons – Not the strongest spark plug on the market
Double Platinum Spark Plugs
If your distributor ignition system is a waste spark system, then double platinum spark plugs are recommended. This system causes the spark plugs to fire twice, once in the compression stroke’s cylinder and the other in the exhaust stroke’s cylinder. The spark for the latter gets wasted because there is no ignition there. The benefit of the waste spark system is that it is more reliable and isn’t affected by environmental conditions such as rain or dampness.
Pros – Recommended for Waste Spark Systems; Reliable
Cons – Not recommended for electronic DIS
A lot is going to depend on the material the plugs threads are made out of and the material the head is made out of so there are times when using the proper anti-seize compound is a huge benefit so that you don't end up with a galled thread and end up stripping out the threads in the head.
Copper core plugs are not bad plugs they just won't last as long, in fact if you are running a high performance engine i.e. one that is built for high performance a copper core plug will provide the best performance for that application.Very informative American. So I replaced my plugs recently with the manuals recommended NGK/DPR8EA-9 which apparently has a copper core. I didn't pay much attention to the differences between types of plugs. I've been getting some intermittent missing usually while accelerating. I now assume the plugs are the culprit.
-2010 Raider with about 12K miles.As for your miss, sure you could have a bad spark plug or your might even have a bad spark plug wire, also depending on how old the motorcycle is you may even have an ignition coil starting to break down.
Also an item that most people will over look, make sure the battery terminals are tight.
You can check your spark plug wires with an ohm meter if they are showing a lot of resistance then you have a bad plug wire. The coil can be harder to track down, does the miss occur when the engine is at full operating temperature and after being run for a while, that could indicated the coil is over heating and breaking down.
I would first start off by checking the plug wires with an ohm meter and go from there as well as making sure the battery terminals are tight.