While there are far fewer modern bikes in the MotoPreserve shop, the couple that we have need basic maintenance just like the vintage bikes do. The problem is, on a bike like the Kawasaki Versys, even simple maintenance becomes a complicated task, requiring removal of almost each part, just to get to the damn spark plugs!
Kawasaki Versys: nothing ‘simple’ on this bike…
The design of modern bikes is compact, and while that may seem like a positive, when hurling down the road, it creates a nightmare for basic maintenance. Simply changing spark plugs and cleaning the air filter becomes a half-day affair, requiring dismantling the bike.
At 7500 miles, the manual for the Kawasaki Versys dictates a basic tune-up, which consists of some new Iridium plugs, and cleaning the air filter. Having read several posts about this procedure on the Versys forum, I knew that I was in for a treat. Clearly this bike is no 1970’s Honda CB, so I began the process of removing the fuel tank, to get to the innards, where the plugs and air filter reside. Heeding warning about the possibility of snapping the fuel pump hose (which requires replacement of the $250 pump!), I completely disconnected all electrical connections, and the fuel pump hose, so that the tank could be placed aside as the repairs were done.
The air box reveals itself quickly after removing the tank, with the air cleaner element tucked down inside. After removal of the filter, I sprayed it with K&N cleaner, then rinsed it with water, making sure to have the flow travel in the direction that air does, while on the bike. Setting it aside to dry, I moved on to the plugs. On the Kawasaki Versys, the spark plugs are seated on top of the engine block, like on most bikes. But the problem is, they are set so far forward, that the frame’s cross bar sits in the way of getting any ratchet extension on it. After finagling with it for a bit, I finally stumbled on the use of a flex-ratchet, and got the deep socket inside the opening to the plug. What a pain in the ass!
Couple quick turns, and the use of a magnetic arm, and the plugs were out. This simple procedure required the use of more tools than it took me to rebuild a vintage Honda top-end! But in the end, the tune-up is done, and the bike should be running a bit better now. Maybe even some better gas mileage?
Next up, a common mod to the throttle bodies, to balance the two bodies, and send better info to the IAP (inlet air pressure sensor).