R1200GS 54K service
Tuesday, May 4, 2010 [54,039 miles]
It’s GS service time (a 6K service) and as with all services, I start by checking for any logged faults using my GS-911. No faults found in any of engine management, ABS, central chassis control, or the instrument console. Time to do the valves.
I pulled the valve covers before removing the plugs. No particular reason, just habbit. This time one of the valve cover inner gaskets didn’t fall out. I had to reach in after it. The second image shows how much I have to loosen the crash bars on the right hand side to get the valve cover off. That’s required because of a low side last year. Some day I may try to bend the bars so this won’t be required.
I pulled the main plugs to make it easier to bump the engine to TDC for the valve check. The plugs look OK and are less than the maximum allowed gap, but not by much. There due to be changed next service.
The left side was almost perfect. I tweaked the bottom exhaust lash a touch so it would match that of the top exhaust. The right side needed tweaking on all four adjusters. They were ever so slightly loose with the intake a bit looser than the exhaust.
I installed the gaskets and the right valve cover, then tightened the crash bar mounting bolts back to spec. So far so good. Alas, I can’t say the same for the left side.
I use a palm ratchet with the valve cover to minimise over-torque problems. Even doing it this way I noticed immediately that the top left valve coverscrew wasn’t seating. It never came close to its 10 Nm specified torque. I took the cover back off and looked. The screw is fine, but the threads in the head were not in the best of shape. I chased them with a tap. It helped, but I still don’t think I got close to 10 Nm when installing the valve cover. It will hold for now, but I think there is a heli-coil in my future.
I checked off other inspection items on my checklist [pdf]. All brake pads have lots of life (the rear are practically new) and the front rotors are good, too. Interesting… the wear on the inside (toward the axle) part of the rotor is greater than the wear on the outside (away from the axle) on the same radial. Typical measurement was 4.36 mm inside and 4.39 mm outside. The middle was closer to the outside value.
The battery is on the charger, something I do every service. Tomorrow I’ll get the bike up to temperature before adjusting throttle bodies and changing the oil.
Friday, May 7, 2010 [54,051 miles]
I wasn’t feeling all that great Wednesday (hay fever attack) and then had baby sitting duty with my wife for our grandson on Thursday. So today Itook the bike out for a warm-up loop before adjusting the throttle and changimng the oil.
I checked the idle balance before getting some help from the GS-911. The idle was off enough to make me doubt my valve setting skills. So I checked again, this time using the GS-911 to lock the idle actuators. It walks you through the steps, telling you when to start the bike, etc.
After turning off the actuators the idle was better. I tweaked the throttle cables to get good balance at about 1700-1800 RPM. Some folks use 4000 RPM when checking the cables. The RepROM calls for 1400-1800 RPM. It’s what I use.
The bike is plenty warm for an oil change. I’ve learned to use two containers: one to capture old oil then another to catch the oil filter. It minimizes the oil splash when I drop the hot filter into the hot oil.
After removing the filter I cleaned out the well where it sits and not surprisingly found the old filter gasket. I make a point to check for this exact thing. While on my back on the garage floor I also cleaned off the bottom of the engine, a bit.
I filled the new filter with oil and wiped off the gasket with an oily finger before installing it on the bike. Why that oil? Because it was on sale last time I wet to buy some. I use about 3 1/2 quarts which puts the oil level at the middle of the window. The remaining half a quart will go in the bike over the next 6K miles (unless something changes). That is about what the bike usesat this stage of its life.
Start the bike. It sounds terrible for about 5 seconds, then starts purring. I let it run for about 30 seconds then shut it down and look for any oil leaks around the filter or drain plug. Nothing. Good.
Last things to do are put the bash plate back on the bike, clean up, put the tools away, and note the service date and mileage in the users manual. The bike is ready for use.