Wednesday, July 19, 2006

New Air Filter Does Wonders

Of everything that I replaced on the motorcycle, I let the air filter go. It's not a part that you can just pick up at the local auto parts store, so it has to be mail ordered, and I just never got around to it. Besides, the one that came with the bike looked clean enough to me!

Well, on Friday, I decided to finally clean the filter (which uses a reusable foam element). As soon as I applied any pressure to the foam with my fingers, it just crumbled! Uh, oh!

That motivated me to order a new one (cheap replacement, nothing fancy), which arrived last night. I oiled it and installed it this morning, and then rode into work.

WOW! What a difference that made. I could instantly tell that the engine sounded different, I got even more horsepower (which there was already more than I was ever used to), and the idle smoothed out. The new filter even fixed a flat spot/stutter in the revs between 2000 and 3500 RPMs! It's like I have a totally different bike, just by installing a $20 part.

Now the only remaining defect is something that developed about 200 miles ago: leaky fork oil seals. I guess I didn't polish up the forks well enough, and the light rust/pitting that was present was enough to roughen the seal. They're leaky now, but due to how involved the repair is, I will likely wait until after the riding season.