Have I opened a can of worms?

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by tsp45acp, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. tsp45acp

    tsp45acp Active Member

    296
    26
    0
    Back in April I did the 50K service and had the new Hydraulic cam tensioners installed (supposed to never need to be replaced) and had SE 255's installed ($2100).

    Thurs morning while leaving for Myrtle Beach Bike Week, my check engine light and battery light came on....4 hours and $800 later (regulator, stator and battery replaced).

    Three weeks ago, bike developed a small miss and gas mileage went from 36-38 mpg down to 29.6 mpg.....PC3 went bad....SE Super Tuner installed ($707), (Bike came with Rinehart True Duels, K&N ac, and PC3 w/usb).

    Recently (last week) I noticed a "slight valve tap" sounding noise....HD techs say it's an exhaust leak and I'll drop it off this week.

    I'm not made of $$$$, but it's starting to feel this way. Almost $4K since April and I'm sure this will put me over.

    Did I open up a can of worms by opening up the motor at 48K and installing cams? Bike was bought 05/10 with 34K on the speedo, I put 17K+ on it my first year and to date now has 55,800. Will this never ending money pit start being enjoyable again (meaning-will I just get to ride and only spend $$ on gas?).

    What more do I have to look forward to replacing/changing/fixing in the near future?

    I REALLY want a 2012 RG Ultra, but it's still a little out of my $$$ range. Thanks, Tracy
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    25,464
    108
    44
    Tracy

    I've said this a few times about engine upgrades on these bikes. Once the bike leaves the factory, it's the best it will get (with the exception of adding fuel with a tuner and stage 1 with slipons) .
    So many times I see guys that have done engine upgrades come back with problems like you are experiencing. If you think about the quality of the engine assembly in the factory and that HD is responsible for the longevity of that engine , then you consider when an engine upgrade is done in the field and how many times a problem develops on that engine. It's a rather common occurrence. I attribute this to not only the skill levels of mechanics in dealerships but also to the fact that they are working on a flat rate schedule where the more work they do in a day, the more money they make in their check. I think you can see where I'm going with this.

    My bikes have all stayed stock with the exception of fuelers , stage 1 and slipons and never had a problem with any of them.
     
  3. Big D 2002 RK

    Big D 2002 RK Member

    18
    11
    0
    Wow! I just asked about upgrades on my bike , and now I see your post Glider. It really makes me wonder now.
     
  4. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    25,464
    108
    44
    Ask around to guys that have done upgrades on their bikes what problems they had after the upgrade and hopefully they will answer you honestly. Increasing output will show any weak links in the engine or drive train.
    On the newer 96 engines especially, it's not uncommon to do upgrades that increase power output and end up with a crank problem because of the increase. The cranks were not up to par on these engines when upgrades were done unless the engine was disassembled and the crank trued and welded.
    The older cranks prior to the 96 engines were more forgiving as far as upgrades and didn't have the problems associated with the newer engines.
     
  5. R_W_B

    R_W_B Senior Member

    2,425
    0
    23

    Well admittedly they are inherent stress factors when upgrading performance items on a used engine. But at 50K you could have developed these items anyhow. Besides the stator replacement is not tied to any of your upgrades and could have been caused by running a bad battery.

    If you like the bike, you are way ahead of buying a new $20,000 Ultra.
     
  6. tsp45acp

    tsp45acp Active Member

    296
    26
    0
    I like the bike, but after going to Daytona Biketoberfest last year, and MB this year, it has some shortcomings that a LOT of $$$ can fix some, and no amount of $$$ can fix others.

    $$$ that CAN fix probs are : #1- I want tunes. Not just put on speakers and plug in an IPOD. I want REAL radio/weather/traffic alerts.

    #2-I have a RK Classic leather tourpak, but it doesn't lock. I can get a Ultra Classic tourpak for BIG $$$$. This Police bike has what I was told was the first gen ABS. It takes up half the right side saddle bag and the only things that fit inside is my small tool pouch, and my rain gear/boot gators. Lockable storage is pretty much relegated to the left side only saddle bag.

    And what can't be changed is the fact that I just LOVE the shark nose fairing of the RG.


    Glider,
    I've heard you say "don't open it up unless you have to" before, but what happens when you're doing the 50K service and are told that the cam tensioners need to be replaced? This is what happened. I had anticipated this and researched cams before hand, but wasn't going to do anything unless they had to take things apart.

    Is there anything else I should anticipate? I figure I'll keep it until net winter/late spring and try to "buy up" then. Tracy
     
  7. tsp45acp

    tsp45acp Active Member

    296
    26
    0
    I've considered that maybe I'm just in the "time for things to start breaking and needing to replace things" just seems like a lot of $$$$$ things in a short period of time. Just curious if by the things that have gone bad, is there other things that generally wear out in the same time frame. If there are, I'd consider just doing a "bulk" fix one time and be done with it instead of every month having to put my baby to sleep in a strange surrounding (though not an unknown surrounding LOL). Tracy
     
  8. R_W_B

    R_W_B Senior Member

    2,425
    0
    23
    Oh the other hand if you are not DIY and get all you repair and service work done at the dealer or if you don't still have a warranty program with decent coverage, . . . . then trading it in on a new one becomes more cost effective due to the extremely high cost of motorcycle maintence and repair fees.

    I'm still driving a 1988 Chevy pickup, I fix what I can, take the rest to the shop, but at 158,000 plus miles I still only spend about $650 a yr in costs (excluding tires, oil and gas.) So I'm beating the cost of a vehicle on that deal for some years. And on my bike, I bought it used and it's all I can afford in any case. If it breaks and I can't afford to fix it, then it's gonna sit. I can't buy a new one.

    If you like the bike sit down and write it all out on two separate sheets of paper to compare you costs to a new purchase.
     
  9. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    25,464
    108
    44
    I think you'll find that the tensioners will be in need of replacement before 50K but that is something that must be done from a maintenance standpoint. Just be sure to have a competent mechanic do the job. My focus was on engine upgrades and not maintenance. Installing a higher lift cam and things of this sort will put more stress on the engine and could bring about problems. These engines are not necessarily over built from the beginning .
     
  10. RibEye

    RibEye Junior Member Contributor

    973
    48
    45
    What is your opinion of putting in some light cams like Andrews 21 or 26, when doing the tensioners?

    Enjoy,
    Rich P