Katana of the Month - January 2008  Erki

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Mechanics 101 Can't get it to run right? Find a trick to add HP?
From the first oil change to completely rebuilding the engine,
this is the place to talk about the heart of the beast!

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Old 11-06-2007, 11:18 AM   #11
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KOTM Dec 2007


In order to make life a little easier when working on the bike, I suspend a small gas tank above the bike and run the appropriate length of fuel line to the carbs. This allows you to fire up the bike without having the obstruction of the big bulky gas tank.

I used a windshield washer fluid kit that I got for $8.00 at princess auto.

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Old 11-07-2007, 12:11 AM   #12
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Before my Pill bull stand I didn't like raising the front off the ground from a car jack on the header. SO..... I cut a precise cut 2x4 to bind the rear wheel in between itself and the center stand (so the tire can't roll, and the center stand can't collapse). Set some cloth or foam over the rim. On the rim, center a 3 or 4' 2x4 (it wont' be stable). Perpendicular to that, I set 2 8' 2x6's. And make sure they are identically apart, so that the 3 or 4' 2x4 is balanced on the rim. Then, I take my lawn tractor, and drive up the 2x6's. It pulls the back of the bike down, and I can work on my forks with no problem, and I don't have to call someone to help. It's completely unsafe, and I suggest it to no one. But, It works awesomely in a pinch I wish I had pictures, it's quite the site. You only have to drive the lawn tractor about 6 or 8 inches up the 2x6's to get the bike to rest on the rear wheel (you don't want to smash the rear tire into the ground, just get the front off the pavement. Redneck jack at it's best Thought I would share. My wife had some very wierd questions when it came to getting the front wheel off. Such as, "What in the heck does the John Deere have to do with getting your front tire replaced?". I simply said, "Honey, take the girls shopping." All worked out perfectly

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Old 02-06-2008, 06:15 PM   #13
Join Date: Mar 2007
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When I was working on my front end, I pulled my car up behind the bike and put the bike on the center stand so the back tire was touching the bumper.
I then hooked a ratchet strap between the grab handle and bumper of the car to pull the back end down.
The added benefit is the bike will NOT move forward to come off the centerstand... unless of course you cause the car to move too..
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Old 02-07-2008, 03:03 PM   #14
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I keep the local pharmacy afloat here with all my scripts. this means i have dozens of empty script bottles, with cover, of all sizes. I peel the labels off, put in whatever i want to keep together, and sharpie a note onto bottle as to what it is or where it goes.
99% of the questions asked here can be answered by a 2 minute search in the service manual. Get a service manual, USE IT.
1990 Suzuki GSX750F Katana
'53 Ford F250 pickumuptruck
Lookin for a new Enduro project

Last edited by DumbLuck; 02-07-2008 at 03:04 PM.. Reason: speeling
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:06 AM   #15
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Setting Drive Chain Slack:

We all know that going by the adjust marks on the swingarm isn't perfect. To make sure you've aligned the rear wheel when adjusting the chain..try this...

1. First verify your chain adjuster bolts and the SAME length. (I did this when I pulled the swingarm out for maintenance)

2. Now loosen the rear wheel.

3. Next loosen the chain adjusters until the nut is FLUSH with the end of the stud / bolt.

4. Now tighten each one the SAME amount of turns until you have the chain slack you want. I use a box end wrench and start it on the nut pointing straight up or straight down (depending on which side you're working on) and I make 1/2 turns at time...straight up, CW to straight down = 1/2 turn. Pull the wrench, go back to the straight up position and do it again. I like doing 1 full turn on each side until I'm close w/ the adjustment, then 1/2 turns on each side. Going back and forth.

Maybe everyone does this..I don't know. But my buddy brought over his high $$$$ "laser chain alignment" doo-hicky..telling me how everyone's rear wheel is always crooked etc. Mine was dead on.

He checked the swingarm adjustment marks, and they were off by almost a full mark to each side. So he told me I got "lucky"...then I told him how I did it.
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:53 AM   #16
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I count the turns also, only difference is that first I push the wheel all the way "in", so the slack is maximum. Then I slightly tighten the adjustment nuts until it starts to tighten the chain, but not quite yet. Thats the point where I start to count the turns. Usually I tighten both by 1/2 turn until I get almost the right slack and then fine tune, also by turning each the same amount. This should be quite precise too, the rear axle holes in swingarm should be positioned precisely.
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:32 AM   #17
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When you break an allen wrench, do NOT throw away the pieces. Chuck the long end into your reversable, rechargable drill, and you have a tool to quickly run out or run down allen bolts during disassembly/reassembly.

Those racks of little clear plastic drawers, sold to keep fasteners, etc. in are not the best way to go. The plastic the drawers are made of is rigid and brittle, and when you take a drawer out to bring to your project, sooner or later you will step on it or drop something on it- thus leaving a hole in you otherwise neat looking rack. Fishing tackle boxes are much better- the clear pastic ones with several compartments (sometimes movable dividers) and a hinged lid.) Much less space wasted, unlimited number of compartments (just buy more boxes,) adjustable for long items. Maybe a tad expensive, but they last for years. Easy to transport or carry, hold up to errant feet and hammers. Stack on one another to take up far less shelf space. I label them on BOTH ends with a Sharpie as to what's in each box- Metric fasteners/SAE fasteners, wood screws, etc. Works for a specific project, too, as when the project is done, you can use the tackle box for the NEXT project- and I always find there are more and more fasteners and small parts needing to be organized on my workshop shelf...

A good source of free, heavy-gauge plastic zip-lock bags: befriend someone who works in the bike department of REI or a bicycle shop. The gloves they sell come to them in heavier-gauge zip lock bags, with a single hole punched in them to keep them from puffing up due to altitude changes during shipping. The gloves are almost always hung on the store pegs after being taken out of the bags. Altho not ideal for BB's (which can fall out of that hole) they are great for slightly larger parts. I have things like hose clamps in one, zip ties in another, etc.
"Stevie B" Boudreaux

I ride: '01 Triumph Sprint ST

Projects: Honda CB650 Bobber projects I, II and III

Take care of: 81 Honda CM400,72 Suzuki GT550

Watch over/advise on: 84 Honda Nighthawk 700S (now my son's bike)

For sale, or soon to be: 89 Katana 1100, 84 Honda V45 Magna, 95 Yamaha SECA II, 99 GSXR600, 95 ZX-6, 84 Kaw. KZ700, 01 Bandit 1200, 74 CB360.
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:15 PM   #18
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If you have a stuck allen or torx, use the cutoff allens or torx screw driver and tap the tool with a hammer lightly while trying to turn. Usually this will break it lose without busting knuckles or bolts. Don't hit too hard though or you can break the head off the bolt/screw.
Ride it like you stole it!

1994 Suzuki Katana 750
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:34 AM   #19
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When putting the exhaust seals and locks back in, slather them with grease. This helps them stick in the holes. It'll all burn off when you first fire up the bike.
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:52 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by ATOMonkey View Post
When putting the exhaust seals and locks back in, slather them with grease. This helps them stick in the holes. It'll all burn off when you first fire up the bike.
Or just take a small dab of the antiseize that you're putting on the exhaust bolts (you did use it right? lol) on each seal.
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