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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:48 am 
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Adventure Rider
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Joined: Fri May 02, 2014 11:12 am
Posts: 1469
Location: San Francisco
Purchased in April 2014, I've just now gotten to about 7500 miles (73XX, actually) - and since I have a longish trip this weekend, I wanted to get to these maintenance tasks before I put on the miles.

The Tune Up
The 7500 mile tune is a standard tune up (bolt check, oil change, air filter cleaning, inspections o plenty etc.), but included in the tasks are spark plug replacement and valve inspection/adjustment as needed. So I started there.

I Sprayed pb blaster and heated up the magneto cover with a heat gun on high for a couple minutes. Turned the bolt to the right slightly, then backed it off - no drama. Hit the spark plug journals with compressed air and pulled the outermost plug. pulled covers and checked valves:
Intake: in spec
exhaust: on the tight end of spec. Adjusted to middle of spec

Then I pulled the other plug and inspected: outer plug looked brown paper bag and measured JUST within spec (worn). Inner plug looked a bit whiter but not lean. Also measured JUST within spec, maybe a hair tighter.

A couple months back I noticed that Procycle was offering a new spark plug option - the E3 spark plug.
http://www.procycle.us/bikepages/dr650.html#spark-plugs-dr650
From the website:
Quote:
The E3 plugs have an almost circular electrode supported on three sides that creates a flame more toward the piston and the bulk of the air/fuel mixture giving it faster flame growth and a larger flame kernel providing better throttle response. The multiple sharp edges to the circular sharp edge of the center electrode prevent the 'arc welding' type of material depletion of other electrode plugs giving this plug an extremely long life. See image of E3 electrode below.

Image

Popped in the new plugs, re-installed refreshed air filter, and buttoned the 'ol girl up.

Now to go heat up the oil, I took a ~100 mile road ride.
:Roost:

Warning! call bullshit all you want, but these plugs really made a huge difference. What follows is as far as I can summize, the truth, and NOT some type of placebo effect from new kit. I wouldn't believe it if i read it either, but they truly made a difference.

Immediately upon starting the bike, I noticed something was different - Usually the bike takes ~5 minutes to get warm enough to take off choke - but after running for 30 seconds the revs were already increasing, so I DUMPED the choke lever. I didn't massage the throttle to keep her running, i just closed the choke plunger. And what do you know, with 30 seconds of warm up time, the bike was already idling responsibly like I had been riding her all afternoon.

On the road, I noticed decel popping seemed reduced (no big loud ones with big throttle chops). I also noticed the bike seems more lively or eager - like the revs pick up quicker. It felt stronger.

When I got home from my ride, I thought I'd better check the mixture since some of these changes (quieter decel popping) can sometimes be affected with a richer mixture. I stopped the motor and dialed the mixture screw in to count the turns. Then I put it back to that setting and started her up, then went through the standard adjustment. I dialed the screw inwards and within a ~1/4 turn the bike was running lean. I dialed it out until I got rich, then back in to lean, doing it all by feel. Once lean, I back it out until the idle just smoothed out. Now I killed the bike to count the turns in.... I got the same mixture I started with! Checked the RPM - still hanging out at roughly 1500 rpm, as it had been set months ago.

I racked my brain trying to think of what else it could be. The air filter wasn't really that dirty (I clean after dirt rides), the exhaust valves were tighter, but within spec so shouldn't make a difference that I loosened them a touch. No other changes were made to intake or exhaust tracks. The plug boots got a wipe down, but, again, weren't that dirty to begin with. So as far as I can tell, this is all in the plug.

The bike just runs better. I would recommend these plugs to anyone on their next 7500k interval tune (or sooner if you want to just treat yourself), as I do believe they have made a difference. :good:



PS - I DON'T have any type of affiliation to these products or to procycle, just a happy customer.


Last edited by Tombo on Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:00 am 
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Adventure Rider
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:55 am
Posts: 659
Location: Toledo, Ohio
Cool your happy with them :2_thumbsup: but now I see the great plug debate coming up, as if oil wasn't enough :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:12 pm 
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Adventure Rider
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Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:14 pm
Posts: 1127
Location: Chicagoland, IL
Great review. I'll probably be getting a set when I replace my plugs. :good:

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:12 pm 
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SuperMoto Dude
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Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:07 pm
Posts: 413
Location: Greeneville, Tennessee South Easts Black hole of no return....
I just used some random plugs i had in the garage.

I think one was for my truck and the other was for my mower.

Seems to run fine for the most part. It sounds like a Briggs once she gets hot, but runs great....

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:06 pm 
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Trail Rider
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Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:26 pm
Posts: 94
Location: Northants, England, UK.
That has to be the most obstructive electrode design I've ever seen.

Multi earth electrode plugs were popular when ignition systems improved to the point that electride wear became a problem.

The downside is the inhibition of flame propagation. All that earth electrode is going to do an awful lot of quenching.

An iridium plug with needle point centre electrode is AFAIK the current best available config. Life in autos up to and beyond 40,000 miles. 10k and 7 years in my DR650, almost fit and forget.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:51 pm 
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Single Tracker
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Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:02 pm
Posts: 258
Location: Small Island in Puget Sound, WA
IMO fine point Iridium's are the Gold Standard. Many years ago I played with multi electrode plugs. They never lived up to the hype and worked no better, (maybe not as well) as stock. Just my $0.02.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:41 am 
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Single Tracker
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Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:55 pm
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Location: MASS
My guess is that new standard plugs would have given the same improvement. I replaced the plug (same Champion) in my Toro snow blower getting it ready for this winter, with old plug in it took 6-7 pulls to start and had some sputtering while running, with new plug it starts 1-2 pulls and no longer sputters. I know, apples to oranges, jes sayin'.

Had a '79 BMW R100RS many years back, if it started taking more than 3-4 revs. to fire I knew it was time to replace the plugs, with new plugs...1-2 revs to fire.

The only vehicle that I've replaced plugs in that seemed to make no difference was my '07 Honda Pilot. Replaced the factory iridiums @ 90,000 miles, the car started and ran the same and the fuel mileage stayed the same. The old plugs still looked great too, I'm betting they would have gone another 50,000 miles.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:40 am 
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Adventure Rider
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Joined: Fri May 02, 2014 11:12 am
Posts: 1469
Location: San Francisco
SV650racer wrote:
My guess is that new standard plugs would have given the same improvement. I replaced the plug (same Champion) in my Toro snow blower getting it ready for this winter, with old plug in it took 6-7 pulls to start and had some sputtering while running, with new plug it starts 1-2 pulls and no longer sputters. I know, apples to oranges, jes sayin'.


Good point taken. However, even when the bike was brand new (no miles on it) with good fuel adjustment on the stock bst, it always took the same amount of time to warm up. Changing to tm40 at about 3k miles, and warm-up time stayed the same. This is the first time I observed a change.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 2:15 am 
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Adventure Rider
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Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 7:40 pm
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Location: BC Canada
The ONE thing that may be making the difference in the OP's setup, is that these new plugs may be PERFECTLY indexed...(totally by chance)

http://dodgeram.org/tech/gas/spark_plug ... dexing.htm

...otherwise yeah, I can't see how such an obstructive ground can benefit....

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:04 am 
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Adventure Rider
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Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:50 am
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Location: Michigan
Typically an improved spark will have its biggest benefit be a smoother idle. Charge density is very low, and the air fuel mix is least ambitious to burn. The other is if heavy load is trying to 'put out the fire', a better spark can keep things going where a weak plug could be misfiring.

As for quicker warmup time, that's something I've never heard that contributed to spark plugs. I do know 1/4 turn on the fuel screw on my bike is the difference between almost no choke needed and the thing having a hesitation for 5 minutes. Fuel type change? Winter fuel is higher RVP and has more light ends than summer fuel. I have seen this give richer CO readings at light loads due to more complete combustion.

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Mostly stock, for now....


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