techhelp header V2

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Dead screen.

BMW1600Q: My current bike is a six-cylinder BMW 1600GT, which I’ve had the pleasure of owning for over two years. It’s always ‘looked’ after my wife and me, and we’ve covered many kilometers with zero problems, until now.

Recently the screen doesn’t go up and down as it used to. I’ve checked all the fuses and cleaned and oiled the linkages, as far as I can get into the top of the faring that is.

I’ve heard horror stories about replacing the electric motor that drives it, and other parts, that can cost over 20k. So we’re hoping you could possibly pass on some advice on where to look or try to repair things before I take it to BMW and lose my bank account, as we all know?

A: First question, I bet your battery went flat? It’s very common when this happens on this bike and therefore needs to be re-calibrated by a BMW dealer. When the battery goes flat the on-board computer loses its ‘memory’ so to speak and needs to be reset.

Or you can bring it to as hey have the equipment now to get into any BMWs ‘brain’, and you’ll be happy to know it won’t cost much either.

Re: V-Strom 250 with bigger front sprocket

V STROM250Hello Bill,

I have a question about your review of the Suzuki V-Strom 250 which you fitted with a larger front chain sprocket.  The larger front sprocket would make the final gearing taller, meaning that for any given true speed, the engine (and therefore the gearbox & speedo sensor) would turn slower meaning the indicated speed would be closer to the real speed.  Your figures show the speedo error gets worse with the bigger front sprocket.  Could you have some of the figures in the wrong places?

I'm particularly interested in your article because I  have friends and family all over Australia and I'm looking for a bike with long legs and economy rather than fast acceleration.

I look forward to your reply, Regards Robin.


Hi Robin

Figures are correct as we used an accurate Racelogic Performance Box device.

The 'gap' is about the same but the bike did go faster and therefore revs less at any given speed. I would certainly change the front sprocket. Also, we're at 1500m altitude, which saps power to around 18%, so I'm sure at sea-level the bike will certainly need the gearing to be higher.

Fuel consumption will also be better at any given rpm, which is excellent to start with...

Full system?

2019 Suzuki GSX R1000Q: I’ve just bought a 2019 Suzuki GSX-R1000 with only 4,500km on the clocks, and I must say it’s without doubt the best super bike I’ve ever owned and ridden?

It does have that massive stock silencer on it though, so that has to go. So my question is short and simple – do I opt for a full system, of some sort, or just a silencer replacement, which is quick and easy to do, not to mention much cheaper?

Looking forward to your answer and keep up the good work from the best ‘site in SA.

A: Unless you’re thinking of racing, and very good at it, we wouldn’t recommend fitting a very expensive full system. The stock headers are so efficient that it’s very difficult to improve power replacing them. The only benefit is a bit of weight saving.

Obviously the cat’ comes out, which again, surprisingly, has a minimal power advantage. You’ll also have to re-map the ECU to get the most from the new full exhaust, which again becomes expensive.

So if you’re a brisk road rider just fit a performance silencer, preferably from a recognised name (like Yoshimura), and off you go, with a far better sound as well.

Good timing?

katana 1100Q: Hi guys. I own a 1982 Suzuki Katana 1100 that I use for road riding but now I fancy a spot of classic racing, which seems to be growing by the week.

I’ve fitted a performance exhaust; air filters and sorted out the jetting and the bike runs well. The suspension has been improved and I’m running sticky Metzeler tyres.

All well and good but my question is about the ignition timing. I have the stock electronic ignition and was wondering where to set the timing for optimum performance? I’ve heard many settings from stock (32-degrees), to 38-degrees on full advance, so I thought I’d ask you guys to see if you can shed any light on my strobe gun?

Many thanks for a great, funny and interesting web site as well…

Steve     Cape Town.

A: It’s good to hear you have a ‘strobe gun’ because it’s the best way to set the timing on the GSX derived engine. People do tend to go too far with ignition advance and these engines don’t really like it.

From past experience we’ve found 34-degrees of full advance works the best and keeps the engine running cooler. As a guideline set the timing mark 1mm forward when on full advance, then lock it up and everything will run perfectly.










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