Spark Plugs and Valve Clearances

Spark Plugs

2015-04-07 11.44.30From asteroids, you know

Polo Motorrad had them in stock so Tiger now has three beautiful iridium spark plugs.  I saved a fortune (18.00) by riding a superior triple instead of a four.  Apparently, even BMW boxer twins need four because they are twin plug heads.  This is schadenfreude.

I can’t wait to ride the bike and imagine I can feel a difference.

Valve Clearances

Valve clearance found to be 'not tight.'  They can be as loose as they like (in my book). Valve clearance found to be ‘not tight.’ They can be as loose as they like (in my book).

The trouble with changing the spark plugs is that the process takes you so close to the cam cover that only an idiot would not bother checking the valve clearances. Despite being an idiot, I checked the valve clearances.

Checking them is one thing but adjusting them is another.  To check them, you need a feeler gauge and enough daring-do to delve as far as I have.  To adjust them, you need a fabled special tool that no one has ever seen, or you have to remove the cams.  That makes me nervous just saying it.  I’ve done it twice (valve clearance adjustment) but that was when I was young and fearless.

So it was with some trepidation that I checked each of the clearances.  They were all over the place, no two the same, but none of them were tight.  So that’s the end of the story and there’s no need to pursue the matter any further.

2015-04-07 12.02.54
Mirror shows Woman in Black standing behind me as I take the picture. This is all I need.

You lot: Were any of them too loose?

Me: No.

You lot: Really?

Me: I didn’t check.  As long as they are not tight, it doesn’t matter.  Too loose will reduce power (and increase torque?) but do no engine damage so I’m actually being nice to the old girl.

You lot: You did half a job.

Me: None of them were tight.

Tiger Maintenance/preparation

2015-04-06 14.12.34

Have that Tiger tank. Not so clever now you’re on my balcony.

No chance of the new old master cylinder arriving till tomorrow so I’m going to get on with the following:

  • Change coolant
  • Increase coolant pressure release from 1.1 to 1.2 bar
    • The expansion tank is constantly empty.  This used to happen on my GPZ900R back in the 1870s and I cured it by upping the pressure release.  Let’s hope it doesn’t cause a catastrophic fluid release instead.
  • Get Scott oiler working
  • Check spark plugs
    • Actually, I’ll be very tempted to replace them with iridium ones, anyway.  There are many reasons to do this but, for me, the main reason is that the iridium we use in spark plugs is harvested from asteroids!!!!!
  • Improve wiring of ancillaries

All of this requires me to quickly whip off the fuel tank… (pauses for effect) ha ha ha ha.  Tiger fuel tank is a big plastic Tupperware thing sculpted to fill every available cubic millimetre between the engine and frame.  And around the headstock.  Some of it manages to wheedle its way under the battery holder.


Spark Plugs

2015-04-06 14.49.20
Why do we still carry these things? When was the last time you extracted a spark plug at the roadside? I’m leaving this out of my tool kit from now on.

I can’t get them out.  I’ve been carting the usual box spanner type thing around with me but it’s too short.  Come to think of it, I think there used to be a hefty allen key that acted as an extension.  I need to either find something similar or use a socket set.

Scott Oiler

2015-04-06 14.48.22
Broken Scott oiler part. This one has been on barely ten years. Typical.

Scott oiler has a split piece where the vacuum hose meets the injectors.  They sell Scott oilers at Polo Motorrad, just down the road, so I’ll go there tomorrow, grunt a bit, and thrust it in the guy’s face.  My German isn’t very good.


2015-04-06 14.44.28
Shady character to left is me. Black thing by tank is the airbox. Pan of lentil soup is not relevant.

I had to remove the airbox to get to the sparkplugs.