Skidmarks: Diagnosis Psychosis

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By Gabe Ets-Hokin

There is nothing more hateful than bad advice.

—Sophocles

Here’s the problem with deciding that one particular make and model of motorcycle is the only one you need for the rest of your life: they get old, develop problems, and at some point you’re pretty much on your own to figure out how to fix them. My 2001 Suzuki SV650 is the best motorcycle ever made, at least according to me, but that’s assuming it runs on both cylinders, which it currently doesn’t.

What is it about old motorcycles? Like cats, as soon as they hit the decade mark, they lose that like-new patina and start developing weird issues. Not only has my cat developed bad breath, he also feels the need to sit on my chest and yawn into my face at three a.m. Dude: if you’re nocturnal, why are you yawning? Similarly, my SV isn’t running right at high rpm, and the reason isn’t obvious. Like the cat, if my 16-year-old SV disappeared tomorrow, almost nobody would notice, but I’m going to try to fix it anyway.

It’s that most elusive of problems, the one disguised as no problem at all. The bike starts fine, idles cleanly, pulls okay and cruises along without a care in the world. But open the throttle to the stop in sixth, and it won’t pull redline, petering out well before the century mark (on a closed-circuit course, with a professional rider aboard, of course, and certainly not on a rainy Wednesday afternoon on the crowded I-580 freeway).

This exploded diagram of a Mikuni carburetor also doubles as Motorcycle.com‘s organizational flowchart, except Sean is the needle and Kevin is the clip (currently 2 grooves from the bottom). Evans is the pilot jet, and depending on day of the week, Tom is either the main jet or mixture …read more

Source:: Skidmarks: Diagnosis Psychosis

      

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