I's time to change the oil and filter again, so I gather my tools and supplies to get it done. You can't neglect this on any engine, and even though I am no speed demon, sending the RPMs to the redline; this little engine still takes a beating, especially in extremes of weather.
A few oil changes back, I switched to synthetic oil, for no particular reason, except that it is said to be better. I use Mobil 1, but I find that I don't have any in my hoard. A quick on-line search yields the local Advance Auto Parts -- nearby, and the stuff is on sale for $8.99 a quart. That's a good deal. I ride over there to pick up a couple of quarts. After all, I have to get the engine warm to do a proper oil change. Right?
I already have a Kawasaki OEM filter I got with some other parts from Ron Ayers when I did the valve clearance adjustment, so I am good to go.
I remove the lower cowling to get to the drain plug, and see that the cowling is pretty crudded up with road soil. I decide to pull off both lower cowlings to clean them up. Then, I see that the coolant could use a little topping, so I pull off the frame slider and the right center cowling, too. Can't get to the filler cap any other way
I get busy draining the oil, and spinning off the filter. I let it all drain for a few minutes, then put on the new filter, put in the plug with a new sealing washer, and refill the crankcase. That is pretty easy. I top off the coolant, too, and look for any leaks. None obvious. That's good.
The bike hasn't had a bath in a while, so I get out the hose, a bucket of mild detergent, and some brushes and sponges.
This chain cleaning is one of the things I really don't like to do. It is messy, and you can never get it really clean, then it is easy to squirt the lube on the muffler and elsewhere. I use the Kawasaki-recommended kerosene to clean the chain and sprockets, and I use a piece of corrugated to keep it off the rear tire. That solvent does not attack the O-rings in the chain like a more aggressive solvent might. Maybe a shaft-drive bike would be better, but I am not going to trade any time soon, so, I am slave to the chain gang.
Now, to clean up the lower bodywork. I again set to work with some more detergent and a sponge. It takes some elbow grease to get them back to looking good.
Well, while I am at it, that seat cover is smudged up. I have another seat, too, so I get it out and pop it on.
Now we're cooking. The bike looks almost new! I break out the auto body polish and set to work putting the final sheen on the plastic.
Clean as a whistle, I'd say. Inside and out, as a matter of fact. Take a look:
A little vinyl conditioner on the Hippo Hands.
All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-ups.
A thing of mechanical beauty, yes?
That was three weeks ago,
Now, all I need is for the rain to stop and an afternoon off so I can ride this purdy machine!
Correction: I got out to ride for a couple of hours yesterday! I usually don't go riding on Sunday, but I asked my loving wife if I could since I was having withdrawal symptoms for all the rain and lack of time. The bike seemed to run better now that it is clean, and I had a nice run up US-178 to Table Rock Road, up into the park, then back down SC-135 to home.
[Bucky, that "running better" stuff is all in your head.]
I know. But it was nice getting back to it on an almost new looking, clean bike.