Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Oil Change

After this oil change (about 750 km), I will change it again at 1500km and then every 2000km. I have never used synthetic oil before but I am thinking about starting with it at the 2000km oil change. These little engine work hard and hold every little oil ( a little over a quart).

I will not go into the "he said, she said" about using motorcycle grade oil in a motorcycle. I used automotive oil in my earlier motorcycles because I did not know there were motorcycle oils, but I have run nothing but motorcycle oils in the bikes since the early 80's.

I could not find 15w-40 around here and felt 10w-40 was a better compromise than 20w-50. The local m/c dealers use 10w-40 and I like the Castrol brand but any quality brand m/c motor oil will do.

The drain plug is accessed from the bottom through the skid-plate.

This shiny nut by the shifter on the left side of the bike is the oil filter/screen.

The nut comes off , the spring, and you will have to gently pull the screen out. Clean the screen of any metal shavings and insert it back in place, place the spring over the screen and screw the nut back in place. Make sure the O-ring in in the groove on the inside of the nut.

After the drain plug and filter/screen are back in place you can add the oil. I always tighten any plug as I put it in before I go to the next one. That way if it is" in" I know I have tightened it. I also like to keep my oil (unopened) by the engine just in case I get interrupted, I can see the unopened oil and know I have not added it to the engine.

Use the dip stick to check the oil and if your bike has a "sight glass", make sure it falls within the recommended levels.

Changing the oil is very simple and satisfying. These Chinese bikes come from the factory with "shipping oil" and should be changed before they are started for the first time. So if you buy a bike that is shipped unassembled be sure to change the oil. I think when new then at 50km, 150km and 500km would be prudent. Keep changing your oil at least every 500km or until you are comfortable with the condition of the oil. The shaving will be from the "gear-box" and as they decrease the quality of the shifting will increase. It is just the normal break-in.

That might seem like overkill but for less than $20 you can have the peace of mind that you did your very best to safeguard your investment.

I think all that work has earned myself a little ride.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

First mileage check=75.39mpg

I fueled up this morning after a trip to the DMV and six days to work and back.

A total of 283km=175.84 miles. I still was not on reserve but I knew I had to be close.

With the bike on the kick stand, I added fuel level with the bottom of the neck (I was headed to work and knew I would quickly burn some of it.

As you can see, I pumped in 2.321 gallons or $8.82 @ $3.799.

175.84 miles / 2.321 gallons = 75.39 mpg.

Compare that to my S-10 @ 27mpg.

175.84miles / 27mpg = 6.512 gallon x $3.799 = $24.74

$24.74 - $8.82 = $15.92 saving. It's not about the "miles per gallon" but the "smiles per gallon", but every little bit helps.

Most of my riding is around 50mph (5000rpms) with a little 60-62mph stints. I really like 50mph as the feel, sound, rpms, and wind in my face seem about right to me. I have tried to keep the rpms around 5000 for the break-in period.

The way I ride is really great for breaking in an air cooled engine. Heat and cool cycles, ride it 30 minutes and let it cool down all day and ride it home. Every day it seems to perform better.

My mileage will probably fall of a little as I start riding a little more spirited. A 40 or 42 tooth sprocket ( to replave the 46 tooth) will really make this little bike come into its own for highway riding.

Friday, May 23, 2008

My 2-wheeler days

I have owned a moped, scooter, or motorcycle most of my life. I wrote about my bikes a couple years ago on my other blog.

I believe more than ever that small fuel efficient vehicles are more important to our nation than ever before. Sure we might have small dips in gas prices, but gas is only going to get more expensive.

My round trip to work is almost 30 miles and I have ridden my Lifan 200GY-5 to work five days and I am still on my first tank of gas. They are fun and practical for second modes of transportation if they are not your only form.

If a motorcycle intimidates you or you are not into shifting gears, then go to a dealer and check out a "twist and go" scooter that has an automatic transmission.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Chinese Enduro Motorcycles

cool hit counter

My Lifan 200GY-5

I purchased my 2007 American Lifan 200GY-5 last week (May 13, 2007). I bought it used with only 392km (243 miles). The speedometer shows miles but the odometer shows km's. I purchased it and rode it a little over 40 miles home.

Buying used saved having to pay sales tax on it. The insurance (for liability only) is $64.22 a year. I rode 2-lane most of the way home but was on the interstate thru Little Rock (65mph speed limit). I was surprised at the ease of running 60 -65mph. It was turning more rpm's that I was comfortable with.

50mph has the tack showing a tad over 5000 rpms, and 60mph indicates almost 6100 rpm. With the torque peaking @6500 rpm and the redline @8000 rpm, these speeds should be fine. That being said, I find the bike (and myself) really like to travel about 50mph. After it is broken in I might change the rear 46 tooth sprocket to a 42 tooth to get 55mph @ about 5200 rpm's. Should help fuel mileage and wear and tear on the engine.

This picture shows the relative size of the bike. I am 5'11" and weigh 215 pounds. This is a nice size bike for anyone under 6'.

I fueled the bike with 463 km (287 miles) and still on my first fill up. I will be checking fuel mileage at every fueling.