Gleaning information from discussion groups on the internet.
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Thread: Gleaning information from discussion groups on the internet.

  1. #1
    Senior Member RDW's Avatar
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    Nov 2013

    Gleaning information from discussion groups on the internet.

    I'm a relative novice with motorcycles (about 30,000 miles so far) and I find forums very helpful for learning things from other people's knowledge base/ long years of experience. However, this morning while listening to the archives of the podcast "Adventure Rider Radio" the guest on the show, Warren Milner, a retired engineer with Honda motorcycles, makes some very good points about putting too much credence into things people post in forums (in this case, related to modifying our motorcycles). I guess that should go without saying and just be common sense but sometimes we can accept things as "fact" because the person posting seems like a very smart guy (or gal) and spends a lot of time posting things online. I found the episode interesting and I think you will too. Below is a link:
    Last edited by RDW; 04-07-2019 at 09:30 AM.
    reddave likes this.
    2013 TW200---2007 XT225---2014 CB500X
    "Everyday is a school day"

  2. #2
    Senior Member Peterb's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    North Bay, Ontario, Canada
    As a mechanic I would agree with Warren Milner as far as not trusting everything on the internet. However pretty well everything I own has been modified to suit my needs.
    Last edited by Peterb; 04-08-2019 at 03:38 PM.
    reddave and Darth like this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bartruff's Avatar
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    Oct 2018
    Wenatchee Wa.
    I don't open anything on the internet so I didn't listen to the podcast if that is what it was.....but my background is in Engineering and I have never modified any vehicle I have and I only use the parts and lubricants and fuels specified in the owners manual under the assumption that the Engineers that designed the vehicle have the knowledge, skill and motivation to build a durable and dependable product....

    Yes, I understand that they have cost constraints but....I trust them and it has worked out fine ...
    reddave likes this.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member reddave's Avatar
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    May 2018
    South Park, CO
    I agree 100% with all of the above! But...for some reason...I just can't stop modifying everything I own!!! That has to be a some sort of a named mental disorder in today's day and age, right?
    grewen, Peterb and Darth like this.

  6. #5
    Senior Member sibyrnes's Avatar
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    Feb 2018
    Western Pa.
    No! It's just way too much fun to try to change things into something you think is better. Right or wrong it's just too boring to keep things and to use them exactly as they were designed. I think a lot of people get as much enjoyment from working on and trying to improve their motorcycle as they do from riding it.
    reddave and Darth like this.

  7. #6
    Senior Member NorthernSpy's Avatar
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    Mar 2018
    Powell River, BC
    Man, he took a long time explaining confirmation bias and herd mentality without using any specific examples.
    2015 TW200 with the usual farkles. Powell River, BC, Canada

  8. #7
    Ken is offline
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Aug 2016
    Houston, Texas
    I understand the engineering point of view but poor quality parts or poor engineering happens and I have been victim of it but not on my motorcycles. Perfect example were the shocks on my astro van. The GM shocks failed at 6 months and I was told by the dealer they were not covered under warranty. I bought $40.00 cheap auto zone shocks for all 4 that lasted over 10 years. Keep GM all GM, nope buy better parts elsewhere. I had an older car with points, the stock points were twice the price and would never last past 10,000 miles. The cheap Borg Warners lasted much longer. Another Chevy issue was an alternator or power steering pump bracket which was cast aluminum and cracked in half. It was a known issue but not dealer backed. I do think that some motorcycles are engineered fully at least the engines. I have read many times where exhaust flow and intakes, carbs etc. were all tinkered with and performance never met stock performance again. I think Japanese bikes in particular seem to need suspension upgrades for the USA.
    grewen likes this.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Xracer's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Lake Placid,Florida
    I've known several people that were convinced they knew more than the factory engineer's. They would talk and talk about the stupid mistakes and their " Cure " for them. Funny thing was they would all ways shut up when I asked the question. If your so much smarter than the engineers that designed this bike then why are you not working for them?
    admiral likes this.

  10. #9
    Senior Member GaryL's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
    Forestburgh, NY
    Our TWs are probably one of the easiest and most "Modified" bikes on the planet. It all depends on what each owner considers a "Modification". I know myself and I don't have any machine that I have not modified but the mods I do are usually simple add ons that replace stock items I felt needed to be better.
    On my TWs I always add a cycle rack, wide foot pegs, Pro Taper bars and brush guards. A better seat is nice and grips with some cushioning also work for me and I always go with a better front tire. I do not mess with a working carb by changing jets or shimming needles or swap exhaust system. Fine with those who do those technical mods but IMO they just make more problems for very little benefit. Making sprocket changes is another common mod and these do have some benefits for particular riding conditions however any gains you realize also come with a degree of disadvantage on the other end. I absolutely advise any new TW buyer to scrap the junk OEM roller chain and go for a high quality O or X ring chain from day one. I also always when ever possible use non E fuel in all of my small engines but this is a personal option where a lot of my machines don't get run regularly and could sit idle for months on end.
    I think the thought of wringing every last bit of power out of the tiny TW engine is an effort in futility and you can spend a lot to get a tiny little more. Some mods do work great on a regional basis such as carb jetting for high altitude and oil coolers for extreme heat in desert areas. The good part of any and all of these modifications we love to do is they are all yours when done and as long as they make you happy then all is good. Changing sprockets and adjusting and lubing the chain is a PITA in my opinion so getting a good ringed chain right in the beginning is money well spent and probably gives you 10,000 + miles of relatively trouble free riding. The front "Death Wing" tire is fine on pavement but woefully inadequate off road yet some guys like it just fine. I don't normally attempt to fix something that is not already broken but some of us here just love wrenching on our stuff but don't believe all that you hear because I believe the Yamaha design engineers did get most of the TW right from the start. Only minor cost saving things require immediate address and of course the adjustment of the pilot screw because the bike runs lean from the get go just so it can pass emissions regulations in some states. 30 plus years with basically the same bike ought to tell us all something.

    bartruff, Xracer and Ken like this.
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Rider21's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
    Reno, NV.
    Quote Originally Posted by reddave View Post
    I agree 100% with all of the above! But...for some reason...I just can't stop modifying everything I own!!! That has to be a some sort of a named mental disorder in today's day and age, right?
    Me too dave.
    Ken and Darth like this.
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