Last week I brought a master motorcycle mechanic, Steve Loster who is service manager at Arizona Kawasaki, KTM and Triumph and who has owned both DL1000's and DL650's for 11 years in his past. Steve knows the bikes inside and out having worked on maybe 50. He came down to show us how to properly service the fleet, hands-on, front to back, including fork rebuilds and valve checks. My tech guy Junior and I learned more about motorcycle maintenance in three days than I knew from the prior thirty years.
In exchange for his expertise, I took him on a 4-day ride to Samana, a gorgeous part of the island.
And wouldn't you know it? One bike with a clean history of fuel filter issues developed the dreaded high-pressure clog. My bike. I could not get it past 4000rpm, and the degradation of power took no more than a half hour and not many miles.
So we limped into a planned fuel stop-we were down to maybe 1.5 gals. max in the tank on the way back to Jarabacoa. As fortune had it, El Jefe of the gas station had just installed one of those white plastic garages, so I pulled the bike into it, out of the hot Caribbean sun.
Before we left Jarabacoa I added the box of the parts necessary for 3 fuel filter bypasses on bikes that had the problem in the past: filters, hosing, fittings, clamps...and new low pressure filter screens (you can see these in the clear plastic box.) I also had a cordless drill in the tool/parts box.
So we removed the tank, propped it up on two cases of empty Presidente's, and proceeded to do the fuel filter bypass on the road, in the field. And---BINGO!---success, bike ran like new. Took less than an hour in total and really was not that difficult. I'll admit that drilling the filter was the most stressful part. One way to "demystify" this process was to drill the small hole---where you need to do the sideways drilling---a little larger diameter so you can then actually see the plastic necessary to be drilled.
I wish we'd taken more pictures.
Filter surgery by yours truly:
I wonder if we're the first to do the filter bypass on the road...
One of the things Steve was able to teach us is "de-mystifying" what many consider complex tasks, like rebuilding forks and doing the valve checks. There is a world of difference between seeing How-To pics and videos, and seeing and experiencing these operations live, along with many questions being answered. In that regard, and in order to help out Stromtroopers who may be a little intimidated by complex procedures, we're thinking about a special Stromtrooper tour in '18, maybe March, that would include a two-day tech session going through a DL650 front to back, going over all the various tasks necessary to get the bikes back to near-new specs. Who might be interested in such an experience?