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In more than a half century of fiddling with motorcycles, I have never before encountered as be-fuddling a fiddlement as replacing the front cylinder top spark plug on my DL-650. I am astounded how they could design a machine to make such a simple job so hard to accomplish. The outrage of the task is reduced only by the relief of having completed it.

Am I missing something, or are the instructions in the operator’s manual in error in advising to release a hook latch after removing two bolts to move the radiator forward? It looks to me that releasing the latch is un-necessary for replacing the plug and only needed if you wish to separate the fan mechanism from the radiator which requires removing a bolt that is not discussed in the plug instructions.

Has anyone had only the plugs changed by a dealer? I wonder what the charge would be for that. To add insult to injury, it appeared to me that the removed plugs looked clean and “good as new” and could easily have gone another 8,000 miles without all this drama.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Only replace the plugs when doing a valve clearance inspection. They are good for over 20,000 miles and valve inspections are only due after 14,500 miles. I put in Iridium plugs when I did my first valve check and they are still running fine at close to 74,000 miles.
 

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yes not the easiest to access basic air cleaner and plugs/valves compared with my k75. 8000 miles is perhaps a bit early and I think of it as a guideline but if you do some riding in the dirt it might be time for the air cleaner and if the tank is off...... also can go for some of the longer lasting plugs. Fun machine though!
 

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I had no problem changing mine. I could do it on the road with the factory tool kit, that is what I used.

And a short piece of fuel line, or some such hose helps in getting the plugs started in tight quarters. You may need to trim it a few times to get it right. Then add it to your tool kit. :fineprint:
 

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It's not really that hard to do.
Remove the bottom radiator bolt and pull the radiator forward, tie it there with something, I disconnect the breather pipe on the valve cover, you don't need to do this but it makes it easier. Remove the plug cap and push it out of the way, I push it up under the plastic cover. Remove the plug using the plug spanner in the toolkit. When fitting the new plug push it into the rubber inside the tool, you can then lower it and start it in the hole easy. See not hard at all.
PS make sure when you refit the cap that it is pushed fully home and that the rubber is fully sealing.
 

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Changed mine last week (12000 mi). Followed all instructions in manual except I found it unnecessary to unlatch radiator from shroud. Not easy - but not too hard to change.
 

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I thought it was fiddly until I had done it; that little plastic catch was the only tricky bit. The factory plug spanner works fine and dropping the radiator only takes a few minutes after you've done it the first time. I stuck iridiums in mine too. It's a breeze compared to the plugs on the Bandit 1250 - they are buried under the frame tubes with about an inch of clearance on the holes and only no 3 has anything like semi-direct access. Bit like that 1100cc Yamaha cruiser that has to have the exhaust system removed to replace the oil filter...
 

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I changed my DL's spark plugs last evening. As expected, removing and installing the front cylinder plug caused me to use some new and interesting words during the process. As I wrestled with things, I began to really miss my old air cooled thumper.

The first time is always the hardest. I'm confident I could now do the job in just under half the time now, without rushing things.

The original Denso plugs looked just fine. I wasn't convinced that they needed changed, actually, but I had already decided to follow the manual's instructions on the matter. The bike started instantly after the new NGK plugs were in place. I may upgrade to iridium plugs next time, if only to increase the interval between plug changes.
 

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As a newbie and unmechanical perso, I offer a few hints that made this doable for me.

- if you have a center stand, put a weight on the pillion seat to raise the front tire a few inches for easier access.
- Remove the two button screws on either side and just above the front tire in the side panels. The side panels actually anchor to the radiator. Removing the screws allows a bit more tilt forward of the radiator and every half inch helps.
- Remove the black inner cowl above the wheel. It has about 7 button fasteners and two screws set back in the venting area. The button fasteners are removed by pushing in the center till it clicks, then pry it out. I use a small pick with a right angle bend at the end. Easy as pie. This also allows a little more forward tilt.
- Use needle nose pliers to gently work off the connector.
- The key, for me, was keeping the end of the spark plug tool bent up at a ninty degree angle to work it into the access hole. I kind of worked it into the area sideways, then bent the end to slip it in. Once in, keep it as straight as possible when turning it with the wrench.

The spark plug tool is well designed since the tip of the plug 'clicks' in and holds securely for removal and insertion. By using these simple procedures, I was able to easily hold the bottom of the radiator far enough forward to change the plug with absolutely no damage to the fins.

Greg Kane
 

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Perhaps it would be rude to ask, but if the bike starts easy and gets good mileage, is there any need to change plugs?
I used to do the faithful service on my beemers and then realized I was wasting my time and gave up the changes until after the 100K mark. I don't change plug sin the cars either.
 

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The hinged spark plug wrench from the tool kit makes the front plug much easier to swap.
 
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