Showing posts sorted by relevance for query c14. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query c14. Sort by date Show all posts

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Concours14 Farkles & Mapping the Most Complex Bike I've Yet Owned


As the proud new owner of a C14 Kawasaki Concours, here's my attempt at getting my information and data in order so I can work on it:









1400GTR C14 Datasheet:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YKkFc5Hy8Ltze3bAQw16NszdoNsS7UkC/view?usp=sharing 








Shop Manual (though this is for the previous gen-C14, but evolutionarily it should help):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OWdFnRCF9bYb3rW3_U2RNRbSTL2jqfb6/view?usp=sharing





Owner's Manual:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/13P9lxVAX_ksfnklncqZVbd7Hk6JMBPGo/view?usp=sharing (2013)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/17e1cmQ2Xr8qLOjYUo3p3jYbzIhxY433T/view?usp=sharing (2010)




Concours C14 Parts Diagrams (I find these handy for disassembly as it shows part blowouts):

https://www.bikebandit.com/oem-parts/2010-kawasaki-concours-14-abs-zg1400c/o/m148769

Concours Owner's Group (COG) C14 Resources & Information:

http://forum.concours.org/index.php?topic=77289.0

•Using the center stand on asphalt during very hot days is not recommended as it may sink causing a tipover.  Don't let this happen to you!  http://forum.concours.org/index.php?topic=75073.0

•KIPASS and no starting issues http://forum.concours.org/index.php?topic=77015.0

•Shifting into first gear from neutral whilst stopped can illicit a 'clunk'.  This is normal, but check your idle speed.  It may have been set too high from the factory.  Mine was set to 1800rpm.

•Do not overtighten the oil filter.  You'll regret it when you try to remove it.  Hand tight is fine.

•The 08-10 US models do NOT have oxygen sensors.

•When it's warm outside, bike on the side stand, tank nearly full or full, expansion may force gas/oily mixture out near the stand. Nothing to be concerned with.

•Check your battery installation.  Some have been installed incorrectly.  The + terminal should be on the outside.

•California bike information http://forum.concours.org/index.php?topic=77512.0

•Periodically check the tightness of the battery terminals.  They have a tendency to work loose.

•Headlight aim may be maladjusted.  Mine were pointed straight down.

•The right hand mirror assembly may not be correctly mounted on the fairing.  The mirror mounts within a recess in the right fairing.  There have been reports of the mirror assembly being tightened down while not correctly seated causing cracks in the fairing (dealer issue if so).

•Flash to Pass (FTP) switch will cause the highbeams to come on during rain events.  Dielectric grease slathered on the switch solder blobs will prevent this from happening.

•Check your exhaust header to manifold nuts.  They have a tendency to loosen up over time.  They may require tightening a few times before they stay tight. 13ft/lbs torque

•Check all your fasteners for tightness.  Unless you have an exceptional dealer, this is typically overlooked.

•Check your oil level before accepting the bike from the dealer.  The oil is checked with a sight gauge on the right side.  If there isn't any oil showing in the glass with the bike level it needs to be topped off.  Check your tire air pressures as well (42/42)

•Do not over-tighten the rear drive oil plug drain bolt. It strips out easily.  It doesn't take a lot of force.  Do not over tighten the fill plug either.  You'll regret it.

•Steering stem fairing brace can work loose.  Two bolts hold it.  Several occurrences of these coming loose.  http://forum.concours.org/index.php?topic=66729.0

•Steering stem top center bolt (the one covered by the black plastic cap) can work loose http://forum.concours.org/index.php?topic=84261.0

•If you disconnect the battery, tire pressure indicator on screen will be blank until you ride it again

•If you are lucky enough to get your second FOB in a plastic baggy, you need to either write down the number on it or keep the baggy somewhere safe for reference purposes in case you lose it.  Applies to the 08-09 models.  Not sure if it applies to the '10s.

•Check for rust on the gas tank under the seat.

•Suspension settings document. http://forum.concours.org/index.php?topic=68962.0

•There are bungee hooks within the side cases http://forum.concours.org/index.php?topic=71049.0

•Front and rear accessory leads.  http://forum.concours.org/index.php?topic=69830.0

•Bike on center stand and rotating rear wheel.  If you hear clicking, get it to the dealer to check it.  We've been finding several issues:  front spline dry; missing cir-clip on a joint: loose caps.  http://forum.concours.org/index.php?topic=71444.0

•2010 Glove box fix/modification - http://forum.concours.org/index.php?topic=70804.0  http://forum.concours.org/index.php?topic=75933.0

•Good discussion on replacing stem bearings with tapered bearings. http://forum.concours.org/index.php?topic=76699.0 and this one http://forum.concours.org/index.php?topic=71221.60

•Gas tank removal 2010 but should work for the others as well http://forum.concours.org/index.php?topic=73537.0


Kawasaki web site for checking VIN number (warranty status, recalls)

http://kawasaki.com/DefaultFrame.aspx?strContentURL=/SITE/VIVEHICLEINFORMATION/VICHOOSEVEHICLE.ASP

Kawasaki customer service number (949)-770-0400 then 1, then 5


2011 C14 Product Specs - http://forum.concours.org/MGalleryItem.php?id=20

2010 C14: Product Specs ABS http://www.kawasaki.com/Products/Product-Specifications.aspx?scid=25&id=442

Kawasaki Canada 2010 ABS Information (Good stuff) http://www.kawasaki.ca/model/concours-14-abs/technology:1191

2010 Feature Changes - http://forum.concours.org/index.php?topic=78874.0

2010 Brochure - http://forum.concours.org/MGalleryItem.php?id=21

Color - Candy Neptune Blue/Flat Super Black

All bikes: Date of Manufacture - on the left side of the steering neck

On board Diagnostic codes http://forum.concours.org/index.php?topic=81027.0

READ THIS FIRST!!  Interesting facts for the C14 part 2

http://forum.concours.org/index.php?topic=77332.0

Part numbers for the C14  http://forum.concours.org/index.php?topic=67677.0[/list]

WINDSHIELDS:

https://www.aeroflowscreens.com/Kawasaki/Kawasaki_AeroScreen_and_Accessories.htm

https://advrider.com/aeroflow-windscreens/

christine@aeroflowscreens.com for an accurate shipping quote and ordering assistance

http://www.zggtr.org/index.php?topic=18400 suggests the Aeroflow is exceptional, but they don't ship easily to Canada (add $50US to the price) and cost $220US for the average size one.  $331 for a windshield is steep.  It's hinted that you can get small and tall screens but I don't want a sail on the front of the bike, just a smart windshield that doesn't overly stress the mechanism, provides reasonable protection and looks good doing it.  That Aeroflow's webpage isn't secure and looks very amateur isn't convincing me to move in that direction.   No pic because they don't have one on their site.

https://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/Concoursprod.html


California Scientific seem to have it together.  They give details on how to select the right size screen and their site is both informative and works.  It's also HTTPS secure.  The CalSci screen is nicely shape and comes in regular or super wide.  It also has a back pressure relief hole in it.  They're at $200US per screen.  I'm in between a large and an XL on their chart but I think I'd go with the large as I don't want a sail in front of me, nor do I want it stressing the mechanics.


https://www.amazon.ca/National-Cycle-V-Stream-Windshield-N20102/dp/B001KNYQ9W

The National Cycle V-Stream seems quite common.  FortNine has them too:  https://fortnine.ca/en/national-cycle-vstream-windshield   The details on it seem to suggest it's a quality thing.  From FortNine I avoid all the trying-to-buy-from-a-small-US-business headaches and shipping is included.  At $247CAD and with no customs or shipping surprises, it's also significantly cheaper than the other two.  No venting for back pressure but it's a pretty thing that claims much improved wind protection without being a sail.

If you like watching someone hit things, this'll do it for you:


MRA X-creen:
An MRA screen came with the Tiger and I'm a fan.  They aren't cheap but they work well while keeping a low profile that wouldn't stress the motor.  Good back pressure management too.

Twisted Throttle used to do Canadian orders without and faff, but now they're in USD and I'm worried about surprise costs for shipping and customs.  They're already at $325CAD before any other surprises come into play.

http://www.zggtr.org/index.php?topic=21318.0

Think the German designed MRA is expensive?  The Cooper Dawg is five hundred US ($614CAD)!
http://www.copperdawg.com/c14sportscreen.html  It's pretty, and transforms the look of the bike, but I don't know that it's much good at deflecting wind.



https://ultimatemotorcycling.com/2020/05/24/2020-kawasaki-concours-14-abs-buyers-guide-specs-price/


C-14 Physical measures and capacities

Weight incl. oil, gas, etc: 313.0 kg (690.0 pounds)
Seat height: 815 mm (32.1 inches) If adjustable, lowest setting.
Overall height: 1290 mm (50.8 inches) 4 ft 2.8 inches
Overall length: 2230 mm (87.8 inches) 7ft 3.8 inches
Overall width: 1001 mm (39.4 inches)
Wheelbase: 1519 mm (59.8 inches)
Fuel capacity: 21.95 litres (5.80 gallons)

Uhaul Van Dimensions (https://tkmotorcyclediaries.blogspot.com/2021/04/motorcycle-pick-up-on-budget.html)

Inside Dimensions: 9'6" x 5'7" x 4'8" (LxWxH) (will fit C14 easily)
Back Door Opening: 5'1-1/2" x 4'1-1/2" (WxH) Bike might be a touch too tall (windshield removal?, angle it?)
Deck Height from Ground: 2'5"


Sunday, 2 August 2020

Moonbeam and Back: An In-Ontario Iron Butt & a Bike to Do It



The mighty Wolfe Bonham did a Moonbeam run this year as a part of one of his mega well-beyond an Iron Butt long distance rides.  I just popped it into Google maps and it happens to be a perfect first Iron Butt distance from home, and all in the province.

The starting Iron Butt is the Saddlesore 1000, 1000 miles in 24 hours.  They have a metric equivalent Saddlesore 1600 kilometre ride too.  The suggestion is to do a distance that can't be short cutted for credibility's sake.  Riding from Elora to Moonbeam and back is always going to be over 1600kms, no matter how you do it.  Another benefit is that by going up on Highway 11 through North Bay and back through Sudbury and on the 400, I won't be riding the same route twice.

The Tiger has become fragile, so I'm jonesing for a long distance weapon, not that the vibey and exposed Tiger was ideal for that, but it's what I had.  A few years ago Max and I rented a Kawasaki Concours14 for a ride in the Superstition Mountains near Phoenix, Arizona, and it was a glorious thing.  That Connie was a first gen C14, the newer ones have one of the highest load carrying capacities of a modern bike - so big that they could carry Max and I two-up again.  Another thing about getting back into Connie ownership (I used to own a C10), is that I'd have an excuse to frequent the Concours Owners Group again.


There is a low mileage (31k) 2010 current generation C14 for sale in Toronto with some cosmetic damage and a dodgy windshield.  I can sort out the niggles, and then this thing would eat miles like nothing I've had before.  There is a strange lack of Kawasaki Heavy Industries motorbikes on the Iron Butt finisher's list (Honda has six times more bikes, BMW over eight times more).  I want to represent!  I've owned more Kawis than any other brand to this point, so it'd also be coming home to team green.

This particular one is blue instead of tedious grey (Concourses tend to be very conservatively coloured), which appeals, I prefer a colourful bike.  The C14 has a number of optional touring pieces, including a variety of windshields, which is good because the slab on that Concours ain't comely.


Love the Milano from Guardians of the Galaxy.  The C14
would be getting similar higher visibility trim, especially
around those Testarosa strakes!
Fortnine has the National Cycle Vstream windshield for the C14, which would give me a smaller but more functional, better made and swoopier look.  The bike comes with a top box and panniers, so there isn't too much it'd need, other than sorting out the windshield and doing some touch up.  Seeing a blue bike, I immediately want to liven it up with some orange trim, Milano style.  Other than a full service and a few fixes, this bike is ready to do 100k.

The stock seat is already a comfortable thing, though I've enjoyed the Corbin on the Tiger so much I'd consider tapping them again for another custom saddle eventually.  The C14 Concours would be the biggest bike I've owned and could do something nothing in the garage can do right now, carry my son and I two-up while operating within the bike's weight capacity.  It would also be just what I need to make a run to Moonbeam and back in 24 hours as the summer winds up.

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Targeting Repairs on 2010 Kawasaki Concours C14: windshield motor and hydraulic clutch gasket

Windshield Motor Details


Concours Parts Diagrams.  Handy for working out how
things together.






Video breakdown of how to get into the windshield motor on a C14 Concours:

"There are two relays (up and down) that are identical.  They're on the bracket that blocks the air filter removal.  Looking at them with the fairing off on the left side.  They are the first two that look alike.  I rather doubt that both of them are bad as you said it wouldn't work at all.  If only one direction worked then you could swap relays to see if you could narrow down the problem to one relay."

There is a connector to the motor.  Disconnect it and check the following:

    +         -            switch position     standard voltage

green     red              Free                      0

green     red              Up                         battery voltage

red       green            Free                       0

red       green            Down                     battery voltage

"30 amp fuse for the windshield motor: I would start at the connector to the motor and work backwards if the voltages aren't there or right.  Older model," but:  http://www.zggtr.org/index.php?topic=10532.0

***

The long and the short of this is that I need to test the wiring and then jump the motor to see if it works.  If it doesn't, taking it out looks like a pretty major operation, but then everything on the C14 looks like it's over engineered, which isn't a bad thing.

I can't believe how over-engineered the battery holder was!  Heavy and much more complicated than it needs to be, but that's kinda the vibe of the bike.










Pneumatic Clutch Cover

The former owner thinks it's leaking, but it seems pretty happy (no drips under the bike).  I'm going to torque it on properly to begin with and then keep an eye on it.

https://www.cmsnl.com/kawasaki-zg1400caf-concours-14-2010-usaabs_model21885/partslist/#.YH9iJehKiHs

***


Another angle to take is just to remove all the electrical plumbing added by previous owners in order to ensure the bike is to spec.



Other Resources

C14 Common Issues:  https://motorandwheels.com/problems-kawasaki-concours-14/

Kawasaki plastic rivet: Manufacturer # 92039-0051

This have gotten fragile on this 11 year old C14 that's enjoyed 11 freezing Canadian winters followed by 11 boiling Canadian summers.

This kit from Amazon is automotive clips, but there are 50 in it that are a very close match to the Kawasaki part.  The OEM clips are hard to find.  For what that kit costs, I'm going to give it a shot and see if they work with it.  If not, I have some handy clip removing tools and a pile of optional sizes for the future for not much money.  The Kwak parts are $4US each.  50 of those (if I could find them) would be over 200 bucks, so I'll give the generics a shot.

Some of the louvred electronics pins have also broken (like I said, the plastics are starting to get fragile on this thing), so having a multi-pack is handy in other ways.


***

I'm just going to keep chucking GTR1400/C14 Concours/ZG1400 windshield details on here as I find them online.

The windshields on these seem to run into problems, especially if they're stressed while fully extended while operating at high speeds.  I hope something on here gives you what you need to figure out the problem.  COG members tell me the windshield motor assembly costs north of a thousand bucks, so this is a DIY situation (unless you've got thousands to chuck and an older bike).

The solution came in the 2015 model when the windshield came with a vent that reduces back pressure and stress on the unit.  Putting in an aftermarket or updated stock windshield will probably help you avoid windshield motor headaches.  It's on my to-do list for this bike.




Thursday, 22 April 2021

C14 Kawasaki Concours Maintenance Items

C14 Concours Maintenance Items:

Spark Plugs: NGK CR9EIA-9

https://www.amazon.ca/NGK-CR9EIA-9-Iridium-Spark-Plug/dp/B001RLOE4O/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=NGK+CR9EIA-9&qid=1619057845&sr=8-1

Amazon is getting brutally expensive!  $24 for a sparkplug!

https://fortnine.ca/en/ngk-laser-iridium-spark-plug-cr9eia-9

Fortnine is at $16 - save yourself a pile of $ if you're in Canada and use Fortnine!  (Free shipping over $49 so the Amazon Prime shipping trap doesn't apply)

Air Cleaner Removal How-To:


Air Filter:

Kawasaki Part # 11013-0014
K&N # KA-1406

Now that I know where to look, yep, it's in there.  The existing one might be the original (the bike only has 30k on it).  It's dirty and a paper filter one so a K&N is on the way.

Engine Oil:

Engine Oil:Type: API SG, SH, SJ, SL or SM with JASO MA, MA1 or MA2
Viscosity: SAE 10W-40
Capacity 4.7 L (5.0 US qt)
Coolant Capacity 3.4 L (3.6 US qt)


Oil Filter:

KN-303 K&N OIL FILTER



Final Drive Oil:



Parts ordered from Fortnine after Amazon ended up racking up a bill that was almost twice as much!  Don't fall for the habitual Amazon ordering that you've developed during the pandemic.  It looks like Amazon sellers have been slowly raising prices to the point that they aren't even close to representative of what the market is offering.  In some cases their prices are even higher than dealers!

I would have gone with Royal Distributing but they seem to be having trouble with stock and didn't have most of these parts on hand, whereas FortNine did.

$315 isn't cheap but this is everything I need to 'zero' the maintenance schedule so I know what went in and when.  Based on what I'm seeing in the bike (spider nexts and cobwebs everywhere) this bike has been sitting for a long time without any regular maintenance.

The former owner was anxious about a coolant leak but I'm not seeing anything.  The reservoir was low but the bike did get tipped over so it might have lost some fluid then.  No leaks I can find.  Same with the clutch and brakes.  Fluid in both reservoirs was a bit low, but no evidence of any leaks, so I topped everything up and I'll keep an eye on things.


I also found the Candy Neptune Blue Kawasaki correct paint for the 2010 Concours from ColorRite. The beautiful, deep blue paint on the Concours C14 requires a base before putting the blue on top and then a clear coat to match the existing finish.  The marks on the bike aren't particularly noticeable but this should cure them almost completely.
  




If you're looking for a 2010 on 'latest' model C14 manual, this'll work:



Monday, 26 April 2021

Kawasaki Concours C14/GTR1400 Extreme Engineering

I took a couple of hours to work on this incredibly complicated machine on the weekend.  My last project was a 1997 Honda CBR900RR Fireblade which was all about minimalism and lightness.  That minimalism made the Honda a delight to work on but the C14 Concours is a very different animal.  Incredibly, the Fireblade weighs 62% of what the Concours does while putting out only slightly less power.  Man, did that bike know how to dance.

As I worked through the front end on the substantial Concours I found example after example of Kawasaki's overly engineered approach to the bike which has piled on the weight, but you can't fault their work, nor the design.  While the C14 is an incredibly complicated thing, it's also a beautiful example of Kawasaki Heavy Industries industrial design.

The circular white thing in the photo on the left is the windshield motor.  The C14 has an electric windshield that raises and lowers at the push of a button.  This one isn't working but the mechanical parts of it seem ok so now I'm chasing wiring in a bike that makes a 747 look simple.








On the right is the battery holder.  Any other bike I've owned makes do with a simple plastic open ended box, but not the Connie.  It gets an interlocking two piece battery holder with built in wiring harness.  The presses that turn these things our are something special!





These are all the gubbins the owner before me had wired into the bike.  He had that massive horn hanging off the back and the GPS system was wired into the front and installed on the handlebar.

With the bike having electrical issues, I'm putting it back to stock before I start thinking about adding in the extras again.

While I was in at the battery I cleaned up all the connectors, some of which were quite rusty.  It's things like that which will trip up electric windshields.





One of the advantages of fairings is that you can hide the mechanical bits underneath, but even when the bits are never going to be seen Kawasaki went overboard with its castings and finish.

That lovely little round clutch cover at the bottom lives under the fairing and would never normally see the light of day, but even then it's a wonderfully detailed and finished piece that only a handy owner or their own technicians would ever see.



Coffin shaped brake and clutch fluid containers?  Why not.

The benefit of this engineering fixation is that the quality of materials used is excellent.  Even though this bike is just over a decade old you wouldn't know it.  Many parts of it look brand new.  Rust on fasteners is all but non-existent and everything comes apart as it was intended.

This is the newest bike I've ever purchased (it's three years newer than my first bike and the KLX, seven years newer than the trusty Tiger and thirteen years newer than the Fireblade).  It's so new that there isn't a Haynes workshop manual for it.  It's the only bike I've ever owned that is still currently in production in much the same state.  The latest Tigers are five generations passed my old 955i.

Next steps are to get the windshield sorted and change out the air filter while I've got the thing in pieces, then it all goes back together and I'll see if my local mechanic can get me in for a safety, then it's time to put some miles on it!



Sunday, 25 April 2021

Kawasaki Concours C14 Pneumatic Clutch Bleeding

Following that helpful advice on the ZGGTR.org site below, I gave the clutch bleeding another go yesterday.  I should have assumed there were multiple bleed nipples on this very complex and over engineered motorbike.

That poster suggests using a powered bleeding tool instead of the handpump kind.  My handpump one has been heavily used over the past five years.  The glass on the gauge fell off and the rubber hoses have gotten brittle and don't connect well.  On top of that the pump has started locking up on me so I just happened to get an air-line vacuum bleeding tool only a few weeks ago and it's a revaluation.  If you do bleeding in your own garage and have an air compressor, this thing isn't very expensive, seems well built and holy cow does it bleed!

For about thirty bucks (CAD) this thing makes bleeding a much less fraught experience.  The rubber tubing it comes with is flexible and grippy and makes a secure connection with the bleed nipples.  The vacuum control (the red lever) produces even, strong suction that makes bleeding much easier.

Terrible pic, but I'm pointing at the lower bleed
nipple for the clutch down by the gear change.
Bleeding the complex clutch pneumatic system on the C14 is described at "quite difficult" and the hand pump made that the truth.  The air compressor powered bleeder made producing even, consistent pressure much easier, but I was still unable to get the clutch to firm up until I read that piece below and realized there is a second bleed nipple up by the reservoir on the handlebars.  The GTR1400 is a complex beast, but once you start to get your head around how they engineered it, it all starts to make Connie-sense.

Make sure you're keeping the reservoir topped up with DOT4 brake fluid and bleed the top nipple.  When you're getting consistent fluid out of that one do it all up tight and then do the bottom nipple down by the gear shift.  You have to remove fairing to get to the bottom one.  Strangely, the top nipple is 8mm and the bottom 10mm, so you'll need two wrenches to do the job.

Once you've got the bottom one producing bubble free fluid you can lock it up and the clutch comes back immediately, or at least it did for me.

With the clutch flushed and filled with new DOT4 synthetic, I'm looking for wiring diagrams for the windshield.  The mechanism seems to be in good shape but there is a relay click from somewhere near the ignition module when I press the windshield rising button, so I suspect a bad connection or something electrical is at fault, but I need a wiring diagram to hunt that down.

I was worried that the C14 would be too much of a technical handful to DIY, but it's a beautifully crafted thing engineered to within an inch of its life.  As long as you can get your head around that it's not a particularly overwhelming thing to work on, but then I haven't had to put it all back together yet (keep your fasteners for the complex body-work in order!).

Thanks to ZGGTR.org for this helpful advice:

http://www.zggtr.org/index.php?topic=14429.0

"There are two bleeders; the first one is on the clutch master cylinder, pointing straight up.  The second one is on the slave cylinder which is on the left side of the engine. I believe on Gen. 2 C-14's you are going to have to remove the left fairing to get at that slave cylinder.

Bleed the top bleeder first and continue until the fluid is perfectly clear (no air bubbles or foam in the fluid). Then move onto the second bleeder and continue the same way.

Note that these bikes can be quite difficult to bleed at all, and also to finish bleeding (soft clutch or brakes that are nearly impossible to get the last of the air out of). I ended up buying an air- powered vacuum bleeder in 'self defense' just for this bike but they are expensive. The traditional way of pumping the system and then holding pressure on the lever while cracking the bleeder often just does not work as the system will not pump up in the first place."

https://forum.concours.org/index.php?threads/bleeding-clutch-fluid.4122/


Followup: 
When I finally took the bike out the clutch isn't disengaging drive properly and event though there is some feel at the lever it isn't enough to engage the clutch.  I've run an entire bottle of DOT4 through it and still can't get it clear.  Time for some alternative tricks:

"Ended up holding the mityvac hose right on top of the fluid hole over the piston and pumped the lever while sucking. Seem to clear the problem and got lever pressure back. must have got a particle of dirt in the mechanism."

Another option might be to gravity feed fluid into the bottom bleeder and then draw the fluid (and bubbles) up from the bottom and out of the reservoir.

Speed Bleeders for the C14:

Speed bleeder how to:  https://youtu.be/QVjPVhoPHow  

Positive pressure bleeding is an alternative.  Perth County Moto has a hand pump:  https://perthcountymoto.com/products/eze-brake-bleeder  I wonder if they have any more German police leathers...

Followup Followup:

Finally got the clutch sorted today.  I got a fluid pump with a one way valve in it and pressurized the lower bleed valve and then drew fluid (and bubbles) backwards (bubbles like to go up) out of the reservoir using the vacuum pump.  Lotsa bubble, then less and less, then none.

The initial fluid had a lot of debris in it (little black dots).  Once I got them out there was a little black tornado of very fine debris which I also vacuumed out.  I suspect this system has never been changed (the bike is 11 years old but low miles and minimally maintained).  With all the debris finally out and the fluid clear, more bubble came out (moving the steering side to side seemed to really do the trick).  When no more bubbles came out the clutch feel immediately returned.

I took the bike around the block - great clutch feel and engagement.  That clutch is a f#*@er to bleed!  Next winter the Connie gets a set of Murph's speed bleeders and I'm doing the brakes (which have also probably not been done any time recently).

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Chasing down a clutch slave cylinder leak in a 2010 Kawasaki Concours C14

Motorbikes are like sharks, they die if they aren't in motion.  There is a funny moment in the Bakuon!! motorcycle anime where the old motorcycle store owner talks about how lazy motorcycles are since they just lay down if no one is holding them up.  So bikes are sharks that need people to keep them in motion.

The latest project bike is a fantastically complicated machine.  I've rebuilt fabulously complex sets-of-four-carburetors and chased down other complex repairs in motorcycles, but I suspect this 2010 Kawasaki Concours C14/GTR1400 has single systems, like its motorized windshield, that are more complicated than whole previous bikes I've worked on; this bike a complex mix of mechanical and digital engineering, and it's been sitting for several years when its previous owner could no longer give it the urge to stay in motion.

On the Concours the clutch slave cylinder uses brake fluid to hydraulically assist the clutch, giving you an even, assisted clutch action.  I went for a long ride on the Tiger yesterday and I'm not ride-fit yet as it's still early in the season.  The grip muscles in my left hand were singing by the end of the ride and I was getting lazy with gear changes as a result.  A hydraulically assisted clutch would make long rides more comfortable, so there are benefits to this complexity.

This is the first bike I've owned that isn't a simple mechanical clutch that uses a cable tied to the transmission.  On the C14 the clutch is on the lower right of the motor and the clutch and the slave cylinder it feeds is on the left.  When you apply the clutch the brake fluid in the hydraulic system pushes a (very) long rod that runs right through the bottom of the motor over to the clutch.  That long rod is coated in molybdenum disulfide grease and connects the hydraulic clutch slave system to the clutch itself over on the other side of the motor.

One of the parts diagram blowouts I was looking at called the 92026a a gasket, so I purchased that thinking that's where the leak was, but this isn't a gasket, it's a hard spacer.  When you attach the clutch slave cylinder housing to the bottom left side (left and right is with the rider on the bike), this spacer isn't a seal and the bolts holding it on need locktite to keep them in place because they're only held on with 97 inch-pounds of torgue (which is little more than my hand tight).  You don't want to crank on the bolts, you want to sympathetically install the housing to spec so the spacer isn't squashed and can do its job.


When I got into the clutch housing it was pretty grotty.  This stationary shark has lots of little rubber bits in it that don't sit well, and the 92049 rubber piston seal has perished in the years the bike sat.  The brake fluid that the clutch hydraulic system uses was leaking past the seal into the chamber with the rod in it, which is usually dry, and then leaking around the spacer.

In retrospect I should have looked over the shop manual more closely and wrapped my head around how the system works before I rushed in to buy a spacer I didn't need.  I've contacted Two-Wheel Motorsport to get the seal.  They were very quick with a 2-day turnaround (impressive during Ontario's third-wave of Covid) and offer curb-side pickup, so I'm hoping by mid-week I'll have what I need to rebuild the clutch slave cylinder and get the clutch back to spec.

I'm now wondering if this leaking seal was the reason why it was such a pain in the ass to bleed last time - that certainly makes sense.




That clutch cylinder (gold) slides out and the seal and spring are easily accessed.  You need to replace the seal if you remove the cylinder so make sure you've got one on hand if you're going to pop the cylinder out.

It's also recommended that you apply some rubber grease to the seal as you're installing it.  This stuff looks like it'll do the trick and is formulated specifically for a tough life immersed in brake fluid.

Interestingly, replacing this seal isn't in the clutch section of the shop manual but rather in the maintenance section, which suggests that these seals have a limited life-span and are a regular maintenance item.  If you own a C14 you're probably going to be doing these at some point, especially if the bike sits for any time or you're not a regularly clutch fluid maintainer.




NOTES

Upper bleeder is 8mm, lower is 10mm.

SPEED BLEEDER parts listed from Murphs:
part:  SB8125# thread: M8 X 1.25 length: 1.10, (27.99)
part:  SB8125L # thread: M8 X 1.25 length: 1.28, (32.54)


Online resources for Concours Speed Bleeders
Murph's Kits - but they are very US focused  *5 each PN SB8125L, and 2 each PN SB8125*
Dennis Kirk:  gives lots of technical details


FOLLOWUP

The installation of the seal is very straightforward.  You can slide the cylinder out by hand and then remove the seal, which sits in a depression, very easily.  The new one was a snugger fit when sliding it back in, which is probably why the old one was leaking.  I coated the seal in this brake lubricant, which helped it slide in.  Pushing evenly with the heel of my hand helped seat it straight.  I also lubed up the rod that runs through the motor to the clutch with this moly grease.

The whole process took about 10 minutes and no more leaks.  The clutch bled much more quickly and easily without the leak and the clutch feel is excellent now.


Getting the fairing back on required some fiddling as the previous owner's drop had bent the metal piece it attaches to and I'd fixed the cracks in the fairing so they all lined up true now.  I ended up heating it up and bending it back to its usual position and it all went together.  The bike's now ready for a safety but I'm having trouble getting a response from Lloyd, my usual go-to local mechanic.  Hopefully I can get the paperwork in order and get it on the road next week.