Rookie rider needs upgrade advise

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by cdrw, May 22, 2007.

  1. cdrw

    cdrw Ol'Timer

    I'd like to draw on the experience and advice of the members.
    As a relatively new bike rider, having just bought my first bike
    (a used Suzuki 250 Djebel) last Dec., I've a few questions....

    1-Will the electrical system support upgrading the headlamp from the
    stock H4 55/60W halogen bulb to a 90/100W bulb? Is it possible to
    use an H4 Xenon bulb, or will additional heat be the factor? Also,
    are there standard 1157 'double bayonet' bulbs available that offer
    more than the 12V, meek 18/5W tail light bulb I currently have?
    2-As the bike is used, though no probs yet in 14K km's, is it
    adviseable as a precaution to replace the existing throttle cables
    (2) and front brake cable?
    3-I've a new o-ring chain...I've heard it's not adviseable to lube it
    with motor oil, or use solvents to clean the chain (?). The Putoline
    chain wax I have is expensive. Are there other suggestions for
    products that can be used with an o-ring chain?
    4-For the sponge air cleaner, do I really need to coat it with a
    special sticky oil (if so what brands should I look for)...or will
    just plain 30W or 90W oil work as well?
    5-I've read that upgrading the brake lines from stock to braided steel
    brake lines will significantly improve braking power. True?
    6-Are there high quality brake pads available that provide more heat
    resistance/less fade and better stopping power? brands?.
    7- Sometimes the bike will be un-ridden for a month or more, so is it
    adviseable to add a fuel stabilizer to the gas. If so, are any fuel
    stabilizers available in Thailand (brands)?
    8- Minor scratches on the my helmet's there a product
    locally available to remove them?

    While I know little about motorcycles, I'm somewhat competent as a
    mechanic on cars. I always upgraded brakes, lights, tires, and other
    components on cars I've owned and appreciate the safety aspects
    of such upgrades.

    Thanks in advance for your input!!
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  3. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    Do not put in a 100w bulb unless you upgrade wiring and relay, use a Xenon instead it will give u 30% better light.

    use Wd40 to clean the chain then wax it again.

    no need to replace cables if they run free and are well lubed.

    K&n do a good oil for air filters.
    Stainless braided lines give up to30% more braking effect

    HH sintered pads will improve braking but increase disc wear but i always use them

    One ore two months should not be a problem for gas.
  4. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

  5. irv327

    irv327 Active Member

    2-It is advisable to carry a spare throttle and clutch cable. Imagine that you are halfway to Chiang Mia and one them breaks. Good luck trying to find a replacement in middle of nowhere.

    3-Used motor oil contains tiny bits of metal from engine wear and should not be used for the chain. New motor oil will keep the chain from rusting. The actual wear surfaces of the chain are pre-lubed and sealed with...O rings. The spray-on special purpose chain lubes will fly of the chain immediately and make a mess of the engine, frame, swingarm etc. Furthermore, the spay-on grease seems to make dirt stick to the chain.

    4-I use 5w motor oil for the filter. Heavier weights of oil seems to restrict air flow through the filter. Allow the filter to sit overnight before reinstalling it. K&N filters are not adviseable for off-road use since they do not remove dirt as effectively.

    5-Braided steel lines are not necessary unless you are competing in motard races.
  6. jon

    jon Ol'Timer

    I've read in a few magazines that you should never use engine oil for your air filter.They said it causes the cells in the foam to change size and that it also drains down to the bottom of the filter quite quickly.
  7. scotty007

    scotty007 Ol'Timer

    For the chain I would highly recommend a Scottoiler or similar, this is a reservoir of oil that is attahed to the bike, and meters oil onto the chain only when the engine is going.

    I would suggest that you can get up to 3 times the normal chain life with one of these!
  8. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    The factory service manual for my DR250 says to use motor oil.

    I have a Scott Oiler on the TDM and I use it if I will be on long open road stretches. On my other bikes I don't bother. I found I had to carry a container of oil to top up the Scott Oiler. So I can carry that or I can carry a can of chain lube which is usually less messy and easier to use. You just have to remember to oil it every so often.

    I also saw a few articles that we really "over oil" our chains. With the sealed chains they need little lubricant on the outside. In fact the "sticky" lubes like chain wax are not recommended for off road use because the sand and grit stick to the chain and it does more harm than good.

    I really am not trying to intentionally promote the following website but they have some good info sometimes.
    Here is ONE idea on cleaning and oiling foam filters. I know there are many other ideas and theories. ... p?t=472846
  9. cdrw

    cdrw Ol'Timer

    Thanks to all who provided suggestions and advice!!

    -lighting - will pass on Xenon...very expensive!! Will stay with halogen... but maybe 55/100W as opposed to 90/100W...and maybe a spelunker's light atop my helmet ;-)

    -cables - will order throttle and brake spares...and most assuredly carry them with me when on my frequent Cambo and elsewhere trips.

    -braided steel brake lines...I'll ask about them; price will be the deciding factor!! I use to install sintered pads on my car...and like them...I'll ask about them, too.

    -the consensus is oil...for the o-ring chain...and air filter. Will do...and surely cheaper than chain wax or 'sticky' oil. Everything I'd previously researched say 'no' to K&N filters, especially in the dirt, just as irv327 mentioned. S-Hawk...I'd previously read the article on cleaning filters, due to your initial Thumper site referral. thx.
  10. mikerust

    mikerust Ol'Timer

    I paid 2500 Baht for mine because I have a very small headlight.
    Worth every baht at night.
  11. Azoulay

    Azoulay Ol'Timer

    Dear Friends,

    For the bulb, I would avoid to change it too easily for mainly two reasons:

    -The heat could brake your light glass (or you have to drill small holes in the reflector wuith the risk to dammage the mirror surface

    -The wires won't support this extra power consumption and risk to heat up and burn

    For the oil and filter, no matter, no problem we are not in a heavy competition to the search of perfection, trust I've done it several times and it works.

    For cables, please avoid to over oil it then you risk to make an abrasive paste with the sand which will stick to the cables, you will have hard points, force on it and slowly damage the cables. Idle it teflon bomb nothing else.

    For the scratch on helmet, brake the porcelain pig and buy a new one.

    Good luke my friend !
  12. Peter Hooper

    Peter Hooper Ol'Timer

    After reading the lighting posts I decided to upgrade my Phantom lights which are pathetic.
    The existing bulb is a 30/30 and the biggest I could get from the dealer in Ubon is 32/32. at B100. This is slightly better but I thought I would look for a Xeron and found one in a m/c accessories shop. It is a 25/25 but has marked on the plastic box 50/50. which I think means what it is equivalent to. When I plugged it in it generated a lot more light and heat than the 32/32. I don’t know how that works if it only draws 25Watts of power. The only real way to check would be with an ammeter I guess. Because the Phantom light is on permanently I don’t want to risk overloading the alternator/rectifier, I don’t know what % overload it would take.
    The other reason I couldn’t fit the Xeron yet is that the Phantom has a deflector shroud in front of the bulb and this caused it to dip on high beam and vice versa. The shroud is fixed with a torx type of screw I can’t remove.
    I note that Mike spent B2500 and cdrw declined on price. This Xeron only cost B50. Did I get an el cheapo ? It is suspended in a fancy plastic box with Chinese and English writing all over it and instructions to be very careful not to drop it or the heavy interior parts would drop off (my interpretation)
    Investigation proceeding_____________
  13. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer

    You say you ride in Cambo, while there go to any moto shop and buy some cable inners, they are just the wire and clamp on one end, prefitted connector at the other. They do nicely for the clutch cable and are easy to fit,cheap (approx 3000 riel), fit in any pocket, even give them away to riding buddies who won't carry their own, worth their weight in gold when the clutch cable snaps in the sand. You use the the old outter of the cable and if you want you replace the complete cable next time at home at you lesuire.

    The chain oiling can have a book written about it.Everyone does their own thing depending on what they believe and previous experience. I have a Honda scooter water resevoir (the kidney shape) attached to the side of the motor and gravity drip fed via a aquarium tap onto the chain at the front sprocket using the cheapest new oil I can buy. As long as the chain doesn't get "dry" it will last a lot longer, also if you keep a chain well oiled there is no need to use an expensive "o" ring chain.Total cost, tank B100, tap B3, brackets B15.

    Brasso works on plastic screens/visors to get out scratches, there are specific plastic polishes and scratch fillers, but they cost more than a new visor and I can't get them a my local supermarket.

  14. mikerust

    mikerust Ol'Timer


    Mine is a "std" car type. My bike originally had a 50/65W but now has a 50/65 Xenon which is equivalent in light output to a 100/130 at least that is the claim. I'd take it out and have a look but it's a tight squeeze and the rubber cover is a pig to get back on. No extra current draw just more light and yes heat.

    Sorry don't know what a Phantom headlight bulb looks like but it is a common bike so there should be a direct replacement available. If your bulb looks blue then yes it is El Cheapo, if it is clear then?? One gets what one pays for, however if it gives off more light who cares.


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