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Just bought a Spada, first bike, some questions [gears, carbys, fuel tanks, iphones and more - not j

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by dantheman65, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. Hey all,

    I've been riding bikes overseas for years in busy SE countries and I just recently bought a Honda Spada here - completely different kettle of fish but still fun.

    A few questions:

    1) As I accelerate, is it ok to not use the clutch to change up through the gears? the bike seems happy (I let the throttle off obviously) doing it this way but are there any risks? Excessive gear wear? Rear tyre lock? I only do it because it's quicker and easier, don't care about clutch wear.

    2) What's the best solution to getting good rear-view coverage? I have the stock mirrors and they're ok but I don't really feel like I have a good 'feel' for what's behind me as I ride. Should I get 'blind spot' stickers or different mirros?

    3) Is there an iPhone holder I can buy that is waterproof and also has a dock/charging station? I could make one but I'd rather buy one for peace of mind.

    4) What the shit is this? Is on the right hand side of the engine at the bottom.


    5) My bike runs very well except for in the first 20% or so of the throttle range. It kinda 'gurgles' a little bit and isn't anywhere near as smooth as it is for the rest of the range. Why is this? I've put some carby cleaner through a tank of petrol and it's improved things but stuff is still an issue? If I need to clean my carbs internally, how hard is it to do yourself? I'm reasonably mechanical but I've never done it before.

    6) Is anyone with a Spada interested in swapping their fuel tank and fairings with me? I've got a blue spada and the tank and fairings are in awesome condition, but I want to paint them all a different colour. It seems a waste to paint over what is a very good paint job - would rather swap with someone who has a shitty paintjob but wants a nice blue one.

    7) I have a 'speed' light just under my speedometer that lights up red every now and again. I have no idea what it is. I thought maybe you could set it for a certain speed and it'd light up whenever you go over that speed but it seems to basically operate randomly anywhere from 80-110km/h. Any idea?

    8) Where is the best place to get a cheap replacement battery for these bikes?

    9) I have surface rust on the exhaust (the headers? - where it comes out of the engine) - what's the best way to treat this? I was thinking of somehow treating these and then getting an exhaust wrap as I like the aesthetics of them.

    10) Are tram tracks particularly dodgy? I know on a pushbike they're killer because if you're not conscious of them you can end up stuck in the rail but are they slippery or anything?

    11) Given that it's winter it takes a long time for the bike to reach operating temperature - this may seem stupid but is it almost worth using 'less effective' coolant in order for the bike to warm up faster? Riding it today it never got above about 1/3rd of the way from 'cool' on the temperature gauge despite riding it vigorously for 7 hours straight. It takes about an hour to even reach that level. Cooling working too well!

    12) In Victoria, is lane splitting illegal?

    13) In Victoria, if a single lane is really wide and cars are banked up at lights, can I cut down the left hand side? Not crossing any lines, just using the 'spare space' in the lane?

    14) Where is the best place to buy items for a service? Places like supercheap auto are unlikely to stock the various filters for this bike, where should I get stuff from? Is there an online place that ships?

    Thanks all!
  2. Wow....
    1 I assume that doing clutchless shifts would wear the dogs in the gear box slightly more but I'm sure its not too major.
    2 you could try bar end mirrors?
    3 no idea, don't have an iPhone
    4 that would be the oil level sight glass
    5 sounds like a blocked slow jet or poor fuel air ratio. Needs a tune?
    6 don't have a spada so not interested!
  3. i've no idea why it looks like that but im sure others can clarify what your looking at in your picture is your oil level gauge

    saying that i'm a kawasaki whore not a honda lover
  4. 7: Depends on the gear you are in, 80k is normal. A Japanese legal thing, most people pull the globe out.
    8: Try Battery World.
    9: Dunno,
    10: Can be, no sudden changes of power or direction when you are on them, cross them at as wide an angle as you can.
    11: Possible stuck thermostat, they can gunk up and stop closing so the bike runs with too much cooling.
    12: Yes, no specific law but a range of laws, indicating, passing in a manner dangerous etc etc
    13: Maybe. Road Rules Section 141 1c says you can overtake to the left if the vehicle is stationery. and its safe
    14: Lots of O/S part shippers. USA is good for parts.
  5. 4. Oil-level sight window, as others have stated. The screw in the middle attaches to the little "wiper" inside, so you can spin it around and clear the window for a better view. Very neat, I've always thought...

    7. The "Speed" light is set to come on at 80Km/h, which I believe was the limit for bikes in Japan where it was made. I've always dreamed of rewiring it to a "detector" of some kind ;)

    14. The filters on the Spada are also common to the VTR, so you'll have no problem finding them at any parts supplier. The only thing you're a bit limited on is selection of rear tyres, but Pirelli Sports Demons are readily available too and work quite well in all conditions.

    Good choice for a first "real" bike (y)
  6. 2. Set mirrors to just outboard of your elbows and shoulders, and then turn your head.
    5. Could be set up that way for emissions compliance. Quite a few bike have a lean spot right about they'd be tested...
    11. Are you sure the gauge isn't just calibrated that way? Many are. Don't mess around with different coolant. If you really think it's running too cool, try a bit of masking tape over some of the radiator. WARNING!! Keep a real close eye on your temp gauge if you decide to try it. (ie., I don't want to be responsible for cooking your engine because you followed my advice, and all that was wrong with it before was the gauge reads a bit low.) I actually have the opposite problem. I have a temp gauge on my ZX14 that normally sits on max or one dot under max in traffic. Has it ever shown any sign that it's actually running too hot? Well ... no.
  7. I have a spada too, it's a very good bike. And no, I'm quite happy with my black paint job.

    11. My bike runs cool too. It takes about 5 minutes to bring it up to running temp, that is off c on the temp gauge. I let the bike warm up when I'm putting my helmet and gloves on and wheeling it out of the garage. If you want to see the gauge go up run it for a little bit and then have it sit stationary while running, when it hits the 2/3 mark the fan comes on. (Scared the shit out of me the first time I heard it, I thought something was broken)
  8. For your iPhone, this sort of thing is generally what you'll be after. Shop around the local bike shops (there are good vendors supporting these forums), if you can't find what you want, eBay will have something undoubtedly.

    iPhone kit on ebay

    You may need something to work the phone with your gloves on, test what you're wearing, you'll see either way.
  9. Brilliant, thanks for all that guys. Any more answers?
  10. re the coolant;

    Ethelene Glycol is the typical 'green stuff' antifreze you see in cooling systems.

    Most specify at least 30% to provide anti-corrosion duties, although you can get away with as little as 20%.

    Ethelene Glycol has about half the specific heat capacity of water - this means a litre of Ethelene Glycol will heat up almost twice as quick as a litre of water would. Assuming your thermostat is functioning properly, replacing a 50/50 coolant/water mix it with plain water would cause the bike to take 50% longer to warm up.

    Can't answer the rest unfortunately....

  11. Have a Spada too since a month. Like my black paint though, sorry :)

    10. Tram tracks are way easier with the Spada than with a pushbike simply because the tyres are too big to get stuck in between them ;) They do get a hell lot more slippery when wet though - as does everything else.

    11. Mine runs quite cold as well. If I want her to heat up I found out that riding around doesn't help, but rather just letting her stand idle. In stop-and-go traffic she heats up much faster than when I just go for it.

    3. I am actually currently looking for a small, cheap, waterproof digital watch I can stick in the area beneath the gauges. Not knowing the time is sometimes a bit annoying. Anyone got an idea where I can get that from?
  12. I bought a $20 digital wristwatch at Target, cut the band off and attached it to the bike with a Velcro tie. It has a "light" button on front which is useful at night.

    You said you had a crash .. you ok? Bike ok?
  13. Yeah, thought a cheap wristwatch might do the trick. Will have a look soon whether I can find one.

    I'm OK, just got a sprained ankle. Foot is still bruised and a bit swollen, but I'm not limping anymore. Bike is getting a new fork, indicator, and brake lever. Apart from that I got told she's fine.
    Can't wait to have her back and go to a Sat morning sess to practice e-brakes and turns!
  14. This has to be a joke post?

    In case not:

    5) This is not normal for a Spada, mine was very smooth right through the rev range... Check the air filter is clean, the spark plugs are in good condition (electrodes should be a nice nutmeg brown). DO NOT PUT CARBY CLEANER IN YOUR FUEL. Carby cleaner is a mix of toluene and acetone - toluene is great in small doses but acetone burning in your engine is not good and especially bad for fuel hoses... To clean the carbies, take them off and clean them separately.

    If there's still a problem it's likely your carbies are out of sync and/or mixtures need touching up. Given the questions you are asking go see a mechanic!

    6) Just sold my Spada but I have a few plastic bits and a spare tank (with a small dent) that came with it when I bought it. Open to negotiation on price

    8) Don't buy a cheap battery. Supercheap may very well have one but Battery World definitely will. A cheap battery will give problems...

    9) Take the rust off with sandpaper - start with a coarse grit like 180 and work up through 360, 600, 800 and so on depending how much shine you want. I would suggest taking the rust off and painting with high temp paint to prevent further corrosion. Bunnings sell one in "Metallic Charcoal" which looks quite good (a dark gun-metal grey).

    11) It shouldn't get over 1/3 of the way up the temp gauge anyway - this is normal for a Spada (and any other vehicle). If the temp climbs over half something is wrong!

    I hope that this post is a clever joke but if not I mean no offence and it's good that you have asked these questions...

  15. Bummer!! But good to hear that you are cool and will be riding again soon :)
  16. 1. It is OK . But you paid for a clutch so you aren't getting your money's worth if you don't use it.

    2. A good way to adjust your mirrors is at lights on a multi lane road. Glance over your shoulers to see what is in the lane next to you and then set mirrors to cover as much of that as possible. It also lets you check how much you can't see and that is the very minimum you need to head check. Most bike mirrrors aren't sufficient to give coverage all around. After market extenders may assist. Did I mention head checks. Don't simply rely on mirrors and always head check

    3 Dunno. don't care.

    4 Depends what you are looking at but probably an oil sight window. Can't see too much oil though. Could be a worry if your bike is upright.

    5. Could be all manner of issues. When was the bike last tuned? Dirty jets could be a cause. So could running rich, carbs not synced, dirty air filter etc etc etc

    6. My fairings won't fit a spada

    7. Self destruct timer warning???

    8. If you want cheap I'd go e-bay. But cheap is probably not good. Try Battery World

    9. Sand/polish it off. IIf it is built up you may need to start moderately coarse and come up through finer grades. If you are going to wrap why bother.

    10. No Trams use them all the time with no problems. However they can be an issue on a bike particularly in the wet. Cross them at as great an angle as you can and wen doing so try to have the bike upright and at constant speed ie no braking or accellaration. Having said that they are no problem 999 times out of 1000. But it is the 1 in 1000 which is the worry.

    11. My bikes are all air cooled but I doubt it.

    12 Maybe. Or perhaps technically, no. However ifyou split you may be booked just not with lane spitting. There are 100 threads on this one - try a search

    13. Pretty much as 12 above. This one is actually legal but doesn't mean you won't be booked.

    14 I am assuming yes as there is a rumour going around that you can buy stuff online.

    I am assuming this post was a troll but it entertained me and doesn't mean someone may not some benefit out to the answers posted.
  17. Ive got a VT250 too, use metal polish to get the rust off the exhaust it worked for me, nina invest in a magnet waterproof watch, its ideal on my bike and just sits under the tacho, personally ive found ebay.co.uk the best place for cheap parts such as filters, brake pads, fork seals etccc
  18. I’m a new Spada owner too. Hope this helps some and sorry if some of the answers are already covered.

    1) I use the clutch – always.

    2) The guys at Sat Morning cone practice helped me set up my mirrors and with the stock mirrors and minor head checks I am comfortable with my visibility. They stood where I should be seeing them and it worked 100% better post that.

    4) That’s the oil window. Do an oil and filter change as you don’t know when the last one was done. My filter from Metro Motorcycles in Ringwood was $15 and they had Honda oil on special for $30ish. A tapping noise when idling has now gone since my oil change was done last weekend. I got my owners manual online as my bike didn't come with one and it helped with all this stuff. I have it in PDF so yell out if you want me to email it.

    5) Mine doesn’t do this. It’s smooth after it’s been warmed up.

    6) I like my black – sorry . I could’ve done with the white wheels though they are cuter than the gold.

    7) It’s the pre-set imports speed indicator which kicks in on mine around 90. It bugged me the first couple of times but now I just ignore it. It’s on the list to disconnect.

    10) I avoid riding on them, prefer to ride in between them - and when I cross I do so with purpose.

    11) My bike takes around 5 minutes to warm up... time for me to check lights, brakes, tyres, and get my gear on. It’s warm when it starts to rev to the bejesus while the choke is in.

    14) Spada stuff seems pretty cheap really - I’ve got oil, filter and brake fluid from Metro Motorcycles in Ringwood ($50 bucks all up I think), Eastern Wreckers and Victorian Motorcycle Wreckers seems pretty good so far for me too for parts.

    Hope this helps and hope to see you out on rides sometime so we can swap Spada stories.