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Too me fork oil is like motor oil. you need to change it as maintenance item. new seals and fluid ride it this summer and see what needs to replaced. basic items now can prevent major issues down the road.
something for you to think about.
+1
You won't get a good opinion on your current fork setup if the fork oil is old and nasty.
Nice bike:D
 

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Panigaliscious
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Discussion Starter #22
I have been riding it as weather and schedule allowed this fall, but it had a faint smell of gas each time I would start the bike. For a time I put it down to running rich at cold startup. There was never any liquid gasoline under the fairings. Recently it started smelling more strongly of gas, especially at the end of a ride. Last time I rode it (50 miles) and parked it in the garage it had a strong smell of gas, but again just taking off the fairings you couldn't find any liquid gas. Smell goes away so I assumed it was only leaking while under pressure (good).

Last night I finally raised the tanks and inspected the airbox, throttle body, and fuel pump area. What I suspected was the quick-disconnect fitting has O-rings, and these can go bad. Turns out it still had the original plastic QD but the O-rings were fine, although looking at the blistered fuel line it was obvious that liquid gasoline had been coming from the QD and sitting on the outside of the fuel line. After cleaning and hitting the key, it appears the QD bidy itself has a very small crack and allows a tiny amount of gas to seep out. Clean it off with contact cleaner, and you can see it wet slowly (like one of those WWII movie maps of the Germans spreading across Europe). So off today for a couple of feet of 1/4" fuel line, four new clamps, and a chrome-plated brass quick-disconnect from Colder products.


I also took off the airbox lid, seven freaking bolts, a tad overkill. The bike has a K&N, but it was just cleaned, not re-oiled. So wash it and spray on some of the red K&N filter oil and it should be fine. The dry sump oil system routes blowby oil into the airbox, if you over fill or run high revs oil can sit in the airbox until it drains out. Inspecting that tonight there was just a small amount of oil, but the drain tube wasn't connected from under the airbox. This probably explains why that side of the engine gets messy. So 3ft of plastic hose routed out and it should all be good.

The joys of buying a cheap bike with lots of miles.
 

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Panigaliscious
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Discussion Starter #23
I've also stripped off most of the graphics except the small stickers on the fairing. My plan is to buff everything again and repaint the lower belly pan silver (it is fairly beat up). I found some large red aprilia outline decals to replace the silver solid letters on the belly.

I've also just got an Evoluzione tail tidy to put on. I considered the integrated LED tailight/turnsignals but I am just going to keep thr stock signals for now. carbon fiber dash cover on its way too.

This isn't my bike but it should look similar when I get done.
 

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she's real pretty, amazing what a little elbow grease and polish can do. Plus how many of them do you see around?

Is the riding position significantly more comfy than the duc?
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Riding position is much more comfortable, mainly in legroom. The Aprilia is also physically a large bike for a sportbike, so it fits me pretty well. My commute is an hour each way, no problem at all on the Aprilia. There are some days where I have to travel around town during the day, I've done a few 200 mile days on the Aprilia without discomfort.

The 851 has a riding position where you sit "in" the bike, probably as uncomfortable a riding position as I have ever experienced. If I ride it a couple of days in a row to work I can feel it in my old knees. It's probably what will motivate me to eventually sell the bike after owning it for so long.
 

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The more i look at it the more i want to look at it...right now on my rotating pics on my screen saver along with the desmo, honda NR, SS, 85 gixxer and 999.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Worked a little bit on the bike tonight. After getting some 1/4" fuel line at a local auto parts store, I bought the Oetiker clamps and pliers from McMaster-Carr. We use these guys all the time at work and I cannot recommend them enough. Bought the stuff yesterday morning online, it arrived today, a whopping $6 shipping charges.

Also got Colder Products (CPC) chrome-plated brass quick-disconnect with built-in check valves. The stock plastic one has a hairkine crack that allows it to be continuously wet with gas (although not enough to let it drip). No valve in the stock one either, so when you disconnect it, the entire tank drains out. I wonder how many guys have been caught out by that?

Anyway, part numbers (McMaster) were the following:
5478K419 (Male QD w/valve) $11.51
5478K229 (Female QD w/valve) $17.14
6541K69 (Oetiker pliers) $29.85
5254K73 (20mm clamps for oil change) $10.61 for 25
5254K52 (12.7mm clamps for fuel lines) $8.93 for 25

The downside of haveing the valves is that if I ever do have to drain a tank again, I have to remove a clamp from the throttle body, the upside is I can remove the tank without having to drain it.

Pictures are:
1) McMaster parts
2) Old fuel line crusted with gasoline varnish (it used to be white)
3) Draining the tank which took forever as it dribbled out of the return line
4) My new hose and fittings (I just cut the hose to length once the old stuff was off and tank drained)
5) Everything installed and ready to pressure test. No leaks so it appears!:)
 

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Panigaliscious
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Discussion Starter #29
Look at the undersaide of the tank, it was covered in this crappy foam that was disintegrating. Not sure if it was to prevent sound or heat or what, but after 12 years it was pretty worthless. Peeled all that old stuff off and vacuumed all the bits of foam from the engine. Bought some adhesive-backed heat insulation which looks just like what my Ducati had stock.


I didn't take a picture when I was done, I was in too much of a hurry to get some gas in the bike and see if I knew how to use the clamp pliers.

I also installed a drain tube on the right side of the bike to drain the airbox of oil, should mean less oil on the top of the engine. It only takes a tablespoon to really make a mess.

Supposed to be low 40's in the morning, I'm debating whether to ride the 50 miles to work or not. Not many days left this year to ride.
 

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Panigaliscious
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Discussion Starter #30
Last ride a couple of weeks ago resulted in a small coolant leak, and I have a persistent oil leak on the left (oil tank) side.

Last night I finally took the fairings off and saw the coolant leak appeared to be coming from the hose/thermostat junction. Clamp did not appear loose but I replaced it anyway.

I had had enough of the oil leak making a mess and drained the oil, and took off the dry sump tank. Source of the leak became apparent, PO had left out one bolt on the head behind the tank. Three screws should hold the tank on, only two were in place. M6 stainless screw and nut and it is as it should be firmly attached to the bike.

Having my old destroyed 851 engine proved handy, one case bolt later and a few minutes with contact cleaner <hopefully> the oil leak is solved.

The oil filter is behind a cover with a thin O-ring that seems barely up to the job, it is also possible it had a small leak from there too. Sourced some slightly fatter O-rings that are pennies each (instead of $9 from Aprilia) and it appears to work perfectly with good squeeze in the joint.

Next day it will be warm enough is Saturday before I can test it to see if I cured its incontinence.
 

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Panigaliscious
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Discussion Starter #31
Been riding the bike as time and weather allows. Did two round trip commutes last week on a single tank of gas. Could do 200 miles on a tank if you just ride it like you drive a car. The tripmeter is at 190 miles after 4.641 gallons of fuel. Low fuel light came on at 181 miles.

Tires are shot, new ones tomorrow.

Knock on wood, bike runs better than when I bought it. Still have to repaint the fairing lower and change the oil in the forks. Having too much fun riding though :)
 

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Street and Track Moderator
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Very cool, would love a Tuono of any vintage...
 

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Neat project. I always liked the Mille's

For the fuel disconnect: The bike is carbed and just has a hose at the bottom of the tank going to the carb? No fuel pump or petcock?

Anyways, if you want an easy way to drain the tank without unhooking any lines, just get another length of hose and put a quick disconnect fitting on it (whatever the throttle body side has, male or female).
Then use that hose any time you need to drain your gas.
 

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Neat project. I always liked the Mille's

For the fuel disconnect: The bike is carbed and just has a hose at the bottom of the tank going to the carb? No fuel pump or petcock?

Anyways, if you want an easy way to drain the tank without unhooking any lines, just get another length of hose and put a quick disconnect fitting on it (whatever the throttle body side has, male or female).
Then use that hose any time you need to drain your gas.
Pretty sure it's FI. (mine is but it's an 02 model)

I can't believe you pull 180 out of a tank. I only get 100 miles or so commuting. but I love the way it sounds at 11,000 in First and second.

and I cruise in 4th at 70 for the short highway parts of my commute. Rarely see 6th.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
New tires yesterday. Continental ContiTouring tires (sport touring).

This is my first set of new tires for the bike. Handling is much lighter, but the ride is worse, even going new vs very used Bridgestone BT-023.

Every litte bump can be felt, may have to back off the compression damping and spring preload just a bit.

BTW, bike is 2000.5 with steel tank, 20L capacity. A little more than the later resin tanks.

Yes, it is fuel-injected.
 

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And Stateside again...
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Speaking of gas... my Light came on today. at 97 miles.

Also thanks for the Mcmaster QD part numbers. I will be buying some for mine.
 
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