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NapoliBlackbird

Plugs and Air Filter

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Just purchased my third Blackbird, a 2003.  Bought an FJR 1300 a couple of years ago because I thought it would be a nice compromise after owning Blackbirds - more comfort yet still sporty performance.  Great bike for what it's intended, but always found myself comparing it to my Blackbirds, which was not a fair comparison.  Super smooth but lacked afterburners and really had to manhandle it in the twisties.  Now it sits in my garage next to the Blackbird - maybe I'll keep it for when the wife wants to go on a ride or for when I become an old geezer and grow into it - hey, I'm already there..  Anyway, got lucky finding the Blackbird on Craigslist locally with only 28K miles on it and in fantastic shape, so I snagged it.  I wanted to change the plugs and air filter since I don't have the previous service history on it.  Looked at various forums and a Youtube on doing myself.  I can do basic maintenance like changing oil, etc, but the plug and air filter change require unbolting the tank to get to it.  The Honda dealer will do it for a couple hours of labor (aprox $210-$265) plus parts.  I don't mind spending the money and having the dealer do it, if it's a pain in the ass.  Anybody give some insight on how difficult of a job it is and if you need any special swivel sockets to get to the plugs?

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Aunt Zero    611

I'll start with a link to a DIY project you might as well do.

 

To access ANYTHING under the tank, you more or less have to disconnect the fuel lines which means you have to drain the tank.  Many FI bikes DO NOT have a manual cut off.  Spend the money and time to buy the Jiffy-tite disconnects and install them.  Dismounting and remounting the fuel tank becomes easy peasy.

 

A big part of any cost in accessing plugs and air filter is the need to drain the tank (although a shop might have a way to plug the fuel lines once disconnected so they don't have to drain the tank).

 

Also, filter and plugs are low-priority maintenance.  If you have down time (winter), it's the ideal time to dismount the tank and fiddle with anything underneath.

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ptxyz    38

+1 on the dry break fittings (1/4" & 5/16" as i recall) but, i plan on replacing my plastic ones with brass in the next few years.

 

i've also heard there's a way to tip the tank up onto it's rear (vertical) but, that seems precarious to me.

 

as for reaching the spark plugs (filter is easy), you may consider removing the pair system to ease access but, won't need anything other than a socket with medium extension either way.

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poida    75

i've also heard there's a way to tip the tank up onto it's rear (vertical) but, that seems precarious to me.

 

this is how i do it.place a rag or old t shirt on the frame above near where the battery sits then i rest the rear of the tank on that.i use a light tie down strap and thread it through the rear grab rail(i pass it through the luggage rack i have on mine) and over the tank and around the section on the underside of the tank that slots into the frame.cant for the life of me think what they are called.then it's just a matter of raising the front of the tank to a height that allows access without putting strain on the fuel lines and pulling the strap tight to hold it place.give it a bit of a shake to confirm it's not going to fall over but i have found it is always very stable.removing the air box is easy although be careful when undoing the screws that hold the injection intake stacks down as the screw heads seem to be made of cheese and is easy to chew them out.I have found using a screw bit from an impact driver and turning it with a spanner works best.hardest part now can sometimes be getting the plug caps off.sometimes i find they come off easy ,other times one may be a pain.using the plug spanner that comes with the tool kit works well to get the plugs out.only other thing to watch out for is making sure the air tubes that run from the front of the nose cone to the air box are seated in properly when reassembling.

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paul99xx    95

Or this.

 

 

20140227_110351.jpeg

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superhawk996    844

I did similar to paul99 with mine.  Having the tank off would be nice for the extra space, but not required.  Do it when you reach a low fuel level or drain it to reduce the weight and not have any spill from the filler, supposed to be a perfect seal but I wouldn't risk it.  There's also a chance the gas could hit the vent tube and cause an issue if it's full.

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Thanks everyone for all the feedback.  I didn't expect such a quick and thorough response from so many.  It certainly sheds more light on the topic.  Nice to know there are so many out there that know what a special kind of bike the Blackbird is.  For the life of me, I can't understand why Honda stopped producing it.  It may not be the fastest, but there is nothing else like it out there when it comes to the combination of speed, handling, looks and quality.  Must be a generational thing.  And anyway, once you pass the 170 mph mark, it's all pretty much academic. 

Edited by NapoliBlackbird

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superhawk996    844

It wasn't selling well so it ended.  There are many bikes, and other stuff, that gain appreciation long after they're gone from the showrooms.  Past 170 isn't academic and how quickly I get there isn't either, but the combination of stuff the Bird has going for it is special.

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paul99xx    95

How about just doing the air filter and leave the plugs until you put it in to have the shims checked. Platinum plugs last a long time.

 

Agreed, brilliant bike, does everything so well. I think sales dropped off in the States once the Hybusa came out and had higher top speed, They kept selling over here in oz, we got them until 2007.

Edited by paul99xx

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XXitanium    618

Ride it to a meat. Bring beer. I'd wager a knowledgble bunch would assist or do it  for you....

 

28K. Does run well?  ...no rush IMHO.

 

 

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Hobicus    415

Plugs and air filter are actually surprisingly easy, once you realize that you actually don't have to remove the tank to do them. (Zero is mistaken here, you don't need to disconnect the fuel lines)

 

  1. Put the bike on the center stand
  2. With the tank almost completely empty, remove the bolt under the seat that holds it in place
  3. Lift/loosen the tank. 
  4. Put a thick towel in the gap between the airbox and the frame.  Tip the tank up and set it on the towel
  5. From here you have full access to the airbox and plugs.
  6. Tip:  The spark plug tool in your toolkit is freaking awesome for doing the plugs
  7. Tip 2: DO NOT gap the plugs.  Iridium plugs come pre-gapped.  Gapping them will destroy the coating and after 5000 miles you're be all pissed off because you have to replace the plugs again

I have done this countless times and have had NO problems.

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blackhawkxx    1,295
4 minutes ago, Hobicus said:

Tip:  The spark plug tool in your toolkit is freaking awesome for doing the plugs

That is what I use and it does work better than anything else I have.

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Thanks again everyone.  The bike runs flawless, like it was new, XXitanium.  I'm sure I can handle it now that I have the tank issue resolved, probably leave it for the fall.  Superhawk996, I said that anything past 170 is academic because unless you are drag racing someone to top speed, being on any 1000cc sport bike or larger, will get you over the 170 mph line pretty damn fast.  Beyond that your just trying to get last bit of the top end a bike has left.  How it feels getting there, and how it performs in every other aspect, to me is more important than whether I can eek out another 10 mph from the bike just going in a straight line.  The one time I pushed my '99 Blackbird to 185 mph indicated, the experience past 170 mph was pretty much focusing on going straight and periodically glancing at the dial to check my speed.  I agree it is special, that's why I'll keep this one until the only thing I can ride any longer is a wheelchair.  I almost feel sorry for my FJR parked next to the Blackbird.  I think it feels I've disowned it.

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XXitanium    618

Spare bikes are not a bad thing.

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superhawk996    844
1 hour ago, NapoliBlackbird said:

Superhawk996, I said that anything past 170 is academic because unless you are drag racing someone to top speed, being on any 1000cc sport bike or larger, will get you over the 170 mph line pretty damn fast.  Beyond that your just trying to get last bit of the top end a bike has left.  How it feels getting there, and how it performs in every other aspect, to me is more important than whether I can eek out another 10 mph from the bike just going in a straight line.  The one time I pushed my '99 Blackbird to 185 mph indicated, the experience past 170 mph was pretty much focusing on going straight and periodically glancing at the dial to check my speed.  I agree it is special, that's why I'll keep this one until the only thing I can ride any longer is a wheelchair.  I almost feel sorry for my FJR parked next to the Blackbird.  I think it feels I've disowned it.

I've only made one high speed run on a Bird, a borrowed '99.  It wasn't my bike so I had no fucks to give.  Actually, he asked me to do it so he could see, hear, & feel what it was like to have his bike fly past him as he stood on the side of the road.  He also stated that if I didn't go by doing at least 180 I was a pussy and he wouldn't be happy (pissed might have been the word used).  I think he'd maxed around 180-185 after a couple tries and removing his backpack.  Now I gotta break from the speed story to say that when he first invited me to do this I thought he was fucking with me.  Actually I first thought he was inviting me to take my 1982 100MPH speed machine with the 85MPH speedo for a run, yea no thanks, I've done it.  When I realized he was possibly inviting me to take his bike I was like yea right...but maybe he's serious?  I wanna take the ride, but there's no way that's what he's saying.  This guy (seajay) was super anal about his bike.  It lived in the garage under double covers and people walking through were directed away from it.  He hit some kinda rodent which left a mark on the lower fairing and he bought a new one, buffing it back to a shine just wouldn't do.  His riding ended after a chain cleaning incident removed some finger parts....I mentioned he was anal right?  Anyway, I looked at my brother who knew him well, I'd just met the guy and all I knew of him was that touching his bike would lead to one's death, probably a slow one.  Even my brother couldn't tell for sure if the offer was serious, but he seemed to think it was.  As I threw a leg over I was still somewhat expecting him to say "GOTCHA SUCKER"!  I turned the key.......nothing.  Pushed the start button.......Still quiet.  Clicked into first........holy shit, he ain't stopping me!  Oh fuck, now I gotta do this and I don't know what's gonna be more difficult, not staining my leathers or not denting his tank with the massive erection.  I'd never ridden a Bird other than an around the block kinda ride.  I pushed the power a little on my way up the hill to the "starting line" just to get a feel-WOW, this ain't my 85HP Yamaha, but it was also much more solid feeling and confidence inspiring than that rickety ride with almost no brakes, crap suspension, and a turbo that came on when it felt like it.  (I talk that shit but I miss that bike)  So back to the speed run; IIRC the needle was on it's way to 175 as I neared the top of 5th gear.  I'd lost track of what gear I was in, still getting over how different it was than the Seca.  I wasn't sure if there was another gear but figured there should be so while holding full throttle I put some pressure on the shifter and gave the clutch a quick slip.  The bike lunged and as excited as I had been to hit 175 that excitement was trumped right there, I also slightly shit myself that there was that much pull in it.  Now I know I'm in for a fuckin ride!  Somewhere in the mid-high 180's the speedo appeared to be coming to a halt when I decided to stretch my ass back rather than stay in the balled up position I'd been in and the needle started moving again.  I don't recall what my speed was when I passed them, but I exceeded my mandated 180 so I knew my man card was safe.  It was about that time that I thought I shoulda just taken all my gear off cuz if something bad happened it would hurt less to be naked than to have almost enough gear on.  At 193 I realized that I was coming up on a curve, I wanted to stay in it and see if there was more speed to be had, but I let off.  As the speed dropped under 175ish, not looking at the speedo any more, I felt like I was going slow enough to sit up; big mistake but I managed to pull myself back down and stay on the bike.  I got down to non-ludicrous speed before the turn which lead to a bridge with a bump transition from asphalt to cement.

 

It's been a long time so the details are probably a little off.  Speeds were stock speedo indicated.  A far as I know the bike was stock other than slip-ons (TwoBros I think) and the front tire size, I think it was a 90 series instead of 80.  A couple years ago I realized that my memory of the incident was probably foggy because I'm pretty sure I was on the same road heading home from Prescott in my friend's Jeep and what was a right turn onto the bridge in my head on bike day was a left in the Jeep.

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superhawk996    844
4 minutes ago, superhawk996 said:

I've only made one high speed run on a Bird, a borrowed '99.  It wasn't my bike so I had no fucks to give.  Actually, he asked me to do it so he could see, hear, & feel what it was like to have his bike fly past him as he stood on the side of the road.  He also stated that if I didn't go by doing at least 180 I was a pussy and he wouldn't be happy (pissed might have been the word used).  I think he'd maxed around 180-185 after a couple tries and removing his backpack.  Now I gotta break from the speed story to say that when he first invited me to do this I thought he was fucking with me.  Actually I first thought he was inviting me to take my 1982 100MPH speed machine with the 85MPH speedo for a run, yea no thanks, I've done it.  When I realized he was possibly inviting me to take his bike I was like yea right...but maybe he's serious?  I wanna take the ride, but there's no way that's what he's saying.  This guy (seajay) was super anal about his bike.  It lived in the garage under double covers and people walking through were directed away from it.  He hit some kinda rodent which left a mark on the lower fairing and he bought a new one, buffing it back to a shine just wouldn't do.  His riding ended after a chain cleaning incident removed some finger parts....I mentioned he was anal right?  Anyway, I looked at my brother who knew him well, I'd just met the guy and all I knew of him was that touching his bike would lead to one's death, probably a slow one.  Even my brother couldn't tell for sure if the offer was serious, but he seemed to think it was.  As I threw a leg over I was still somewhat expecting him to say "GOTCHA SUCKER"!  I turned the key.......nothing.  Pushed the start button.......Still quiet.  Clicked into first........holy shit, he ain't stopping me!  Oh fuck, now I gotta do this and I don't know what's gonna be more difficult, not staining my leathers or not denting his tank with the massive erection.  I'd never ridden a Bird other than an around the block kinda ride.  I pushed the power a little on my way up the hill to the "starting line" just to get a feel-WOW, this ain't my 85HP Yamaha, but it was also much more solid feeling and confidence inspiring than that rickety ride with almost no brakes, crap suspension, and a turbo that came on when it felt like it.  (I talk that shit but I miss that bike)  So back to the speed run; IIRC the needle was on it's way to 175 as I neared the top of 5th gear.  I'd lost track of what gear I was in, still getting over how different it was than the Seca.  I wasn't sure if there was another gear but figured there should be so while holding full throttle I put some pressure on the shifter and gave the clutch a quick slip.  The bike lunged and as excited as I had been to hit 175 that excitement was trumped right there, I also slightly shit myself that there was that much pull in it.  Now I know I'm in for a fuckin ride!  Somewhere in the mid-high 180's the speedo appeared to be coming to a halt when I decided to stretch my ass back rather than stay in the balled up position I'd been in and the needle started moving again.  I don't recall what my speed was when I passed them, but I exceeded my mandated 180 so I knew my man card was safe.  It was about that time that I thought I shoulda just taken all my gear off cuz if something bad happened it would hurt less to be naked than to have almost enough gear on.  At 193 I realized that I was coming up on a curve, I wanted to stay in it and see if there was more speed to be had, but I let off.  As the speed dropped under 175ish, not looking at the speedo any more, I felt like I was going slow enough to sit up; big mistake but I managed to pull myself back down and stay on the bike.  I got down to non-ludicrous speed before the turn which lead to a bridge with a bump transition from asphalt to cement.

 

It's been a long time so the details are probably a little off.  Speeds were stock speedo indicated.  A far as I know the bike was stock other than slip-ons (TwoBros I think) and the front tire size, I think it was a 80 series instead of 70.  A couple years ago I realized that my memory of the incident was probably foggy because I'm pretty sure I was on the same road heading home from Prescott in my friend's Jeep and what was a right turn onto the bridge in my head on bike day was a left in the Jeep.

 

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Aunt Zero    611
13 hours ago, Hobicus said:

Plugs and air filter are actually surprisingly easy, once you realize that you actually don't have to remove the tank to do them. (Zero is mistaken here, you don't need to disconnect the fuel lines)

...

I have done this countless times and have had NO problems.

 

It's a matter of preference.  I prefer to NOT have to work around something perched on a dowel and balanced in place.  More options to "attack" a problem when something's not in the way.  Full or empty, the quick disconnects make my life a lot easier when working on something under the tank.  The fittings have paid for themselves 10 times over just in how it simplified maintenance issues alone.

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CBRXX    210

At 28k, I wouldn't worry about plugs.  Got 42k on mine and never did the plugs yet, however do have a set and plan to do them very soon.

 

As others said, my experience on the air filter you can deal with the tank without removing the main line, just maybe the vent lines if I recall.

 

You may not even need the filter, I would have one ready to go and check it.

 

Haven't ever checked valves.  Going to take my chances there, that looks like a PITA.

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XXitanium    618

Hmmm, I'm fourth or fifth owner. It never really crossed my mind.

 

Are they original, I have no way of knowing, I never changed them. I'm pushing 45K.

 

I do need a chain. They stretch chains. My extra ballast probably doesn't help either.

 

Rectifiers and stators - problem

CCTs - problem

Tool kit hold down strap - problem

Wire loom 2000/2001 - problem

 

If you decide to do the plugs, it would be interesting to document their gaps. 28K, may be original.

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CBRXX    210

I just ordered another CCT from John last week.    I originally to the upgraded one around 20k miles but it's been making noise the last few thou.

 

On the plugs, what's the best way to get at them.  Is it better to pull the airbox and do from above?    The manual talks about removing upper cowl and going in from behind the oil cooler & radiator, not removing airbox.  

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redxxrdr    366

I have always come in from the top.  I pull the battery, then rotate the tank up on a pad in the battery recess.

pull the air filter top, airfilter, coil mounting screws and the venturies. There are a couple of sensors that unplug.  You can now remove the bottom of the breather box.

 

put clean towels or paper into the intakes now.

I can't sink a basketball anymore, but drop a screw, and down the intake it will go.

I then do one plug at a time. Use the plug wrench that comes in the tool kit. It works well.

 

 

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