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? from new SM owner

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After 45 years, got back into biking (sold my BSA Gold Star and Indian Chief in 1960 to start college). Bought a 400 SM in November with 189 miles on it (salesman said the guy wanted more off-road capability, and traded in on a KLR 650). The SM reminds me a lot of the Gold Star. Now have a little over 400 miles on the bike. Got some questions:

1) Have already decided from this forum that the break-in rev limits are a joke. Anybody disagree?

2) The salesman who sold it to me stressed the need to have the 600 mile service, including valve adjustment (about $200). But the manual shows first valve adjustment at 14,500. What do you think.

3) I changed the oil and filter myself at about 300 miles. Other than oil change, the 600 mile service looks like a few adjustments. If valves don't need checked, is there really any need to have the 600 mile done, except maybe changing the oil and filter again? (The warranty is up in August.)

4) Read in one magazine review of the SM that it might benefit from a change in rear sprocket (they said a couple of teeth smaller) to make highway speeds a little less "buzzy". What do you think?

5) I really miss a tach. Could one be put on? At what cost?

6) How about a K&N air filter?

Thanks for any help to a returning old fart.

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1. Yes errrrr no errrrrr whichever it is I do not disagree with your statement, ride the bike normal from the beginning.

2. Check your own valves at 600 miles if not sooner and then twice a year or so.

3. Check you swing arm bearings and steering head bearings for grease soon (600 mile check), not sure your dealer will do this. Also go over any fastener you can get to to make sure they are still tight.

4. Not an SM'er so can't say for sure.

5. search for "tiny tach"

6. k&n are :thumbsup: for road use but not in extremely dusty conditions. For those I'd stick with a foam filter. k&n also need to be cleaned reoiled properly for them to be effective, something some people just can't seem to handle.

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About #3: you'll have to consider how you plan to ride the bike. If you want to spend a lot of time on the superslab, then you might want to go smaller in the rear. But I don't consider this bike to be much of a superslab burner anyway. You're wheelies might suffer too. :thumbsup:

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Hey, SM owner: What kind of riding do you do? I'm looking at new bikes... The SM looks cool, but I'm concerned that the tires will be useless on the dirt roads I have to cover every day. What kind of gas mileage do you get?

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Depends on how dirty your dirt roads are. The S or even better a tagged E with decent dual sport rubber would be more comfortable on any non-paved road.

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Paved riding only, well, occasionally graded caliche. Have no idea of mileage. I keep a 5- gallon can of gas and add some when the trip meter shows 50 miles or so. (Longest ride so far around 20 miles.)

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What a great choice after so long w/o riding, well done!

I have a 01 s (bought new) now with about 7k road miles. I checked the valves once at about 6k, still well within spec.

From what I can tell from various post dirt riders advise valve checks/ oil & air filter changes several times a year, while road riders seem to go much longer. Probably the difference is stress and operating conditions.

I feel comfortable with fresh oil 1/year or about 3-4k...about 2x what Suzuki recommends. The valves only take about a hour to check so about the same frequency is probably a good idea. I dont think I would pay the shop for a 600 mile service unless there were issues. I will pay the shop for regreasing the head bearings and swingarm pivot/links later this winter.

Tom

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