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Spark Plug in a trail tool kit?

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I've been reading the threads on Trail Tool Kits...

Most people suggested bringing a spare spark plug.... I don't understand the need to carry a spark plug and tool - do the plugs foul so horribly that you wouldn't be able to get back to your car or wait ti get home, and need to stop for a trail-side repair?

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I've never seen an XR foul a plug in the way a 2 stroke will. But someone pointed out to me that you may need a plug if you ever drown your bike.

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I don't carry one and never had a problem. I have an 01' XR4 and it's on it's second plug. Only reason I changed that was to put in one of those iridium crystal plugs and I don't think it made much of a difference.

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I carry a spare plug and about 1 foot of fuel line. The fuel line is used to blow out (with air from my mouth) any rocks, twigs, dirt etc that has collected in the plug well prior to removing the plug. I then put the plug top in the end of the fuel line and use it to start the new plug into the threads.

I never had to use the plug but I have given it to others.

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I've never seen an XR foul a plug in the way a 2 stroke will. But someone pointed out to me that you may need a plug if you ever drown your bike.

If you drown the bike you would need a spark plug tool to get the plug out so you can drain the water out of the cylinder... but then you can just put the same plug back in - I've seen this done with big bikes - BMW 1200GS... I would think the XR would be the same.....

Actually, could you use the manual decompression to drain the water from the cylinder - as oppose to pulling the plug?

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I've never seen an XR foul a plug in the way a 2 stroke will. But someone pointed out to me that you may need a plug if you ever drown your bike.

If you really drown it, you'll need to pull the plug to get all of the water, mud, etc. out of the cylinder. And if you've drowned it that badly, you'll be very happy you have a clean plug to put back into the engine. It's hard enough to deal with a drowned bike without having to clean a spark plug with whatever you've got in your pockets or toolkit. I keep a new gapped plug in a pill bottle, wrapped with a paper towel, in the tool kit. That way it doesn't get bounced around against the other tools, and it won't lose it's gap setting. And I've had to use it on the trail, when I drowned the bike, and we got it started again and I didn't have to walk out. Walking out is a real pain in the ass. I've done it, and I don't want to do it again.

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Plugs should last for ages but Ive had one die on me before that wasnt that old.I always carry a plug and socket but I suppose it really depends on how far from home you are riding?Can you push it home?If not I would be carrying one just in case.I think I would be prepared to do an engine change rather than push my bike out of some of the places I ride!.Spark plugs have a limited life and as I dont know what that limit is I would rather carry a plug than replace it unneccesarily before I need to.

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If you drown the bike you would need a spark plug tool to get the plug out so you can drain the water out of the cylinder... but then you can just put the same plug back in - I've seen this done with big bikes - BMW 1200GS... I would think the XR would be the same.....

Actually, could you use the manual decompression to drain the water from the cylinder - as oppose to pulling the plug?

Yes, you can use the manual decomp, but you probably won't get all the water out of the cylinder, and it will just blow it into the exhaust pipe. However you can stand the bike on it's rear wheel, hold open the manual decomp at the cylinder head (pliers, vice grips, etc) and use the kick start to empty the exhaust pipe. The manual decomp is a big help when you're towing the bike to start it - which you'll probably have to do, even if you do everything else right.

xr4venture makes a good point about the spark plug tool. I wouldn't leave home on an XR400 without one.

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I've been reading the threads on Trail Tool Kits...

Most people suggested bringing a spare spark plug.... I don't understand the need to carry a spark plug and tool - do the plugs foul so horribly that you wouldn't be able to get back to your car or wait ti get home, and need to stop for a trail-side repair?

I have been riding XRs since '84 and always carry a spare plug. I have never had to use the spare and I am absolutely certain it is because I have one with me. Murphy's law says " If you don't have a spare plug, you will need it".

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I have been riding XRs since '84 and always carry a spare plug. I have never had to use the spare and I am absolutely certain it is because I have one with me. Murphy's law says " If you don't have a spare plug, you will need it".

Same here, but I have seen riders in my group with every problem imaginable.

Here's a few of them caused by a crash,

Lost kick stand spring (remove kick stand)

Sheared off water pump on tree stump (towed out with my XR)

CDI wires ripped out by stick (repair wires and tape up)

All required some type of tools, and I didn't even mention problems from mechanical failures. Carry everything you can.

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The XRs rarely foul a plug. That said, I always carry a spare plug and wrench tho, not because of the situations I CAN think of, but because of the situations I CAN'T think of. I also carry a length of fuel line or just use my tank vent line to blow out the well before removing the plug.

I really dislike riding with people that don't carry at least the basics when we're 50 miles from no where.

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Same here, but I have seen riders in my group with every problem imaginable.

Here's a few of them caused by a crash,

Lost kick stand spring (remove kick stand)

Sheared off water pump on tree stump (towed out with my XR)

CDI wires ripped out by stick (repair wires and tape up)

All required some type of tools, and I didn't even mention problems from mechanical failures. Carry everything you can.

Certain of my riding buddies have poked fun at me over the years because I pack so much "crap" with me but I have had the last chuckle on more than one occasion when somebody needed a piece of that "crap" and when the opportunity presents itself, I am not shy about reminding them of it.

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