A few more kilometres on the Himalayan and I remain more than a little concerned with the extreme lean harshness to the engine and exhaust popping on over-run.
Clearly, fuelling adjustments are required, however I am a firm believer of the importance of tuning to the type of fuel you intend to use (and the correct type for the engine), otherwise the whole exercise becomes futile. As I intend to run the bike on 98, and having no idea what was in it, the first job was to drain the tank, put in a couple of litres of 98 and then off to the local Shell servo to fill the thing with Shell V Power. The difference was both instant and vast.
The engine went from a harsh, anaemic feel to a much smoother and more stable idle, hugely increased mid-range power and a much more civilised over-run. So what fuel was in it, I hear you ask. The answer from the dealership was “91, because it’s all we have access to”.
Let’s think about the mathematics of this miserable scenario that has beset our favourite industry. The tank holds 15 litres and the bike runs like a busted chook on 91; and acceptably well on 98. So, 15 litres of 91 (which is barely flammable and should only ever be used for cleaning parts), at $1.32 / litre costs $19.80 versus 15 litres of 98 at $1.55 which costs $23.25.
The difference is $3.45, people. For the sake of $3.45 I went from “this thing is really not good” to “this thing is a hoot to ride; I love it”.
What a tragic state of affairs when the accountants have been allowed to wield their spreadsheets and bleat on about margins and variable costs and management now prefer that short-sighted, ignorant rubbish ahead of mechanical correctness and the customer experience. $3.45 was all it took to get the thing close to correct. Yes, I still need to re-jet it to get it spot on, but it’s close.
Having calmed down, I have since adjusted the idle mixture, however I cannot get a rich end to the adjustment, so a larger pilot jet is in order.