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Thread: Spark Plug Life

  1. #1
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    Spark Plug Life

    Has anyone ran their plugs longer than the 12,000 mile change interval?

    Can spark plugs be checked to see if they are good?

    Are the twin sparks four spark plugs all the same?

    Thanks, Dark Cloud

  2. #2
    leave my monkey alone LORAZEPAM's Avatar
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    If you have one of the haynes manuals it will show you what the plugs should look like. As far as the +2 or +4 plugs go, I think it is a bunch of hooey. The spark is going to follow the easiest path from the electrode to ground. It will pic just one and not all 4 or both as they want you to believe. I found my bike runs the best on autolite plugs, and they are way cheaper than the bosch plugs. IBMWR has a listing of appropriate heat ranges for your bike.
    Gale Smith
    2009 Versys
    1999 R1100RT

  3. #3
    Registered User bmwterrien's Avatar
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    Dark Cloud-

    I have nearly 27k on my original plugs and they are fine.

    Steve
    "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"
    Steve Terrien

    BMWMOA #18114

    BMWMOV

  4. #4
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    Steve, have you had to regap your plugs? Has there been any change in gas mileage?

    If an engine is hard on the plugs, shouldn't it be hard on the plug wires? I haven't seen a thread on anyone changing their plug wires.

    JON

  5. #5
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    Originally posted by bmwterrien
    Dark Cloud-

    I have nearly 27k on my original plugs and they are fine.

    Steve
    "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"
    What bike? The k-bikes seem to be kinder to plugs than the oilheads.

  6. #6
    leave my monkey alone LORAZEPAM's Avatar
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    UV rays from the sun, and crap thrown up from the roads are much harder on plug wires than the electric current going through them. You have to remember that a Spark plug is subject to tremendous heat and pressure, the potential of fuel and oil fouling it. Not to mention carbon deposits. The plug wires should last for years, I wouldnt worry about them at all.
    Gale Smith
    2009 Versys
    1999 R1100RT

  7. #7
    Registered User bmwterrien's Avatar
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    What bike? The k-bikes seem to be kinder to plugs than the oilheads


    It is an 04 GS. I figure that other than oil/filter, tires, and valve adj, one shouldn't have to fiddle with it for a year or so. Hey, its got wear on everything from day one! If I wanted to fiddle with something, I 'd be riding my R90S on a daily basis.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Steve Terrien

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  8. #8
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Re: Spark Plug Life

    Originally posted by Dark Cloud
    Are the twin sparks four spark plugs all the same?
    On my 2003 R1150 GS Adventure, the main sparks plugs are NGK (didn't jot down the numbers) and the lower spark plugs are BOSCH YR6LDE.

    The spark plugs are different. The main plugs are 14 mm from what I remember and the lower plugs are 12mm. All have a 3/4" reach.

    I removed them during the first inspection to check their condition and to apply anti-seize compound to the threads.

    Plugs will last far longer than their recommended service intervals if the engine is in proper running order.

  9. #9
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    Spark plug life

    I could easily go over 12,000 mi but the Autolites are afforable enough so I change at every valve adjustment. My R1100GS ran noticeably better with the Autolites. The R1150R does not surge enough for me to notice a differance.

  10. #10
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    I believe the recommended replacement interval for oilhead plugs is 24,000. How do they look at that point? Given the low cost, is there any benefit to an earlier replacement?
    Frank G.
    Hattiesburg, Mississippi
    2004 R1150RT

  11. #11
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    Don't know if there is any benifit. Since I quit smoking I have some extra dough to spend on motorcycle stuff. And in my mechanical ineptness even I don't screw up plug changing. Makes me feel like I am doing something good for my bike. Kinda like giving the dog a scoobie snack , just because?
    SCOTT

  12. #12
    Rally Rat colt03's Avatar
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    I had 28,000 miles on the plugs in my K1100lt and changed them to some NGK's which got worse mileage, I only ran them about 8000 miles and went back to the stock bosch plugs. I think I'll run these another 28,000 miles. oh yea the mileage went back up.
    Craig Cleasby
    South Windsor, CT
    1996 K1100LT
    2004 R1150GS
    Yankee Beemers

  13. #13
    Registered User bmwterrien's Avatar
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    Steve sez: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"......
    Steve Terrien

    BMWMOA #18114

    BMWMOV

  14. #14
    Loose Cannon flash412's Avatar
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    Dark Cloud axed: If an engine is hard on the plugs, shouldn't it be hard on the plug wires?
    CLEARLY Dark Cloud needs a primer on how a motorcycle engine works. Henry "Credible" Pasternack has written a GREAT one. If you do nothing else, read the second to the last paragraph. This is classic internet moto-literature.

  15. #15
    Registered User hetkind's Avatar
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    I was down at the local dealer getting some recall work done on my new Rockster, and I thought that a set of spare plugs would be handy to have....

    first the parts guys said those last for years,

    my reply was: if I have a set, gapped, anti-siezed and ready to go under my seat, I am sure not to need them

    then he said: good thinking, but out of stock....

    what is odds that a local auto parts store will have the lower plug available? where else is it used?

    Howard
    Howard Etkind
    Dallas-Ft Worth

    "don't look back, they might been gaining"

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