First Impressions - disjointed thoughts about my first few rides.
When I went to look at the bike, the Previous Owner (PO) told me it needed new plugs every couple thousand miles. That was my first clue there was work to be done. When I first rode it, the throttle response seemed a bit soft compared to what I remembered my '95 being like. It was pretty obvious that the jetting was off.
I thought about riding it with the PO's out of state plate on it until I could get a new plate. I left work early one day to take care of all the paperwork instead- insurance, title transfer, registration. When I went to put the new Michigan plate on, I noticed the old one had expired over a year ago!
The plugs fouled on the first ride, the bike would miss at higher rpm and then clear up and run ok. On the second ride it got much worse - it seemed like low throttle settings were the culprit? I ordered a new jet kit (Factory Pro), figuring I'd start over from ground zero. I know flat slides are reported to be God's gift to the 900ss, but I'm not going to spend $900 on carbs quite yet. My '95 was fun with the stock carbs, this should be too.
The battery that would barely start the bike when I looked at it was no better after a few days on the charger. No surprise, I knew it needed a battery when I bought it. I stole the battery out of my 996 so I could ride it to work and not worry about it not starting when I wanted to leave. I'll get an AGM for it in the stock size eventually.
When changing the battery I noticed the frame that's holding down the air filter was only held down (safety wired) in one of four spots, and the filter was more or less free to flop around. Hmm.. out came the safety wire and that was fixed.
The shifter didn't feel right to me so I thought I'd change the lever position a notch and see how that felt. I was surprised to find it wobbling around on the shaft, it tightened up alright once I repositioned it.
The seat was horrible! I don't remember the seat on my '95 being that bad. On this bike after maybe 30 miles it felt like the thing was trying to cut me in half. UPDATE: I want to convert it over to a solo tail at some point, so I wasn't too crazy about buying a new seat for it, but I ended up getting a slightly used Sargent seat off eBay.
Open airbox, aftermarket pipes? THE BIKE IS TOO DANG LOUD. I think it's mainly the intake's fault so I found an unmolested airbox lid for it on eBay. I also bought a set of stock mufflers for the bike, but don't really plan on installing them in un-cored form. I bought them mainly because they are high pipes. UPDATE: With the new seat, I'll probably leave the low pipes on until I change over to a solo tail.
It HAD the dreaded droopy mirror syndrome. I've already taken apart the mirrors and roughed up the mating surfaces. No more droop - for now. I also got new bolts to cover the mirror mounting holes in the fairing, just in case I decide to go the bar end mirror route.
After a few rides I had a good idea on what all I wanted to do with the bike so I put it back in the shop to make a few tweaks before riding it again. When I put it up on the rear stand I noticed a couple other things. For one, the bolts holding the sidestand bracket onto the case were literally finger tight! My first clue was the stand flopped around when I went to retract it. An easy fix, but still...
Then I checked the clutch slave. Not surprisingly, it was leaking. I contemplated an aftermarket slave cylinder, but decided on a new, upgraded piston from Evoluzione instead. Seems to have done the trick.
I knew the bike needed TLC when I bought it and was expecting to find a lot of these things. Working this stuff out is part of the bonding process anyway - the bike doesn't feel like it's "mine" yet. And it won't until I've spent some time tweaking the things that bug me and putting some miles on it!
UPDATE: Work is underway: