Did It Myself 500 Mile Initial Service - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
Water Cooled Twins Technical Talk Technical Talk for water cooled Triumph Twins.

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post #1 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-12-2016, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Did It Myself 500 Mile Initial Service

Please note, everyone's mechanical abilities and relationship with their dealer and local economy will differ.

I like to do my own maintenance, so for the 500 mile initial service, I picked up 4 quarts of Castrol 10W50 Super Nifty Holee Chit Expensive Saskatchewan Mink Oil (for those of you that remember Super Dave Osborn) and a Triumph oil filter, and armed with my owner's manual, tool box and 45 years of riding and wrenching, I did my own service on my two week-old T120.

Oil change was one of the easiest I have done lately. FINALLY, an Allen head drain plug. What took the auto/moto industry so long? I don't have a slip-over 3/8's drive filter wrench thingie, only a classic slip-joint oil filter wrench, so I had to loosen the torque on the filter with the bike on the sidestand. The filter is recessed into the oil pan and can only be approached from the rear. With the bike on the center stand you can't get the wrench in far enough to grab it. On the sidestand, no problem.

I think the filter was torqued down with an impact wrench. GEEZ it was a bitch getting loose, and when it did, the gasket remained stuck to the engine, not the filter. Somebody really horsed that sucker down.

A kind soul at Triumph was thinking of all the mechanics out there when he/she chose the location and orientation of the oil filler port. I didn't have to hold the funnel with one hand and pour oil with the other. No mess. Sweet!

Chain adjustment actually turned out to be easier than I had anticipated. I found a cheap set of metric end wrenches at the local hardware store that had less metal than my Craftsman tools, so I was able to finagle them in to loosen the locknuts and turn the adjuster bolts. At 506 miles, the chain was near the loose limit, and it only took an eighth of a turn of the adjusters to put the chain to the tight limit. Not bad. The ability to "worry" the mufflers away from the axle helped. And of course, when it came time to torque the axle nut, I used my Malcolm Smith Racing "road wrench" so that if I ever had to adjust the chain or get the wheel off while on tour, I could do it with my on-board tool kit.

Nothing else needed adjustment (clutch cable is about all there is to "else"). All fluids checked OK, no signs of leaks. All bearings felt good. Tires had no bad signs (such as the head of a nail peeking out from between the treads), and all the wheels needed was to clean off some road spooge and chain lube.

Try as I might, I could not come up with the secret combination of button strokes to reset the little wrench icon like I can on my Triumph Explorer. Oh well, I wanted to have the dealer do the ECU blast anyway. So, ride up, stand there while the mech hooks up the laptop to the dataport, wait 10 minutes, hand him three twenties (dollars U.S.) and I am good for another 9500 miles. I don't have an issue with the money. I know some folks on this forum have opined that the dealer should do this for nothing. Well, good luck with that. The man has to eat.

Dealer is I-90 Motorsports in Issaquah, WA, U.S. So far, great bunch. Kinda proud of their farkle prices, but they did give me a $200 "gift card" when I bought the bike and they gave me a VERY good figure on my trade.
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Rich Reed
Woodinville, WA
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post #2 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-12-2016, 04:56 PM
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More people need to read this, same here, dealer oil changes alone are running $80-100 (US).
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post #3 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-12-2016, 10:56 PM
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Good post, thanks. One detail: some of us want to know if they're using the same filter part number as for the previous twins and it seems the rest of the Triumph range: Was it part number T1218001 ?
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post #4 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-13-2016, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Forchetto View Post
Good post, thanks. One detail: some of us want to know if they're using the same filter part number as for the previous twins and it seems the rest of the Triumph range: Was it part number T1218001 ?
You're welcome. Yes, same filter part number, T1218001.

Just for the record, though, the Castrol 10W50 Racing T oil specified in the owner's manual for the T120 costs close to $20 a quart around the Seattle, WA, U.S. area. Even if purchased at a discount or by the case, this means even a DIY oil change will still push $80. If you have a Triumph dealer charging $80 to $100 for an oil change, that ain't bad at all. Especially when you consider you don't have to dispose of the oil, don't have to spread kitty litter on your garage floor after you tripped while carrying the catch-basin, and haven't burned your arm for the umpteenth time on the hot exhaust pipe while breaking the torque of the drain plug.

I'm not a fast mechanic, I'm not a slow mechanic. I'm a half-fast mechanic. Ba-da-bum.
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Rich Reed
Woodinville, WA
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post #5 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-13-2016, 01:49 AM
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thanks for the informative post!
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post #6 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-13-2016, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by richreed701 View Post
Yes, same filter part number, T1218001.
Thanks. That makes me think: Triumph produce well over 50,000 bikes a year, and that same filter appears to be used on all of them so far. Can you imagine what sort of price they get them for?

They sell them in the US for $9.99 though...£10.00 in UK...€12.00 in Spain.
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post #7 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2016, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Follow up: Took the bike to the dealer for the $60 reset. No grief, although I did make an appointment. In and out in 15 minutes. The mech did do a test ride. No issues with the ECU fault download.

Judging from the service writer's reaction, lots of Triumph owners in this neck of the woods do their own maintenance.

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post #8 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2016, 10:32 PM
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If you plan ahead, the same specified oil and filter can be had online for much cheaper.

Amazon Amazon

Glad to be here with so many other Triumph enthusiasts!
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post #9 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-17-2016, 11:41 AM
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Oil $10 / quart

I just picked up a case of 6 Castrol 06112 Power1 10W-40 Synthetic 4T Motorcycle Oil - 1 Quart Bottle, (Pack of 6) from Amazon for $45 or so. That's less then $10/quart, or $30 or so for an oil change. Add the filer that was $15, your talking less then $50 in supplies for the oil change.
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post #10 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 07:07 PM
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that overpriced fake synthetic is likely a group III highly refined CRUDE oil! there are real synthetics for less $$$. the engines needs to be fully broken for real synthetic group IV + V oil, redline is my fav + being ester based prolly one of the best. simple services are easily done at home saving $$$$ keep receipts + records + use oil that meets triumphs specs
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