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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Newbie questions about my '01 Bonneville.

***EDIT: Thanks for the replies on the hose and the startup/idle issues. I've bought a can of Seafoam to see if I fix those.

***New question (so I don't have to start another newbie tech thread): If I grab the chain while the bike is on it's side stand or if I'm sitting on it and reach down, there is a little play when I yank it back and forward. I noticed that the rear sprocket is bolted to the hub via some kind of two-piece design. Is this chain play normal and what is the purpose of this design? In my experience with bicycles, the rear hub is ratcheting. However, here, I would imagine the design allows for bearing preload adjustment. I'd love to hear some thoughts.

Thanks!

Forgive my complete ignorance, but whilst figuring out how to do a chain adjustment today I ran across this hose that is not connected to anything. This is my first motorcycle and my first Bonneville so I'm not familiar with its mechanical workings.

Take a look at the pictures and let me know! I've ridden the bike about 100 or so miles and other than the somewhat laggy throttle response and long warm-up times (I'm going to try Seafoam and then take it for a inspection to a mechanic), I haven't encountered any major problems.

An additional question: For tightening the rear axle spindle nut, I just used sound judgement and grunt. I've worked on cars and bicycles before so I have a "feel" for what is tight enough. The reason I did this is because I couldn't get my torque wrench in there between the exhaust muffler and the nut. Can I use the torque wrench with a socket on the other side (left hand side when facing the bike from behind) and hold the right hand side nut with a wrench? Or should I only be tightening on the right hand side?

And one additional question: I've made the beginner mistake of trying to start the engine a few times with the petcock on "OFF". What usually happens is that when I switch it to "ON" and try to start it, the bike starts very reluctantly after several 5-second starter button intervals. Following that, I get throttle hesitation during acceleration and uneven idle. It usually clears up after about 10 mins of riding. Is this a sign of something?
 

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The hose looks like the airbox hose, opened as a drain.After 35 years of playing with bikes I can use the "feel" method for tightening axel nuts. If your a "newbie" use a crowsfoot with a torque. You can damage wheel bearings and deform swing arms by overtightening.

The starting issue can be a collection of things.How long was this bike sitting? Milage? When was the last service? What are the mods to the bike? 2001s in factory tune can be a real bitch to start.Proprly tuned the bike should spring to life by the third spin of the starter. Your problem may be as simple as vacum caps...a weak battery...improper choke use...stale fuel...a tune up...
 

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Lucky duck if you spin your gas cap off and look in tank you should see a small little nipple with a hole in it. Thats where fuel drains off if you overfill the tank. A tube is attached to underside of tank and snaked down below the frame.

As far as tough starting bike are you using the choke? I have to choke my o5 carb bonnie and leave choke on for a couple miles before she warms up. Sometimes its only pulled out half way and on cooler days i have to pull it out all the way. Once she warms up though I push it all the way in.

Did you get a owners manual? It will explain it a little better.
 

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Thanks for the responses guys. I am using the choke on startup all the way out.

And thoughts on tightening that rear axle spindle nut? Can it be tightened on the non drive side?
You can do it but there are risks. Because of the length of the wheel spindle, it will take much more torque from that side to get it to the same tightness, and you risk shearing the spindle if you overdo it. A good example of torquing long bolts is the Rover long bolt engine. On this the cylinder block and head were both held to the crank case with very long bolts. The maximum torque on these was 15 ft/lbs or else they would shear, and these engines were always suffering with blown head gaskets and oil leaks. Much better to have a stud and tighten a nut down.
 

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If I grab the chain while the bike is on it's side stand or if I'm sitting on it and reach down, there is a little play when I yank it back and forward. I noticed that the rear sprocket is bolted to the hub via some kind of two-piece design. Is this chain play normal and what is the purpose of this design?
As it's a 2001 bike the chances are that the cush drive rubbers are worn. Between the sprocket carrier and the hub there are some rubber buffers to smooth out the transmission and prevent jerkyness. Have a look at them, they're probably perished or breaking up.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
After much reading a searching I learned something new today about cush drive. Thanks!

Now, I'll have the mechanic check it out when I take my bike in on the 19th of October. I don't have a rear stand or lift at the moment to do it myself.
 

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Spindle is British for axle bolt. Pull the muffler, use a torque wrench, get a feel for it then use a box wrench from then on. Torque the nut, not the axle bolt (spindle).

Harbor Freight and Sears both sell bike jacks. Very handy.
 
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