I am new to the Triumph brand and new to this message board. I just bought a new 2003 Speed Four and I am in the middle of the break in process. I have run across a few problems that seem fixable so far.
First of all, my dealer (Colonial Cycle Sports in Virginia) treated me very well even though I am a new customer. They don't advertise enough or have a web site, but they give very good custimer service.
The 2003 roulette green Speed Four was originally priced at $7,699, marked down to $6499, and marked down again to $5,999. They had an orange demo S4 with a Triumph carbon fiber can, and a test ride really sealed the deal. The fun factor on this bike was off the charts and the pipe was like music to my ears. I could barely contain myself after the test ride. I bought it for $5,999 (no setup or destination fees) and negotiated the Triumph carbon fiber exhaust can (and free installation/EFI remap) for an extra $230. The dealer said the can goes for about $400 retail. Installing it from the get go saved me lots of time and money. The carbon fiber can not only looks good and sounds great, but it is shorter and in much better proportion than the too long stock can.
So far I have run into a few problems that are fixable:
1. Gear shift lever too high. The left foot gear shift lever was set way too high for me and made it hard to up shift. To adjust this, you need to remove the set bolt on the lever with a 5mm Allen wrench, remove the lever, put it back on (set lower), and reinstall the set bolt.
2. Clutch lever too far away. The reach for the clutch lever was too long for my medium size hands. Adjusting the clutch lever/cable for more play is not the answer since the clutch engages so close to the grip. There was a gap between the left grip and switch housing, and another large gap between the switch housing and the clutch lever assembly. I slid the grip closer to the switch housing and then loosened the clutch lever assembly and slid it closer to the swtich housing. Now my fingers can grab the closer part of the clutch lever (thus shortening the reach). I can also wedge toll change inbetween the left grip and switch housing. I slid the front brake lever housing closer to the grip too. The front brake lever reach is adjustable, but counterintuitive: 1 is far from the grip, and 4 is close to the grip.
3. Unlubed clutch cable. The "L" shaped cable housing has a Teflon liner but there did not appear to be any lube. I lubed the cable with spray Chain Wax and lubed each end with grease. Remove excess grease to prevent dirt build up. The clutch seems to operate smoother. The clutch works best with very little free play.
4. Rear brake lever too high. I like the foot pedal lower than most people. This makes it easier to reach without lifting my foot off the peg and prevents over braking the rear tire. There is a 12mm lock nut below a 10 mm adjusting nut. The captive nut at the very bottom is not turned directly. There is then a plastic nut for readjustment of the brake light switch.
5. Rust in gas tank. There were a few spots of light rust inside the tank just below the opening. I will keep and eye on it. If a little paint around the opening flakes off, don't let it drop into the tank.
6. Blocked tank vent. My tank was not venting and either had pressure or vacuum on opening. The tank vent tube was kinked near the rear shock top bolt (bottom rear of tank on right side). I straightened it out, but it was still not venting. I removed the tube and found that the inline tip-over valve was working a little too well and would shut off with very little tilt. Also the short tube segment from the tank to the valve had a permanent fold from the kink. I replaced the long end of the tube on the tank without the short segment or tip over valve, but it was too short so I switched it with the longer overflow tube on the left. To reattach the vent tubes to the tank I had to loosen the front tank mounting bolt and remove the two rear tank mounting bolts. By loosening the front bolt, you lift the back of the tank two inches without stressing the front tank tab (if you take the front bolt all the way out, the tank could fall off!). This gave me enough room to attach the tubes under the rear of the tank without disconnecting the dreaded gas line connectors. Without proper venting you could end up with fuel starvation or an over worked fuel pump. To prevent gas spilling in an accident, the tip over valve should be left in place, but check to make sure it's vertical and the tube is not kinked every time the tank is moved.
7. Fuel line connector recall. My dealer sold me this bike without telling me about the recall. I assume I have the fragile connectors. It would have been nice to have the correct ones from the get go. I can see how they would be vulnerable to damage by laying the tank down on a hard surface or a clumsy reinstallation of the tank. Also, there are no instructions on tank removal in the owner's manual.
8. Worn swing arm guard. With only 300 miles, I have significant wear on the rubbery swing arm/chain guard, about 2-3mm deep grooves so far. I have a 42T rear sprocket so I assume I also have the 14T front sprocket. I think the main problem is a slight high spot on the swing arm. I wish there was an official recall. I hope I can convince the dealer to replace the sprockets with the 2004 15/45T set up. I will need a new (longer) chain, and a new swing arm guard too. I hope they don't say my chain is too loose or too tight, or say there is no recall or TSB on this issue. It would be a heck of a lot cheaper to replace the sprockets than a damaged swing arm.
9. Front fairing buzz. There was a slight buzz caused by a peg along the front left side of the instrument cluster contacting the black plastic liner inside the front mini fairing. I wedged a piece of Velcro at the contact point.
10. Rear shock top bolt. The rear shock top mounting bolt is too long and may contact wires on the right side. My wires were not in danger, but I put a rubber cap on the exposed threads just in case. This is how I found the kinked tank vent tube. The hose from the shock to the shock reservoir contacts these same wires, so I wedged a piece of foam in between.
11. Seat won't latch. I found that the seat doesn't latch unless the key is in the latch lock. Maybe this is a good thing to prevent locking your key under the seat. You are also supposed to leave the key in the gas cap when closing it (the manual says you can damage the gas cap if you don't).
12. Too much throttle play. The low end throttle and EFI is very abrupt. This is made worse if there is too much throttle play (or a poorly adjusted clutch cable). I tightening mine up with the in line throttle cable adjuster.
13. Oil leak. I had a minor oil leak with slow dripping along the left side of the oil pan. I tightened up the oil pan bolts (making sure not to over torque). So far so good, but it is rare to fix an oil leak this easily.
Don't get me wrong. I really like this bike. Plenty of power, awesome sound, street fighter looks, great brakes and handling, and good ergonomics. When I get the swing arm guard situation fixed, this may be my last motorcycle (i.e. it's definitely a keeper).
[ This message was edited by: WildRice on 2004-07-04 20:38 ]