Over the last few months, my motorcycle has steadily grown louder, due to the gasket sealing the rear exhaust tube being blown out. A big two-cylinder pumps out lots of exhaust on every other stroke, and the little ceramic and steel wool donut that seals the rear exhaust tube takes a beating. Eventually, the ceramic blows out, and then the exhaust escapes loudly during acceleration, and it sucks in cold air on deceleration and backfires.
In addition, the bike was still running on its original battery, now eight years old. Which is not a problem, it was just getting down on juice, making it slower cranking and harder to start, but still starting reliably every time. But a battery can give out with no warning, and I really didn’t want to be stranded anywhere now that I don’t have a truck to haul the bike with.
So I bought a new gasket and battery, and with the help of my 3 kids, installed them. They love to be helpful, and offer wrenches, screwdrivers, and whatever else they can pick up and hold out to me. They ask questions every step of the way, and put their little two cents in.
Eventually, we had the bike put back together. I started it up, and we all listened. It sounded just like new again – quiet bassy burbling exhaust, humming motor, the unique tapping of the valves. Nothing else sounds like a TL1000 – except for all the other bikes built with the TL motor, I mean.
It’s pleasant to have a quiet motorcycle again. The noise from a loud exhaust is just tiring to have to listen to, mile after mile. Plus, it disrupts the locals, and can anger the helpless cagers stuck in traffic as I pass between them. Besides, if quiet works for ninjas, it’s good enough for me.
Maintenance Note: 74,900 miles, New battery and rear exhaust gasket.