SMOKE TALES

Cycle World - - Race Watch Munro Indian Landspeeder -

Q:Just get­ting caught up on some pre­vi­ous is­sues and read the ques­tion about the smok­ing 2008 Kawasaki Con­cours (“Dragon Smoke,” May). I had a sim­i­lar is­sue on my 2009 Con­cours while work­ing in Cal­i­for­nia dur­ing the sum­mer of 2014. When the bike sat for more than a day it would smoke from un­der the fair­ing for a few min­utes when first started. It wasn’t a ma­jor is­sue, so I waited un­til the end of the rid­ing sea­son when I was back home in western New York to look at it fur­ther. While I ini­tially thought it might be a leak­ing valve cover gas­ket, it turned out to be a slow drip from around the Crank Po­si­tion Sen­sor at the front of the en­gine, with oil drip­ping onto the head­ers be­low.

I re­placed the O-ring while do­ing the valve in­spec­tion and other ser­vice un­der the fair­ing, which took care of the prob­lem. Un­for­tu­nately, the prob­lem came back within a year, and rather than re­place the O-ring again and end up with the same re­sult I put some black RTV sil­i­cone around the seal. I don’t ex­pect the prob­lem to re­turn. If Jack’s prob­lem con­tin­ues in­ter­mit­tently, he may want to look into this. DANIEL G. STAYNER YOUNGSTOWN, NY

A:Thanks for keep­ing me hum­ble. Yes, if you see a whiff of smoke from in­side the fair­ing when first start­ing your bike from cold, most likely en­gine oil (or coolant, but that stuff is stinky when burned) has dripped on the ex­haust when the rub­ber seals cooled off, got hard again, and leaked. In the Con­cours 14’s case, it is the ex­haust camshaft sen­sor O-ring that is most likely the cul­prit. As you say, a dab of high-temp sil­i­cone with a new O-ring will do the trick. It’s also worth a quick check to be sure the last tech fully tight­ened the valve cover bolts. On older bikes with ca­ble-driven gauges, tachome­ter drives were usu­ally the leak­ers.

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