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Suzuki TL1000R & TL1000S 97-03
What is so special about a TL1000?
How much horsepower does the TLR put out and how much power can I squeeze out of it?
What is a fuel map?
Are wheelies bad for my TL?
What performance mods should I do to my bike?
What is the difference between the + mod, - mod, Zippy's charge mod, and your power connector fix?
Can I run a PCII or PCIII with my TRE?
Can I run a Yoshbox mapping with my TRE?
What is the difference between a Yoshbox and a Power Commander (PC)?
My bike runs like shit!
What should I do for seasonal maintenance?
What oil or oil filter should I use?
How do you know if you need a new chain?
Why should I replace the chain AND sprockets if only one needs to be replaced?
How do I adjust my chain tension?
What noise is normal noise for my TL?
Why does my throttle side can get hotter than the shifter side can? Or Why is there more more black carbon buildup on the throttle side can?
Why does my bike leak oil?
My FI light is on how do I check the service code?
Electrical problems; crazy gauges, dimming gauges/ dash, battery does not charge, bike dies
My bike backfires...
My TL doesn't run right or more commonly; My bike runs like shit!
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|The TL was only produced from 1997 to 2003. The TL 1000 comes in 2 flavors the TL 1000 R and the TL 1000 S. The TL is a twin liter 1000cc street bike that has a lot of character. While the R version looks much like the same model year GSXR it sounds and performs very differently. The S is a partially naked, lighter, more comfortable design for street. The engine provides from 110 (bone stock) to 140 HP at the rear wheel with very minimal modifications. The ride and power is like none other. When you see one you will know -its just not normal ;)|
|What is a fuel map?|
In old engines you set the mixture and it stays the same at all RPMs. Well
as we got smarter with tunning engines we discovered that different RPMs
requires a different mix. With computer controlled fuel injection we can
change the mix depending on the RPM. This is called a fuel map. When you
change your engine components your map must be changed to hadle the
different flow characteristics. This is why we change the map with the Yosh
box. The Yosh box changes the fuel mix by a percentage. So when we say +5 +5
+5 that means low RPM add 5% mid RPM add 5% and high RPM add 5% fuel to the
|Oil: Full synthetic wet clutch
motorcycle oil 10W-30, 10W-40, 5W-30, 5W-40.
Don't go heavier than 10W-40 as the sump recovery time will be longer. So when the oil splashes away from the sump (the tube that sucks up the oil) and the sump sucks air the oil will be thinner and flow through the tube quicker (recovery).
There is a difference in oil. Full synthetic will not foam up as easily, lose viscosity, or wax up like the partial synthetics. Use motorcycle oil as it is made with shorter strands that can survive being blended up by the transmission gears.
The whole reason for a lighter cold weight (such as the 5W in 5W-40) is to get the oil circulating fast at startup.
While riding our bikes have a lot of torque and the oil splashes around -or maybe you do the occasional wheelie or hard acceleration, there are moments your sump (the part that sucks the oil out of the case and starts the flow to vital parts of the engine) is unsubmerged and sucking air. Like any fluid pump, lower viscosity directly effects recovery time -or the time it takes to make a good suction again and continue the flow of oil. So the lower the warm number the faster the recovery time. So 5W-20 will have a much faster recovery time then 50 weight.
So why don't we just use a really light weight oil? The heavier the oil the better bearing protection you have. So consider that as a bearing spins in oil the oil gets between the bearing and its shell. As force is applied to the bearing the oil is squeezed out from between the bearing and the shell. The heavier the oil the harder it is to squeeze out the oil making for a nice cushion on your bearings.
Wet clutch oil because the TL has a wet clutch. Car oils with friction modifiers cause clutch slippage.
Filter: Stock Suzuki
The stock filter lets the oil flow as intended and prevents backflow.
Fill the oil to the full line on the window. With all the torque the oil will be splashing all over the inside of the engine. Fill it to the line while the bike is balanced to insure the sump is covered as often as possible.
|These are in order, by priority, then by cost.
1) Airbox mod
3) Air filter (high flow), plug, oil filter, oil, and coolant change
4) Exhaust mod -cut stockers or slash cut, or full system if you have the cash
5) TB sync & TPS adjust
6) Map ECU w/ Yoshbox or PCIIor PCIII
7) 41 tooth rear sprocket
8) Riflemans throttle insert
|The + - mods and Zippy's charge mod are
designed to deliver more electrical power to specific components of the
electrical system and increase performance. These mods can fix some wiring
issues related to harness connector corrosion. I have not done any of these
mods but some have had good results.
The Power Connector Fix (listed here) fixes the major point of failure and corrosion in the electrical system that can cause; crazy/ dim dash, dead battery/ no recharge, electrical failure/ no start.
You can go to TLplanet.com and TLzone.net to find out more about these mods.
Clean or change the air filter
Change the oil and filter
Change the plugs -try to get the iridium
Check & change the coolant -good to do every other season
Check tires for tread and abnormal wear
Check the chain and sprockets
Check the brakes for wear
Change clutch hydraulic fluid
Check all lights -every ride
Check all controls and lube cables and pivot points
Replace fuel filter (inside fuel pump) every other season
Check valve tappet clearance -During a tear down for valve tappet clearance I will grease all electrical connections with dielectric silicone compound
All of the above maintenance procedures are outlined in the service manual
|TL = Taps Loudly :)
What you should hear;
The reason why a TL taps loudly is because of the large cylinders -almost 500cc each. The cylinders functions are supported by a large 4 valve system. It takes a lot of force to open those big valves and that creates the tap. The tap is normal and should seem to go away when you ride with a helmet and should not get louder with RPM increase. If the tapping is loud or there is no tapping then you should set your tappet/ valve clearance.
There is also a whine noise. This noise is created by the scissor gears. Scissor gears are cam gears that relieve stress from the cam chain. Some remove the scissor gears to lighten the engine components and decrease engine spin-up time. This decrease only happens when the engine is not under load. When the bike is under power there is NO increase in HP from removing these gears. Whinning can be heard with a helmet on (at least in my helmet) and should change slightly with the load. You will hear this when coasting downhill in gear and will stop when you pull in the clutch.
What you shouldn't hear;
Chain like rattle sound at around 3k RPMs -this is often mistaken for cam chain rattle. Typically this is due to the TB (throttle body) boot being loose. A backfire through the intake can cause the TB to come out of the TB boots that connect them to the engine.
Whirring at certain RPMs -This can be the beginning of the end or a simple front exhaust gasket. Also check that the plugs are tight. Check the gaskets, then check the oil plug for metal pieces. If you see metal on the oil plug you will need to fix this before riding. At this point you could need a $50 bearing/ shell or if you ride it you may need a new crank and main case...
Clopping -Loud clopping means your low end shells are GONE! This issue is clear as the bike does not idle and seems to run on one cylinder.
The TRE (Timing Retard Eliminator) eliminates the factory timing retarding in the first 3 gears CLICK HERE for more info.
The PCII or PCIII controls fuel flow over the RPM range called fuel mapping. The PC also can do timing but this is know to have issues since the timing signal from the TL is to weak for the PC to read. The PC and the TRE compliment each other.
Note: Since the TRE makes the bike think that it is always in 5th or 6th gear (depending on the type of TRE) only the map for that gear will be applied to the bike. When mapping the PC on a dyno, map only third gear.
The TRE (Timing Retard Eliminator) eliminates the factory timing retarding in the first 3 gears CLICK HERE for more info.
The Yoshbox controls fuel flow over the RPM range called fuel mapping. The Yosh mapping and the TRE compliment each other.Back to top
|The Power Commander (PC) comes in 2 flavors for
the TL an PCII and PCIII. Both are integrated into the stock harness and
remain in the bike. Both change duration for the fuel injectors. Both are
controlled by fuel maps that you modify with your computer. Both are best
when configured using a dyno. PCII vs PCIII; The PCII connects to your
computer through a serial port, modifies the map in 1000RPM increments, and
many pre-made maps are available for download. The PCIII connect via USB,
connect to your computer via USB, maps in 500RPM increments (finer
adjustment), can map each cylinder, but has fewer pre-made maps available.
Yoshbox; Connect it to your bike, program the ECU (Electronic Control Unit) to adjust fuel mixture, then remove. Modifies mixture by adding percentages to the stock map in the ECU. You can then use the Yoshbox to map other bikes. The tuning increments are not as fine as the PC. No computer required.
|This is completely normal and is due to the way the pipes run. There is straighter less resistive flow to the throttle side. This allows more the exhaust/ heat to pass through. The shifter side has bends and less flow. Additionally the rear header connects close to the throttle side can making heat transfer easy.|
|There could be a few reasons
1) If the bike leaks a very small amount check the big hex head plug on the stator cover. Replace the O-ring if the stator cover appears wet. Also check the clutch push-rod seal. This is located just in front of the front sprocket. Both of these are easy fixes. Note: when replacing or inspecting the clutch push-rod seal take off the front sprocket and the thin metal plate behind it which is the push- rod seal retainer.
2) A medium amount of oil. check that the case breather tube is connected to the airbox. If this becomes disconnected then the oil will slosh around and come out of the breather tube.
3) A large amount of oil. This again is typically the clutch push-rod seal located in front of the front sprocket. Again; when replacing or inspecting the clutch push-rod seal take off the front sprocket and the thin metal plate behind it which is the push-rod seal retainer.
|To put your bike in dealer mode you remove the
rear seat and find the white plug with 2 wires going into it. If you look at
the front of this white plug you can see the 2 hole with the metal contacts
inside the the wires connect to. You need to connect or short these by
striping the two ends of a short piece of wire or a "bread tie" and putting
each end into the two holes with metal contact in them. DO NOT LET YOUR WIRE
TOUCH THE FRAME!
Now you can read the dealer codes where the temperature reading usually is (on the dash). If you have no codes it will read "c00". You can look up these code in the back of the manual. The manual can be found HERE
|How much horsepower does the TLR put out and how much power can I squeeze out of it?|
|The TLR comes with about 115hp out of the
crate. Then with a few mods she can be bumped up to 120-130hp. It is very
cheap to get to 130hp or so because you are basically just pulling off
factory restrictions. This is the engines sweet spot, if you get to 130 or
135hp stay there. The bike will perform without taking a big hit on
Moving above 130hp will cost you. I have done a lot of research in this area and found that the TLR engine comes with fairly high performance components -this means only small gains can be had. An upgrade that will normally produce an additional 10hp in other bikes will be cut down to 2 or 3 hp for the TLR. For example getting the TLR engine to produce 145hp will cost 3-5K depending on how much work you do yourself. Of course you could always strap on a bottle -which may be the best idea.
|How do you know if you need a new chain?|
They stretch and the seals wear out. The chain usually stretches out of tolerance before it gets "crunchy" (side to side movement has a crunchy feeling from grit in the seals). If your chain is crunchy you are long overdue. The crunchy trick is a good test for your dirtbike...
There are measurements in the manual to tell you what the stock tolerances are for chain stretch. Your chain manufacturer may have different tolerances. If your chain is stretched generally your sprocket teeth will become sharp and you know its time.
On your TL, when the chain breaks, it is very bad. Lots of things get taken out and it has totaled TLs (just from taking out the main case) and has caused major accidents. The engine on my bike is from a bike that was totaled due to the chain breaking.
|Why should I Replace the chain AND sprockets if only one needs to be replaced?|
|When your chain and sprockets are new the teeth
of the sprocket pushes equally on every chain roller it touches.
If there is a mismatch new sprocket/ old chain or new chain/ old sprocket then the teeth do not all push equally on the chain rollers. Most of the force is on the first few teeth of the sprocket in contact with the chain. The concentrated force on the chain may stretch or break the chain and break teeth off of the sprocket.
|Electrical problems; crazy gauges, dimming gauges/ dash, battery does not charge, bike dies|
First things first, make sure you have a good battery and that it has a good clean connection to the bike. Put your bike in dealer mode and check for any code and resolve those first. A broken wire can appear as a faulty sensor or if you have other issues you may want to deal with those first.
The most common problem at this point is connector corrosion on the main fuse block which is located next to the battery. The positive line from the batter goes right to it and it has 2 fuses -the fuse and a spare. There a 4 wire plug that connects to this block -this is where your problem may be GO HERE
Other common problems: faulty side stand switch, faulty kill switch, faulty start switch, bad starter, bad fuel pump
|My bike backfires...|
Backfires are cause by fresh air getting to the hot exhaust and re-igniting.
Causes: Bad exhaust gasket, faulty PAIR system, exhaust leak, improper detonation/ timing, bad fuel/ air mix, bad gas
Typically the gasket where the front exhaust meets the rear exhaust under the bike needs to be replaced or just tightened if loose. Before you go replacing all the exhaust gaskets be warned that many have snapped the exhaust bolts that go to the head... so I suggest replacing the gasket where the exhausts meet first and see if that fixes your problem.
PAIR system removal can be found HERE
Improper detonation and bad air/ fuel mix can be fixed by adjusting the bikes mixture to suit your mods. This is done by "mapping" the bike with a Yosh Box and a Power Commander (More Info). You should also make sure you have new spark plugs and good gas.
Misconception: Backfires hurt the engine/ valves... this is not true. Backfires themselves generally will not hurt a TL. The backfires may be powerful enough to blow out the exhaust gasket where the front and read headers meet but that is likely the cause of the backfires anyway. Running your bike with a bad mix or untuned (unmapped) generally won't hurt thing but may cause undue stress on engine components if its bad enough.
Backfires through the intake: this is generally a softer "puff" type backfire that happens as you are starting the bike. Caused by the bike sparking with the intake valves open. You may see a mist of fuel and air or a big flame from the engine compartment. These are dangerous! They can ruin your air filter, cause a fire, and can damage your fuel injectors. I have had the Throttle Bodies blown out of their boots from a backfire through the intake. So if you have had one of these backfires be sure to check that your Throttle Bodies are properly seated.
|My TL doesn't run right or more commonly; My bike runs like shit!|
The TL is a 1997/ 1998 model platform. So we are seeing more and more confusion around proper TL operation as the problems become more compound/ complex. I recommend you do all maintenance if your bike runs poorly.
Basic problem areas: Air Intake System, Fuel Delivery System, Electrical System, Vacuum System, Safety System
Air Intake System
There are a few major sensors associated with the air intake system that feeds info to the ECU to control fuel/ air mix. The Air Pressure Sensor which is located under the headlight and the Air Temperature Sensor located in the airbox. If there is a problem with either of these sensors the ECU will throw an error code. Basically for the air system to function properly you need to keep your air filter well maintained and the airway clear.
Fuel Delivery System
The major troublesome components of this system are the fuel filter, fuel pump, and the injectors. The fuel filter is located inside the tank and is attached to the fuel pump. The fuel filter should be replaced every couple years and can cause the bike to run lean/ poor/ not at all if clogged.
The fuel pump is inside the tank and is bolted to the underside. The major sign of failure with the fuel pump is that you don't get that whining noise when you turn the ignition on which is the fuel pump priming. If you expect your fuel pump is bad you should make sure your dash does not show "CHEC". If it does then you should make sure the bike is in neutral and that the neutral light is on. If the Neutral light is on then you will want to start checking fuses and electrical connections or Fuel Pump Relay to the pump as these are more likely causes than the pump itself. the fuel pump relay is often a point of failure and should be replaced before buying a new fuel pump when troubleshooting. You may see the proper voltage coming from the relay but may not have enough current to get the pump going. The Fuel Pump relay is located under the drivers seat.
Symptoms of a bad Fuel Pump relay are; the bike dies intermittently, sometimes will not start, fuel pump does not whine when ignition is turned on in neutral.
The injectors are located on the throttle bodies (TBs). There are four on the TLR and two on the TLS. If they get clogged they should be replaced as per the manual. Clogged injectors can cause the bike to run lean (see the spark plug burn chart) or cause poor performance. Commonly in the TLR the secondary injectors become clogged. The secondary injectors spray above 4K RPMs (send me a note if this is incorrect) and the symptoms are bogging above this RPM.
Another problem can occur with the injector or injector rail if there is a vacuum leak. Look at the vacuum lines if you are troubleshooting to the injectors. Symptoms are boggy, boggy at 4K+ RPMs, does not idle -just dies.
The electrical system is comprised of the Supply Power, Regulated Power, Stator Power and fuses.
The supply power is generated by the battery. If the battery is not working properly it can make the bike hard to start and run poorly. The battery does not supply current to the bike when the bike is running and creating its own current. However, the electrical system is a floating type system and utilizes the battery as a capacitor after the bike is running to help regulate and help the regulator control the current flow. If that last sentence doesn't make any sense then just ignore it and know that a battery with a dead cell can start your bike and appear ok but can still effect the bikes behavior. A common problem is the battery connections are loose or need cleaning -especially ground to the bike. The main fuse block or Starter Relay can also be a problem supplying current to the bike see the power connector fix.
Regulated Power is the power that comes from the Regulator/ Rectifier (R/R) located under the drivers seat. This powers the spark coils, dash, fuel pump, lights and everything else electrical when the bike is running. The R/R gets its power from the Stator Power and simply takes that power and regulates it in two ways 1) gives out regulated power to run the electrical on the bike 2) Recharge power to the battery. When the regulator is not functioning there are 2 possible scenarios 1) The R/R is not providing bike power and the bike runs off the battery only -this only last 10 minutes or so before the bike dies from a fresh charge and will not restart due to dead battery 2) The R/R does not provide recharge current for the battery -good for 5 or 6 starts then will not start again until the battery has been charged on a charger. The most likely cause is electrical connectivity. There are numerous harness plugs in the wiring leading to the R/R see the power connector fix
Stator power is the power generated by the engine turning. The components here are simply a magnet and some coils of wire. Problems with the stator are uncommon. Typically harness connections to and from the R/R are the issue and the symptoms are; The R/R is not providing bike power and the bike runs off the battery only -this only last 10 minutes or so before the bike dies from a fresh charge and will not restart due to dead battery.
Fuses are located in a little black box attached to the inside of the fairing under the throttle grip. There should be a small phillips screw securing the access lid. There is a main fuse block under the shifter side fairing right off the positive battery terminal. This block contains a 30A fuse and a spare. These fuses should be checked whenever something electrical does not function.
The vacuum system powers the Fuel Pressure Regulator (FPR) located on the injector rail. It also powers the flapper actuators. The vacuum pressure itself comes from ports on the throttle bodies. If a vacuum port on one of the throttle bodies is left open it will cause them to be unbalanced and the bike will not idle -just stall. If there is a slight leak if will cause the bike to run rough. See Airbox Mod and TB Sync.
The safety system is comprised of the clutch switch, side stand switch, tip over switch, kill switch, Gear Position Indicator, and Airbox flappers.
Sometimes these safety components can become worn or otherwise inoperative which may cause the bike to stop working. Symptoms are the bike dies and/ or does not start. The dash should show "CHEC".
The clutch switch is part of the clutch lever housing. It is required that you pull in the clutch to start the bike. If the fuel pump primes with the ignition on but the bike does not respond to pressing the start button then this may be your issue.
The side stand switch is attached to the side stand mount just under the drivers shifter side foot peg. Symptoms here are the bike studders badly over rough roads, bike will not start in gear or dies when put in gear. The dash should show "CHEC".
Tip over switch (TOS) is a black box located under the drivers seat on the fuel tank hinge. This may act up randomly and cause the bike to stop functioning. The tripped safety condition is reset by turning the ignition off then back on. Sometimes the TOS may require a couple taps to reset if the bike was dropped on its side. Symptoms are the fuel pump will not prime with the ignition on with the neutral light on and the kill switch set to on. The dash should show "CHEC".
The kill Switch is the big red rocker switch right next to the throttle. This can be faulty especially if your bike lives outdoors or you like to ride in the rain. Symptoms are the fuel pump will not prime with the ignition on with the neutral light on and the kill switch set to on. The dash should show "CHEC".
The gear position indicator (GPI) is located inside the engine and tells the ECU what gear the bike is in. If the GPI is not working at all then your neutral light will not illuminate with your transmission in neutral and the bike will not start with the side stand down. If the GPI is not working your bike will run a neutral fuel/air mix map instead of running and individual power map for each gear. This can cause a lack in performance.
Airbox flappers are located on the top of the airbox. If these flappers are not working correctly you bike will bogg see airbox mod
|Are wheelies bad for my TL?|
Yes and No. Minor wheelies are ok (45 degrees) and 12 O clock type wheelies are very bad for an unmodified oil sump.
Under wheelie conditions you are pulling heavy G-force which pulls the
oil to the back of the engine. Once the front end is up the Gs tend to
balance off and the oil settles. There are often times under hard
acceleration you pull 3+ Gs -that is the 3 times the gravitational weight of
the oil towards the rear of the bike and only 1 G directly towards the Earth
by gravity. Under hard accel the oil sloshes around and is in the same
position as a 45 degree wheelie.
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