THE X21 EXPOSED!!!
Welcome to this week’s tech talk at Venom Motor Sports!
In this edition of “Tim’s Tech Corner” we are going to chat about some of the tech features and common questions presented to me about the x21. Please take a minute to also watch the “youtube” video below on the x21 Exposed. The video will help with your understanding of how the x22 operates and common maintenance practises.
Ok, onto the x22!
Tim...How fast will this bike go!
I know, seems like a funny place to start off but it is the most common question I am asked about the x21.
The x21 is a great city commuter and able to easily handle highway speeds.
60 miles per hour is easily hit of course this depends on your weight, road conditions and the slope of the road. This bike enters the red line zone at 8,500 rpm. So there is still some ways to go before you take the throttle of this bike into the red zone. However, instead of how fast will the bike go....I would rather have you think about safety first and follow the posted speed limits at all times.
If you really want to see what the max speed is of your bike, take it to a closed track.
Yes, I am a little preachy on the speed subject. You need to consider the safety of others on the road as well as yourself.
Tim...What sort of safety gear do you recommend?
Safety gear is like life insurance....you can never have enough.
I always encourage our customers to buy the best safety gear possible. A DOT certified new helmet is a must. I say new as older helmets break down over time and will not provide as much protection for your face and head as a new helmet will. I good rule of thumb is to buy a new helmet every five years...minimum.
Next, get some excellent riding boots and gloves. These are seldom cheap but good foot support and protection is very important. Riding boots will protect your feet in case of accident.
In a perfect world you would also wear an excellent set of motorcycle jacket and pants.
Never drive your bike with any alcohol or drug in your system. You need to have all your wits about you when driving your bike.
My goal is to ensure that you never have to experience “road rash”. You can check that out on “youtube”. Scary!
Always be very attentive and alert when you ride. Be a defensive driver!
Tim...So what do I have to do before starting the bike?
First thing you will need to do is what is commonly referred to “pdi” post delivery inspection and then some assembly work. I your shipping container was damaged or if your notice and damage to your new bike, take pictures with your phone and send them to our support department right away. Support@venommotorsportscanada.com
Now that you are ready to begin assembling your bike let’s start at the front and work our way back.
Set your x21 on a stand or block, this will give you lots of room to work on the bike safely.
To install the front tire begin first with the front fender. Install the machine screws and tighten them up. The front fender should now be secure. Next install the speed sensor. The speed sensor fits inside the left side of the front tire with a male female fit. There is only one way for it to lodge into the speed sensor housing.
Once the front fender is installed remove the brake calipers on the front tire. You will reinstall them later once the front tire is in position. Just remove the two machine bolts on the front brake caliper and set them to the side. By removing the caliper for the front disc you will have a far easier time to set the front tire in place. Once the front tire is tightened into position you can then reinstall the caliper.
Before inserting the axle pin into the tire ensure that you have the speed sensor properly placed into the left side of the tire housing. You will see that the sensor can only go in one way.
Next ensure that you place the front tire spacer into position on the right side of the tire and then push the axle pin through the fork fitting, spacer, left side of tire...leaving on the right side of the tire through the right side of the forks.
Once the axle is in position, tighten it securely.
Congratulations the front wheel is now completed. Now just reinstall the front brake caliper and the front tire is completed. This should be an easy task as the tire is hard mounted at this point. Just ensure open the brake pads up a little and the caliper will slide right onto the disc. Line up the mounting brackets and insert the mounting nut and bolt again. Tighten and your done!
Next we need to attach both mirrors. They are very easy to install. Simply thread them into position and then use the locking nuts to hold them in place. Adjust the mirrors so you have a good field of vision to the sides of your shoulders without having to turn your head. You want to have as much rear view as possible.
Always a good idea to check that the spark plug is tight and that the spark plug boot is properly fitted. Also, check to ensure that the fuel drain screw at the bottom of the carburetor which is at the base of the fuel bowl is also tight. It is the gold coloured screw at the bottom of the carburetor.
It never hurts to spend a minute and check that all fasteners are secure.
Check out the front fork locking system and try it out. Turn the handle bar all the way to the far left. Insert your key into the ignition....push the key in and rotate it to the left. This will allow the fork lock to engage and the handle bars will not move once locked into this far left position.
Then move onto your battery checks. We only need the battery to start the bike, once the bike is started the alternator will produce enough power to keep the bike running and also charge the battery.
So, we need to ensure that all of the battery connections are tight. In order to get to the battery easily I suggest that you remove the seat and check that the electrical connections are tight. Also not the location of the main fuse. The fuse holder is also equipped with a spare just in case you need it.
To check the battery remove the rear seat cover. Just turn the key to the right and you will feel the key release the seat. You will see a black negative terminal and a red positive battery terminal. Check to ensure that both are tight. Having completed your battery checks it never hurts to top off the battery. Charge if you have a charger handy. If not, no worries...the battery should still have a residual charge and enough power to get your bike started for the first run.
Once the bike is running the alternator makes all of the electrical power the bike needs.
So once the bike is running you can actually take the positive terminal off the bike and it will continue to run. If the bike stalled it would indicated that the alternator and or rectifier/voltage regulator system is not working properly.
You see, when the alternator is working well...it constantly supplies all of the electrical energy that your bike needs for ignition, lighting, horn and speedometer functions. The alternator also provides a trickle charge to the battery to keep it full at all times.
If you leave your bikes lights on...you will quickly use up the charge in the battery and end up with a “dead” battery that no longer has any charge left.
But Tim, I only left the lights on for a short time...maybe 3 or 4 hours. Yes, that is sometimes long enough to prevent your bike from starting. You have to keep in mind that the battery on bikes is very small and light weight by design. Typically the charge available from the battery will allow you to roll the bike over say 30 to 40 times before it dies out. As the charge in the battery drops off, all you will hear is a clicking sound from the starting relay at this point. No worries you can simply charge the battery or give the bike a boost...as you would boost your car to get it going.
If you are really stuck you can use the “Compression Start” technique which is coming on in a future blog and video.
Tim...Do I have to do anything on the fuel system?
This part is pretty easy! Just add gas and check the position of the “pet cocks” also referred to as the on off fuel valve. The can be a little tricky sometimes. Just remember that in order for fuel to flow the valves must be vertical...straight up and down, with the fuel direction arrow always pointing straight down to the ground. This is true for the fuel valve from the gas tank. The fuel value on the carburetor is a little bit different. The fuel indicator arrow has to be in the up vertical position.
The x21 has a high compression ratio engine. I would stick with the higher grades of fuel available say 91 or 93 octane level. If you are going to store the x21 for any length of time add some fuel stabilizer in the gas in your tank. Better yet, simply empty the tank and let the bike run out of gas. You could also drain the carburetor out via the machine screw at the base of the carburetor float chamber.
Fill up your gas tank and check for any leaks. Leaks typically occur where the fuel line connects to a fitting using a press fit system. So the male fitting is ribbed and holds the fuel line in place by a friction fit and a compression clamp, typically a “C” ring. This is ok as the fuel system only experiences atmospheric pressure and can hold tight just fine using this sort of sealing system.
I always say it never hurts to just feel the fuel line with your fingers and ensure that it is not kinked or bent over. If the fuel line is kinked in any way that will reduce the amount of fuel going to the carburetor and the bike may not start. So make sure it is not kinked and that fuel flows freely into the fuel filter.
You will be able to see the fuel flowing into the fuel filter when you roll the bike over and try to start it. Also check to ensure that the fuel drain screw at the bottom of the carburetor which is at the base of the fuel bowl is also tight. It is the gold coloured screw at the bottom of the carb.
By now you will have noticed a fuel line that comes off the carburetor but seems to go no where? No need to worry about that line. It is an overflow line that allows gas a safe place to flow should the float in the carb ever get stuck in the open position. If you ever do see gas leaking out of that line, replace the carb or remove the bottom fuel bowl of the carb and repair the float assembly.
When you are ready to start the bike, ensure that the choke lever located on the left hand side of the bike is all the down in the full choke or choke closed position. Roll the bike over three times, this will ensure that fuel is available to the bike. If the bike is warmer than a cup a coffee you do not need any more choke. Open the choke fully and give the bike a little throttle, your bike will start right up. Also if you live in California, Las Vegas or Florida you will seldom need any choke at all. Always keep in mind that when the bike is hot the normal choke position is up, fully open.
You only need to use the choke for a very short time upon start up say if the bike has been sitting for awhile overnight. If the weather is nice and warm in your area you may not need to use the choke at all. Some people drive their bikes in temperatures as low 35 F. If you are one of them your bike will run better in cold weather with the choke on all the time. ¼ to ½ choke setting should do the job just fine.
Tim...I have heard a lot of different recommendations for “breakin” the bike in. What do you recommend?
This is a bit of a touchy subject. Everyone seems to have a slightly different idea about how to break in a bike. I will share mine with you...and why I feel it is a good method.
To begin with I always suggest that during the break in period you avoid driving your bike like a mad man. Speed up and slow down often, do not hold a constant steady speed for over 10 minutes. Always focus on speeding up and slowing down. You need to do this as all of the mating mechanical parts need to wear into and fit into each other. This mating period will be assisted if you increase and decrease engine rpm. If you take care during the break in period your bikes engine will last much longer and achieve a higher performance level once broken in.
The first five hours of operation is the most critical in breaking in the bike well.
Most important!!! DO NOT RED LINE YOUR BIKE DURING THE BREAK IN PERIOD!!!
Almost as important...DO NOT LEAVE YOUR BIKE AT IDEL FOR OVER 10 MINUTES!
After five hours of operation change the oil with 800 ml of Synthetic four stroke motorcycle oil. Use 10w40 or 10w30. I prefer a 10W40 as it will be thicker at higher temperatures then a 30 weight oil. This will allow it to provide greater wear protection under hot conditions...and most bikes run very hot in the summer.
The oil drain plug is the large chrome plug at the very bottom of the engine. Simply remove it and the oil will drain out. Allow some time for all of the oil to drain out, before topping off the oil.
Then ride the bike for another 10 hours of operation. During this second phase of break in you can ride the bike for longer periods of sustained constant rpm, but try to keep it in the 20 minute range. Do not go out for a 2 hour drive at 60 miles per hour with no change in speed or rpm.
After the second 10 hours of riding...once again change the oil, same procedure as above.
This will ensure that the bike is well broken in and after this third oil change your fine for the season.
Again I always caution riders against pushing the bike into the “RED ZONE” on your tachometer. Pushing the bike into the red zone will always lead to excessive wear and tear on your bike. When you are in the “RED ZONE” there is always a chance that the valves will fail, or that the connecting rod will fail. Why take a chance on destroying your engine...when you took such good care of it during the break in period.
My greater concern is where are you going to ride your bike legally... where you can push your rpm into the “RED ZONE”? You always need to think about the people you are sharing the road with. Safety first my friends!
Tim...What air pressure should my tires have?
The tires on your bike are 120/70-12 front and 130/70-12 rear. This means that the tire is a 12 inch size in diameter.
Always fill your tires COLD as they will heat up after being driven and the increase in temperature will produce and increase in pressure.
If your tires are overinflated the tire will wear excessively in the center. If the tire pressure is too low the sides of the tire will wear excessively. Tire pressure is critical for both tire wear and performance.
You want as much of your tire in touch with the road surface at all times to ensure the best possible control and comfort.
Your tire is recommended for a tire pressure of 280 kpa = 40.6 psig.
Tim...Is it important to check that all the nuts and bolts are tight?
Well....I like living so I always check everything. Not to scare you but it is always a good idea to ensure that all of the fasteners on the bike are snug.
Typically everything is just fine but this develops the habit of really checking your bike over from time to time and getting to know it. When you are driving your bike its mechanical parts are going to vibrate. The vibration will cause some parts to become lose. So check your bike from time to time looking for loose fasteners and fittings. This is a normal part of bike maintenance and will help you get to know your bike better.
Always do a walk around inspection of your bike before your ride. Just take 2 minutes and walk around the bike looking for anything that looks loose or not right.
Ensure that the bike looks fine before starting it up.
Start your bike up and listen for any funny sounds or vibrations before taking off.
Safety first always!
If you have any tech questions about our vehicles, please feel free to email them to...
Check out our blog next week as we take an in depth look at the x21 EXPOSED!
Till then, Enjoy the ride!
Technical Support Specialist
Venom Motorsports Canada