Service time

With 36,195 miles now on the clock, the Capo was due its service. Another biggie …. the one with the valve check. Well after an uneventful days spannering, I’m happy that the whole thing went to plan. Nothing’s broken ….. no nasty surprises … just a straightforward service as per the Aprilia manual. Until now I’ve used the Agip oil as specified in the handbook, simply because it’s easily available here in Italy …. this time however, I’ll be running Castrol R4 10w50 fully-synthetic that I bought back from the UK.

As the bike is now 7 years old, I decided on replacing some of the seals and gaskets displaced during servicing – not because they leak, just getting old. These included both cam cover gaskets, the oil filter cap seal and both air box seals. Also on the list was a replacement magnetic drain bolt …. they seem to seize solid in place and take a real beating to get off. As you can see, after several services my old one had seen better days!

The valve check took a couple of hours taking it nice and steady. As it turns out the valves are all in spec at the moment and have hardly moved since the last service. Aprilia calls for the check at 9K mile intervals …. I think I can sleep easy leaving them alone for the next 12K miles as the Rotax engine is notorious for having stable valve clearances – and mine seem to agree. The Iridium sparkplugs came out to make hand-cranking the engine into TDC easier …. they looked fine and went straight back in. Iridium plugs might be expensive, but they do last well!

Although not called for … the fuel filter and fuel tank gasket were changed. Not too hard, but re-using the ‘click-clamps’ on the hoses is ‘challenging’ to say the least! I ended up using a modified set of tile-nippers. As far as I know you have a choice of alternative filters that can be used …. the Ducati item (42540101A) is a straightforward swap, while the  Ryco Z200 / Baldwin BF1049 filters can be persuaded to fit with a little modification (untested by the author).

If you’ve ever wondered what exactly is in that very expensive plastic cylinder …. then here you go.

Last item on the engine to-do list was  balancing the throttle bodies …. and they turned out to still be nicely in sync – fantastic! So as the sun set behind the barn, I left the old girl burbling away happily while I took the dogs for a walk.

Tomorrow, a last quick check to make sure everything is oil-tight and that’s that for another few thousand miles.


Genuine Oil filter (long) – AP0956745
Oil filter ‘O’ ring – AP0650500 (size 62mm O/D, 2.5mm cross section – (£3.90+VAT for 2 from
Magnetic drain plug – AP0241782
Genuine air filter -AP8104169
Air box seal -AP8120615 (comes as a single length you trim to fit)
Genuine FIAAM FT5452 fuel filter – AP8102971
Fuel tank seal – AP8144478
Valve cover seal (x2) – AP0650345