Service time over

Empty tank makes for light work!Service time is over for another 6,000miles. I decided a couple of years ago to extend it from the original 4,650 miles due in part to the well documented stability of the valve clearances and because I’m using the long oil filter and a decent branded oil. Whether I’m being realistic or foolhardy for extending the interval only time will tell.  😕

Valve clearances were all in spec but on the tight-side, so no need just yet to use the new Hotcams shim kit, but next time I’ll change all the shims by ±0.025mm to shift the 0.13mm ...... getting close to the limitgap back into its mid-range. That should see the valves good-to-go for at least another 50k miles. Everything else was absolutely fine, with just a slight tweak of the CO to lean out the idle.

The rest of the bike was given a thorough check over and happily all bearings and seals are fine, a squirt of grease in the rear suspension linkage keeping that nice and smooth. The drive chain and sprockets were cleaned and checked and after 33,333 miles (yes, that’s a genuine number!) they’re still good ….. This is the highest mileage I’ve EVER had from a drive chain. DID ZVM2 chain rocks!

Air filter frolics

Athena CA8925 air filter to replace Aprilia AP8104169I mentioned recently that I’d ordered a batch of air filters made by Athena in Italy. They’re a direct replacement for the Aprilia AP8104169 one and the only obvious difference is the black foam material instead of orange, and that’s fine and dandy with me. However, on stripping out the old filter I noticed for the first time (that I can recall!), it has a code on the end …. hmmmm ….. could it be a viable manufacturers code I wonder?

Hmmm what's the code mean then Sherlock?A few minutes on the web confirmed that the number is definitely a manufacturers code – not Aprilia, but FIAAM. A bit more digging unearthed a total of three cross-referance numbers. Tecneco AR9474PM, FRAM CA9474 and FIAAM PA7301. The downside? All of them seem to be obsolete, with FRAM/FIAMM saying they went out of production in March 2012! Buggeration ……

But … one of the sites I found listed a filter that is an almost identical footprint to the OEM one:-

Aprilia OEM          210 x 140 x 30

FIAAM PA7180   212 x 140 x 60

Now a 2mm length difference is peanuts – the OEM one can be stretched/compressed by 10mm easily, the problem may well be the height, at 60mm it’s double the OEM filter. So to try to find out I took some pics of the airbox with the OEM filter in and had a play in Photoshop. Here’s the outcome.

Photoshop airboxThe vertical lines show where the filter ends or interferes with the frame or lid. As you can see, the 60mm high PA7180 will squash in at the ends …… will this be enough to restrict air Athena box label for the Capoflow, or will the greater surface area of the larger pleats compensate? Answers on the back of a crisp £20 note if you please! 😀

Next time I’m passing a motor-factors, I’ll order one and have a play. At £4.68 each they’re half the price of the Athena …. and that brings me nicely back onto track, the new Athena filters that turned up today. What are they like then eh?Embossed pleats

Well, dimensionally it’s an exact copy, so the fit is absolutely fine. One nice touch is the embossed pleats. It keeps them evenly separated for better air flow unlike the OEM element that is simply made of folded paper where the pleats can collapse onto each other. The bottom line is that it fits well, looks better constructed and is substantilly cheaper than OEM (€8.35 each from Germany) …… oh and it comes in a nice shiny box!

Santa and his sack of Capo goodies

Ho, ho, ho ... dashboard inlay for MrB!!!!!I’ll start off by wishing you all a hearty Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year wherever you are on this wonderful globe of ours. For the Capo and I, it’s proving to be an extra special one this year, with Santa dropping off a few extra goodies for the riding-year ahead.

The dashboard has been especially good, and so merits the star prize of a new OEM quality inlay with all the new graphics in place. So as I write, the old one is on its way to Lockwood International Ltd in the UK to act as a template,  meanwhile the plastic chassis has been Finished inlay templatecleaned and preped ready for the big day. Like a kid on Christmas morning, I’m all on edge – and I’ve got to wait at least three or four more weeks yet before it’s installed!!

Probably the most needed bits are for the (very) overdue service. Yes folks, I’m hanging my head in shame as I admit that the Capo’s mileage overran a tad ……. a couple of thousand tads give-or-take! Now I’m waiting for a few packages to arrive for this truly international service to take place – Hiflo HF564 oil filters and ‘O’ rings from the UK, Hotcams valve shims from the USA, Athena air filters from Germany and 15w50 engine oil from Italy. Cosmopolitan or what!

That just leaves the parcels snuggling together under the tree …… a Shoi Neotec or a pair of socks? Slippers or a slipper clutch? Hmmm ….. roll on tomorrow!! 😉

Wot’s that switch then eh?

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid - 'Service Mode' switchA couple of keen-eyed readers have asked about the switch behind the riders saddle. Well, no mystery really ……. I got fed up with removing the saddles then rummaging around next to the battery to find both halves of the service connector – bloody inconvenient is what it is.

So I dropped a small waterproof switch into the bodywork behind the saddle. Now I just remove the rear saddle, flick the switch and I can reset the ‘service’ indicator and check out any error codes quickly and easily, no fuss, no scuffed knuckles.


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