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    Default "Do's and Do Not's" for new Spyder owners...

    “Do's & Do Not's” for New Spyder Owners:
    Updated June 24, 2019

    This information is for both the 900 and 1330 series engines and will be indicated when something applies specifically to one or the other.

    There are several "things" a Spyder owner needs to know when buying and operating their Spyder to help them have a better experience, and to avoid causing complications later.

    This is a collection of "sage-advice" gathered from various resources on Spyder Lover's and other reliable sources to help you enjoy your experience with your new Spyder; and to avoid "beginner mistakes" that may cause grief later-on.

    Please, do not copy this entire post if you post a response or question on this thread.

    Realize what you are buying:

    More and more new Spyder owners have not had any experience with "sport-vehicles", such as motorcycles and such. If you are new to this, then welcome to a new experience for you!

    However, you must realize a few things are going to happen that are just simply part of owning and riding sport-vehicles.


    Do not try to make your Spyder what it is not!
    Your Spyder is...


    • Exhilarating: It gets you out of the house and car and into the outdoors, so enjoy it!
    • Windy: Realize you are out in the open, and it is going to be windy.

    • Hot: You are sitting on top of a motor, so expect it to be hot at times. All new motorcycles and recreation vehicles run hotter than in the past.

    • A high revving machine: 900 series engine models only.


    Purchase your Spyder from a dealer with a good reputation:
    Endless future problems appear to stem from purchases and service from poor dealers. Do your homework on the dealer you are buying from. Check around to see if others have had good experiences with the dealer; both with the sales and service departments. If you are considering a used Spyder be sure to look at the maintenance records, and be sure it has been thoroughly inspected. Be sure the computer updates and recalls have been done. (This may not have occurred when an individual is selling one. A dealership should be able to tell if the system has been updated and all recalls completed.)

    Check on Spyderlovers.com to see what others say.

    READ THE MANUAL FRONT COVER TO THE BACK!!!
    You are excited to ride however do yourself a HUGE favor and read the manual entirely before doing so. You may be surprised what you (and possibly your dealer) may learn. Frequently questions are asked on Spyderlover.com that are answered in the manual.

    GENERAL INFORMATION:

    Learn how your Spyder works:
    You do not have to become a mechanic, but having knowledge will help you out in more ways than can be mentioned. Spyderlovers.com is a good place to learn.

    Missing vent:
    There never was a right-side vent for models up to 2014. Increasing airflow is the official reason from BRP.
    The 2014 RTS 1330 model does have vent covers on both sides, due to changes made to the cooling system.

    Toolkit:
    It is underneath your seat, unless you have an RSS or STS -- then the tool kit is in the Frunk (Front Trunk) mounted on the right side. Read your manual!


    "Humming Sound" after turning the key off:
    You will hear a humming sound for about 30-45 minutes after turning-off 2012-13 Spyders. This is normal and mentioned in the manual -- not to worry about it. Pre-2012's have some humming, but it appears not to last as long as on the '12's and '13's. (It is in your manual.) Later model years do not hum.

    Locking the glove box and handlebars:
    When parked; turn the handlebars fully to the left or right (does not matter which direction), then turn the ignition-key one-quarter turn to the left (counter-clockwise) -- then pull the key directly out without turning it back to the right. (The key will have been in the 9-3 o'clock position when turned to the left.) Your glove box and handlebars are now locked. CAUTION: Avoid putting heat-sensitive items in your glove box. Also avoid over-stuffing or items that may shift and jam the glove box shut. If the glove box jams from something in it... try shaking the Spyder or moving the Spyder forward or backward to move the contents to un-jam it. Sometimes simply taking a ride can be enough to move the contents to un-jam the glove box. A better idea is simply to not overfill the glove box.


    “NANNY & CODES”; WHAT ARE THESE: (Overall, this still applies to the 1330 model. Read your manual.)
    The Spyder’s operations are controlled by a computer system, affectionately referred to as the “Nanny”. The Nanny monitors your Spyder when running for safety purposes and is extremely sensitive to anything operating out of its designed limits.
    When it senses something wrong it may affect the operation of your Spyder by applying system controls. (i.e., brakes, stability control, and etc.)
    When serious problems are detected by the “Nanny system” you will see your check-engine light (an orange dash-screen).
    When this happens, the Nanny may override your ability to operate the Spyder “normally”; or put your Spyder into the “Limp Mode”, which may not allow it to operate at all.

    LIMP-MODE:
    Limp-mode is a precautionary feature of the “Nanny-system” whereby it will only allow operation within a narrow-band of performance. It is designed to prevent further damage to the vehicle, and get you to a safe place, or to a dealer if possible. (i.e., reduced speed function). Read your manual about Limp-Mode.
    WARNING: The Limp-Mode can kick-in while riding your Spyder and slow it down suddenly and substantially (below highway speeds). Be sure to exit the road immediately to a safe location if this happens.

    ORANGE SCREEN:
    This occurs when the system discovers a potential problem. Many potential issues can cause the Orange-Screen to appear.
    Do not confuse the night-screen with the Orange Screen. The night-screen occurs when the sun begins to set or when there is little sun to be seen. When the Orange Screen is displayed the entire background will be dominantly orange in color; not outlined by orange as with some of the night-screens; and will have an "engine" icon displayed in the middle of the screen. Read further...

    CODES: Codes are generated by the "system" when a problem occurs to help technicians diagnose a potential problem. When the "orange screen" is showing, you can find out if there is a “code” generated by the computer to identify the problem. If you do not see the screen, try to reproduce the problem until you get the screen again. If you cannot reproduce the screen, you may likely be able to continue to ride, however you may want to cut your trip short if you do not know what caused the screen warning.
    To reference the problem(s) associated with the various codes you need a Maintenance & Repair Manual; which is not provided upon the purchase of a Spyder -- however, the code-number remains stored in the Spyder's system for your dealer-technician. You do not have to worry if you do not have the manual or cannot retrieve the code. Just get your Spyder to a dealer and they will find the code generated.
    If you can retrieve the code; write it down and post it on spyderlovers.com, someone will likely be able to look-up the code and its related problem. This is highly recommended, so you know what you are dealing with.
    Footnote: The "system" keeps a record in memory of the functions of your Spyder to include your speeds, rpm's and more. So, if you are abusing your Spyder, the computer's records will let your technician know.

    Updated: Available Code List & Description: Code lists by Spydercodes, a member of Spyderlovers.com, is no longer available.


    RETRIEVING CODES:


    RS: (Provided by NancysToys.)
    1. Turn Ignition key to "ON"
    2. Push the "MODE" button to display total hours screen. Start engine and run until check engine light (or other fault indication) is displayed.
    3. Press and hold "MODE" button while pushing the "High Beam Flash" button rapidly five times (within 2 seconds).
    4. The active faults will be displayed or "No Active Fault Code" will be shown.
    5. If you do not get a message, you didn't get the flash beams sequence done during the allotted time. Try again.
    6. Jot the code-number down and check the list in the manual to determine your problem. Share this with your mechanic.
    RT & ST: (RT provided by Jerbear / ST by Billybovine)
    1. Turn Ignition key to "ON" and wait for the multifunction gauge to complete its self-test.
    2. Push the "MODE" "SET" & "Turn Signal" buttons at the same time. (Push all three straight in.) If there was a code generated, you will see it on your screen. You might want to try it a couple times to make sure you pushed the three buttons at the same time.

    2014 RTS: (Provided by MRH)
    Retrieving codes on the 2014 is close to the same as other RT model years, except it works best to first hold the mode and set button, and then activate the turn signal button.

    Clarification on the P0127 and P0217 code messages: (From Steve with BRP customer care) Some have experienced the P0127 and/or P0217 codes on their Spyders so we'd like to provide additional information on what they mean. The following is the link to this thread started by Steve, from BRP Customer Care: http://www.spyderlovers.com/forums/s...P0217-messages


    BRP
    Follow us on Twitter @BRPCare
    Follow us on Instagram @BRPCare

    spyderlovers.com/forums/showthread.php?92781-Experienced-a-DESS-error-for-the-first-time-at-Spyderfest-Please-read-this!


    RIDING TIPS (All models and years):

    JUST RELAX YOUR GRIP!!
    People's propensity is to squeeze the daylights out of the grips. This will make the Spyder skip from side-to-side causing a "jerky-ride" (lateral movement); which is the first comment heard by new riders.
    Relax your grip and you'll soon see the Spyder's ride will have a reduction in its "jerkiness".
    Relaxing typically comes naturally after riding it for several hundred miles. However; remember, a Spyder will always have some lateral movement to it; which is only part of the thrill of riding one!
    Check tire pressure if you feel there is still too much lateral movement or a lack of steering control after relaxing your grip.
    Some Spyders have alignment issues; do have it checked, or see one of the new “Laser Alignment” specialists that are sponsors on Spyderlovers.com. Others have improved their Spyder’s control with various after-market suspension, sway bars, and etc. Look for the sponsors of Spyderlovers.com for solutions to your needs.

    NOTE MOTORCYCLISTS: Motorcyclists are seemingly most affected by the lateral movement associated with the Spyder. They are just going to have to realize the Spyder is not a two-wheel vehicle and it is going to feel different. Also motorcycle riders need to "unlearn" counter-steering when riding a Spyder. It simply doesn't apply to a Spyder.

    CORNERING:
    Read the manual and follow the suggestions. Lean toward the handlebar closest to the inside of the corner. (Right-bar on right turns; left-bar on left turns.) This shifts your weight on the machine and also puts your head slightly lower to the center of gravity; causing you to have less of the lateral-pull associated with cornering with a Spyder.
    You may find it easiest to push on the handlebar opposite of the turn you are making; while pulling somewhat on the other. Be sure to push harder than pulling. Push the right handlebar for left turns; push the left handlebar for right turns. A little practice and you will get better at it. Pushing is much easier when you are leaning into your corners.
    Use your knees on the sides of the seat to help secure yourself on tight-fast corners.
    Your passenger can lean some also if they wish; however they should hang onto their grab-rails in corners.
    Read the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s guide on cornering a motorcycle. The setup they suggest prior to entering a corner applies to the Spyder.

    DO NOT RIDE THE BRAKE, or touch the brake when riding or cornering:
    Pay attention to whether you are doing this and stop-it!
    Far too many people seem to have this terribly bad-habit (with their cars and other vehicles), and the Spyder’s Nanny doesn't like it.
    The Nanny-system will begin to give you trouble eventually. So blame yourself if you ride your brakes and have problems!

    Apply brake when starting the engine:
    Too many new riders are finding themselves stranded with a Spyder that won't start; until they finally put their foot on the brake and find their Spyder starts right up.
    An SE5 Spyder requires pressure on the brake to start it unless you are in neutral.
    Many make sure it is in neutral before shutting the motor down. You don't have to do that. The SE5 Spyder will go into neutral automatically when started while applying the brake.

    Cruise Control Hint:
    When disengaging the cruise control (i.e., by tapping the brakes slightly) the Spyder makes an abrupt slow down.
    To eliminate this, slightly "roll-on" the throttle (as if slightly accelerating) before tapping the brakes. When doing so, the cruise control will disengage smoothly without any jerking motion of a slow down.
    Practice this a couple times until you see how easy it is to solve this problem.

    Do not ride on gravel roads:
    Despite the fact you are on three-wheels -- you are also "belt-driven". Rocks and belts don't mix. Try to avoid riding on gravel whenever possible, and check your belt right after doing so if you have to ride on gravel.

    Stop Light Activation:
    Spyders sometimes cannot activate stoplights controlled by sensors implanted in the road at the stop; or that have infrared sensors.
    When pulling up to a stoplight, look to see if there is a square or rectangle tar-shape on the road. If there is, pull the center of your Spyder over the top of one of the tar-strips -- preferably at the corner of the square or rectangle. This will expose as much metal of your Spyder as possible to help set-off the sensors.
    If you do not see sensor markings, look for an infrared sensor up near the lights. Typically, they are aluminum-color and look a bit like a camera pointed at the stopping location. If present, position your Spyder dead center of where it is pointing to help set it off.
    Be sure you are not too far back or forward of the area you need to be for either of these sensors -- otherwise you will not set them off.
    Where sensors do not work well, pull forward safely enough to let the vehicle behind set-off the sensors.
    Many states have laws allowing you to move through an intersection after waiting for a specific time. My state (Illinois) has such a law, and I use it any time the lights do not work. Check the laws of the states you are traveling through.

    Pay attention to how your Spyder is running:
    If your Spyder is showing even the slightest sign of not running or operating right; check to be sure you are not guilty of doing, or are not doing any of the items listed here.
    If not, then get your Spyder checked-out soon as possible or risk having problems later -- possibly while on a trip.
    Sometimes a subtle difference is an early sign of something going wrong or out of adjustment. Spyders can be sensitive machines.

    SHIFTING SUGGESTIONS:
    (The shifting-point suggestions for the 1330 and 900 series engines are explained separately.)

    Shifting the 1330 models:

    The “ECO” mode shift coach suggests shifting at the following rpm’s:
    1st to 2nd: 1,800 rpm’s
    2nd to 3rd: 1,950 rpm’s
    3rd and up: 2,200 rpm’s

    When manually shifting the 1330, it seems too many are over thinking it. If you are not using the ECO-mode, then just shift at around 2500-3000 rpm’s. That shift-point falls right at the beginning of the first-level power band, which is perfect. (Funny how that seems to work! See below.)

    1330 Engine Power Band (Dyno-Chart Data):

    1st level power band begins at approximately 2,500 — 2,700 rpm’s and remains flat until 4,000 rpm’s.
    2nd level power band begins at approximately 4,500 — 4,700 rpm’s and peaks at 5,000 rpm’s.
    After 5,000 rpm’s the power declines slightly until reaching 6,000 rpm’s; where the power rapidly declines; thus proving any increase in rpm’s above 6,000 rpm’s on the 1300 is inefficient and fruitless with regard to obtaining additional power and torque.

    What does this mean?
    It means shifting below 2,500 rpm’s can put an extra load on the machine when accelerating above a relaxed pace. While it may appear the engine has plenty of power below 2,500, it, in fact, is not producing peak performance power at that point, thus, shifting below the power band makes the engine work a bit harder. While the manual suggests shifting below 2,500 rpm’s, it is doing so with the thought the operator is accelerating at a very relaxed pace.
    Some have a misperception with regard to shifting a machine within its peak power band. It is often perceived to require harder/faster acceleration; when, in fact, that is not the case.
    It simply means you hold the machine in a gear longer before shifting. One does not have to takeoff from a dead stop like a drag racer to shift within a vehicle’s power band. Again, you simply hold it in each gear for a bit longer until the rpm’s reach the power band.
    American’s have long been known to have a preference to low-torque machines. With that often comes the tendency to want to shift to a vehicle’s highest gear as soon as possible, and leave it there… at least until the engine begins to shake and shudder. Not a good idea with any vehicle.

    Why is this important?
    Over a short period of time and mileage, there would probably be little noticeable affect or damage to a machine operated below its power band under normal, relaxed conditions; however, over a longer-term, there certainly can be a excessive wear along the machine’s drivetrain.
    In addition to seeking peak vehicle performance, expert/professional drivers & riders always operate their machines within its power band at all times for added control and handling. Consider it a safety precaution.
    Any vehicle operated outside of its peak performance band is operated with some loss of control and efficiency — varying, of course, to the degree it is operated out of its power band.
    For most owners of the 1330 engine, its lower torque seems to satisfy the inherent American “need” for an engine operating at a lower rpm.
    NOTE: There is NOT a “Trailer Mode” for the 1300 model.

    1330 "ECO" Shifting:(Check your manual) (Provided by PMK)
    The ECO (fuel economy mode) setting reduces fuel consumption by limiting throttle response and maximum throttle opening to maintain an optimal cruising setting.
    Activating the ECO Mode:
    Press the "MODE" button for 2-seconds while in the Main Screen.
    When activated, a green arrow will alternate with the gearbox position indicator to indicate the optimal timing to up-shift the transmission.
    NOTE: The Gearbox indicator will return when the transmission is shifted.
    De-Activating the ECO Mode:
    Press the "MODE" button for 2-seconds while in the Main Screen.
    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: (provided by Lamonster) The throttle map changes to a more progressive acceleration; rather than a linear one. During hard acceleration there will not be an indication to shift -- the ECM understands you are accelerating and will not recommend a shift at this time. Only when the vehicle speed and acceleration have stabilized for a certain time and the ECM judges there is enough engine torque available in the next gear to keep the same speed and acceleration will an upshift indication be displayed.

    Shifting the 900 series models:


    900 Series Engine Power Band (Dyno Chart Data):
    The 900 series engine’s power band begins at approximately 4500 rpm’s (much higher than the 1330 engine). However, there is a substantial increase in the power efficiency of the engine beginning at around 5000 – 5500 rpm’s.
    There is an additional increase in the power band at around 6000 rpm’s; where it continues to climb until around 7800 rpm’s, after which the power remains flat before reducing after 8000 rpm’s.

    What does this mean and why is this important?
    It simply means the same as mentioned above regarding the 1300 engine’s power band.
    Shifting or operating a vehicle outside or below the power band provides less than stellar performance, less control, and potential wear and damage in extreme or prolonged operation.
    Please read the explanation under the 1330 engine operation.

    Cruise at higher RPM's with the 900 series engine:
    This seems to be a big hurdle for too many owners of the 900 series engine models. Europeans understand high-rev motors – Americans, not so much.
    Get over your fear of running the Spyder's Rotax engine at high rpm's. A properly maintained Rotax engine is designed to run at high rpm’s. Do not listen to anyone telling you otherwise. Far too many reliable experts are on the side of this advice.
    For proof: The RTS SE5's "Trailer Mode" (with fully loaded trailer) won't let you shift out of first-gear until you hit almost 28 MPH! BRP’s own design engineers let you know the machine can run at higher rpm’s; and force it to do so in “Trailer Mode”. Check this link also, where the owner's Spyder suffered problems by running at low rpm's: http://www.spyderlovers.com/forums/s...ifting-results

    SE5 RTS 900 Series Clutch Engagement and Performance (Does not apply to the 1330 models.):
    The Spyder's SE5 clutch is considered fully engaged (stalled) when the rpm's are at 3200 (+/- 200). See the manual. Running at rpm's at or lower than this range for extended periods allows slippage of the clutch, resulting in premature wear on the clutch. (They are expensive to replace.)
    It is universal in opinion from experienced riders, the best performance is realized when keeping your Spyder's RPM's at 4300 or above no matter the gear you are in at any time (First-gear being the exception, of course). This does NOT mean to shift at 4300 rpm’s; but rather to shift at higher rpm’s so that the rpm’s drop no lower than 4300 when engaged in the next, higher gear. Shifting at 4300 rpm’s will drop the rpm’s close to the “clutch-locked” rpm of around 3500 and is far below the power-band of the engine. Not recommended.

    Engine Lugging:

    Do NOT lug your Rotax engine! Shifting at too low of rpm can easily cause lugging, and the damage related to it. Example: When accelerating quickly, or climbing a steep hill, you can cause the Spyder to “lug” unless you downshift first. Lugging is evident when you hear or feel knocking and vibrations beyond the norm, as well as having a lack of power. Lugging can be done easily in any gear between second to fifth. Downshift to avoid lugging. NOTE: The RTS-SE5's manual may confuse some on pages 71 and 76 (2011 manual) where it mentions 3,000 rpm's as the "magic-number" to shift, and not to exceed 4,000 rpm's. This references someone learning to ride the Spyder for the first time -- not necessarily the normal operating range. 3,000 rpm’s is below the clutch’s locked position; thus causing slippage (wear). Here is an article discussing S&S's diagnostic study of what happens to an engine when not using the proper gear: http://www.hotbikeweb.com/revving-in-lower-gear-vs-lugging-in-higher-gear-tech?1tmfVqCsQ9WyjLR3.01

    DO NOT USE ALL THE GEARS ALL THE TIME: (All models.)

    Just because the Spyder has 5 or 6 gears does NOT mean you have to always use all of them all the time! Apparently there are far too many who assume they have to shift their Spyder up to fifth or sixth gear no matter what their speed is, and this could be a problem. Get over what ever is making you think you need to use all the gears all the time.

    For the 900 series:
    Keep the rpm’s at 4300 or higher no matter what gear you are in. If you drop below that, then downshift and remain in that gear. You do not have to use all the gears every single time you ride.
    Example: When cruising with a 5-speed 900 series around town at 39 to 49 MPH you should stay in 3rd-gear. You can cruise between 39 - 49 MPH all day in 3rd-gear. It is okay to do so. Shifting to 4th-gear in that scenario will drop the RPM's below the 4300 range; which strains the Spyder's ability to perform at its best power-range and diminishes the performance and enjoyment of your machine. If your Spyder feels “mushy” at the throttle, then downshift – and below 4300 rpm’s it will feel mushy.

    SHIFTING-POINT SUGGESTIONS for an RTS-SE5:
    1st to 2nd gear: Shift between 22 MPH and 29+ MPH - no sooner!
    2nd to 3rd gear: Shift at 5100+ rpm's (39 MPH) Up-shifting to 3rd gear drops the rpm’s to 4,300 -- exactly the rpm's you want to stay above.
    3rd to 4th gear: Shift again at 5100+ rpm's (49 MPH)
    4th to 5th gear: Shift to 5th only when you reach 65 MPH on level terrain. Upshift and downshifting in 5th is expected on hilly terrain to keep the rpm’s up.

    You can ride ALL-DAY in 4th-gear between 49 MPH up to and including 65 MPH without ever using 5th gear. On some rides you may never use 5th gear -- period. (Some run at much higher rpm's than that.) NOTE: Cruising in 4th gear between 63-65 MPH will have the rpm's in the mid 5,000 rpm range -- which begins to put the engine in its better performance-range (more power) which is what you want for power and control. NOTE: You will find your Spyder will run quieter, smoother and still have power at the throttle in that rpm range, and the dreaded "belt-vibration" might not be a problem when you finally get used to the above suggestions.

    DO NOT ROLL-OFF THE THROTTLE when shifting an SE5 and SE6:
    The manual states you do not have to roll-off the throttle when shifting with the SE5/SE6 system, and it is suggested you do not.
    Hold the throttle steady (do not accelerate or decelerate) when hitting the paddle-shifter at the above recommended shift-points, and you will find your Spyder SE5/SE6 shifts very smoothly when doing so. Try it... eventually, you'll become very good at shifting.

    DO NOT hold the SE5 and SE6 shift-paddle too long:
    A few have had problems when resting their fingers “heavy” on the paddle-shifter; which apparently can confuse the Spyder's Nanny regarding what your intentions are. Hold the paddle-shifter only long enough to shift gears.

    Downshifting with the SE5 and SE6:
    There is a lot conversation about this subject. The SE5 will automatically downshift for you, so you are not required to downshift if you do not want to. However, advanced & professional riders recommend getting in the habit of manually downshifting at all times to help maintain full rider-control of their machine at any moment (by maintaining power and torque-control at an optimal configuration).
    In rare occurrences after a fast/sudden full stop, some found their Spyder may not downshift into first-gear if they did not manually downshift. There is no quick resolution... you just have to repeatedly try to get into first again. Rev the engine, try reverse, try anything... eventually it should shift, while drivers honk at you for not moving!

    Big V-Twin Riders and the 900 Series Rotax Engine:
    Big V-twin riders are often too accustomed to their engine lugging along at 2,100 to 3,500 RPM's, and expect a 900 series Spyder to do the same. Doing so is a killer for the 900 series Spyder engine.

    Gas Mileage at Higher RPM's:
    Any engine’s "power to fuel-efficiency" will be found within its power band. This principle holds true for all engines.
    The 900 series engines are not champions of fuel mileage; so expect to stop more often for fuel. Start looking at around 120 miles.
    Fuel mileage is considerably better on the 1330 models. Many are seeing nearly 35-40 mpg, depending on the conditions and load.

    IN CONCLUSION OF SHIFTING SUGGESTIONS:
    Simply believe what you just read above about shifting and engine performance for the model you own and do it. You will discover an entirely different, more enjoyable experience when you finally do so.

    MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS TO CHECK OR DO:

    Tire Pressure and Shock-Setting:
    Both make a big difference in how the Spyder handles. Tire pressure and shock setting depends on your load-weight, and type of riding. Check these settings often -- and remember no vehicle operates at its best when over-weighted! Sorry... but that is just how it is.
    Tire pressure suggestions: Pre-2013 RTS: 18 pounds in the front tires and 28 pounds in the back tire. (The RT-S SE5 2011 manual recommends 15-17 pounds for the front tire; and 28-30 for the rear tire.)
    2013 models: 15-16 psi in the front-tire (as per NancysToys).
    1330 suggestions: (Updates to come.)
    Front shock settings (for adjustable shocks): For the front (manually adjusted) shock, use 4 or 5.
    Seems the stiffer the better for most, especially if you are “loading” the Spyder (check the manual for load limits).
    Don't forget the RTS has a rear air-shock that can also be adjusted to your liking. (READ THE MANUAL)

    Check your battery cables, fuses, and such often:
    Anytime these get loose from vibration the Spyder's Nanny will "speak to you". These, seemingly "small", issues are often found to be the root of many owners' problem-posts. Do let yourself be a victim of forgetting these simple inspection points.

    Check your windshield brackets often:
    They have been known to fail occasionally. The consensus is if you run with your shield "full-down" most of the time, it will cause undue stress on the middle bracket, which raises and lowers the shield. Move the shield up slightly off the metal-stop to avoid the potential damage. Keep in mind you cannot replace just the bracket. The entire lift-mechanism has to be replaced to the tune of around $600.

    Battery Tenders:
    "Tenders" help prolong a battery's life by “conditioning” it, while keeping it charged. (Short-rides may not always sufficiently charge your battery.)
    Make sure you get a battery-tender -- NOT a regular charger for this purpose. There is a difference!
    Tenders are particularly valuable if you store your Spyder for longer periods of time (typically more than a few weeks without riding); or if your battery is older.
    IMPORTANT NOTE (Pre-2013's): When permanently attaching the pigtail cables for your tender; NEVER loosen the negative jumper terminal connection (found under the seat when you open it); or use it to ground any accessory! You need to connect the battery-tender pigtails to the actual battery terminal posts found only by removing some of the panels. This issue has been well publicized on spyderlovers.com. The following thread is one you can start with regarding this: http://www.spyderlovers.com/forums/s...-FRIGGIN-IDIOT It is troublesome to remove the Tupperware to get to the actual battery terminals or other ground connections, but it is essential on the Spyder to do so.
    Starting with the 2013's, the battery is now accessible through the front trunk (“frunk”), which makes it a lot easier for get to it.

    Fluid levels (brake, oil, coolant) have to be correct (All models):
    Check the fluids as you add miles and top-them-off; otherwise risk having problems with your Spyder (sometimes fairly major).
    Low brake fluid: Can cause your Spyder to throw a code; thus stopping your trip while you scratch your head wondering why. Brake fluid level can go down as your brake pads wear over time.
    Low Oil can cause SE5/SE6 Shifting Problems: A low oil reading; at or below the ADD mark, on the dipstick has been known to cause shifting problems. Failure to maintain a proper oil level might not only cause shifting problems, but possibly premature clutch failure. Keep your oil properly filled, as per your manual. BRP suggests checking the oil-level every 300-miles.
    Coolant levels: Check this occasionally. Leaks have been known to occur occasionally in the system. A technician, at the first opportunity, should look at any low-level indication for possible leaks.
    RTS 1330 2014 Oil Change: Here is a link to a great tutorial on an oil-change for the 2014 RTS 1330. It notes a few errors in the manual: (Provided by Texas) http://www.spyderlovers.com/forums/s...-RT-Oil-Change

    SE5/SE6/Manual shifting problems may = Cracked Vacuum Hoses:
    Cracked (dry-rotted) vacuum hoses are related to shifting problems on the SE5's, SE6's and manual shift Spyders. Heat seems to be the culprit. Have these checked regularly as part of your maintenance program and replace them if needed. No reports on the 1330's yet; but this might remain an issue despite the improved cooling system.

    SE5/SE6 Shifting Sensor:
    The "shifting-sensor" on a few SE5's has failed causing the machine not to shift, or to shift inconsistently. There is no advance resolution for this problem. It is simply suggested you pay attention to your machine's shifting, and have it checked occasionally when at the dealer. (Again, this may also be a maintenance point for the 1330’s.)

    Unlocking a Stuck Frunk (Front trunk): (Provided by Finless)
    This is a link to a thread on Spyderlovers.com providing a video of how to get your "frunk" unstuck; as well as cautionary words about keeping it from getting stuck. Several of the posts within the thread discuss the various differences between models and model-years; however it appears this valuable piece of information would work for most. http://www.spyderlovers.com/forums/s...runk-lid-video

    DO NOT Overfill the Gas Tank (Does not apply to 1330 models):
    This causes a few problems. When you get an inch or more below the top of the tank, stop filling it – period!
    Overfilling causes fuel to flow-over into the evap-canister or when the fuel gets hot and expands.
    This can lead to problems with gas-fumes (smell), and a potential fire hazard.
    In late 2012, early 2013, BRP sent owners of all models new gas-caps to seal better and help with the gas fume problem. However, the gas-fume smell can be persistent in some cases. See your dealer if you experience an excessive smell of fuel when riding or after. There are a few threads on the subject that you can thumb-through and share with your mechanic. http://www.spyderlovers.com/forums/s...-Fix-Gas-SMell

    Security Screws on the Body Panel: DO NOT REMOVE THEM! (Provided by NancysToys)
    Any security screws on a Spyder are there for a reason...they are not to be removed.
    On an RT they hold the posts that slip into the rubber grommets that hold the body panel in place. These are angled, and indexed to hold them in the correct position.
    Remove the standard Torx screws then pull the panel out of the grommets. Be careful putting the panel back on...the grommets can be pushed through pretty easily. Wetting the grommets and post first helps.
    Do not lubricate the grommets unless you want to lose a panel...especially the oil check panel and its twin sister.

    Radio Pre-sets: (Provided by Badazzspydee)

    Apparently some manuals have not provided complete instructions on setting presets for radio stations. Here are the instructions to do so.
    1. Press “Mode” button until the “Audio icon” appears.
    2. Use the “right or left command buttons” to find the radio station you want.
    3. A long press will start the seek feature to the next available station. Continue doing performing a seek until the station you want appears.
    4. Here is the missing step. Press the “Set” button longer than one-second to enter the Tune or Setup screen. The word “Record” should appear under the numbers of the current radio station. The shop manual states that you can tune the station in increments of .2 by short pressing the left or right command buttons now.
    5. Short press the “Up” button until the “Preset number” you want appears in the box to the left side of the screen. I noticed this step is touchy when trying to get the number to stay in the box!
    6. Immediately press and hold the “down button”.
    7. Once the preset takes, the screen will exit the Tune or Setup screen and returns to the initial Audio screen.
    8. Repeat steps 2 through 5 for the next preset. Note that doing a short press of the left or right command buttons will cycle through the already set presets. A long press will start the seek feature.

    Listen to the radio without having the key turned-on or engine running: (Provided by szohar)
    Immediately press and hold the MODE button for a few seconds after turning the engine off. The radio will start-up. To turn if off, just turn the Hazard Warning lights on and then off. (Provided by billybovine)

    Fuel Octane:

    This subject is not up for a long debate on this thread. Fuel octane (and what it means) is second only to discussions on oil; and there are as many opinions and misperceptions as there are people giving them -- so if you have an opinion on fuel octane -- put it on another thread PLEASE!
    Fuel octane rating does NOT indicate whether one is superior to another, as many believe. In other words, 93-octane fuel is not a superior fuel to a lower octane fuel. It is simply different and designed for a specific engine use.
    What you should know though, is manufacturers do not just “make-up” an octane recommendation out of thin air for their engines. Using a fuel of an octane rating out of the recommended range can cause: Poor performance, possibly higher fuel consumption, and engine-knocking (damage to the engine); just to name a few issues.
    Your Spyder is an expensive vehicle, so make your own decision.
    Read your owner's manual for the recommended octane-rating for your model and location (U.S. / Non-U.S.)

    Customizing your Spyder for performance, fitment, and looks:
    Too often we read where someone buys a product only to find it does not work well, is not compatible with a Spyder, and/or the customer service from the provider is not good. Custom, after-market, equipment covering just about everything imaginable for a Spyder is readily available for most model types and years from the many sponsors of Spyderlovers.com
    Do yourself a favor and avoid problems by asking other members what they use and their experience with it. It could save you a lot of grief and expense.

    Your Dealer is the First Place To Go When Having a Problem:
    Go to your dealer if you are having any trouble with your Spyder. Let them do their best to work-through the problem you are having.

    As A Last Resort For Problems:
    You can contact:brp.care@brp.com Doing so will connect you with the special group who attempt to resolve your problems. Be sure to go to a dealer first before emailing; because if you haven't, they will send you there first. If after working with a dealer, if you want to communicate with someone at BRP, then use the email address provided. Be sure to be polite and patient. These people are Spyder riders themselves and will attempt to help you; however they cannot resolve every problem.

    Lastly… Be sure to have fun and ride often...
    Which probably is the #1 "MUST DO".



    Disclaimer: The "Do's & Do Not's" is provided solely for informational purposes, and from sources thought to be reliable; however no guarantee is provided or to be implied by the information provided. The information may be updated, corrected, or deleted without notice to the potential end-user at any time. The end-user of any or all of this information remains wholly liable for their actions or inactions relating to the use of this information. The information is not intended to be a complete guide to the operation of the vehicle of reference; thus the end-user must always refer to their user's manual or qualified dealer as the final authorized source. Spyderlovers.com, its founder, officers, members, affiliates, and sponsors are not liable for one's use, or lack of use, of any or all information. Any end-user application of, or reference to, this information hereby confirms the end-user's complete knowledge, understanding, and acceptance of their sole and complete liability relating to the use of the information provided.
    Last edited by Illinois Boy; 10-05-2017 at 05:09 PM. Reason: Info updates; additions; and formatting.

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    Thanks for posting this for the newbies,,, and also to remind us olbies!

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    I can vouch for item #7. I was told that the SE5 downshifts automatically, but the shifts seem to be unpredictable, and if you are braking, it can come as a little surprise... When manually downshifting, I feel more in control.
    Last edited by shelbydave; 07-13-2012 at 09:19 PM.

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    Default I like the advice

    I started shifting at a higher RPM and found it shifted much smoother. I guess for me somewhere around 3500-4000 works well. I used to try to keep the RPMS as low as I could to "help my gas mileage," but discovered I seem to do better at higher RPMs.

    It is difficult to get used to the engine revving as high as it does at highway speeds, but as you and many others have said, the engine does seem to like it there.

    I know 9000 is the red line, but realistically how high should the engine go for maximum efficiency in each gear? Should I back off of the throttle at all when I shift , or always keep it steady?

    Riding the brake was an issue for me, and now my wife initially, but I installed a set of Seal floorboards and it makes it much easier to stay off of the brake.

    I had an RT a bit ago and sold it, and with my new one I am trying to get the most out of it that I can.

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manycars View Post
    I started shifting at a higher RPM and found it shifted much smoother. I guess for me somewhere around 3500-4000 works well. I used to try to keep the RPMS as low as I could to "help my gas mileage," but discovered I seem to do better at higher RPMs.

    It is difficult to get used to the engine revving as high as it does at highway speeds, but as you and many others have said, the engine does seem to like it there.

    I know 9000 is the red line, but realistically how high should the engine go for maximum efficiency in each gear? Should I back off of the throttle at all when I shift , or always keep it steady?

    Riding the brake was an issue for me, and now my wife initially, but I installed a set of Seal floorboards and it makes it much easier to stay off of the brake.

    I had an RT a bit ago and sold it, and with my new one I am trying to get the most out of it that I can.

    Thanks
    Not maintaining higher RPM's and riding the brake seem to be two of the most consistent bad-habits I have read about (here and other places).

    Again, it is arbitrary, but I shift to 2nd gear based on the speedo being no lower than 22 MPH, but mostly nearer 28 MPH. From there I do not shift (typically) until I see the RPM's above 4800 -- and typically above 5,000.

    In doing so, I do not have to roll-back the throttle at all (as I did prior to running at higher RPM's). The trans just slips into the next gear very smoothly and without much, if any, sound ever.

    I will stay in 4th gear up to around 63 / 65 MPH if cruising-along. That puts the RPM's at around 5,500 or so. In that gear at that RPM, the motor's vibrations seem to melt away and it purrs smoothly. (I promise, it took me some time to get used to it -- especially when switching back-n-forth between my HD Ultra-Classic. I am now quite comfortable with high RPM's now.)

    While I am not a mechanic, I have been told by several that running the Spyder at low RPM's can eventually cause too much stress, and possible failure in the main-bearings -- something you do not want to pay the bill to have fixed. Cannot vouch for that info though -- but that type of problem is common on snowmobiles that are consistently over-loaded and ran hard from a stop. (Too much torque on the drivetrain so I am told.)

    I never had a problem with riding brakes on any vehicle I operate -- so I have not had any experience -- however I hear where others are having all kinds of problems with their Spyders when they do so. Apparently the "nanny" doesn't know if you want to go or stop. Makes sense because riding a brake while moving forward doesn't.
    Last edited by Illinois Boy; 07-07-2012 at 10:58 AM. Reason: Corrected one mis-statement.

    SL #7026
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    2011 Viper-Red Spyder RT SE5 & Trailer
    2017 HD Ultra Limited
    Former Rides: 2014 HD Ultra Limited; '04 Kawa Nomad; '09 HD Ultra-Classic; and many Hondas through the years.
    Spyder Newbies Do's & Do Not's: http://www.spyderlovers.com/forums/s...-Spyder-owners

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    Very Active Member Dudley's Avatar
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    Never roll back on the throttle when shifting an SE5. In downshifting, it will downshift at 2500 rpms, but a lot of times assisting the transmission is a good thing. When anticipating a stop (STOP sign, etc) roll back the throttle fully and let the tranny shift at the 2500 rpm intervals...it will end up in 1st gear at the stop. When shifting into a higher gear, all it takes is a quick thumb roll off the paddle shifter for it to shift almost as smoothly as a fully automatic transmission.
    2008 GS SE5 in 2008
    Traded at 43,000 miles for a left over
    2010 RT SM5 in 2011
    Traded at 57,000 for a left over
    2014 RTS SE6 in 2015, which has 35,000 miles
    Oct 19th, 2017, totaled 2014 RT while killing a Javaline
    Dec 12th, 2017 drove a 2017 F3L home. What an awesome machine!

    Never had any breakdown stranded issues.

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    Very Active Member Buttsy's Avatar
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    I think one of the real "keys" to Spyder ownership is to ensure you learn as much about the Spyder as possible on your own. Buying a Spyder and assuming your dealer will look after everything for you seems reasonable because of the dollars we are spending but...........you need to be informed. This forum along with all its great knowledge does more for "customer care" than anything a dealer or BRP can do for you.

    You don't need to be a master mechanic as people like Lamont and Scotty offer great details in for the most "laymen" terms. Then when you go to the dealer you can ask intelligent fact based questions just to make sure everything is going as planned. I really do think the a little bit of knowledege when it comes to these machines is invaluable.

    Read, Ask, Listen and get informed first.
    2011 RTS SM5

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    Registered Users Grandpa Spyder's Avatar
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    Believe me you will learn more about the spyder on here then you will from your owners manual.
    Grandpa Spyder 2015 F3S
    May God Bless All Of those Who Serve Our Country

    Life is Good



    Link to all of my Mods with pictures, http://www.spyderlovers.com/forums/s...-with-pictures

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    Don't forget the most imprtant "rule":

    It's supposed to be FUN!!

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    Very Active Member napper39's Avatar
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    yiks oh yeh here i am with my 2cents,rember check your battery cable often it vibrates loose,and a loose cable can be a night mare,check your fusess and relays they vibrate loose,and thats a very bad thing.so lets say you dont chsck these things,you have trouble on the road wont run so you have it towed to a dealer they push in the relay or tighten up the battery cable.if you would have done these things you would not have had to wait for that tow truck,or had the dealer tell you i pushed in that relay and your good to go.so do these things and you might never have any trouble with your spyder ever. have fun and ride like the wind. i do.

  11. #11
    aka: akspyderman ARtraveler's Avatar
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    A lot of good advice here.

    Currently Owned: 2011 RT A&C SE5 (magnesium), 2014 RTS-SE6 (yellow), 2015 Vulcan 900 LTD

    Previously : 2008 GS-SM5 (silver), 2009 RS-SE5 (red), 2010 RT-S Premier Editon #474 (black) Pictures of 2008 and 2009 Spyders are in Alaska Albums 2009 and 2010.
    5 Spyders, 10 years, 145,375 miles


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    Very Active Member Oldmanzues's Avatar
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    I think riding the brake statment is not quite right. Barely touching the pedal is more like it.
    I had a BP rep tell me: If you barely touch the pedal, Nanny thinks you are going to use the brake. If you don't actually use the brake for few seconds (forgot how many)and Nanny does not gets that signal. Nanny thinks you have brake failure and goes into **** mode. The problem is in the software. they have trying to do something, but can not without "disabling" the safety feature of brake failure system.
    Oldmanzues
    Very Happy Spyder Owner

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    I added "do not touch the brake"; "have fun", "watch the battery cables" to the list...

    SL #7026
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    2011 Viper-Red Spyder RT SE5 & Trailer
    2017 HD Ultra Limited
    Former Rides: 2014 HD Ultra Limited; '04 Kawa Nomad; '09 HD Ultra-Classic; and many Hondas through the years.
    Spyder Newbies Do's & Do Not's: http://www.spyderlovers.com/forums/s...-Spyder-owners

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    Default Newbe Spyder Ryder

    I only had my Spyder RS SE5 2 weeks, when I was traveling Friday mourning, I had rode about 15 miles at speeds 60mph, when all of a sudden my Spyder started cutting out, like it was running out of gas when I had plenty of gas. i looked at instrument cluster and it was fashing (CHECK DPS) over and over, so i pulled the side of rode, and shut it down ASAP. I called the dealership and talked the service manager, he said can you bring it in, I said yes. I called my brother to bring the motorcycle trailer to load and take it into the dealership. They checked it out, cleared all the codes on the Spyder. The service manager took it out and rode it. Came back said it was fine. But asked me if I had my foot on the brake pedal when riding on the highway, I told him, I might have, Bad Habit, on my part. Also at lower speeds around 30 to 40mph do not run in 5 gear, run in 3 or 4 gear, you will burn the clutches up in 5 gear at those speeds. He told me the Spyder runs the best at 4000 to 5000 rpm. I'm glad i read this forum. Thank you, LOVE MY SPYDER RS SE5.

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    I might be doing at least 12 of those things wrong
    Corbin saddle
    spyderpops block off plate, bump skid, belt guard
    IPS
    Tricled LED lights all around(too many to name here)
    Smoothspyder belt tensioner
    Custom Dynamics britesides
    VTC floorboards, upper air vents, spoiler
    BK car stuff HID upgrade
    trailer hitch
    Repainted rear fender, trunk latch assembly, switch cluster, gauge cluster
    cell phone interface kit
    travel cover that no longer fits due to the spoiler
    New sway bar
    New shock relocator

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    Well just think how much BETTER it'll be once you start getting it all straightened out...

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    Wow did I miss it or did some one forget the dreaded owners manual read. Itmhas a lot of what is talked about, but I sure could have missed that post

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    Default Riding the Brake

    BRP's got a fix for this. Some people out at Durango had the new code installed on their . I would add that this is for people that just can't keep their foot of the brake. They can have their dealer put on the new code.




    Without Trailer
    With Trailer

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    Quote Originally Posted by texasride View Post
    Wow did I miss it or did some one forget the dreaded owners manual read. Itmhas a lot of what is talked about, but I sure could have missed that post
    Added your suggestion as #1 on the list. That was a serious mistake on my part... but it is on the list now.

    (I am adding suggestions to the first post's list as they come in...)

    SL #7026
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    2017 HD Ultra Limited
    Former Rides: 2014 HD Ultra Limited; '04 Kawa Nomad; '09 HD Ultra-Classic; and many Hondas through the years.
    Spyder Newbies Do's & Do Not's: http://www.spyderlovers.com/forums/s...-Spyder-owners

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    One more item that my son is guilty of is not riding for weeks and then going on a long ride of several hundred miles. What happens is the battery runs down and then charges up. Without a battery tender hooked up in the interim the battery takes a real beating. On the last ride his bike died and we had to do over 500 miles that day to get his bike back home. So, keep you battery charged up fully as much as possible.

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    Here's one that I didn't know as I had never been around motorcycles or spyders:

    DO NOT RIDE IT DOWN GRAVEL ROADS

    I took it to the gravel road 1st day I owned it. Thought it'd be a good place to ride it and get used to the handling without traffic. 3 wheels on the ground would make you think it's perfect for gravel cruising. I pushed a rock into my belt. Since then, I've added the spyderpops guard
    Last edited by ARCTIC; 07-01-2012 at 08:44 AM.
    2017 Chevrolet Camaro SS convertible. 2017 GMC Sierra cc diesel. 2017 Arctic cat RR 137 ES

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    Some of the best advise I've seen on here...
    Hindle exhaust, Kewlmetal K&N intake + prefilter, Kuryakyn widow pegs, Kuryakyn grips, Madstad 20in. windshield, Juice Box, 02Modifier, Kewlmetal backrest and carrier, missing air dam, missing belt shield, 1" riser, Kewlmetal handlebar risers,Evoluzione sway bar, Street Magic/Day Runner Pucks, Glo Riders Amsoil, 10w40, Rons performance wires

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    Very Active Member MRH's Avatar
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    When I purchased mine I generated codes the first day riding the brake (costing my dealer a drive to pick it up and return it, and me the better part of the first week without use of it). I think that I somewhere read that on a 2010 RT the new update that resolves the touching the brake issue doesn't apply - but I may be wrong.

    I'd also been shifting pretty much as soon as the Spyder will let me - keeping the RPM's low, and am now working to break that bad habit (nobody told me, until I read it here, but that took a while). 5000? Really? I doubt I've been there much at all. It sounds like I should really only be in first or second in city driving. Nobody tells you this stuff. When I asked my dealer when to shift, they didn't have an answer for me at all. It all feels counter-intuitive.

    I'd have loved to have found this list on the site day one - can it be added as a sticky in the general forum?? I think it would head off a lot of issues for new owners, and possibly for some more experienced owners as well.

    As to the battery cables, I still haven't figured out where those are, and it took me some time to locate the fuses - it would make sense to have info on both of those in the thread. When you're starting from zero, the list in #9 is hard to do without much more information.

    This was a great post, thank you!
    Last edited by MRH; 07-01-2012 at 10:47 AM.

  24. #24
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    You've hit it out of the park with this post. Once you have it complete it does need a special spot here so "NEW OWNERS" don't have to learn so much the hard way. Well done


    Identify what you have control over and find peace with what you don't.

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    Very Active Member napper39's Avatar
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    as far as where is the battery are leader has a post and shows you how to get to the battery look under the seat but to get to it you need to remove a pannel.lamont has you coverd.

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