View Full Version : 2000 Cube 650 Head Gasket
10-22-2001, 11:59 PM
My buddy (I'm doing research for him, I tend to take care of mechanical work with him) just got a 2000 Aprilia Pagaso Cube 650, quite a nice 'lil machine I must say, one problem, he got the bike on Thursday, today (Monday) the head gasket blew. I'm trying to find out if this is a common problem or not, I plan on calling the local Aprilia dealership here to ask the same questions but figured I'd get some independent ideas also.
As stated above it's a 2000 Pagaso Cube 650, it's got 11,000 miles on it, about 75% of which are reportedly highway, according to the person he bought it from. It's been serviced it's whole life from a dealer (Jason has the paperwork) but we don't know the dealership themselves, we have a hunch they cut corners, specifically the corner involving head bold torque.
If you have any information it is greatly appreciated, if not thank you for your time
micah apriliaforum com
10-23-2001, 03:53 PM
Geoff, I have worked on dozens of Pegasos and I have never seen a blown head gasket...the head bolt torque is crutial as you had surmised. The head gasket should last until the head has to come off for a valve and seat service....not likely at 11,000 miles.
10-24-2001, 04:58 AM
Blown head gasket is perhaps not that common but I have heard of quite a few cases in Europe. The engine needs to be taken out of the frame to get the head off which makes it a time consuming work. I made it just for fun last winter to tidy up the seats and ports.
micah apriliaforum com
10-25-2001, 10:33 AM
No reason not to port if the head has to come off anyway. I'm sure you could pick up a couple of horsepower at the very least and then you would also always have the satisfaction of saying that your bike has a ported head...bragging rights if you will.
10-27-2001, 02:39 PM
On my 2000 3 good guys at dealership replaced head gasket while performing valve check up. Apparently they had few "recalls". Another friend of mine had to replace head gasket at 750 mi.
Also, few F650's had same issue.
Argh, just decided to do some last minute riding, all dressed up for cold weather when I found gas leaking from carb(s) all over the engine. Can't locate the source of leak without removing TOO MANY things.
So much for that season-over ride. Very upset.
Too cold to ride? Move to Australia!
micah apriliaforum com
10-29-2001, 01:16 PM
Here in Texas its about 80 degrees today...of course in the summer it will be like 110 degrees with lows in the upper 90's at night...no perfect place I guess. I personally like to live places with seasons.
11-20-2001, 02:47 PM
I am the owner of the above mentioned Aprilia Pegaso, Sure enough it does have a blown head gasket. I bought two new gaskets expecting to need another later on down the road. Aprilia had me send them back as they have a 4th head gasket out for the bike. So far the dealer has had the bike for a month and i have yet to see any progress. Kinda stinks but I guess this isn't out of the ordinary for warranty work, for Aprilia, Honda, or anyone else. I just sucks that I have owned the bike for a month and a half and it's been at the dealer in pieces for a month. Bla bla bla.. I am going to check with the dealer later today and see whats the happs...
11-30-2001, 03:20 PM
Thought I would let you guys know, that the head on the Pegaso cube will come out without pulling the motor... Tight fit but it is possible. FYI: The bike IS STILL AT THE DEALER... LOL!!!! Maybe I could set a world record for longest head gasket service ever done on a bike by a qualified dealer!!!! hehehehe!
My head gasket took the bike shop only one week.
What country are you from? Maybe, somebody could kidnap the bike shop owners dog/cat/gold fish/wife/first born son, and exchange them for your bike in running order!
12-02-2001, 04:01 PM
Hey, witth the amount of time it's taking to do that bike I don't think that's out of order! At the very least some creative technological torture.
12-06-2001, 04:24 PM
Ok the bike IS STILL AT THE DEALER! It has been there since the 26th of October... I went in to ask WTF was going on with the bike and they say the Head gasket they finally got was damaged so they need to get another. Does that mean I have to wait another month to see the bike? How hard could it be? I would be willing to pay for having the head gasket shipped overnight if they would just fix it, soon. I am starting to wonder if I pissed off the service guy at Aprilia North America, so he is now making me pay for it... (Just a thought). I have sent packages to places all over the world and they usually take 2 weeks MAX. I just find it hard to swallow the fact they "can't get a gasket", FROM GA. I could leave tonight be in GA on Saturday, pickup the gasket, then be back on Monday in time to get them started on it. At this point I am wondering if my joke about getting the bike by christmas was really a joke.
Anyone out there know if there is anything I could do to get the bike done faster? Or if I can get some compensation? Should I even bother or just see if I make it into the record books for the longest repair running?.
12-08-2001, 06:23 PM
I too found that getting Aprilia parts is .... a hassle. I'm certain it is NOT due to shipping/transportation, it looks rather like ...
Aprilias rating is NOT as promised & as planed.
If they wanna us to buy hi tech, hi priced, hi maintenance bikes they better step up.
This next to droping Pegaso import !?!?!?
12-12-2001, 03:36 PM
Last weekend, I spoke to some of the "higher ups" in the food chain at Aprilia. Seems they too knew nothing about the bike, or the head gasket saga. That is until I told them who I was, they for some reason remember my name, not the bike... Kinda scary, means I made an impression, good or bad I don't know. Anyway, one of Santa's Elves dropped off a head gasket, Next Day Air, and I should be getting the bike back today or tomorrow. HELL YEAH!!! Finally, I am getting the bike back WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOO... Can you tell I am happy....
Here is the deal about the head gaskets, They are too thick, that is why they fail. Duhh, The only way to fix the problem is to torque the head down after first heat cycle, then again after 50 miles, then again after 500 miles. The gasket, no matter how it is designed, should be fine. Most of the time the head torque doesn't matter till the first service. But to be safe, especially on a big single like this one, this method should be followed. Anyway thought you all would like to know.
12-12-2001, 03:37 PM
Also the new head gasket No. is xxx604 not xxx602 Remember to check this when replacing it!
12-13-2001, 09:01 PM
Ok this is getting really old now... I went to go pick up the mighty Pegaso today. Guess what, she doesn't run. Why you ask? Well I don't know either. :mad: WTF? They say it doesn't run right, it is backflashing through the carbs. And it will not idle. But they say they got the bike up to operating temp and it didn't leak!!!! HELLO!?!?!?!? If a bike will not idle and it runs that poor at idle, and is backflashing,why in the world would you continue to run the bike up to operating temp? Doesn't that seem a bit retarded? The only thing that will cause the bike to do that is cam timing, or a tight intake valve! Not the carbs. Seems what has happened is the "certified aprilia mechanic" cannot remember his training on the pegaso, that or he never got any. Anyway, enough venting for now. Just remember stay away from SPECTRUM HONDA/APRILIA IN LAKE FOREST, CA... unless you like your bike "well done"
12-19-2001, 12:09 AM
Well after more delay the bike was finally "completed" today. I went to pick up the bike, and was told that the valves are all adjusted (they sound a bit loose to me) and the backflashing was fixed. Turns out that somewhere along the line over the last 60 or so days that the bike has been at the shop, dirt made it's way into the carbs. They were cleaned and installed and the bike ran ok, so I was told. I walked in at about 4:00pm and got the bike, and took off. WEEEEEEEEE yeah except I immediately noticed alot more vibration, and the bike ran like total dump, not to mention the new paint chip in the gas tank. When the bike wasn't coughing, surging, and generally falling all over itself, it started to overheat! 115 to 120 degrees C. I get the bike home thinking the entire time "wow did the bike run this bad before and I just didn't notice?" Answer is: NO! I ride around a bit getting re acquainted with the bike I fee happy now that I have the bike back, even though it could run a little better.
Later I get home after a nice 25mile ride. The bike seems alot louder now... Hmm What is that clacking noise? So I opt to clean the bike as it hasn't had a proper bath in over 2 months while I wait for cooldown to investigate, I notice a large amount of crud all over the engine, oil, and coolant. Not a good sign, as one would expect that if you give a clean engine to a shop to fix that it might come back fixed and clean.. But hey, I have high standards.
Later on I get on the phone with my dad and we have ANOTHER Pegaso chat, this time more positive. Well he asks me to fire up the bike so he can hear it over the phone. I do so, he listens, and the bike idles away. well after about 5 minutes or so I look down at the bike and see the little faint red hue on the front fender. I look for the source and what do I find? A RED HOT EXHAUST HEADER!!!! AT IDLE, AND AFTER THE BIKE HAS SAT FOR 30 MINUTES OR SO WHILE BEING CLEANED!!!! WTF? Shut the bike down... then moments later the bike starts puking coolant all over my garage... Again bike is broken this time I only had it for 3 hours! WOW I am getting really good at this!
Tomorrow the bike will be going back, to the shop! Now I rode about 25-30 miles with and engine running that bad? how much damage is there? I would guess quite a bit, if the headers got that hot at idle.
I knew getting this bike back this year was a dream.
12-19-2001, 08:10 AM
The header glowing red at idle is typical for this bike and the BMW F650 to. Mine has done it since new. This year I changed to an Arrow exhaust and changed jetting. Since then the header is cooler, not glowing.
Adjust the idle mixture and it should be better.
I am sure those guys at the shop can help you!!
12-19-2001, 03:17 PM
My Pegaso seemed to be overheating too. Strange thing was that the fan didn't come on even though the temp gauge was in the red and sometimes the gauge would go right to the peg as soon as I started the motor.. After going through the cooling system, replacing the ECU (in case of an ignition timing problem) and getting a compression check done (leakdown < 8%) I've concluded that it was never really overheating, but it was oily and dirty like yours. I think the oil might have been effecting the temperature reading. My headers were glowing too. When I had it in the shop for the leakdown test they replaced my 110 main jets with 125s. Young mechanic fresh out of Aprilia school said we could use anything up to a 130. Changed out the pilot jet too (don't remember the size off the top of my head). Header still glows on a dark night, but not so bright. Took a hit on fuel economy too. Guess I need that Arrow exhaust now. Hope your problem turns out to be a dirty motor. Could you see where the coolant was leaking from?
12-19-2001, 04:47 PM
Ohh the humanity, lol... Well the bike never glowed red before!? And the coolant was coming from the overflow. As the bike's Temp had reached 120C, and the fan was on... I am starting to think that the little electro-thermal valve for the coolant isn't working, so I will be removing it as soon as I get the bike back. Also I ran the bike with the choke slightly open (10%) on the way to the shop to fatten up the mixture, guess what temp never made it above 70C while riding or 85C when sitting at a light. As soon as I turned the choke all the way off the bike heated up to 110C almost immediately. And the poor running came back.
Side note, the valves are making a racket. Does anyone else have a noisy valve train? My bike never made any clacking noises from the valves, now it is very noticable.
Here is the checklist of what I will be doing when I get the bike back:
1. Check the valves and head bolt torque
2. Jet the bike so it runs right, then stick it on a dyno with an EGA in the pipes.
3. Remove Electro-stupid valve in the cooling system (none of my bikes have thermostats anyway, it never gets below 40F here anyway)
4. Check the ignition timing, as I have a feeling that dumb resister my have failed and the timing is all retarded now.
5. Then ride the bike.
Did I miss anything?
micah apriliaforum com
12-20-2001, 11:34 AM
Richer jetting is definitly in order for you...or there is some sort of obstruction in the fueling system.
12-20-2001, 02:28 PM
Pandora (My Pegaso), is definitely needing a rejet! But there was some crud in the carbs and they supposedly have been cleaned, most of which came fom sitting out in the shop for the last 2 monts... but I will not know till I get the bike back hopefully today or tomorrow. then the ripping and tearing will begine... muhhh hahahaha (that was supposed to be an evil laugh)
12-29-2001, 10:05 PM
This is all good information, and I thought my local Aprilia dealership was F'd up! I wonder, is there another Aprilia dealership close by? Maybe a new mech is in order? Good luck and keep us posted.
12-31-2001, 02:11 AM
Well I have had the bike back now for about a week, the pipes still glow red, and there is nothing I can do about it. I have richened up the mix till the bike doesn't run right and the pipes still glow cherry red, so I assume the bike either runs hot or the pipes are made from very cheap and/or thin material. Anyway, I have noticed the bike does run significantly better after advancing the cam timing one tooth on both IN and EX. The ignition timing is spot on, however I think I will have to look into making / buying a blackbox with a more aggressive ignition timing curve on the bottom end, yet leave the top end alone.
Things still wrong with the bike: Stupid lean surge still there, and I havn't changed my shock out yet with my brand new one sitting on the shelf. Ohh and I cleaned her up today THEN IT RAINED ON ME!!!! AHHHHH hehehehe
New things Wrong with the bike: A FRIGGIN OIL LEAK... MAKE THAT THREE!!!!! Well the dealer did such a steller job with the engine they even reused the old crush washers on the banjo fittings, wow what talent! Ohh and the oil was soo low when I checked it today, that it didn't even register on the dip stick.... Again, what talent! Ohh and the bike started puking coolant from one of my coolant lines, they must have used a screw driver on it or something. And two of the bolts that hold the side panner mounts have fallen out, now the bike rattles like an old Triumph/Norton/BSA.... But hey, I did get a big phat gift cirt. for X-Mas to another cycle shop... going to make up a jet kit and slap it on when I get all of the above sorted...
Let the Saga Continue... More in a few days!
01-02-2002, 02:39 AM
Hey so guess what popped off the bike today... Yep an oil line. I guess I don't have to work on keeping it from rusting EVER... lol The line was the one small high pressure unit that feeds the valvetrain. Looks like the banjo bolt popped out. I stole one from my old braking system for the CBR, and fit it with a new crush washer... seems to work nicely... Ohh and I did a little carb tweaking ohhh She runs nice!!!!!!
01-02-2002, 06:34 AM
dude, I feel your pain. I loathe bringing my bike to the dealership for anything. I do all my own service, and only go there for recall or warantee work, even then I beg them for the parts so I can do the work myself. You can just tell when a goon has been working on your bike, nicks, scratches, odd hardware, binding cables. I'll spend 10 minutes and re-remove a tank or whatever just to get a cable routing correct. These are the little things you'll never see from a dealership mechanic.
I'm interested in your cam timing mods. Did you consider just the intake? advancing both the same ammount should shift the powerband toward the bottom end. is that what you noticed?
01-05-2002, 12:21 AM
I did a bit more then the Cam timing to the bike... I am totally spoiled because of all of my rice rockets in the garage, most notibly the RC-31, all of which run very well, and for the most part they all came to me that way. The Aprilia was a totally new ballgame, as it was jetted soooooooo lean, and the fact that the dealer really didn't tune the bike up after it sat for 2 mo in pieces. The point of the mods were to clean up all of the chuggin at the bottom end, and to get rid of the numerous flatspots in the powerband. They are as follows:
-The airbox lost the noise baffle, more air to engine
-K&N air filter
-Got rid of the smog stuff (just cuz I could)
-Took the crancase vent out of the airbox, and lined it back to the rear fender and installed a one way valve so water doesn't make it back thru the line(lots of oil was making it to the carbs and making a mess)
-Set the ignition timing 1 degree retarded at the rotor pickup (not a fun thing to do, had to bust out the Bridgeport) There is way too much advance on this bike that is one reason the bike will die if it is idled down to 1200-1300RPM
-Slotted the cam gears with the Bridgeport so they will adjust 5 degrees in either direction, then set the cam timing to IN +5 degrees and EX +2 degrees from stock. This increases the overlap, and moves the power more to the midrange and top end, yet takes a little from the bottom. This fixed 75% of the chugging in 5th at about 3000RPM, and actually it is quite smooth down low now...
-Valve clearence is on the loose side of spot on, this way I don't get a "tight" valve later on.
-I also removed the tip over valve as it was not working right, this fixed my (sort of) vapor lock issue when you filled the tank full -o- gas then got the bike hot, the bike was a whore to start! just bypass it and run the line to the back of the bike with the breather line and remember to put a one way valve on this puppy and use a 1/16in in line baffle, it doesn't need to breeth that much.
- last but not least, Carbs. Stock jets with the following mods, Pilot screw is 4.75 turns out from seat (4 is stock) and the needle is on the 2nd clip from the highest setting (stock is 2nd from the lowest setting). I still have the Stock pipes with the CAT so I can't do much more till I get my arrow pipes, but I was thinking of putting Ducati V&H pipes on this bike not only would it look cool, but (hehehe) no one else has them, not to mention it is an easy mod if you know how to weld! weeeeee!!!
So that's all that I can remember right now, if anyone has any questions pls contact me off list at firstname.lastname@example.org ...
Keep the rubber side down, and yes the red and blue light behind you are BAD!
01-06-2002, 05:47 PM
you might consider #40 pilot jets. the pilot screws to 4.75 is a good indication that the pilots need to go up. Mine had 37.5 stock and I went up tp 42.5, too fat, next time down, I'm going to 40.
01-08-2002, 01:48 PM
Hey so a couple updates from the last post, Removed the one way valves from the tank and crank case breathers, and just left the inline baffle / small port restricter on the tank breather. I didn't think that I needed to vent back into the tank (duhh) but ya do. The bike died on me when I went for a nice long ride the other day. Fixed it and she runs better now. Also I am going to go back down one clip on the needles, as I think the float level was way off on the carbs, I will keep you guys posted.
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