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Thread: Atlantic 500 FAQ?

  1. #1
    apriliaforum prov-nov
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    Atlantic 500 FAQ

    Okay, might as well put the FAQ here:

    Aprilia Atlantic 500 FAQ, Observations, and Recommendations

    Luggage

    Aprilia Top Case Mount

    This replaces the backrest. It is a black finished steel plate with three legs that bolts to the back of the bike. It has a decorative plastic cover. It has four screw holes that can be used for a quick-release mounting plate for luggage. It does not include any kind of mounting plate for luggage (i.e. Aprilia, Givi Monolock, or Givi Monokey).

    Top Case

    The Aprilia top cases have been reported to have been made by Givi and Nonfango. Many riders are put off by the cost of the Aprilia case, however, if you want a color-matched case, the price may be worth it to you. If you are less concerned about that or have access to painting equipment, you might consider a less-expensive Givi Monolock case. You can choose to use the same size and style of case or elect to go with one of a different style and capacity. If you buy the Aprilia top case or the Givi Monolock luggage, it includes the mounting plate. There is no reason why you could not use competing systems, including inexpensive quick-release cases from JC Whitney or Emgo.

    Saddlebags

    The AA500 is already a very wide vehicle and saddlebags are thought by many to make it unacceptably wide. There are no hard-mounts for saddlebags.

    Chrome Rack

    Aprilia offers a chrome rack. This rack follows the curve of the back, so it is something you can tie things to rather than set them on. It is not compatible with the topcase mount.

    Soft Luggage

    Aprilia sells a bag that goes over the tunnel and a tail bag that mounts behind the seat. While both offer significant storage, they are not waterproof and offer no security.

    Lubrication

    Oil Filter

    Aftermarket: The Hi-Flo HF-184 is specified filter for the AA500. Unfortunately, it is non-standard and normal socket-type oil filter wrenches don't fit it. Because the Piaggio engine has a shroud around the oil filter, it is difficult to remove using a normal strap-type of oil filter wrench. Note that the oil filter is particularly short, apparently to accomodate applications where there is less room. A longer filter may be an option for the AA500, increasing oil capacity, filter area, and ease of installation/removal.

    Cooling

    Thermostat

    2003 Atlantic 500s had a 75 degree C oil thermostat. This was too cold, causing the engine to never warm up. The result of this was the fuel injection system making the mixture richer to compensate. Raw, unburned fuel would end up diluting the crankcase oil. Plenty has been written about the 75C thermostat.but suffice it to say that you want an 85C thermostat even if you don't find gas in your oil. Fuel economy is far better with the 85 degree thermostat. If you find that your temperature gauge hangs around the 5 o-clock position, you almost certainly have the 75C thermostat.

    Replacing the thermostat can be done without removing any panels. While at least one person has had success removing the thermostat in-place, others (including me), have found that the easiest way to remove it is to take off the water pump. It's a simple job and requires no gaskets as it has an o-ring type of seal. Be very careful not to swap the two parallel hoses (don't ask). Purging the air from the system almost certainly requires removing the airbox for easier access. I tried with various bent wrenches, but ultimately gave in and removed the airbox.

    Coolant top-off

    It can be difficult to see the coolant level. Use a flashlight to illuminate the overflow tank from behind when adding coolant. The coolant level is viewed through an oval hole in the glove box.

    Fuel and Emissions

    Fuel Injection

    The AA500 has fuel injection. It is not a "closed loop" type of system, meaning that changes to the exhaust or intake can affect how rich or lean the engine runs. Some AA500 ECUs can be remapped by Aprilia dealers while others cannot. There is no hardware/software to allow the remapping of the ECUs by owners.

    Airbox

    The AA500 airbox is a two-piece affair joined together with screws. Disassembly is not described or recommended in the service manual. It appears that the factory used a silicone RTV type of sealant when assembling the top to the bottom. Have some black RTV if you feel the need to open it up. Note that there is little need to open it up. It's a hollow box. Trust me.

    California Emissions (All U.S. Bikes)

    All U.S. AA500s have California emissions systems. They were built this was to minimize cost for the factory (by not having two different U.S. models of the AA500). Unfortunately, this system has caused problems for many owners, creating vacuums in the fuel tank which leave the bike starved for fuel or by creating excessive pressure in the tanks. There have been reports of one-way valves being installed the wrong way. Aprilia service manuals provide little if any information about the California emissions package, making it difficult to troubleshoot.

    Many owners have elected to disconnect the system. You are, of course, responsible for determining the legality of this based on your jurisdiction and the prevailing laws. The simplest method for removing the system is to disconnect the hose leading from the fuel tank. Put a filter on it (an aquarium airstone works well) to keep it from ingesting particles so that the tank can breath and not form a vacuum as fuel is pumped from it. Disconnect the hose leading to the throttle body and put a rubber cap over the nipple. Finally, disconnect the line leading from the charcoal canister to the airbox, capping the nipple on the airbox. See diagram with recommended hose disconnections shown in red



    You may remove or leave installed as much as you wish. It is possible to remove everything except the carbon canister without removing the bodywork from the bike (though you probably will have to remove the airbox and taillight assemblies to access the hoses). I recommend removing all hoses along with the sticker detailing the hose routing.

    Electrical System

    Power outlet: The round power outlet in the glove compartment is always on. If you leave something plugged into it with the ignition off, it will drain the battery. Note that this makes for an easy way to attach a battery float charger (examples: Battery Tender or my favorite, the Yuasa Smartshot). Just splice a 12V round power plug to a "Battery Tender" type of connector and you can charge your battery by just opening the glove compartment.

    Bodywork

    This is a painful subject. Removal of the bodywork is necessary for many tasks, yet it can be extremely difficult and frustrating. Many of the parts are held in place with snap-together tabs that threaten to break whenever they are taken apart. For this reason, I recommend not taking panels off when the ambient temperature is low and the plastic is less flexible and is more brittle.

    Aprilia's engineers went to extreme measures to hide almost every screw head for styling reasons. Because of this, it is often necessary to remove many pieces of bodywork to access others. A good example is the floorboards, which require the removal of the mats, inspection covers, tunnel cover, and entire legshield complete with dashboard.

    Legshield Removal Warning!

    The service manual does not describe it, but it is necessary to remove the surround ring on the ignition switch in order to remove the legshield. Failure to do so can result in damage to the surround ring, necessitating its replacement.

    __________________________________________________ ________________________


    Original post follows:

    Hi. I just purchased an Atlantic 500 (2003) that is in great shape with under 3,000 miles. The forums here have been really good, but I was wondering if there was an Atlantic 500 FAQ with info like:
    • Where to find Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs)
    • Proper method for removing the California emissions equipment if it is causing problems
    • Known problems and fixes (e.g., gas in oil, MPG readout wrong, fuel injection related problems)
    • Whether interface/software is available for remapping the ECU or does the dealer have to do it? Are there specific maps to request?
    • The part number for the 85 degree thermostat?
    • What performance mods exist and how do they affect reliability, noise, etc.?
    • What tires are available and what are their charactistics as far as handling and longevity?
    • What non-stock windshields exist and what has been observed about them (buffeting and wind noise, fit, wind protection, and optics)?
    • What oil filters fit by brand and model number?
    • Is it possible to fit speakers and, if so, what size?
    • How-to sections for common maintenance tasks, with tips and shortcuts.

    For an example of a great brand/model motorcycle FAQ, see http://www.portablepct.com/banditfaq.htm

    So, is there something like that? Do we want to put one together?
    Last edited by fmaxwell; 03-15-2008 at 04:55 AM.

  2. #2
    apriliaforum prov-nov motodego's Avatar
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    Welcome, I think you are going to love your AA 500, its a great machine. All your concerns are addressed in this forum , use the search tool at the top. It has saved me alot of time and cash. Good Luck

  3. #3
    apriliaforum expert
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    You might check out scootertrap.com. There are maintenance tips there stored outside of forum threads.

    More traffic here I think but you will appreciate scootertrap.com also.

    Enjoy,

    Quote Originally Posted by fmaxwell View Post
    Hi. I just purchased an Atlantic 500 (2003) that is in great shape with under 3,000 miles. The forums here have been really good, but I was wondering if there was an Atlantic 500 FAQ with info like:

    • Where to find Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs)
    • Proper method for removing the California emissions equipment if it is causing problems
    • Known problems and fixes (e.g., gas in oil, MPG readout wrong, fuel injection related problems)
    • Whether interface/software is available for remapping the ECU or does the dealer have to do it? Are there specific maps to request?
    • The part number for the 85 degree thermostat?
    • What performance mods exist and how do they affect reliability, noise, etc.?
    • What tires are available and what are their charactistics as far as handling and longevity?
    • What non-stock windshields exist and what has been observed about them (buffeting and wind noise, fit, wind protection, and optics)?
    • What oil filters fit by brand and model number?
    • Is it possible to fit speakers and, if so, what size?
    • How-to sections for common maintenance tasks, with tips and shortcuts.


    For an example of a great brand/model motorcycle FAQ, see http://www.portablepct.com/banditfaq.htm

    So, is there something like that? Do we want to put one together?
    Riding a 2010 Mana GT

  4. #4
    apriliaforum prov-nov
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    Quote Originally Posted by motodego View Post
    Welcome, I think you are going to love your AA 500, its a great machine. All your concerns are addressed in this forum , use the search tool at the top. It has saved me alot of time and cash. Good Luck
    Thanks. The problem with the search tool vs. a FAQ is that you have to know what to look for. For example, if you are a new AA 500 owner and you don't happen to know about the gas in oil problem, it's unlikely that you're going to find yourself searching for "gas in oil."

    FAQs are really handy because they tell you things you need to know even if you don't know you need to know them (how's that for a convoluted sentence?).

  5. #5
    apriliaforum prov-nov wozza's Avatar
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    Hi Hope you enjoy your Atlantic as much as I do mine.....

    First things first check your temp gauge, what position does the needle reach
    on the temp gauge after the bike has warmed up? It must be above the quarter position. if the needle is only showing at 4 o'clock you will need to change your themostat.
    Also don't allow your bike to tick over and warm up just start the bike and ride, don't rev the nuts of it though. Slow warm up times are also part of the problem as well as short trips. So if your only going down the road to the local shop I wouldn't use you Atlantic or if you do make sure you take the long way there and back!
    Not all Atlantics can have the ECU re-mapped, it depands on you frame number as to when the change from a non-reprogrammable ECU to a reprogrammable ECU took place. Aprilia ECU downloads are done over a phone line in the UK. I should think it's probably it's going to be the same in the USA.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wozza View Post
    Hi Hope you enjoy your Atlantic as much as I do mine.....

    First things first check your temp gauge, what position does the needle reach
    on the temp gauge after the bike has warmed up? It must be above the quarter position. if the needle is only showing at 4 o'clock you will need to change your themostat.
    Also don't allow your bike to tick over and warm up just start the bike and ride, don't rev the nuts of it though. Slow warm up times are also part of the problem as well as short trips. So if your only going down the road to the local shop I wouldn't use you Atlantic or if you do make sure you take the long way there and back!
    Not all Atlantics can have the ECU re-mapped, it depands on you frame number as to when the change from a non-reprogrammable ECU to a reprogrammable ECU took place. Aprilia ECU downloads are done over a phone line in the UK. I should think it's probably it's going to be the same in the USA.
    Absolutely the kind of information that I was looking for and probably a great start to an FAQ! Thanks so much.

    And, yes, I do need to change my thermostat.


  7. #7
    apriliaforum prov-nov
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    Okay, I got the beginnings of a FAQ for the AA500. I know that it's not complete, but it's a start. Comments?


  8. #8
    apriliaforum Member boomer1's Avatar
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    Great Tips

    These are great tips. You should post these at the top of the forum as a sticky.
    The AA500 is my first scooter, first bike, first 2 wheeler of any kind. There are no dealers any where near me. I got the bike off of eBay. So I'm on my own to keep it going, and I use forums like this all the time.

  9. #9
    apriliaforum prov-nov wozza's Avatar
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    Hi Hi-flo oil filters are a good choice I can't see yourself going wrong there. To me they look exaclty the same as the original Piaggio item.

  10. #10
    apriliaforum expert Shfls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RUSTYSPOKES View Post
    My two bits worth on substituting generic " Its close!" penny pinching on oil filters. I bought a slick 2004 Atlantic w/1600 miles on it yesterday, and its former owner gave me a fram PH3614 with it; fortunately an OEM filter is mounted on the scooter at this time. I also own a 2002 ST1100ABS that has forum cheapskates trying to mount automotive filters on that engine as well, and with disastrous results. I pulled the specification from both the fram and purolator websites; they have drainback valves (not really necessary on the AA500), they have pressure relief valves set at 12-17psi, but, they have 3/4" 16 pitch thread! The thread was the source of disaster on the ST1100 owners that tried to save a buck; 19mm and 3/4" 16p are close, but not quite, and the filter will back off from heat/cool contractions and eventually blow oil by the seal. On a ST1100 the hot oil soaking your left foot as it dumps 4 litres of oil will catch your attention before the idiot light comes on; given that the filter is behind your right floorboard on these scooters and they hold 1.5L of oil.......... I googled HiFlo and they have yet to have a failure reported back to them; have been in business since 1955 and contract manufacture for most of the Pacific rim auto manufacturers. I ordered three of the HF-184 @ $6 each, plus 6.95 shipping from www.repairmanual.com this morning. I am up past 50 motorcycles/scooters that had my name on the title since 1969, and have seen plenty of mishaps from trying to 'PepBoy' out a scooter or motorcycle just to save a couple of bucks. I also learned that the Valvoline Synpower 5w40 synthetic motor oil that meets my 2004 VW diesel 505.01 specification, also meets Aprilia specifications, and have been getting it off the shelf at the NAPA store (they stock the full Valvoline product line, all weights); usually around $6/qt. Enjoyed all the notes in the forum, hope my opinion does not offend.
    Welcome Rusty,

    Of course your comments do not offend. Rather they are welcomed here. You point out something that I bet most of us have failed to consider. That being the diffrence in thread pitch among the diffrent filters.

    I have run the Hi-Flo filters without problems. Our hosts, AF-1 stocks them, so I assume they are safe to use. Personally, I have failed to recognize the possible diffrence in thread pitch of diffrent filters and was only concerned, mainly, with the length of the filter. In the Scarabeos case the center stand will interfere with the filter. Some have remedied that by shimming the bump stop, but I have not tried that.

    As far as I'm concerned, we need everybodys open eyes and minds. Thanks.

    Don
    Shfls... 2004 S-500, red/black #0131

    If you can't change the people around you, change the people around you.

    **************************************************
    Time is finite...OK, time is infinite, but yours isn't!


  11. #11
    apriliaforum Member
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    I’m a newcomer to this forum and 2003 Aprilia Atlantic 500

    Hi, Your info is fantastic, outstanding emission explanation. Last week I picked up a 2003 Aprilia Atlantic with 271 miles on it, I have a question, dos anyone noticed jittery ride, it appears the rear suspension – shocks have the original factory setting, I’m thinking to soften the ride by lowering the spring compression… Don’t have the spanner wrenches to do the job – yet. The best way I can describe the ride is like the rebound is very harsh, the shocks are working OK but the ride is too rigid on bumpy surface.… To what length should I adjust the spring for best comfort? For one rider of 220 lb.

    I also would like more info about the fuel dumping and mixing with oil… Dos the 85F thermostat do the job, or the problem is also related to faulty emission venting system that pressurizes the fuel tank and pushes too much gas in the wrong direction, and the dumping of fuel in to the crank case, occurs while the bike is stationary.

    Last question; do you know anything about aftermarket : Dyno-Boost adjustable chip for Atlantic 500 offered by Magnum Tuning http://www.amazon.com/DYNO-BOOST-Adj...8496580&sr=8-4 ;dos it work ? Or, is it just another $59 gimmick…

    I’m a newcomer to this forum and 2003Aprilia Atlantic 500
    Thanks

  12. #12
    apriliaforum expert USAFE7RET's Avatar
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    A minor correction to the Electrical System, Power outlet item. My 2004's power outlet is NOT always on. It is tied into the ingniton switch so that it has to be turned on to power any accessory. 2003 and earlier models may be always on, but this should not be a blanket statment for a FAQ post.
    ______________

    Tom Dunn
    2004 AA 500
    2006 Piaggio X9 500

  13. #13
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    The power outlet on my 07ie is always hot.

  14. #14
    apriliaforum expert USAFE7RET's Avatar
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    That's nice Bob, but since the OP stated this was the Atlantic 500 FAQ, and they quit making them in 04, the 07ie info isn't very relevant to this thread.

    My 06 X9 accessory outlet is always hot as well, but the 04 AA 500 isn't.
    ______________

    Tom Dunn
    2004 AA 500
    2006 Piaggio X9 500

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFE7RET View Post
    A minor correction to the Electrical System, Power outlet item. My 2004's power outlet is NOT always on. It is tied into the ingniton switch so that it has to be turned on to power any accessory. 2003 and earlier models may be always on, but this should not be a blanket statment for a FAQ post.
    The information was in agreement with your statement that the power outlet may or may not be on "blanket statement". They apparently have changed their minds several times about whether the outlet should be switched or not switched.

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