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Thread: New aprillia Mana owner... questions

  1. #1
    apriliaforum newb
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    New aprillia Mana owner... questions

    Hi there. Lost my left leg below-the-knee a while back and thought that I'd never ride again. Got the itch about 5 years ago and bought an old Suzuki Katana 600. Moved the shifter over to the right side (linkage under the case) and moved the rear brake to the handlebars (one master cylinder with a proportioning valve) and got my ride on.

    fast forward 4 years. Just bought an 09 Mana with 4500 miles on it. Was hoping for a better handling bike (i got it, for sure) that had a bit more power. The Mana is interesting-- it's NOT all about acceleration and speed --but it IS predictable, nimble, and fun.

    So. a few questions that the fairly obscure owner's manual doesn't describe:

    1. No matter what gear-mapping i'm in, Sport, Touring, or Rain, a red light seems light up in the far upper right-hand corner if I stay at a particular throttle setting for too long (too long? really?) What is this and how do I avoid it?
    2. Seems that the bike just ISN'T very happy in the mornings. It just seems like its raspy and uneven for the first few miles. Let it warm uo longer? I gave it 5 minutes this morning, but it still felt cranky for a while.
    3. The rear spring appears to be adjustable-- I'm 6'1" and weight 260 (I quit smoking last year and can't shake the weight off... gimmee a break) Does it make sense to stiffen up the rear spring?

    OK, thanks for the creative and constructive comments in advance.

    Andy

  2. #2
    apriliaforum Member
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    There are a series of lights on the right that go on in "manual" mode to warn you you are reaching the limit rev wise. The red one means change gear. However, in auto I am not aware these should come on at all.
    The bike springs are set for a 70kg rider - about 160lbs so you really ought to wind on some preload and rebound. I would set it as per riding with a pillion and then back off a bit. The settings are in the manual.

  3. #3
    apriliaforum expert AndyT's Avatar
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    Hi Andy, welcome to the forum. First question is which Mana did you get? The NA or GT with fairing and screen? I ask because the adjustment on the rear spring is different between the two.

    I own a GT which has a remote adjuster that you simply turn to a given marking, but I think the NA has an adjuster ring threaded on the shock.

    If you look through the various posts you will find comments about the poor handling of the Mana in stock form and various members have uprated forks and suspension as a result. However, the bike was intended for a rider weight of about 160lbs and, like you, I am considerably more than that. The result is that the bike is really too soft in standard trim so needs some work to get the maximum out of it. I have ended up with the rear preload set at about "rider and luggage" with a few clicks extra of rebound damping. You should aim for roughly 1 inch of static sag between the bike sitting just under its own weight and you sitting on the saddle in full gear and normal riding position. Measure between two easy fixed points on the end of the swing arm and the bodywork under the saddle or grab handle or wherever. You just need to be able to repeat the measurement so get someone to help you do it. The difference between the unloaded and loaded measurement is your static sag. The manual describes how to do the actual adjustment and you should also increase the rebound damping via the slotted adjuster on the bottom of the shock.

    The problem here is that this adjustment only sorts out the rear end and the front will also be too soft with standard springs. I found my GT was all but bottomed out under braking and had a nasty tendency to wash out on rough surfaced bends. Try putting a cable tie round one of the stanchions and ride the bike around for a while. The cable tie will show how much of the suspension travel you are using. I ended up putting in uprated springs with Andreani adjustable cartridges (a bit of a luxury) and have transformed the handling, which is now precise and predictable with no nasty surprises. You could simply change the springs if you find you are using all the travel and use a heavier fork oil to stiffen up the damping. The Mana has asymmetric damping in the forks with one side controlling compression and the other side rebound so you might only need heavier oil in the rebound side (sorry, I can't remember which is which at the moment).

    One of the Mana's foibles seems to be a tendency to stall the first time you stop after a cold start. Mine has done it a couple of times, but it seems to only happen if you blast away from a cold start. Riding gently for the first few minutes until it has warmed up properly is kinder to the engine and seems to get over initial rough running. However, there are a couple of things you can check to discount any actual problems. First thing is to make sure it has been serviced. A clean air filter and plugs are obvious. It's low mileage, but must have been stood for long periods so worth checking. Also check the computer for any fault codes (go into diagnostics and use code 12321 to access the info). The Oxygen sensor is known to cause rough running if it is faulty, but will only show up as a fault if the heater circuit has failed. Sometime the actual sensor fails but doesn't put up a fault code. Try resetting the computer by pulling out its master fuse (next to the battery) and see if the problem goes away. If it does, but comes back after a few days, then suspect the O2 sensor.

    Resetting the computer might also clear the red light you have on the dash. I assume you're not talking about the master alarm which has a little triangular icon in it. It sounds like the last of the gear change warning lights that should only work in sport mode.

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited by AndyT; 05-25-2016 at 12:19 PM.
    2009 Mana GT ABS; Andreani fork cartridges with uprated springs; Dorsoduro hand guards and heated grips; 30mm handlebar risers; Digital tachograph: Modified woodcraft folding brake pedal; R&G frame sliders

  4. #4
    apriliaforum newb
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    answers

    Hi there- and thanks for the responses. The red light DOES seem to be a shift indicator but.... the timing for these warning doesn't seem appropriate. I'll do some more reading. I have to mess with the rear spring, as well.

    I bought the NA-- the GT looked a bit too busy for me. The previous owner had done quite a few aftermarket cosmetic add-ons and I liked the look better than the stock GT. carbon fiber trim pieces, a Leo Vince shorty can, and a rear
    fender delete. Its a pretty bike.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
    apriliaforum expert pete roper's Avatar
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    Well there's the answer to your poor starting and running problems! It's got a shitty rock strainer air filter on it. The ECU won't be able to trim around that and coupled with the LV pipe the open loop mapping will be right up the crapper. Have a look at the plugs, it's probably running as lean as buggery! Stick the original filter/airbox back on and it'll probably trim around the pipe but it d still recommend running it with the dB killer in.

    The suspension on the Mana, especially the NA, is woeful. I couldn't live with it! My solution was Gen 2 Tuono forks and brakes and a Hyperproshock on the back. Mine handles like a real motorbike now!

    Pete
    Professional Goat Burster.

  6. #6
    apriliaforum newb
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    OK, THAT makes sense

    Quote Originally Posted by pete roper View Post
    Well there's the answer to your poor starting and running problems! It's got a shitty rock strainer air filter on it. The ECU won't be able to trim around that and coupled with the LV pipe the open loop mapping will be right up the crapper. Have a look at the plugs, it's probably running as lean as buggery! Stick the original filter/airbox back on and it'll probably trim around the pipe but it d still recommend running it with the dB killer in.

    The suspension on the Mana, especially the NA, is woeful. I couldn't live with it! My solution was Gen 2 Tuono forks and brakes and a Hyperproshock on the back. Mine handles like a real motorbike now!

    Pete
    Well. I purchased the bike with all of the mods done (and, of course, none of the original parts) I'll have to do some Ebay-ing to see what I can find. I'm interested in the suspension mods that you mentioned... what was the final price tag on that?

  7. #7
    apriliaforum expert pete roper's Avatar
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    I bought the forks and a set of 100mm calipers, (The stock master cylinder drives them just fine.) off the bay of fleas in the US, landed in Oz they were, from memory less than $800. The shock I purchased through AF1. It's a top quality unit with both high and low speed compression and rebound adjustment. Can't remember exactly what it cost but it wasn't cheap, a grand or so may Become??? The stock suspension is the pits, I know some people are OK with it but the f there's something I'm always willing to stick money in its suspension and brakes.

    Pete
    Professional Goat Burster.

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