The weather here in the Pacific Northwest has been exceptionally wet, for the second year in a row I might add. So opportunities to get the bikes out has been few and far between early in the season. I did get the Aprilia out for a great ride on my regular loop south of Corvallis where I grew up. I went with Blake who recently picked up an old Katana 600. We had a blast running the RS and Katana up through the revs repeatedly on the back roads. And I confess: It's so addictive hearing the little 2 stroker scream on these sweet pipes!
But of course the fun had to come to end as we got back into town. The bike started sputtering and losing power, and finally died all together. I waited about 10 minutes and the bike re-fired, but was noticeably down on power. I was able to get it back into the garage and started crawling through the AF1 Aprilia Forum for RS250's. Sounded like changing out the plugs was the right place to start.
I chose to upgrade to the NGK Iridium version of the stock plug recommended by forum members as a preferred street solution to help prevent fouling. The new plugs feature a different top connector than the standard plugs though and I ended up having to change out the plug wire ends.
This is where I give a shout out to Fred's Honda of Corvallis, who spent the time to look through the books to find the unusual plug wire ends that fit the fatter connector that is not usually found on wires for motorcycles. After searching the catalog, they found a snow mobile application that is basically exactly like the unit I needed, but with additional length on the rubber boots at either end for water proofing. I was impressed that they were happy to take the extra time help me get the right parts that were only going to cost $6 in the end. Good service is hard to find and I'll be back -- often!
Unfortunately the new plugs and wire ends did not solve the problem. Lots of smoke out of one pipe and no smoke on the other. So time to start going backwards from the wire...