I have been slowly chipping away at the Aprilia RST1000 Futura to deal with some major service items, in addition to some things that needed replacing. The biggest item on my list was to check and adjust the valves, a slightly more involved process that my old Suzuki locknut type, where you need to remove the camshafts to remove the buckets and shims.
This was further complicated by the engine design which made getting some suborn rocker cover bolts out a 2 weekend mission with various drill adapters and rattler gun, you can watch the video of the equipment I used here https://fb.watch/65ZUrpL9LK/ . Thankfully the Futura shares a common engine with Aprilia RSV, so chewed rocker cover bolts are fairly easy to source and replace.
When the valve clearances are resolved the next big job is replacing all the cooling hoses, a complex spiders web of hot and cold system hoses from the thermostat. Whilst the hoses looked in reasonably good order from the outside, it was clear on closer inspection that 20 years of use had taken their toll on the original equipment and a full silicone hose kit was ordered.
Support from the Aprilia community
If you have access to maintenance manuals they go a long way to help you understand what is involved with major maintenance work, but often the motorcycle community has many people who’ve completed these tasks multiple times and know the tricks. Some great groups you may want to check out for support on your maintenance and general queries are:
Aprilia Performance – The go to people in the UK for Aprilia servicing, parts and advice. Griff Woolley at the team are extremely helpful and turn parts orders around super quick. Check out their Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/225477674861 and website https://www.apworkshops.co.uk/
Aprilia AF1 Forums – A huge community for Aprilia riders with lots of topics and articles dating back nearly two decades. I have found lots of great articles here which has helped me more times than I care to remember over the years. Check out their forum here https://www.apriliaforum.com/forums/forum.php . AF1 also have a great line of parts and support if you are located in Northwest America. I’ve also ordered hard to get parts from these folks to the UK if you are struggling, check out their website here https://www.af1racing.com/
I’ve also received lots of support and comments from my group at Barn Find Motorcycle, where I provide an update on projects in flight, in addition to bikes for sale on the web. If you looking for advice or perhaps looking for a new project bike, check out out lively group which always has lots of bike related banter and support. Click here to get started https://www.facebook.com/groups/barnfindmotorcycle
Keeping the momentum to get the Aprilia finished
Whilst the sun is out it is always tempting to jump on one of the bikes which is ready to ride and push the Aprilia Futura to one side for a rainy day. This sound like a great idea but you eventually lose track of where you’ve got to do next and start feeling rejected. Keep chipping away at the work and eventually it will get finished, and you’ll look back with pride at your success.
You often see lots of ‘unfinished projects’ for sale on ebay and forums, which is often the result of someone who started a big maintenance job or perhaps a full restoration which ended up being too much for them to take on alone. If you run into a blocker, share your challenges in the forums and you’ll be surprised at the amount of goodwill and help out there.