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 J. Costa Variator

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PostSubject: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeTue Dec 23, 2008 5:58 pm

Just wondering if others have installed the J. Costa variator too. I installed mine over a year ago and it really improves the performance of the SWing. I think it is also a bit smoother and it sure does make the acceleration immediate as soon as you give it throttle. It seems to take the lag out of the bike when twisting the throttle.

I bought mine at scootertrap.com and also have a pictorial there. I will be putting them on this site too, along with others. If others have done this mod or are wanting too just chime in and tell us how you like it or if it is worth doing. I know I won't go back.



Ride safe,

JeffR



http://www.4shared.com/file/77483927/844fdf75/J_Costa_Pin_Replacement_and_Belt_Replacement_612kb.html[url][/url]


Last edited by JeffR on Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:09 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Tell me More   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeSun Dec 28, 2008 1:29 pm

My wife's 2003 really has a lag when taking off from a stop, tell me more about the J. Costa Variator and how it works. She would be thrilled if the lag was gone.

Bob
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeSun Dec 28, 2008 4:55 pm

Well Jeff like you, having fitted the J costa I wouldn't go back! In a nutshell these are the things I've discovered about it, having had it fitted for about 6 months or so... :D

Major change in performance, more noticeable than any of the other Mods I have had fitted, including the power commander and exhaust. Top speed improved from about 90mph (indicated 97) to 105 (indicated 117). Smile

Acceleration improved from about just over 7 seconds to about 6 seconds. Noticeable lift of the front end when accelerating (until I got progressive springs.. Smile (sorry no wheelies!) Acceleration seems improved across the range, and at full throttle the Swing gets up to about 80 mph before begining to tail off a little, but still goes hard till 100mph (true speed). Last 5mph takes a bit longer..!

Belt slap appears to have completely gone Smile

Throttle response seems improved, with a little less twist needed for the same performance Smile

Low speed handling better, as the drivetrain seems to respond quicker. Easier to burble along at low speed (walking speed) blipping the throttle without putting feet down Smile

The J Costa is definitely a bit noiser, but in a good sporty kinda way... Smile

Revs a little higher at low speeds, but at 70 mph revs a little less than stock. Thus fuel consumption gets hit.... Crying or Very sad My average of 45 dropped to about 42mpg, but that said, if cruising at 70 mph plus, then fuel consumption is slightly improved over stock. If you hustle especially around town with starting and stopping, fuel consumption can dip into the high thirties Crying or Very sad

But and this is a big BUT, you can fit other Mods that will improve the fuel economy... A power commander! Alas thay ain't that cheap.....

Verdict: the J Costa transformed my Swing, and significantly improved performance, albeit at a slight overall loss in mpg, but IMHO, worth it. If you are considering changing the variator to improve fuel economy, then maybe best to go for the Malossi Multivar which gives you a choice of weights to use, and so is more tweakable to your desired riding style. The J Costa comes as is, and already optimized, no tweaking needed, or warranted! However as noted above, a power commander and individualised mapping will improve your MPG. Well, it did mine anyway! bounce
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeSun Dec 28, 2008 11:51 pm

Bernardo,
Thank you for a great post. I have been thinking seriously about pulling off the cover just to clean and inspect my 06. It only has 6,400 miles on it but it lacks what I used to have with my CB750 a long time ago. It sounds like the J. Costa Variator would be the way to go. Thanks for your comments.
>> Dennis
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Dec 29, 2008 12:03 am

Dennis,

Like Bernardo said, it really is the best mod you can do to get the most performance. It is also very simple to install. I have a Pictorial that shows the steps if you do decide to do it. I have heard that J. Costa may start making different weights for it one day but are too busy just trying to keep up with the stock supplies.

When I first put it on I was disappointed with the mpg's but then I realized that I was giving it the same amount of throttle as before, with the stock variator, and you don't need to do that. Giving the same amount of throttle from a stop gets you going much quicker so you can ease up on the throttle to get the same amount of acceleration as the stock set up.
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Dec 29, 2008 12:22 am

Thanks Jeff. I love your photos. What a great job. I remember getting work done on one of my vehicles to improve the gas mileage but the increased power was so much fun that I didn't gain a thing...but I did get there quicker. I appreciate your comment about letting off on the accelerator. Good advise. Thanks.
>> Dennis
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Dec 29, 2008 4:03 am

On a side note, I've read that the Majesty with the J.Costa transforms from a true slug into a sportbike. Try 0-60 in 10 seconds stock, 6.7 with the Costa! That's a huge change!

I'd say they're worth it. But Majesty owners report a loss of fuel mileage as well. You don't get something for nothing I guess.
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Dec 29, 2008 8:32 am

DenGraham wrote:
Bernardo,
Thank you for a great post. I have been thinking seriously about pulling off the cover just to clean and inspect my 06. It only has 6,400 miles on it but it lacks what I used to have with my CB750 a long time ago. It sounds like the J. Costa Variator would be the way to go. Thanks for your comments.
>> Dennis

I can see you on the slippery slope of "lets soup up the S'wing, and hang the cost" !! Twisted Evil

I'm a born again biker, and bought the scoot for commuting after a long period of no riding at all.... I found it was so much fun, that it eventually became something of a project, and I set out to try and get improved performance more reminiscent of my biking days. I used to have a BMW K100RT, over twice the horsepower as the S'wing. Anyway to cut a long story short, although the S'wing is much improved to the point it can and will keep up with bigger and more powerful bikes on the road (unless you are hanging out with the local petrolhead ton up club!!) it still lacks the brutal low down acceleration of a similar/bigger bike. So after test riding loads of machines, bikes and scoots I decided to get a bike aswell to satisfy my craving for that 0-60 mph 4 second rush..... Actually the top bikes are doing it in about 3 seconds...! Problem was I'd already spent a lot of the money on the scoot. And of all the bikes I rode nothing can touch it for comfort, practicality and commutability... Besides I think it's awesome now and am certainly not going to trade it in....! So once I'd established riding a bike/scoot back as a long forgotten / mislaid favourite hobby,( and could justify spending more money!) I looked at some of the older but reliable and cheaper bikes around the 80-100bhp mark and quite fancied a Honda VFR 750. Eventually I was real lucky and got a cracking deal on a really good condition Yamaha XJ900 Diversion, ironically for about the same money as all the mods I had done to the S'wing. (will post more on the mods in the next week or so) However the Yamaha is in that good a condition, I'm loathe to ride it in poor weather! So although it's more a workhorse kinda bike it spends most of its time in the garage looking pretty, and awaiting sunny spells, and Sunday rides.... The only thing that the S'wing can't do which the yamaha can is the brutal accleration thing and top speed, (the Yam does about 125-130mph). That however is a different story as I don't want an out and out wheelie machine cos I figure I'd be going too fast all the time and lose my license. Both the S'wing and Yamaha are such capable machines that they are happy to cruise and don't have that "go faster" temptation thing going on all the time, and although they can hustle if the mood takes you, they are happy to just cruise. I guess the final proof of the pudding is that I use the S'wing 90% of the time! But it is Winter.... Be interesting to see if my riding habits change in the warmer weather.
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeThu Jan 01, 2009 10:37 am

Thanks Bernardo,
Say, are you going to do a write up on the progressive springs? Again, my old machine had a lot of weight in the front end which is lacking on the Silver Wing. Or, should I just crank up the rear shocks?
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeFri Jan 02, 2009 9:57 am

DenGraham wrote:
Thanks Bernardo,
Say, are you going to do a write up on the progressive springs? Again, my old machine had a lot of weight in the front end which is lacking on the Silver Wing. Or, should I just crank up the rear shocks?

Just posted a new thread on the progressive springs... :D
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeFri Jan 02, 2009 10:57 am

Maxiscooter,

I know a couple of people who started out with the Malossi on their Majesty and then installed the J. Costa. They said that the difference betwen the stock and the Malossi is about the same as the difference between the Malossi and the J. Costa.
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeSat Jan 17, 2009 11:24 pm

Hondarider47 wrote:
My wife's 2003 really has a lag when taking off from a stop, tell me more about the J. Costa Variator and how it works. She would be thrilled if the lag was gone.

Bob

Bob,

I just read your post and am sorry I haven't responded to you about this. The J. Costa looks and is designed different than the stock variator and the Malossi variator. I'm not really sure exactly how it works, since it uses pins and not rollers, but it sure does work. There are a few things I really like about the J.Costa:

1) It really improves the performance of the Silver Wing in all rpm ranges.
2) It takes the lag out when you are taking off from a stop.
3) It gives you more engine braking, which is really great in the mountains and when coming up on traffic or stop signs. The stock variator gives some engine breaking but you get more with the J. Costa IMHO.
4) I think it smooths the ride out some. This is of course subjective but it just seems a bit, albeit a small bit, smoother.
5) If you like to go fast, over 80 indicated, you will be running at lower rpm's than the stock. Some get lower rpms' than I do and I wish I was one of those people too.

The one thing you need to think about if you, or your wife, installs the J.Costa is to be careful when accelerating from stop signs or lights. If you give the same amount of throttle you will take off much quicker. My mpg's went down pretty good since I wasn't thinking about this. When I started to concentrate about taking it easy on the throttle my mpg's went back to normal.

Sorry for not responded back to you earlier Bob but I just didn't see your post, but I did see the ones after Bernardo's post. If you look up my pictorial you will see a better view of the J.Costa, but no one that has installed one has regretted it, as far as I know.
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeSun Jan 18, 2009 6:37 am

Regarding the drive train - In addition to the J-Costa variator there is a Malossi clutch. It seems that most who have replaced the OEM variator have left the OEM clutch in place. Am I wrong with this assumption? Anyone replace both and what was the impact on economy and durability? I do understand that there would be a significant performance increase, but am most interested in the rpm reduction at mid and high speed cruising.
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeSun Jan 18, 2009 8:38 am

I've spent so much money now on my S'wing that I don't think I'll bother with the clutch... Besides I saw it when my local dealer changed the variator, and its one hefty piece of kit...... I'll warrant as with most honda parts it's over engineered, so I don't think the extra power from the other mods is going to wear it out in a hurry....

IMHO you are not really gonna benefit from any improved economy by fitting a J costa unless you regularly are traveling at 70mph plus. Furthermore with the extra performance afforded by the J costa, it's really hard to not use it, if you know what I mean.... It just feels way too good to not twist that throttle that bit more than you really need....

If you want improved economy, then go for a power commander.... I'll post a review that I've written sometime.
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeSat Feb 21, 2009 7:07 pm

What can I expect in the way of cost to have my dealer order the J. Costa variator and install it on my SW?
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeSat Feb 21, 2009 9:18 pm

Vito,

You should order it from www.scootertrap.com yourself and install it yourself. The very first post of this topic is a step-by-step pictorial on how to install it. It would be cheaper to buy the tools than to pay the shop to do the work. Matt, the owner of scootertrap gives great customer service for all the things he sells. You can cut out the middleman, the dealer, and get it yourself. It is a very simple task to do if you have the tools. If you need help then just get back to me.
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeSun Feb 22, 2009 5:01 am

vito wrote:
What can I expect in the way of cost to have my dealer order the J. Costa variator and install it on my SW?

I had difficulty getting one in UK, so I got mine from the scootertrap. $280, but it worked out well for me as the exchange rate to the UK pound was quite good back then.

http://www.scootertrap.com/SilverWing600.htm

They had it shipped to me at home. I took it to my preferred (non Honda) dealer and also printed off JeffR's fitting instructions. Back then before I came along although they were experienced with scooters, they hadn't done much with the Honda Silver Wing..... But it only took them about 45 minutes to fit.... I just paid the labour.....

:D
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PostSubject: J Costa Mod   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeSun Apr 05, 2009 11:13 pm

I thought I'd chime in on the J Costa, I just popped on on the bike and the guy at Scooter Trap who sold it to me gave me some good advice, don't go to Honda, find a scooter store, so I did. When I called Honda they weren't sure how long it would take (this a is a large dealer) to install and were talking up to two hours, the scooter place said it would be 30 minutes and it was. I walked over to the Dunkin Donuts across the raod while they put it in and when I got back the three mechanics were standing around grinning at the bike. I asked if they'd put it in yet since I had only been gone a little while and they had it an and all three had given it a test ride. They couldn't believe a scooter could take off like that.

I road the old version for about 2000 miles before switching to the Costa (mostly because of what I read here). I'd say the difference is like going from a prop to a turbine engine. This thing just winds up and goes. The top end is past my personal limits so I can't say how fast it'll go, I'm not interested, I just like the smooth ride and predictable acceleration.

I think if Honda sold the bikes side by side they'd sell more with the J Costa than without. Just my opinion.

Dan
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 06, 2009 12:05 am

kiggs,

I don't think the J. Costa improves the top end at all but then again the SWing doesn't need to go any faster. With the stock screen I have had mine up to 104 mph actual (gps) and with the XL Clearview I had it to 102 mph actual. That is plenty fast for me. But it really improves the acceleration and smooths it out. Another thing you will notice is the additional engine braking, which is great when coming down steep hills or mountains. Hope you like it.
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 06, 2009 1:05 pm

Additional engine braking is a reallygood thing but I don't thing you'll be going down to many steep hills or mountains at Daytona Bike Week!
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 06, 2009 1:20 pm

104 mph actual on a Silver Wing? That had to be scary!
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 06, 2009 1:25 pm

Jeff:
How did you measure your top speed? Do you have GPS on your bike? Like you, I have the Givi windshield and J Costa, but I also have a K&N air filter and the Leo Vince exhaust. I have a long, slightly downhill (
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 06, 2009 1:25 pm

Pete,

104 mph wasn't scary at all. The SWing is very smooth and stable and had no problem maintaining that speed. As for the mountains, I live in California and not Florida so I ride in the mountains all the time.
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 06, 2009 1:27 pm

Scooterist,

yes I have a GPS on my bike and that is what I used to get the speed. I just assume that the GPS speed is accurate enough to consider it an actual speed. The SWing seems that it gets smoother the faster you go. When I did this I was on a level interstate with no wind. Bernardo has everything you have on your SWing, and also the power commander, and I think he posted a top speed of 105 mph.


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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 06, 2009 1:32 pm

Jeff: I seem to have lost the rest of my message above.

I was able to pretty much wind my bike out over that long stretch and it indicated a speed of 112 mph, which would be approximately 106 if the speedometer reads 5% faster that actual. I think that was pretty much all the bike has. It felt very stable and smooth.
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 06, 2009 4:04 pm

You guys are killing me with all the J. Costa talk!! :At Wit's End:

I was waiting til spring before ordering and then the Canadian dollar nose-dived dramatically (after rising dramatically). What would have been less than $280 is now going to cost $350 or more!! And that's not counting S&H, customs, brokerage fees and taxes!! affraid

I'll just wait til a night out 🍺 when my credit card is a little more accessible.

I love these emoticons!! :bounce1:

Captain
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 06, 2009 4:41 pm

If you need help rationalizing the purchase of the J Costa, then bear with me. While cost is always a factor that we must consider, in this case, since you were all ready prepared to spend $280.00 for the purchase of the J Costa, the additional cost at this point is only $70.00. Why, that is less than four 12 packs of premium beer! And a mere pittance when you consider the increased enjoyment your Swing will provide. So promise you will drink less premium beer and also promise that you will ride the bike a little extra so you can pay back the extra $70.00. And in a couple of months you won't even remember that it cost $70.00. Have fun!
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 06, 2009 5:23 pm

Actually Scootist - I rarely drink (all Canadian beer is premium beer :yoyo: ), its just one of those "Damn, if I had just . . . ! things".

I suspect I'll be ordering one of them fangled things soon. Snow is almost all gone here and I've just done the pre-season check.

I'm kinda surprised that Honda didn't have a more efficient variator design from the get go . . . of course, a 750 version with the option of a J. Costa for the same performance increase would be nice!!

Captain
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 06, 2009 5:24 pm

and 16-inch wheels...
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 06, 2009 5:36 pm

. . . and a factory supercharger kit (yes, I'm stretching but why stop now)!!
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 06, 2009 5:46 pm

🍺 is for girls you pick up on the The Silver Wing! Don't think that Canada is the only place where girls say that its to cold to ride on the back of one of those things because you can pick a girl up in August in Miami after it has been raining all night and girls are still going to say that its to cold to ride on the back of one of those things!
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 06, 2009 5:52 pm

Captain wrote:
You guys are killing me with all the J. Costa talk!! :At Wit's End:

I was waiting til spring before ordering and then the Canadian dollar nose-dived dramatically (after rising dramatically). What would have been less than $280 is now going to cost $350 or more!! And that's not counting S&H, customs, brokerage fees and taxes!! affraid

It may be cheaper to make a trip to US on the SWing of course Razz
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 06, 2009 7:23 pm

I've thought about a nice long roadtrip but I'd need a week or two - we are on the most easterly point of the continent - as we are an island jutting out into the Atlantic, we actually have our own timezone in Newfoundland (seriously)!!

To get to the border I'd have to drive 10 hours across the province, 6 hrs on a ferry, 7 more hours across the province of Nova Scotia and then another 4-5 hour ferry to Maine. Would be a good trip but a long haul . . . here's the province's Tourism site (lots of info):

http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/About/LocationMaps.aspx

Its near where the Titanic went down and the "Perfect Storm" movie supposedly happened. This is a picture of an iceberg just outside of St. John's harbour, capital city, in April or May one year.

J. Costa Variator FortAmherstIceBerg
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 06, 2009 10:23 pm

Captain wrote:
This is a picture of an iceberg just outside of St. John's harbour, capital city, in April or May one year.

J. Costa Variator FortAmherstIceBerg

I would suggest steering that island the other way :ROTF:
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeTue Apr 07, 2009 2:02 pm

JeffR wrote:
Scooterist,

yes I have a GPS on my bike and that is what I used to get the speed. I just assume that the GPS speed is accurate enough to consider it an actual speed. The SWing seems that it gets smoother the faster you go. When I did this I was on a level interstate with no wind. Bernardo has everything you have on your SWing, and also the power commander, and I think he posted a top speed of 105 mph.

Yep, I had a GPS unit that gave me a true speed of 105mph, nice and steady, and still able to lean into sweeping bends without any overly increased blood pressure. My indicated speed was I think around 117 or 118mph.....
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeWed Apr 22, 2009 4:34 pm

I'm coming late to this discussion, but you folks have convinced me--I need the J Costa variator! Jeff, I really appreciate the pictorial you posted on the Scootertrap site. I figure with that I can probably tackle the job myself. But I have a couple of questions:

I notice you list your S-Wing as a 2007, same as mine. In your terrific how-to pictorial, you give the torque on that crucial bolt as 76 ft/lbs. Is that the right torque for the '07?

The "variator tool"-- is its purpose to keep the variator outer plate from turning as you torque down that bolt? It looks in your picture like it just has a couple of pins that go into a couple of holes to hold the plate steady, while allowing you access to the center bolt. If that's all there is to it, I think I could come up with something that would do the trick and save the $40. What do you think?

Thanks again for your great pictorials on various tasks!
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeWed Apr 22, 2009 4:47 pm

darrwin,

Thanks for the compliment on my pictorial and I hope it helps.

For your 1st question about the torque for the bolt... yes it is 76ftlbs for torque.

For your 2nd question about the tool..you can make your own and many do. The tool just holds the plate steady so you can torque the bolt down. I bought it since I usually spend more time at the store trying to make something then just buying the tool. But they are easy to make. The tool is a bit difficult to use to torque down the bolt. I think they could've thought the design out a bit better.

But good luck on doing the work. I was also going to change my pins and was thinking of appling a "dry lubricant" to the bell housing, where the pins rotate against, to maybe lessen the friction. I will make another post about this though.
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeWed Apr 22, 2009 7:46 pm

As with all the full fairing bikes I have had, the faster you go the smoother the bike seems.I have been 160mph on my old ninja 750 and it was smooth as silk.
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeWed Apr 22, 2009 8:37 pm

Hey All,
I thought someone (a J.Costa owner) once remarked that they were getting tired of replacing the J.Costa pins too often and were going to go back to stock. Did I misread this somewhere????
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeWed Apr 22, 2009 9:39 pm

Darrwin,
Go to Leroy Beal's website and see his home-made tool:
http://www.leroybeal.net/motorcycles/silverwing/articles/drivepulleytool/drivepulleytool.html
I made a "tool" out of a 1 by 4 with two 1/4" bolts. I can send you a photo if you would like it.
>> Dennis
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeWed Apr 22, 2009 10:51 pm

DickO,

That might have been me saying that. If I buy my next set it will be my 3rd set in about 1 1/2 years. That is one reason I made the previous post about the dry lubricant. I was thinking it may reduce the friction and do a few things.. lower rpm's, reduce the wear of the pins, and maybe increase the mileage. I'm still thinking about this but am waiting for more responses.

Dennis responded and made good points but I'm always wanting to tinker with stuff. My pins are lasting about 8,500-9,000 miles, which is about 9 months or so. And since the pins are $65 a set it can get a bit expensive. The thing that makes me want to replace the pins with new pins is because the J. Costa is really nice. I'm going to go to the Burgmanusa site since that is where I read about using the dry lubricant on the ramps for the rollers, and how it seemed to help the ones who did this.
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeThu Apr 23, 2009 12:43 pm

Dennis,
Hey thanks! I was envisioning a homemade tool almost identical to the one shown. It's great to know that my idea isn't so crazy after all.

Scootertrap was out of stock on the J. Costa, but promised one soon. Unless it shows up within the next week, the switch will have to wait a month until I get back from Australia. Whenever, I'll let you folks know how the job went, what the change feels like, and any new insights or tips that might be useful.

About dry lubricant: I haven't even seen inside my variator unit yet, so I'm just speculating here. Could it be that a certain amount of friction is necessary to make things work properly? Might there be a danger in making things TOO slick? Assuming that's really not an issue, what sort of lubricant would you suggest?

Another question: My '07 Silverwing only has about 3k miles on it (only short commutes until I retired last June). Do you think it would be worthwhile to change my drive belt while I have the thing opened up--or is it way too soon to contemplate that?
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeThu Apr 23, 2009 12:48 pm

Darrwin:
The lubricant would help reduce friction (and wear) on the ends of the weights where they press against the outer piece of the variator. This occurs in order to make it a smaller diameter for enhanced acceleration. There is no need for friction along this interface. I think a bit of graphite lubricant might help, but I would make sure that the material in the weights in compatible with whatever sort of lubricant you use.
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeThu Apr 23, 2009 2:37 pm

Darrwin:

3000 miles is way too early, the book recommends replacement at 16K and some riders have waited much longer than that. I chickened out and replaced mine right at 16K when the bright yellow "V" light came on.

With all this talk about the JCosta I am seriously considering the upgrade. I have been battling a vibration in the rear of the bike. I have an appointment at the dealer tomorrow to have the tire remounted, if that turnes out to be the issue I may put off the JCosta for a month or two. I pledged to myself to not do any mods this year and just ride the dam thing, oh well?! Rolling Eyes Cool
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeThu Apr 23, 2009 3:57 pm

Hi Dennis,

I just installed a J-Costa Variator yesterday and found the 2 holes in the outside stock honda variator plate are threaded with the same threads as all the cover screws. This comes in handy. sunny

DennisB :D
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PostSubject: Worn J costa pins, and slightly higher revs.   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeSun May 31, 2009 8:10 pm

Hi Folks,

The other day I noticed that the first bar of my fuel gauge went down when I was on 38 miles.... Normally its in the forties.... I had been doing a fair bit of stop start riding mind, and with a heavy right hand on the throttle. After using a full tank with more varied riding MPG was around 48 as usual.

However again I was in the high thirties when the first bar of the fuel guage went off, so I filled up and worked out I had been doing about 44 MPG, a bit lower than the norm, but again in stop start traffic.

I checked my revs against speed and have discovered my revs are up about 200 to what they were when I first had the J costa installed.... I reckon that my drive belt has done about 13-14k miles, since its last change and the variator pins are have done about 6,500 -7,000 miles, so I figure its either the pins, the belt or both that are the culprit. That said I do tend to ride the S'wing quite hard, especially when commuting... I am quite surprised about the revs at 40mph mind! Still the S'wing seems to be going as fast as ever, I've not noticed a drop in performance, which I suppose also would tie in with the pins being worn, thus getting lighter....? That said, since the J costa works on a transverse system as opposed to a longitudinal one (as with the stock variator) would lighter pins make a difference.... In which case, I might be needing a new belt...


MPH Original Revs
Revs Now

40 4,000 4,300-4,400
50 4,500 4,700
60 5,100 5,300
70 5,600 5,800
80 6,200 6,400



Happy Riding!
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeSun May 31, 2009 10:06 pm

Bernardo,

I would think that your pins, if worn enough, could be causing the 200rpm difference. That is what happened to me the first time I changed the pins, and I changed them at about 8,500 miles. Your belt should probably be good for about 20,000 miles really. I changed mine at 12,000, just because I was installing the J. Costa for the first time, and decided to start with the new Mitsibishi belt. I keep the old one since it looks brand new still.

When I decide to get new pins again I am going to use the dry lube on the bell housing to see if it reduces the friction and maybe allows the pins to last longer. Not sure if it will work... but what the heck. I was thinking that the worn pins increases the rpm's since they are ground down and probably weigh less. That is just my opinion but it seems to make sense.
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Jun 01, 2009 5:46 am

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for that. I guess I'll be contacting the scootertrap unless I can get the pins in UK / Europe.... It's crazy that its so difficult to get them here and thus easy to buy from the USA as I did with the variator!

So it would appear that this is a downside of the J Costa.... So are you gonna consider the 21g Dr Pulley sliders?
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeMon Jun 01, 2009 9:49 am

Bernardo wrote:
I'll be contacting the scootertrap unless I can get the pins in UK / Europe.... It's crazy that its so difficult to get them here and thus easy to buy from the USA as I did with the variator!

http://www.jcostacompetition.co.uk/distributors.html
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PostSubject: Re: J. Costa Variator   J. Costa Variator I_icon_minitimeTue Jun 02, 2009 3:29 pm

Just installed my new J Costa. I really took my time, since I'd never torn into a variator before. I made my own "variator tool" to hold the outer plate while turning the nut--worked great. Before installing the new one, I sprayed dry lube into the bell housing and on the pin face of the inner pulley side. I was careful not to get any on the belt-facing side.

Seems fine so far. Seems smoother overall, and actually quieter when engine braking to decelerate. Revs are somewhat higher: 4,000 at 30MPH and 5,200 at 60. Definitely takes off with a kick when I open the throttle, I guess because it goes to higher RPMs while the scooter starts to move.
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