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I have a 2003 R6 that I would describe as a project bike. It needed a new ignition switch (sounds sketchy, but I bought it from a guy who had it stolen from him, wrecked, and then returned to him).

I searched multiple forums and YouTube, to find about 3 common methods of removing these “security bolts” / “break off bolts” (they don’t have heads on the bolts).
  • Take it to a shop = expensive and didn’t really want to deal with that
  • Drill out the bolts = the most frequently used method it seems, but still a huge pain
  • Use a Dremel to put grooves in the bolts so a flat head screw driver or equivalent would fit, then heat up the bolts so the loctite would loosen up and you could actually back the bolt out = I liked this idea

Here is the new method: weld nuts onto the exposed ends of the security bolts.

Even if you don’t have a welder, you might be able to find someone who does, or you can at least call around to compare the price of a metal shop welding this on for you as opposed to a Yamaha shop replacing the ignition for you. Keep in mind, if you take it to a Yamaha dealer, you will likely have to pay their price for a new ignition. You can get a cheaper ignition switch on eBay or from someone here, for examples.

  1. Unplug the old ignition switch and replace it with the new one. It plugs right in, so it is pretty easy to unplug. You should be able to follow the wires from the ignition to this plug.
  2. Remove the upper triple tree clamp. There are plenty of YouTube videos on how to do this, and it is pretty straight forward if you just look at the bolts that hold it on.
  3. Now for actually removing the security bolts
    • I personally put the clamp in a vice, then used a sawzall to cut the ignition part away from the bracket part as follows. I imagine you could skip this step, but it made it easy to weld.
      (this shows the bolts already removed, but that is a few steps from now)
    • Now I took two extra nuts, placed them on top of the security bolts, and filled it just to the top. (I used 10 mm. It is possible to reuse the bolts with the new ignition switch. If you want to do this, I wouldn’t go much bigger. It will be more difficult to fit a wrench in there). I would recommend doing one side at a time. The weld will heat up the bolts and the loctite, which you will want to take advantage of. There is a ton of loctite in there and it gets harder and harder to remove these bolts as it cools, so you’ll want to get them out while they’re hot. That’s it!!

I found new bolts in my garage instead of reusing these. I was planning on reusing them… but changed my mind, especially since the previous owner (or the theft) apparently already tried to drill the bolts out, leaving the bolts with holes in them. I went ahead and repainted the clamp as well, after taking some emery cloth to sooth the edges.

Hopefully this helps at least someone else! Feel free to reach out if you have questions about it! Of note, I put this off for a VERY long time because other people made it seem like it was almost more work than it was worth. I totally disagree with this now and wish I had done it sooner. It is not hard to take off the upper triple tree clamp even if you are not an experienced mechanic, which is not always what I read.

Additionally, I have to admit that I did not replace this with an OEM ignition... This was definitely a side project, and I wanted a cheaper option at the time. I paid a whole $30 for a Chinese eBay kit containing the ignition, the gas cap, and a rear seat lock. It has been ~3 years and the Chinese ignition switch is still working great.
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