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Make good choices.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last year after the Yamaha Owners Appreciation Day at Laguna I was talking to Aleeex The Russian about our next trackdays. I told him that would be my last and I was going to park the bike and eventually start getting it ready for next season. He asked what, exactly, I was “getting ready”. So, I thought maybe I would take some pictures and make a thread on my winter maintenance for you all.

Here is everything I did to maintain and prepare my race bike for the 2014 AFM season. Everything was done over several weeks (or more?); no rush really. I just head out to the garage for a couple hours a few nights a week when I feel like it. This isn’t necessarily the exact routine I do every off season. Some stuff I didn’t do last season, some stuff I didn’t do this season, other stuff I will do next season, etc. Some stuff I hadn’t done before at all.

This thread isn’t really meant to be a how-to on any of the things I did, but just what I did. It’s meant more to entertain than educate. But if you have any questions on what/how/why I did something let me know.

I didn’t take a whole bunch of pictures as I was doing things because my hands are always too dirty to be handling my iPhone (these are all iPhone pics, sorry in advance). I mostly just snapped shots when I was done for the day to document the progress.

Here we go.

Body work off and letting it run before the service begins. It's been sitting since October, so I like to make sure it starts and runs before I start taking it apart. Also letting the oil warm up before draining it. It was stored with no coolant so the body work is already off so I could refill and start it.



At the workstation, ready to go.



Draining the oil and coolant. The closer drain pan already had a little oil and green antifreeze in it; that's not what the water that came out of my bike looked like.



The first thing I wanted to do was inspect the condition of the chain and sprockets. They were starting to look a little warn mid season, but I didn't think it would be a problem going the rest of the season. I hadn't looked really closely again since then. They are definitely ready to go now. Note how the valleys between the teeth are no longer a perfect U shape. (nut has already been removed, of course)



Really worn rear sprocket.



Kinks in the chain. Time to go.



The quickest, easiest way to remove a chain (that you aren't going to re-use).



That's enough for day 1. This is where I left it.



The next time I removed rest of bodywork, and tank.



The jack stands are set up under the rearsets to support the bike when I remove the rear shock, linkage and swingarm.

 

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Make good choices.
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Removed airbox and throttle bodies. The rear shock and linkage are also gone.



Don't let anything fall down the intake ports.



Plenty of room to work in there with everything out of the way. The jumble of wires at the bottom of the picture is the quick shifter harness, that I have just pushed out of the way.



I normally store the bike all winter without coolant in the radiator. Even though my unheated garage always seems to stay above freezing inside, I still get paranoid and go better safe than sorry. This is how I make sure me or someone else doesn't accidentally start it.



The shock will get sent off to have the fluid replaced and nitrogen recharged. Make sure to record your settings beforehand. Any good shop will put them back the way they were before they return it, but better safe than sorry.



Swingarm removed. A lot of cleaning to be done in this area; chain gunk and road grime make their way everywhere.



I probably spent almost a good 30 minutes cleaning all the chain gunk and road grime off the swingarm. Sometimes the chain gunk is on there so good it's no match for brake cleaner and a rag. That's when I bust out the steel wool.



Removed forks.



The fork oil will be replaced and the head bearings will be serviced before it goes back together.



The brake calipers are affixed to the stand (don't let them dangle from the lines). I ziptied the right clip on to the fairing stay to keep it out of the way and the master cylinder upright. I put the left clip on in the parts pile since nothing but the clutch cable was holding it on anyway.

 

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Make good choices.
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Now the front of the bike is supported by jack stands under the frame sliders so I can remove the steering head.



All the parts being cleaned and re-greased.



Here's my fork service station. I clamp a pair of vise grips to the shelf, and let the fork hang there for a few minutes to drain out all the oil I can.



Here's my solution for disassembling the forks solo. Normally, to use this kind of spring compressor, you need another person to compress the spring, while you insert the hold down tool between the spacer and jam nut. I just use a tie down to keep the spring compressed while I take the cap off the damper rod; I don't even use the hold down tool.



Some new parts from the UPS man.
The shock is back from being serviced, new oil and nitrogen, the seal was fine. All the settings were back where I left them.
OE stuff; new drive chain rubbing strip, new countershaft sprocket nut, new timing cover gasket.
Woodcraft fork sliders and some rear set parts; brake return spring, spare foot pegs, spare foot peg end plugs.
Vortex chain and sprockets.
New spark plugs.



Valve clearances all in spec. A couple are nearly too tight, I'm sure those will be out of spec the next time I check. At that point I will adjust all the ones that are on the tight side back to the looser end of the spec.



Here's a trick for anyone who doesn't know. Use a piece of fuel hose to install new spark plugs. It will grip the plug so they don't go falling down into the head, then you can thread them in by hand using the hose. It doesn't grip so tight that you can cross thread them, but enough that it will let you thread them down to the washer for the socket to take over. You can also use this method to get them out if the rubber piece in your spark plug socket doesn't grip them hard enough (mine doesn't). But I usually just use a magnet.



Cleaning as much of the old, solid grease as I can out of the swing arm relay arm mount bearings. These are pressed in bearings and the needles themselves appear to be captive? I just wanted to just clean them as well as I could without pulling them out and re pressing them in before re greasing.



Needle bearings and the old grease from the upper relay arm bearing. These are just loose needle bearings, so you can take them out and clean thoroughly.



The old grease was so solid it held these bearings together in a free standing formation. Kind of looks like a belt of ammunition.

 

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Make good choices.
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Here's the pile of old, dry grease that came out of all 4 of the relay arm bearings. Grease should be in a "pile"; Yuck.



Valve clearances checked, swing arm and shock linkage bearings cleaned and greased, rear end re-assembled. The forks are also re installed in this picture.



Comparison of old worn out sprocket vs new Vortex sprocket. Yeah, I probably let that go too far.



Sprocket, rear wheel and the brake pedal return spring installed.



Getting pretty close now. Sprockets, chain, front wheel, radiator are back on.



New Vortex chain and sprockets.



I decided to try out the new Woodcraft front axle sliders. They were really simple to install. I don't foresee them adding any significant time to wheel changes; once they are installed the pucks come on and off in about 5 seconds.





Chain alignment.



Air box and tank back on.

 

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Make good choices.
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
After I disassemble things, there is always an anxious moment right before I hit the starter. I'm always afraid that I didn't reconnect a plug or something and I'm going to have to take it back apart and chase some stupid mistake down.
This time it fired right up after just a few seconds of cranking to re pressurize the fuel system. I stared at the cluster for a few more seconds to watch the revs and make sure the oil pressure light didn't come on. Every thing looked good until I walked around the bike and noticed oil puking out from the filter pooling on the rug. This picture was after I had cleaned up the puddle as best I could, placed a drain pan under there and took the filter off. Turns out I bought the wrong filter. For the first time I went with a WIX filter 'cause that's what the auto parts store had. It seemed a little taller and felt a little different when I torqued it down (by hand), but I thought that's just how the WIX filters are. I think I must have gone a little dyslexic with the part number; you can tell from this picture that the filter is way too big. I think I got an auto filter. Doh! Oh well, pick up the right filter on the way home from work the next day and top off the oil, no harm done (other than the mess).



Here are the two filters next to each other. Pretty obvious that the WIX is the wrong size. IDK WTF I was thinking when I looked at the box and thought it said "31358".



Here we are right back where we started; heat cycling the motor, then checking the level of oil and coolant.



Putting some safety wire back.





When I'm racing I always like it when other people have their numbers on their under-tail. It's not like I have everyone's bike and leathers memorized, so it's nice to be able to look them up later and know who you were following/you passed/passed you. So I decided to return the favor.



Fin.



















Full list of services performed:
Clean/Oil BMC air filter
Change fork oil
Change shock oil & recharge nitrogen
New brake fluid
New motor oil and filter
New coolant
New chain and sprockets
Installed Woodcraft front axle sliders
Installed Woodcraft brake pedal return spring
Clean and regrease all swingarm and shock linkage bearings
Clean and regrease head bearings.
New spark plugs
Check valve clearance
New drive rubbing strip
Clean and inspect.

Thanks to the following for their support in 2014:
Woodcraft
Armour Bodies
Leo Vince USA
SpeedMod
Lockhart Phillips USA
Sidi
 

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Dangerously Irish
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I have so much more to do to my bike, I'm just so damn lazy....:nono
 

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slow guy
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4,409 Posts
FYI

Those needle bearings are made that way, that was NOT grease , the needle bearings are made that way and have oil bearing material molded into them to retain the needles and keep them lubed. I just replaced all my shock linkage bearings after having that material push out, they are basically junk when that happens. If you pulled them apart like that I suggest you replace them as they may bind.
 

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Make good choices.
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A very experienced racer told me I shouldn't pay attention to ANYONE during the course of a race. He said watching the guy in front can be dangerous. ;)
Definitely, staring at the bike in front of you is no good because you'll basically just end up following his line and never pass him. But when you come up behind a slower rider, or get passed by a faster one, it doesn't take but a split second to notice the color of their bike, the color of their leathers or whether a number was visible. Also it's nice to be able to see numbers when you watch the video of the race later; when you write a race report you can call the people you were battling with by name if you don't know them.

FYI

Those needle bearings are made that way, that was NOT grease , the needle bearings are made that way and have oil bearing material molded into them to retain the needles and keep them lubed. I just replaced all my shock linkage bearings after having that material push out, they are basically junk when that happens. If you pulled them apart like that I suggest you replace them as they may bind.
Oh, thanks, I'll keep an eye on them.
 

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"The Dude abides .. "
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4,719 Posts
nice work.. ! that's gonna be a happy bike. I like the rubber hose on the spark plug trick. may use that myself in future.
you probably did it, but one thing that is a really good idea to safety wire is the oil cooler bolt. I have seen more than a few of those come loose enough to puke oil at the track. Especially following a rebuild.

and +1 on the waxy substance on the needle bearings. The new ones for some stuff like the linkage come with that stuff in them so the they don't fall all over the place in the bag (when purchased new as a replacement bearing ) Still a VERY good idea to regrease those things once a year or so..
 

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Make good choices.
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I like the rubber hose on the spark plug trick. may use that myself in future.
Can't remember where I learned that, but I have been doing it for a while. It REALLY helps when you are doing the plugs on a horizontally opposed motor, like a Subaru, since the heads are 'sideways' you are fighting gravity to try and get the threads started.

Love the thread. I should do much more too. One thing though is you were cleaning chain gunk off with brake cleaner? Just from my experience carb and choke cleaner does a much better job.
Thanks, I'll try that next time. It's just a can of whatever I picked up last time I was in a shop. I don't really know what the difference between brake cleaner, contact cleaner, carb cleaner, degreaser, etc is.
 

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"The Dude abides .. "
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Love the thread. I should do much more too. One thing though is you were cleaning chain gunk off with brake cleaner? Just from my experience carb and choke cleaner does a much better job.

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
... but you can usually get brake cleaner when it's on sale for $1.99 a can :) I buy it by the case.
 
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