Here in Australia, I’d like to think that, perhaps with the exception of Africa, we have the toughest environment on the planet for motorcycles. Particularly dirt bikes, and then add an extra dimension with farm bikes.
For AG bikes our conditions can be very dusty and hot, throw in farmers who don’t know the definition of the word “maintenance” and you can begin to understand that it can be a very tough test for a machine here in Australia.
A bike will be a pile of rubble in a year or so or it will keep running under diabolical conditions and state of tune. The ones that keep going tend to have a bit of a following and gain a reputation, and as you might of guessed by now, the AG200 comes under this category.
Take the example shown here. This poor thing began its life ten years ago in Japan. An ’03 electric start version that ended its working days ten years later with the original owner. Check the filters…air, oil and strainer. I’m guessing that if this bike had ANY oil changes in it’s life time it could be counted on one hand!
Its shows how robust the bike is though. How any air got through the filter is beyond me. The oil filter is so clogged that the poor old oil pump had to suck a hole through the gauze to get oil through! Amazing! And the strainer that sits behind the drain cap is deformed from lack of flow as well!
This treatment usually always ends in the same way; excessive wear enables the timing chain to fling off the gears and the whole show comes to a halt! Sometimes you will get lucky and the valves won’t smash into the piston (don’t ask me how this can happen!), but most of the time there will be valve damage.
Another timing chain can be all that’s needed to get things on the road again but I doubt it will be its only problem after the torture it has endured. It shows the robustness of the engine design. It has few weak areas and they can easily be overcome by routine maintenance. Keep on top of the maintenance and you have an engine that will take you reliably wherever you want to go.