Monthly Archives: October 2013

Those special parts…

The AG200 is a bit of a “bitsa” as we like to call them here in Australia. Yamaha borrowed an engine and chassis from one model (XT?), which in itself had origins in early 80s thinking in dirt-bike technology (YZ, IT, TT?),  and then added what they learned from their 2-stroke AG range – seat, tank, ergonomics, suspension, carry racks etc.

What this means is that there are quite a few interchangeable parts from other models that therefore can be shipped from the USA much cheaper than the local dealers. This can make AG200 ownership a lot cheaper. But this post is not about what you can get from the US, but rather what you cant. I will talk about AG200 parts interchangeability in an up coming post, but for now, lets talk about what parts are confined to the AG that cannot be ordered from somewhere else. You must check the condition of these parts if buying because they are special to the model. Yamaha knows this and rip you for it via their dealers! Might I suggest that if you own an AG200 and the following parts are on your bike then look after them because sometimes they are worth more than the bike!

1 – Chain guard.

Chain gaurd

Why do so many owners rip these things off? I actually know why because they can be a pain to get back on after a chain and sprocket replacement, something to cover in an upcoming post! – quite easy when you know how. Anyway, lots of people knock these guards as useless but trust me; when set up correctly they increase the life of your chain exponentially. In-fact, I’d go so far to say that if you put on a good quality O’ring chain and keep it reasonably maintained it can last indefinitely with normal AG usage…excess power isn’t going to wreck it!

These two pieces of pressed, spot-welded mild steel are absolute rocket money from your friendly Australian Yamaha dealer. And I think they are a must-have for an AG200 to run at its cheap-as-chips low maintenance best. Who wants to be throwing a $100 chain and sprocket set at a $300 to $500 bike every twelve months?

If your bike hasn’t got them try and scrounge a set. If a potential purchase hasn’t got them get the owner to find them and if not, knock the price down or walk away – seriously!

2. Rubber chain guard dust cover.

Dust cover

While  we are down at the chain guard, check the condition of the rubber dust cover. Is it split, cracked or missing? Same as above…rocket money from Yamaha, and a pretty big job to replace too.

3. Muffler.Muffler

No big deal you say, just whack on an after market job. Seen the price of them? Seen the quality of them? There are only a few options out there and they aren’t real good. The original Yamaha unit is the best looking, best fitting, and the quietest but is probably the poorest in longevity. The price? I often wonder if Yamaha has ever sold any?

4. Pack racks.

Front rackNot a big deal really, of all the things listed here they are probably the easiest to find because they have been similar since day one, don’t rot out and therefore can be found off wreckers. Just watch out for the good old shovel holder Rear rackmods! The front one suffers from “The Teenage Son Effect”, from henceforth onwards named TTSE. What is TTSE? If the farmer has a teenage son…check the bike out carefully. If the AG200 has been mercilessly flogged and crashed, the front rack always seems to have crazy dings, twists, buckles and other unexplained phenomena! 🙂

5. Fuel tank.

Gumby tank!

Yep, they rot. Later ones fit on older bikes OK but they look a bit gumby unless you match the paint. Check out this recent Ebay sale at the left – I told you. 🙂 Apart from a different fuel tap, paint and graphic decals, they are the same thing.

6. Seat.

An AG200 with a pristine seat is a rare thing indeed. Not hard or expensive to get re-covered but as per usual Yamaha charge a premium for the cover.

7. Emulsion tube/Needle jetCarb parts

I have not had the privilege of ever owning an AG200 from new. I have owned plenty of second hand ones though and most have ran poorly due to a worn out needle and/or needle jet (emulsion tube). With poor fuel filtration from the factory and neglected air filter servicing, these components wear out and the engine runs in a poor, rich condition. This improves immensely when replaced but I suspect it still runs too rich. Another topic for further discussion!

I am looking feverishly for a replacement for the item sourced from Yamaha because this small, simple set of brass components is hideously priced from them and it appears the Mikuni on the the AG200 is also a specific item particular to the model.

8. Voltage regulatorRegulator

If you keep an eye on your battery maintenance, you can keep on top of this one. If you don’t they will cook your battery and fry the regulator and maybe damage the wiring and/or stator. And per usual, Yamaha bite hard for the original item. Also a topic for an upcoming post!

This is not an exhaustive list by any means for specific parts for the AG200. It is the main ones to watch for though and a good start from which I can update in future posts if any more issues come to mind.



Oil change tips #1

So many people get hung up on oil changes. Not the oil change in itself, but more the oil grade and type. But before we talk about oil, lets look at some of the consumables/serviceables involved. Here are a few things that you need to watch on the AG200…it’s not rocket science, the AG is a simple and basic design so there are only a few simple things to look for.

New style
New design

First lets look at the oil filter. There have been a few different types released over the years with Yamaha upgrading the gauze to increase the surface area. I don’t think the style really matters that much but just be aware that the newer type will take longer to block up. If you are working on your own bike and you follow a regular maintenance regime, then the old filter design wont be a problem. On the other hand, if you’re a bit slack with your servicing or you service farmers bikes, I’d suggest installing the newer ones. Cockies have been known to skip the odd oil change (see my earlier post)!

Older design
Older design

Inspect the filter very closely after washing it out with solvent. No, it doesn’t need replacing at every change, and if you keep the oil changes up to this engine then it may never need replacing. Once you have washed it out and blown it dry with compressed air, carefully inspect the glue holding the edge of the gauze to the filter body. With age, heat and chemicals that build up in the old oil, this glue can become suspect. This is the time to change the filter.

Filter cover
Filter cover

I have found this only on severely neglected bikes where regular oil changes have been constantly skipped. The nature of the AG200’s use means they don’t get thrashed while going about their daily work so I’m more of the opinion that its the chemical build-up in the oil that is the culprit rather than heat. The more the filter is allowed to clog the more strain it puts on the gauze/glue interface as well so if a filter is deformed in any way, swap it out.

While we are on the issue of filters, the genuine one from Yamaha can be used for around the twenty dollar mark, while after-market K&N units can be had for under ten. Other no-name after market units can be had for even less. Choose your poison. I will look into filter specifics in an up coming post.

So that’s the oil filter, the next “Oil Change Tips” will cover all the other consumables/serviceable hardware.