Fork servicing, part 1 – removal.

OK folks, it’s time to get serious. Time for some real world maintenance and to show how it’s done. The service manual is useful but it can only get you so far when it comes to common faults due to poor manufacturing or (more commonly) owner neglect. And who really wants to buy all those Yamaha service tools? The AG200 is a simple bike and can be maintained easily and cheaply with some tips to avoid expensive tools. So lets jump in with this first instalment showing how to remove the forks.

AG200 fork tools

So what tools are needed? A couple of bricks(!), 10, 12, 14 and 17mm spanners, #2 Phillips head. You will also need a 19mm hex/Allen key. There are two ways of doing this; you can go to a tool shop and buy one like shown on the left, or you can go to a fastener shop and buy a bolt with a 19mm head and bash/weld it into an old socket, as shown on the right. You may have an old socket kicking around and a 19mm hex bolt so the latter version will be cheaper to procure.

I have both but actually prefer the latter because it can be used to separate the inner and outer fork legs (the black 1/2″ drive hex tool shown wont fit down the inner tube) if required which I will cover in the second part of this “how to”. So why not put some nuts on the end of the bolt and lock them? You can do that but when we get to part 2 you will see where the drive component of the socket may come in handy.

AG200 stand setup

OK, first thing is to grab your bricks and put one under each stand, one on the left and one on the right. This will make the bike nice and solid to work on. Just be aware that the weight will be slightly forward biased, when you remove the front wheel, the bike will want to fall forward – just. Another brick or two might be necessary for your workshop tool kit! Just place them on the rear pack rack.

AG200 front brake lever

Back to the job…back off the front brake adjustment up on the handle bar. This is to get the pads as far away from the linings as possible to aid removal. Remove the front brake (10mm) and speedo cable (#2 Philips) brackets on the left (sitting on the bike) fork leg. If they look corroded they will be a pain to get off. AG200 fork leg cable clampsWith the plastic speedo cable bracket just cut it off and you can either re-secure it with a new one from Yamaha (part # 3R9-23318-00) or a cable tie will suffice if you don’t care about appearances (not too tight though – you don’t want to cause the outer metal sheath to put pressure on the inner, rotating cable). If the bolt breaks off on the brake cable clamp then you can drill it out and put a 6mm bolt through it.

This is what I am talking about with the manual, the two components I talked about above are out in the open and due to the conditions that these bikes are accustomed to, they corrode and become service issues. It happens a lot on the AG200 and the manual doesn’t help you out that much when you have a problem with them.

AG200 fork boot

If the fork boots are OK and you want to save them, pull the vent hoses out of their routing tabs (1) and slide them out of the headlight assembly. The tubes don’t separate from the boot so don’t force them or they will break. Undo the top boot clamp (2 – #2 Philips) and twist the boots so they come free of the fork leg and can slide around easily. A bit of silicon spray or WD style spray may be helpful here.

AG200 fron wheel removal

Now we can undo the axle nut. On older bikes with a castle nut and a split pin, this will be a 17mm item, while later bikes have a 14mm, self locking nut. AG200 front wheel spacerWe can now slide out the axle. Be vigilant of the balance of the bike as you remove the axle. When the axle is out, you can rotate the right leg (this is why we loosen the boots off as well) to aid in the removal of the spacer, this then gives you a bit more manoeuvring room to get the brake pads and backing plate assembly out of the brake hub. This should free up the whole show so the wheel can be removed and put aside.

AG200 fork clamp bolts

Next is fork removal. Undo the top (14+17mm nut & bolt) and bottom (2 x 12mm bolts) clamp bolts and be prepared to catch the fork as it slides down. Corrosion on the fork legs may prevent this! CRC/WD will help if it needs it. OK, its time to get our 19mm Allen key or specially constructed tool into action. AG200 fork cap removalBecause the handle bars run right across the top of the fork cap, we can’t get a tool in to loosen the cap without taking off the handle bars – no need for that! Slide the fork down in the clamps so you can get to to the fork cap with your 19mm tool. Nip up the two lower clamp bolts and you can then pop off the plastic cap cover, insert the hex tool and loosen the cap nut, but don’t remove it.

Loosen off the two lower clamp bolts and you can slide the leg out. Do the same for the other side. Remove the fork boots, give them and the forks a clean up with warm soapy water if covered in crud, dry them off and we have two forks ready for strip down and service.

AG200 fork legs

This ends part 1.



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