Monthly Archives: June 2014

The competition…

I refuse to use the H word in this post! I know, I’m acting like a school kid when the new 80cc motocross bikes were released every year! Everyone has their brand loyalty and preferences. Like it or not though, competing models effect each other and improve the breed, therefore competition is good. It also makes me fear for the AG200 now there is competition in the class from every manufacturer, and all of them crush the Yamaha on specs. Will Yamaha respond and make their competitor better, or get sucked in and destroy pretty much exactly what the farmer wants? Time will tell.

CT200 page1So anyway, here is the mighty H…Hon…CT200! I am not up with the specifics of the model years like when it first came out or the updates over the years. I do know it was there for most of the 80s and 90s and kept the Yamaha honest. It’s biggest innovation over the AG200 was the auto clutch but even though the sales guys would of pushed the feature, I’m not sure how many farmers were really swayed. If it was such a winner then they wouldn’t of replaced it with the fully manual CTX200 at around the turn of the century huh? They also had electric start a long time before it was available on the Yamaha.

CT200 page2The real cracker from Hon…Hond…was the CT125. Why? From my research it was released around 1975~76, years before the AG200. Why is this significant? I reckon that the CT125 was the AG bike that made Yamaha pivot from two strokes and focus on a four stroke ag bike. As discussed in my “Origins” post, I think that emission concerns from the US helped in the creation of the AG200, but I reckon the little CT125 might of had them concerned as well.

CT200 page3Check it out here (brochure below), it’s a pretty basic thing really but when you think about what it replaced on the farm at the time, it was a big step. The CT90 and 110 were the main-stay in two wheeled AG bikes before the onslaught of the ATV from all the manufacturers. Have a good look at an Australia Post “Postie bike” and imagine riding that thing on a farm that was either wet and muddy or hard baked and rough as guts!

Yes the AG100/175 was around, and the KV100/175 from Kawasaki and the TF series from Suzuki but when I was growing up, most farmers were on red posties! They traditionally leaned towards four strokes and the big “H” sold zillions of the things and were gladly destroying farmer’s spinal health all around the country!

CT200 page4So I think that the the CT125, although primitive and gutless, may of marked the beginning of agricultural enlightenment of two wheeled AG bikes. Emerging from the dark ages perhaps? We weren’t quite there yet but the AG200 and CT200 a few years later probably marked the point where the Japanese manufacturers got serious about what farmers rode on the farm.

PDF of brochure

Then ATVs came along and nothing much has happened in the thirty years since! Will there be a Medici moment for two wheeled agricultural motorcycles? Some would say that we have one at the moment with a choice from all 4 manufacturers. But a peek in the doors of motorcycle service departments around the country will quickly show that slapping a few racks and wide stand feet on a trail bike is not really the answer.

But that’s a topic for another discussion; the future (if there is one) of this style of motorcycle. For now, enjoy the sales brochure of the CT200. Update! Here’s a a few CT125 brochure pages to chuck in as well…









Stand slop…

Ever wondered why so many AG200s have worn out stand pivots? You’ve seen it before – heaps of play between the stand and the frame bracket to the point where the stand can (in the up position) be pushed back and rub on the swing-arm! You might think that it’s just because farmers are always on and off the bike and it just wears out. But here’s the thing…it happens to both stands and most people only use the one on the left side. Curious?

I’ve owned lots of bikes over the years and worked on heaps of others but I have never seen another model that their stands and mounting pivots wear and deteriorate like the AG200s. Every axis of movement on these stands seem to display excessive wear while the springs fatigue and fail, and sometimes the spring lugs can drop off!

Stand springIf you go and cross reference the stand spring part number of 90506-26270, you will find a heap of Yamaha models that use the same spring. BW200, YZ80, TTR110, PW80, XS400 and a heap of other bikes of small capacity that I don’t think were released here in Australia. Most of them are small bikes and even the big ones are road bikes so they have short stands with a small foot. The AG200 stands are not too long (~270mm) but they have a broad, pressed steel foot that has a slight dish to it underneath.

Stand foot, undersideSo what happens? Well, we have a spring that is borderline from new in its task of holding the stand in the up position. The weight of the relatively large foot allows the stand to bounce up and down over rough ground, wearing out the pivot. The clincher to self destruction is when clay or other soil types fill up the dished section under the foot, adds weight to the end of the stand and multiplies the whole effect. So as time goes on the spring gets fatigued, weakens and makes it worse again. The poor thing hasn’t got a hope!

When the spring is new and there is no extra weight under the foot then it’s all good. But it doesn’t take much to start the vicious circle of destruction for both stands. The fix is to treat the stand spring as a consumable item. At the slightest sign of the stand bouncing around check under the foot. If there is no build up, replace the spring.

P1020561The whole issue would be solved if Yamaha added a decent spring in the first place – PeeWee 80 spring – Pft! So I am on the hunt for a decent spring, preferably from another Yamaha model, I will update this post when I find it. But for now keep your feet clean, the pivot well greased and keep an eye on those springs!