All posts by AGman

AG200 YouTube vids

Because the AG200 is a bit of a…ahem…lowly steed, when you do a YouTube vid search all you will ever find is poor old AGs towards the end of their lives getting abused. Monster burnouts, monster boghole attempts and all sorts of other antics by mostly bored kids. This seems to be the order of the day for AG200s on YouTube. Not that I don’t enjoy a good monster burnout mind you, but the AG200? Pft! Isn’t there anything more interesting that someone is doing on them?

Imagine my surprise when this bobby dazzler popped up! This is what I’m talking about. If this guy ever comes across this blog, drop us a line!

Until some of you other guys get your trips done, documented and up on the ‘Tube, then this guy is the current World AG200 Touring Ninja!

Cheers

AGman

O’ring chains on the AG200. Really?

Some people that have recent history with the AG200 might be surprised to learn that the first model released way back in ’83 – ’84 was supplied with an o’ring chain for the final drive. What?! Why go to all the trouble of designing a fully enclosed final drive system and then add an o’ring chain? Yamaha must of asked themselves the same question because they stopped doing it not long after the original release. What about now? Is it worth the expense to prolong the life of a component that, if maintained correctly, will last for ages? My thoughts on the matter follow…

Chain gaurdI have some dealer friends who swear by putting o’ring chains inside the chain enclosure of any AG200 that passes through their workshop. If you are a belt and suspenders type of person then I guess you would consider this a good idea. On farms that get chopped up by cattle (deep, sloppy mud) during the winter (Dude…get an ATV!), this is probably a good idea. The factory chain enclosure is great when set up right but it’s not perfect. The lower guard has a drain hole at the lower section and if this part fills with mud and the drain hole blocks then you have a factory chain and sprocket destruction device!

An o’ring chain will not enjoy being operated in a bath of corrosive, abrasive slime but it will last way longer than a conventional chain. So in this sort of environment where people tend to not give the bike even a fleeting glance between times when the bike stops running (known by a lot of farmers as the “service interval”), then I would suggest an o’ring chain a wise investment.

Now for the rest of us…I have never bothered with an o’ring chain on my AG200s because I know how much power conventional o’rings can suck out of a small engine. I don’t know about you, but if I have a bike with less (waaaaaaaay less!) than 20 HP out the back wheel then I don’t want to let any of that go! The AG doesn’t have much horsepower to start with so sucking a little bit out with an o’ring chain wont do it any favours. I also believe if you look after the chain guard properly then it will do nearly as much to protect the chain as any o’ring will.

Some of these new, low friction X ring chains might work better for the AG but once again, vigilance and preventive maintenance, in my opinion, will prevent the need. There is no horsepower to stretch the chain, so if you keep it adjusted, lubed and relatively clean, which the factory enclosure will do, then you are safe with a conventional chain. Spend the money you saved on chain lube and live happily ever after!

Cheers

AGman

ADV rider forum thread…

Have been getting a few hints from visitors to expand my horizons and make it easier for people to add to the discussion on the AG200. A forum may be coming in the future and not everyone is a fan of the current social media options so I’m thinking a thread on ADV forums is probably a good compromise for now…it was suggested by one of the guys who has left a comment here; Richard who is planning an epic African trip on his AG200.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this, bit of a seniors moment I suppose! I would guess that most readers here would probably be members on the forum, or would at least know of it’s existence. Maybe I was a bit intimidated by the hardware on this thing but hey, if the DR200 can be represented then I’m sure we can!

So lets see what the AG200 can really do out there in the real world.

Check it out here.

Cheers

AGman

Oil change tips #2 Changing the oil.

OK…we haven’t got our hands dirty for a while so lets get something techy done –  the humble yet often overlooked oil change. Pretty simple really but there are a few little tips here that might work good for you and your AG. As Jamie Oliver says; lets tuck in!

First things first, take your bike out for a good thrash! That’s right, give it the berries! The oil is (or should be!) thick in the AG200 so make sure the oil is nice and hot. I use a procedure here that leans the bike over on both stands for a period of time so the hotter the oil is the longer it will flow well and therefore drain well.

Remve drain capAfter you have set a new land speed record, get the AG into your shed and get it over on the right hand stand. This gives you easy access to the drain plug. Get yourself a 19mm single hex (go and see my discussion on the drain cap here) socket to release the drain cap and place something under the AG to catch the oil. You might have to juggle the gear lever to remove the cap and actually, you can remove the lever if you want because it does make things a lot easier and it’s only one 10mm bolt. If the cap feels like its going to give you pain removing it, give the end of your 19mm socket a firm tap with a hammer while on the cap to help loosen it.

When you get the cap loose and you feel it’s about to pop off, Drain oillean the bike over to the left side stand. Make sure you move the oil drop container to suit. Now you can totally remove the cap, spring and filter gauze and drain out that old Middle Eastern Gold. As the oil is draining on the left hand side, take the opportunity to remove the oil filter cover and the oil filter on the opposite side of the bike.

Filter housing screwsOn later bikes (’98 onwards) you will need to remove theFilter housing2 two top 8mm hex bolts and the lower 5mm Allen bolt. Older bikes use Philips (see at left) on the top two bolts. Remove the cover carefully and pay careful attention to the rubber o’rings under the cap. If they look daggy, replace them. Pull out the filter and have a good look at it, I have discussed in other posts about the filter specifics so if you think it looks dodgy, replace it. If it looks OK give it a wash, remove the metal from it and it’s ready for another service interval.

While the oil is draining and the bike is on the left side stand you might asFilter cove2 well have a good look in the filter housing and give it a bit of a clean out with a rag. Oil would of dribbled down the casing after removing the filter cover anyway so while you have the rag handy you might as well clean out the cavity or filter housing.

Drain capWhen the old oil slows to a drip out of the left side oil drain, lean the bike over to the right hand stand. Make sure you shift the drain container to suit the oil drain. A bit of oil drain might pick up but probably not. The oil is draining internally as you will see later. Take this opportunity to have a good look at the drain cap. Is the o’ring OK? If not replace it. Now give the cap a good clean, remove the o’ring and have a really good look at it. Most people do it up too tight, even Yamaha do it up too tight! It can easily crack around the edges near the o’ring grove. Yamaha specifies 43Nm for it and that, in my humble opinion, is crazy talk! It’s at least 10Nm too tight.

OK, the bike has been over on the right side stand for ten minute or so right? Time to lean it over on the opposite stand. Get ready to move the catch tray, more oil will start to drain. I like to combine the oil drain with a few other maintenance jobs (valve clearances?) so you have the time to go left and right on the two stands for an extended period. If you don’t have the time then fine, a couple of times back and forward will do the trick.

We have all the oil out, now it’s time to reassemble. Your oil filter is new or freshly cleaned so its time to get it back into the filter housing. It can only go in one way so don’t stress. Install the filter cover and tighten up the bolts. Make sure that bottom Allen bolt does not hang up on that small o’ring and damage it. Put a bit of fresh oil on the bolt and the o’ring. The two top bolts are set to 7Nm while the lower Allen bolt is set to 10Nm. Not very tight so those used to hanging off a wrench with a piece of gal. pipe will learn all about Easy Outs and HeliCoils pretty quick!

Drain filter+springLets turn our attention back to the drain cap and its’ related parts. Is the spring and wire filter OK? Not much to go wrong with the spring but make sure there is no rubbish in the filter. Lean the bike back over to the right side and slap them back in the way they came out. I like to put a bit of grease on the alloy mating surfaces of the cap – i.e. the lip outside of the o’ring. You can now screw the drain cap back in and as stated, it doesn’t have to be too tight.

So here comes the biggy – what sort of oil? I have two modes of thought on this issue. If it’s an old bike that’s a bit of a basher and a bit worn and daggy – mineral oil and change often. Newer bike that you want to keep for a long time, do trips on and want it to last and give years of reliable service? Full synthetic. The common ground between them is go heavy. 10W40 minimum, preferably 10W50. You will find the gearbox works much better with a heavier oil. Remember, the AG200 was designed back when consumer synthetic oil was expensive and/or hard to get and the clearances and design has not changed since that time. Also remember, bike oils only, wet clutches dislike car oils and their friction reducing additives.

Oil fillerThe spec from Yamaha is 1.1 Litres with a filter clean/change. Oil fill3Remove the filler plug and use a funnel or a pourer with a tube that fits into the filler hole. Pour your oil in and use the sight glass to get the level right if needed. Screw your filler cap back (clean around the cases and check the o’ring on the cap) and you’re good to go. The paranoid among us can undo the 10mm oil pressure check bolt (circled at right) in the head to make sure there is pressure up there. You don’t have to totally remove it – just loosen it to the last few threads and if there is pressure it will find its way out. Be real gentle doing this check bolt up…5Nm and no more or it will snap off.

So there you go, wasn’t too hard was it? Now get back out there and improve on that land speed record.

Cheers

AGman

AG200 Japanese site.

The Japanese made the AG200 so you would expect them to have a little bit of a fan base right? Well they do. Go and check it out here. You will have to use Google translate to glean anything from the writing, but if you persist you will find a few nuggets, like the 6 speed gearbox on the early Japanese version, and the brochure is cool, wonder if they did an English version…

Cheers

AGman

Parts listings…more AG200 gold!

Welcome to the new year of 2015, hope ’14 was a good one for you. I thought I would start the new year with a bang by posting up the AG200 parts lists. I have most of them but thought I would link to an older model (1988), and a newer model (2003). This will help you bypass the incompetent Yamaha spare parts guy if you are unfortunate enough to have one in your area! Select your part number and supply him/her with it so they cant stuff it up!

Its also interesting sometimes to enter the number in Boats.net’s excellent Yamaha parts listings to see what, if any, other Yamaha models use the same part.

Apart from a few new bits on the current AG (2013 onwards), these two parts lists will cover most parts and their numbers. The ’88 manual has the listings for the earlier yellow bikes and the later beige ones, which is handy if you’re after a specific colour part like side covers, guards or a tank.

Enjoy!

2003 AG200

1988 AG200

Cheers

AGman

To forum or not to forum, that is the question…

I love doing my blog…don’t get me wrong. But it’s all a bit one sided don’t you think? I’m getting a lot of good feedback from people here and it’s much appreciated but I’m not naive enough to believe I’m a world authority on the AG200, and in particular the 3GX engine. Is it time to bring other views and ideas to the AG200 platform with a forum? There are issues with forums though, lets discuss.

There are some things I really dislike about forums and the people that run some of them. They always start off saying no advertising will ever be seen on this site…bla…bla…bla! And within a year or two there are adds all over the place! Or the one I despise much more is where people start a forum and wait for a couple of years for members to build up a body of knowledge and then they lock it up behind a pay wall.

From my perspective, there could not be a bigger insult to someone sharing their hard won knowledge to the world, particularly a forum where you are attracted to the site to share with brothers and sisters in a common area of interest. This “crowd sourcing” is a scourge in my opinion, especially when the “crowd” don’t know their making (sometime in the future!) a living for some other slacker!

So I’m not saying that if I start a forum that I wont explore ways to cover the upkeep and maintenance costs, I will. I spend enough time deleting the spam and trolls off this blog, I can only imagine the time needed to maintain a forum! I may look into advertising but it will be targeted and specific to the AG200 and the owners – no Viagra or Xbox adds! If I can’t target, I wont run adds, period. I wont lock up info behind pay walls, even if it’s posted on my forum, I don’t believe I own that info, the members do.

So, what do you all think? Comments? Suggestions? Let me know if you think this is worthwhile pursuing or not. I will of course continue writing up my blog entries, nothing will change on that front. I just think that we may be able to add more to the body of knowledge if others can contribute and have an easier way for people to ask questions and get answers.

And before I sign off for 2014, I’d like to wish all readers a safe and happy festive break. Take it easy, make sure you get through it so you can come back to read more enthralling content on the AG200!  🙂

Cheers

AGman

 

Oil change tips #1.5, aaahh, spare parts guys…

This entry is a bit of an addition to my old Oil Change Tips post I did quite a while ago. Just a bit of updated filter info that I thought I would drop in here to give you guys and girls a heads up. After all these years, I thought mechanics and spare parts guys would have sorted this out but we still have an issue of imparting info from one person to another so we still make catastrophic mistakes like the one I’m about to show you.

TTR250 filterI also own a TTR250, a great bike which has a a long model run with few alterations, like the AG200. Another thing it shares with the AG200 is a nearly identical oil filter, the only difference is four little holes in the relief valve end of the housing. Take a look at the photo at left. Have a reeeeeal good look! You will see what the AG200 would see as our equivalent to methamphetamine; something that will trash your head (see what I did there?). If you put this filter in your AG, you will starve the head of oil and the first thing to grenade is usually the cam will seize in the cam gear side bearing. Not good.

Now, have a look at right. This is what the proper AG200 filter looks like.AG K&N These four little holes are the life-line for oil passing through the filter to get up to the head. If someone has given you a filter that looks like the one above for your AG, TW, XT, TTR230 or old ATV, then slap them! The AG has been around for 30+ years and the TTR250 for 20+ but I still hear stories and read on forums that parts guys and mechanics still mess it up and trash perfectly good engines.

K&N AG Vs TTR250Here is a pic of the other side of the filters and I guess you can understand how people could make the mistake, but I reckon the rubber is blue on the TTR filter for a reason! Yamaha had heaps of issues with this a few years ago, probably when the TTR250 first came out I’d say. So stay vigilant people, especially if you are buying cheap filters off Ebay from people who couldn’t really give a hoot about your bike. But also if you are buying genuine parts from a Yamaha dealer because, to be honest, that where I have heard of most of the stuff-ups happening.

Cheers

AGman

Why the AG200? No really…why?

I have a bit of blog-burnout after the carb clean series, so if you’re looking for info and tips for the AG200 then you should move on to the next post! This one has little to do with Yamaha’s AG bike, it’s more about me and the answer to why? Why do I bother with the AG200?

A friend of mine (old time biker) told me once if you really love bikes you will love them all, and that if I really wanted to restore classics, then start with an AG bike because if you can get an old AG bike back on the road then you can get anything back on the road! He was right. I started working on AG bikes years ago and bringing them back from the brink always seems more fulfilling than other bikes.

The only way I can describe it is what I call mechanical sympathy or mechanical empathy if you like. It has effected me since childhood; I hate it when people abuse and neglect machinery. Silly huh? I understand that these things are just tools to get a job done but I have got to the point in my life where I stop trying to suppress things that people tell me are weird or stupid…when something is in your blood let it go!

I have empathy for living things too like most people, but unlike most people if I see a machine suffering it eats at my engineering soul! No one abuses machinery like farmers, and I pity any poor machine that falls into their hands! I get a pile of rubble off a farmer and re-task it to other areas, to other people who, even though they don’t treat them like I do, still give them a much easier time than their original owners.

Back from the deadTake the two AGs in my workshop at the moment…it’s like bringing back the dead! The later ’03 blue one on the right in particular is in diabolical condition to the point where I have put the engine aside for another day! I have another engine for it and I am slowly bringing it back to a point where I would be happy to ride it myself one day out into the bush.

I already have a friend interested in the machine and he takes notice of the project to the point where I hope he will take it on when I’m done. Life is slowly being injected into this bike part by part as I restore or replace them. It’s a cool experience that I find relaxing and fulfilling while not very profitable! But I don’t do it for profit, I do it for fun and strangely, I am slowly starting to build a small community of mates who sometimes enjoy the slow, two wheeled world out in the boonies.

I think a lot of us who are technically minded (three quarters of the world population can stop reading right here!) like to master something in their lifetime. I would like to master the AG200. I am a long way from it at the moment but it is something I enjoy working towards. Whether its the model history and the part changes between those models, the maintenance tips to prolong the service life, cheaper and/or stronger parts options than the Yamaha stuff or just the small mods to make it better at a particular task, I would like to be an AG200 Ninja!

Now, time to check back into rehab…

Cheers

AGman

Carb servicing part 4 – reassembly

The end game is here. Reassembly. One step closer to a smooooooth running bike! Its going to be a big post though so let’s not muck about…

Throttle shaft sealLets start with the throttle shaft (assuming you removed it). Throttle shaft+springTake a look at the photos and hopefully you can see which side the shaft slides into. From this side, install the rubber seal. Spread a small amount of grease on both ends of the shaft where it rotates in the carb body. Slide the throttle return spring along the shaft and set it up as shown at right. Now slide the spring and shaft into the carb body and make sure the spring legs Install shaftline up as shown by the arrows at left.

We can now insert the rubber seal on the opposite side, the plastic washer seal+washer+Eclipand follow it up by installing the E clip. Be careful the clip doesn’t grow a mind of it’s own and send you on an adventure to the darkest and hardest to reach parts of your workshop floor!

Eclip capCheck the operation of the throttle shaft and make sure its smooth and returns effectively. If all is well then install the E clip cover and tap it on lightly with a soft faced blunt instrument. We can turn our attention to the other side of the throttle shaft again Idle adj screwand install the Idle control screw and spring. Make sure you adjust the screw right through so it deflects the throttle shaft a significant amount. This will aid you with installing the butterfly as we shall see next.

align butterflyWe now need to do a bit of juggling because we have to rotate the throttle shaft to maximum open position while we slide the butterfly into the slot in the throttle shaft. Not as easy as it sounds but a bit of persistence will win the day! A set of soft jaws in a vice to (gently) hold the carb body might be a help here. It will free up a hand to help keep the throttle shaft in the wide open position. Have a look at my photos so you have the butterfly the right way round on your first try to slot it in – note the “120” indentation.

A little tip that may make the butterfly easier to manoeuvre, ispolished butterfly to clean it with some Brasso or other polish. The smooth surface wont hang up in the slot as much and I found it can help things out, and it looks purdy!

Once you have the butterfly in roughly the right location, slowly release the shaft and try and get the whole show located properly. Resist the temptation to get rough here because the butterfly is a fairly soft material and you don’t want to damage the edges or warp it. Take your time and use a pick or scriber to gently persuade the screw holes to line up.

butterfly with screwsThis is why I suggested to wind the idle screw in. It will help to stop the butterfly jamming in the home position and be a bit easier on everything. When the holes in the butterfly line up with the holes in the throttle shaft, gently insert the butterfly screws into the assembly. Don’t do them up too tight and don’t use thread locker, they are tight enough in my experience.

Now that everything is in place and tightened up, rotate the throttle shaft and make sure it opens and returns smoothly. The last thing to do here is get some strong light and make sure there is no brass swarf as a result of sliding the butterfly through the throttle shaft slot. Inspect both sides of the butterfly.

screw & partsTime to move onto the pilot adjust screw, check the parts at left – theassembled screw and its O-ring, spring, washer and another O-ring for the shaft of the screw needle. The easiest way to assemble this into the carb without potentially losing bits and/or not having the washer and O-ring seat properly, is to point the needle upwards and assemble the bits down over it in order. First the spring, washer and O-ring.

installedThe O-ring should hold everything on the needle shaft but why risk it? Grab your carb, turn it upside down and lower it down onto the the adjusting screw and its assembly of parts – easy! Screw the adjuster gently all the way down into it’s hole until it bottoms out, then screw it out two turns – the factory spec. You will find somewhere between two to two and a half turns will be optimal when the bike is running again.

EmulsionNext to go in is the emulsion tube. You have inspected the top, inner holeemulsion inserted of the tube right? And the needle? Good, now have a look at the other end that has the thread cut into the inner part of the tube, see the slot on the outside of the tube? This section has to interface with a brass post pressed into the main jet tube of the carb body. Slide the emulsion tube in through the top of the carb and wiggle it home as shown at right.

main jet+washerWe can now insert the “active” components into the float chamber. Startpilot jet with the main jet and its’ washer. Remember you are working with soft and brittle materials here, not too tight. Install the pilot jet next followed by the fuel/float valve. If the O-ring is OK I like to put a bit of rubber grease on it to help it to not bind when you insert it. I do this on most O-rings actually, it just seems to go back together nicely float valvewithout having to force the rubber.

Now the last few bits to finish off the float chamber. The fuel valve retaining bracket is next and then the plastic main jet shroud. I forgot to showmisc installed the pilot jet plug in this snap (at right) but its there in the final pic after I installed the float assembly.

Slide the float valve needle onto the float tang and manoeuvre it all down into the chamber and focus on the needle going into the valve. Line the float pivot hinge up with the holes in the float posts and slide the pivot pin through both items. I use a pair of adjustable-jaw float installplumbers pliers to gently press the pin into the interference fit of the posts of the carb body. That’s most of the float area done, we just need to put all donethe bowl on and screw it down. Note that the picture at right showing the assembled float chamber has the pilot jet plug installed as mentioned above.

Now I’m going to have a bit of a break from assembly talk for a moment so I can explain a huge hole in my tutorial. You may of picked it up – what about parts replacement? I have mentioned replacement of the emulsion tube and needle if they are worn but what about all the other parts of the carburettor? Surely some other bits here are consumer items? Yes, yes there are. Mostly the rubber parts – O-rings etc..

I have left consumable replacements out of this blog for the moment because it is a whole new discussion. If your carb is in reasonable condition then you can re-use most of the rubber components. If your AG200 has been sitting for a long time and/or it’s an older model, then there is a better than average chance that all the rubber components (maybe with the exception to the float needle valve) in your carb are shot.

So what can you do if you have dodgy rubber bits? Wait for my next blog! I am researching stuff at the moment and will have options to discuss but if you’re in a hurry then I’m afraid its off to your local Yamaha dealer to get pillaged!

Float bowlBack to the carb…time to screw on the floatbowl screws bowl. Nothing hard about that except you can use the old gasket if its still in good shape and take note that one screw has a loop for the float chamber vent hose. Have a look at some of the proceeding pics and you will see at what corner this loop is attached to. You can see two bits sitting in the middle of the gasket at left, disregard the pilot jet plug (you should of already installed it!) but you better put the float bowl drain screw in!

pilot air jet2That’s the bottom of the carb done, spin it over and now we turn our attention to the top part where the slide and diaphragm go in. Before we can install the slide assembly we need to screw in the pilot air jet as shown at left. Now we can assemble the slide. Something else I probably should of mentioned earlier in my “carb cleaning” series of blogs is that I don’t clean the slide or diaphragm. Well I don’t clean it in respect to chucking it in an ultrasonic bath or drown it in carby cleaner! I find that the diaphragm is a pretty delicate thing so I just clean it and the slide down with a rag and maybe blow a bit of air down the slide to clean up the area where the needle goes.

slide needle bitsThe needle assembly needs to be needle assembledassembled before it can go back in the slide. Check it out at right, the plastic washer with the alignment pin goes UNDER the E clip (with the pin facing down or facing the tapered end of the needle) and is slid on from the tapered end of the needle. The other plastic washer fits on the the top of the needle on the other side of the E clip. The spring then fits over the washer. Using your third hand ( 🙂 ), insert this assembly down into the slide.

needle alignmentThis little pic from the manual probably in slidebest shows how the needle assembly has to align into the slide. Once you get all the bits together into the slide, gently spin the needle until you feel the pin and hole align and the needle will drop a few more millimetres into the slide. Now you can carefully drop the needle retainer plate down into the slide and insert the two Philips screws to hold it in.

slide installedNow we can slip the slide assembly into spring+cap installthe carb body taking note of the alignment notch for the outer rubber ring of the diaphragm. Install the slide spring into the slide and install the diaphragm cap taking note that the spring stays even and the indent in the cap faces the airbox side of the carb. Do up the four screws in the cap and you’re all done.

throttle cable bracketThe lucky last bit to install will be the throttle cable bracket. It’s a pain to do all the other jobs to the carb with this thing on so I leave it ’till last. It can be a pain to get back in because you have to turn the throttle shaft a bit to allow the bracket access to its’ lower locating pin, but it will fall into line eventually and you can then screw it into place.

Move the slide gently up in the carb with carb done!your fingers and it should smoothly return when you release it. Don’t forget to back off the idle adjust screw as well. Apart from that you are ready to go! You could hook up the fuel to it to make sure the needle valve is working OK. You could also check the float level as described in the manual. Apart from those options, install the fuel line, overflow and vent hoses and you can get it back into the bike and see how she goes.

What an epic post! Now taking donations! It feels good to get it all down though and hopefully it will help owners with probably the most common reason for AG200 stoppages. I know I may of left some people hanging a bit with the parts replacement bit to come, but I think that once I have it down people wont care about the order of things that much. And by the way…once this has all been done, don’t be tight and neglect to install a good filter! It defeats the purpose of all this hard work.

Enjoy

Cheers

AGman