Category Archives: General comments

AG200 parts suppliers.

I get asked a lot about where to get parts for the AG200. Everyone knows that Yamaha parts are expensive in Australia, but so is everything else right? Our strong, unionised workforce and accompanying high minimum wage is the price we pay right? You have to pay to play right? RIGHT?! Lets take a closer look…

OK, so the hard numbers first. A few posts back I did a write-up on a basic, top end rebuild and the parts that are required. As a service to my beloved readers (actually it was for a farmer who reached the “service interval” of his bike! ūüôā ) I went out and purchased these parts from my local Yamaha dealer.

1NU-11181-00       GASKET, CYLINDER HEAD 1  Р$21.51

90430-14131          GASKET  Р$14.10

93211-45471          O-RING  Р$17.35

93210-57634             O-RING x 2  Р$9.00 each

93210-72529           O-RING  Р$14.30

5LB-11351-00         GASKET, CYLINDER Р$8.05

93210-13361           O-RING  Р$1.90

5H0-12119-00        SEAL, VALVE STEM x 2  Р$6.60 each

93210-09165          AA5 O-RING Р$2.60

4BE-15451-03        GASKET, CRANKCASE COVER 1  Р$15.25

93210-14369          O-RING  Р$4.50

93210-32172          O-RING  -$4.15

94580-41104          CHAIN (DID25SH 104L) Р$77.70

4FM-1 2213-00      GASKET, TENSIONER CASE  Р$1.30

15A-11603-00        PISTON RING SET (STD) Р$71.70

93450-17044         CIRCLIP x 2  Р$3.90

So the total for the above parts in Australia for a basic, top-end overhaul for an AG200 comes to $289.51. The same sixteen line items for a 2017 TW200 from Partshark in the US is $164.31US. So if you do the conversion at the time of writing, it comes to $216.89 in AU dollars and then you have to freight it out here. So if the freight is around $50 AU you can see that it pretty much doesn’t add up to get it from the US. I don’t think it is anyway.

Even back in the days not too long ago when the US and AU dollar was close to parity, I was noticing a disturbing trend from the few things I was getting from the US but particularly from a lot of my acquaintances and other Australians that I had contact with on forums. People were getting the wrong parts or even broken ones. Were unscrupulous US companies/parts guys using us as a dumping ground for all their crap parts and products? My experience was yes, yes they were. They knew we wouldn’t send them back, we are not value Nazis like the average US shopper and even if we were, we were not going to wear the freight to send it back over the pond anyway! I wonder how many second-rate or wrong bits ended up on Ebay over here because of this?

I lost interest in ordering a lot of parts direct from the US after noticing all this, while the strengthening of the US dollar and a price reduction on parts from Yamaha Australia helped to close the gap anyway. So my recommendation is to make sure you do the math before you go ordering stuff from the US, it’s not worth it any more in my opinion, not for one-off rebuild parts anyway. If you are going to buy a heap of one part then it may be a different story.

So what do I recommend for us Aussies? Shop around! A lot of dealers did not pass on the Yamaha price reductions from a few years ago so you might find a fair bit of variation for the sake of a few phone calls. Here’s one trick you can try; ask for a price on the good old NGK D8EA spark plug for the AG200. Who ever is cheapest for this simple part will usually be the cheapest for everything. Why? Because most (not all) dealers usually set a margin for their parts in their accounting software that covers all their stock (if they have a computer, I know dealers who still don’t!) so if they are cheapest on this easy to remember, common part then they usually are across their whole stock of bits.

What about after-market bits? The big one in my list above is the cam chain. A good quality DID or RK chain can be had for half the price of the one listed above. The rest…well I have always liked genuine Yamaha parts and as ridiculous as the prices are for for some of the o-rings listed here, not all rubbers are created equal. I get using generic, bearing shop o-rings (I still wont use them though) for the external, easy to replace parts like the rocker covers and top timing gear cover o-rings but the internal ones? Don’t do it unless you are a materials engineer who knows what heat and hydro carbons do to the materials you are going to use!

How about after-market gaskets? Same deal for me, I go with genuine but I’m sure there are good after-market options out there, you just have to troll forums and see what people are using and have had good results with. It is an area that I should look into more and try some variations.

So bottom line for me is shop local. I have been on the other side of the counter and it is a tough gig these days. With the pitiful margins on bikes and with the floor plans the manufacturers impose on their dealers, I wonder how they (particularly the smaller ones) survive. So help them out if you can, ask them for a discount – they can only say no and you may be helping them keep their doors open for your future convenience!

Cheers

AGman

AG200 corrosion points

Corrosion and the AG200 go hand in hand, it’s just part of the world that the bike plays in. Farms, particularly irrigated farms, will eventually cause issues with certain parts of the motorcycle. There isn’t much a farmer can do to stop surface rust under the paint on the frame, swingarm, and other larger parts on the bike, but there are certain fasteners that are particularly vulnerable and if protected can save real headaches down the track.

I don’t¬† blame the farmer for this one (did I just hear a collective “gasp!” from farmers around the country?), I blame the dealer. Yes that’s right, I said it – it’s the dealers fault! If they spent an extra half an hour during pre-assembly and delivery, it would save all sorts of hassles later on down the track for both the farmer and the dealer/mechanic that has to service the bike.

The dealer would say who cares if nuts and bolts and other parts seize up on bikes and are hard to remove, we just charge the time out to the customer. That’s a typical statement from a person who doesn’t have to work on the bikes! The thing the dealer doesn’t realise is that this sort of frustrating work on AG bikes is discouraging mechanics from staying in the industry. Most mechanics that I know who worked at country dealers hated it and never went back after they left.

This is why I don’t have much time for dealers who say they cant get good spanner men. If dealers made the job for mechanics a bit easier down the track then they might stick around. A mechanic doesn’t care if they can charge out all the time they spend repairing the bike, what they do care about is breaking and repairing every nut and bolt holding the footwells on a Yamaha ATV to get access to do a simple service to the auto drive.

AG200s are a bit more basic than ATVs but the issues are the same; if certain fasteners had anti-seize applied from new, then life would be so much easier down the track for simple maintenance jobs. So enough gas-bagging, what are the problem areas?

Front brake cable clamp bolt.

brake-cable-clampThis clamp is always a problem to remove if left to its own devices. Give it a twist and the head breaks off and you have to drill it out. Dis-similar metals don’t help either so a bit of anti-seize nips this one in the bud.

 

 

Front mudguard bolts.

front-mudguard-boltsThought I would chuck in some mud for effect! This is a no-brainer right? Anywhere that gets constant crud thrown at it is going to give problems after a while. Anti-seize on the four bolts and spray WD-40 or CRC under the guard to make the mud slip off.

 

Front mudflap nuts/bolts.

front-mudflap-boltsAs above, no rocket science involved here.

 

 

 

Exhaust header bolts.

exhaust-flange-boltsThis one you might need to be a bit more careful in removing if they look gumby. Be gentle if they feel tight to remove and use liberal amounts of your chosen release agent (WD-40 etc.), and move them in and out like tapping a thread. These fasteners get too hot for regular anti-seize, so a Nickel based product will be needed. Normal stuff will burn off but its probably better than nothing.

Exhaust guard bolts.

exhaust-guard-boltsThis is a tricky one. If the bike is old and it looks like the bolts have never been removed then it is probably best to leave them in place. They will break off the heads. If your bike is not too old then give them a go. Add a high temp product as above.

 

Rear mudguard bolts.

rear-mudguard-boltAs with the front guard, these bolts preferably need to be done from new. When removing them be careful and try and lube the threads from the rear. If they break you are in a world of pain because it is hard to get to them to either remove the stud or if you want to drill them out. Frame rails make it difficult to get to them. While you’re under the rear guard, don’t forget to do the two bolts at the rear that do extra time holding up the mud-flap.

Seat and rack bolts

seatrack-boltsThese are fasteners which you think may not give problems but they can catch you unaware because crud can get to them from behind – hit them with your goop!

 

 

Chain guard bolts.

chain-guard1We have multiple things to watch here and it’s probably chain-guard2the area that cops the biggest flogging in regards to constant exposure to the elements. All the fasteners in the following photos should garner your attention. Note in the pic showing the clamps on the rubber boot is an AG200 I’ve prepared earlier that demonstrates what happens when these bolts are neglected – they snap off! They then effect the integrity of the assembly they belong too.

chainguard4Sometimes I wonder if this is one of the reasons lots of chainguard3farmers toss the chain guard. It would only take a few of these fasteners to break to make people lose interest in putting it all back together after removing it to replace the chains and sprockets. If you keep anti-seize on all these bits it will make your life a lot happier when it comes time to do this job.

Swing-arm cover bolts.

swingarm-guardThis was a bit of a tough one to show in a simple photo ag200-swingarm-guardreally but next time you remove your wheel you will see a cover protecting the swingarm. This snapshot at right is from that cracker new manual I uploaded last week and it shows the guard better. Its probably a job for when you next do your swingarm bushes…much easier to do when the arm is out of the bike and on a bench, or at least when the wheel is out. Its held in by three bolts, two of which are dodgy self-tappers (the lower two), it’s probably best to leave those alone and just focus on the top bolt which is also the fastener for the shock pivot protective flap.

So that’s probably it. There are a lot of other areas that you could pay attention to like the bolts on the “bark buster” bars, footpeg mounts, rear brake adjuster, engine mounts, etc. But I reckon the ones I have listed here are the biggest trouble makers if you ignore them. Give the bike some love and it will repay it ten-fold.

And just a last word to the dealers…try looking after the mental health of your mechanics, give them input to the pre-delivery and maybe they will hang around a bit longer!

Cheers

AGman

Owner/Operation manuals

I know, I know! These manuals can be downloaded from the Yamaha Australia site. It’s not the easiest thing to use though and is not the easiest thing to find either. So I thought what the hay, lets put them where all the other AG200 info is in the universe! Not only that, but it will be an interesting discussion on what was different in the manuals and therefore it may give you a hint on the changes Yamaha made to the bikes as well.

1983 AG200L – This is the bike that started it all folks. The first AG2001984_mc_ag200_m_mc2968 that came to Australia. There is some debate over the year of¬† ’83 or ’84 as the year of release. Yamaha used to introduce their new model range here a few months before Xmas. For example the “L” YZ motocross models were the ’84 year range but were actually released a month or two before the new year. My guess is the AG200 was the same, a few would of showed up here in late ’83 but most of them got off the boats in ’84. I haven’t seen a ’83 complied AG200 yet but I bet they are out there, or what’s left of them anyway!

1989 AG200W – So what happened between ’83 and ’89? Not much! Change 1989_mc_ag200_m_mc4131of colour was about it by the looks of it. This colour was probably the least liked of the AG200 range. The beige looked daggy real fast and made the seat look pink which was less than manly to the farmers involved at the time!

The manuals pretty much confirm the story as far as changes go. The ’89 manual is two pages longer than the older manual and there is a bit of info at the front making it quite clear that it is illegal to use the bike on public roads…say goodbye to the compliance plate of the old bike. In fact, on page 62 of the ’83 manual it states that the noise output is designed to meet ADR39 which is missing from the ’89 manual so Yamaha defiantly let ADR go on this model.

Starting to move into the nanny-state thinking here where there are more warnings about safety both for maintenance and riding. The fuel cock inspection and cleaning section is missing from the newer (p.33, ’83) bike manual which signifies Yamaha changing this part of the bike. The newer bike had no removable bowl under the fuel tap to catch rubbish.

I notice in the specifications section they take out the 30deg climbing ability in the new manual. Bit subjective was it Yamaha?! The engine is now a 3GX2 not a 3GX…wonder if anything was actually changed? The specifications format is changed around a bit but most of the info is still there and the newer manual has added a wiring diagram at the end. Nice touch.

1990 AG200A – The manual is an extra four pages long, 76 up from 72. Most of it is more brain-dead safety info in the first ten pages or so. Litigation must of been catching up with Yamaha! Not much else to report here except that the ’90 model is a better scan so download this one if your bike is around this era. Engine change in specs. to 3GX3.

1991 AG200B – First impressions are ‘meh’, same amount of pages, must be the same manual? Not so! All the safety rubbish is gone from the front. Cool…oh wait…its after the contents pages now! And they have added a ‘location of warning labels’ diagram…sigh!

This manual has the front fork oil change procedure removed from it so my guess is this is the year Yamaha removed the oil drain screw from the front forks. Strangely, the front headlight adjustment procedure has been removed as well. Engine specs. change again to 3GX4.

1992 AG200D – Same number of pages here again. Front cover is tarted up a bit. On page 41 (of the PDF doc) they have made a few additions to step 2c and 2g of the oil change procedure. Looks like the earlier manual forgot to tell people to put the filter back in! A few pages later they have actually added a tightening torque for the oil pressure check bolt –¬† 7Nm which sounds a bit tight to me. I’d say they have added this because people are breaking them off.

On page 58 they are telling us to now lubricate brake lever pivot points with oil rather than grease. Why? I would always prefer grease than oil, particularly on an AG bike where oil will just get washed out after the first wet ride. The specs. section is all the same again except we have an upgrade to engine type 3GX5.

1993 AG200E РNew manual is one page less. They have removed a page of safety label descriptions from the bike! Nothing else I can see except for the engine upgrade in the spec. section to a  3GX6.

1994 AG200F – Not much going on here. Page 46 gives us a change of info about the spark plug. They cut a heap of technical info out and add a little bit about how to install a spark plug with out a torque wrench. Nice work Yamaha. Once again we get an engine spec upgrade to 3GX7…keep rolling those big upgrades out guys!

1996 AG200FH – You get the feeling something is going to happen now! 1996_mc_ag200_m_mc5750-1They skipped a year and the manual has grown to 83 pages. Time for a colour update too, check it out! This is my preferred scheme of all the AG200s and the picture doesn’t do it justice.¬† Back to the manual…they dropped the imperial measurements from all the specifications throughout, which was a move forward. The description at the front of the manual has been simplified from 22 items to 15. I guess most people don’t need to know where the front fender, the tail-light and fuel tank is!

Interesting on p. 18 of the new manual that they drop the section telling you where the engine number is and tell you about the model label up on the head stem. On the previous page they want you to record the key ID, the VIN and the number on this model label rather than the engine number.

There are quite a few additions to the Periodic Maintenance section. A bit of butt covering at the start (in upper case I might add) with an addition about how maintenance can change depending on individual conditions etc. There is two additions to check in the Periodic Maintenance section; the kick stand and battery.

Here I was eagerly anticipating the introduction of the 3GX8 engine and they dumped it from the engine specs.! They dropped the minimum turning radius too. And the last big addition to report is the conversion table added to the last page.

There was a lot of little changes to this manual but most were irrelevant like extra cautions and stuff like that – lawyer changes!

1998 AG200FK – So this is the big one. Electric start! The manual is pretty 1997_mc_ag200f_m_mc6052much brand new so I wont go into the changes page by page. Its still a crappy old scan though! I will just look at the interesting specs. and other things. Now you might think that the picture at left is the same bike as in the last description but if you have a close look you will see the starter motor at the front of the engine and the larger front wheel and brake drum.

1999_mc_ag200_m_mc6619I do know that ’98 was not the first electric start bike though. I do think it was the first of the blue AG200s but the grey, electric start AG200 came along in ’86 – ’87. I had one so I know they came earlier than the blue bikes.

So what was new? The choke moved from the lower clutch side bar to up next to the ignition key. They still show the old choke in the manual under Controls/Instruments description. The switchgear is all new (they stuffed up the diagram), Electric start (no starter motor in the right or left view under description), 12V electrics with auxiliary plug up on the bars near the choke. Larger headlight, 21″ front wheel and larger front brake.

Because of all the changes there were a lot of new numbers in the specification section at the rear of the manual. Length was up to 2160mm from 2135mm, height was 1155mm, up from 1110mm. Seat height is up 10mm to 830mm, ground clearance up 10mm to 255mm, and weight up to 127kg from 121kg. Other changes occurred to caster angle and trail, obviously a 21″ front rim and an updated 12v electrical system capable of delivering reasonable current for a bike that may have accessories.

A few service things were new too. For the first time Yamaha recommended a 20w50 oil if you had temperatures to suit. I also noted that in the maintenance schedule that washing the oil filter was not even mentioned, you’re expected to replace it. And for the first time that I can remember, they tell us it’s OK to use the grease nipples on the swing-arm pivot!

2002 AG200FR – Here’s one for out Latin America friends! This manual is a biggie, 184 pages. Why so big? because there are two manuals, the first is English the second is Spanish. The English version has all the pictorial bugs mentioned in the ’89 manual fixed and it all seems good.

There is an added page for battery maintenance, the AG200 never had the best charging system and Yamaha are covering themselves again. There are two or three new pages going into more depth on changing globes, both headlight, tail-light and indicator. I find it funny that we are supposed to go back to grease for the stand pivots again! Finally there is an added piece in the specifications section warning against using car engine oils in the AG200’s wet clutch system.

2008 AG200FX(6v & 12V) – The AG200 was introduced around the same time as the first Apple Macintosh computer. So 24 years after the release of the system that revolutionised the the field of desktop publishing, Yamaha (or was it Yamaha Australia?) manages to get an AG200 manual out that is in a native digital format and not some dodgy scan! Way to go Yamaha!

We are back to 90 pages and it is soooo much better than this 1999_mc_ag200_m_mc6759other stuff that Yamaha Australia posts up for us to download. I couldn’t believe it when I saw all the imperial measurements. Yep they’re back! Its interesting because this manual also covers the 6v, non electric start model as well as the 12v version. They revived the old bike right down to the crusty old choke lever under the clutch side controls!

So all those spec. differences mentioned for the ’98 model¬† are all in this one! All in an easy to read, neat format. Nice.

2010 AG200FZ – Lucky last! This manual was a lot bigger than previous downloads and it shows. The quality is excellent.

First time for a very long time that Yamaha changed the introduction. Check out page 25, it the first time I’ve seen Yamaha mention the dual stands! Spark plug torque has gone up 1/2 a Nm to 18! Also a first…a decent index. Yamaha went out with a bang!

That’s it folks, that’s all Yamaha Australia have supplied anyway. I know there was an slightly updated model released in 2014, but Yamaha Australia haven’t posted up the user manual for that yet. When/if they do, I’ll post it up. If anyone out there can help me out with a link then I will get it up on here ASAP.

Cheers

AGman

Front wheel bearings and other horror stories

Let me tell you a story that I think you will find hard to believe. I find it hard to believe. In fact, if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t believe it. I wouldn’t want to believe it anyway. It’s basically a story about low IQ, and motorcycle ownership with a bit thrown in at the end on how to replace front wheel bearings on your AG200!

A few years ago before the end of the naughties, I was helping out at a small, country Yamaha dealership. The owner was between mechanics and I thought I would help out with the spanners for a few months while he managed to track down another victim, errr employee! For the six months or so I was there, I saw mechanical horrors that no technical person should ever have to see. I still have nightmares to this day…

Things that make you incredulous that we are the dominant species on this planet! Things that make you shudder and doubt that humanity even has the right to go on! There will always be one encounter though, one special “Bobby Dazzler” example of how far someone can push the boundaries of neglect and stand out from the crowd, and man is it a special crowd! It’s one of those things that you wont forget until your final days. Unfortunately this experience for me involved an AG200.

The experience in question started as I was labouring away, minding my own business in the workshop when a guy shows up in his 4WD with trailer in tow. Alarm bells went off before I even got a look at the bike because the poor thing was chucked in the back of the trailer with no restraints. Yep, just tossed in on its side! My idiot detector went off instantly and thought he can unload it himself if he is too pathetic to even load a bike up properly (I never was a good long term employee!). A few minutes later he pushes this poor thing into the shop,¬† leaves his name, address etc. and off he went on his merry way mumbling something about “they don’t make ’em like they used too.”

After he drove off I thought I’d have a look at the treasure he left us to repair. I wish I had taken photographs, I really do wish I did. The guy was complaining about front end problems and boy did he have that! The front wheel bearings had collapsed completely to the point where the ball bearings were gone…completely! Now you can forgive someone for¬† a bit of play in their front end but can you imagine the play this thing had? let me tell you how much movement was in the front wheel; it was hitting the forks!

But wait, it doesn’t stop there dear reader. When the bearings collapse in the front wheel of your motorcycle, you’re going to notice it right? You’re going to think; “Oh, better get that looked at, this thing is getting a bit wonky to ride.” But noooo, not this clown! I don’t know how long he rode it like that but it was long enough for the tyre to wear through the fork legs. Yep, through the fork legs! The Aluminium just under the oil and dust seal was removed right back to the slider on both forks, where it had rubbed the chrome off them as well.

Believe me? I wouldn’t. Unless I had seen it myself with my own eyes, I would find it hard to swallow this story¬† if someone had just told me. I should of taken photos but at the time I think my brain was in some sort of paralysis because of what I was actually seeing. I actually took it for a ride and concluded that it could only be worse if the front wheel had actually fallen off. Diabolical was the only word that I think comes close to how that bike rode with the front end like that.

The whole front end was scrap in my books but the owner insisted that he didn’t need brakes (the hub was all mashed up), or the pesky oil in the forks, slap some new bearings in it and he was good to go! The axle, spacers and inner bearing races were a big, corroded blob of destruction and he screamed at the cost of new, genuine replacements, which I thought were a waste on this moron’s bike anyway. Surprisingly, some new bearings actually fitted and stayed put in the hub, we nicked the other bits off a wrecker and off he went, still bitching at the cost of it all!

I always wanted to “out” this guy as the mechanical terrorist that he is, but what would it achieve? He is still destroying farm equipment to this day and will until he’s in a grave. I always thought, and was taught, that farming was a business. So why don’t farmers treat their equipment as part of their bottom line? It has always baffled me but the answer is probably that a lot of farmers, particularly in the past, never had much concept of¬† business anyway. Time has caught up with a lot of them. But I digress…

What’s with the story AGman? I thought this post was about front wheel bearings? Well it is but there’s not a lot involved with front wheel bearing replacement so I thought I’d put that entertaining little ditty in there so you will know how to avoid rubbing holes in your fork legs!

Off you go to the Front wheel removal section of my fork repair tutorial. This will give you an idea on how to get the front wheel off and what you have to do to achieve it. Once you have your wheel off and your stolen milk crate ready, place the wheel on it with the brake side facing down. This bearing is easier to knock out because it doesn’t have to pass as far in a press fit as the non-brake, seal side.

Get yourself a long drift or punch and slide it down the centre of the bearing until it reaches the opposite bearing’s inner race. You need a punch in pretty good condition with a good edge so it will hang up on the bearing. A few good whacks with a hammer and it should come out fine along with the centre spacer. Turn your wheel over and you will have much easier access to the opposite bearing which is a bit harder to move because, as mentioned, it has to pass through about double the material before it will drop out of the hub. You can remove the seal before you knock the bearing out but it doesn’t matter, it will come out with the bearing either way.

This is the rough method of removing the bearings. You can get special tools that expand in the inner race of the bearing and then with a slide hammer, you can remove it. Not everyone has easy access to these tools and they can be expensive. I have heard of people using DynaBolts (concrete or sleeve¬† anchor bolts) to use in bearing removal which is a good idea but may still need a slide hammer if you can’t bash the bolt from the opposite side, which you should be able to do. I will do some experimenting and check it out in an up coming post.

P1020583Back to the job…get yourself a couple of rubber sealed, 6301 bearings. I like SKF and NSK but any of the good bearing brands will do. I also pop the covers off the bearings, flush out the “grease” and replace it with a quality, waterproof substitute. I don’t expect you to do that but if you’re doing big miles on your bike I would defiantly recommend it. While you are at the bearing shop, get yourself a 18x37x7mm seal, they are cheap (as are the 6301 bearings I might add) and you might as well replace it with the bearings.

Installation is pretty simple. Find yourself a useless SAE socketP1020577 (American readers are gnashing teeth!) that matches up to the outer race of the bearing but doesn’t hang up on the hub. You can use this to gently tap the bearings into their P1020580new home. Don’t forget the inner spacer! You should also be able to install the new seal nearly by hand, if you do use persuasion, be gentle. Have a look at the photo of the seal below at right. Make sure it’s not flush with the hub. There is a plastic collar that fits on the axle spacer that slightly overlaps the hub a few mm. This helps to keep rubbish out of the seal and therefore the bearing. The link above showing the wheel removal procedure has some good pics if you need them. If this collar is damaged, it should be replaced for the long term health of everything discussed here.

There we have it, use grease on the seal lips, spacers and axle on P1020587reassembly. Make sure the speedo drive lines up correctly or there will be carnage. Another tip is to get someone to hold the front brake lever firmly to centre the hub while you are tightening the axle nut. We are done! Cheap, easy and no excuses for damaging those fork legs!

Cheers

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

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

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!¬† ūüôā

Cheers

AGman