Category Archives: Parts

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

Changing a timing chain. Part#1

AG200 bent inletDoes this AG200 inlet valve look a bit wonky to you? It should…it’s been smacked by a piston! This is what WILL happen if you neglect your timing chain. It’s all easily preventable though and the bike tells you when it needs changing. The diagnosis and remedy is all pretty straight forward. Lets have a look at what’s involved.

First the diagnosis…does the timing chain need changing in your AG? There are a few components in the AG200 engine that, in my opinion, are marginal and can wear out quickly if neglected. The timing chain is one of them. It was upgraded to a stronger assembly on some of its sister engines and that suggests to me that it was borderline, and Yamaha knew it. Consequently, I tend to be overly cautious of its maintenance and replacement regimes and as with most engine components, oil changes are its biggest life-extender.

So replacement time is pretty simple; if you can hear the chain rattling around in your engine (preferably when its running!), it needs replacing. That’s how I roll with the timing chain in the AG200 anyway. The chain can be had for $20 and with an oil change and a few gaskets you’re looking at around $50 or less for this preventive maintenance. That’s a lot cheaper than leaving it until it spits the dummy! If you have a second hand bike that has missed a lot of owner love then you can keep an eye/ear on it and replace it if it’s noisy. Once you know its been renewed keep fresh, quality oil in the engine and it will repay you with good reliability.

If you neglect oil change intervals and ignore the AG200 timing chaindeath rattle coming from within the engine, eventually the chain stretches and the tensioner will not be able to do it’s job of keeping the chain on the sprockets. Before it finally chucks the teddy in the dirt, in an act of defiance the timing chain will slap around, grinding into the inner walls of the head and cylinder (see pic at right), showering the engine internals with alloy swarf before finally flinging off and causing grief proportional to the RPM you’re doing at the time.¬† If left to these extremes, it will cause issues down the track by spreading metal around the engine. The 3GX is a tough old lump, but no engine likes metal in it even if it’s soft metal.

Please, please, pleeeease don’t think you can extend the tensioner shaft! Yes, a lot of people on-line say you can extend the “service life” of the timing chain by adding some length to the tensioner shaft that puts the pressure on the chain guide. You can buy a new chain for less than $20 and one, maybe two gaskets and the head or cylinder doesn’t need to come off to do the replacement. Why would you bodge it up like this? When the chain starts to rattle, its worn out. All it does now is start to wear the timing gears which are not listed as a replacement part on the crank end. So if you wreck this gear you wreck the crank. Don’t be a hack, spend the 20 bucks!

OK, so lets get into it…this is what you’ll need;

TOOLS; 8mm hex socket (or Philips for the older bikes), flat blade screwdriver for timing/flywheel bolt covers, 17mm socket, extension and square drive for the flywheel bolt, Flywheel puller (M16 x 1.2mm), Flywheel holder.

PARTS; 104 link timing chain, stator cover gasket, timing chain tensioner gasket, oil.

Kick your bike in the guts (Aussie speak for start it up!) and warm it up (you haven’t let the timing chain fling off have you?!), shut it down and drain the oil out. A general service is a good time as any to do this timing chain job so clean the filter and dispose of the oil. When you’re done, stick the drain cap and filter cover back on and nip them up.

WAIT!!! Stop! Sorry to be so dramatic…but before we go any further, when you do change your oil, check your oil filter and mesh strainer for any signs of black plastic chunks. If there is any black rubbish in there I’d say your timing chain tensioners have gone brittle and are starting to fall apart. This is a sign of pretty serious neglect though so it’s not that common to see. If you do see it then you wont be able to do this job without taking the top end off to replace the tensioners which I will cover in an up-coming blog. Its not that common to see but I thought I’d mention it at this point in the disassembly.

OK, the tensioners are fine and we can continue with the chain swap. Every major (or even minor) maintenance job on a motorcycle should start with a good clean. Not only paying attention to the areas that will be worked on, but the whole bike really. Pull off the tank and seat and scrub it all up. Rubbish likes to accumulate up under the tank around the wiring looms and on top of the head and just loves to fall down into your opened up motor!

We have a section that we need to pay particular attention to with this procedure – the front sprocket area. If we don’t get this area nice and clean before we remove the stator/flywheel cover, all the rubbish that will be in behind there will try its best to get inside the motor. So turn your attention to the front sprocket cover. Remove the gear shift lever by removing the 10mm hex head bolt and sliding the lever off it’s spline. Remove the two Philips screws holding the rubber cover to the plastic sprocket cover. Two more bolts are required to remove the front sprocket cover.

DSC_0045You will now have access to the front sprocket area to get it as clean as you can. Take your time and actually, if you have a pressure washer, now is the time to put it to good use. Otherwise, pry out as much rubbish as you can with a pick or screwdriver and finish off with de-greaser and a stiff brush. Removing the drive chain and front sprocket will make this job even easier. The pic. at left shows a partially disassembled bike but it will give you an idea on how clean it should be. The wiring in the photo is also relevant as we get into the job.

top timing gear cover Remove the two bolts that hold the top timing gear coverStator cover. Early bikes had Philips screws while newer bikes stepped up to 8mm hex heads. When the bolts are removed you can take off the cover and view the top timing gear. Next job is to remove the two inspection caps on the stator cover. The small upper one is to give you visual access to the timing marks on the flywheel while the larger, lower one allows you to get access to the flywheel bolt so you can rotate the crankshaft.

Timing markRemove the spark plug and insert your square drive socket into the flywheel bolt hole and rotate the crank so the timing marks line up. The flywheel mark can be seen at left and you can see the other one in the above photo of the top timing gear. The mark on the gear should line up with the pointer cast into the head right at the top of the gear housing. You don’t have to get too pedantic with it all at this point, the reason I do this first is to get any tension off the valve assembly so when you start undoing bits it wont fly off everywhere because the cam is sitting up on a compressed valve spring.

I would now take the opportunity to loosen off the top cam gear bolt. Use your square drive socket to hold the flywheel steady while you get another 17mm socket or spanner onto the bolt holding the top gear to the cam. Get it loose and leave it alone for now, we will come back to it.

Now the eight stator cover screws (for later, electric start bikes) can be DSC_0041removed and a light tap on the cover with a soft faced hammer might be needed to jar the cover free from an old, hard gasket. Once you have the case loosened off, have a look at the wiring going to the stator cover and work out if you want to disconnect the connectors from the loom or have something handy for the cover to sit on close to the bike while you are poking around on the engine. I like to disconnect the wiring and remove the cover completely from the workspace but it’s up to you. Take note of the neutral switch wire which also needs to be removed, shown at right of this paragraph.

Be aware that there will feel like there is resistance when you pull on the cover because of the magnets in the flywheel trying to hang on to the steel coil formers of the stator. Just be careful especially if you have left the wiring attached. Also take note of the two locating dowels in upper and lower rear screws of the case. These dowels like to fall out and go missing at times! Download the manual and check out the (p. 121, ref. 4) diagrams if this is all getting confusing.

DSC_0031When the cover is off you will see the flywheel…which now has to come off. But before we do this we need to remove the starter idler assembly as shown here at left. Remove the aluminium washer in front of the gear (just behind my finger and thumb in the pic) and slide out the shaft and you can then remove the idler gear. Now we can remove the flywheel. This is a really easy job for me because I have a cordless impact gun! Getting flywheels off used to be a real chore when I was a kid. Getting the nut/bolt off was hard enough and then removing the flywheel without a puller was always an adventure! Doing things to engines that make me shudder now!

These days with the correct tools, this job is a snap. With a puller flywheel & pullerand a rattle gun, I don’t even require holding the flywheel with the removal procedure. Releasing the retaining bolt and flywheel from the crank are both quick and easy compared to trying to do it with spanners or square drive tools. At right is a picture of an example of a set-up you could use if you don’t have a rattle gun. It shows a holder and the flywheel puller installed ready to pop off the flywheel. There are a few variations of flywheel holder tools and this photo is kindly supplied via “SpudRider” over at China Riders Forum and is showing the procedure on his Zongshen GY-2 which has a very similar engine to the AG200. How you get the flywheel off is ultimately up to you. Buy, beg or borrow the correct tools to do the job or you will have to resort to bashing things which normally never ends well!

OK, so you got the flywheel off. Check the manual again (p.123) to see what you need to keep track of. There is a woodruff key (ref.4) that may or may not dislodge from the crank and a washer or shim (ref.6) that sits behind the flywheel that may or may not stay on the crank. Watch what happens to these items. Also try and keep the whole flywheel/starter clutch assembly together if you can. Bits can go everywhere if they come apart…its no big deal, its easy to reassemble but if you slide it all off as one unit then it makes it all easier.

DSC_0007Put the flywheel/starter clutch assembly aside and you should be looking at the pic at left. Note that the washer that sits behind the flywheel is still on the crank and the woodruff key has been removed from the crank in this photo.

Lets turn our attention to the timing chain tensioner. First DSC_0042thing to do is loosen the 10mm bolt on the centre post. Don’t remove it, just loosen it for now. Now remove the two Allen bolts at the top and bottom and remove the DSC_0010tensioner from the cylinder. You will feel the pressure that the tensioner exerts on the chain as you loosen the two Allen bolts.

Remove the timing chain tensioner assembly and you will have a nice slack timing chain that you can slip off the top timing gear and let drop down the engine to the crank shaft and lower timing gear. DSC_0013The top timing gear can be removed to help facilitate this – or not. Sometimes the chain will be loose enough that it will lift off the side of the gear and you can just let it drop down to the the crank and remove it.

That’s the removal part done. True to form it was getting a bit long so I will break it up into two parts; removal and reassembly. My only other suggestion before signing off is to jam some rags into the engine cases and clean the gasket surfaces on the engine side and stator cover ready for reassembly.

Keep an eye out for part two…

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

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

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

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

AG200 brake shoes

If you asked me if there was one (there are many!) good reason why to choose the later, electric start AG200s, then it would be because of the larger front wheel and brake. The advantages of the 21″ front wheel won’t be discussed here but the larger front brake and the brake shoe options will be the topic for this post.

Tell me a motorcycle that has a smaller front brake than the back? No idea? Well I can tell you one – the early, 6V, non-electric start AG200. What a gooba of an idea! The wheel and brakes were lifted directly off the AG100 two stroke which in itself was under braked! The shoes were a tiny 110.0 x 25.0mm. One word comes to mind; “inadequate”! It’s one of the few brakes I’ve used on a motorcycle were when you use them you want to put your feet down to give them a hand!

This poor excuse for a brake was used for over ten years by Yamaha on the AG200 until around 1997 when they decided to upgrade the front end with the larger wheel and brake. We now had a whopping 130.0 x 28.0mm brake, we finally caught up with the rear as it has the same dimensions!

So if the dimensions are the same you would think the shoes would be the same right? Well they aren’t, they couldn’t get this right either! But I will excuse Yamaha for this engineering oversight because the front wheel came later and they couldn’t foresee the issues that arouse. Even though the shoes have the same dimensions, the rear units have too much meat on the inside casting to clear the speedo drive housing on the front backing plate. So even though the shoes should fit, they don’t. Two separate part numbers.

AG200 brake shoesCheck out the photo; The front shoes are on the left, the front, pre-electric leg AG200 is in the middle and the rear is on the right. Notice the front has less material in the alloy casting to clear the speedo drive? And you can see that there is a significant upgrade from the old front brake to the new one.

But hang on…if the back don’t fit in the front, do the fronts fit in the back? Do we only need one set of shoes for the AG200? Yes we do. The brakes on the left hand side also fit in the back just fine so we only really need this set of shoes for either end of the bike.

Now that we know what fits we can order a set from our friendly Yamaha dealer right? No…no we can’t/shouldn’t! I won’t even bother listing the Yamaha part number because the last time I went to a dealer I got quoted $75 for a set. This really is crap! And the dealer may not be the one blamed here, he is just trying to make a living (I hope). This is what happens when an importer/national distributor gets greedy. Setting a price that the market will bare rather than what is fair and reasonable. But that’s another blog…

So by all means, give your local dealer a call. Just make sure you’re sitting down when he gives you a price! I feel that no more than $30 should pull it up and you can get them cheaper again if you are prepared to dig a bit deeper. If you want a name brand, after-market set of shoes like Ferodo (FSB733), EBC (506) or SBS (SBS2034) then around the $30 should be about right.

Searching for after-market stuff for the AG can be a minefield because most of the after-market stuff is manufactured for the high volume markets that just happened to not have the AG200 on their model books (like the US). What can also make it difficult is that some higher selling volume countries did get the AG200 but only for a year or two (like the UK). This means they may have a listing but it would only be for the earlier bike, with the smaller brakes discussed above.

Luckily, Yamaha were well known for sharing a lot of consumable parts between models. This helps us to find bits for the AG without getting hammered by Yamaha Australia , who think we are all morons and will just pay up. Come on guys…I can buy Chinese shoes in one-off purchases to suit the AG200, out of the USA for $13. The AG200 is a 30 year old design and this part number goes back even further. My guess is it cost Yamaha $5US to get these things made and they pass them on to us for $75…is that fair? Like I said…its another blog!

Anyway, I need to get off my soap-box and give you some useful information. Download the Ferodo PDF listing here and check out page 382. You are looking for part number FSB733. This will give you Yamaha equivalent numbers and other manufacturer cross reference. Page 154 will give you the fitments from other Yamaha models and even other manufacturers. This may help if you want to keep an eye out and gamble on buying some old genuine stock that might be going cheap on Ebay or some other location.

I’m getting hints that Ferodo’s part FSB947 is also a replacement for the AG. Page 486 of the catalogue if you want to check it out but I haven’t tried them yet so can’t guarantee their fitment. Will update here when I find out. What I do know is that the FSB733 does fit and I am using them in AG200s now.

Of course the other manufacturers list in this Ferodo catalogue have their listings and information too so there are other potential information sources as well but from the ones I have looked at so far, I have found the Ferodo one the most informative and helpful to date. I will keep up the hunt and if I find something more useful to the AG owner in the future I will make sure to post it up.

There is the other reason I have gone with Ferodo; I can get them, they are a reasonable price, I have used them and they work well. I will be keeping an eye out for any other option though and will update when I get more info.

Cheers

AGman

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!

Cheers

AGman

Fork servicing part 4, alternative parts & tools.

Oh no…not more fork stuff from this clown! Yes but there is nothing more about working on them. This is about the parts used in them and what we can use from other models and other manufacturers. I also have a few tips on tools…lets take a look…

First of all, here are some dimensions that might come in handy if you are researching fork info for this bike. The inner tube is 35mm in diameter, this is the inner measurement for the oil and dust seal. The outside diameter of the oil seal is 48mm. The dust seal has an outer diameter of 48.5mm I presume to help with the interference fit in the fork because of its smaller thickness compared to the oil seal.

Some of the other Yamaha models that use the same seal are; YZ100 ’80-’81, DT125 ’82-’83, IT125 ’81, XT125 ’82-’83, RT180 ’90-’93, XT200 ’83, RD250 ’78-’79, RD250 ’76-’79, TZ250 C-D-E, XT250 ’80-’83, RD400, XS400, SR500, XJ500, XS500, XV535 ’88-’92, TZ750 (!!!). Some alternate Yamaha part numbers for the oil seal are; 10V-23145-00, 38W-23145-00, 1UA-23145-00, 29L-23145-00. Don’t quote me on all this, it’s just what I have found while cross referencing stuff. There is no way I can confirm this 100% because I don’t own or have serviced all these bikes. What I do know is that the YZ100 does fit.

As for after-market suppliers, some don’t even have a listing for the AG200 but you can go on the dimensions – Fork oil seal 35x48x10.5mm (35x48x11mm is also fine) ARI has a listing as ARI.003T, Vesrah – AR-3506, Emgo 19-90134 and Allballs 35-1011. The dust seal is a bit more complex because some hang up over the fork tube so it’s hard to say what their correct height is. The factory dust seals measurements are 35×48.5x5mm. ARI do a listing of ARI.049 but I notice the thickness is larger (8mm) but this may be because the design is different like the Pyramid Parts seal that I have tried and discuss below. Allballs do a kit listed as AB55108. I have never ordered any of these parts or kits except for the genuine parts and Pyramid, so do some research of your own if you’re going to go your own way.

Fork seal kitI have checked a lot of the after-market companies and their listings and have found a supplier called Pyramid Parts that sell a kit that is quite good quality. Their product code is F&D 013 & 066. They don’t have any listings for an AG200 but, as stated above, I do know that the 1981 YZ100H has the same fork seal dimensions as the AG200. I have purchased a few of the dust/oil seal kits and they work well. In fact, I think they are better than the genuine items. I haven’t had them running for extended periods as yet but the oil seal has a tension spring on the upper and lower lips while the dust seal has multiple lips that should work much better than the original.

Dust seals compThe only hitch is that your fork boots may hang up on the top of the dust seal when you lower the boot down on it. I have installed two sets of these seals so far and this only happened on one installation and only on one leg. I still managed to get the boot down OK and fastened the lower section of the boot with a cable tie. I suspect it was just the boot in this situation (it was a bit wonky). You can see in the photo here that the after-market dust seal on the left sits up higher on top of the fork, while the original dust seal on the right sits down in the outer fork housing flush with the top.

The YZ100H were shipped from Yamaha with fork boots but maybe it was a different design to the AG with more room at the lower section of the boot? Or maybe its just a oddity of the the after market? It is a much better dust seal than the genuine AG item, to the point where you could run the forks without the boots if they are damaged. So this kit is good for a few reasons – if your boots are wrecked, leave them off and just use this superior dust seal. If your boots are OK then you have the protection of them AND a better dust seal – you cant loose.

Fork seal kit#2Pyramid Parts has a shop on ebay Australia that sells these seals at $25.00 for a kit. It’s cheap and even comes with a little tube of assembly lube which is cool. Just be aware though, his feedback is poor because he is sloooow! You will be waiting for two weeks to get anything out of him but that is my experience of anything out of New Zealand. You can’t rush these Kiwis! ūüôā He says it’s Australian stock but from the mirth of his feedback I find it might be stretching the truth a bit. But who cares? You want stuff cheaper then something usually gives, in this case it’s the delivery time. Maybe I should do a bulk purchase from the company via their website and sell them myself? let me know what you AG200 owners think about this and I may start my own AG-only parts thing up.

Fork circlipIf your forks are full of water, which is pretty common, then the oil seal retainer clip will be in pretty poor condition and I strongly recommend replacing it. Any old garden variety bearing shop should have, or can order in, some internal circlips to do the job. Just ask for 1.75mm thick by 52mm internal circlip. Make sure they are seated correctly in the groove and they will do the job fine. You can get stainless ones too ($$$) but if you maintain your forks you shouldn’t get moisture past the dust seal. You will need to update your tools, a proper set of circlip pliers will be needed of course.

What about fork oil? Fork oil is hideously expensive for what it is. I pay well over $20 for 500ml. It’s too much I reckon. I have read around the web that a lot of people use Auto Transmission Fluid. Never tried it myself but I can understand why people would. I will stick with the proper stuff with my bikes but I can’t see how ATF would hurt on our more lowly steeds. It is just hydraulic fluid after all. The AG needs 15wt oil and I’m not sure of the viscosity of ATF, some say between 7.5 to 10wt so you may find the forks a bit quicker on the rebound action but what the heck…my view is that use proper fork oil if you can but if its a 100km trip to get it and/or you have a heap of ATF hanging around your workshop then give it a go.

Alternate oil seal driver!While we are on to alternate parts, here’s an alternative oil seal driver! The cam-chain side camshaft bearing in the AG200 is an alloy bush which I chuck out in favour of a roller bearing. It fits very neatly on top of the oil seal and does a good job of getting the seal in even. I will document this mod in an up-coming post so you too can get your very own, genuine Yamaha fork seal driver!

In my fork repair posts I also noted that you need to weld a 19mm bolt into a socket, well Fork damper holderthere is a cheaper way of getting that tool into your AG200 toolkit; just weld a 19mm bolt into a piece of pipe or on the end of piece of steel bar – what ever you have lying around really. Weld another piece of pipe or bar at 90¬į on the other end to make a big long T-bar tool (check out the “damper rod T-Bar tool” in the Yamaha service manual). Many moons ago I did this to get the forks apart on a road bike and it worked a treat so it will do the job for the AG. The bolt into the socket tool mod isn’t that expensive, but acquiring the 1/2″ extension and T-handle can add up. Just make sure the length from the bolt end to T-handle is around 55cm or longer to reach into the fork properly.

So there you have it…I don’t think there needs to be any more info on AG200 fork maintenance. We are done.

Cheers

AGman

Flywheel viewing hole covers – a bit of bling!

Now I’m not one for gratuitous bling on my machines, particularly when they are humble machines! Machines where bling has no place! Billet and anodised¬† parts are lovely on a tricked up WR450, but an AG200?

You have already seen my gear lever replacement and you may of thought it was a bit over the top but due to the manufacturing wonders of China, we can all now enjoy a bit of flashiness here and there. But flashiness is not why I replaced the components you see here. The reason I replaced them is because the ones supplied by Yamaha are utter rubbish.

Old covers

Check out the photo of the original covers at left. You will see the two Flywheel/Magneto covers on the engine side case. They have a slotted tool interface. Who the hell still uses slotted fasteners? I despise them. Every chance I get I will chuck them out and replace them with something decent. I don’t care how “authentic” they make the machine look!

I check my valve clearances quite often. About every second extended ride actually. Why so often? Ever owned a five valve, multi-cylinder motorcycle? When something is so simple to check the valve clearances, you tend to keep an eye on it! So anyway, when you are removing the magneto covers to gain access to timing marks and the magneto nut so you can rotate the crank, you chew them out in no time.

You can see in the above photo that they were starting to get messed up. They are made out of cheap plastic (The earlier AGs were actually aluminium). Remove them and put them on your bench and firmly hit them with your biggest hammer, just to make sure they are never put into service again!

Timing cover

You can buy the GYTR units (for the TTR230?) but they are ridiculously priced so I went with some units from Zeta Performance Products, part# ZE89-1412. They wont add any performance to the AG200, but they will perform (last) much longer than the originals with their Allen/hex interface. And yes, they are from a YZ/WR 250F and they screw right in. I should of just bought a WR 250F and fitted racks to the thing!

All you need to do is swap the old o’rings off the old covers onto your new ones and screw them in. Don’t do them up too tight and maybe a little bit of grease on the threads will make them nicer to fit. You will now be ready to go and checking the valve clearances will be much nicer to perform.

Cheers

AGman