Category Archives: Projects

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…



Latest project – shakedown!

If for some reason you think you need to get yourself a (second hand) AG200, take my advice; If you cant find a road-only ridden bike (who would buy an AG bike for road/street use?), then try and find one that has been used on a dry country farm. If the farm is irrigated then try and make sure its not dairy. Why? Because water and dirt encourages corrosion. Water, dirt and manure encourages destruction! Everything from steel, aluminium, rubber, plastic, paint, plating, anodising…you name it, it suffers under exposure to cow crud! Throw poor maintenance on top of these conditions and you get a money pit.

Project AG1

That’s why the bike shown here caught my eye when I found it at a small country dealer. It was a dry county bike with twenty thousand kms and even though the top end of the motor was tired, it was all complete and in very good condition. Dealers know what their stuff is worth so I paid good money for it but that means I don’t have to spend as much getting it into a good, reliable condition. All the standard things were covered with this bike; Rings, timing chain, swing-arm bushes, and all the other consumable wear items.

So anyway, all the work has been done (back to bare frame clean-up), and now its time to get some heat into it, stir the gearbox around a bit and then head back onto the hoist to drop the oil, inspect the oil filter, re-tension the head bolts and check the valve clearances. Hopefully after this I can do some recreation rego. and we are off to the Victorian High Country.