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.
Check 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.