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.
This 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.
Thought 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.
Exhaust header bolts.
This 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.
This 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.
As 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
Chain guard bolts.
We have multiple things to watch here and it’s probably the 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.
Sometimes I wonder if this is one of the reasons lots of farmers 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.
This was a bit of a tough one to show in a simple photo really 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!