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.
I 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. 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.
Here 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.
So many people get hung up on oil changes. Not the oil change in itself, but more the oil grade and type. But before we talk about oil, lets look at some of the consumables/serviceables involved. Here are a few things that you need to watch on the AG200…it’s not rocket science, the AG is a simple and basic design so there are only a few simple things to look for.
First lets look at the oil filter. There have been a few different types released over the years with Yamaha upgrading the gauze to increase the surface area. I don’t think the style really matters that much but just be aware that the newer type will take longer to block up. If you are working on your own bike and you follow a regular maintenance regime, then the old filter design wont be a problem. On the other hand, if you’re a bit slack with your servicing or you service farmers bikes, I’d suggest installing the newer ones. Cockies have been known to skip the odd oil change (see my earlier post)!
Inspect the filter very closely after washing it out with solvent. No, it doesn’t need replacing at every change, and if you keep the oil changes up to this engine then it may never need replacing. Once you have washed it out and blown it dry with compressed air, carefully inspect the glue holding the edge of the gauze to the filter body. With age, heat and chemicals that build up in the old oil, this glue can become suspect. This is the time to change the filter.
I have found this only on severely neglected bikes where regular oil changes have been constantly skipped. The nature of the AG200’s use means they don’t get thrashed while going about their daily work so I’m more of the opinion that its the chemical build-up in the oil that is the culprit rather than heat. The more the filter is allowed to clog the more strain it puts on the gauze/glue interface as well so if a filter is deformed in any way, swap it out.
While we are on the issue of filters, the genuine one from Yamaha can be used for around the twenty dollar mark, while after-market K&N units can be had for under ten. Other no-name after market units can be had for even less. Choose your poison. I will look into filter specifics in an up coming post.
So that’s the oil filter, the next “Oil Change Tips” will cover all the other consumables/serviceable hardware.