Arrow full system install

well, it finally arrived.

Full arrow exhaust from Revzilla.  Hats off to the guys there, as they went over and above to help me out (accelerating shipping and the like.  Arrow is a 2 week waiting period before it even ships out to Revzilla…no matter all went well)

So, with my old stock headers, and home made Staintune off.  I removed my ACD skiddie, and went to work.

Install was dead easy.  For the Jenny craig weight conscious crowd, the arrow headers save about 4lb off stock header weight, if not more…my crap scale could only handle so much, without it falling off.  The staintune weighed nothing to start with, the arrow weighs about the same.

No need to unplug the O2 sensors, they will spin right in, remember to hold the sensor, and spin the pipe.

arrow bits and bobs

so, workmanship is first rate.  The headers are nice, come with paste, but I’ll re install the exhaust using hi temp silicone on the joints, to eliminate back firing.  The slip on is very nice.  Solid, but weighs as much as my Staintune slip on.

Some might wonder why I pulled my staintune, which is a great pipe, and replaced it with an arrow.  Well, my staintune was made by me, and welded by a much better person than me.  That said, I had to remove the oem winkers, and replace them with shite ebay units.  I wanted to go back to 2014/2015 OEM turn signals, so it was a good excuse to go all arrow.

So, once the exhaust was in, it was time to mod the plate.  Other guys have used an extra nut on their engine studs to stand the skid plate off.  I didn’t want that, as I’m already making contact with the front wheel.  This would also mean that I would have to re-drill all the back holes, to make them work with the bracket.

No worries.  Out came the jig saw with metal blade, a marker, a rag to clear the mud and caked on cow dirt, and away I went.  Below is the fine result…I’ll eventually get a plate welded over the exhaust to give it some protection.

arrow skid plate arrow skid plate2

The exhaust sticks out by about 1/3″.  Nothing crazy, and should be ok for the remainder of the Canadian riding season.

How does it work?  Well, it sounds down right mean.  My staintune without baffle is a riot.  This is better, with baffle in.  The bike pulls much better (stock filter, ecu tune by AC, , 2014 basket, manual cct), than previously, and is willing to rev up faster from about 4000 rpm and up.  I had a hard time getting traction in T mode, and S mode was even more entertaining than pre flash.  Power commander?  Not sure, a buddy of mine has the same set up with the commander.  I’ll ride them back to back and see if it’s worth it.

Happy days.  I think the bike might run a bit cooler as well.

Money well spent me thinks.

arrow exhaust with question mark

Not really sure what the tab is for…I did cut down my heat shield ages ago, but I don’ remember it going quite that far. It came with a rubber grommet to go in said hole

overall arrow

works great. As a bonus, now that I don’t have a cat, I can carry a spare sandwich strapped to the top of the skid plate without fear of melting 🙂


Fork rebuild v3.0 including fork seal and bushing.

well, here I go again, trying in vain to improve my previous posts.

I’ll keep this one short, with some additional info that may help some of you.

You will need these tools:

  • You…the biggest spanner of all
  • Yammie manual, must have!
  • Spring compressor is a must for USD forks.  $40 from Traxxion dynamics
  • Level cyringe $20-30 from the local bike stealer.  You can make your own if you’re a cheapskate
  • 43mm fork seal driver.  Roughly $50 from the stealer.  Again, you can make your own…see cheapskate comment above.
  • 1L of fork oil.  5w is OEM recommened.  If you’re errmmm big boned, try 7.5W
  • Electrical tape!!! trust me, it’s needed
  • Two tie wraps, again read on.
  • Beer, or girly drink of choice, once manly job is done.  For the love of god…do not drink prior to finishing job, or you will screw it up

First off, the 1200 has USD forks.  With these bad boys, you need a $40 spring compressor to ease your life.  Without it you will end up breaking shit that was not meant to be broken.  Ask me how I know.

Here are the steps:

  • Pull the forks, and wipe off any excess grime, and dead things.
  • Take some electrical tape, and tape it loosely around the 14mm pre-load nut.  Back the preload in, till about 2 lines of preload are showing.  Get your 24mm socket, and while the fork is in your vice, with wooden blocks, spin the top off.  Once that’s done, back the preload all the way out, so the pressure on the spring is low.
  • IMG_7857

    Taped, and ready for the top cap to come off. Off into the vice it goes.


    Notice, preload all the way out, for less tension on spring. 14mm nut just visible. 17mm goes on the top cap body. Remember…righty tighty, lefty loosey.

  • Put the fork upright in the vice.  Get your spring compressor out, and compress the fork till the 14mm nut is showing.  Grab a 17mm wrench, and break the two.  Spin the top cap off, and slowly take the tension off the spring.  Set the plastic collar aside.
  • Pull the whole thing apart, leaving the damper in the bottom tube.  Pump all the old oil out.  At this point I usually dump in about 250ml of varsol into the bottom leg, pump it through the damper, and pump out all the excess.  Hang it upside down and leave it aside for re-assembly
  • Remove the  dust cap (slide it  down to the bottom of the fork) remove the  snap ring.  Holding the fork upright, give the bottom fork tube a few good tugs (joke joke), the whole thing will separate. and should look like the pic below.
  • IMG_7863

    Note the order of how things come together. Inner bush first, then outer bush, washer, fork seal, dust seal. I’m replacing the forks seal and outer bush only. Inner bush looked good, that and the fact that I didn’t order the inner one…duuuh.

  • I wash all my fork components in varsol.  In this case, the oil was original from the factory, and had a silvery sheen to it from all the metal that it collected.  Best to wash off as much crud as possible.  Let dry prior to re-assembly.
  • IMG_7864

    parts on hand. Two of each…obvs!!! Next time, i’ll buy the inner bush as well. The existing ones looked a-OK

  • Ok, we’re ready to install the new fork seal.  How the hell do you put the seal on without damaging it?  Well you need a fork bullet.  WTH is a fork bullet?  Think of it as a hardened rubber (hardy har har) but being a cheapskate, and having shitloads of electrical tape around, I simply wrap the fork with elec. tape, and on she goes.  Don’t forget to lube it for easy of entry (thank you thank you, I’ll be here all night, and please, don’t forget to tip your waitress!)
  • IMG_7865

    Elec. tape instead of fork bullet. Works well enough. pic shows new seal installed, along with new inner bush

  • Remove the tape, and break out your 43mm fork seal driver.  Use this to drive in the new outer bush first..  Dead easy, a couple of good whacks will seat it, and the sound will change, once you’re bottomed out.  Install fork seal.
  • IMG_7866

    Use your fork seal driver to seat the outer bush into the outer fork leg first. Once done, repeat on fork seal. Both should be easy peasy with your fork seal driver.

  • Now on to the oil.  Yamaha states 150mm of room, with fork collapsed, spring and guide out.  Pour in the oil, and stroke the damper to get all the air out.  You will feel resistance, as all the air comes out.  Once sorted, slap the fork in the vice, you’re on your way to re-assembly.
  • IMG_7867

    Fork spring and guide stay out for the oil measurment.

  • Ready for re-assembly.


    I always put a tie wrap on top, in case my compression lets the rod slip down. You can stop this by cranking your compression all the way up. Either way the tie wrap helps.

  • With the fork upright, throw the spring in.  If you’re keeping the stocker as is, the coiled end of the spring goes up.  You cannot cock this up, as the spring guide fit in one way only.
  • Compress the spring till your 14mm nut shows, install the top cap, and tighten down.  Slide the fork outer up, and spin the cap on.  Increase preload, so two lines are showing.  Use some elec. tape again, before you slap the 24mm socket on.  You are done one fork leg.. repeat for other!  Yay!

Manual Cam Chain Tensioner, valve adjustment re-write and moar findings!!

I’m currently going through a friends bike front to back.  It’s sitting at 59 thou km of fairly hard use.  No maintenance, except oil and filter.  Earlier I posted about the inner shaft seal replacement, today, I’ll post up about doing his valves, and replacing the Yamaha CCT with a manual unit.  Here’s what I used for his and my own bike:’ You can also go with an APE unit: They both look damn near identical.  Ladies choice! Feel free to refer to my earlier valve adjustment post, here: This is a lessons learned of sorts for me.  A couple of neat tricks that a mechanic buddy of mine gave me, both eased and sped up the process of the valve check/re-shim. Follow the instructions on how to get the valve cover out.  Once off, pull the stock gasket off gently, and clean it off with brake cleaner.  Repeat for the valve cover.   Blow off with compressed air, and set aside to dry.


Super dooper top tip (from my motor rebuild here: )

If my little mind can grasp the yamaha manual, the T mark is only for checking the valve clearance. See page 3-5 and on in manual.
Remember, T mark is TDC on cyl#1. Then you turn it 270 degrees, and you have cyl#2 at TDC.

For shim adjustment.  Set the bottom to K. As per page 5-16. Pull the cams, make sure your camshaft marks are aligned on the case, and the hole on the intake camshaft, aligns with the mark on the intake cam cap (closest to the chain)

To sum up:
THE K MARK IS FOR PULLING CAMS. This is where the top and bottom are in alignment.

Top Tip #1: You can follow the manual as far as getting the right cylinder in the right position to measure the gap.  Forget that faffing around.  Spin the motor cw, till one of the cylinder lobes points straight up.  Measure gap


Cyl 1 exhaust cam lobes are up. Measure away. If memory serves, gap should be .22mm to .28mm


Break out the feeler gauges, and measure away!

Repeat for the remaining three sets of cam lobes.  If you’re lucky, you get to forgo the next step, which is time intensive.  Skip on to Top Tip #4 Now, if you’re puttering about on your bike, your exhaust valves will probably be fine.  In this case, 7 out of the 8 were good.  Ex 1 was tight by .02.  Guess what, it’s time to pull the cams. Again, for this you will need to follow the manual for this.  The top and bottom of the motor need to line up.


  • Make sure that the K mark on the bottom is lined up with mating surface.
  • Grab a tie wrap or two, and tie the chain to the frame loosely.  You will thank me later.
  • As shown below, the two marks on the intake cam must line up.
  • IMG_7848

    Top right hand of picture, marks line up. If you had X ray vision you could also spot both marks on intake and exhaust cams through the electrical tray, and mess of wires. Moar on that later. Yam manual also shows proper position of cams

  •  Undo the stock CCT, and set aside

Pull your cams, caps (careful with the dowels).  At this point, the smart one would have noted the existing gaps on each valve, and which way the new shims need to go.  Go to your local dealer, and procure the new shim(s).  In this case, one ex. valve was tight, as well as another being right on the edge of being tight.  That said, I got two smaller shims, and went back to slaving away.

Top Tip #1A: valve shim calcs.  Here’s my understanding, and help from CBR site.  Numbers are from a fellow inmate:

straight forward,
from the cbr site:
A = (B-C) + D
A – New Shim size
B – Measured clearance  exhaust left to right: .178, .152, .178, .178
C – Specified clearance .22 (min) to .28 (max)
D- Current shim size exhaust left to right:
.198, .200, .200, .196
solving for A (using minimum specified clearance of .26-aim for the bottom of exhaust clearance, but not rock bottom 🙂 ) gives us:
from left to right (B measured clearance/D current shim size)
.178/.198 .:
A = (B-C) + D
A= (.178-.26) + .198
A=.116 Shim round up to .120
A = (B-C) + D
A= (.152-.26) + .200
A=.092 round down to .90
A = (B-C) + D
A= (.178-.26) + .200
A=.118 round up to .120
A = (B-C) + D
A= (.178-.26)+.196
A=.114 round up to .115

Top Tip #2:  Yam in their infinite wisdom marked both cams on the outside….what good is that?  No matter, put said cams on the bench, take a small file, and make a mark on the other side, of the perfectly useless mark.  Make sure you put it just below where the chain will sit, or otherwise, it will not do you any sort of good. Replace the exhaust cam, pull up on the chain as far up as it will go.  Install your caps, and bolt down in a cross hatch pattern. Install your intake cam.  Make sure your marks line up.  Your intake cam will sit at a slight angle.  Tie wrap the chain to the intake cam, and start tightening the caps.  From left to right, in a cross hatch.  Slowly! While doing that, check that the chain is ahead of the cct guide.  How do you do this you ask?  Stick your finger in the cct hole (insert obv. joke here!) If you can feel the guide, you’re good.  If you feel chain, you are definitely not good. Once all caps are tight, make sure your mark lines up with the mark on the cam cap. Top Tip #3: Toss the OEM CCT.


Ebay jobbie. $50 bucks plus shipping. Dead easy to use


My only gripe about this ebay cct.. the plunger has a odd ball imperial size..forgot what it was. Neither 6mm or 7mm fit properly. Set nut is 14mm

I have not had issues with mine, but this bike was getting a bit growly at start up.  That and the fact that there were some failures of other forum member bikes, so I’m not taking a chance.  For $50 odd bucks on ebay, you can get the manual jobbie, set it once, and forget it.  Install the new CCT, spin the plunger till it gets tight, and give it a half turn.  Top Tip #3A:  Remove the allen head bolt from the right side of the CCT, and replace with a suitable bolt that has a 10mm head.  Not only will this actually be somewhat accesible, it will save you putting money in the swear jar later.  Cut the tie wrap off the chain.  Spin the motor with the wrench, all the while checking the chain slack between the two cams.  You should have no more than 1/4″ play.  Once you’re happy with things, Tighten up the set nut, and you are done with the cct.  Spin the motor once or twice, and recheck that all marks line up.  Your newly made marks should line up perfectly as per manual.  Check your valve clearances with the sooper awesome top tip 1. The much awaited Top Tip #4:  My biggest complaint about doing the valves is installing the valve cover (aka: vc), c/w vc gasket.  Even with all the wires as much of the way as possible ,and the abs lines, it’s still very tight.  If the gasket doesn’t sit properly, you will simply knock it off.   It’s is so tight, that previous tries drove me to swear like a sailor on leave.  No matter, here’s what you need.


Cheap stuff, and it comes with a tip, that’s the perfect diameter to apply into the vc grooves


vc ready for oem gasket. Do the spark plug holes as well.

Previously the vc and oem gasket were cleaned, air dried and set aside.  Take the above wonder product, and apply it to the vc.  Let sit for about a minute, and apply the oem gasket to the vc.  squish down so the excess black goop comes out, and let sit for at least 10 minutes.  Do your coolant swap meantime, and your spark plugs. Re install the valve cover.  Tighten down all caps to spec (basically go tight).  Someone on the forum mentioned a good tip.  Take some compressed air, and feed it into the crank case breather hose.  No air should escape if the gasket is tight, once your air tool is off the hose, the air should come out.  This shows that the gasket is on properly, and you have no leaks. A note on time. From assembled bike to valves checked 1.5 hrs.  If all is well add another hour for re assembly. Call it 3 hrs.  Add another 1.5 hrs to pull cams re shim and re install.   Add 1.5 hr for reassembly.  For a total of 4.5-5 hrs.  Keep in mind that the above times are with an after market cct.  If you’re brave enough to use the stocker, it will take more time to reset.  If your trusted mechanic quotes you 3-6 hrs for the job, pay the man, and after he’s done, buy him a beer.  Not an easy job by any means, but do-able never the less. Next up:  Clutch basket!

Tenere Swing arm lube rev. 01

Feel free to refer to my earlier post about the Swing arm lube.

Today’s post will have better pics, and some more insight.  The whole job should take 1.5 hours from wheel off to wheel on.

Here’s a link to RTW Paul’s excellent write up with some very good pics:

Remove the rear wheel, and pumpkin.  Remove the heel plates/kick plates.

Remove the exhaust.  top tip: When removing the exhaust, have a open ended wrench on the bolt, and a 14mm socket on the nut.  Spin the nut off and not the bolt.  It’s fragile.  Nothing else needs to be unbolted.  Remove the rubber boot from the swing arm,  the swing arm will break loose of the shaft knuckle.


Remove the shock linkages, and bottom bolt/nut of the  shock

Remove the large main bolt (27mm nut).  I used a snipe to get this one off.  Push the shock as far as it will go and remove the swing arm.


once the links and shock are freed, you can inspect the linkage bearings. Unfortunately the last bolt holding the linkage cannot come out unless the exhaust is unbolted out of the way. I cleaned and greased what I had access to. Notice that the rubber boot stays on the motor side of things with no issues.


Shock, swing arm and linkage unbolted (except for one bolt blocked by exhaust pipe


Here’s what I found.  The main bearings of the swing arm were in decent shape. I cleaned them up, and re greased them.  I think it’s because they come with caps at each end to keep the grease in, and the crap out.  Inner race was in good shape, so I dunked the caps and inner race in some kerosene, dried,  wiped it down, and readied for re-assembly


Main inner race and end caps before cleaning.


Main bearings. No play, and they spun freely. Cleaned them out, reapplied grease, and put the end caps back on. No real drama here.

Right, for the lower swing arm bearing, and linkage bearings.  My last swing arm lube was on my bike at mere 22xxx km or so.  Dennis did not touch his since he bought his bike, which now has 60xxx km.  BREAKING NEWS:  Yellow stuff good…Information I could have used yesterday 🙂


This is what the bearings looked like. They had this yellow crud imbedded between the rollers. They didn’t spin freely. Not good. THIS JUST IN!! Apparently, I’m a complete tool. The yellow stuff is embedded grease, or something along those lines. Leave it in, just clean the crap off.


Bath time then…


Bolts were seized to the inner races. Pried them off gently, and washed the lot.


Post wash, the yellow grime slowly came out. MOAR UPDATES: Yellow crap good….Me not so smert! leave the stuff in next time. Learn from my mistakes kids!


I gave it a helping hand…even though I wasn’t really supposed to do it. Oh well.


Inner races were in good shape, with no scoring or scratches. Cleaned them up, re greased the bearings, slid the races in, and slapped the whole thing back together.

A wise man told me this.  Even if the small roller bearings don’t spin freely, they barely move (roughly 1/8th of a turn during use).  As long as your inner races are not scored, or damaged, the little ‘rollers’ will not go anywhere.  Best way to check is to clean/grease/reassemble and check for play.  If there is no play.  Put it back together and ride the damn thing.

Re-install is the reverse of the errmm…dammit..Re-assembly is the reverse of Disassembly.  There we go.

Torque everything to specs, reinstall the pumpking, and the rear wheel.


Yamaha ST12 Inner shaft seal replacement

Dennis was kind enough to drop off his 2012 that needs work.

First up is the inner Shaft Seals. This is the second time I’ve done this repair. Naturally this makes me an expert on the matter 🙂

Tools needed:

  • Yamaha manual
  • Rubber mallet
  • Various spanners and what have you
  • Yamaha seals
    Number #21 93211-54698-00 Inner O ring
    Number #25 93102-70004-00 Inner Seal.
  • Parts page:

The inner seals pretty much leak all over.  Easy enough to tell.  The inner shaft will leak out through the drain hole at the end of the shaft.  Luckily for Dennis, this wasn’t the case.




  • Remove the rear tire.
  • Drain the drive oil
  • Clean off the bolts and any grime that might be in them. Previously, I removed the pumpkin from the shaft, but this time, it made more sense to leave the whole thing on.
  • Remove the bolts.  The Pumpkin has two pry locations (one towards the back, one towards the front).  I used a large flat screwdriver that was taped up with electrical tape, not to score or mark up the face of the cover.  Cover will pop off easily.

Cover off, and on the bench. Seal sits flat just towards the tapered metal. Letter on Seal are facing out. Remove the gear by tapping it out with the rubber mallet

  • IMG_7784

    Close up of seal


Parts needed.


I took my rubber mallet, and tapped around the seal from the outside in (tap on the lettered side.) Grease the new seal, and install it by using the old seal, and mallet as cushion. Tap around the seal evenly so it seats properly. TOP TIP: Watch your washers. Both the one on the drive, and the large one shown in this picture. Don’t forget them! The outside rubber ring doesn’t leak, but might as well replace it while you’re here.


Notice the seal sitting flat with the surface. Grease the inside of the seal. Grease the gear, and tap it in as far as it’s willing to go. You do not need to push it all the way in.

Slap the whole thing back on the pumpkin.  Push it on so each bolt starts with about two to three threads.  Don’t forget the washers.


Go around the pumpkin and tighten the bolts bit by bit. Make sure the cover sits evenly. It will slowly push the gear through the new seal. Torque to spec.

Fill the drive with oil.  Check for leaks.  The work should take roughly 1.5 hours from wheel off, to wheel on.

Next up….Swing arm grease rev 01.