New to bike to the group: 2000 Yamaha YZF-R6

After a couple of years to stabilize myself, I’ve found I’m not leaving the sport bike world. Even with my stratoliner cruiser, I’m still missing the nimble street fighter approach instead of the lumbering metal hulk approach of the cruiser. They each have their niche.  I don’t like the sharp angry looks of the newer Yamaha series of sport bikes, however.  I’ve had two R6 in my life, mostly generation 2 and they’ve been very good to me.  I decided I’d take this time to buy a used one that was in great shape for its age.  A 2000 Yamaha YZF-R6, with Vance & Hines exhaust and LED lighting.

IMG_1342This bike originated from Alaska, from a guy who moved to Phoenix and sold off some stuff.  The guy I bought it from was a young bright kid who bought it and put new cables on it, riding for half a year and got bored.  That’s where I came in!

Right now I’m taking time to put TLC in, and do things that need to be done with older bikes.  The front suspension was a little leaky so I had that resealed and front brake pads replaced due to leakage.  A brand new battery was thrown in as well to replace the one that was dieing after 1-2 days.

Since I have a prosthesis, it can be a little damaging to the paint during spirited riding since it’s carbon fiber.  I picked up a Stompgrip brand traction pad and threw it onto the gas tank tonight to protect the tank when holding on with my knees/legs.  I don’t have pictures since it’s a fresh installation, sorry.

I’m still trying to get used to keeping the RPM above 6000 since it’s been quite some time since I’ve rode in that range haha!  With this engine, that’s where the life comes in.


New Motorcycle: 2012 Yamaha Stratoliner S

With small issues creeping up on my old 2007 Honda VTX1300C, I figured it was time to cut bait while I could get money of that bike. Small things such as the home-made fairing (that I took off), bad fairing wiring, dangling exhaust tip, and other things were making me not want to ride the bike. Not something good since it’s a toy.

I went over to RideNow powersports (a motorcycle, offroad, & water toy store) with my VTX1300C and played my cards slow. After a while, an older salesman came by and started chatting about things, and we got to business after a couple of minutes. After examining my VTX, they gave me an amount and I decided I’d use it as a down payment.

Talk about timing. They were “cleaning house” of the older motorcycle models, and had a few Yamaha Roadliner & Yamaha Stratoliner on clearance. I was looking at the Roadliner because of it’s 113 cubic inch engine before, and was interested in it. I never knew about the Stratoliner which was basically the roadliner except with key-lockable/removable windshield, hard bags, & passenger backrest. That really makes for a different bike look, and I’ve been wanting to update to a windshield for a while now. The price was significantly less than new value, and these were with no road miles on them.

unnamed (1)

After waiting for paperwork and everything to be complete, everything was set!  I have 3 years maintenance & warrantee,  along with a lowering suspension wishbone that will be installed next weekend to lower the bike 1 1/2 inches.

I took the bike for a spin (80 or so miles) around Phoenix, and it handles nicely.  The bike is more suited for highway use than residential road use, it feels like.  At 70 MPH, the engine is at about 3,300 RPM, with a top out redline of about 5,500.  The energy the motor has is amazing, as with just a little twitch of the wrist when traveling at 70, you accelerate to 80 and beyond before you even realize it.  I am still getting used to the tires Yamaha put onto this bike, though.  It feels like the center is very high, almost a tall center.  When going into a corner, it scan scare the hell out of you since the bike needs to fall quite a bit before engaging into cornering.  I’m hoping this changes with break-in.

Here’s to the ride!

UPDATE 10/6/2015:
I know it’s a late update but I figured if not now, when?
After the lowering, the bike acts much better for me.  I don’t feel like the bike is falling, and I’ve only really scraped the foot plates once or twice though it was on a deep turn.  I’ve removed the windshield for riding around town (less than 45-50 mph) and it helps a little with the acceleration.  Of course once you hit the highway, the wind gets a bit harsh but that’s expected.  It only takes me less than 30 seconds to slip the windshield back on for weekend rides which is nice.  I’m pushing 2600 miles on the bike since I haven’t ridden too much, and I can hear the engine noises dulling down from breaking in.  Though the valves do sound like a sewing machine at times, I’m wondering how an oil change with Amsoil full synthetic would help that when the time comes.
I’m happy with my girl, I’ve taken her for a ride into California and back during some very bad windy weather and she held nicely.  Though the fuel economy was drastically hurt, at 27 MPG.  The wind was above 40 MPH, and pushing back on the bike constantly as I was traveling at 75-80 MPH.  Live and learn, I suppose.

2007 Honda VTX 1300C – Changing the final drive gear oil

After buying my new used motorcycle, I noticed it wasn’t maintained very well by whoever owned it previously.  There aren’t a lot of miles on the odometer, so no real damage has happened.  It’s always best to nip it in the bud and change out the vital fluids when you can!

After looking up the gear oil needed (80w-90), I looked at the rear drum and it’s super simple.  A drain plug, a fill plug, and a axle plug in the center that isn’t a part of any of this.  I also found out from reading that the bike is designed to have the gear oil changed while the bike is on it’s kickstand, which makes life easy.

I purchased a bottle of Royal Purple 75w-90 hypoid gear oil and an injector syringe from Amazon.

I first put my oil catch underneath of the rear drum on the bike, then I pulled out a 17mm socket and loosened the large fill plug on the middle right of the drum face.  Check for debris from the oil on it, and wipe it down.  If there’s metal debris, there may be issues inside there so keep your eyes open.  Place the plug aside, then down to the drain plug which required a significant more amount of force to open. (it was really too tight, the person who did it before over-torqued it)  Once it was loosened, I manually unscrewed and removed the drain plug and let the oil drain for a minute or so as I did other things.  Mine did not have a crush washer, and I did not have any available to me at the time.  When I came back, I wiped the plug off, and screwed it back on.  I’m lacking a torque wrench but I’ve done bolts through the years enough to know when it’s good enough.  The recommendation is 14 ft/lbs of torque.  I got my trusty syringe out that I bought for this occasion!  The amount needed to fill the rear is 4.1 oz, which is about 120cc.  I filled my syringe to 60cc, and since I didn’t have a long hose to go deep into the rear drum, I injected the oil with extreme force. (there’s a deep hole between the outside and the inside in the fill plug)  I then re-filled the syringe with another 60cc of gear oil, and force injected it into the rear drum.  Once that was done, I wiped clean the fill plug bolt rear seal and traced a small amount of new gear oil over it with my finger.  I screwed it back onto the thread of the fill plug hole steadily by hand to make sure there’s no cross-threading, then socket-tightened it.  It needs very little tightening, be gentle with it as it only needs 9 ft/lb torque.

Once you’re done with that, wipe everything down and clean up.  It’s time to warm that rear gear up and make sure everything’s in good shape.  I ran her about 5 or so miles at 45-50 MPH and everything went fine.  Actually, smoother since the gear oil that was in there previously was black as sin and dirty.  You won’t need to do this but every 30-40K miles, but I think I’ll be doing it once a year since it’s so damned easy and cheap.