How to install a Yoyodyne slipper clutch in the Yamaha R3

The Yoyodyne back torque limiting clutch, or slipper clutch as it’s commonly called, is a clutch that uses a set of 1 way ramps, ball bearings, and springs pressed against the clutch boss to allow the clutch to engage when torque is applied in the drive direction, but allows the clutch boss to ride on the ball bearings up the ramps and against the springs to separate the clutch when enough back torque is applied, causing the clutch to slip.  This back torque occurs most noticeably when a rider downshifts 2 or more times quickly as he enters a corner.  The downshifting decelerates the motor faster than the rest of the motorcycle and the chain forces the rear wheel to slow also, however the motorcycle is still moving quickly toward the corner, and the rear wheel is forced to skip and hop across the ground because it is moving too slowly to roll.  This skipping and hopping reduces traction and confidence and makes it difficult to enter the corner with as much control as if the wheel was rolling smoothly.

A slipper clutch can be adjusted by changing the springs in the clutch to limit the amount of back torque, or engine braking, that is applied by the motor before the clutch slips and the rear wheel can roll freely.  Not only does this eliminate the rear wheel from jumping all around when downshifting several times, but the engine braking can be limited making it much easier for the rider to control and fine tune their corner entry speed, whether they are downshifting or not.  Basically, you can downshift as many times as you want, drop the clutch, and the bike will just roll smoothly toward the corner as the slipper clutch slips and disengages the clutch plates.  Once the engine speed and the bike speed are more closely matched, the clutch engages and the motorcycle can drive forward like normal without the rider ever feeling a thing.

Changing the clutch on the Yamaha R3 may seem like a daunting task if you have never done it, and professional installation is recommended.  But the installation isn’t as complicated as it may seem.  As long as you have a few critical tools, it can done very quickly.  I actually changed my clutch multiple times between sessions of a track day (less than 40 minutes each time) when I was testing different spring configurations.

Tools Required:

-Yoyodyne slipper clutch

-a set of Barnett clutch springs for the Yamaha R3 (now included with your clutch, thanks Yoyodyne!)

-cardboard to place on the ground under the bike, and a couple layers to kneel on makes doing this job much cleaner and more comfortable

-oil drain pan

-a quart of oil to refill the small amount you lose when changing the clutch

-a small amount of water wetter or your coolant of choice, probably about a liter at most is all you have to remove

-plenty of paper towels or rags and a clean place to set parts while you work

-8mm socket to remove clutch cover

-small bungee cord to hold clutch cover out of the way

-10mm socket to remove OEM clutch springs

Motion Pro clutch holding tool

-a flat head screw driver or punch and a hammer to flatten out the safety collar on the clutch basket nut

-electric or pneumatic impact gun to remove clutch basket nut, or a breaker bar works too

-27mm socket

-torque wrench to reinstall clutch basket nut to 81 ft lbs (110 Nm)

-4mm allen wrench or allen socket to install new clutch springs

-Yoyodyne recommends green Loctite No. 620 to install clutch basket nut

-some grease for the clutch push rod and use a little to hold the clutch cover gasket in place when you reassemble everything

-12mm wrench to adjust clutch cable

-a new clutch cover gasket (depending on how old your bike is, you may or may not be able to reuse your clutch cover gasket, however it is recommended that you replace the gasket when you change the clutch)

-Yoyodyne recommends taking a measurement from the front of the pressure plate to the clutch hub without the plates installed and comparing it to the same measurement with the plates installed to measure the “squish”.  You will need a caliper or depth micrometer for this.  Spec. is .9mm to 1.3mm with new plates, and minimum .5mm with used plates.  My bike was a year old with over 1000 track miles on the original OEM clutch plates and mine measured exactly 1.0mm.  It’s a good idea to measure this, but if you don’t have a caliper handy and your bike has OEM plates with less miles than mine did, you are probably safe to skip this step.

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Step 1 – Drain the coolant from the radiator and upper half of the cooling system

Put the bike on a rear stand or kick stand and place a drain pan under the bike.  Use an 8mm socket to remove the coolant drain bolt.  It’s the lowest bolt on the water pump cover with the copper washer on it.  Then remove the radiator cap and drain the coolant into the pan.  Most of the coolant will not drain until you open the radiator cap because you need to let air into the system to allow the coolant to drain.  Empty the drain pan and dispose of the coolant properly.  Most oil change places will not take oil if it has coolant mixed in, so I recommend dumping the coolant into a separate bucket before draining the oil into the pan.  My bike has water wetter in it for track use, which is why it looks clear instead of green.

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Step 2 – Remove the clutch cover and drain the oil

Place the drain pan under the bike and use an 8mm socket to remove the bolts around the clutch cover.  A little bit of oil will drain out when you loosen all of the bolts.  Pay attention to where each bolt goes.  The clutch cover gasket may fall loose, or it may stay stuck to the cover.  If it stays stuck to the cover and you plan to reuse it, just leave it stuck, it will be easier to reinstall.  I like to lay the bolts out on a piece of cardboard in the order that they came out.  They are mostly the same length, but there is a longer one on the right side.

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For the clutch cover to be removed from the bike, you have to swing the cable arm around counter clockwise to disengage the push rod.

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Leave the coolant hose and clutch cable attached to the cover and use the small bungee cord to hold the cover out of your way.

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Wipe the sealing surfaces of the cover and engine case clean and dry of oil and coolant and wipe up any coolant that spilled out of the water pump into the engine where the oil is.

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Step 3 – Remove the clutch springs, pressure plate, push rod, and clutch plates

Use a 10mm socket to remove the four bolts holding the clutch springs and plate on.

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Carefully remove the clutch pressure plate and springs, then remove the stack of clutch plates.  Take note of how they were oriented when you removed them so you can install them the same way.

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If you are clean and careful, you can remove the entire stack of clutch plates, and reinstall them all together.  But if you get any dirt or grit in the stack, or notice that they are extremely dirty, it’s a good idea to clean and wipe them all off with clean oil, and reassemble the stack.  It’s best to reassemble the stack in the same order.img_6087

 

Step 4 – Remove the OEM clutch boss and install the new Yoyodyne clutch boss

Use a hammer and flat head screwdriver or punch to flatten out the safety collar that is securing the OEM clutch basket nut.

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Use the Motion Pro clutch holding tool to secure the clutch boss and rest the tool against your footpeg.  You can use a small piece of pipe to slide over the end of the tool if it isn’t long enough to reach your foot peg.  Then use a breaker bar or impact gun and 27mm socket to remove the clutch basket nut.

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Remove the nut and safety collar.  The Yoyodyne clutch includes a different lock washer so you will not use the safety collar when you install the new clutch.

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Remove the clutch boss.  Be careful not to drop the large washer that is behind the boss.  Leave the washer there and slide it back against the clutch basket before you install the new clutch boss.

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Separate the Yoyodyne pressure plate from the clutch boss and slide the new clutch boss into place.

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Slide the included lock washer into place with the cone pointed out away from the bike.  See the picture below to help clarify.

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Add some green Loctite No. 620 to the thread (I didn’t have any No. 620 when I first installed the clutch and took these pictures so I used red) and reinstall the OEM clutch basket nut.

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Use the Motion Pro clutch holding tool to secure the clutch again, this time resting on the bottom of the foot peg or the ground, and torque the nut to 81 ft lbs (110 Nm).

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Step 5 – Measure the “squish” of your clutch plate stack

Install the new Yoyodyne pressure plate without any clutch plates to take a base measurement.  You only need to secure it with 2 or 3 bolts and springs for now.

Take a measurement from the front of the pressure plate, through one of the holes, to the top of the clutch boss underneath.  Either record this measurement for later, or zero your caliper/micrometer here.

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Remove the pressure plate again, and install the stack of clutch plates oriented with the tabs around the edge in the long slots in the clutch basket, the same way they came out.

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Remove the push rod from the OEM pressure plate and insert it through the Yoyodyne pressure plate from the backside.

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Install the Yoyodyne pressure plate.  When you install the pressure plate, you can adjust how much engine braking the clutch will provide before it slips by changing the clutch springs and spacers that you use.  The springs will cause a large adjustment, and the spacers will provide a very fine adjustment.  If you use all four OEM clutch springs, there will be almost no engine braking.  If you use all four of the included Barnett clutch springs, you will still have some engine braking, but less than with the stock clutch.  You can also install the clutch with two OEM clutch springs and two Barnett clutch springs, which will provide a small amount of engine braking in between these previoius two options.  If you want to install two of each, be sure to stagger them, so you don’t install two of the same springs next to each other.  The Yoyodyne clutch also includes two sets of preload spacers for the clutch springs.  I recommend starting with the red spacers, which provide less preload on the springs.  The silver spacers will provide slightly more preload, stiffening the clutch slightly and increasing engine braking slightly.

The stiffer Barnett springs will also slightly increase the amount of force required to pull the clutch lever in, although the change is minimal and not something that I would worry about when choosing your springs.

I prefer to run my clutch with all four Barnett clutch springs and the red preload spacers.

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Tighten each bolt a little at a time until they are all tight, torque them to 5.9 ft lbs (8 Nm).

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Take the same “squish” measurement that you took above, through one of the holes in the pressure plate to the face of the clutch boss.  The difference in the two measurements should be .9mm – 1.3mm with new clutch plates, and not less than .5mm with worn plates.  If it is less than .5mm with used plates, replace your clutch plates before continuing.  If it measure outside of the .9mm-1.3mm range and your plates are new, Yoyodyne suggests that you may be able to replace one or more of the steel spacers in your clutch pack with thinner or thicker plates from another clutch to bring the “squish” measurement into tolerance.  As I mentioned above, my clutch has over a 1000 track miles on it with the original OEM clutch plates and mine measured right at 1.0mm.

 

Step 6 – Reinstall the clutch cover

Take your time to follow these steps.  Read all of the steps carefully before attempting to install the cover.  Getting the cover on can take a couple tries, but don’t worry, you’ll get it.

Again, clean the mating surfaces of the clutch cover and the engine case where the gasket will sit.

Add some globs of grease to the clutch cover to hold the gasket in place, then stick a new gasket onto the clutch cover (your choice if you want to reuse the old gasket, Yoyodyne recommends always using a new gasket).

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Add some grease to the teeth of the clutch push rod and align push rod with the teeth to the left.

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Slide the clutch cover into place on the engine case.  There are a few tricks here.  There are 2 dowel pins in the clutch cover that must slip into the engine case to align the cover, but before they can slip in, you have to lower the cover slightly to get the push rod to slide into the hole in the clutch cover.  The push rod also must remain with the teeth facing to the left, or it will not go into the hole in the clutch cover where it meshes with the gear on the clutch cable arm in the cover.  The plastic gear on the right side must also mesh it’s teeth with the gear on the engine side, or the cover will not go in.

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And lastly, once you have the cover in place and everything is aligned properly, the cover still will not go on all the way until you engage a few of the teeth on the clutch cable arm gear.  Hold the cover in place by applying a little pressure on it toward the bike so that it doesn’t move.  While applying pressure with one hand, use the other hand to rotate the clutch cable lever arm counter clockwise (to the left) slowly.  This will gently push the cover away from the bike until the next tooth engages.  When you feel the next tooth engage, gently push the arm back to the right to check the alignment.  This will pull the cover toward the bike.  If you don’t have enough teeth engaged, the arm will point to the right when the cover sits flush, or you won’t be able to pull the cover flush against the engine case.  Repeat this step and push the lever to the left to engage another tooth.  Depending on where the arm is when you install the cover, you will probably have to do this twice to engage two teeth.  When the correct teeth are engaged, you should be able to push the arm to the right and it will pull the cover against the engine case and the arm will stop so that it points toward the bike (see picture below).  Check the alignment of the teeth after you feel each tooth engage to be sure you don’t go too far.  If you go too far, you will have to pull the cover off and start over.  Once you have the alignment of the clutch cable arm and gear correct, reinstall the 8mm bolts around the cover the same way they came out.  Install the 2 bolts that hole the clutch cable last.

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Torque down the clutch cover bolts to 7.2 ft lbs (10 Nm).

Reinstall the water pump drain bolt and washer, torque to 7.2 ft lbs (10 Nm).

Pull the clutch lever to be sure it has tension on it and feels about like it did before you started (it may be stiffer if you used the Barnett springs).  It should not have tons of free slack in it, and you should be able to pull it all the way in.  If there is a lot of slack in it so you can pull the lever all the way in without tension, you may need to engage another tooth on the push rod gear (see steps above), or if stops before you can pull it in all the way, you may have too many teeth engaged and may have to remove the cover and try again.  A little bit of slack is okay and can be adjusted later.

 

Step 7 – Refill oil and coolant

Once you have the cover installed and test the clutch lever to make sure it feels normal, wipe everything clean around the clutch cover and water pump.  Refill the oil using the sight glass on the clutch cover as a guide and replace the oil cap.  Then refill the coolant through the radiator cap until it is full, but leave the radiator cap off.  Start the motorcycle, the coolant level should drop as coolant is pumped through the system.  Continue to add coolant while the bike is idling until the radiator is full, then gently rev the engine a few times and continue adding coolant until the level no longer drops when you rev the engine.  Replace the radiator cap.

Check the clutch cover and coolant system for leaks.

 

Step 8 – Adjust the clutch cable

You may have to adjust your clutch cable tension after installing the new clutch.

Use the cable adjuster at the engine side of the cable to make large changes and the adjuster at the lever side of the cable to make small changes.

Start by loosening the adjuster at the lever side of the cable all the way until you feel slack in the cable at the lever, then tighten it just enough to remove the slack.

If you loosen it all the way and there is still no slack, then you will have to loosen the adjuster at the engine side of the cable.  If you tighten the adjuster at the lever end of the cable all the way and there is still slack, then you will have to tighten the cable at the engine side of the cable.  Loosen the adjuster at the lever end of the cable all the way before adjusting the cable at the engine end of the cable.

To adjust the cable tension at the engine side of the cable, loosen the nut on the left side of the clamp with a 12mm wrench, then loosen or tighten the nut on the right side of the clamp a few turns, then tighten down the nut on the left side of the clamp again.  Repeat this until there is only a little bit of slack in the cable and then tighten both 12mm nuts down, then take up the slack with the adjuster at the lever end of the cable.

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Once you have the lever adjusted so that you have just barely removed the slack from the cable, you can test the clutch.

Make sure the motorcycle is in neutral.  With the motorcycle in neutral and on a rear stand, start the motorcycle and get on with your right foot holding the rear brake down.  Pull in the clutch lever all the way and shift into first gear.  If the bike goes into gear and dies because you are holding the rear brake, something is wrong, review the previous steps.  If it doesn’t die, then slowly let out the clutch lever until you feel the clutch starting to engage.  Adjust the clutch cable using the adjuster at the clutch lever until the clutch engages at a point to your liking.

You’re all done!

 

How to Install Hotbodies Race Bodywork on the Yamaha R3

This post will cover in extreme detail how to install the Hotbodies fiberglass race bodywork on the Yamaha R3 using the NortonFab Motorsports Quick-Release Mounting Kit:

Yamaha R3 Race Bodywork Mounting Quick Release Kit Hotbodies

If you follow these instructions closely, you’ll end up with a set of race bodywork that not only fits excellent, but is easy to remove and install over and over again.  Trust me, take the extra time now, and you’ll be SOOOO glad you did later.

 

To make this install go smoothly, you will need a few tools:

Drill bits, I recommend using a #1 (1/8″-1/2″) step drill bit and a #3 (1/4″-3/4″) step drill bit to drill the fiberglass such as these:

The cheapo ones will work just fine for a couple uses, but they take awhile to ship from China.  I like the Unibit ones, I’ve had good luck with them lasting and they are available immediately with prime shipping.  Plus, I like that the 1/4″ tip on the larger one is longer, which makes it easy to punch 1/4″ holes in fiberglass bodywork without oversizing the hole.

You will also need a 1/8″ regular drill bit for the rivet holes.  It’s possible to use the 1/8″ tip of the #1 step drill to drill the rivet holes, but it’s very easy to accidentally drill too far and oversize the holes.  You only get 1 chance and you’ll be sad if you oversize them…  Here’s the drills I used:

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You will also need a Dremel or similar rotary tool with a small 80 grit sanding drum attachment. I’ve been using a Black and Decker RTX for years because it has a larger motor than the Dremel brand tools. I also have a flex shaft extension and keyless chuck on mine.

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You will need a rivet installation tool such as this:


You can also pick one of these up as part of a kit from any auto parts store for about $15.

 

Lastly, I strongly recommend picking up one of these combination rasp/files.  This is definitely one of the most used tools I own, and comes in handy for removing and shaping fiberglass quickly:

 

 

I recommend installing the bodywork in this order:

Remove kickstand and bypass kickstand switch

Upper w/ windscreen

Lower

Tail Section

Tank Cover/SBK Seat

Front Fender

 

You will reuse a lot of the OEM hardware, grommets, and inserts from the OEM plastic fairings, so keep everything handy until you are finished.

 

First, follow the instructions here to remove the kickstand and bypass the kickstand switch:

How to remove the kickstand from the Yamaha R3

 

Next up is the upper fairing, however, the trick to getting a good fit between the upper and the lower is to drill them together off the bike.

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Use a sharpie and mark the upper like the photo below.  Measure from the back edge of the upper (the edge closer to the tail of the bike) and make a mark at 1 1/4″ and 5″ inches, 1/2″ up from the edge.  This is where your DZUS fasteners will be.

drill upper, then mark and drill lower 2drill upper, then mark and drill lower 3

 

Drill both marks to 1/4″ using your step drill bit.

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Next, align the upper and lower section and hold them together.  Use your sharpie to mark the lower through the 1/4″ holes you just drilled (I used a clamp so I could take a picture, but you can just hold them together with your free hand).

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Now drill the lower with your step drill bit to 1/2″ diameter.

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Take one of your DZUS receptacles and hold it up on the front of the lower, centered over the 1/2″ hole, and mark the rivet locations on each side for both fasteners.  Double check your marks to be sure they line up with the receptacles holes and make sure they are centered around the 1/2″ hole.  It’s okay to remark these if its not perfect.  It’s important to get these marks as perfect as you can so the rivets and receptacles line up (you can see in the second photo that I remarked the one on the right to get it centered better).

mark and drill rivet holes

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Drill the rivet holes with a 1/8″ drill bit.

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Rivet the receptacles in place as shown with the supplied 1/8″ aluminum rivets.

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Use your DZUS fasteners to clip the upper and lower together and make sure everything fits properly.  You may have to adjust the receptacles so that the clamping pressure is good.  You can squeeze the receptacles closed with pliers, or pry them open slightly with a flat blade screw driver.

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Once you have a good fit, remove the clips and separate the upper and lower so you can drill the side mounting hole on the upper.  Drill the side hole to 1/4″ in the center of the recessed hole.

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Repeat these steps on the other side.

 

The next step is to mount the quick release DZUS fasteners at the top of the upper.  Remove the rubber boots on the mirror mounts on the upper fairing stay, and use the supplied M6 flat head screws to mount your two quick release DZUS fastener brackets to the mirror mount on each side.  It does not matter which bracket goes on which side.  You may have to use pliers to close the receptacle slightly so the bracket will sit flush with the fairing stay.

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upper dzus fastener bracket 2 upper dzus fastener bracket 3

 

Now, place the upper fairing on the bike by spreading it as you slide it on from the front.  The left side, middle mount has an M6 stud sticking out.  Place your drilled hole over this and attach the upper fairing loosely with the original OEM nut used in this location.  I had to remove the washer because it would have wedged into the hole.  Attach the right side middle mount loosely using the OEM M6 bolt from this locations, also shown in the picture below.  Do not tighten these down yet, they are just to keep the upper lined up properly while you drill the top holes.

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Use your sharpie to make a mark on each side in the middle of the mirror mount 1 1/2″ from the upper point as shown in the photos below.  Drill these marks to 1/4″ diameter with your step drill.  They should be in line with the DZUS receptacle behind the fairing (or at least close enough that you can flex the bodywork a little to get them lined up).  Fiberglass warps pretty easily, but if you drill these in the indicated place, when you flex the bodywork to line them up with the receptacle, your bodywork should be nice and straight on the bike.

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Mount the upper with these two DZUS fasteners to hold it in place so you can mount the windscreen.  Then drill the four marked mounting windscreen holes in the upper fairing to .25″ with your step drill bit.

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The windscreen must be trimmed away around the mirror mounts so it can be mounted directly to the upper fairing without interference.  This takes a little care with a dremel or bench grinder, but saves a ton of hassle in the future, because the screen will just stay mounted to the upper whenever you remove the upper and you never have to fuss with it.  Remove the marked material in the picture below on each side so the windscreen fits around the mirror mounts.  Test fit it as you go and only remove as much material as you have to so it fits.

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Leave the four rubber well nuts installed in the windscreen and attach the windscreen to the bodywork with the four OEM M5 screws.

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upper dzus fasteners

 

Now it’s time to finish mounting the lower.  Drill the two side holes out to 1/4″ with your step drill bit.

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Start on the right side of the bike, and loosely bolt up the lower with the OEM bolt shown below, then move to the left side of the bike and loosely install the left side OEM bolt.

sides of lower by exhaust and kickstand

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fit the lower, you'll have to dremel out the chain and notch for the frame

 

Attach the lower to the upper with the four DZUS fasteners (two on each side).

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The lower may interfere with the frame near where the kickstand was, and with the chain in the back.  Mark both areas with a sharpie, and use a dremel or air saw to trim both areas as shown below.

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All done with the lower, now let’s move on to the tail section.

***Important***  The tail section is a VERY tight fit to get on and off the bike.  I have installed and removed my tail section, along with tail sections from a couple other sets of bodywork, so I know it’s possible to do without breaking the bodywork, but it definitely creaks and cracks each time.  I was even able to successfully install and remove the Hotbodies color form tail, which has a gelcoat outer layer and is stiffer than the standard primer bodywork.  Here’s a short video showing how to do it:

 

With that being said, the most recent time that I removed my tail section, it split when I pulled it over the rear seat brackets.  Major bummer seeing how it’s already painted and wrapped with graphics…

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That was the last straw for me, so I decided to go ahead and cut off the rear seat brackets to make it easier to get the tail on and off.  I will leave this decision up to you, as it isn’t necessary, but if your bike is for race use only, I would consider cutting off the rear seat mounting brackets to make the tail easier to get on and off without damaging it.  Once they are cut off, use some black spray paint to touch up the subframe so it doesn’t rust.

cut off these brackets to make the tail easier on and off

after brackets cut off tail

 

Drill the two rear mounting holes on the top of the tail section to 1/4″ with your step drill.

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Drill the one mounting hole circled below on each side where the tail section mounts to the frame.  Do not drill any other holes in the tail section at this time.

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Slide the tail section over the tail and mount it with the four M6 bolts with washers shown below.  You may have to temporarily move the fuse box inside the subframe until you get the tail section half way on.  Watch the video above for help getting the tail section on.

tail back tail sides

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Once you have the tail section installed, you can choose to drill any of the remaining marked holes and install the OEM black plastic clips.  I decided not to install any of them.  In my experience, the clips are too weak and will only break in the future when trying to install or remove the bodywork.  They don’t add any strength and it’s just extra work and extra holes in the bodywork, so I leave them out.

 

Next up is the tank cover/sbk seat.  This piece requires the most attention with the dremel, but if you follow these instructions closely, it’s simple to do, and everything will fit great.

The fuel cap opening in the tank cover is a little too small for the rubber trim of the fuel cap to fit.  Set the tank cover in place so you can see how much material needs to be removed, then use a rounded file or rasp or a dremel to remove a little material so the tank cover will clear the fuel cap.  I found that two even passes around the inside lip with my rasp removed enough material for a nice fit.

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Next, drill out the front mounting hole of the tank cover to 1/2″ with your step drill bit.  I recommend pilot drilling it in the center from the top, and opening it up to 1/2″ from the back.

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Use the mounting hardware from the OEM tank cover for the front hole including the rubber grommet, steel insert, and M6 bolt.  First insert the rubber grommet, then slip the steel insert in from the bottom.

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Install the tank cover and mount the front with the indicated bolt so you can line up the two seat bolts.

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Press the seat down and note how the mounting tabs line up with the mounting holes below.  Use your sharpie to mark the tabs in the center of the mounting holes while pressing the seat down all the way.

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Drill the mounting tabs on your sharpie marks and open up the holes slightly larger than 1/4″ so the special shoulder bolts included in the kit fit through the hole past the shoulder and sit flat against the tabs.

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Screw the tank cover in place by the front bolt and the rear two shoulder bolts.  The shoulder will bottom out on the mounting tab on the rear mounts and protect the fiberglass tabs from getting crushed and damaged over time.

IMG_5220 IMG_5222

 

Now’s it’s time to mark and drill the gas tank mounts on the side of the tank cover.  The mount on the right side lines up great, but the mount on the left side has been a little off on the two tank covers that I’ve personally mounted.  Use your sharpie to mark the center of the mounting tabs behind the tank cover mounts before you drill.

Left Side:

IMG_5226

 

Right Side:

IMG_5227

 

Drill the tank cover on your marks.  DO NOT DRILL THE TANK COVER WHILE IT’S ON THE BIKE!!!!  The gas tank is directly behind the tank cover, and you have to drill these holes out to 1/2″.  I repeat, DO NOT DRILL THE TANK COVER WHILE IT’S ON THE BIKE!!!!  Remove the tank cover and drill these two holes out to 1/2″, you will be using the same rubber grommet and steel inserts that you used on the front mounting hole.

IMG_5228 IMG_5229 IMG_5230

 

Because you will be using the rubber grommets and steel insert which has a flange, you have to dremel out around the drilled hole that is off a little so the grommet will sit flat.  You also have to dremel a little bit of material off of the back of both sides so that the mounting tab isn’t too thick to install the rubber grommet.

IMG_5232_2

 

Left Side:

left side middle bolt on tank cover is off, dremel out around hole

IMG_5241 IMG_5242

 

Right Side:

IMG_5233 IMG_5234 IMG_5235

 

Install the grommets on both sides and press the steel inserts in from the inside of the tank cover.

IMG_5236 IMG_5237 IMG_5238 IMG_5239

 

Install the tank cover back on the bike with all of the hardware.  Use these black bolts with 8mm hex heads (use an 8mm to install them, not the Phillips head, the Phillips gets stripped easily.  The bolts should line up now with the tabs behind on the gas tank.

IMG_5245 IMG_5247 IMG_5249

 

With the upper, lower, tank cover, and tail sections mounted, we can now install the grommets and rivet nuts for the black plastic side panels.

IMG_5255

 

Recover these rubber grommets and screws from the OEM bodywork, and locate the 4 gold M5 rivet nuts from your hardware kit.

IMG_5250

 

There is a small plastic tab near the front on the back of each black plastic side panel.  If you want, you can try to cut these slots into the bodywork, but I’ve found that they are totally unnecessary and I recommend just breaking them off.  It makes the install easier.  I went through the trouble to cut the slots into my bodywork the first time, and then broke one of the tabs off on accident removing the panels.  The panels have a screw right next to where the tab is anyway, so the tab doesn’t do anything.  I just used pliers to break off the other one.

brake these tabs off, you dont need them

brake these tabs off, you dont need them 2

IMG_5279

 

First, you want to drill the grommet mount on the tank cover.  It has the least amount of extra material so you can’t adjust the position at all anyway.  You can drill it with a step drill, and open it up with the step drill, or drill it then open it up with a dremel or a file.  However you do it, you have to make it an oval the same shape as the indent like the picture below.  The air box is behind the panel, so if you drill it in place, be careful not to put a hole in your air box.  I removed mine to drill it.

IMG_5256 IMG_5257 IMG_5258 IMG_5260

 

The fiberglass around this hole is also too thick to install the grommet.  Use your dremel to remove some material from the front and back face to make the tab thinner so the grommet will sit flat when you install it.

 

Right Side:

IMG_5261 IMG_5262 IMG_5263 IMG_5264 IMG_5265 IMG_5266IMG_5273

 

Left Side:

IMG_5267 IMG_5268 IMG_5269 IMG_5270 IMG_5271 IMG_5272

 

Reinstall the tank cover back on the bike, and hold the black plastic side panels up to the side of the bike.  Press the plastic pin into the grommet on the tank cover, and line up where the bottom pin sits to mark where to drill the hole for the lower grommet.  Mine was slightly off from the mark in the fiberglass.  Mark and drill the other grommet hole.  Dremel out the fiberglass as necessary and install the other rubber grommets the same way you did the ones on the tank cover.

IMG_5280 IMG_5281 IMG_5282 IMG_5283

 

Now clip the black plastic side panel into the 2 grommets and mark where to drill the front and back screws.  You can wiggle the panel a little to line everything up before you mark it.

IMG_5284

IMG_5285 IMG_5286 IMG_5287 IMG_5288

 

Drill your marked holes out just larger than 1/4″ so the gold rivet nuts fit through.

IMG_5312

IMG_5313

 

To install the rivet nut, hold the back side of the rivet nut with pliers or vise grips and screw in an extra M5 bolt.  The two unused black M5 bolts from the gas tank work well.  Do not install the black plastic piece while you are installing the rivet nuts.  Hold the rivet nut still while you tighten the bolt to crush the rivet nut and crimp it onto the fiberglass panel.  Clamp it down tight, then remove the bolt.  It’s tight enough if it doesn’t spin when you remove the bolt or attach the plastic panel later.

IMG_5314 IMG_5315 IMG_5316

 

Before you install the rear rivet nut, you have to make a decision.  The OEM bolt will not be long enough unless you grind the tab thinner with your dremel before you install the rivet nut.  If you don’t want to do this, you can simply install the rivet nut and use a longer bolt, like the extra black M5 bolts from the OEM gas tank cover.  Or, you can grind the tabs thinner before you install the rivet nuts and then the OEM bolts will work.  I’ll show both ways.

 

Here I show leaving the tabs thick, this will require longer bolts when finished to attach the black plastic side panels:

IMG_5318 IMG_5319 IMG_5320 IMG_5321 IMG_5322 IMG_5323 IMG_5324

 

 

Here I show grinding the tabs down with a dremel so the OEM bolts will work and match the other two bolts:

IMG_5446 IMG_5447 IMG_5448 IMG_5449 IMG_5450 IMG_5451 IMG_5452 IMG_5453 IMG_5454 IMG_5455

 

Almost done!   Last up is the front fender.  See how it’s dark out now for the photos of the fender?  lol

Here’s the hardware from the OEM fender that you will be using:

IMG_5297

 

Drill out all four pre-marked holes in the fender to 1/2″.  Then use your larger step drill bit to drill out the rear holes a tiny bit larger because the rear grommets with the chrome steel inserts are slightly larger.

IMG_5298 IMG_5299 IMG_5300

 

Install the rubber grommets and steel inserts in the front holes like you did with the tank cover, steel inserts go in from the inside.

IMG_5308 IMG_5309

 

For the rear holes, install the rubber grommets first, then slide the steel pieces over the grommet with the nut, then insert the steel insert.

IMG_5301 IMG_5303 IMG_5304 IMG_5305

 

Now mount the fender to the forks with the OEM bolts, and you’re done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

How to remove the kickstand from the Yamaha R3

This post will cover how to remove the kick stand from the Yamaha R3 for race use and bypass the kickstand safety switch.  The kickstand bracket includes the lower fairing mount.  My race bodywork quick-release mounting kit includes a lightweight replacement bracket for the lower fairing as well as spacer washers for the motor mount bolt, which is too long once you remove the thick steel kickstand bracket.

Yamaha R3 Race Bodywork Mounting Quick Release Kit Hotbodies

Another little perk is that the kickstand and OEM bracket are heavy, removing it drops almost 3 lbs off the bike.

IMG_3675IMG_3925

Hopefully I don’t need to say this, but put the bike on a rear stand before removing the kickstand.  Do not try to remove the kickstand while the bike is resting on the kickstand.  🙂

First, disconnect the kickstand switch.  The connector is located in the clear rubber bundle behind the coolant overflow reservoir above the shifter on the left side of the bike.  You will need to remove the left side fairings, which hopefully you already have removed to install race bodywork, and also remove the front sprocket cover and coolant overflow reservoir.  You can leave the reservoir hoses attached and just leave the reservoir dangling out of the way.

IMG_3673 IMG_3674

 

Unbolt the two kickstand mounting bolts and remove the long silver motor mount bolt.

IMG_3672

 

The kickstand is now free to be removed from the bike, just pull the cable free and cut any zip ties holding it in place.  However, the bike will not run until you bypass the kickstand safety switch because the bike thinks the kickstand is down permanently.

To bypass the safety switch, you must close the switch circuit.  You can do these any number of ways, but I like to leave the bike side of the wiring in tact, so I chose to cut the connector off of the wire coming off of the kickstand switch.  Leave about 2″ of wire on the connector.  Strip these two wires back, and crimp or solder them together.

IMG_3676 IMG_3677 IMG_3678

 

Then plug this connector back into the bike to close the circuit and bypass the switch.  Then close up the clear rubber bundle and zip tie it back together.

IMG_3679 IMG_3680 IMG_3681

 

Zip tie the wires back together near the front sprocket so everything is tidy and nothing is going to rub on the chain or sprocket, then reinstall the coolant overflow reservoir and front sprocket cover.

IMG_3682

 

Add the two spacer washers from the hardware mounting kit to the long silver motor mount bolt, one washer on each side of the motor, and reinstall the motor mount bolt.  Torque this bolt to 49 ft lbs (68 Nm).

IMG_3684

 

Attach the lightweight aluminum lower fairing bracket using the OEM kickstand bracket bolts.  Then you can attach the lower fairing to the new aluminum bracket.

IMG_3927 IMG_3928

 

That’s it, all done!

 

How to install aftermarket clipons on the Yamaha R3

In my other post, What are the best clipons for the Yamaha R3?, I reviewed several different clipon styles and options for the R3.   My conclusion is that for street riders and the occasional track day rider who are still using the stock rear shock, I recommend lowering the front of the bike 3mm and installing the Vortex clipons on top of the triple clamp.  The Vortex offer a much better riding position than stock, and it really cleans up the front of the bike and covers the tops of the fork tubes nicely.  For racers who will be installing aftermarket rear shocks, I recommend raising the front and rear of the bike for handling and ground clearance, and thus, I recommend installing a Graves steering stop along with the Woodcraft Universal 41mm clipons with 1.5″ rise and mounting them under the triple clamp.  This offers the best bar position for racers, as far forward and as low as possible, and the steering stop prevents interference.

In this post, I will cover installation of both sets of clipons on your Yamaha R3.

 

Installing Vortex 41mm clipons with 7 degree drop angle above the triple clamp

***UPDATE, I used to recommend you have WD-40 and pliers handy to remove the left side grip.  However, the OEM left side grip is MEGA glued on, and I’ve yet to see one come off without being destroyed and cut off with a razor blade.  AND, the OEM throttle tube has a bunch of molded plastic texture on the outside, so it doesn’t easily accept standard aftermarket grips.  This leaves you with no left side grip, and not an easy way to replace the right side grip to match so…  Here’s what I recommend you do:

Either order a replacement OEM left side grip before you start the install, they’re only a few bucks, then just leave the left side grip on the OEM bar and install the new left side grip on the new clipons

OR, replace the OEM throttle tube with a throttle tube from a 2006-2016 Yamaha R6.  Not only does the R6 throttle tube shorten the throttle throw a bit, which is great, but the outside of it is smooth and will accept all standard aftermarket grips, so you can replace both grips with whatever style you like.

Tools Needed:

5mm allen wrench
6mm allen wrench
8mm socket
10mm socket
14mm deep socket
12mm wrench
phillips screwdriver
Impact driver
rear stand
front stand or a buddy to help take weight off the front end
drill bit, #7 (0.201″), #6 (0.203″) or 13/64″ (0.203″), or a small step drill will work
tape measure
a bench vise to clamp the bars in helps but is not necessary

Step 1:  First, use a 5mm allen wrench to remove the bar end weights.  These are screwed into a rubber damper that can spin freely with enough force, so the easiest way to remove these is with a cordless or pneumatic impact wrench with a 5mm allen wrench tip such as this:

IMG_3399r

Step 2:  ***Update, this step used to be, remove the left side grip from the OEM bar to reuse it.  However, I have yet to see this work successfully, see my update note at the very top of this page just before the Tools Needed list.  Instead of trying to remove this grip, just leave it, and buy a new left side grip to install on the new bars.

Remove the left side grip.  With most grips, there is an easy technique for doing this, which I tried to make a video of, but I failed miserably.  This grip was stuck on so well I had to cut it off with a razor.  But generally, the trick to removing a rubber grip from a bar is to spray WD-40 on the outside of the grip, then just grab the flange with your hand or pliers and roll it back on itself so it comes off inside out.  Clean it off with alcohol, turn it back right side in, and it’s ready to reuse.  Here’s a couple screen shots from my failed video showing the technique  I will be using standard Renthal street grips from Cycle Gear, so I wasn’t worried about saving the stock one.

how to remove a motorcycle grip

Step 3:  Once the grip is off, break loose the clutch lever perch bolt with a 10mm socket and the brake lever perch bolts with an 8mm socket.  Then remove the bolts on the top of the triple clamp with a 5mm allen wrench and the bolts on the outside of the top triple clamp with a 6mm allen wrench, the clipons are now free.  Start with the left side and flip over the clipon and remove the 2 screws in the switch housing the remove the switch, then slide the left clipon out of the clutch lever perch clamp and free from the bike.  Next, lift off the right side clipon, flip it over, and remove the 2 screws in the throttle housing.  Open the throttle housing the slide the right side clipon out of the brake lever perch clamp and free from the bike.

IMG_3398

IMG_3400 IMG_3403

You will immediately notice how heavy the stock bars are.  They are weighted to reduce vibration.  The stock bars weigh 3 lbs 9 oz with the bar ends and the Vortex clipons weigh just under 1 lb 4 oz.  So you drop over 2 lbs from the highest point on the bike by changing the clipons, sweet deal!

IMG_3470

IMG_3405

Step 4:  The next step is to slide the forks about 2mm through the triple clamp so the Vortex clipons sit flush with the tops of the fork.  This small change will have a very small effect on the bike’s handling, likely unnoticeable.  I’m not worried about it, I may end up moving the forks up or down later anyway once I change the suspension and start testing the bike’s geometry at race pace.  This small change won’t cause any problems.

To adjust the fork height in the triple clamp, you will need the bike to be on a rear stand and have a triple tree stand or a buddy handy to lift the front of the bike a little while you clamp it.  They don’t have to lift the entire bike off the ground, just help the suspension lift it, it’s pretty easy to lift, don’t worry.  And there’s no risk of it falling over, you only adjust 1 fork at a time, so the bike is always standing up and supported, but I don’t recommend trying this without having the bike on a swingarm or rear spool stand.

Now, follow these steps for one fork, once complete, follow them again for the other fork.  Do not try to do both forks at the same time or the bike will fall.

First, with the bike on a rear stand, use a 14mm deep socket to loosen the lower triple clamp bolt on one side.

IMG_3406

Next, use a 6mm allen wrench to loosen the upper triple clamp bolt on the same side.  Once this bolt becomes loose, the bike will drop slightly as the fork slides up in the triple clamp.  Don’t worry, the bike won’t fall completely because it’s still being supported by the other fork, it will only drop about a half inch.

IMG_3407

IMG_3408

Next, slide the Vortex clipon clamp onto the fork, and align the clamp flush with the top of the fork.  Now tighten the bolts on the Vortex clipon clamp so it is clamped onto the fork flush with the top.  Don’t worry about the rotation of the clamp, only worry about setting the height where you want it, flush with the top of the fork.  Don’t tighten the triple clamp bolt yet.

IMG_3409r

Now, use your triple tree stand to lift the front of the bike, or have your buddy lift up on the front of the bike by lifting the triple clamp or frame, not the front wheel.  The triple clamp should slide up the fork and stop against the Vortex clamp, quickly clamp down the top triple clamp bolt to secure everything in place so your buddy can stop lifting 🙂  One side down, now repeat this process for the other fork.

IMG_3461

IMG_3458

Step 5:  Once you have both forks clamped at the new position, it’s time to drill the Vortex bars for the throttle and light switch locating pins (if you plan to reinstall the light switch, if not, you can leave out the hole in the left bar).

***Do not install the plastic caps into the Vortex bars until after you drill the holes so you can dump out the drill shavings!!

The pins in the clamps are 5mm (0.197″).  The ideal drill bit to use is a #7 drill bit (0.201″), #6 (0.203″) or 13/64″ (0.203″), but if you don’t have access to those sizes, the 7/32″ (0.219″) on a small step drill will work fine also.  I used a #7 drill bit.

IMG_3419

Get the grips you plan to install and measure them (the left and right sides may be different lengths, so measure them both).  I generally use Renthal grips so that’s what I measured.  ***Be sure to measure the grips you will actually use so you can drill the bars in the right place, the Vortex grips I was going to use are longer, but I had already measured and drilled for the Renthals, oops!

The left side Renthal grip measures 4 7/8″

IMG_3462

and the right side measures 4 5/8″

IMG_3441

Now, to get the proper measurement to drill the left side (clutch side), add 1 1/2″ to the length of the left side grip, and make a mark on the bar.  For me, that’s 4 7/8″ + 1 1/2″ = 6 3/8″.  Be sure to use YOUR measurements of the grips YOU are using, these are just my numbers!  Because the bars are round and your drill bit will have a tendency to wander, I recommend drilling a pilot hole first with a smaller bit such as 1/8″ or 3/32″, or if you use the step bit, that will be fine.  Clean up the edges of the hole with a deburr tool or just use a larger drill bit to scrape around the outside edge and remove the burr.  Then dump out the drill shavings from the inside.

IMG_3418

IMG_3417

To get the proper measurement to drill the right side (throttle side), add 1 7/8″ to the length of the right side grip and make a mark on the bar.  For me, that’s 4 5/8″ + 1 7/8″ = 6 1/2″.  Make a mark at your measurement, then pilot drill, drill, deburr, and dump the shavings out.

IMG_3416

Step 6:  Once you have the holes drilled and shavings removed from inside the bars, use a hammer to hammer in the plastic caps.  First hammer the flat cap  in, then set the bar on your work bench on the flat cap, and hammer in the rounded cap.  The rounded cap goes to the outside, so be sure your drilled hole is oriented correctly to the rounded cap.

Step 7:  Loosen the clipon clamps from the fork.  Slide the left side bar through the clutch clamp and into the clipon clamp.  Attach the light switch housing first, aligning the pin into the drilled hole and tightening the scrwes, then rotate the bar around to roughly the correct orientation and snug the bolts finger tight to hold everything in place.  Slide the right side bar through the throttle tube and housing, align the pin in the hole you drilled and tighten the screws in the throttle housing, then slide the bar through the clipon clamp and attach the brake lever and snug everything down finger tight to hold it in place.

IMG_3412

IMG_3466

Step 8:  If you encounter interference between the front brake master cylinder banjo bolt and the dash, you can rotate the banjo bolt on the front brake master cylinder so the brake line points toward the right side of the bike.  This will give you a little more clearance to the dash.  The stock banjo bolt looks something like this, and is pointed toward the center of the bike:

IMG_3427r

Use a 12mm wrench and carefully loosen the banjo bolt just enough so that you can rotate it, but not so much that it leaks.  Rotate it so it points the other direction, like this, then tighten it down:

IMG_3426r

Step 9:  The right side clipon must go in a specific place in order for the throttle cables to clear the fairing and the brake line to clear the gauge cluster.  Then you just have to match that position with the left side clipon.

First, twist the bar so the throttle cables are basically directly below the clipon bar.  Next, snug the clipon clamp enough so that you can turn the bars.  Find the angle of the right side bar so that at full lock to the left, the brake line banjo bolt just barely contacts the gauge cluster but doesn’t impede the movement, and at full lock to the right, the throttle cables just barely touch the fairings, but movement isn’t impeded.  Once you find this angle, tighten the clipon clamp on the fork.  This is the starting position.

Next, find the position of the bar sliding in or out.  This will probably be determined by the angle you like the brake lever to be at because the master cylinder interferes with the clipon clamp at certain positions.  I prefer my brake lever to be pointed down as far as possible (this gives me more room to open the throttle without cranking my wrist).  In order to position the brake lever down, I had to slide the bar out farther so that the master cylinder has more clearance to the clipon clamp.  I ended up with my bars positioned with about 5/16″ of bar (not including the plastic cap) sticking to the inside.  If you like your brake lever to be more level, you can slide the bars farther in because there isn’t as much interference.  Once you find the position of the brake lever and bar length, tighten the bar clamp bolts and the brake lever clamp bolts and you are done with the right side.

IMG_3467

Roughly position the length of the left side bar, and align the angle of the left side bar to match the angle of the right side bar, then tighten the clipon clamp on the fork.

Next, twist the left side bar so the switch housing is angled the way you like it and slide it in so the length matches the right side, then tighten the bar clamp.

And finally, twist and position the clutch lever where you like it and tighten the clutch lever clamp bolt.  Test the fit of everything by turning the bars both directions to full lock, and test brake and clutch levers, throttle and light switches.

Install your grips, and you’re all done!

IMG_3430

 

Coming soon:

Installing Woodcraft Universal 41mm clipons with 1.5″ rise below the triple clamp

Tools Needed:

5mm allen wrench
6mm allen wrench
8mm socket
10mm socket
14mm deep socket
12mm wrench
phillips screwdriver
Impact driver
WD-40 and possible pliers to remove the grip, last resort is a razor blade
rear stand
front stand or a buddy to help take weight off the front end
drill bit, #7 (0.201″), #6 (0.203″) or 13/64″ (0.203″), or a small step drill will work
tape measure
a bench vise to clamp the bars in helps but is not necessary

Step 1:

How to replace the fork seals on the Yamaha R3

This post will cover how to change the fork seals in the Yamaha R3 and how to replace the fork oil.

This topic is very similar to my writeup on ‘how to install cartridge emulators in the forks of the Yamaha R3’, but because it will be a more common topic, I decided to split off the specific info into a separate post.

 

Tools you will need for this installation are:
new fork seals
large adjustable wrench or 22 mm socket
5mm allen wrench
6mm allen wrench
8mm socket
10mm socket
14mm deep socket
8mm extended allen socket (I have a set of these from Grey Pneumatic that I use CONSTANTLY when I am working on a bike, any time I need an allen wrench.  These are impact driver sets so they are extremely hard and durable tools, I highly recommend getting this set, you will love having it):
metric set:  and here’s the standard set: 

*possibly an impact driver, cordless or pneumatic will work fine, I needed one
aluminum or plastic v-groove vise jaws or vise jaws cut to 41mm to clamp the fork legs.  You can also use the OEM clipons (if you have replaced them) to clamp the fork leg and then just clamp the clipon in the vise.  SV650 clipons are also 41mm.  I have a set of these magnetic aluminum and plastic jaws that I use for stuff like this, got them for like $15 from amazon:

heavy fork seal grease, here’s a couple good ones from Race Tech and KYB:

oil height gauge, if you don’t have an oil height gauge, this simple one from Motion Pro or Pit Posse is pretty much the standard and is very inexpensive:

1 liter of fork oil (10 weight is stock), 1 liter is just enough if you don’t spill

a fork seal driver, there are instructions below for making your own from PVC pipe from Home Depot

a plastic tub to catch oil

 

Step 1:  Put your bike on a rear stand, then raise the front using a triple tree stand.  You have to use a triple tree stand and not a fork stand because you have to remove the forks.  Never use a front stand by itself!  Always support the rear with a rear stand first, then lift the front with a front stand.

Yamaha R3 swingarm spools aluminum Vortex RacingIMG_3458

 

Step 2:  Loosen the upper triple clamp and your clipons (if you have OEM clipons or Vortex clipons, they will be on top of the triple clamp, if you have Woodcraft clipons, they will likely be below the triple clamp), then use the large adjustable wrench or 22 mm socket to break loose the fork cap.  Only break it loose a fraction of a turn!!!  It shouldn’t be very tight, but it’s still easier to break loose while the forks are still on the bike.  Do not loosen it all the way!!!

IMG_3966

IMG_3966_2

 

Step 3:  Follow my instructions here to remove the front wheel.  Once you remove the brake caliper, wrap it with a rag and zip tie it to the lower triple clamp so it is out of your way and not dangling.

 

Step 4: Remove the front fender by removing the 2 rear bolts with an 8mm socket and the 2 front bolts with a 4mm allen wrench, then gently squeezing the sides together to slide it out between the forks:

IMG_3969

 

Step 5:  Once the wheel and fender are removed and the brake caliper is secured out of your way, use a 14mm deep socket to break loose the lower triple clamp bolt on one fork tube.  This bolt can be very tight so you may want to have someone hold the bike secure while you break this bolt loose.  Be careful not to knock the bike off the stands.  After you break it loose, hold on to the fork tube while you loosen the bolt until the fork slides free.  Slide the fork out of the bottom of the triple clamps and lay it on the bench.  Remove the other fork leg the same way.

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Step 6:  Grip the forks in a vise about 4 inches from the top in plastic or aluminum vise jaws so you don’t damage the fork tube.  It will help keep the fork leg from spinning in the vise if you clean the fork leg with a solvent such as acetone to remove any oil residue first.

You can also use an old 41mm clipon to hold the fork and clamp the clipon bar in a vise (such as the ones from your R3 or SV650 if you have installed aftermarket clipons).  Use a 22 mm socket or adjustable wrench to remove the fork cap.  Use downward pressure as you unscrew the fork cap as it is under a little pressure from the fork spring.

Yamaha R3 remove fork caps 22mm Yamaha R3 remove fork caps 22mm

 

Step 7:  Dump out the fork oil, stock spacers, washer, and springs into a plastic tub.  You can clamp the fork upside down in the vise above the plastic tub and let it drain for a few minutes to get most of the oil out.

IMG_3974 IMG_3975

 

Step 8:  Clamp the fork leg in the vise by the flat end where the wheel mounts or across a caliper mount so it doesn’t spin in the vise and use an extended 8mm allen head socket to remove the bottom bolt.  Use the proper tool and be careful not to to strip the bolt.  The damper rod and top out spring will now fall out.  Take care of the bolt and crush washer that come out, you will have to reuse them.  The crush washer may stick to the bottom of the fork tube, remove it and keep it with the bolt.  Clean the locktite off the bolt, washer, and bottom of the fork tube.

IMG_3976

IMG_3978IMG_3977

IMG_3979IMG_4020IMG_4023

 

Step 9:  Gently pry up the dust seal with a small flat blade screwdriver to expose the retainer clip underneath.  Pry one side, then the other side, working your way around so you don’t damage the seal.

IMG_3980 IMG_3981

 

Step 10:  Use a small pick to pry out the retainer clip.

IMG_3982 IMG_3983

 

Step 11:  Once the retainer clip is free, the fork seal is the only thing holding the upper fork leg together with the lower fork leg.  Slide the upper fork leg into the lower, then quickly slide it out until it bangs against the fork seal.  Use the fork leg like a slide hammer to pound out the fork oil seal and separate the upper and lower fork legs.  Clean all parts with contact cleaner or solvent including the inside of the lower fork leg where the oil seal sits.  Be careful not to lose the white plastic hydraulic bottom out cone from the bottom of the fork leg.  If it comes out, put it back in flange side first, so the flange side rests against the bottom of the fork.  While you have the fork tubes separated, it’s a good idea to check and be sure they aren’t bent before you reassemble everything.

IMG_3984 IMG_3985IMG_3986IMG_3995

 

Step 12:  At this point, replace the fork seals with new ones.  Grease the fork oil seal (see below) and slide it back over the upper fork tube leg, and slide the upper fork tube leg with seal back into the lower fork leg and seat the seal into the top of the lower fork leg.  You will need a fork seal driver to driver the seal flush into the lower fork leg.  There are tons of different versions of home made fork seal drivers posted around the internet that you will find if you do a google search for home made fork seal driver, most of them are made from PVC pipe.  I went to Home Depot and picked up a couple PVC pieces to make my own.  I used a 1 1/2″ coupler as my driver and a 2″ to 1 1/2″ reducer as my hammer.  It was the quickest, simplest solution I could come up with.  It worked fine, but wasn’t the easiest to use (hurt my hand a little slide hammering).  In this photo, I have added a 2″ coupler connected to the 2″ to 1 1/2″ reducer to make the area to hold a little larger.  This, combined with thick gloves, and I think this will work fine for occasional use.  I had to dremel out the center dividing lip of the 1 1/2″ coupler, and grind a chamfer on the inside edge so it sat correctly on the fork seal.

IMG_4576 rIMG_4050 rIMG_4576 rsIMG_3990IMG_3998

Here’s another option I saw online made from a small section of PVC.  For this to work, you will have to use 2″ PVC pipe so when you slot the end, you can compress it with a zip tie or hose clamp to 41 mm (1.61″):

Forkseal-Step8-lg

Grease the inside lip of the lower fork leg with heavy fork seal grease like the KYB or Race Tech mentioned above.  I had some Slick Honey left over from doing my mountain bike fork seals so I used that.

IMG_3996

Then also add grease to the inside lip of the fork oil seal:

IMG_4001

Grease the inside of the lower fork leg where the seal and bushings rest, then reassemble the fork tube with the bushings in the same order as you removed it (don’t forget the white plastic bottom out cone), and slide the upper fork tube into the lower fork tube (this is the same photo as above, yours should be cleaned and greased):

IMG_3985

First the white plastic bottom out cone, then the bushings:

IMG_4002

Then the washer:

IMG_4003

Then the fork oil seal:

IMG_4006

Then the driver with the chamfered side down against the oil seal and the slide hammer on top:

IMG_4007

Use the slide hammer to drive the fork oil seal all the way down until it seats and stops moving.  Next, install the retainer clip on top of the fork oil seal.  Use a small flat blade screwdriver to ensure that it seats all the way and clicks into the groove in the fork tube:

IMG_4011 IMG_4012

Finally, install the dust seal and press it firmly in place with yours fingers, working your way around until it seats flush with the fork leg:

IMG_4009 IMG_4010

Slide the fork tube in and out to be sure it operates smoothly.

 

Step 13:  Reinsert the damper rode with top out spring, slide the threaded end into the fork tube first.  Reuse the bottom bolt and crush washer, but clean any locktite off the bolt and washer before reinstalling.  Tip the fork leg right side up and start the bolt into the bottom of the fork by hand using the extended  8mm allen socket.  Once the bolt is finger tight, clamp the fork leg back in the vise by the flat at the end and tighten the bolt.  Tighten this bolt by hand with a ratchet until it does not want to spin.  If the bolt just spins and won’t tighten by hand, you may have to use an electric or pneumatic impact gun to tighten it completely.  Only bump it once with the impact gun, then recheck with a ratchet by hand to see if it is tight and won’t spin.  It is rare that you will have to use an impact gun to get this bolt to tighten completely, but I needed one.  Just be very careful not to strip this bolt, it has fine pitch threads and the fork leg is aluminum so it can be damaged easily.

IMG_4015IMG_4022 IMG_4024 IMG_4025

 

 

Step 14:  Compress the fork leg completely, and fill the fork tube until it is about 3″ from the top with oil, then pump the fork leg up and down to bleed out all of the air.  The OEM oil is 10 weight and it requires 487 ml per fork leg.

IMG_4030

 

 

Set the fork leg on a bench or the floor, compress the leg all the way, and set the oil height level to 121 mm while the fork is compressed:

IMG_4033

 

Step 15:  Extend the fork all the way and clamp it back in the vise.  Drop in the spring, then washer, then preload spacer (this picture is of an aluminum aftermarket preload spacer, but same idea).

IMG_4034IMG_4036 IMG_4037 IMG_4039

The preload spacer should sit just below the top of the fork tube:

IMG_4041

 

Step 16:  Once everything is installed properly in the fork leg, press the fork cap down while you screw it in by hand or with a socket until the threads catch.  You only have to compress the spring slightly to install the cap.  Torque the cap to 6 ft-lbs.

IMG_4042 IMG_4043

Repeat this process with the other fork leg.

Wipe both forks clean with a cleaner or solvent like alcohol or acetone to remove all oil from the outside before reinstalling the fork legs back on the bike.

Reinstall the fork legs in the reverse of the process above, and you’re all done!

How to install the Traxxion Dynamics Fork Damper Rod kit with Cartridge Emulators in the Yamaha R3

This post will show you how to remove the front forks from the Yamaha R3 and dissassemble them to install the Traxxion Dynamics Fork Damper Rod kit with Cartridge Emulators.  This is also how to replace the fork seals on the Yamaha R3, just reassemble the fork with the stock parts instead of the new Traxxion Dynamics parts.

If you are curious what is a damping rod fork and how does a cartridge emulator work, here is an awesome writeup from Race Tech that covers this in great depth with awesome pictures and diagrams.  Take the time and read this, it’s very informative.  This comes from their awesome book “Race Tech’s Motorcycle Suspension Bible”, which you can buy from Amazon here:

 

Tools you will need for this installation are:
large adjustable wrench or 22 mm socket
dead blow hammer or rubber mallet
5mm allen wrench
6mm allen wrench
8mm socket
10mm socket
14mm deep socket
8mm extended allen socket (I have a set of these from Grey Pneumatic that I use CONSTANTLY when I am working on a bike, any time I need an allen wrench.  These are impact driver sets so they are extremely hard and durable tools, I highly recommend getting this set, you will love having it):
metric set:  and here’s the standard set: 

*possibly an impact driver, cordless or pneumatic will work fine, I needed one

aluminum or plastic v-groove vise jaws or vise jaws cut to 41mm to clamp the fork legs.  You can also use the OEM clipons (if you have replaced them) to clamp the fork leg and then just clamp the clipon in the vise.  SV650 clipons are also 41mm.  I have a set of these magnetic aluminum and plastic jaws that I use for stuff like this, got them for like $15 from amazon:

heavy fork seal grease, here’s a couple good ones from Race Tech and KYB:

oil height gauge, if you don’t have an oil height gauge, this simple one from Motion Pro or Pit Posse is pretty much the standard and is very inexpensive:

Fork Oil, Maxima 15wt is recommended and works very well for most setups.  One liter is just enough if you don’t spill, but I spilled a little, so I needed (2) one liter bottles of oil

Since you’ll have the forks completely apart, it’s a good idea to replace the fork seals unless your bike is brand new, and it’s a good idea to have a set of extra fork seals handy when you start, just in case you damage one taking it apart or something:

 

You’ll need a fork seal driver, there are instructions below for making your own from PVC pipe from Home Depot

You’ll also need a plastic tub or bucket to catch oil

 

Step 1:  Put your bike on a rear stand, then raise the front using a triple tree stand.  You have to use a triple tree stand and not a fork stand because you have to remove the forks.  Never use a front stand by itself!  Always support the rear with a rear stand first, then lift the front with a front stand.

Yamaha R3 swingarm spools aluminum Vortex RacingIMG_3458

 

Step 2:  Loosen the upper triple clamp and your clipons (if you have OEM clipons or Vortex clipons, they will be on top of the triple clamp, if you have Woodcraft clipons, they will likely be below the triple clamp), then use the large adjustable wrench or 22 mm socket to break loose the fork cap.  Only break it loose a fraction of a turn!!!  It shouldn’t be very tight, but it’s still easier to break loose while the forks are still on the bike.  Do not loosen it all the way!!!

IMG_3966

IMG_3966_2

 

Step 3:  Follow my instructions here to remove the front wheel.  Once you remove the brake caliper, wrap it with a rag and zip tie it to the lower triple clamp so it is out of your way and not dangling.

 

Step 4: Remove the front fender by removing the 2 rear bolts with an 8mm socket and the 2 front bolts with a 4mm allen wrench, then gently squeezing the sides together to slide it out between the forks:

IMG_3969

 

Step 5:  Once the wheel and fender are removed and the brake caliper is secured out of your way, use a 14mm deep socket to break loose the lower triple clamp bolt on one fork tube.  This bolt can be very tight so you may want to have someone hold the bike secure while you break this bolt loose.  Be careful not to knock the bike off the stands.  After you break it loose, hold on to the fork tube while you loosen the bolt until the fork slides free.  Slide the fork out of the bottom of the triple clamps and lay it on the bench.  Remove the other fork leg the same way.

IMG_3970

IMG_3971

Step 6:  Grip the forks in a vise about 4 inches from the top in plastic or aluminum vise jaws so you don’t damage the fork tube.  It will help keep the fork leg from spinning in the vise if you clean the fork leg with a solvent such as acetone to remove any oil residue first.  Be careful you don’t crush the fork leg, so only clamp it as tight as you need to so that it doesn’t spin.  Wrapping a piece of old bicycle tire or other rubber around it can help if you are having trouble with it spinning.

You can also use an old 41mm clipon to hold the fork and clamp the clipon bar in a vise (such as the ones from your R3 or SV650 if you have installed aftermarket clipons).  Use a 22 mm socket or adjustable wrench to remove the fork cap.  Use downward pressure as you unscrew the fork cap as it is under a little pressure from the fork spring.

Yamaha R3 remove fork caps 22mm Yamaha R3 remove fork caps 22mm

 

Step 7:  Dump out the fork oil, stock spacers, washer, and springs into a plastic tub.  You can clamp the fork upside down in the vise above the plastic tub and let it drain for a few minutes to get most of the oil out.

IMG_3974 IMG_3975

 

Step 8:  Clamp the fork leg in the vise by the flat end where the wheel mounts or across a caliper mount so it doesn’t spin in the vise and use an extended 8mm allen head socket to remove the bottom bolt.  Use the proper tool and be careful not to to strip the bolt.  The damper rod and top out spring will now fall out.  Take care of the bolt and crush washer that come out, you will have to reuse them.  The crush washer may stick to the bottom of the fork tube, remove it and keep it with the bolt.  Clean the locktite off the bolt, washer, and bottom of the fork tube.

IMG_3976

IMG_3978IMG_3977

IMG_3979IMG_4020IMG_4023

 

Step 9:  Gently pry up the dust seal with a small flat blade screwdriver to expose the retainer clip underneath.  Pry one side, then the other side, working your way around so you don’t damage the seal.

IMG_3980 IMG_3981

 

Step 10:  Use a small pick to pry out the retainer clip.

IMG_3982 IMG_3983

 

Step 11:  Once the retainer clip is free, the fork seal is the only thing holding the upper fork leg together with the lower fork leg.  Slide the upper fork leg into the lower, then quickly slide it out until it bangs against the fork seal.  Use the fork leg like a slide hammer to pound out the fork oil seal and separate the upper and lower fork legs.  Clean all parts with contact cleaner or solvent including the inside of the lower fork leg where the oil seal sits.  Remove the white plastic hydraulic bottom out cone from the bottom of the fork leg, you will not be using it.  While you have the fork tubes separated, it’s a good idea to check and be sure they aren’t bent before you reassemble everything.

IMG_3984 IMG_3985IMG_3986IMG_3995

 

Step 12:  At this point, unless your bike is brand new, it’s a good idea to replace the fork seals with new ones rather than reinstall the old ones.  Grease the fork oil seal (see below) and slide it back over the upper fork tube leg, and slide the upper fork tube leg with seal back into the lower fork leg and seat the seal into the top of the lower fork leg.  You will need a fork seal driver to drive the seal flush into the lower fork leg.  There are tons of different versions of home made fork seal drivers posted around the internet that you will find if you do a google search for home made fork seal driver, most of them are made from PVC pipe.  I went to Home Depot and picked up a couple PVC pieces to make my own.  I used a 1 1/4″ coupler as my driver and a 2″ to 1 1/2″ reducer as my hammer.  I recommend also picking up a 16″ piece of PCV or ABS to make the slide hammer longer, and a 2″ cap for the end.  This way you can use a mallet to hammer the seal back on, rather than slide it with your hand.  It’s a little easier and less painful.  I had to Dremel out the center dividing lip of the 1 1/2″ coupler, and grind a chamfer on the inside edge so it sat correctly on the fork seal.

IMG_4576 rIMG_4050 rIMG_3990IMG_3998

Here’s another option I saw online made from a small section of PVC.  For this to work, you will have to use 2″ PVC pipe so when you slot the end, you can compress it with a zip tie or hose clamp to 41 mm (1.61″):

Forkseal-Step8-lg

Grease the inside lip of the lower fork leg with heavy fork seal grease like the KYB or Race Tech mentioned above.  I had some Slick Honey left over from doing my mountain bike fork seals so I used that.

IMG_3996

Then also add grease to the inside lip of the fork oil seal:

IMG_4001

Grease the inside of the lower fork leg where the seal and bushings rest, then reassemble the fork tube with the bushings in the same order as you removed it, and slide the upper fork tube into the lower fork tube (this is the same photo as above, yours should be cleaned and greased):

IMG_3985

First the bushings:

IMG_4002

Then the washer:

IMG_4003

Then the fork oil seal:

IMG_4006

Then the driver with the chamfered side down against the oil seal and the slide hammer on top:

Use the slide hammer to drive the fork oil seal all the way down until it seats and stops moving.  Next, install the retainer clip on top of the fork oil seal.  If you can’t get the retainer clip in, the fork seal might not be seated down all the way yet.  Use a small flat blade screwdriver to ensure that it seats all the way and clicks into the groove in the fork tube:

IMG_4011 IMG_4012

Finally, install the dust seal and press it firmly in place with yours fingers, working your way around until it seats flush with the fork leg:

IMG_4009 IMG_4010

Slide the fork tube in and out to be sure it operates smoothly.

 

Step 13:  GENTLY remove the plastic piston band from the stock damper rod and carefully install it onto the new Traxxion Dynamics damper rod.  Remove the top out spring and move it over to the Traxxion Dynamics damper rod as well.

IMG_4015 IMG_4016 IMG_4017 IMG_4018 IMG_4019

 

Step 14:  Install the new Traxxion Dynamics damper rod with top out spring into the fork leg.  Reuse the bottom bolt and crush washer, but clean any locktite off the bolt and washer before reinstalling.  Tip the fork leg right side up and start the bolt into the bottom of the fork by hand using the extended  8mm allen socket.  Once the bolt is finger tight, clamp the fork leg back in the vise by the flat at the end and tighten the bolt.  Tighten this bolt by hand with a ratchet until it does not want to spin.  If the bolt just spins and won’t tighten by hand, you may have to use an electric or pneumatic impact gun to tighten it completely.  Only bump it once with the impact gun, then recheck with a ratchet by hand to see if it is tight and won’t spin.  Traxxion says it is rare that you will have to use an impact gun to get this bolt to tighten completely, but I needed one.  Just be very careful not to strip this bolt, it has fine pitch threads and the fork leg is aluminum so it can be damaged easily.

IMG_4021 IMG_4022 IMG_4024 IMG_4025

 

Step 15:  Presetting your cartridge emulators:

If you purchase your damper rod kit from YamahaR3Racing.com, your emulators will come preset for your R3 based on the information you gave about your weight and riding style (race or street) and you can disregard this step and go onto step 16.

If your emulators are not preset, then set the preload on the emulator compression spring to ‘3 turns’ for street use, or ‘3 1/2 turns’ for race use.  Hold the lock nut with a wrench and back out the compression bolt until the spring is loose on the emulator, then turn it back in just until the spring has no free play.  This is ‘zero preload’.  Then turn the bolt in 3 full turns for street use, or 3 1/2 full turns for race use.

RACE_TECH_GOLD_VALVE_CARTRIDGE_FORK_EMULATORS-900371931

 

Step 16:  Compress the fork leg completely, and fill the fork tube until it is about 3″ from the top with oil, then pump the fork leg up and down to bleed out all of the air.  Traxxion Dynamics recommends Maxima 15wt fork oil. Since oil viscosity can vary from brand to brand, I would stick with Maxima 15wt as a starting point.  Because the damper rod kit with cartridge emulators relies on the oil thickness to create rebound damping, there is about a 20 degree temperature range where you get optimum rebound damping.  If you are riding in 65-85 degree fahrenheit weather, 15  weight oil seems to be spot on for a person in the 150-170 lb range.  If it’s hotter, or you are heavier (stiffer springs), you may want to experiment mixing in a small amount of 20wt oil to slow the rebound a tad.  If you are lighter or racing in generally colder weather, you can experiment mixing in a little 5 or 10 weight to speed up the forks a little.  But don’t veer too far from 15wt or it will be too loose or too stiff.  We’ve tried pure 20wt with a 150 lb and 170 lb rider and it was way too stiff.

IMG_4027 IMG_4030

 

Drop the emulators into the oil with the screw and spring pointed up:

IMG_4031

Set the fork leg on a bench or the floor, compress the leg all the way, and set the oil height level to 110 mm while the fork is compressed:

IMG_4032 IMG_4033

 

Step 17:  Extend the fork all the way and clamp it back in the vise.  Drop in the new springs, then washers, then preload spacers (it does not matter which way you install the preload spacer).IMG_4034IMG_4036 IMG_4037 IMG_4039

Be sure the spring is seated properly on top of the emulator.  It helps to spin the fork leg quickly a few times to get the emulator to seat properly in the spring.  If the preload spacer is sitting above the top of the fork tube, it is not seated properly and you may have to pull the spacer and spring back out and drop the spring in again to get it to seat properly on top of the emulator.  The preload spacer should sit just below the top of the fork tube (the same way the stock spacer sat) if the spring is seated properly on the top of the emulator:

IMG_4041

 

Step 18:  Once everything is installed properly in the fork leg, press the fork cap down while you screw it in by hand or with a socket until the threads catch.  You only have to compress the spring slightly to install the cap.  Torque the cap to 6 ft-lbs.

IMG_4042 IMG_4043

Repeat this process with the other fork leg.

Wipe both forks clean with a cleaner or solvent like alcohol or acetone to remove all oil from the outside before reinstalling the fork legs back on the bike.

Reinstall the fork legs in the reverse of the process above, and you’re all done!

How to change the front brake pads on the Yamaha R3

This post will show you how to remove and change the front brake pads on the Yamaha R3 2015.  Changing the brake pads is pretty simple, there are just a couple small details you don’t want to miss.

 

Tools Needed:

T50 Torx driver

torque wrench

Small pick or flat blade screwdriver

Cleaner for the caliper pistons, I use acetone, but other cleaners such as brake cleaner or denatured alcohol should work fine

a few Q-tips or other cotton swabs

Small pliers to insert the small retaining clips, needle nose or smaller regular pliers should work ok

 

Step 1:  Use a T50 Torx to remove the two front brake caliper bolts.  Then CAREFULLY slide the caliper off the rotor so you don’t bang it against the rim and scratch your pretty rims.

IMG_3882

 

Step 2:  While holding the caliper in your hand, rotate it so you can see the two retainer clips in the bottom pin that holds the brake pads in place.  Gently pry these pins out in a slow controlled motion with a pick or small flat blade screwdriver.  Be careful not to send them flying.  Then slide the pin out and remove the old pads.

IMG_3888 IMG_3889IMG_3890

 

Step 3:  ***IMPORTANT***  This step often gets skipped but in my opinion, it’s the most important step.  DO NOT push the pistons back into the caliper without cleaning them!!!  My bike is almost new, so the brake calipers and caliper pistons are very clean.  Usually when you change the pads, it’s because the old ones have been in the bike for awhile and are worn down and the pistons are extended most of the way out and caked with black grime.  Use a Q-tip, cotton swab, or similar dipped in acetone or another cleaner to wipe ALL of the black grime off the sides of the pistons all the way around each piston BEFORE you push the pistons back in.

If you skip this step, when you push the pistons back in to make room for the new pads, you force all of that grime across the seals and back into the brake fluid cavity.  Not only will this prematurely wear out the seals or cause them to leak because there won’t be a smooth surface for them to seal against, but it will also contaminate your brake fluid.  Also, remember when you push the pistons back in, a lot of brake fluid will be forced back into the reservoir, so make sure there is room for it.

If you get one piston clean but are having trouble with the other one, you can gently press the clean one in with your fingers and the other one will be forced out farther, making it easier to clean.  BE CAREFUL not to press the piston out all the way or you will have a brake fluid mess and need to refill and re-bleed the brakes.  Both pistons are easy to access all the way around on the R3 so you shouldn’t have any trouble cleaning them.

IMG_3890 grime IMG_3892

 

Step 4:  Make sure there is room in the fluid reservoir for the displaced fluid, and gently force the 2 pistons back into the caliper until they are flush.  Only use your hand or something plastic so you don’t scratch the pistons and try to press them evenly so they move in together.

IMG_3893

 

Step 5:  Insert the new pads into the caliper, insert the pad against the pistons first, hooking the end under the tab, then setting it in place.  Next, insert the second pad by looping it over the pin and setting it in place.  Try to hold the pads spread apart as you insert the second pad so it seats properly against the spring plate.  If the pads are not spread wide when you insert them, the pad on the fixed side can miss the spring plate and get stuck.

IMG_3894 IMG_3895 IMG_3896 IMG_3893 springIMG_3901

 

Step 6:  Press both pads against the spring plate and slide the pin through the hole in the caliper and the slot in both pads.  Then use some small pliers to carefully slide both retaining clips back into place.

IMG_3897  IMG_3899 IMG_3900IMG_3903

 

Step 7:  Carefully slide the caliper back over the rotor paying extra attention not to scratch the rim.  Then insert the T50 torx bolts and tighten to 25 ft lbs (35 Nm).  Remember to pump your brake lever a few times to be sure the pads are seated against the rotor before you ride the bike.

IMG_3904 IMG_3905IMG_3882 final

That’s it, you’re all done!

 

How to bleed the brakes or flush the brake fluid on the Yamaha R3

How to bleed the brakes or flush the brake fluid on the Yamaha R3:

I wanted to separate this information into a new post because sometimes you just need to bleed the brakes or flush the brake fluid without changing brake lines or pads or anything.  I also prefer to use pressure from the brake lever instead of vacuum from a pump to bleed or flush the lines with new fluid.  This post will cover bleeding the front brakes and flushing the fluid through the front brake line, but bleeding and flushing the rear brakes uses exactly the same process, you just press the rear brake lever instead of the front brake lever, duh.

Tools Needed:

8mm wrench

bit of hose to collect the brake fluid, I use the hose connected to my vacuum pump that I talked about in my post about installing a stainless steel front brake line

fresh bottle of brake fluid, I use Motul RBF600 racing brake fluid:

 

Step 1:  Set the bike on the kick stand instead of a rear stand.  Turn the bars all the way to the left, and unbolt the brake lever so you can tilt the reservoir as upright and flat as possible, then clamp the lever again so it doesn’t move when you squeeze it.  Remove the cover, plastic insert, and rubber boot from the reservoir.

IMG_3866 IMG_3867 IMG_3868 IMG_3877

 

Step 2:  Pry off the cover for the bleed nipple and connect a drain line to the bleed nipple at the caliper, I use the line on my vacuum pump.

IMG_3870 IMG_3871 IMG_3872IMG_3873

 

Step 3:  Fill the fluid reservoir with fresh brake fluid as high as you can without spilling.  Brake fluid gets crusty after sitting open on a shelf for too long, so always use fresh brake fluid, or at least check your fluid before pouring it into the reservoir and making a crusty mess.

 

Step 4:  Squeeze the brake lever to apply pressure to the line, then while squeezing it, crack the bleed nipple open just far enough so that fluid starts to flow and you feel the lever move.  Squeeze the lever to force fluid into the line.  Close the nipple again before the lever bottoms out and stops moving.  Pump the lever a few times until you feel pressure in the line again, then repeat step 4 until all air has been forced out of the bleed nipple, or until you see the new fluid coming out of the bleed nipple (it’s generally a different color than the old fluid).  Here’s a video to more clearly illustrate this process:

 

Step 5:  There seems to be a spot at the top near the master cylinder where one last air bubble likes to get stuck.  To make sure you get it out, carefully tilt the bike even farther over to the left, you may want to have a buddy help you to be sure you don’t drop the bike, and be careful not to spill brake fluid from the reservoir.  Tap the brake line up and down the line with a wrench or screwdriver and also gently tap the side of the master cylinder.  This will help any additional tiny bubbles or any bubbles stuck at the top by the master cylinder come out of the top into the reservoir.  Then set the bike back upright.  Thanks to Stirz from R3-forums.com for figuring out that little trick.

 

Step 6:  Make sure the reservoir is filled to the mark in the inside of the reservoir with fluid (add more, or suck some out with the vacuum pump or a turkey baster), then place the rubber boot in, then the plastic piece, then the cap, and screw the cap back on.  Readjust your brake lever wherever you like it, push the cover back onto the bleed nipple, and you’re all done!

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How to install a stainless steel braided front brake line on the Yamaha R3

For racing or aggressive riding, one of the first upgrades I recommend is to replace the OEM rubber front brake line with a stainless steel or kevlar braided line.  OEM rubber lines are flexible and will expand when you squeeze the lever.  This expansion gets worse when the brake fluid gets hot, or the ambient temperature is hot.  This makes the brakes feel mushy and less effective than they really are because some of the energy you spend squeezing the lever goes into flexing the brake line instead of squeezing the brakes.  Fortunately, the fix is easy and inexpensive, and if money is tight, I recommend changing the brake lines before changing the brake pads to see if the new stopping power is enough without spending the money on new pads.  Since a single stainless steel braided front brake line for the R3 costs less than $70, there isn’t a better bang for the buck upgrade you can do to your motorcycle.  Add another $30 for a brake bleeder to make the job easy (see below) and last you for a lifetime of bikes, and another $19 for some Motul RBF600 racing brake fluid:

and you will be back up and running for under $120 with significantly better brakes and a valuable skill, (how to bleed the brakes or flush the brake fluid on the Yamaha R3).  I almost never use my rear brake so I have no reason to replace the OEM rear line with a stainless steel line.  In my opinion, save the money and buy some Vesrah brake pads for the front instead of buying a stainless steel brake line for the rear.

 

Here’s a step by step procedure for changing the front brake line on the Yamaha R3 2015:

Once finished, follow the procedure here to bleed the brakes.

 

Tools Needed:
rubber gloves (brake fluid is bad for you)

paper towels or rags (brake fluid is corrosive and can damage the paint on your bike if not cleaned up)

some cardboard pieces to set on the ground under the bike and work on

bottle of brake fluid, I recommend a high temperature brake fluid designed for racing, I use Motul RBF600

10mm Socket

12mm Socket

14mm Socket

14mm Wrench

8mm Wrench

a torque wrench is useful to torque the banjo bolts, but not completely necessary

a plastic bag for the OEM brake line and hardware is helpful to keep it from making a mess

Pneumatic Vacuum Bleeder connected to an air compressor (It’s possible to change the brake lines without a bleeder, but it takes forever and it’s a huge pain in the ass to get fluid to fill the new lines by just using the brake lever, this makes it SOOO much easier)

I don’t recommend using the common hand pump style vacuum bleeder like this:

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I think they are a huge pain in the ass, the container is too light weight and falls over while trying to use it, and it’s too hard to seal to maintain vacuum, and they break easily, super annoying.

Instead, I use and highly recommend getting a pneumatic vacuum bleeder like this, they are almost the same price, like $30:

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And they are SOOO much easier to use to draw fluid into a new line.  You connect it to an air compressor and it uses a Venturi to create vacuum.  You just squeeze the handle for continuous vacuum, awesome.  Plus, the hose is more flexible than the cheap hand pump style kits, and the fluid reservoir is weighted so it just sits there while you work instead of tipping over and frustrating the crap out of you.  I bought mine from Harbor Freight for about $40, but here’s a link to one from Amazon that includes 2 lines which makes it much easier to use for other bikes with dual caliper front brakes so I’d get this one if I did it again:

 

I had the bodywork off my bike when I did this install, but it isn’t necessary.  You can change the brake line with all of the bodywork in place.  Set down some cardboard scraps under the bike and where you are planning to work to keep everything clean.  You can put the bike up on a rear stand, however, because of the angle of the master cylinder, I found it easier to refill and get the air out of the line with the bike on the kick stand instead.

 

Step 1:  Use a 10mm socket to remove the brake line from the bracket, then remove the bolt attaching the bracket to the lower triple clamp and set the bracket aside, you do not need it anymore.  Save the bolt that attached the bracket to the triple clamp, it is useful for attaching the new brake line later on.

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Step 2:  Use an 8mm socket to remove the clamp attaching the brake line to the front fender.  Pry this clamp open to remove it front the OEM brake line and set it aside, it works well to attach the new brake line to the lower triple clamp.

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Step 3:  Use a 12mm socket to remove the banjo bolt at the master cylinder.  Wear gloves and wrap the area with a rag, brake fluid will leak out once you remove this bolt.  Wipe up any dripping brake fluid from the area and set the disconnected end of the brake into a container to catch the brake fluid as it drains while you keep working.

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Step 4:  Use a 12mm socket to remove the banjo bolt from the brake caliper.  Set your drain pan or brake fluid container under the caliper to catch the fluid that drains out.  Allow all the fluid to drain, then use a rag to immediately wipe up any excess fluid from the area.  Put the brake line and banjo bolts in a plastic bag and set them aside where they won’t make a mess.

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***I like to install the brake caliper side of the line first, some people prefer to install the master cylinder side first, it doesn’t really matter.

 

Step 5:  Locate the male-male fitting and make sure it has a copper crush washer on the side that threads into the caliper.  Thread the fitting into the caliper and tighten it down tight so it seals against the crush washer.  Torque the fitting to 21 ft lbs.

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Step 6:  Thread the brake line onto the fitting in the brake caliper.  Snug the fitting down and run the line around the fork to where it will connect to the master cylinder.  I found the best fit to be to wrap the line around the outside of the fork leg, but you can run it between the forks if you’d like, it just doesn’t sit as well because of how the fittings are oriented.  While holding the brake line pointed up, tighten the fitting with the 14mm wrench.  This fitting has to be very tight to seal properly.  When you try to bleed the brakes later, keep an eye on this fitting, if it leaks, tighten it down more.

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Step 7:  Locate the new banjo bolt and (2) new copper crush washers.  Place one washer on the bolt, then put the bolt through the brake line fitting, then add the second crush washer (see photo below).  Proper installation of the crush washers is critical!!!  Wrap the brake line around the outside of the fork leg (or inside if you chose to go inside) and up to the master cylinder.  The fitting will be about 90 degrees off from lining up with the hole in the master cylinder.  I found that if you twist the fitting about 90 degrees counterclockwise (while looking down on the end) to line it up, the twist forces the line to wrap nicely around the fork leg and gives good clearance for everything.  See pictures below for alignment.  Twist the line and thread the banjo bolt in as far as you can with your fingers.  Align the cable as seen in the photo below and hold it in place while you tighten the new banjo bolt to 15 ft lbs to seal the crush washers.  The OEM banjo bolt is torqued to 21 ft lbs, but it is a steel bolt and the replacement bolt is aluminum, 21 ft lbs will damage the new aluminum banjo bolt.

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Step 8:  Use the original clamp from the front fender and the bolt you saved from the triple clamp bracket and attach the new brake line to the triple clamp as seen in the photo below.  Then bend the clamp away from the right fork leg so it isn’t rubbing against the triple clamp bolt and it secures the brake line in a better position.

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Step 9:  With the bike on the kick stand, turn the bars all the way to the left.  Use an 8mm socket to loosen the clamp bolts on the brake lever/master cylinder and adjust the master cylinder so that it is as upright and level as possible, then tighten the clamp back down so it doesn’t move later while you are bleeding the brakes.  Remove the 2 phillips screws on the master cylinder and carefully remove the lid, plastic insert, and rubber boot.  If the rubber boot is extended, collapse it back so it looks like the picture below.

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