Monday, August 31, 2009

WR250R Force Accessories Radiator Guard Install

This post will detail how I installed the Force Accessories Radiator Guard on my 2008 Yamaha WR250R. I am quite pleased with the strength and quality of this guard and I recommend it for your WR250R.

These are the tools I used for this install:

These are the included directions and they are pretty good, but there were some bits that I found tricky (removing the top bolt of the stock piece).

Step 1:
Remove the seat by removing the bolts underneath. I want to replace these with something easier to remove on the road.

Step 2:
Remove the ride side front panel.

Step 3:
Remove the stock plastic radiator guard. There are four bolts holding it in and the fan wire is clipped in. The red arrows are the bolts and the green is where the fan wire is.

A shot of the fan wire clip:

I used the small 1/4" deep socket to get at the top bolt. It was very tight, and I didn't want to disconnect the radiator.

Step 4:
Remove the radiator hose holder with the allen wrench. The back of the guard bolts into the frame here.

Step 5:
Bolt the front of the new guard to the frame. This is where the screw driver with the long extension and socket came in handy. I used locktite on these bolts.

Step 6:
Attack the back triangle brace using the spacer to gap the radiator hose. I also used locktite on these bolts.

Step 7:
Re-attach the side panel, making sure to hook the top clip in. I missed it the first time and had to take the seat off and the side panel to get it to sit flush.

Step 8:
Re-attach the seat making sure the front of the seat hooks onto the bike. I missed this the second time I put the seat on. :)

Step 9:
Enjoy your new guard by playing in the dirt!

You don't need these anymore:



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Friday, August 28, 2009

WR250R Acerbis Handguard Install

This post will detail how I installed the Acerbis Rally Pro II handguards on my 2008 Yamaha WR250R.

These are the tools I used for this install:

The instructions that come with the guards are ok, and the ones on their website are good. Looking at the parts I had I thought they were a bit confusing because they referenced parts that didn't come with my kit -- I didn't need those parts either.

Take the bar inserts apart so you can slip the rubber hose over them. Then reassemble as shown.

Step 2:
Take the bar insert and screw it into the end of the handguard. Make sure the horizontal notch lines up. Doing this makes it much easier to attach to the bike.

Step 3:
attach the handle bar mount on the other side of the guard

Your guards should now look like this:

Step 4:
Now, you need to cut the ends off the grips, so you can slip the bar inserts into the handlebars. I started on the clutch side which I would recommend because it is easier and will add some confidence when it comes to using the dremel on the throttle side.
I found this easiest by tracing the lump off the end of the grip with the knife like this:

To end up with this:

Repeat on the throttle side and then use the dremel to cut the end of the throttle tube off. I also used dremel to sand the end of the tube smooth.

Step 6:
Side the bar inserts into the handlebars and then attach the clamps onto the bars. I found keeping the curved side of the clamp down worked for me. I did have to slide the perch for the brake lever in about 1/4" of an inch to get enough clearance for the lever. The clutch side was fine.

Step 7:
Tighten everything down and go play in the dirt!

UPDATE: November 17, 2009:
After a great question from Ray, I updated step six to note that I did slide my brake lever perch in just slightly to give the brake lever enough room. The clutch side was fine stock.

As far as performance goes, I'm not very happy with the guards. The color matching is a nice touch, but after crashing a few times, the guards are twisting and both have bent. I was able to straighten them with a hammer and anvil. During one of the crashes, the guards bent up and pushed the front brake banjo bolt loose and all the brake fluid leaked out. On a different crash, the clutch side crushed the clutch lever after the guard folded in.

I plan on replacing the Acerbis guards with something that mounts to the triple clamps which should prevent them from moving in future falls. I also plan on replacing the stock bars with something more substantial as I have also bent the stock bars.


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Storm Delay

There is a good thunderstorm going right now, and I'm supposed to be leaving for my trip to the UP. My other riding friends called and they want to ride south now instead to avoid the 70% chance of rain Sat/Sun in the UP (it is raining there right now). We're currently waiting for the thunderstorm to move to the east to start our ride. It looks like we'll be riding south along the Mississippi, and now there will be four of us.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Commuting - August 26

I took the WR250R today. It was another cool and clear day with the temp around 60F. It was a bit cloudy on the way home and 75F. I really am enjoying this bike, it is so fun to ride.

I made more progress on the packing situation for this weekend's trip. I also spent some more time looking at roads. I even practiced setting up the tent a few times to make sure I'm comfortable with it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Commuting - August 25

I awoke to the sounds of a thunderstorm -- strong wind, hard rain, and lots of thunder. I hit the snooze button and went back to sleep with the hope of letting the storm wear itself out a bit before I rode to work. This plan worked out well, as just before I left, the storm turned into a light rain. The dark, black clouds I was riding towards were quite impressive, but the sprinkling was no match for my rain gear and I arrived at work without incident. In typical Minnesota fashion, the sky was clear and blue by lunch. It is looking like it will be perfect weather for a ride after work.

The plans for my first motorcycle camping trip to the UP this weekend are shaping up nicely. I just need to finalize the packing layout on the SV and buy some last minute supplies. A friend and I plan on doing this Mondo Enduro style, so we will be living entirely off the bike for four days. It nearly turned into a dualsport trip instead, but I still haven't figured out the "right" luggage/packing solution for the WR250R -- a giant loop seems likely though.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Commuting - August 24

Today was another perfect day to ride to work -- clear skies and not too hot or too cold. There also wasn't too many cars on the road. I took the SV650 today as I needed to bring some things with and the top case does come in handy. After work, I spent some time riding the St. Paul side of the Mississippi River Road. Today was just a great day to ride.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ride Report - August 23

My face is very sore today because I've been smiling since I left the house this morning. I haven't been able to stop smiling all day. The ride was amazingly fun! I am really impressed how well the Yamaha WR250R handled today. It did everything I asked it to do, but, unfortunately, my skills as a rider are not equal to the performance of the bike. It can do so much more than I can make it do. I fell many times and stalled it even more, but I had so much fun! It was also a great learning experience. I'm also impressed with the fuel efficiency of the WR250R. Most of the day I was getting about 75MPG with the sprint along I35 coming in at 50MPG.

I met up with some other riders from the the TC_Dualsport list at the Freedom gas station in White Bear Lake along 61 and 96. The ride was organized by Paul Streeter, and he took us on some fantastic roads! He took us (Paul, Steve, Mark, and Dale) up toward Marine on St. Croix on some gravel roads northeast of White Bear Lake. Then we crossed over into Wisconsin near Osceola, rode north of St.Croix Falls on 87, and then on to River Road. We stopped for lunch at the Wolf Creek Bar. Then we rode into the pine barrens area and then to the Crex Meadows wildlife preserve north of Grantsberg, WI. It was mostly two tracks and gravel roads, but we did manage to find a couple fire roads. It's a very fun place to ride, and I look forward to going back again soon. A crude map is here. I didn't get the chance to take as many pictures as I wanted, but the ones I did take are here on Flickr.

For the ride home, Steve took Paul and me on some back gravel roads and a very muddy two track near the river. It was also very exciting! Of course, I fell just after making it across a giant mud puddle. Fortunately, a couple trees slowed me down and helped cushion my fall. We ended up near North Branch and took I35 south back to the cities. I think Paul and Steve were impressed the little WR250R could keep up with them so well on the highway.

I am completely exhausted now after the ride (268.5 miles roundtrip), but am looking forward to the chance to ride with Paul and Steve again. They are both great riders and guides. Both of them were very patient with my newness today and gave me some useful tips. I am very thankful for Paul's patience as he waited at every intersection for me to catch up. Thanks Paul! If you get a chance to go on one of Paul's rides, I strongly recommend you take the opportunity.

I'm very happy I finally finished installing the skidplate, handguards, and radiator guard. They did a fine job protecting the bike. I will post the installation on the hand and radiator guards soon.

BTW: I took the Yamaha to Waldoch on Saturday and they solved the leaky oil problem. There was dirt in between the crush washer and the case. Their tech Murray replaced the washer for free along with an oil change of 10W40. Things are working great now.

Friday, August 21, 2009

WR250R Thumpertalk Skidplate Install

Since my commute yesterday was very wet and rainy, I will instead write about the easiest farkle I have ever installed.

Here is the Thumpertalk Skidplate just waiting to be installed:

The skidplate ready to be installed along with the only two tools needed: a 10mm and 8mm socket. I like that there is a hole big enough to get at the oil drain plug.

Step one: remove these plastic guards with the 8mm socket

and put them in storage, they are not needed with the new skidplate.

These are the four mounting holes for the skidplate:

Step two: bolt skidplate to bike and done!

The waterpump covers seems a bit exposed from this angle:

This photo is a reference for how long the bolts are compared to my 8mm craftsman socket:

UPDATE: November 17, 2009
If I could do it over, I wouldn't get the Thumpertalk guard. It is strong and has been crash and rock tested a few times and has worked great. The Thumpertalk skid plate does reverb slightly and makes the ride nosier for me. I don't mind as I almost always wear ear plugs. More importantly the Flatland racing skid plate is slightly larger and covers the water pump hose and cover better. Read about a fix to the thumpertalk guard here.



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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Leaky oil, a tailor, and commuting - August 19

The commute this morning was fast since I left earlier than usual. I took the SV650 today since I needed some extra storage space. The temp was cool and the roads wet. It looked like it was going to rain, but that didn't start until later.

The commute home was more interesting because an hour before I left work the storm sirens were blaring. The ride home was wet as a strong rain was coming down. My tourmaster gear kept me dry, so no worries.

The bike was also much nicer to ride today since this morning I remove my National Cycle F15 Touring windscreen. I just couldn't handle the buffeting anymore and I have adjusted it many many many times. I cannot say I recommend the shield on an SV650. It cracked on me while I was riding across South Dakota earlier this year. There was a very strong headwind and it just cracked from bending in the wind all day. The current is just a small flyscreen which has hardly any buffeting. Here are some pics of the former and current:

I have also positively identified the oil leak on the WR250R. It is definitely coming from the oil drain plug. See the dot on the paper and the slight bit of oil on the drain plug itself (highlighted with the arrow).

I am impressed with Kim's Tailors in Arden Hills on County Road E and Lexington Ave. They fixed up my riding pants for only $12 and it only took a couple days! Not the week and $20+ I was quoted by another shop. I used them a few years ago to repair a leather jacket and they also did a good job then. I will be using them again in the future.