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2004 R6 Maintenance Questions

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by btam, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Hi All,

    I've been a reader of this site for a fair while since I first started riding about 3 years back. Have had 2 bikes die on me and costly mechanic and towing trips.

    Anyway on my third bike now that I have my full license and decided I'd take the plunge to try doing a minor service myself to learn a bit more about the bike and save cash coz i'm on a budget.

    To give you an idea, I had no idea what a spark plug/coil or oil filter looked like prior to undertaking this task...

    Downloaded the workshop manual for the 2004 R6

    Then headed off to the shop and bought a race stand and consumables.

    My goal was to change:
    Oil/Oil filter
    Air Filter
    brake fluid
    spark plugs
    tension and lube the chain

    According to the guys at the shop, I can't do the two bearing jobs in the workshop manual which says repack because it's a big job and I need something else to suspend the bike when doing those things.

    Anyway after 3-4 days of swearing and trips back and forth from supercheap bunnings and auto barn I've got to the following steps:

    1. Installed the spark plugs but I don't have a torque wrench but was just told at the shop to do it up so I think it's tight and it'd be good enough. Is that correct?

    2. The heat shield had cable fasteners attached and I had to sever them to get it out. Do i need to replace the cable fasteners with new ones or can i leave the cables to free roam since they are fairly well limited in space anyway?

    3. I jammed the heat shield back in after hours of swearing... but i can't get those two clips at the back where you have to push in the middle to release them because they seem worn and won't hold together nemore when you try reinsert them. Can I leave the heatshield in there unbolted given it's pretty much in the right spot.. and it's pretty much jammed in tight and won't budge without a significant amount of force? or do i need ot buy new clip bolt things or can i just put a cable fastener thorugh the bolt hole instead?

    4. I bought crappy allen keys or hex keys whatever they are called and smoothed out two of the fairing bolts :( barely managed to get them off, is there somewhere cheap that i can get 2 new ones? they are the longer ones with the rubber seal underneath it. Shop is ordering it in for me but is charing me 7 bux per one .. so i only asked for two :(

    5. When I removed the air filter, to my suprise it wasn't the paper OEM one. instead it was a bracket with a metal mesh on it and had a bit of foam wrapped around it. Did some research and it seems I could use dish washing detergent to clean and just squeeze (not wring) in a bucket of warm water.. on the side of the foam theres gap opening up in the join but you can only open it if you stretch the foam out. but if it's held in it's shape the foam closes the gap.. bit like gluing two bits of foam together and then the to foam bits breaking away from each other. The rest is clean and i plan to replace it. But can I use it in the mean time or is it very dangerous for the bike and possibly allow junk to flow into the engine?

    I found one on ebay but can't seem to find a replacement foam anywhere else. Everyone seems to sell the paper or cotton gauze stuff. Can anyone recommend somewhere I can order from?

    6. So I'm up to bleeding the brakes now, but the manual says i need a tube to connect to the nipple thing near the brake calipers. Can I do without it?
    Bit confused on the procedure, thought i just open the cap and let the fluid come out and then put the cap back on -> pour more fluid into the resevoir and pump the brakes till all the bubbles and air pockets surface?

    Is that wrong?

    Sorry for the long post guys, but it's been pretty hectic in the last couple days.. learnt quite a bit... but yeah.. wanna make sure what i'm doing is still safe :)

    Cheers for any feedback.

  2. First of all, Welcome to Netrider!
    Good on you for having a go!

    Second: wow, big list of questions...

    Yes, tight plus 1/16th of a turn is a good rule of thumb, some spark plugs have crush washers you need to seat, usually there will diagrams on the box to indicate.

    Put them back properly, they might rub & short out, causing lots of damage.
    Buy a new clip, it won't cost much, & will prevent it from moving around. It could potentially catch fire, or set something else on fire. Cable tie as last resort, it's hot & it probably won;t last long. Tie wire might work ok...

    Lesson 1: Good tools will last you a lifetime. The scars from bad tools will also.

    A bolt shop might have a generic bolt that will work, but they're usually quite specific fasteners.

    Hmmmm..... I would get the OEM one, unless it is a performance airfilter, is there anything written on it?

    You would normally wash a foam one with Kero, then, you will need to re-oil it, otherwise it work trap enough crap to keep your engine fresh.

    The factory airfilter will give you best performance unless the bike has been tuned/can make use of the excess airflow.

    Most bike shops will have generic filter foam, but, as said, the factory air filter will give you the best performance.

    Yes. See this how to for how to http://www.spokes-women.org/Technical_Cornor/brake_bleeding.htm

    If you have any questions, post em up, (but do a search first, it's been covered heaps), brakes are really not something you want to get wrong.

    Good luck.
  3. I like that you are giving it a go, but with all those questions, I think you might be best to get someone that is experienced in this sort of this to lend a hand. I don't mean like a mechanic just someone that has done it before.
    Usual currency is a case of beer.
    I don't want to discourage you at all, it can make things smoother and you will be learning the proper way to do it, You really don't want to mess up anything.

    Also, search for a workshop manual for your bike, if you can get your hands on one (either download or buy one) it will make your life so much easier.

    In terms of tools, get the best you can at the time. It is worth while spending a bit more the quality. Bunnings normally stock sidchrome and kinchrome which are known for quality products esp in the terms of wrenches. Stanley have a great rep with screw drivers. Those brands also do allen keys.

    Do some research on your tools to. For example the pros and cons of single and double hex socket bits.
  4. Geeth, the OP has already downloaded the manual....

    Do agree though, would be better to have a knowledgable person to help when doing a serevice for the first time....
  5. Hey Guys,

    Thanks for the advice..

    Just so you know it was really an exercise to see what I can and can't do. I'd already asked a fair few questions from work colleagues who ride and are quite familiar with their bikes and maintenance. But probably don't know em well enough to come over and well.. spend some time on the bike itself. Which is why I'm kinda doing this on my own with the following all the info I've gathered.

    didn't really mind spending the time.. except i didn't expect a "minor" service to take a couple of days (few hours each day) sorting out.


    1. I think I'll go hunt for those clips, and the cable ties at bunnings or something from what you're telling me. Last thing I want is a fire while I'm riding.

    2. Order a new Foam piece to the air filter one for now, theres no writing on it from what I can tell but from reading I'm starting to think the foam air filter is the OEM for the 2003 / 2004 models.. not sure. But a new foam filter seemed to do the job and I'm not going to be doing any track days or setting new records so I'll get the foam replacement for now.

    However, to test things out today, I put the bits and pieces back together.
    Cleaned the old filter, went down to auto barn and bought some filter oil to oil her up. Spent a great deal of time reconnecting all those tubes to the filter.

    Luckily she fired up.. idled well after warming up. Although to my suprise the oil level is 1/3 up from the min mark between min and max :/ I guess I let out too much oil when I over filled it :/

    I think I'm going to take her into the mechanic just to reattach the heat shield and tie up the cables underneath the air filter box.

    It's too painful trying to rehook up those tubes. Especially when I have to have a friend hold the fuel tank up coz I don't have a pump to empty it out to take it completely off lol.

    For future reference though:
    I'll look to get a better set of tools since I plan to at least do the filters, oil and chain lubing, but out of curiosity even if I do get a better set, is there an easier way to hook up those tubes to the air filter box and heat shield or is it more an art?

    Haven't done the brakes yet - haven't had a chance to test what i read.... lol

    Oh and don't worry .. no offense taken if your telling me to get someone to help... I'm really doing this out of interest as well :) Cheers for all the advise.

  6. Ok so here's how it all panned out.

    So I put her back together and like I said heat shield was kinda in the right spot just with no clips and the cables weren't tied down. So I took the advice and dropped her off at the mechanics to fix it for me because I didn't want to take it all out again and to make sure I did things right.

    On the way riding to the mechanic, I noticed I'd stuffed up coz my indicators didn't work DOH!... thought I must have pulled a cable loose when I took the heatshield out since all 4 didn't work.

    Anyway quick question, I can't help but feel a little cheated somewhat even though they were very nice and did tolerate my noobness at the shop.

    They agreed over the phone I'd need the clips as well. But when I picked up the bike. They told me they didn't put ne clips in to secure it for sure because they said it wasn't going to move or come out and if it did.. it'd be because I'd have hit something pretty hard, i.e .ride through a brick wall.

    They tied the cables down, and replugged a loose cable above the heat shield like for the indicators like I guessed. Then they told me my hazard light indicator was a bit stuck so they took it apart and lubed it.

    Anyway, I paid the 95 dollars for the labour and well I guess I did buy peace of mind, but no clip, lube a part I didn't really ask for or want... and when I got home found a air tube fastener metal clasp hanging from my fairing.

    Did I get cheated?

    Like I said though I didn't complain and I did ask noob questions so grateful they did answer the bits and pieces I did ask about.

    Anyway learnt a fair bit from this exercise.. Time to bleed the back brake this weekend since the fluid is a bit.. erm black

    Cheers guys,

  7. Mechanics don't come cheaply. Most jobs take an hour or so so you are going to be up for $50 - $100 (depending on the shop) just for labour. However despite that, there are plenty of horror stories about bad mechanics, so if you find one you trust stay with them.

    Routine maintenance is not rocket science, however and is something any noob can do themselves with perhaps a bit of guidance to start. So give it a go. Ideally you will soon recognise when a job either requires special tools, is too fiddly/difficult, or requires expert knowledge that it's not worth doing yourself.

    I never use a torque wrench on spark plugs and without stripping one bike right down doubt if I could even get a torque wrench on a spark plug. They don't have to be very tight, just enough so they are no going ot come undone It probably will work but if it starts to feel tight then don't tighten anymore. Don't think you have to keep going because you haven't reached 1/16 turn.

    Bleeding brakes, yest you do need to do it properly with a tube. I guess if you were doing something as an emrgency road side fix doing what you suggest might get you home but i would then immediately re-bleed then properly.

    Since you didn't mention it maybe you are confused about the purpose of the tube. You attach one end to the nipple and the other end goes into a jar with some bake fluid in it, to stop the air sucking back into the line once you release the brake lever.

    The tube is not something special just a bit of plastic tube which is a tight fit over the nipple which you can buy for a few cents from Bunnings. Alternatively for a few dollars you can buy a specialised bit of tubing with a valve to stop air sucking back in from virtually any auto shop.
  8. its definitely awesome to have someone with you that knows what they're doing. I had no clue, just like you. But with some assistance from some friends, i know how to clean/lube chain, change oil, change oil filter, change coolant, bleed brakes, change spark plugs, clean air filter, clean and empty fuel tank, change headlights and indicators, clean brake calipers, change brake pads.

    I wouldn't have been able to do it myself. My mate lets me use his tools that i dont have - torque wrench, etc.
  9. See now that's where you run with a "you know what guy's, I have a BBQ and a beer fridge - I would really appreciate some helpful advice and practical demonstration on servicing and basic maintenance in exchange for lunch and a couple of coldies"

    The worst that can happen is they say no, the best is you new skills and find some riding buddies...