I used to own a Yamaha (MT-07. It was a great bike) and I'd get marketing emails & the like. Not long ago I received an email from Yamaha marketing asking if I'd be interested at attending an evening on motorcycle maintenance. "Why not" I said. So last night I took a trip down Deus Ex Machina, Camperdown Sydney. It’s a stone’s throw from Royal Prince Alfred Hospital so, when the delivery schedule for turning bikes around is tight & accidents happen with the arc welder and grinder, help isn’t too far away. The event was arranged by Colin Chan, Digital Marketing Coordinator Yamaha Motors Australia and had Karl from Yamaha Engineering present & lead the evening and it ran through several areas we all need to touch on to make sure our bikes are well maintained. The event kicked off at 6:30pm (photos below before the 20 strong attendees arrived). As my father used to tell me, “you need the right tool for the job” and he was right. Of course you need the right tools and Karl gave a pretty good overview of what we should all have in our tool-boxes, sheds or garages. If there was one tool we all should have according to Karl it is the Torque Wrench. Not a bad tip. He didn't push the Gucci go fast kit like Snap-On or the like, just reasonable decent tools. The other is ensuring you are doing your maintenance in a clean environment. Rules for Tools: Use tools that are the right size and type for the job. Follow the correct procedure for the use of each tool. Wear the appropriate safety equipment if required. Check all tools for wear or cracks. Check electrical equipment for safety and correct operation. Use the tool for its designed purpose. Don't work with oily or greasy hands. Never carry tools in your pockets = damage to your bike. After use, clean the tools and put them back in a safe clean location. Always use torque wrenches - so many reasons. Nuts & Bolts: Do not over tighten. Threads, especially alloy, can be easily damaged. Start nuts & bolts by hand to avoid thread damage. Nuts & bolts have torque settings, use them! Maintain correct tightening sequence for specific parts. Use a logical tightening sequence for other components. Make sure threads are clean, dry and not damaged. Use lubricants / locking agents only when stated in your bikes workshop manual. Note: Always clan both threads prior to using new locking agents for correct adhesion. Fuel lines: Check fuel hoses for cracks or damage - regularly. Coupling & Connectors: Pushed in fully to lock position. Marking of lines where clamps sit. Rubber lines: Generally on modern day bikes these stay in good condition. Clean drain hose in carbie's can go hard. When replacing make sure to put a split in bottom to stop clogging (MC will have no fuel supply). Fit in the stated manufacturers exact position. Remove with large screw driver if tight to try and avoid damage. Directional breather on fuel tank. Plastic fittings. O-rings & seals: Inspect any o-rings or seals for leakage or distortion. Check for cracking or perishing. Clamps & holders: Make sure clamps are in correct position to seal. Make sure the clamps are not cutting into lines. Make sure the clamp is tight & holding tension. Spark Plugs: Keep in order of removal to check cylinder condition. Correct heat range fitted. Brown to greyish colour. Correct gap. To close-not enough spark to fully ignite mixture. To far-excessive ignition pressure. Wear Rounded electrodes Eroded electrodes Analyse the spark plug: Carbon deposits = a dry sooty deposit. Causes = weak ignition, rich fuel mixture. Oil deposits = Large carbon build-up / wet oily coating. Causes = valve guides, piston rings, gasket or o-rings. Overheating = brown with white spots. Causes = incorrect heat range, lean air/fuel mixture, ignition timing. Cold = black and sooty. Causes = incorrect heat range, rich air/fuel mixture, weak spark. Installation of Spark Plugs: Make sure the threads are clean and free from grit. Screw plug in by hand until seated. Use torque wrench to tighten to specifications Note: if you are unfamiliar with the correct feel of a spark plug correctly seated, then you can have it loosen off and blow out the head or even have it break due to over-tightening causing unwanted problems. Oils aren't Oils: Make sure - Drain tray is clean for old oil inspection. When filling with new oil, all your tools should be clean and make sure no foreign particles can be caught up in the new oil. Be careful of lint rags as these can block oil ways. Do not over fill when replacing oil. Changing oil and filter: Oils are best changed when they are hot. The flow is improved and it holds particles in suspension better when hot. Oil filters are changed every second oil change per manual - but change these when you change your oil. Wet Clutch: Oil used for this engine does not use any friction modifiers or additives. These will cause clutch slippage. Japanese Automotive Standards Organisation (JASO): with modern engines the oil must meet JASO standards. Viscosities: These are recommended viscosities for each engine. Type of use, temprature and type will determine the correct oil viscosity. Contaminates: Always inspect the old oil removed from your motorcycle. Check for: Quantity - Over/Under full. Colour - Brown/Black means there is a build up of contaminants. Particles - Metals, clutch material, carbon. Thickness - Soot, dirt, oxidation, sludge Increase - fuel dilution, water. Mineral or Synthetic Oils: Advantages - Better low & high temperature viscosity. Better chemical & sheer stability. Decreased evaporative loss. Resistance to oxidation, thermal breakdown and oil sludge problems. Extended drain intervals with the environmental benefit of less oil waste. Improved fuel economy in certain engine configurations. Better lubrication on cold starts. Longer engine life under extreme conditions. Disadvantages - The lower friction may make them unusable for break in. Synthetics do not hold lead in suspension as well as mineral oil, thus caution is advised when the engine is run on leaded fuel. Oil manufacturers recommend an oil flush to the engine before changing from a mineral to a synthetic oil. Breaks & Brake Fluid: Breaks are the most important system on your motorcycle. If you are unsure leave it to the experts. Brake Pads: Brake pads have a wear limit. Wear limits must be adhered to as heat will effect the efficiency of the pads operation causing them to fade. When replacing, remove the brake caliper and use a lever against the old pads to force the pistons back. Open the bleed nipple and have a clean hose line fitted into a drain tray to capture brake fluid forced out through the nipple. Once the pads are fully seated close off the bleed nipple. Remove old break pads and clean parts in water to remove dust. Fit the new break pads as per your bikes service manual and use correct torque settings for calliper bolts. Bleed the break system replenishing with new break fluid of the correct specification. NOTE: check for run-out & thickness of disc's. Replace if out of specification. Drive chains, chains, drive-shafts, air filters, bearings & burshes, engine coolant, cables and valve adjustments were other topics discussed in detail. Good discussion was had on all these areas & Karl gave some simple demonstration on correctly tightening your chain, bleeding the breaks and wheel alignment. Deus was kind enough to provide some Pizza and beer's for those attending but my daily caloric deficit remained on point thanks to the deep seeded fear of cabs after 6:30pm & my body dysmorphia was on heightened alert as I mingled with some of the better looking men & women of our motorcycling community. To those female readers, you are not alone at suffering with body image I’m there with you all! [It didn’t help that I had poached egg & bacon this morning when I woke up ] In keeping with these shallow thoughts being expressed aloud, I’m also pleased to report there were no ‘man-buns’ present. For those not familiar with the man-bun check out the image on this post. The only sin, greater than a man-bun, are boat-shoes. Boat-shoes are the cardinal sin for men. Guy’s, never wear boat style shoes. N-E-V-E-R. Have some self-respect. Don't know what boat-shoes are? Check out the image on this post. Go spend some money on yourself and buy some nice lace-up’s. You have all spend some cash on a bike now go spend some cash on some nice quality shoes just not f’ing boat-shoes. Respect to you all.