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Ttaskmaster

Urgent: Dragstar Owners!!!

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Check your monoshock!!

They have a tendency to snap off, but because of the design layout, YOU WILL NOT NOTICE unless you inspect the bike, or if you ride over a pothole, whereupon the bike will drop down, go clunk and at best you'll be riding alarmingly low. At worse, you'll lock up the rear wheel and fishtail. Very nasty!

Seems around the 30,000+ mile mark, the monoshock gets a little brittle. Doesn't seem to matter how clean you keep it either, as this second Dragstar had a lot of lubing and maintenance after the first one's shock snapped. When it fails, it will snap off just between the swingarm bracket and the preload adjuster. The reason you won't notice while riding is that the base of the shock still fits up flush against the snapped end and performs normally. If you jack the back end high up, the wheel will remain resting on the ground and you'll see the shock wiggling around behind the rubber curtain.

I just had a second 650 fail MOT test due to it's fucking bastard snapped monoshock and I know several others this has happened to as well, all around the same mikelage (about 35k), so get home, check your bike and be mindful.

Any problems, I recommend getting a Hagon shock as a replacement.

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Pinned.

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Cheers for that, im only on 17k and changed rear wheel last month and jacked the arse up high so i didnt need to strip the bike, all seemed fin. Can you post a picture of what exactly we are looking at. :thumb:

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That sucks man. Not a cheap fix either, £300 for a hagon monoshock from wemoto... Oh wait, you're gonna use the one from your other drag right? Should be straightforward to replace though, looks like you just remove the top and bottom bolts.

Was faffing around under the seat on mine last weekend, didn't notice anything amiss. She's just gone past 40K miles though, and with the state of London's roads, it can't be too long. But here's hoping eh?

My mechanic in Croydon who has experience with draggies warned me of this when I first got her serviced.

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Can you post a picture of what exactly we are looking at. :thumb:

I can see about getting some pics this Sunday, maybe. Going over to check on my new FJ1200 anyways. Repair is done, but old one is lying chucked in a corner, so if my friend doesn't tidy up beforehand...

That sucks man. Not a cheap fix either, £300 for a hagon monoshock from wemoto... Oh wait, you're gonna use the one from your other drag right? Should be straightforward to replace though, looks like you just remove the top and bottom bolts.

Was faffing around under the seat on mine last weekend, didn't notice anything amiss. She's just gone past 40K miles though, and with the state of London's roads, it can't be too long. But here's hoping eh?

My mechanic in Croydon who has experience with draggies warned me of this when I first got her serviced.

Not a cheap fix, no, but luckily the skeleton of Drag 1 is still around for me to nick the Hagon I used when that one went!

Yes, you strip off the seats and rear mudguard assembly (four bolts, two on each side and watch the electric leads for the indicators).

You'll have to jack the bike up to get the swingarm low enough. That is the ONLY way you'll notice, as the base of the shock otherwise sits flush against the broken bearing.

At this point, you'll see the bearing, bolt and bracket all covered in the ususal road muck, but this is where muck and corrosion gather. Also fecking hard to clean properly unless you regularly strip the bike down. The bearing rusts up, siezes and then shears off at the bottom, just where it's hidden behind the rubber skirt.

Now, if it's proper siezed, you'll probably have to angle-grind the bearing out.

When fitting new shock, remember to jack bike up high, bolt the bottom end in first (unless you have really slim tools) and then lower very slowly to line up the top end. Use a LOT of waterproof lube on the bearings. Continue to check regularly (or wait for MOT/accident to unearth it) and keep as clean as you can. Yamaha have not made this an easy thing to watch out for!

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Great! Know anywhere I can get a not-too-expensive bike jack?

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Define not-too-expensive.

A decent entry-level workshop scissor jack for Croozahz will cost you about £50-80.

I was looking at the second one, myself:

http://www.busters-accessories.co.uk/productInfo.aspx?catRef=TRE4101&kw=jack

http://www.busters-accessories.co.uk/productInfo.aspx?catRef=TRE4103&kw=jack

However, most guys seem to do fine with a large £20 car jack, long as you put it in the right place on the frame and use a thick pad between the two.

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Good post Tasky, i might invest in a hagon shock soon while the bike is off the road.

Tout, i just use a normal car jack and axle stands for my bike. really cheap in lidl and good quality.

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I got a hydraulic bike jack from fleabay a while ago. £20 and was about 1 mile away from me. Just luck maybe. I think you can get trolley jacks that the cup is removable. Knock up a wooden frame out of an old pallet and bobs your uncle.

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That's the kind of one I have. Excellent. The downsides are that it is really heavy, so if you need to lift it up a step or something like it, it can be difficult. The same for moving it around, the wheels are very small and the smoother the floor the better. If you catch your toes with it, it hurts a lot, a real lot! Apart from that, they are the dogs.

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Full details on what happens.

Dirt, grit, road crap and water enter the linkage, bypass the outer O-rings driving the grease/lube out and then start gathering in a central groove that is probably supposed to have a third O-ring, but I've never seen one. Even my brand new Hagon one was the same. From here, the crap corrodes the insides. The bearing siezes to the bolt and to the inside of the linkage, as well as seizing the linkage to the swingarm bracket and the bolt itself. Corrosion also gets in through the little cut-out in the rubber curtain and onto the point where the linkage body forms the base of the shock. As the whole rear bracket assembly siezes up, the linkage body bends up and down with the swingarm's natural movement, eventually snapping.

This is especially hard to keep clean in your normal routine, or even with a long-reach jetwash, as the wheel, mudguard and frame/sub-frame make it piggin' awkward. The only way I can see to do this is regular removal of the back end and checking. Most bikes seem to suggest lubing linkages every 12,000 miles.

I'd recommend checking this maybe 3-monthly, with once a month during Winter/road-crap heavy riding.

One small note - At out-of-the-box settings, the Hagon makes the Drag sit an inch or two higher. I happen to love this and having ridden two very differently set Drags with one, there is a slight but noticable improvement in handling. It just feels 'nicer', ya know?

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Mmmm, I wonder, is this likely to be just mileage related or aged related as well...

My Drag is a 1998 but it only has 6,000 miles on it, and from the state of the chrome and documents it looks to have been treated well and been off the road most winters before I got it.

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Likely more mileage, but the time I gave assumed year-round all-weather riding (like Meeeeeeeee!).

Either way, all those who reported the same fault were about the same mileage (30-35k) and even those who didn't abuse their bike like me, the religious cleaners who got a top down service every six months or so, encountered the same issue.

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is there any way this could be noticed for someone persay going to buy a bike

obviously your not gonna jack it up

so is there any tell tale signs

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Wonder if you can fab up a gaiter to cover this problem area?

Maybe take the lower bolt out, slip a big bit of heat shrink over it bolt back together and shrink the wrap?

Could be a good thing for the YOC to come up with a solution :eusa_think:

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You can buy a shock wrap from good bike parts suppliers it Velcros on around the spring but it will not help with the eyes seizing the only way to stop this is to remove the bolts once a year a grease them. If this was a common design problem the VOSA boys would well aware of it and Yamaha would have had there wrist slapped.

Hagon shocks have been known to snap a the eyes as well but just apparently because there weak.

PS. The FJ top shock bolt can seize due to low/no grease but I have never heard of one snapping.

PPS. the FJR liankage can seized and collapse this is due to poor maintenance and the VOSA boys vindicated Yamaha as someone tried to sue them and lost.

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I hesitate to say this but, I fix computers and have done for some years now and there are lots of laptops out there that have a known problem with overheating, now under the sale of goods act (see EU regs) the item, what ever it might be, should be fit for purpose, if there is a known fault with the shocks on the dragstar then this "SHOULD" be one of those times when a refund or replacement is in order. The sale of goods act is meant to cover just this type of fault, that is when an item is used in the correct way and has no modifications or abnormal use but fails due to poor design or abnormal wear. I'm not saying that you will get your money back but Yamaha must know that there is a problem if it is as prevalent as you say and everybody knows this happens. There is "NOT" a one year warranty on such items but under the regulations at present it is in fact a MINIMUM of 2 years and up to 7 years depending on the type of item and where you are in the UK, in fact in SCOTLAND the minimum time for such repair or replacement is 7 years. This at the moment is used using white goods ie fridge freezer or washing machine/ dryer but covers any and all mechanical parts that are fitted as normal to any mechanical device.

If you don't believe me then got to the EU website and check it out, I have had at the very least 12 laptops replaced by the manufacturer (Dell/Toshiba/Samsung) using this very same argument, just print out the form that is available from the EU website present it to your dealer with a covering letter that states your problem and they HAVE to respond to your problem under the latest statutes regarding the sale of goods.

PS if they refuse to consider your claim then you are entitled to start a small claims case against them (at no cost to you) in which they must respond within 4 weeks of their intention to replace said faulty item or respond to your claim in court, I have never had any of the big 5 computer companies refuse to replace a faulty item and only once have had the need to go to the bother of a small claims court where they lost!!

Re: EU Directive 1999/44/EC -V- Sale of Goods Act

Your interested in the EU directive 1999/44/EC NOT the SOGA, these are different things and in some cases can confuse the issue when not taken in the correct context.

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Firstly, my bike is 14 years old and WELL past any warranty. Chances are at 30-35,000 miles, most other people's bikes will be at least 10 years old (assuming an average 4,000 miles of riding per year).
Also, it's more just one of those design faults - Like the sight glass location, delicate reg/rec bracket (snaps off at the single frame bolt a lot), or the 1100 Drag's dodgy starter clutch and oil filter location. Something like this simply reaching the end of it's life.

Remember too that most of these 'failed' bikes (especially mine) have been ridden seriously - All year round, for the most part and considerable long distance. I averaged about 8,300 miles a year on mine, I think.
The manual says you're supposed to check the rear shock every 10, 20, 30 and 40,000 miles. It doesn't go past 40k and upon death, my Drag was pushing past 49K!!
This latest one lasted 39.4K (see, I do take some care of my poor workhorses!).

Based on even my mileage (I managed almost 10k in one year), that's less than an annual inspection. By contrast, annual MOTs *do* check the suspension, which is how I found out about this latest one even though it had already gone. Both Drags have had a top-down über-service, including grease up of everything, about every six months. Usually one right before Winter and one when it's warmer and I can do stuff myself without my hands seizing up.

That, to my maths, makes it something that took at most 3 months to go from fine to fucked. Based on it's last service, this one actually took about 11 weeks!!


Secondly, there is NO easy way to spot degredation with a standard examination.
The ONLY way to spot this is to take the seats (and possibly the back mudguard assembly) off and visually inspect the lower bracket both sides of the curtain.

If it's already gone, then again it won't feel any different. You may be able to spot it if you peer very closely up in the corner of the mudguard, past the wheel, with a bright torch, from several different angles. That, or bounce heavily on the seat (all your bodyweight) and see if it suddenly drops dead a few inches with a loud clunk and stays down.

In both cases, it's awkward because the rubber curtain sits right over the linkage/eye/hole-bit and partially the shock body where it snaps. I personally believe the curtain helps trap a lot of the crap that causes the corrosion in the first place.

Likely a custom-built cover would help. It needs to sleeve the entire lower bracket and the foot of the shock body (leaving the preload adjuster free), but still allow movement. I reckon a thick rubber wrap-around sock would be fine - Something that wraps over and under, overlaps and secures on the side with a buckle or press-studs maybe. I could draw it out if someone else wanted to make one.
You'd still need the curtain to prevent crap from damaging the rest of the bike, though.

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Thing is, checking doesn't guarantee anything necessarily; metal fatigue is hard to spot (I think you'd need an x-ray machine or something); but hey, keeping it clean and lubed up can't hurt. Think I'll go and do it now...

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