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My first bike AND project (Yamaha YBR 2009)


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Hey all,

My first bike is a Yamaha YBR 2009. Here she is when I first got her home:



I'm actually surprised that I managed to get her home. On the next day I decided to do a few checks. With the bike on the centre stand, the oil didn't even mark the gauge. When I put tyre pump on, initial pressure didn't even register. The chain was so loose that it may have fallen off at any time. NOTE TO SELF: pick the bike up in a van in future...

I knew that the bike needed some work but I had no idea what I was getting myself into, especially as this was my first bike and I had no idea how to maintain it. So I bought a Haynes manual and decided to learn, I felt that in many ways my life actually depended on it!

I wrote a list of the things that needed fixing or replacing on the bike, here it is:

- General service (new air filter, sparkie etc)

- The neutral light didn't work and needed a new neutral switch

- New plus lead for battery

- Two new mirrors (one is smashed and I'd like them both to match)

- Two new grips (the ones fitted do not fit!)

- Two new foot rests (one missing and the other is on the way out)

- New rubber for the kickstart

- New front brake lever (the current one has snapped at the end)

- Headlight housing smashed in and held on with fibreglass

- New headlight itself to fit the new headlight housing

- Clocks smashed in, so new meter cover AND new speedo assembly (ouch)

- New bulb for the speedo

- New left side panel (smashed in)

- New right side panel (also smashed in)

- Two new air scoops

- New complete exhaust

When I say 'new' I'm buying what I can second hand but genuine.

I've completed the majority of the list and recently bought two second hand air scoops and side panels and now after hours of trying to make them fit I've realised: they don't fit because the fuel tank is not the original fuel tank!!! So I'm having to buy a second hand fuel tank, repainting it and fitting it.

I didn't buy this bike with a view of having a project. It honestly started with 'the neutral light doesn't work so I will need to replace the bulb' and then it started a whole chain reaction where I am somehow overhauling the whole bike. Fortunately, the engine sounds lovely (HOW!) and the gears change smoothly, so in the end I think it will be worth it. I'll post pics of what I've done so far soon :)

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That's a fair list mahout " its easy to go over cost/ value of the bike,,, don't ask how I know,, :eusa_shifty:

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Don't I know it, Blackhat! :) Fortunately, I've managed to pick up a lot of things second hand that are still in a good condition. I'm actually enjoying it quite a bit too and learning a LOT along the way, so maybe it's worth the cost. Maybe...

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that's a great way to start biking. I bought a wreck and spent ages doing it up. Now I know every nut and bolt and you will too.

you will also appreciate the bike and have an attachment to it like no other.

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One of the first jobs I did on the bike was to replace the headlight and the headlight housing. The existing housing was held on with an ill-fitted screw on one side and a chunk of fibreglass on the other (I don't know by what logic they were following). To buy a brand new one would've cost nearly £70, so I opted for a cheap replica off eBay and it didn't disappoint!

Old headlight and housing:


I had to disconnect the main loom to fit the new housing.


I expected it to be pretty easy to fit the new headlight but the new headlight fitting was female and the old one was male! Uh oh! So I had to rewire the new headlight to be a male connection:


Once changed it was fairly straight forward squeezing everything back into place. Ta-dah!


The new headlight works a treat and also looks pretty good.

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I ordered a new plus lead for the battery because it was very unsafe as it was. It was a simple change but I think the bike sounds better with the new lead :D



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  • 1 month later...

I've managed to open a can of worms on the bike. I bought two new side panels to replace the smashed in ones and found that they didn't clip properly into the fuel tank. In fact, the pegs on the panels were miles off. I thought I had bought the wrong panels but it turns out that the fuel tank is the wrong one! I can only imagine that the bike was in an accident once upon a time and the tank was damaged beyond repair, so they just stuck any old tank on. I'm thinking to myself: Ahhhh, THAT'S why the fuel gauge never worked and the tank was really wobbly! 

Before I knew it I had bought a fuel tank on eBay for £30 in the wrong colour. All of the blue tanks were x3 the price and not in as good condition. My thinking was that it wouldn't be too much effort to strip it back and repaint it. I ordered some primer, basepaint, paint and clearcoat from a motorbike website and I was ready to go! 

In the back of my mind I was thinking 'I've got to get this right the first time or it's an expensive and time-consuming mistake to make', so I took off my sprocket cover and did a test run on that. Here are the pics:

Paint stripper working its magic:


After a bit of sanding:


After applying primer: 


On goes the silver! 


After letting it dry overnight it looked fantastic. I thought 'why not put some clearcoat on it just to give it that extra level of protection'?


Ah! Look what happened! Albeit not the best photo in the world, but within 30mins these little lines appeared. I can only think that the temperature of the room was too cold, the clearcoat went on too thick, or that the silver and the clearcoat weren't compatible. Can anyone shed some light on this? I might have a heart attack if this happened on the fuel tank. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Good on you Mahou! your doing it the same way as many of us have done and is the best way to learn! quick tip tho if and when you take the rear wheel out make sure its all lined up correctly when you put it back in, no worse feeling when you go round a corner and the rear wheel wants to overtake you :blink:

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Good on you Mahou! your doing it the same way as many of us have done and is the best way to learn! quick tip tho if and when you take the rear wheel out make sure its all lined up correctly when you put it back in, no worse feeling when you go round a corner and the rear wheel wants to overtake you :blink:

That was a fun lesson! Amazing cornering on the one side and almost nothing on the other!

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