How To Remove The Gas Tank, Change The Air Filter And Change The Spark Plugs On A Yamaha Roadliner/Stratoliner

As I understand it, a dealership charges something very close to $500 to do an oil change, air filter change and spark plug change for a Roadliner/Stratoliner.  And I have no doubt that a lot of people who don’t consider themselves particularly mechanically inclined are simply stunned by the cost of maintenance that is supposed to be done twice a year.  And I also have no doubt that it isn’t the fear of doing the work that scares people about this job; it’s the fear of the unknown and the fear that you’ll start taking stuff off and get stuck somewhere and end up with a bike you can’t even ride to the stealership.  The purpose of this tutorial is to show Roadliner and Stratoliner owners what this critical maintenance job entails and hopefully encourage you to give it a go.

You do not need to drain the gas tank to do this job, whether you decide to completely remove the tank (because there are two fuel shut-off valves) or whether you decide to just swing the tank over to the left side (because you then leave the fuel lines hooked up).  I had less than a gallon of gas in the tank and was easily able to move the tank.  It was actually a lot less awkward than I had guessed when I actually picked the tank up.

There is a procedure for the complete Roadliner/Stratoliner gas tank removal (i.e., disconnecting the fuel lines) available on Youtube.  See parts 1 and 2 at the links below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXs_WpZv7HM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvK-4uNqWz8&feature=relmfu

The part number for the Yamaha air filter (“element, air cleaner”) is: 1D7-14461-00-00.  The final two zeroes are frequently omitted.  You will also need four spark plugs.  The stock plug is an NGK (5129) DPR7EA-9.  Amazon sells them for $2.60 each and they’re eligible for super saver shipping.

Here are all the tools I used to do this job:

You’ll need assorted pliers for removing various hose clamps and electrical connections (you don’t need the exact pliers I’ve got, just something reasonably similar); a socket wrench with a 10mm and 12mm socket, and extender bar, and a universal/wobble joint will be helpful; Allen wrenches or bits in 4mm and 5mm; a 17mm wrench (and I found my ratcheting 17mm wrench VERY helpful); a phillips and regular screwdriver; a spark plug gauge; a magnetic pick-up tool is helpful.  Hopefully you have the spark plug tool that came with the bike – if not you’ll need an 18mm deep socket.  I don’t have the little length of 3/8″ rubber hose shown (I’ve got a picture of it below), but that may have been the most useful tool of all.

Here’s the procedure to remove the tank, replace the air filter, and replace the spark plugs:

1) Remove the seat using the ignition key.

2) When you have the seat removed, you will see two 10mm nuts on the rear of the tank and under the seat that secure the tank to the frame.  Remove them.  I put my screws and bolts in small plastic cups, and will often have several cups for each series of nuts, bolts etc. so I don’t get them confused with other stuff as I keep taking more stuff off.

3) Remove the three chrome 5mm allen head bolts that secure the chrome gauge assembly that sits on top of the gas tank to the tank.  Turn your handlebars as needed to give yourself room for the two bolts on the front.

4) Now place one or more towels under the chrome gauge assembly between the chrome and the gas tank and slide the towels all the way to the top to protect your paint from accidental scratching or denting.  Place another towel on the handlebar neck for further protection (I tied it with string to keep it out of my way).

5) Now gently pull the chrome gauge assembly down a few inches to expose the four electrical connectors and disconnect all four of them (from left to right, you will see a small white, large black, large white, and small black wire connectors).  I inserted a small-bladed regular screwdriver into the tab and then used that screwdriver to somewhat help pry them off.

For the record, you do NOT have to remove the smaller white connector on the far left side YET.  It does not connect to the gauge assembly.  That said, it DOES connect to the underside of the gas tank.  So it WILL have to come off before you pull/move the tank.  But the second time I did this job, I actually found it easier to remove all the gauge assembly, remove the bolts securing the tank, pull the small white connector out of the gas tank frame it mounts to, and then have a little more wiggle room to pull the connector end off so I could pull the tank.  Just don’t forget and try to rip the tank off the bike if you do that.

Btw, when you disconnect these leads, both of your trip meters will be set to zero and your clock will be disconnected.  If you need to note mileages, do so before you disconnect the leads.

6) Now you can remove the chrome gauge assembly and put it in a safe place.  Hopefully it won’t be a place that makes your wife yell at you for bringing your motorcycle parts into the house.

7) At this time you need to pull the other half of the connectors you just disconnected off the frame.  Use needlenose pliers to gently squeeze the tip together and pull off each of the four connectors.  You have to disconnect all four connectors from the frame in order to lift the gas tank:

8) Pull off the small hose that fastens to the gas tank near the connectors.

I tied all five of these things together with a rubber band to make sure nothing slipped down and that they would be out of the way when I re-installed the tank.

9) Remove the two 12mm bolts beneath the connectors that secures the front of the tank to the frame.  You may need to use a universal/wobble joint with your extender bar, but it seemed like a standard extender did the job as long as you are careful.

10) Remove the small plastic chrome gas tank trim located on either side tank.  There are two 4mm allen screws on each side holding them on.

11) You are now able to move your gas tank off to the side at this time.  You could go to some additional fairly great lengths and disconnect the fuel lines, OR you could simply get a couple of stools and lift the tank to the left side as I will show in a picture.  But…

If you are going to replace or check your spark plugs, I advise you  first replace the left rear plug at this time before you move your tank  (you can do it later, but what you will find is that you can’t access that plug if you’ve got the tank swung over to the side with the fuel hoses still connected).  I used the plug tool that is included in the tool kit and put a 17mm wrench on it.  And I was able to easily lift and manuever the tank enough to take off the old plug and put in the new one.  When I put on the new plug, I applied anti-seize compound and used about a 3″ length of rubber fuel hose (that I stuck onto the non-threaded end of the plug) to easily screw in the new plug.  The gap is .8 – .9mm (.031 – .035in).  You need an 18mm deep socket if you don’t use the Yamaha tool.  I’ve found that quite often the new plugs are pre-gapped, but check each one to make sure.

By the time you are finished replacing all four of your spark plugs, you will never look at a short piece of rubber hose the same way again.

12) Now lift the tank off the bike and swing it to the left side of the bike.  You want one or two short stools that are about the height of the tank to do this.  I used two 24″ high stools and they worked fine.  Your other option is to shut off the two fuel supply screws (by turning them IN or clockwise) and then disconnect the fuel lines so you can put the tank wherever you like (I KNOW you’ll get yelled at if you try to drag this into the house, though!).  You would then need to re-route the fuel lines when you’re done.  Good luck, but I didn’t go that route.

13) If you are only replacing the air filter, your life is now easy.  There are a total of seven phillips screws holding the air filter box cover in place.  unscrew them and there is you air filter. [Note: I accidentally stumbled across the Yamaha manual procedure for removing the air filter case detailed on page 4-13 and 4-14.  After I’d removed it, of course].

If you are replacing or checking your spark plugs, you’ve got a fair amount of work still ahead of you.

You will see a bracket near the handlebar neck that is held in place by three or four allen head bolts.  That’s the red arrow labeled “1”.   Has to come off.  You’ll see two electrical connections (labeled “2” and “3” in the picture above; you have to disconnect them.  There are also two small hoses underneath the electrical connectors that have to be disconnected.  Then there are seven or eight phillips screws, including an annoying one at the very front bottom of the air filter case near the handlebar neck.  Just when you think the damn air filter case is finally off, you’ll be crushed to see that you’ve only taken off the top half of the damn thing.

There are a total of six hoses that must be disconnected (including the two mentioned in the paragraph above).   Four hoses are attached to the lower part of the air case (two larger hoses at either end and two small hoses located on the left side of the bike).  Oh, and seven or eight more phillips screws holding it to the bike.  Disconnect all four hoses and remove all the screws.  Finally you can remove the air filter case.  If you are like me, you will wonder at this point if you will be able to ever put the damn thing together the way the crazy fool who put this thing together at the factory intended.  For the record, it actually all went back in fairly easily.

The four arrows in the picture above of the bottom half of the air filter case show the locations of the four hoses that have to be disconnected to remove the air filter case.

14) Now you’ve finally removed your air filter case and exposed your spark plugs, and you can even see the two rear plugs now.  If you followed my advice, you’ve already done the left rear plug.  If you haven’t done that left rear plug yet, I now advise you to wait until you do the other three plugs, re-install the air filter case, and put the tank back on but BEFORE you start bolting the tank on.  The right rear plug is accessible inside the frame and easily accessible with that short piece of rubber hose as the pictures with step 11 show.  Replace each plug using anti-seize compound and verifying the correct gap (also described on step 11 above).

15) Before I replaced the rest of the plugs, I took the time to polish the valve covers – as I was finally able to reach all the stuff that had resisted my oversized ape fingers before.  Now it’s all shiny where only God will be able to see it:

God likes His chrome shiny.  There will be no dull, oxidized chrome in heaven.

16) With the tank off the bike (at least, mostly off), none of the plugs were that bad to reach.  Use a piece of rubber fuel hose as I described and you will find that you can start threading them very easily.  I used the spark plug tool from the Yamaha tool bag for all four plugs, and used a 17mm wrench to loosen/remove them and tighten/install them.  You could also use a socket wrench with a 17mm socket, obviously.  I used one of those fancy ratcheting socket wrenches that only need 5 degrees of angle to turn and had absolutely no problems.

I did some reading online looking for a procedure for all this stuff (never DID find one, btw!) and saw people complaining about not being able to get to plugs.  But that was because they either didn’t use the rubber hose like I showed you or they tried to replace the left rear plug with the tank swung off to the left side like I warned you about.  If you do it the way I describe, you won’t have any major problems.

Let me say more about that left rear plug.  I removed the tank and looked the job over, and I had decided to tackle that left rear one first because it clearly looked to be the hardest and what I didn’t want was to replace the first three and then not be able to get the last one.  But with the tank swung to the side, I found that simply could not reach that left side rear plug.  I was sitting there gloomily thinking that I would have to disconnect the fuel lines after all – which seemed like a major pain in terms of what would have to come off to get to them, in terms of re-routing those fuel lines back to where they belonged, etc.  So I put the tank back onto the bike and started to work out the disconnect of the fuel lines.  But the last time the tank had come off the original owner had not got my fuel lines rearranged back into the “this is how it should look” position, such that the bottom fuel shut off screw was virtually impossible to access to shut off the fuel supply.  So on the one hand I figured I had to take the tank completely off to get to the left rear spark plug, only I couldn’t shut the fuel off so I couldn’t take off the tank.  I was in a Catch-22.  I thought of crying, but I prayed instead.  And then it suddenly struck me, like an angel whispering in my ear, that with the tank on the bike but on loosely it just looked like there might well be enough room to get that plug off with the tank completely loosened as it was but positioned on the bike.  And sure enough the hardest plug was suddenly as easy as pie when I used the procedure I described above (step 11).

17) At this point, it was time to put it all back together again.  I actually decided to wait until after I had the spark plugs done and had the air box case all cleaned up and installed to install the new air filter.  I figured it would end up being cleaner that way, rather than having me screwing around with the components in pieces and having it lying around exposed.

Before I re-installed the air filter case, I cleaned it up and used my compressor to blow air through the tubes.  The rest is just doing what you’ve already done in reverse order.

And we’re back to beautiful again:

Nothing about this job was particularly “hard,” I’d say after having done it.  It was just that a lot more stuff had to come off or be disconnected than my sensibilities approved of.  There were a couple of times that I was glad I had taken these pictures, as I didn’t have to remember how and where everything went.

I had to EARN that spark plug change.  I had to prove I was WORTHY to replace that air filter.  There are two things that make this bike more of a challenge than any other vehicle I’ve ever owned: one is the newness of the bike and the second is the sheer size of it.  My 1983 Suzuki 1100e was so easy to maintain compared to this bike it is positively disgusting.  Maintenance is getting harder and harder on whatever you buy these days, but motorcycles have to have all the same things that a car has to have but packed into a lot more miniature of a package.  And when you’re trying to cram a 1.9 liter high performance engine that is literally the size of a car engine into that package, too, well, you end up with some crazy maintenance stuff.  That said, it turns out that our bikes aren’t that much different from the (also really big) Honda VTX 1800.  I came across this thread where a VTX guy starts pissing on the Stratoliner thinking that he’ll have a lot of agreement from his VTX pals.  But it turns out that most of the VTX guys who responded said he was a basically ignorant ass and that the Strat is a great bike and that the maintenance is actually about the same for these two behemoths.  I’ll return the favor and say that VTX 1800s are great bikes and there are about as many reasons why you should prefer one over a Roadliner as there are reasons why you should prefer a Roadliner over a VTX.  I was pleased to see so many VTX guys come to our bike’s defense.

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43 Responses to “How To Remove The Gas Tank, Change The Air Filter And Change The Spark Plugs On A Yamaha Roadliner/Stratoliner”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you for taking the time to create and post this. VERY helpful. Although I was able to pick up a $5 18mm spark plug socket and just used that with an extension to screw the plugs in, bypassing the need for the fuel hose. Good idea though. Thanks again, this was great.

  2. Michael Eden Says:

    Anonymous,

    You’re welcome. It’s a lot harder job than it ought to be to replace the plugs and air filter – but it isn’t as hard of a job as terrified people think when they hear they’ve got to remove the tank.

    What I like about the rubber hose is that it “grabs” the plug and allows you to dangle it around until you’re ready to start threading it into the engine. But if your plug tool got the job done, that’s all that matters.

  3. paul Says:

    I’d been hesitant to tackle any of this stuff on my own, as my vstar 650 was really kind of a breeze to deal with and I had noticed a dearth of visuals to help me try it on my own, so thank you very much for taking the time.

    I have a 2006 roadliner that is not even turning over, the starter just buzzes and nary a turn to show for it, and fuel and battery are fine, so that leaves plugs… I’ve never done oil and air filter, though, so it’s going to be all three for me!

    Thanks again!

    -paul

  4. Michael Eden Says:

    paul,

    You’re welcome.

    I know a lot of guys are like me; it’s not that we don’t pretty much know what to do, but that we’re afraid that we’ll get stuck if we start doing something and then won’t know what to do.

    A few pictures and a procedure are all we need.

    And it’s a pleasure to help those who want to help themselves!

  5. Jeff Says:

    Thank you very much.
    I followed your instructions exactly how you said without any major issue! The pictures were a blessing also..
    I own a 2006 Stratoliner, just wondering about you Handel bars. Do you feel it an added comfort or just like the style? I’ve been thinking about a purchase and would appreciate your advice!

    Thanks very much
    Jeff

  6. Michael Eden Says:

    Jeff,

    Thanks a bunch for your comment. Always like helping out a fellow Strat owner.

    As to the handlebars, they are called “mini-apes.”

    It’s mostly a style thing. On shorter rides they are VERY comfortable. You are actually able to turn the bike more easily on tight turns because the lower bars can trap your hands against the fuel tank. On longer rides it’s possible that with your hands higher you can start getting circulation issues (hands go slightly numb). Since my longest rides tend to be about 50 or so miles (one-way), I’ve never really experienced that down side.

  7. ward collins Says:

    I recently removed the tank on my 2006 stratoliner to replace the spark plugs. Everything went fine as you suggested. the one surprise i had was that the spark plugs had the tiny cap on top of the spark plug removed on all four spark plugs, so that only the threaded post was available for contact. Is this normal or should I leave the caps on the replacement plugs? Thanks in advance for your response

  8. Michael Eden Says:

    ward collins,

    I’m sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I’m guessing you already solved your problem by now. But just in case you haven’t yet…

    What do you mean “the tiny cap on top of the spark plug”??? Are you talking about the end opposite from the electrode?

    I’m not 100% sure, but it seems to me when I got my new Yamaha plugs, they did not have that terminal, either. I’ve had some vehicles that had them on the plugs, and others that did not have them.

    I would just go ahead and install the plugs. But if you have a question, you might try a Yamaha parts guy who could tell if you are supposed to have terminals on your plugs.

  9. Chris Vassilico Says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I have a ’09 Strat that was new one year 2 months ago (never sold). I have put on 29,000 so far, with original plugs and air filter. I have noticed the loss of power just recently. I am not going to pay 500 bucks for something that barely over 100 bucks in parts (with a K&N filter, and Iridium plugs mind you). I feel as if I could do it without re-reading your instructions. The site is very well written, thanks.

    Side note: This bike is such a great commuter, I will either rebuild it in 5 years, or buy another one new (again..probably a few years old). it is not as plush for the passenger as some, but perfect size and agility for my 45 mile one way to work every day. It is worth the pain for such an enjoyable bike.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Nice assist, I had the most trouble with the right front plug, the left rear was done with the tank installed. I actually was able to change all three other than the right front with the tank installed. But yes it was a bear. I will get an 18mm plug wrench asap as the stock supplied one is cheap, and needed rebent to square, I just squeezed it in a vice a bit to get it back to the right shape.
    the wrench would only fit one set of flats. I’m coming up on 30K on mine, still running like the beast it is.
    The caps some are talking about come on most plugs, and can be unscrewed for those applications that have the small clamp in the plug boot, ours uses the aluminum screw on cap as out of the box.
    I also plan on changing to the Iridium plugs next change.

  11. Michael Eden Says:

    Chris Vassilico,

    You’re welcome.

    If you know how to do something to improve your motorcycle, post the “how to.” Because you can always figure if something is difficult for you to do, it’s just GOT to be a challenge for others, too.

    I actually went to this same article when it came time to do the job again. It’s nice to have articles with pictures on how-to do the work you need to do on the same model bike you have.

  12. Chris Vassilico Says:

    Michael Eden,

    Just got it done, took me five hours (probably three or less next time). I went around the block, runs smoother, idles like a Harley now. I will see if I get the same or better mileage. I am guessing the K&N air filter and Iridium plugs are freaking the stock modulator out a bit ;) Runs a whole lot better, much more zip than it ever had. Thanks again!

  13. Chris Vassilico Says:

    Oh, forgot to mention that the backside of the chrome on the tank gauge assembly was rusting. I naval jellied and polished it all up. That took about 45 minutes. The hoses on the right side of air box were not mentioned in the directions. Easy enough, but I feel as if I may have crossed them is why it is idling so low. I am going to ride it 90 miles to work and back and see what happens.

  14. Michael Eden Says:

    Chris Vassilico,

    You’re very welcome. I felt the same way when I did the job: it was daunting to do it the first time, but having done it I’m not worried about the next time.

  15. Don Says:

    Dude… Great Xplain… I have seen the 1800 behemoth and own a Strat. I believe in DIY and we got to DIY to ride (live to ride, ride to live) Good Job!! Thanx, Don (dbworx)

  16. Michael Eden Says:

    Don,

    Thanks much for your encouragement. Stratoliners are awesome bikes – especially when somebody maintains them!

  17. Mark B Says:

    Thanks for sharing. I have an 08′ strat that I modify on a regular basis. I have a Harley E Glide seat, Harley fairing, Harley Tour Pak, Harley adjustable rider backrest and found some great after market handle bars (Flanders part # 652-28785) that are 1 1/2″ narrower and 6″ more pull back. Great for longer rides. I am looking for an air suspension for the rear and a used gas tank that I will cut and add some metal to add about another gallon or more of capacity. Love my strat but it needs more fuel capacity and the air suspension. I would be happy to send pictures just contact me through my website at http://www.skychutes.com. By the way I need to do my plugs and a K&N filter shortly so the procedure will be helpful.

  18. Patricio De La Cerda Jr Says:

    Thank you so very much for this information!!! It was amazingly very helpful to me. I love to tinker and do shade tree mechanics. I was scared to do it at first although your information gave me the confidence to dig in and go for it. I installed a K&N air filter, NGK stock number spark plugs, changed the oil and new K&N oil filter. I went with synthetic Rotella T6 oil with the recomendation of a fellow Strat rider out of California. He states he uses it all the time and does very well for him. Me? I am going to give it a go and see how it performs. Once again THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE HELP!!!

  19. Michael Eden Says:

    Patricio De La Cerda Jr,

    Thanks a lot for leaving that wonderful comment, Patricio.

    I’m not a mechanic, and was daunted by this ROUTINE MAINTENANCE too. Remove the gas tank, you say? Disconnect the electronic display, you say? Dang. All I want to do is change my freaking AIR FILTER and replace my spark plugs!!!

    It’s not that bad of a job, if you take it step-by-step. And it is NICE to have a little heads-up as to what kind of issues you’re going to face.

    Thanks again. It’s great to know I helped a few people!

  20. Dennis Bailey Says:

    Very nice how-to …. Just did it on my Stratoliner Deluxe and I can’t thank youa enough for writing it up

  21. Michael Eden Says:

    Thanks, Dennis.

    It always makes me feel good to know I’ve helped somebody.

  22. Usswl Says:

    I want to thank you for this great “how-to”. Having never done any maintenance DIY in the past and being a little tight on cash, I recently noticed a drop in mileage. A friend recommended changing the spark plugs, and that’s where I discovered your article.

    My father-in-law, who is a gearhead oversaw the activity and provided guidance where necessary and we got the plugs changed. But man, when I saw the (stock) air filter, I knew I had to change that too! Unfortunately it’s New Year’s Eve and all the bike shops are closed so I have to wait till Thursday for that.

    Once that is done I am fairly confident I’ll be able to get the tank and speedometer assbly back on myself.

    I think the scariest partner this whole operation was getting the bottom half of the air box back on. There is no way I would have been able to accomplish that without Roger so kudo’s to him. Is there a special trick to this or so it just “finesse”?

    Once I’m done and have the tank back on, I’ll attempt the oil change.

    Side topic, I saw a video on YouTube of a chap replenishing his transfer case fluid using a turkey baster. Does this seem kosher?

    That drop in gas mileage was ridiculous. From approx 4mpgnin mixed riding to around 34-35mpg. Just suddenly.

    In any case many thanks!

  23. Michael Eden Says:

    Usswl,

    The turkey baster is your friend. Nothing wrong with using one to control fluids and be able to get them where you need to (just don’t use it for gasoline because the plastic would “melt”).

    I’d predict that you would be able to get the air box assembly together. It only fits one way, so you know when you’ve got it right. And it’s just a matter of trial and error.

    As I think I pointed out in the article, for most DIYers, it’s just a matter of fear of the unknowns. By showing all the pictures, my goal was to help get over the fear and show you what will happen and what it will look like so you can tackle it. Like so many other things, once you overcome inertia and start working, things just start to work themselves out!

    Happy New Year, and thanks for your comment!!!

  24. Steven NMorris Says:

    THANKS for your great write up. I just purchased my “new” used Stratoliner and while the selling dealership ‘assured’ me the bike was thoroughly checked I want to start off with everything new and clean so I can keep track of it. I was, like others have stated, a little bit concerned performing this maintenance as it does seem quite involved when compared to other bikes I have owned. While I have not done it yet, I am confident with your ‘help’ it should go without a hitch. THANKS again for your time and ‘gift’ to us all.

  25. Michael Eden Says:

    Steven NMorris,

    Thank YOU, Steven.

    I very much wish that a book publisher would do this kind of manual. This day and age with people hurting for money and maintenance more technical than ever I think people would be willing to pay decent money to save thousands in mechanic bills for work they could do themselves with a little bit of guidance. It wouldn’t be that hard: a few photographs and a description of steps. You pick up the average shop manual or even Chiltons books and dang if you don’t already know how to do the job the crap is USELESS.

  26. Victor Says:

    Hi Michael:

    My thanks for a great play-by-play (I’m Canadian :)

    I replaced air filter and all plugs, even removed the tank completely on my Roadliner – made it so much easier to access everything and clean the inaccessible chrome, like you mentioned. Very little gas dribbled out. The whole job was not as hard as I thought it would be, although removing the air filter case was more annoying than difficult. And, it all went back together in half the time!

    Anyway, a word about the use of anti-seize compound:

    NGK does NOT recommend using anti-seize compound since doing so can lead to over-tightening, even with a torque wrench, resulting in possible breakage. NGK says that all their plugs are manufactured with a coating that acts like anti-seize compound. Here is a link to that information from NGK’s website:

    http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/pdf/TB-0630111antisieze.pdf

    I used NGK 4929 plugs.

    Just thought you’d be interested…

    FYI: I also did the two oil changes – engine oil and transfer case. Yes, all drain bolts had to be removed since a lot of oil came out of each drain hole. The transfer case was interesting since two thirds of the muffler assembly had to be removed. I know there are short-cuts for this job, but at least it gave me a chance to inspect the muffler and exhaust pipe gaskets. I bought a set of gaskets but didn’t install them since the old ones still looked just fine, even after 25,000 kilometres (16,000 mi).

    The bike runs and sounds amazing!

    Thanks again and all the best,

    Victor

  27. Michael Eden Says:

    Victor,

    Greetings to you bikers in Canada. There must be some awesomely beautiful roads to ride during the warm season!!!

    Thanks for your gracious comment and thanks for adding some relevant info to the article.

    Ride safe!

  28. Ed Mathes Says:

    Well, I have to say it wasn’t as daunting as I thought it would be. Took about four hours start to finish including one trip to the part store for an articulating socket wrench head. Other than that it was just time consuming. I really appreciate the rubber hose idea. The bitch plug was the right rear. Really funny angle and I used a 3 inch piece of tubing to fit it under the frame and get the angle right.

    Thank you for all your work!

  29. Carl Sencer Says:

    I have a 2007 Strat and love it. It starts up immediately in the morning. I ride across town to do some errands and have lunch. It’s warmed up and running great. After lunch I jump back on and it takes five times to get it re-started. Any suggestions where I should look?

  30. Michael Eden Says:

    Carl Sencer,

    My first guess would be a failing fuel pump. A failing valve in a pump can cause pressure loss that rears its ugly head on a hot start versus a cold start.

    You might try googling your problem – being as specific as you can – and see what problem matches your symptoms. I wouldn’t limit it to “Stratoliners” and I wouldn’t even limit it to motorcycles. Your issue is common to all engines.

    Other culprits could be a bad O2 sensor, or a bad ECU (usually it would just stall when hot though rather than wait till you shut it off).

  31. Phil Says:

    Question, what size/brand handlebars are those? Also, did it fit with the factory wires and hoses?

  32. Michael Eden Says:

    Phil,

    They’re mini apes with something like an 11″ rise.

    Yeah, they fit with the factory wires. But you’ve got to WANT it.

  33. Anonymous Says:

    Michael,
    Just purchased my ’06 Stratoliner (silver like yours) about a month ago and used your post for the oil change (also did transfer case and brake/clutch fluid change) and now will use your procedure for the plugs and filter. Quite a procedure but I find your posts extremely helpful. Thanks for taking the time to educate us.
    Craig

  34. Craig Says:

    Michael,
    I just purchased my ’06 Stratoliner (silver like yours) about a month ago and used your post as a guide to perform my oil change (also changed transfer case oil and brake/clutch fluids). I will use your procedure for my air filter and spark plug change. It’s quite an ordeal but I find your posts/instruction extremely helpful. Thanks for taking the time to educate us.
    Craig

  35. Michael Eden Says:

    Thanks much. I was part of a forum called “Starbike forums” and tried to post these simple how-to’s as I needed to do work on my bike. And I got ripped by one clown who mocked me because I was trying to help people.

    I haven’t been back because there’s just no sense debating a fool.

    But, yeah, as you learn how to do something, share it. Pass it along. It doesn’t matter how simple it is, there are people who are just learning to do it and aren’t sure. And no matter how complicated it is, pictures taken in a step-by-step manner make it easier to understand.

  36. Craig Says:

    Michael,
    I actually got to this page from StarBikeForums and followed the link. I came across your post on how to do an oil change, which helped me do the job (the hardest part of the job was finding the right 17mm box end wrench to fit the crankcase drain plugs, but that’s another story). While reading the posts, I unfortunately saw the exchange I think you are referring to. You know what they say, there is always that ONE person…well you know. If it means anything, your contribution to the forum helps so many, it is a shame to abandon the site and sharing your experience because of one person. I am not alone in saying there are too many people out there that appreciate your efforts to let that one “off the wall” person/comment spoil the real intent of the site. I do hope I see you back on the forum as it is such a valuable tool to learn about these complex machines. For the hundreds of positive comments I read, I always see a negative or defamatory one that, in the end, just must be ignored. As someone once told me “When you roll around in the mud with pigs…the pigs like it”. Take care and hope to see you back.
    Craig

  37. Michael Eden Says:

    Craig,

    Yeah, I’m not proud of myself either as I let that “one person” get to me.

    The thing is, it’s NOT “one person” when one guy starts mocking somebody for trying to be decent and help other people. It’s like a public attack where somebody walks up to a guy and sucker punches him and starts beating him. And there’s this crowd of people and everybody just looks on and nobody actually tries to help.

    So it wasn’t just the “one person” who disgusted me; it was everybody. That kind of thing wouldn’t happen if several people had said, “You’re a turd. Get off this forum if you’re going to act that way.”

    But no one did.

    And that guy is still crawling around all over that forum. You wonder how much free time he’s got to have.

    I’ve belonged to other automotive forums where nobody EVER acted that moronically when somebody posted a “how-to” to do something. And if somebody HAD, they would have been excoriated for being such a jerk to someone who was clearly just trying to be helpful and useful.

  38. Craig Says:

    Michael,
    I went back and re-read the entire thread again and even though there were many in appreciation of your post, you are correct that there were no comments critical of the offensive posts and/or the author of them. It’s unfortunate the site lost such a valuable contributor as yourself as a result of all that went on, and maybe, others may not be as complacent in the future to speak up. My guess is that they felt the other author wasn’t worth their time but that is just my guess and doesn’t really justify their silence. Well, stay cool and thanks for all the help you provided.
    Craig

  39. Michael Eden Says:

    Craig, you’re very welcome.

    Maybe I’ll find a decent motorcycle site where people are decent and get in the faces of anyone who isn’t and post more how-to articles.

    But I have no plans of going back to Starbike forums because of the vicious climate that the moderators allow and therefore encourage.

  40. Craig Says:

    Michael,
    I finally performed the air filter and spark plug change and your instructions were spot on, no surprises. I changed left side plugs first (front and back) by lifting the tank slightly before moving tank off to the side on a small table. That saved a bit of work instead of having to disconnect fuel lines to completely remove the tank. I had to laugh at myself for spending the half hour to polish the top of the valve covers that nobody sees. I had a question on the plugs. I purchased the NGK DPR8EA-9 as recommended by the manual and by NGK for that bike. I pulled out what I believe to be factory original NGK DPR7EA-9 plugs which, according to NGK, is a slightly hotter plug. What was original in your bike and do you think this will make a difference. I’m in So. Calif. and do not think the next step cooler plug will have any effect on the performance. Great post, this job was a piece of cake. Took me about 2 hours but that included cleaning everything before it went back on. The only regular maintenance item left for me are the wheels and brakes. Not ready for them yet though. Take care.
    Craig

  41. K. D. Barker Says:

    “God likes His chrome shiny. There will be no dull, oxidized chrome in heaven.” Thank you for the utmost inspiration. Cheers and ride safe!

  42. Michael Eden Says:

    K. D. Barker,

    Thanks much for the gracious response. You stay safe, too!

  43. Dogjaxson Says:

    Thankyou for the best description out there including the pictures.
    Recovery from surgery with 6 weeks to kill thats only a couple of screws a day with time for mistakes included.
    Yamaha 2014 Stratoliner S

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