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  • Known issues newbies should check

    So this thread is easy to read, please add just tech tips here for carbonated Roadstars. Don’t add non technical comments.
    Here’s a few from the old website by various members in no particular order.
    1. The 99 - 03 R* have a transmission recall out. It is a safety recall and Yamaha will repair the problem at no cost you. A cir-clip in the trans can come loose and lock the trans up. The engine has to be torn down to fix it. Contact any dealer local to you and give them the VIN number and they can check the database and tell you if the recall has been done. If it hasn't been done then have them do it. You don't have to be the original owner. Any question just open a new thread and we will give you more information.

    2. The front pulley nut on the R*'s are known to back off from reverse torque. The 99 - 05 models have a tab washer that has one tab bent over the nut. It doesn't hold very well and the nut can back off. The 06 and newer they did away with the tab washer and put a conical washer under the nut and changed the nut to have a flange that is staked into a channel on the shaft. It is also found not to hold very well on some but is better than the older tabbed version. If the nut comes off you will not be able to move the bike under its own power. The splines in the front pulley and the output shaft can be stripped. There is no recall on this and it is up to you to check and fix it. If you want more information on this open a thread and we will answer your question.

    3.
    The gas smell after a ride on a hot day (known as gas spuke) is cause but the float bowl being under pressure and the cure is 2 folded:
    • 1) shut off the fuel pet-cock a block or so from you destination
    • 2) Go Pumpless
    4. "happy Roadstar tail wag".

    You can see the rear fender "wag" from side to side while idling. Over time the sheet metal will crack. It's only cosmetic but still an issue. Read the tech article like Aussie John recommended, to learn how to brace the fender and prevent it from cracking.

    Also, the seat can become difficult to remove after a while, be sure to cheek the mounting bolts for the latch under the seat. They can become loose and it makes it near impossible to remove the seat.

    Lastly, check the screws in the bottom of your gas cap… they can come loose and you're gas cap can come flying off in to about 20 pieces, with half of them ending up in the tank.

    5.
    If your handle bars wobble or the front end feels loose in the turns, check the neck bearings to see if they need to be tightened or replaced. Easiest way to find out if it is the bearings; raise the bike and perform a flop test. If it bounces off the tank, time to check the bearings
    6.
    Check your tire pressure (40 rear 38 front) and CHECK THE TIRE WEAR. If the tire is over 7 years old, it's junk. If it's AT the wear bars, it's junk. If there are anycracks in the sidewall, it's junk. If it's a Dunlop 404 it's junk. If it's an original fitment ANYTHING it's junk.
    7. Do NOT be tempted to turn the idle way down to get that loping potato potato sound. For proper head oiling at hot idle, carb operation, and stator charging, your idle should be around 900 rpm. I post this because I was "that guy", and the members here have taught me many things, grasshopper.
    8.
    If your bike is 2001 or earlier, CHECK THE OIL PUMP GEAR. If it isn't the upgraded gear with the thicker shaft, replace it.

    Do NOT assume if the tranny recall was done that the oil pump gear was replaced. The recall was done on my bike prior to my purchase (I purchased it used), but they did NOT upgrade the oil pump gear.

    When the oil pump gear broke, my motor burnt out.

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    9. Also, if it hasn't been mentioned already - if your bike is 2003 or earlier, do the Starter Spin fix in the tech section. Don't wait for it to fail.

    10.
    If your bike seems to bottom out to easily especially when riding two up, check the preload on the shock/spring. The stock Roadie springs are weak, and it leads to premature damper failure. Check the mounts where the shock connects to the frame. if the get beat enough because of a bad damper, or insufficient preload, the mount will break at the frame. It can be welded. Consider installing a Roadwing which is a modified Honda Goldwing shock/spring with either a manual RAP preload adjustment knob or an electric preload adjustment motor.

    11. If the fuel pump fails, you can run the bike with a piece of 5/16 fuel line from the petcock to the carb. It will work just fine, until you can get home. It will run, without the pump. If your keeping the pump, carry the fuel line and whatever to remove the clamps, on the bike, just in case.

    12. Do yourselves a favor. Run something like Seafoam, Techron, MMO, etc., in your fuel. The pilot circuit is small, and this ounce or two of prevention every other tank, is worth a pound of cure. Never put your bike away for the winter, without adding a good stabilizer to the fuel, and circulating it through the carb.

    13. The Roadies have two oil drain plugs. One by the kickstand, and the other on the bottom of the oil tank. When doing a proper oil change including filter, just put 4 quarts back. Put two in, and replace the dipstick and screw it in. Start the bike, and let it run for about 10 seconds or so. Shut the bike off, and add the other two quarts. Button it up and forget about it. If you want to check your oil, there is a particular method, that involves the bike being upright, the motor warm, and a little time to let the oil settle. There is a vid on here somewhere that shows how. Unless the bike is leaking, or noticeably using oil, it should be fine, until the next oil change.
    14. If the bike is new to you, and your unsure of the maintenance, then change your fluids first thing. The Roadies require the proper levels of ZDDP in the engine oil, and a wet clutch type of oil. Amzoil and Mobil 1, both have the proper ZDDP levels. Many here use Mobil 1 20/50. If you run in cooler climes, and or colder weather, the 10/40 will be a better choice, for cold starts when the temps fall into the 30's.
    15.
    Just because the battery says its maintenance free doesn't mean ignore it.

    Check the terminals regularly for cleanliness and make sure they are tight. High amperage draw during starting needs all the contact surface provided, otherwise things get hot quick. Notice that's molten lead that dripped from excessive heat.
    16.
    Don't run off the road, don't hit anyone else, don't brake hard while turning and then down shift hard or you may lose the ass end, don't light a match to see how much gas is in the tank, don't text while riding, don't ride on the shoulder where all the debris and nails are, don't ride intoxicated, don't drive wearing flip flops, don't crap your pants when an animal runs out in front of you, don't pick up hookers, don't try to pop a wheelie and don't try to load it into the back of a pick up with a 6' ramp.

    OIL

    Unless they've changed the formula... which I had heard they did, by the way... Rotella T6 had enough ZDDP. For anyone NOT paying attention, however, diesel emissions have tightened considerably in recent years, and so it would not surprise me in the least if Shell had reformulated, and had reduced the amount of ZDDP in their Rotella products. Don't forget ZDDP was lowered in auto oils to meet emissions standards... Did they have to do the same for diesels? I do not know. Unless, and until, someone can produce a CURRENT statement from Shell that says they have not reformulated or reduced the ZDDP in Rotella... I will not use it any longer. Don't let the JASO claim throw you... that only means it's wet clutch compatible. It does NOT mean it has adequate ZDDP. So, has it been changed? Is the ZDDP level still the same, or lowered??? Don't go cheap, if you don't KNOW! I'm just sayin'!!!
    ================================================== ================

    A min of 1300ppm to max of 1800ppm zddp/anti wear agent lvl is whats required for protection of the FT cams/lifters in the R*.

    With that said when i contacted shell they said 5w-40 T-6 syn oil had approx 1300ppm zddp some yrs back which was enough zddp to protect the FT cam & lifters in the R*,but who knows what the zddp lvl's at today in that oil.

    Keep in mind when talking motor oil for our R*'s that it's not only important to ensure there's enough zddp/anti wear agent for the FT cams & lifters it's also important to ensure the oil has a quality base stock oil along with a quality chem additive pkg and if possible little or no friction modifiers which over time/enough miles aren't friendly for R*'s wet clutch either.

    All that is why it's best to run motorcycle oil thats specifically designed & formulated for lrg air cooled v-twins like the R* (esp with FT cams & lifters) so listed below you will see a few of the quality oils avail on the market today that are good for our R*'s.

    * MOBIL-1 V-TWIN 20W-50 FULL SYN. (1700PPM ZDDP/OBTAINED FROM THE MFG & OIL TEST RPT TOO)

    * AMSOIL; MCV FOR V-TWINS 20W-50 FULL SYN (1400PPM ZDDP/OBTAINED FROM THE MFG & OIL TEST RPT TOO)

    * SPECTRO SEMI BLEND/FULL SYN FOR V-TWINS 20W-50 (1500PPM ZDDP/OBTAINED FROM THE MFG & OIL TEST RPT TOO)

    * BRAD PENN GRADE-1 FOR V-TWINS 20-50 (Semi Blend?/1500PPM ZDDP/OBTAINED FROM THE MFG)

    NOTE: FOR THOSE OF YOU RIDING IN COLDER TEMPS YOU CAN FIND LIGHTER 15W-40 OR 10W-40 GRADES
    OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED OILS THAT ARE ALSO PROPERLY FORMULATED FOR THE R*.

    * CASTROL SYN 20W-50 FORMULATED FOR HD V-TWINS IS ANOTHER QUALITY OIL FOR THE R*. BUT UNFORTUNATELY WHEN I CONTACTED CASTROL THEY REFUSED TO DISCLOSE THE ZDDP LVL IN THAT OIL AND I DIDN'T WANT TO SPEND MORE $$$$ FOR ANOTHER OIL TEST EITHER WHICH IS WHY I DON'T HAVE ZDDP LVL FOR THIS OIL.

    BUT MY MANY YRS PAST EXPERIENCE WITH CASTROL OIL IN BIKES & CARS HAS ME AT EASE THINKING THEY KNEW WHAT THEY WERE DOING WHEN THEY SPECIFICALLY FORMULATED THIS 20W-50 SYN OIL FOR HD V-TWIN MOTORS THAT I WOULD THINK WOULD WORK WELL IN A R* TOO. SAYS RIGHT ON LABEL IT'S GOOD FOR

    * In a pinch chevron delo 15w-40 std dino truck/fleet oil (for both gas & diesel engines) still has 1300ppm zddp so can properly protect
    the ft cams & lifters in the R* and this oil is a good quality oil with a good rep too so is good in a pinch.

    * BTW,a few yrs back shell (along with many other oil mfg's too) did in fact reduce zddp in their std dino 15w-40 rotella from 1500ppm to approx 1150-1200ppm zddp making it a bit marginal protection wise for ft cams,at the same time chevron reduced their delo std dino 15w-40 from 1500ppm to 1300pm zddp due to gov regs & issue with premature fouling of cat converters increasing warranty cost/issues for car mfg's along with when that happened increased emissions issues till failed cat was replaced too.

    This is the official tech bulletin from Yamaha 2/2/05 re engine noise.
    Explanation of engine mechanical noise characteristics
    XV1600/1700 Road Star models

    Please use the information in this bulletin to assist you in handling customer concerns about normal engine noise

    Yamaha designed the Road Star to be a very special motorcycle, the heart of which is it's enormous v-twin engine. Our goals were to build a big-bore, high torque engine in the tradition of classic motorcycles that have long been part of the American landscape. We also wanted it to have the exceptionally clean, muscular lines that without a doubt would draw attention to the Road Star.

    Several engineering decisions were made to accomplish our goals. For example, we chose traditional no-fuss air-cooling so as not to have a radiator detract from the bikes clean lines. We chose proven push-rod valve actuation to give the engine it's particular style, as well as it's particular height and weight distribution characteristics. We also gave it 98-102-cubic inch displacement-bigger than many car engines-with massive internal components like a crankshaft that alone weighs a hefty 45lbs.

    If a customer should question the overall engine noise level, explain to them that certain mechanical operating noises from the engine are expected, and the Road Star is no exception. It has engine-operating sounds that are inherent precisely because of the type of engine that it is. The air cooled engine design used for the Road Star, unlike liquid-cooled engines, does not have a sound deadening , liquid-filled jacket surrounding most of the sound-producing mechanical engine components. What is at issue is what are normal and abnormal noises.

    Remind the customer that this is a very large air-cooled engine. Aluminum and other metal components expand when they get hot, and the engine is designed with operating tolerances to accommodate for this expected characteristic of the metal. The result is that the customer will likely hear more overall mechanical noises from the engine when it's hot and the oil is thinner.

    Above all, make sure the customer is aware that the Road Star engine is proving itself to be extremely reliable and we are confident that Road Star will deliver trustworthy performance for years to come. assure them that normal mechanical noises are not the sign of impending engine failure.

    Engine Noise Analysis
    tapping noise from camshaft area

    Normal Noise
    During initial engine start-up, the customer may occasionally hear a tapping noise from the camshaft area and, within a few minutes, the noise subsides. explain that this is due to extra clearance at the push rod end before the hydraulic lifter is pumped up. When the engine is turned off and it stops in a position where one of the valves is open, that lifter will bleed down over time due to the constant pressure applied to the lifter by the valve spring. When the engine is restarted, a small amount of air may enter the lifter and it can take a few minutes for the air to bleed out of the lifter and self adjust to proper clearance.
    Abnormal Noise
    Constant tapping noise regardless of engine temperature - may be caused by what is called a flat lifter. if the piston inside the hydraulic lifter becomes scratched, the lifter will not be able to hold the compressed oil inside to take up the valve/push rod clearance. explain that a failed lifter will need to be replaced.

    Ticking Noise from Cylinder Head Area

    Normal Noise
    Explain that a light ticking noise is normal due to the compact air-cooled design of the cylinder heads, which allows the sound of rocker arm loading/unloading and valve-to-valve eat contact to be heard. Clarify that the ticking noise may increase slightly as the engine gets hot where the engine parts expand and the oil thins down.
    Abnormal Noise
    A consistently loud ticking noise, regardless of engine temperature may be caused by an improper valve clearance adjustment. Explain that this engine is designed with 2 intake valves and 2 exhaust vales per cylinder. The single rocker opens and closes both valves at the same time. One side of the rocker is nonadjustable and the clearance is self adjusted by the hydraulic lifter. The other side is adjustable and must be adjusted so the valve contact point is the same as the other side.

    Knocking Noise from Crankshaft Area

    Normal Noise
    When an extremely hot engine is idling, the customer may hear what some describe as a light knocking noise coming from the crankshaft area, primarily from the right side. The noise is more pronounced if the idle speed drops below 900rpm. this is a normal engine noise.
    Explain that the Road Star engine is designed to produce very high torque at low engine operating rpm. Because of this low operating rpm, for the alternator to produce sufficient electrical output to support the system, the alternator is driven off of a jackshaft which is geared to the crankshaft and spins at approximately 2 time the engine rpm.
    As the engine heats up and the aluminum crankcase expands, the gear lash (clearance) is increased between the alternator shaft drive and driven gear. Inform the customer that, normally, the oil viscosity dampens the gear contact surfaces and helps reduce mechanical noise. However, in this case, the oil is thin which reduces the damping effect.
    Under these conditions, if the machine is put into 1st gear and the engine is loaded down below 500 rpm with the brakes applied, the described knocking noise will become even more pronounced. Explain that this is because of several factors. 1st, the ignition timing is set for 900 rpm idle speed. At below 500 rpm, the timing is too far advanced and causes early combustion which will try to force the piston down in the opposite direction. 2nd, at such low rpm, the oil pressure is also very low which affect the damping effect at crankshaftplain bearings. Combine these factors with the slow spinning alternator shaft which is juddering from the magnetic field of the alternator rotor, the engine will make some mechanical noises. Reassure the customer that this is common with any engine design and does not indicate excessive wear/clearance of components or impending failure.
    Abnormal Noise
    If the engine is consistently making what is described as a knocking noise regardless of engine temperature or load, convey that it may be due to a bearing or bearing surface failure at the upper or lower connecting rod or crankshaft plain bearings. if your customer is concerned that a normal operating noise is impending bearing failure, remind him or her that bearing failures get progressively worse in a short time. if the noise hasn't been getting worse or even seems to "fix itself" from time to time, it's not a bearing failure.

    Roadstar Oil Filters

    BOSCH……………………….3300 or 3323 or D3323 Hi Efficiency
    K&N………………………….KN-303
    NAPA GOLD………………...1358
    PUROLATOR……………….ML16817
    STP…………………………...SDF13
    WIX…………………………..51358
    FRAM………………………..6017A
    HASTINGS…………………..LF-113
    HI FLO………………………
    HF-303
    EMGO……………………….10-82220
    PER-FORM…………………J-503


    Mobil1………………………M1MC-134

    M1…………………………………….110

    “The West is the Best" - Jim Morrison

  • #2
    Would these be better as a Tech Article?
    Manuals, Roadwing, other stuff
    PGR
    PGT MT

    Comment


    • #3
      Probably along with the FI facts.

      “The West is the Best" - Jim Morrison

      Comment


      • Mark_N
        Mark_N commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for putting this together, tremendously helpful.

    • #4
      And the shock mount cracking.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by Tykes_Place View Post
        Would these be better as a Tech Article?
        That or a sticky

        Comment


        • #6
          Nice little write up...

          Comment


          • #7
            Excellent checklist Shores, thanks!

            Comment


            • #8
              What is the starter spin thing? I couldn't find it in the tech section. I toasted a starter last month but had a spare because I knew it was coming.
              Life is tough, it's even tougher if your stupid----John Wayne

              Comment


              • #9
                A big 10-4 about not riding on the shoulder. The last time I did that to get around stalled traffic, I picked up a screw in the rear tire that had plenty of wear left. An expensive lesson.

                Comment


                • #10
                  I'll add to look out for the weak charging system on 99-04

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Great post Shores!, When I first came to the Clinic that was exactly the into i was looking for...except the hooker thing.....

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Wow, shoulda read this a year ago,,, LOL
                      "Do or do not, there is no try."

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Man , that’s sums it up pretty well !!
                        If I wanna ride Harley , i'll go home and get my StreeGlide

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Welcome to the wonderful world of the Roadstar, the most mechanically dependable bike that is STILL going to empty your billfold . . . . . . .

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by MikeyC View Post
                            What is the starter spin thing? I couldn't find it in the tech section. I toasted a starter last month but had a spare because I knew it was coming.
                            You can still go back to the old site and research the tech section. That’s why they archived it. Bunch got saved.

                            Link:

                            http://roadstarclinic.com/content/view/187/103/



                            Comment


                            • #16
                              If your Road Star is a 2003 or earlier model, you are a candidate for the dreaded starter spin problem. Starter spin happens when the generator rotor--which the starter is supposed to engage--comes loose from its shaft, and renders the starter useless. Yamaha changed

                              Comment


                              • #17
                                Thanks for that. I'll have my local Yamaha dealer check for all the recalls. I'm having rear-spring issues - should I not replace with an OEM part?

                                Comment


                                • #18
                                  The Roadwing upgrade was/is really popular on the Forum. It makes a world of difference in how the bike handles. Especially, when upgrading the front springs/dampers also. I'm still running the stock rear dampers on both of my bikes, but seldom if ever ride two up. I have however, upgraded the stock springs. I'm running the big red Eibach on the Hack, and a Progressive Spring on my Springer. Japanese products seem to be notoriously under sprung. I have a 2000 Miata, that is in dire need of better springs. I spent all my fun money on my bikes, and don't have any for the little Roadster.
                                  The Roadwing shock, uses a much improved damper and spring, and has an adjustable ride as far as stiffness goes.

                                  Keep in mind, you can adjust the rear spring to max preload. An absolute must, with the stock spring and damper. I think a lot of people are surprised to find out they had the rear spring on minimum preload.

                                  Comment


                                  • #19
                                    Ah,, thank you, luckily that is not my issue.
                                    Life is tough, it's even tougher if your stupid----John Wayne

                                    Comment


                                    • #20
                                      This article is just what I was looking , just got bike ,06 midnight star ,last summer and did not know about 4 qt oil fill, cant find the 20w-40 so I will definitely change out to the 20w-50 Mobil 1 v twin oil. Sticking with the Yamaha stock filter though.

                                      Comment

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