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Thread: Spark Plugs

  1. #1
    Gone away VersysRyder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Opelika, AL
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

    Spark Plugs

    Well, I noticed a drop in fuel economy on my beloved and I noticed power seemed to be a touch off as well. I looked into the motorcycle owner's manual and found out that the required interval for spark plugs happens to be 7,500 miles. With 6,300 on the clock, I decided to tackle the job on a beautiful, warm Friday afternoon - the temps all week have been at a high of about 37F-44F and a low of 19F-22F, and Friday the temps got into the 60s

    So, for anyone that might be interested, I decided to to a step-by-step photo journal of the whole process.

    First, a few tools:
    1. 4mm Allen wrench - this took care of the bolts holding the windshield and the fairing on.
    2. 3/8" drive 8mm socket - this was for the acorn nuts that the windscreen bolts screw into (I used a 1/4" drive socket but I should have used a 3/8" drive just to rreduce the amount of tools I had sitting out).
    3. 3/8" drive 5mm hex-head socket - this was used to remove the bolts holding the air box on the throttle body.
    4. 3/8" drive 10mm socket - this is to remove the bolts holding the fuel tank in place.
    5. 4" long 3/8" drive extension - you'll see why in the pictures.
    6. 3/8" drive ratchet
    7. 3/8" drive torque wrench - one that will accurately read 11 lb-ft to properly torque the spark plugs. Or, do like me, and torque spark plugs to 15 lb-ft, which is as low as a 0-75 lb-ft deflecting beam torque wrench will accurately indicate.

    Also, the spark plugs in question are NGK CR9EIA-9 6289 Iridium spark plugs.

    Last but not least - gasoline weighs in as much as 6.5 lbs (, so when you know you're going to be doing the job, make sure you run the bike as close to empty as possible. That said, please don't run so low that you run out of gasoline in the middle of nowhere, as an engine shutdown due to lack of fuel casualty can lead to such things as a temper control meltdown, a lacerated dignity, or even, in more extreme cases, a motorcycle implosion due to kicking, punching, and screaming at the closest inanimate object available.

    Now, onto the surgery!

    First, I removed the windshield so it would be out of the way. This was done using the 4mm allen wrench and the 8mm socket:

    Then, I removed the bolts for the left and right cowling. All bolts are 4mm hex-head bolts, and removed using the 4mm allen wrench:

    After I removed the cowling, I noticed that one of the rubber grommets popped off with the cowling, so I reinstalled it on the fuel tank:

    I also removed the black plastic covers that sit below the tank and the cowling. There are 3 rubber grommets holding it in place (red) and 1 philips-head screw (green):

    For my next trick, I removed the bolts retaining the fuel tank. There are two bolts, and they are 10mm:

    Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures of the tank removal itself, however, the process is fairly straightforward.

    To remove the tank, I lifted up on the back end of the tank. As I did, it pivoted on a pair of rubber mounts on the front end of the tank, which are located roughly as shown underneath the tank:

    After removing the tank, I bungeed the tank to a ladder to keep it supported, up and out of the way, and still leave the lines connected to the tank and the bike:

    So, with that out of the way, it was on to the next step.

    Again, I didn't think to get pictures for this part. You will see the exposed air box, with a cover panel that is held in place by a rubber hose and 4 philips-head screws. The rubber hose connects to a sensor mounted on the front of the airbox. I removed the hose, unscrewed the screws holding the cover panel in place.

    I also removed the air filter, held in place with a single philips-head screw:

    Per the instructions in the Kawasaki factory manual, I cleaned it with a volatile cleaner, sprayed it dry, and re-oiled it with SAE30 wt oil.

  2. #2
    Gone away VersysRyder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Opelika, AL
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

    Re: Spark Plugs

    At this point I also moved the sensor mounted on the front of the airbox out of the way and proceeded to remove the airbox. Once you remove the airbox cover and look inside, you'll see 4 hex-head bolts:

    These are all 5mm hex-head bolts, and I used the 5mm hex-head socket to remove them.

    The airbox itself is fairly simply to remove, but there is a rubber hose that connects the airbox to the engine and transmission casing that I didn't notice until I had removed the airbox

    Also, as suggested by Machog:
    One tip I would add, take a clean rag and stuff it in the throttle bodies after you take the air-filter off, stop any stray nuts or crap going down there.
    So, once the airbox is removed, stuff a couple of rags into the throttle body for a little extra insurance.

    Once the airbox was removed, it exposed the spark plugs for what I thought would be an easy remove and install:

    However, this is what I wound up using to remove the plugs:

    The only 3/8" drive extension I had was 6" long, and it didn't give me enough clearance to use the 3/8" drive ratchet. This is the reason why I suggest using a 4" long 3/8" drive extension.

    I removed the wire connecting each coil to the electrical system, pulled each coil and spark plug individually.

    Prior to installing each spark plug, I used anti-seize, the way that my old man taught me

    Here's what the old spark plugs looked like compared to the new ones:

    Not bad, but definitely wearing. I installed the new spark plugs, tightened each one to 15 lb-ft, and buttoneed everything back up.

    Well, everything went back together in the reverse order of how it came apart ( :eek: I can't believe it! ) and I fired the bike up to ensure that she was in good working order. No problems, no issues, but I noticed something:

    The throttle response was snappier. And she warmed up MUCH quicker as well.

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