In an effort to provide more resources for the moto and coffee community, we have begun our How To series for all things motorcycle and coffee related. If you have not seen those videos yet, you should check out our youtube and be sure to subscribe to our channel because we are going to be releasing these every single month. To kick off this series we decided to start with something simple like changing your spark plugs. Here is the written companion to our online video, complete with guides and even some charts.
(We love charts)
The first thing you will want to do on any motorcycle is to remove the "plug wire" from the spark plug. This wire connects to your motorcycle's coils and are pretty easy to remove. In most bikes you will just pull up on the plug wires lightly to separate them from the spark plug.
The next thing to do is to re move the actual plug. To do so, insert a socket over the spark plug and turn counter clockwise until the plug comes out.
Now inspect the plug to check the color and burn. You can actually learn a lot about your bikes running condition just by looking into the color of the plug. For instance, if the plug is really dark in color and moist you could be running your bike too rich. The best plug is one that looks to have an even burn and resembles a toasted marshmallow. You are looking for a light tan/grey even burn all the way around the spark plug.
After inspecting the plug, it is time to put that new plug in. But before you do, you'll want to check the gap of your plug with your gap tool. The best way to know the gap for your bike is to look in the manual for your specific bike. To use the gap tool, simply insert the plug in at the thinnest section of your spark plug and slide up until you reach the desired gap.
Lastly you will want to put everything back in its proper place and reverse order as you took it apart. I say a good rule of thumb when putting the plugs back in is to hand tighten the plugs to avoid stripping out the threads. After hand tightening the plugs, you will want to lightly snug the plugs into the cylinder head with the socket ever so lightly. Remember, don't gorilla grip it. Soft hands. After that, put those plug wires back on the plug and you will be back in business.