Next, I drained the radiator. This is the reason why you have to remove the gas tank – to get at the radiator cap.
The radiator drain plug is in the water pipe that is tucked inside of the right frame rail.
Next I drained the oil. I was going to change the oil afterwards, so removed all three plugs.
There is a black oil pipe that connects to the bottom of the outer transmission cover. I removed that next.
Then I removed the lower water connections that lead to the water pump. It connects to the lower edge of the inner transmission cover.
Next I removed the chrome outer transmission cover.
Then I removed the upper water pipe that connects to the top of the inner transmission cover.
Finally I was able to remove the inner transmission cover.
If you read Ron’s article, he talks about how tough it is to loosen the nuts holding the transfer gears. They are tight! I used my impact wrench and it made quick work of it. Ron also talks about making shims to eliminate a tiny bit of play between the gear and the nut. There was a little bit of play with the original gears too, so I didn’t add any shims and the bike has been fine.
Time for a coffee break.
The worst part of the entire job (and I am not kidding) is removing the small shim that is under the speedo sensor. You need to remove the shim if you want your speedometer to work after swapping the gears. The speedo is driven off of the rear transfer gear. The new gear is slightly smaller in diameter and the shim needs to be removed so that it will be positioned close enough to the gear. I had to remove the battery and damn near every other piece of plastic to get to the allen bolts that hold it on. What a PITA…
Assembly is just the reverse. I made sure that the mating surfaces of the inner and out transmission covers were perfectly clean and smooth. I did not want to button everything back up only to discover a leak.
And the results were worth the effort and expense. The engine is turning noticeably fewer RPMs and just purrs along at interstate speeds. However, with all of that power on tap, I still find myself reaching for that 6th gear occassionally… 🙂