99 V-Max mechanic East Central, WI

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Vexem

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Hi, I had my '99 in storage for about 6 year ending last year. It has about 11k miles on it. It runs unreliably and is getting worse - It pops a lot especially when closing the throttle, idles rough and unreliably, and sometimes revs weak / unreliable. I think the main issue is one or more carbs have issues, perhaps degraded rubber parts. The idle set screw seems to have minimal impact on actual idle - it seems to switch from dying to idling way too fast with only temporary middle ground. I want to have everything gone through, especially the carbs completely - the brake flush and check, clutch checked/flushed, tires replaced (with the rear diff. fluid), coolant flushed. Basically whatever it takes to get it running nice and safe again - get it up to snuff for the next 20 years :)

I have a 4 barrel carb guage, but adjustments wouldn't really hold. I sprayed a bunch of carb cleaner in the thing while running, but fear I may have shot some in the wrong place, because it started running worse after that and I later read that carb cleaner can destroy some rubber parts in there.

Also, I noticed when replacing the battery that both of the ignition coils (CM11-61) are cracked on all the way across the bottom. Is that a problem? can I caulk them? Should I try to replace them?

Anyways, I'd like to get it back on the road some time this century, so I don't want to try doing things myself. Any suggestions on places to take it to get this done or places to avoid? I called the Yamaha Dealer in Wisconsin Rapids, WI and they had no interest.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Fire-medic

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Get dannymax (PM him by his screen name) to do the carbs, or Sean Morley [email protected]. You remove the carbs, box them, and mail them off. Don't forget the fuel delivery system, open the gas tank cap and illuminate the bottom of the gas tank. Is it shiny? What about the sides? Are they shiny? If the gas tank is rusted, installing a cleaned set of carburetors is useless. You need to clean the gas tank. That probably requires removing it and doing the job, and re-installing it.

The hydraulics: brakes and clutch, probably need a good flush/bleed, maybe a couple of kits for the pistons/seals in-'em. The tires, it would be cheaper to remove the wheels and take them for new tires, and re-install 'em. If you don't have the ability to do that stuff, I'd be asking on-here for a referral of someone by you; that would improve your chances if you were able to deliver the bike to someone in the Midwest.

Honestly, what you're proposing to do is likely going to cost you a couple thousand dollars:

rebuilt/cleaned carburetors (includes shipping both ways) ~ $750
new quality tires mounted/balanced 400
rebuild F & R brake master cylinders 250
brake pads F & R (total) HH pads are good for the front 80
battery AGM style (choose one) 80
" Li-ion style 160
rebuild clutch master cyl and slave cyl 150
clean gas tank, remove & replace 200
total deduct the one battery you don't choose $2,070

A general labor estimate is included.

Is it worth it to you?

Are the fork downtubes rusted? If they are, they need to be replaced, forget OEM, unless you buy used, and what you get off ebay motors might be worse than what you have now. Aftermarket, new downtubes by someone like Forking by Frank YAMAHA FORK TUBES BY FRANKS FORKS
is one choice but you still need disassembly, new seals (OEM, please) and reassembly. Race Tech is another supplier. RT - Digital Product Search
The total for that could be $600, and I didn't mention steering head bearings and seal removal/replacement, All-Balls aftermarket kits are OK. Call that $100. Now you're at $2,700. I've sold perfectly operable VMax bikes for not much-more than that.

If you understand that this is an estimate based upon the engine being healthy, the rest of the bike OK, just these things (above) to be done, you can see that it's gonna probably cost you $3,000 if you just turn it over to someone to have it done. I assume that is far-greater than you figured upon.

No mention was made of leaking head gaskets (unlikely), leaking valve cover gaskets (possible), oil change & filter, gas filter change, synching the carburetors, flush & replace the coolant, possible cooling system repairs (leaking hoses, new thermostat, radiator fan thermal switch replacement, gaskets and O-rings, and labor), final drive oil drain/replace, and any necessary electrical repairs.

Here is what I would recommend:

If the bike won't turn-over on a jump, and the engine is seized, you have a parts-bike, most-likely. I suspect trying to 'un-stick' a V4 engine is more-than you would want to attempt. If the bike easily turns-over:

Change the oil and filter. Change the gas filter.

Get the carburetors professionally repaired. I mentioned some people on here who can do that.

Get the gas tank cleaned or cleaned and sealed, if it needs it. You can buy a new tank for ~$318 at the dealer.

Fuel Tank Comp

1FK-24110-10-33

Retail Price: $434.99

Your Price: $318.36

A clean/seal on your tank might run $150-200.

Install the carburetors, get them synched while the bike is running. This should allow you to discover if the bike actually runs. If the bike seems like it's now a 'runner,' then you can undertake all those things I mentioned in the above list, to hopefully return it to the road.

I know that you said the bike does run, not well. OK, you're ahead of things there. There are people who are within a day's drive for you who could fix your bike if you brought it to them, CaptainKyle [email protected] is one of them. Sean Morley is another. Member Damon is over by Detroit (US 23 and M-96, So. Lyon), another. PM him.
 
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Vexem

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It's a long shot but is anyone familiar with Plover Motor Sports (Plover, WI)? They said they could handle it, and just finished an old Yamaha. I'll be torn on what to do if someone here that loves and specializes in V-Maxes, but is way more than an hour away can do it vs just trying this Plover place.


Thanks, Fire-Medic

I was expecting/prepared to pay $2-3k. That's way cheaper than a new V-Max or Ducati Diavel, which are probably the only two bikes out there that appeal to me. I don't like buying used stuff. I don't feel I have the mechanical skills to determine how they've been used and/or abused. I had not even considered just buying another older V-Max - nostalgia be damned. Thinking about it, if $3k gets me my bike running sweet and $2.5k gets me a different V-Max, I'll stick with mine.

I will have to look closer in the gas tank. Last time I looked casually I didn't see anything too alarming. I'll make sure fuel filter is on my list of needs, I thought about that, then forgot.

The engine is likely fine, I run it every few weeks now, I just don't ride cuz I don't trust it not to die at a stop. When it was stored I fogged it, and cranked it with the plugs removed. Definitely not seized, as its been running. I changed the oil twice - once coming out of storage and it got dirty quick and seemed to make the clutch slip, so I changed it again with "motorcycle oil" and the clutch returned to normal feel.

The Fork downtubes are fine as far as I've noticed, I can look closer, but rusting while in storage wasn't an issue. Tubes hold pre-load air as far as I can tell.

I think the electronics are likely fine. I have a 4 barrel carb synchronize. I think the cooling mechanics are fine - fan turns on and off as needed.

Is having the valve clearances checked / adjusted expensive? Is it likely necessary?
 

Fire-medic

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Sounds like some good news.

Gas filter: you can use 'advanced search' or take your OEM to a good auto parts store, and you should be able to match it. The dealership one is >$20, you should be able to find a decent one at the auto parts store which will fit in the OEM location/rubber saddle for $5-8. It's not a lot of $ though.

You probably don't need a valve adjustment at 11K miles. If you had issues getting it running, that might be something to check, but it's likely OK.

Ask Plover for an estimate. What are they going to do? What parts are they going to replace, what is the source of the parts (OEM or aftermarket, I would request OEM, and save the packaging to show you); parts and labor costs. You want a closed-end estimate, to be able to understand what's going to be done, and at what price. Once you have that information, you have a reasonable idea of your expenditure. Request that they contact you if something is discovered where they need to replace parts not covered in the estimate, and the labor which will be in-addition to your agreed-upon estimate.
 

MrMAX1985

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It's a long shot but is anyone familiar with Plover Motor Sports (Plover, WI)? They said they could handle it, and just finished an old Yamaha. I'll be torn on what to do if someone here that loves and specializes in V-Maxes, but is way more than an hour away can do it vs just trying this Plover place.


Thanks, Fire-Medic

I was expecting/prepared to pay $2-3k. That's way cheaper than a new V-Max or Ducati Diavel, which are probably the only two bikes out there that appeal to me. I don't like buying used stuff. I don't feel I have the mechanical skills to determine how they've been used and/or abused. I had not even considered just buying another older V-Max - nostalgia be damned. Thinking about it, if $3k gets me my bike running sweet and $2.5k gets me a different V-Max, I'll stick with mine.

I will have to look closer in the gas tank. Last time I looked casually I didn't see anything too alarming. I'll make sure fuel filter is on my list of needs, I thought about that, then forgot.

The engine is likely fine, I run it every few weeks now, I just don't ride cuz I don't trust it not to die at a stop. When it was stored I fogged it, and cranked it with the plugs removed. Definitely not seized, as its been running. I changed the oil twice - once coming out of storage and it got dirty quick and seemed to make the clutch slip, so I changed it again with "motorcycle oil" and the clutch returned to normal feel.

The Fork downtubes are fine as far as I've noticed, I can look closer, but rusting while in storage wasn't an issue. Tubes hold pre-load air as far as I can tell.

I think the electronics are likely fine. I have a 4 barrel carb synchronize. I think the cooling mechanics are fine - fan turns on and off as needed.

Is having the valve clearances checked / adjusted expensive? Is it likely necessary?
I don't know the owner but I drive by the place every day and every once in a while I will see a V-max out there getting work done. Have heard from different people he does quality work.
 

Zenuwlijer

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Anyways, I'd like to get it back on the road some time this century, so I don't want to try doing things myself.
It would save you a ton of money though and not to forget... gain you a hell of a lot experience. This forum is an awesome piece of help for that matter.

Personally (learned it the hard way) I would stay miles away from mechanics that didn't handle a Vmax before.
 

Parminio

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Hi, I had my '99 in storage for about 6 year ending last year. It has about 11k miles on it. It runs unreliably and is getting worse - It pops a lot especially when closing the throttle, idles rough and unreliably, and sometimes revs weak / unreliable.
Mine did the exact same thing after it laid up for a couple years untouched while I battled cancer.

A nice rebuild on the carbs will sort it out. One of my air cut off valves was bad too, but that was the only "hard part" I had to buy other than the rebuild kits.

Just remember, USE YOUR OWN BRASS.
 
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Sometimes its time restrictions that prevent some of us doing our own work. I simply dont have time to work on my bikes and its just easier to send off the bike to someone who will get the job done. Those with the financial means sometimes will send it out just to get it rolling and rolling right. Those without the financial means will ask for help and try themselves to do the job. Either way works, right? As long as the end goal is we are riding and happy with what we got.
 

Vexem

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I don't know the owner but I drive by the place every day and every once in a while I will see a V-max out there getting work done. Have heard from different people he does quality work.
Thanks for the info, that certainly increases my comfort level even more. Since I don't have the time to tackle things myself, and no V-Max specialists have emerged fairly close by, I think when I get back in state I will get my Max over there.

I will update how things went when it comes back.
 

Vexem

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It would save you a ton of money though and not to forget... gain you a hell of a lot experience. This forum is an awesome piece of help for that matter.

Personally (learned it the hard way) I would stay miles away from mechanics that didn't handle a Vmax before.
If I didn't have dozens of things going on that take priority over the joy and satisfaction of learning and fixing my Vmax, I certainly would. Someday, when life slows down a little bit, I certainly will. And partly I'm just intimidated by attempting such an involved seeming project, that could drag out way too long, especially if I run into problems.

This forum certainly contains a treasure trove of knowledgeable and helpful people. I'm glad I stumbled across it. The VMOA forum seems fairly quiet (and my browser keeps complaining about the site's security/encryption).

If I felt I had the time, I would pull the carbs and send them to one of the experts suggested, and then send the bike to the semi-local guy for the rest, but I just want to get back on the road in reliable fashion at this point.
 
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Vexem

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Initial estimate came back at $2,800 - in line with expectations. That's with Bridgestones (for better or worse). He said the forks are leaking, so I might as well do the progressive springs while he's at it...

Asked if he could drop the front upto an inch too since I'm short and shrinking - would that best be done with sliding the forks?

Fuel tank looked fine. Brake lines might have rust. Asked for pink coolant.
 

Parminio

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If you're short I would go with a seat redo before I lowered the bike and castrated its handling. They can lower your seating position by an inch or more without lowering the bike.
 

Fire-medic

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The RICOR or Race Tech cartridge emulator wave-washer stacks change your damping for the better, and they're adjustable, though that requires removal of them from the downtubes. It's not just a screwdriver into a slot somewhere on the fork assembly, times-two.

The best handling mod I have done is going to radial tires. There are plenty of threads on that on the forum. Use the advanced search function.
 

Vexem

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If I lower the front, which some say puts more weight distribution up front and improves handling, would that be done with shorter springs (so not 11-1144 15.5"?)? If so is there a model number recommended for that? Or does the kit involve replacing parts other than the springs? Is there a suggested kit?

Regarding seats - Are Morley (Gen 1 Vmax Seats - Enquire - Morley's Muscle), Corbin, and MaxGasser the only options for lower profile (shorter), more comfy V-Max seats? I don't like the looks of the Corbin (Corbin Motorcycle Seats & Accessories | Yamaha V-Max | 800-538-7035), and I have and like the taller backrest / sissybar, so I think that rules out the MaxGasser (Customer Rides - MaxGasser). If the seats are not crazy pricey, I might be leaning this way, thanks for the suggestion.
 
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VMAXXIMUM

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Vexem, IMO your best option for springs would be Progressive Suspension springs with the 1"lowering kit. Just lowering the front will make the bike turn in more quickly. You really should consider lowering the back as well to keep the factory geometry. Progressive also has several rear shock options. The 412's are much better than stock, however the 444's are significantly better than the 412's. As far as "castrating" the bikes handling, well that is just not the case. You will lose some lean angle but if it gets you more foot on the ground and you feel more comfortable it's well worth it. I'm 5'4" and I have a Morley's seat and the above mentioned suspension set up. 1" lowering springs in front and 12" 444's in the rear. (Stock is 13") I regularly do track days and my bike handles fantastic. Just ask the sport bikes I run around.
 

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