6 Steps to Replacing Motorcycle Spark Plugs
Motorcycle spark plugs need to be replaced in order to keep a motorcycle running efficiently. If you forget to change the spark plugs at regular intervals, you will gradually lose performance and reliability from your bike. The process is quick and easy to carry out so you do not have to sacrifice too much time or money.
Step One - Remove Wires
Spark plugs on a motorcycle should be easily accessible from either side of the bike. The first thing you need to do is wait for the engine to cool down. Use your fingertips to hold the wire of the boot, which is easily identified as a little cap on the end of a spark plug. Gently twist the boot until the wire comes free. Do not force the wires off because you will damage them. Twist them gently to the left and right if they are proving stubborn to remove.
Step Two - Clean Spark Plugs
Use a little cleaning agent and a wet cloth to rub the spark plugs and clean them before you remove them. This may sound strange but it will stop any dirt or debris from falling into the cylinders of the engine when you remove the plugs from position. A good tip is to use a tire compressor to blow air over the spark plugs. This will also make replacement of the spark plugs a cleaner experience.
Step Three - Remove Spark Plugs
Use a ratchet and a spark plug socket to turn the spark plugs in an anti-clockwise direction. Do not be afraid to use extensive pressure because the spark plugs have linings which prevent surface cracks to the case. Turn the spark plugs until they are loose. It should now be easy to spin them out of position using your fingers. Check for any signs of damage to the plugs once you have removed them as this could indicated that debris may have fallen into the cylinder head .
Step Four - Cylinder Heads
It is always a good idea to check the cylinder heads before you install new spark plugs anyway. New spark plugs should screw into the cylinder heads easily. If the heads are dirty, give them a quick wipe with a damp cloth soaked in penetrating oil. This will also help with ignition of the engine. Spray a little penetrating oil over the heads to stop any chance of friction developing when you screw on the new spark plugs.
Step Five - Install New Spark Plugs
Fit a new spark plug into position. Screw it into place with your fingers each time. Use your spark plug wrench or socket to give the spark plug a final strong turn. However, you should never over tighten the spark plugs because they will not ignite the engine efficiently if you do.
Step Six - Reattach Wires
Gently reattach each wire into the specific spark plug with your fingertips. It is vitally important to put the wires back in the right sequence on engines with multiple cylinders. If you do not, the bike will break down a short time after it has started, if you can manage to get it to start at all.