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06 RMZ450 Top End Report

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After nearly 200 hours, I was starting to feel a loss of compression when I kicked it over, so I decided it was time to bite the bullet and replace the piston on my 06 rmz450 before something catastrophic happenned. I was a little bit hesitant to do it myself since compared to my kids 2 strokes, the big 4 stroke looks intimidating. Anyway, I decided I'd give it a shot. I used the Suzuki repair manual, which was very easy to follow even for a first timer. Amazingly, access to get the top end off was a lot easier than the 85's I had worked on before, and within an hour I was holding the old piston in my hand. I then cleaned and inspected everything and started putting it back together. I only ran into a couple of minor snags. First, the timing chain came off the sprocket down in the case, and it took a little wrangling with a chopstick to get it back where it belonged. The other problem was getting the timing set. I thought I had everything lined up right, but when I put the cam chain tensioner back in, I could tell I had it off by 1 tooth. It was pretty easy to change it so it was right, so the big thing was just to double check it once you get everything tightened down. Overall the whole job took me about 4 hours. Of course, as soon as I got it done, I had to start it up to see if I did it right or not. In my hurry to start it I neglected to notice the plug I had left in the muffler. I kicked and kicked, getting more discouraged with every kick. Then my 11 y/o came out to see what I was doing, and asked me why I was trying to start it with the plug in the muffler. Oops. Took out the plug and it started in 1 kick. So to those with some experience working on bikes, but might be afraid of tackling a four stroke, it's not as bad as you might imagine. Happy riding.

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Then my 11 y/o came out to see what I was doing, and asked me why I was trying to start it with the plug in the muffler. Oops.

Thanks for the chuckle! :moon:

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