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How to replace your motorcycle's spark plug

Learn how you can properly replace your spark plug at home

Motorcycle Spark Plug

Maintaining your motorcycle at home can have a lot of benefits. DIY work can be very therapeutic, it can help you save a bit of money, and can save you precious time. As such, it’s important for riders to know what regular maintenance tasks entail—one such task is the replacement of your motorcycle spark plug, which may need to be changed out every few thousand kilometers. If your spark plug is going bad and will need to be replaced, here’s all you need to know on how to properly replace your motorcycle’s spark plug.

Disconnect the electrical cables

Motorcycle Engine Head Cables

Since the spark plug is an electrical component which receives extremely high voltage currents, the first thing you will need to do is make sure you disconnect any potential electrical hazards. First, make sure your ignition is off and your key is out of the ignition switch. Secondly, disconnect the high tension wire which sits on top of the spark plug—this should come out with a firm pull as it simply is pushed in place. Lastly, you may also decide to disconnect the negative terminal of your battery if you want to be extra safe with your DIY work at home.

Remove and inspect the spark plug

Used Spark Plugs

After disconnecting any potential electrical hazards, the next thing to do would be to remove the spark plug from your motorcycle engine. Spark plug removal varies from motorcycle to motorcycle. For some, it can be as simple as grabbing a wrench or socket wrench and gently unscrewing the plug. For others, fairings and the fuel tank may need to be removed in order to access the plug. Regardless, it’s important to follow the recommendations of the service manual in order to properly access your spark plug.

Once the plug is accessed and removed with a socket or socket wrench, make sure to inspect your spark plug since the color and texture of a spark plug can give you more data on how your engine combustion is performing. If you don’t know how to read the condition of a spark plug, you may always take it to a trusted mechanic for diagnosis and recommendations. Lastly, make sure to clean the spark plug hole on your engine with a towel and carburetor cleaner in case contaminants and dirt have found their way into the threads.

Install the new spark plug

New Spark Plug

After removal, inspection, and cleaning, it’s now time to install your new spark plug. Simply reinstall the plug in the opposite way it was disassembled. It’s important to make sure that the spark plug is tightened correctly and not too tight as you might strip the threads on your engine—it’s best to follow the recommended torque spec of your manufacturer for this job. Also, make sure that the spark plug you’re installing is within the specification of your owner’s manual for best results.

Final check and test

Motorcycle Ride POV

Once your new spark plug is installed, it’s now time to do your final inspection before your test ride. Ensure that the spark plug is properly tightened to the engine and is not over tightened or loosely seated. Double check that the high tension wire is properly plugged into the spark plug, and that the battery terminals are properly tightened. Make sure that parts which were disassembled, like the fairings or fuel tank, are properly reassembled with all bolts and connectors properly tightened and reattached. Afterwards, start the engine and go for a test ride, and if all is working properly, your motorcycle should be good to ride with your brand new spark plug!

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