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2012-Yamaha-R1Q: I was wondering if you guys could shed some light on ignition advancers? I own a very nice 2012 Yamaha R1 and I’ve seen an aftermarket ignition advancer that simply replaces the original one on the end of the crankshaft, and it looks very easy to install.

It’s quite expensive (R2,700) for such a small thing though, but they claim it’ll do ‘wonders’ for performance gains, which sounds a bit dubious if you ask me. But, if it does, I’ll eagerly go out and buy the thing.

So, come on guys, what’s your take on this piece? Is it worth it, or is it just another way of getting money from people, like me, who’re always looking for more power without too much effort?

Can’t wait to see what you have to say?

Chris Forge

A: To be honest, with a stock bike that we presume you have, I’d spend the money on a holiday instead. Yamaha do most certainly know what they’re doing with their engine already, and something like this will make little or no noticeable difference.

It may add a tiny bit of midrange, but you won’t notice it when riding. These things are primarily designed for full-race modified engines – you know, cams, pistons, head-job, etc, etc. This sort of heavily modified engine will then run on high-octane race fuel, which you won’t have, and then you’ll see an improvement. And to do all of that will cost you more than the bike’s worth…

Spend it on a night out with the boys instead; you’ll feel a ‘bigger affect’ then.

Wet foot.

GS 1000 GT Shaft DriveQ: Hi guys and welcome to 2015, blah, blah blah…

Anyway, over the holidays my 1983 Suzuki GS1000G, the one with the shaft drive, has begun to piss oil all over my left foot!

Now this didn’t bother me too much because I had a new gasket for the stator/alternator cover and decided to have a beer or two and replace it, because the oil seemed to be coming from around that area. So off the cover came and I took off the old gasket and cleaned up the surfaces perfectly before installing the new one, and smeared a thin film of silicone on each side, just to be sure. I also ‘glued in’ the small rubber ‘half moon’ thing where the three wires pass through to the wiring harness, because I was told this can by-pass/leak oil and dump it around my left foot. I then put it all back together and tightened everything up nicely and went out for a ride…

Guess what? Yes, my left foot is still covered in oil – W.T.F! So what have I missed, or need to attend, because it’s really annoying me?

Thanks lads…

Trevor Ladd

A: Yes Trevor you have missed out one thing from that side of the bike – the o-ring at the end of the starter motor. This leaks oil when old and runs through a hole beneath it and onto your left foot.

Don’t worry though because you won’t have to take off the cover again and use up your new gasket. Just remove the starter motor cover, undo the two bolts that hold it in. undo the feed cable, and wiggle it around until it comes out.

Then go to a bearing shop and match up the o-ring for a new one, do not re-use the old one because it’s too hard and brittle by now. Smear a bit of your silicone around the new o-ring once re-fitted and put it all back together. No more oil leak…

Broken cap.


Q: Hi dudes. I’ve recently stumbled across your site and I love it, me and my mates are now on it every day and I really like Bill’s tests – no bullshit, for once.

Anyway, I read the article on a guys BWS who mentioned his clutch problems and I now have a question for you regarding my six year old BWS.

The ‘fukkin’ thing keeps on breaking plug caps! The little wire inside the cap that holds the cap onto the plug breaks off and then the cap falls off, and the bike stops, and you’re fukked! It is a NGK cap so I expect more from them and I’m sick of replacing it, and when I do it does the same again!

So please give me any advice on this irritating matter and while I’m here what plug number would you recommend, because I seem to get through those a lot as well – later…


A: Yes, those Bakelite type plug caps do indeed seem to break up on a BWS – the stock cap never seems to give problems though? But, if you go to a motorcycle dealer and buy this blue silicone cap, also from NGK for around R45, it will cure the problem. You’ll also have to screw the ‘bullet’ end back on to the top of the plug, which eliminates that wire thing inside the cap and will then have a much more secure attachment - I’ve attached a picture of one for you to see.

As for the plug number, it depends on what’s been done to your bike, and make sure the air filter is also clean because this will cause the plug to foul as well. The stock plug is a B7HS, I’d recommend an ‘8’ 

for slightly modified, or perhaps even a ‘9’ if it’s been tuned with a pipe and stuff. Try these out and see what works best, because they’re relatively cheap plugs to buy?

Baffling BWS?

yamaha bwzQ: Hi guys, I know you only seem to answer questions on ‘real’ motorbikes but I was wondering if you could perhaps help me with my poor little Yamaha BWS?

It’s covered just over 12,000km now and it’s completely standard besides a Leo Vince exhaust. I still use the stock air-box and I didn’t, or haven’t, changed the main jet because the plug colour seems to be correct, and it’s done over 8,000km since I fitted the pipe so I’m sure it would have blown up by now if it were running too lean.

Anyway, recently it has no power off the line and seems to take forever to get going. I took off the drive belt cover and then inspected the belt and rollers, all seemed to be in good condition. I cleaned everything nicely before putting it back together and it was a bit better for a few ks until the problem once again returned. I also cleaned out the carb and especially the pilot jet and all seems to be OK in there as well.

So what can you tell me to look for seeing as it’s only a scooter and surely it can’t be that hard to fix? Thanks…

Chris Easter.

A: Take off the drive cover again and take out the primary clutch with the rollers behind it. You’ll then see that this mechanism all slides on a central steel bush with a grease retaining seal on each end.

If this is not properly lubricated with very high temperature grease it will most certainly cause this problem. Guys who race them do this to their bush nearly every race because of the reason you’ve stated.

So try this out and I’m sure your speedy pull-off will return?







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