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HighFive 09-18-2010 08:28 PM

Highfive - WRR Athena Big Bore Project
Hhhmmm....what's this waiting on the Rancho Highfive doorstep?

Could it be...

Yes indeed! My Athena 290 Big Bore Kit has arrived....along with a couple of companions. A pretty little pair of Power Commander V and AutoTune units. :clap And very quickly, I'm beginning to feel like this:

So, let's dive in ! ! !

I am going to use this thread to document a step by step procedure for the installation of this Athena 290 Big Bore into my Yamaha WR250R. Lots of folks have asked me for a detailed pictorial and explanation. So, here you go! I'll take you through my very own "discovery process" as I disassemble my stock engine, and replace it with this bad boy. I'll also include my tuning procedures all the way through completion.

You will notice I perform all of these procedures in my little 'ol cramped & messy garage floor. Nothing fancy about it. But someday, I hope to improve on that.

Fill your popcorn and get a big drink....then kick back and enjoy the show. I will share some of my own little tricks along the way, which might make your wrenching efforts a little easier too. I've never dug so deep into this bike before, so we are bound to learn some interesting things together.

Here we go....let's find out if this box of goodies is worth the expense.

HF :thumbup

emerson.biguns 09-18-2010 08:56 PM

Mine came today.

Doesn't look like yours....

I'll follow your lead.


cyborg 09-18-2010 09:01 PM

Ooooh, Auto-tune! :getiton

:lurk :slurp

HighFive 09-18-2010 09:14 PM

First, let's see what's inside the box.

This new piston seems very light, and only has grooves for one compression ring plus one set of oil rings. The stock piston uses two compression rings (as we'll see later). Not sure if this is any issue for concern. "Back in the day" seems we ran one compression ring in lots of stuff. But what do I know. :dunno

I was going to weigh all this stuff (for Machtig), but I didn't have a gram scale, and well, I got antsy to install it. So, somebody else do that step when they get theirs (hint...hint....Emmerson Bigguns). We'd all like to compare the weight of the stock piston/ring/wristpin to the Athena version of same. You can add the results right into this thread....that's what's its for.

The Athena kit comes with a completely new casted aluminum cylinder. It is not a sleeve kit for your original stock cylinder. You swap out your cylinder assembly entirely. The nice thing about that is...if I don't like it, I could swap back to my stock assembly later. Well, it was a good thought.

The Athena kit also comes with a very complete set of gaskets & washers, plus a custom electronic fuel programmer, which is needed for the larger motor (if you don't have another similar capable unit already). I won't be needing this item, as I have also purchased the much more sophisticated Dynojet Power Commander V fuel programmer, and the AutoTune unit. I'll get into those items later. For now, let's start wrenching.

Where do we begin? I guess right here:

Remove your seat, tank, & sidecovers. Then, remove the pipe (this is my FMF Q4 +Powerbomb Header). I love this thing, because it really works well, sounds sweet, and is SUPER lightweight compared to the stock pipe.

Whether stock or aftermarket pipe, make sure you carefully remove this thick washer from your exhaust port on the head.

Next up, the radiator removal...

HF :thumbup

Chadx 09-18-2010 09:19 PM


ronvan 09-18-2010 09:25 PM


HighFive 09-18-2010 10:33 PM

If I can do this, then you can too! That will be our "Motto" for this Thread. :deal

I'm not an expert mechanic with a fancy shop full of specialized tools. Don't even have one of those big hydraulic bike lifts that puts the motor at chest height...for a good looksee. Usually, I just sit on my butt on the garage floor, getting a crick in my neck, and grease in my eye, as I probe around in places I probably shouldn't.

The difference, I reckon, is that I'm not afraid of messing something up. I kind of like messing things up, then seeing if I can un-mess the mess I've made. Which usually just leaves in....well....a big mess.

But, if I can, then you can too. Let's keep our focus here and continue...

On deck, is this big hunk of aluminum hazardous waste:

Aaaaaagh.....the dreaded radiator removal ! ! ! I hear lots of people skeeeered to remove this thing. Guess what? It ain't no big deal. In fact, its real easy. Just three bolts and two hose connections (drain the fluid) and voila, its off the bike easy as pie! Really.

If you have a radiator guard, like my "Force" brand, then one of these long socket extension will make this task soooooo much easier.

To do this:

Without the extension, its nearly impossible to reach that frame bolt/nut. Ask me how I know....:baby

So, that's a great TRICK. And, here's another one. Are you tired of making a royal mess when you pull the hose on the water pump to drain your radiator? Try this TRICK:

It helps A LOT. Just hang a cloth rag beneath where your hose will drain (when you pull it loose), whatever fluid splashes out will soak into the rag and drain into your pan. It acts like a conduit for the fluid to follow. This is helpful, because fluid will continue to exit the water pump discharge on the motor as it drains from all the engine ports (slowly). Practice makes you'll get better at it with each attempt.

While we're at it, here's another little TRICK related to the Force Radiator Guard. My radiator wiggles back and forth within the mounts, rubbing and rattling against the guard itself. So, I just cinched it down tighter to the outside edge with this super duper, high-tech, zip-ty like this:

Probably seems just rank it in that "why didn't I think of that" category. Don't ask me how long I rode around until I fixed this issue.

Seems I'm on a roll, so here's another top secret HF TRICK:

Put a towel on the floor beneath your bike. Its wonderful...:deal
Keeps those nuts & bolts from flying across the garage floor....disappearing into the abyss....when you drop them. When they hit the towel, its with a thud, not a ping, and the little guys are always just sitting there smiling up at me.

HF :thumbup

p.s.....notice that circular container with the dividers. I bought a handful of those thingys (real cheap) at Home Depot. Terrific for keeping bolts & nuts sorted during a project like this. I put all the bolts from one general area in the same everything radiator related goes in one bin, while everything cylinder/head related would go in another. You get the idea. Old farts like me need all the memory aids we can you'll soon see.

p.s.squared......please notice there are two separate distribution lines coming from this radiator.

This could be surprising & confusing, if you weren't expecting it. I'll show you where the "little guy" goes and what its for....tomorrow.

HighFive 09-18-2010 10:47 PM


Originally Posted by emerson.biguns
Mine came today.

Doesn't look like yours....


Gee....EB, I think you got a "used" one.

HF :eek1

HighFive 09-18-2010 10:55 PM


Originally Posted by cyborg
Ooooh, Auto-tune! :getiton
:lurk :slurp

You know I had to make you jealous, Cyborg. Its the rules! :deal


Originally Posted by Chadx

Figured you might need a good winter project, Chadx. Its calling your name...


Originally Posted by ronvan

Allright ronvan, glad you're peeking over my shoulder.

HF :thumbup

Fubars 09-18-2010 11:00 PM

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Mr. Fisherman 09-19-2010 01:14 AM

HF's bike is going to have a radio that goes to 11 :lol3

greer 09-19-2010 02:08 AM

Sure do appreciate the step-by-step, HF.


simmons1 09-19-2010 05:19 AM


HighFive 09-19-2010 06:29 AM

Patience Fubars....patience. Here's something to hold you over:

Mr. Fisherman......:poser Sounds about right. are

simmons1.....geez, you really have a deposit down on the Super Tenere? Oh Boy, oh boy, oh're gonna make the Krabill wet his pants. Hope you start the first "Super Tenere - Pics of her naked" thread.

HF :thumbup

HighFive 09-19-2010 06:52 AM

Here are the two hoses which connect to those lines on the top rear of the radiator:

The big one is the main line connecting to the thermostat on the back (left) side of the head assembly. But what does this little one do? The other end is connected to the fuel injector manifold back (up) here:

Then comes out the back side and connects to the little nipple on the side of the thermostat housing which can be seen in this photo.

No, don't look where I'm pointing (that's the clutch cable). Look above my knuckle near the middle of the photo and you can see the tiny shiny receiver line. This is very hot, I guess. We have a "heated" fuel injection manifold! So, I don't think we'll ever have "icing" problems clogging up our injector ports. I remember the days of fighting Carb Icing. They are all gone now!

And, here's one more TRICK for dummies (like me):

There's getting to be so many wire connectors and hoses to be disconnected, that I decided I better start labeling them....for good measure. A roll of masking tape & a permanent marker make a great companion in a project like this. Your camera too! Take lots of "before" pics as you disassemble. Then, you have something to reference upon reassembly, if necessary. You never know how long you'll bike will remain in pieces when you start a big project like this. Could be a week or two later, before you put it all back together. So, steps like this can come in handy. Sometimes I find myself saying, "now how was this routed &/or connected before I took it off?" Man, those photos can sure come in handy!

HF :thumbup

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