Front shock replacement
To get access to remove the front shock you will need to remove the front cross crash bar and alternator belt guard.
To remove the front bars undo the bolt at the bottom of the engine. Not the yellow one, that is the rear frame bolt, the front crash bar is just sitting in there.
Next remove the top screw over the cylinder. Long extension needed.
Undo the screws and bolts holding the top and middle bar. Remove the lower bars.
Undo the 5 screws holding the alternator belt guard. I had trouble getting the guard out.
There is some foam at the bottom inside the guard which had stuck to the engine. Not realising it was OK to pull it off at that stage I proceeded to undo the bottom bolt holding the shock to make room to get the guard off. The bottom bolt is on tight, it had the micro encapsulated thread locking agent on it. My new breaker bar made short work of that, with heat applied before hand to help loosen the locking compound. That gave just enough wiggle room to remove the cover. If not wait till the top of the shock is also undone for more wiggle space.
I then remove the foam and cleaned the area. The belt inspection showed no signs of wear at 36000klm, so it remained in place.
To remove the shock undo the top nut holding the shock in place. You cannot just turn the nut as it turns the shock rod. Insert an allen key in the top and turn against the frame to allow the nut to be undone. Undo all the way, and the shock will drop down. Keep hold of rubber and washer for new shock.
If the front forks have not already lifted themselves when the bottom bolt was remove, yank upwards on the handlebars to extend the forks to give a little more room. Remove the shock from frame by letting it drop down and pulling the top of the shock forward and out.
Installation is the reverse of removal.
Refit the alternator cover.
To install the shock, do the bottom bolt up first, align the top and roll the bike off the centre stand onto the side stand. The bike weight will push down the forks and allow the top nut to be installed.
I could not torque the nut back up as there is no easy way to hold the rod from spinning that I see, so I just used hands and did it as tight as I could with locking compound on the nut. Any advice from anyone on this is welcome.
Just one note of caution.
The day after I had installed the shock and torqued up the bottom bolt, I discovered the bolt was only a third of the way in. The remnant locking compound caused enough friction to stop the bolt screwing in fully at the prescribed final torque, hence why I did not realise initially. Something had kept me awake that night and not knowing what it was I checked the fitting thoroughly the following morning to discover the issue.
I noticed by looking in the open end and seeing the bolt was still way down the hole. Visible below, you can see the clean thread against the shiny previously covered thread. It was getting late and dark the previous evening and I had not noticed in my race against the setting sun as the head of the bolt was not sticking out beyond the telelever. I removed the bolt, cleaned the threads up with WD40 and steel wool wound through the thread. Refitting the bolt with Loctite 243, it wound all the way in at 40NM. Lesson learned. Yes I had to remove the tank again for this. Did not want to risk any thread damage by having pressure loaded while undoing the bolts, so took the top nut off first to release the shock, on the side stand.
Replacing all the fairing and tank and crash bars is a reverse of removal. Take your time.
The petrol tank sits nicely on the middle of the bike, a good place to rest when getting on an off. I had a bit of trouble with the tubes and wires getting lost under the tank during the first fit and had to take it back off a couple of times.
Next was the turn of the rear shock. I was glad the tank was off again, it makes moving the bike around that much easier.