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So I needed to change the spark plugs on my new 2006 R6 but could not find any how-to’s except for one that was on the older generation R6 so I decided to make one myself. I went through a lot of the spark plug posts and there seems to be two ways: from the front by dropping the radiator and from the top, by going under the tank. I decided to go the radiator route since I don’t like lifting the tank, but turned out I kinda went both ways (explain later).

I decided to do the write up after I was half way through so I’ll try to re-enact the images as much as possible. I don't have the pictures with me but will add them later.

**NOTE: Going the radiator route will require removing A LOT of bolts and screws. Make sure you have a way of organizing them or you will be in hell trying to put everything back together. I used tiny little disposable paper cups. Ice cube tray will work, just make sure you replace it.

**NOTE 2: If you have overly large bear paws, I would not go this route. It is a pretty tight squeeze.

Tools:

• Allen keys (buy some T-handle ones. They are cheap and worth every penny)
• Ratchet
• Spark plug socket
• Socket extension
• Replacement spark plugs- NGK CR10EK x4
• Antiseize
• Flat head screw driver
• Organizing apparatus (ice cube tray, small cups, etc.)
• Pen magnet
• Small towel
• Flashlight
• Patience


Step 1: Remove mid and lower fairings on both sides. If you want to make it easier on yourself, take off the upper on each side as well so you can unhook the harness for the radiator fan allowing said radiator to move further away allowing your grubby hands to get to the plugs. You will also need to remove the air duct side panel things to reach the top radiator bolts (there aren’t air ducts there now but there used to be!).

Step 2: Unbolt the radiator. The bolts are pretty easy to get to and are pretty straight forward. 2 on each upper side, one in the middle bottom, one on top of each side. Unhook the harness for the fans (not necessary but will give you much needed slack. You don’t want ruin the fan- they run like $200 a pop). You will notice that the harness for the fans are very tightly bundled with the wiring harness. Do your best to jimmy the plug and separate it. Take a second to marvel at how incredibly put together the wiring harness is. Ok back to work- pull the radiator forward as much as you can and put something underneath the bottom bolt plate so it doesn’t damage the fins (I used some cardboard).

Step 3: Unplug the harness/connector from the coils. Pretty easy, just press down on the tab and pull back.

Step 4: Remove the coils. This is probably the hardest part of this whole job. I tried with all my might for about 15 minutes trying to get the coil off the first plug with my hands and it didn’t budge. There just isn’t enough room for you to get any sort of grip or pull up on them. They don’t twist off so don’t bother doing that.

This is where I almost gave up and went the tank way. I lifted the tank up and propped it and saw all the screws holding the top of the airbox on and I said forget it. Apparently you have to go inside it to remove it, along with some hoses and whatnot. Then remove the heat shield and whatever else is in the way then you have access to the plugs. Clearly I did not go all the way so I don’t have the exact details.

So what I did to get the coils off was to use a wide flat head screwdriver and lever them off. I wrapped the handle in a light towel and put the tip underneath the plug part. Pushed down on the screwdriver (and engine cover) while wiggling the coils to get them off. It will take some muscle to get them off.

Step 5: Once the coil is off (do one at a time. It is just easier that way), put your plug socket and extension into the hole WITHOUT the ratchet attached. Put the ratchet on top and carefully unscrew the plug. Once it’s loose enough, unscrew it all the way out by hand (twist the extension). I don’t know if there is a tool for this but I just used a magnet-pen to get the plug out of the hole. (edit: the spark plug socket is supposed to have some rubber on the inside that holds the plug and mine did but it did not work at all). It doesn’t get any easier than that, just stick the magnet part way in and pull the sucker out. No need to buy any special tool and you should have the magnet-pen in your toolbox anyway.

Step 6: Compare the old plug to new plug and marvel at how incredibly messed up it has gotten. Check the gap (.06-.07mm (.024-.028in), (.02-.03in)) and put some anti-seize on the new plug and carefully drop it into the hole (don’t have a good way to do it other than letting it fall). Put the plug socket and extension into the hole carefully and hand tighten it. I believe you want to be extra careful here as you could cross thread the...threads and ruin your day in a bad way. Put the ratchet on and tighten, preferably to the proper torque (9 ft.lbs)

Step 7: Put coil back on. This is much easier than taking them off. Just push down until there is no gap under the rubber seal. It’s going to be a tight squeeze to get your hand on the coil to get enough leverage to push it in place. You will feel like a ridgy sensation as they slide on. At this point you can plug the harness back on but I chose to wait til both are done on each side before doing so, so I could have more room.

Step 8: Repeat steps 3-7 with the next plug. Then move over to the other side. Repeat steps 3-7 on the other two plugs. The side with the silver radiator hose is going to be a bit trickier since...there is a metal hose in the way. I did this side second. It may look impossible but I did it. Just keep that in mind if you get stuck.

Step 9: The radiator should be really out of position at this point due to your paws pushing it forward trying to get to the coils. Reposition it so it is approximately where it is supposed to be.

Step 10: Plug back all wires/harnesses you disconnected. Start the bike for about 10 seconds and shut her off. Lightly touch the header tubes to see if each one is warm. If so, you have spark and did not screw it up completely.

Step 11: Bolt the radiator back on, including reservoir if you took it off.

Step 12: Put fairings back on. If you organized the bolts by side and panel, your life will be much easier.

Step 13: Strap up and go for a ride. Pull a 12 o’clock wheelie to make sure the bike is running properly. Mentally congratulate yourself for a job well done.

My bike was running like crap after only 5k miles and the plugs were jacked. The manual suggests checking every 4k miles and replacing every 8k (I think). The result is that my bike pulls through the rpm band smoothly and effortlessly now. It also doesn’t feel like it’s going to explode past 12k rpms. This was definitely a necessary change. Feel free to ask any questions.

*I would consider going the tank method next time just for the sake of less bolts/screws/panels to remove. It wasn't hard, just a lot of tedious work. Crouching/kneeling isn't all that fun either.
 

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Right On!

This is the best directions for doing this job, The other ones for prior year models won't work, because you can't access the plugs from the top there is too much stuff in the way, it is tight in there but I'm half way there, thanks.
 

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Best Post Ever!!!!

I was told by a friend that he knew a guy that had changed his plugs by dropping the radiator and did the plugs that way but that's all he could tell me. I ripped into my bike got to the plugs and had no idea how to get the coils off the plugs did a search and found this link. It was a life saver the best post I have ever seen.
 

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Well i swapped my spark plugs and i went through the top, the intructions were of no use since i went through the top. A place that i found a cool video on is
http://www.expertvillage.com/video/47197_motorcycle-sparkplugs-inspect.htm

Awesome intructions, its annoying that the videos are all in parts, but once you figure that out its simple. As far as using a magnet to pull my plugs out, i instead use the coils, since their rubberize they grab onto the plugs once their lose and you can pull them right out!

Good luck guys and btw i went with the NGK Iridiums.
 

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Well i swapped my spark plugs and i went through the top, the intructions were of no use since i went through the top. A place that i found a cool video on is
http://www.expertvillage.com/video/47197_motorcycle-sparkplugs-inspect.htm

Awesome intructions, its annoying that the videos are all in parts, but once you figure that out its simple. As far as using a magnet to pull my plugs out, i instead use the coils, since their rubberize they grab onto the plugs once their lose and you can pull them right out!

Good luck guys and btw i went with the NGK Iridiums.

nice find mate cheers, shall be doing mine soon
 

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What up calixguy18,

Hey, were you experiencing like power hesitation? I'm due for the the change of spark plugs and I think that is what it might be but I'm not sure. My 07 R6 hesitates to accelerate smoothly until it gets to about 8k rpms, then its okay, not the same, but will still run ok. Did you have that similar problem?
 

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At the coil part. You weren't kidding, these buggers are a bitch. I'm taking a breather right now. I could probably muscle it, but these things aren't metal and they may break. So I'm a bit paranoid. However, it will probably come down to that anyway.

EDIT: Those coils turned out to be pretty easy. I just turned them back and forth as I was pulling them out. Got em all out in less than 2 minutes...

Now off to the hardware store, as I broke off one of the top 2 bolts that hold the radiator on the frame... :thumbdown
 

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i was going in a couple weeks to have my plugs changed by someone else then i saw this and figured i would give it a try. glad i did it because it was pretty simple. you just saved me $100. thanks for the how to
 

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I know this is a very old thread but I found it and it was very helpful. My brother just bought a 2007 R6 and his bike lost power and sounded like it had a bad plug. Come to find out, one of the plugs had the threads broken off in the head so the plug wasnt even seated where it shouldve been!!

We got lucky and with a good bit of time and patience, we extracted the threads using a cheap Ryobi easy out. Actually came out VERY easily, I was really surprised. No metal in the head. I ran the starter with the plug pulled to get as much shit as I could out. Threw the plugs back in and fired her up. After a bit of sputtering getting the heads cleared out, its back to running strong!

Big thanks for the write-up. It was very helpful. We did the radiator drop method and while it was a bit tough on the left side plugs, it wasnt too bad. Id say the next change I could probably do in about 1.5 hours.
 
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