Life with a Yamaha RX135

The way she unexpectedly came into my life, I still believe it’s a fairytale.

BHPian fajhar.faiz recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

It’s been more than 3 years since we first met. So, there’s a lot to share regarding how I find her ownership experience, engine job, restoration and a lot more. As it’s gonna be a long thread, I will be doing it in parts.

“God never takes away something from your life without replacing it with something better.” Even if you don’t believe these words now, someday you’ll have to believe them. She’s not just a bike, rather I say, a life changer for me.

How we met

The way she unexpectedly came into my life, I still believe it’s a fairytale. While studying in the 12th grade, my mom told me she’ll gift me a bike if I get good grades in the final exam. At that time, I dreamed of buying a new CBR 250R. My big brother had a 150R and that’s the one I used to learn riding on. So, I had a big attachment and interest in the CBR. I always wanted a bike with good refinement that would last forever. For that, the CBR was definitely the better option and because of the attachment to my brother’s bike, I really wanted one.

I loved the RXs that time. I had also ridden an RX 100 for a short sprint and like every petrolhead, whenever an RX passed by, I would stare at it and enjoy its exhaust note. At that time I had never thought that two-strokes would possess my mind even in my imagination.

After some hard work, I passed my 12th exams with good grades. As my mom had promised, she said we would buy the 250R on loan. Considering our income and the price tag of the CBR, I had second thoughts and told my mom that we should wait for a while. After a few weeks, while talking with my neighbour who had 3 RX 135s at home, told me that there’s an RX 135 in the area for sale. He knew the owner of the vehicle. He had used it very well and was selling it because of financial problems.

What next?

I had an interest in buying the RX and I really needed a commuter bike at that time. Also, the price was feasible for me. So, I convinced my mom to just check the bike. I didn’t have much knowledge about RXs at that time. So, I called my friend who had one, asked his suggestions and I got a greenlight from him. So, the next thing we did was go to see the vehicle. We inspected the serial numbers as suggested by my friend and went to a nearby workshop with my neighbour who knew the mechanic. He said that there was a bearing noise from the engine, but everything else was fine. The feeling when I revved her up for the first gave me butterflies in the stomach and I decided immediately that I wanted to own her.

On April 3 2018, I brought her home.

Initial Observations

Model : 2001 Yamaha RX 135 4s (4TL)

She had 2 years of pending paperwork and the previous owner agreed to clear the paperwork for me after the payment. Her engine was pretty smooth running on 0.50 bore, quite okay clutch and slicky gear.The only problem was the bearing noise. Almost 70% of the parts were OE. All of the lights lens had became foggy and her wiring was a mess.There was few rust here and there on the plating and too much on chassis.The painting was what I disliked about her. Instead of silver shades on slider, clutch cover etc., it had a gold like shade. I really disliked it. The stock paint was repainted with 5s’s graphics and candy Maroon shade. Body paint was fine except the top portion of the tank where the red have faded into white. Sideways, the body paints looked fine.The tank was rusty. She had brand new Moto-D tyres and endicer rims. The mudguards was not original and the one in front had a broken clamp. Part of the chain cover, rear mudguard was eaten by rust.

Clearing the Fitness Test

The first project was to clear her paperwork. With my neighbour, I took her to a nearby painting shop. We clear coated her without dismantling, applied silver paints on the rust spots. The paint job is now fit for the test. Next day, took her to the workshop near my home where my neighbour used to build his RX. Changed the cables, manifold, brake shoes, oil filters, greased the bearings, cleaned her tank and carburettor and also bought a stock handlebar for the test. Finally, there she’s all fit and ready for the fitness test. Got her back from the workshop at 10pm at night.She had became even smoother after the service and I took her home and gave her the first wash that night itself under a low light in the carshed. Within two weeks, we cleared the test and got her into my name.

Picture taken on the day of fitness test.

The journey begins:

What would I do without her? Each and every miles to satisfactions, each and every shift into blushes with that roaring sound of her. She is the rainbow despite of all the darkness I went through life. Every single time I ride her, all my worries are gone. She’s definitely the “One”.B ikes will definitely come and go in my life but this one is with me for more than 3 years and it will always be.

Project Plan

  • Fix the upcoming complaints and do some mods.
  • Engine restoration.
  • Paint job (Complete Restoration)

Decided to do it accordingly when I have money.

First Mods

Firstly, bought a bar handle after the test. Also replaced the headlights, indicators, Metre assembly as it had became too old. Replaced the aftermarket mirrors with OE. Later, I also bought a auxiliary lamp. This was the first mods done.

The OE parts (in production) were easily available at Thrissur town. Aditya Spares and Cheerans Yamaha in West Fort are the shops where OE parts are available. There’s also many shops like Auto Grand where a few OE parts can be found.

First Long Ride-First Trouble

She didn’t cause me any troubles for the first four months. Meanwhile, we also did some short trips. As it was all going fine, we decided to go for our first long trip to Kozikode on Aug 15 with a two stroke club (YRC). This ride was the major turning point that happened in my life after owning her. I had seen their programs through social media, always loved them. Watching my friends go with them, I was so excited for this day. Found so many friends from all over Kerala with same mind and passion. They had became a part of family after this ride and it’s one of the most closest friends circle today. The best part of owning a two stroke is that many people try to connect with you just because of the bike.

Before this day, after 4 months with her, I actually didn’t have much knowledge about the her. Just knew few basics. This ride was the beginning of my learning and today I have a pretty good knowledge about the two strokes.Thanks to my decision to join that ride in heavy rainfall (2018 flood beginning time). As it was a quick decision, had to borrow my neighbours rain coat and my brother’s worn out rain paints.

It was a one day ride (150km – one way). There were almost 100+ bikes in the ride. After covering about 120 kms, she suddenly turned off in the middle of the road. Started kicking her, bbut she didn’t responded. I knew we had fallen into trouble. I was riding behind and nobody noticed us. Luckily the last one to pass stopped and helped us. It was the first time that we met. They checked on her and started kicking her, she didn’t responded at all. Afterwards, they found out that overflow was the issue. Tried sucking the petrol from overflow tube and pulled her in the second gear. She woke up.They told that we’ll reach the destination soon and will do the further inspections there. They let me go in front of them incase she troubled us again. After a few kms, she turned off yet again. They pulled her again and started up and somehow we reached the destination.

The lunch was arranged in a nearby resort .So while going there after the meet, she turned off thrice. At first, I had to wait for 10 minutes for help. Luckily half of the crew members were behind and they started her up again and the second time they had to come back for me. From there, one of them took my bike and third time happened while he was riding. After a lot of struggle, we reached the resort. Stay was arranged there for those who needed it. Due to bad weather, they advised me to stay back and ride tomorrow morning. I agreed to that as I was sure it’ll be hard for us to make it home while riding in the night and the weather was getting really really bad.

The next morning, I was so excited to see her waking up in the first kick and to see the sun,but the excitement didn’t last long. While returning back home, she troubled us five times along with the heavy rainfall. Although, after making all this trouble, she safely reached home by noon. From that ride, I learned how to fix her when she drinks too much.

Found the Perfect Mechanic

The mechanic I used to take her to was not so good at two-strokes. Also, I experimented with 2 more mechanics near my home. The satisfaction considering the pricing and, work done, didn’t come near my expectations.

That’s when my friend suggested that I should try the VMC workshop in Thrissur town. He had a RXZ 5S. During its initial ownership days, he went to 2-3 mechanics near his home, but nobody could improve his Z’s fuel efficiency. He went to VMC for the first time to solve this issue. The workshop is run by “Shibu”. He cleaned the Z’s carburettor, adjusted the needles and tuned it. The bike then clocked 110 on his way home with a fuel economy of 30+.

Hearing his story, I went to meet “Shibu Chettan” to fix the overflow problem after the Kozhikode ride. The main jet was the cause for overflow. As the OE part was hard to find, so he suggested waiting for a while before replacing it. He cleaned and tuned the carburettor, changed the accelerator and clutch cables to OE, changed the con sets, replaced the oil. Guess how much he charged? Just Rs. 300 for all this work!

I was really shocked when I rode her after the service. I really thought, “is this really my bike?” She had become 100 times better – the acceleration felt like a knife cutting through butter and I couldn’t feel any vibrations at all. That was the result of “Shibu Chettan’s” tuning. From that day, he became my regular mechanic. He is the one who has done all the work on her until today.

Why did I choose him?

  • He is a specialist in two strokes (also for races).
  • His carburetor tuning is top notch.
  • I have to travel 22 km from my home to the workshop. It takes fuel worth Rs. 100 to take her there, but it’s worth it because the mechanics nearby will charge 2 or 3 times more than him and nobody gives the same work satisfaction as him.
  • The genuine parts for the RX are only available in town. One of the shops is located opposite to the workshop. I always prefer OE parts. So whenever a spare is required, I can just cross the road and buy it right away.
  • Reasonable pricing.
  • He always wants to use OE spares like me.

More Trouble

After the service at VMC, she was doing good until I went for another ride. This time, I went with my friend to buy him an RX in Aluva. During the return, the overflow issues returned and she suddenly turned off. This time, the experience I had gained from the Kozhikode ride helped. I started her myself. Luckily, she only turned off once and I took her to the workshop during the return journey. Shibu Chettan told me it was because of the main jet. I had to try finding one. If it was not available, we would go for an aftermarket one.

After a month’s search, I couldn’t find it. So, I decided to go for an aftermarket unit until I found the OE part. I replaced the jet with one from Spaco. The outcome was not satisfying, but considering the overflow trouble, I had to close my eyes to the problem. By that time, I went for the second meet of the YRC Club. It was a small meet with limited members at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kaloor.

One of my friends there told me that one of his contacts had an OE main jet. Within weeks, he shipped me the main jet. Overall, it took 3 months to find the jet.

The moment of happiness after searching for a spare part and finding it – some of the best feelings of owning a two stroke.

Other troubles were around the corner. Next, I faced starting trouble and even 50 kicks were not enough at times. The culprit was the Powerbox and a clogged carb. After solving that issue, the battery died. I replaced the battery soon with an Exide 12V 4AH instead of 2.5AH. Afterwards, I replaced the seat assembly – sponge, beading and cover. It was done at a shop called Varghese upholstery, MG Road Thrissur.

The trouble free days don’t last long with a two stroke bike. I went for my first long solo ride to Coimbatore Isha Yoga Centre. After that ride, I did the engine work. I will share the details soon.

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