Maintaining a motorcycle can be a very expensive thing to do most shops charge at least 70 dollars an hour to do most labor. Therefore, today I will be demonstrating how to change the spark plugs on a 2008 Kawasaki zx6r P8F to try and save you some money! Most newer Japanese sport bikes share a very similar method of doing this process; however, consult your manufacturer-supplied user manual before attempting this as some steps may be different.
Step 1: Tools Required
Most Japanese motorcycles share similar bolts; however, the sizes may vary. For this particular motorcycle, you will need the following tools:
5mm T-handle Allen wrench
4mm T-handle Allen wrench
.5mm 8" extension in either 3/4 drive or 1/2 inch.
3/4" drive ratchet
1 - 4" extension 3/4 drive
1 - 6" extension 3/4 drive
5/8" spark plug socket
1 - 10mm socket (not pictured)
1 Flat head screw driver (small)
1 Phillips head screw driver (medium size)
1 Large pair of vice grips or pliers
1 Pair of long tip needle nose pliers or forceps
1 Medium length bungee strap(optional)
4 NKG CR9E or comparable spark plugs gaped between .27" - .35" or as your manual specifies.
Step 2: Lifting the Gas Tank
• The first step of this process is to lift the gas tank. In order to achieve this, two things have be done. The rider’s seat and the two 5mm bolts that secure the tank to the frame must be removed.
• A 4mm bolt secures the protective plastic shroud to the left side of the seat area; one 4mm bolt and one 5mm bolt secure it to the right side. Upon removal of these bolts, the plastic may be popped loose and removed.
• Once the plastic shrouds have been removed; two more 4mm bolts, one on each side of the seat, will be exposed. Remove these two bolts so the seat may be moved.
• Next, remove the two 5mm bolts between the Triple Tree and the gas tank itself. Once this has been done, the tank may be raised giving access to the air-box. Note: once the tank has been lifted I prefer to use a small bungee strap to hold the tank in the air while I work on the internals of the motorcycle. Also, if your motorcycle is a California model, it may require you to disconnect two extra lines from the fuel tank, do so carefully as they will leak gas upon removal.
Step 3: Removing the Air-Box
• There are nine Phillips head bolts that hold the air-box together. Once they are removed the air-box may be split in half making further removal easier. Eight of the bolts are easily seen located around the perimeter of the air-box, the final bolt is a bit harder to find, but is located in the center on of the air-box. There are also two connectors located on the top of the air-box, disconnect these and set them aside. Now that these bolts have been removed, you may split the air-box in half and remove the air filter.
• Next: loosen and remove the 10mm bolt connecting the air-box to the ram air duct, without doing this you cannot remove the air-box.
• The two hole-covers along either side of the frame are next. Use a flat head screw driver to pop them loose and set them aside.
• Once they have been removed, two holes in the frame will be visible. Using the .5mm 8" Allen extension locate the bolt on either side of the air box clamps and loosen them, a flash light may be required to see into the frame. Doing this will loosen the clamps that connect the air box to the throttle bodies and the air box may now be removed and set aside, exposing the four coil packs.
Step 4: Removing the Coil Packs and Spark Plugs
• Upon removal of the air box the top of the motor will be exposed. Notice the four black cylinders with tan tops; these are your coil packs. Unplug the wiring harness from each one and set it aside. The next step may require a bit of a force if it is your first time removing the coil packs, this is where the large pliers come in. Use them to grip the top of the coil pack; using a twisting and pulling motion, pull until the coil pack comes loose exposing the spark plug within the head of the motor. Repeat this process for all four coil packs.
• Now comes the tricky part. On the 2008 zx6r, getting the 5/8" spark plug socket and your extension into the small area to remove the spark plug can be a daunting task because there is not very much room. In order to get around this I use one smaller extension and a medium length extension instead of a single larger one. Take the 5/8" spark plug socket and attach the 4" extension, the drop them in to the hole. Next: take your 6" extension and mate it with your 4". Doing this will give you plenty of room to work and will allow you to remove the plugs more easily. If the spark plug does not come out with the socket after it is unscrewed, use the forceps to retrieve it. Repeat for all four spark plugs. **Note, do this process carefully. Using metal pliers or forceps in a tight space could cause metal debris or shavings to fall into the motor if you are not mindful of what you are doing.**
Step 5: Reinstallation of Spark Plugs and Reassembly.
• Now the final steps: replace your old spark plugs with the properly gapped spark plugs and tighten them using the same methods used to remove them. Be sure they are snug, but do not over tighten them.
• When placing the coil packs on to the new spark plugs be sure to listen and feel for an audible pop and the snap of the coil pack seating on the spark plug. Repeat this process for all four spark plugs and reconnect the wiring harness.
• After reconnecting the coil pack wiring harness, place with air-box back on top the throttle bodies, making sure to align the clamps and throttle bodies. Giving a firm press to the center of the air-box, the clamps will slide and seat on top of the throttle bodies. Tighten them down using the same method used to remove them and replace the frame covers.
• Reinstall the air filter, then use the nine screws you removed from the air box to reconnect it, afterwards reconnect the two wires and tighten down the 10mm bolt connecting the air-box and ram air tube.
• Once this is complete carefully lower the gas tank to its original position, re tighten the two 5mm bolts securing the gas tank.
• The last steps are replacing the seat, using its bolts to hold it in place, and then finally replace the plastic covers on either side of the bike. Start the motorcycle and let it idle to proper operating temperature to ensure everything has been reassembled properly. Good luck and thank you for reading!