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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone else had trouble with fitment with the TCI skid plate?



The hole in the skid plate doesn't match up well with the hole in the frame, it falls about 1/4" too low. It looks like the little bar on the frame that holds the tab at the back of the skid plate in place is getting in the way. Maybe I should just cut that little bar off?



Then there's mounting the engine guards. The instructions call for leaving all of the fasteners loose until they're all lined up, but I can't see how you can get to the nuts on the inside of the plate to tighten them with the plate installed. At the same time, it seems like it would take a lot of trial and error plus some darn good luck to get the guards mounted just right for all of the holes to match up with the plate off of the bike.



Any help from folks who have successfully mounted this plate would be appreciated.
 

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PM sent.
 

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Haha, I just put one on not to long ago. It was a complete PITA. Unparalleled engine protection...YES. User friendly....NO. It wasn't right the first time I put it on but I got fed up and left it as it was.



Just today I finally got around to loosening everything back up and playing with it to get it just right. I have to take it off to change the oil. I also have to loosen up the left side eng case guard so that I can get the plugs off to adjust TDC when doing the valves.



Still all in all it is a great plate.
 

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THIS is all you should need to do to perform oil changes, valve adjustments or whatever:







No frame loop cutting required. You may need to tweek the loop slightly if your plate won't drop all the way to the ground for removal. You most certainly don't have to disturb the side guards for any reason.



3 bolts, 12.2 seconds. Otherwise same as stock. Something tells me this is more of an issue with the instructions and the sloppy bike-to-bike production tolerances on Yamaha's part rather than with the plate itself. I think I'll contact Tom and see what we can do to rectify the situation since so many seem to be having the same difficulties.
 

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THIS is removing the whole plate, no?

The fact that they are 13mm is a pain, nothing else on the bike is a 13mm. So you now have to carry 2-13mm wrenchs.

Initial install...Getting to the inside nuts is well...nuts. The longer center bolt they send didn't come with a lock washer and mine rattled out on the first ride. The wire mesh was welded on so that I couldn't get a wrench on the bolts. I had to cut off some of the mesh just so I can get a wrench on the engine case bolts. You can't do any of the install with ratchet. They should include a longer bolt that goes through the frame and holds the stand offs. Re using the stock one is a bit short.

Don't get me wrong, if you spend a bit of time and get it all together just right it is great. It just takes quite a bit of fiddling with to get it together right. Maybe I don't have enough patience. I still love this plate!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice lizrdbrth, I'll be taking another crack at this install tomorrow.



In the meantime I've sent an email to TCI regarding these fitment issues, hopefully they'll get back to me.
 

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DonBenito



Not sure what you have tried yet but this is what worked for me.



First I installed the Eng side covers to the plate and just snugged the bolt so that I could still move the case guards but they were not what i would term loose.

Next position the plate below the engine and lift the back of the plate so that it goes above the wire. Lift the front up and into place so you can get the front bolt in. Tighten the front bolt all the way up, that should ensure the plate slides back all the way into position at the back. It May bend that wire so you may have to put some ass into it to get the front bolt hole lined up. Next I installed the stand offs and left them loose. Now adjusted the Eng sides until I could bolt them to the stand offs. Finally I went around and tightened everything up. You shouldn't have to mess with the Eng side bolts again, good thing cause it is not easy trying to get on the nuts so they won't spin.

Finally I tightened the Stand off bolt that goes through the frame.



It really is not all that hard to get this on just right. It is not as easy as say putting on a Jimbo shield
but not as hard as getting one of those ATV tires on.



If it is ok with Lizrdbrth could you post his PM about the install. I think it might be usefull to all.
 

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Aight. Long as you still love it.




I've contacted Tom and he's already reading this forum and investigating any possible issues which may exist on his end.



No surprise to me because in my experience that's how the man conducts his buisiness. He makes good stuff, stands behind it.



But he's not clairvoyant. I'm the first to call him about it, and I don't even have a complaint.



My PM to Don Benito wasn't a great deal different than your own install advice. You just gotta have patience and follow the instructions, but you only have to do it once.



Any initial misalignment of the front bolt should be solved with slight upward pressure beneath the skid plate with a floor jack or bike lift. Once everything is aligned and tightened it will remain that way.



As to the 13mm bolts, I just replaced them with Allen heads of the same thread. Never found the need to mess with the sideguard-to-plate bolts, even after hitting The Bikehalting Iceberg Rock From Hell, OR after this one-point landing from the trail 6 feet above. It's remained an immovable object, drops as easily as the stocker:



 

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I think that it is brilliant how he has left a lot of play in all the components. Everyone's bikes are going to be a little different and this design gives the flexibility to fit the plate to them all. Just got to put the time in. My biggest problem initially was the mesh was in the way of getting a wrench on the bolts. I even tried putting the nuts on the outside with the bolt heads inboard but that was worse. I just had to use some diagonal cutters to remove some of the wire mesh. I didn't have the problem some are having with the wire under motor. Mine went up and under the engine no problem.



Regardless of any install issues it is still the best Eng protection out there. Money well spent in my opinion.
 

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.....I have to take it off to change the oil. I also have to loosen up the left side eng case guard so that I can get the plugs off to adjust TDC when doing the valves.



Still all in all it is a great plate.


You are right it is only 3 bolts to get off to change the oil. I just wish you could get a socket on the standoff bolts rather than the 13mm wrench.



I found I didn't have to remove it to get the TDC view plug out, I only have to loosen the left side bolt and I can bend the side out of the way just enough to get the plug out.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think that it is brilliant how he has left a lot of play in all the components. Everyone's bikes are going to be a little different and this design gives the flexibility to fit the plate to them all. Just got to put the time in. My biggest problem initially was the mesh was in the way of getting a wrench on the bolts. I even tried putting the nuts on the outside with the bolt heads inboard but that was worse. I just had to use some diagonal cutters to remove some of the wire mesh. I didn't have the problem some are having with the wire under motor. Mine went up and under the engine no problem.



Regardless of any install issues it is still the best Eng protection out there. Money well spent in my opinion.


Leaving play in all of the components makes sense to me too, there are bound to be slight differences between bikes made over a 26 year span, which makes me wonder why the front mounting hole is the only round hole while all of the others are slots. Would grinding that hole out into a slot like all of the others create any problems?



I don't doubt that bending the plate with the weight of the bike works, it's just that I've got this dremel tool burning a hole in my toolbox!
 

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Glad you got it worked out. The quality of this plate is just too good for it to get an undeserved bad rap.
 

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Leaving play in all of the components makes sense to me too, there are bound to be slight differences between bikes made over a 26 year span, which makes me wonder why the front mounting hole is the only round hole while all of the others are slots. Would grinding that hole out into a slot like all of the others create any problems?



I don't doubt that bending the plate with the weight of the bike works, it's just that I've got this dremel tool burning a hole in my toolbox!


I don't think you need to bend the plate or elongate the hole. What is keeping it from going up is the left over wire loop under the Engine from the old plate. Some people cut that wire loop off. I didn't have to. I just pushed up harder until I could get the front bolt in.



I don't want to give this product a bad rap. I think it is bomb proof as your photos and stories attest to. Just gotta get it on that first time, correctly!
 

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I wasn't implying that you were. Input helps good vendors improve their products, hardware and instructions. I'm sure Tom will be grateful for the headsup, and more grateful that it isn't the product itself.



I've noticed that the last couple of installs reported on here have hit a few snags. Maybe the instructions could be better? Mine are long gone so I really can't say.
 

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For what it's worth I had to break the loop off mine to install the plate, bending it was not enough. I think there is just some variability, most likely in the positioning of the loop. No big deal as you will not be going back to the old plate!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
With the blessings of Tom from TCI, I extended the length of the front mounting hole by about 1/8". That combined with upward pressure on the plate allowed me to finally get it mounted!



In his email to me Tom indicated that in the future these plates will be manufactured with a front mounting slot instead of a front mounting hole to make mounting easier.



It took about an hour of fine tuning and adjustment, but I finally got all of the holes in the engine guards and such lined up and the whole assembly is rock solid.



All in all, I'd say this level of protection is worth the extra time and effort involved in the initial installation.



 

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Glad you got it all sorted out. You are right, it is worth the time it takes to get it on there. No other plate provides as much protection. I still don't think I want to ride where lizrdbrth does though. Those are some big ole rocks, I usually go around them. It's nice to know you could ride over them if so inclined.
 

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Howdy All,



I bought and installed this skid plate about two months ago. I tried, I mean I really tried to install it with out modification, in the end I made a slot out of the round mounting hole that the Allen bolt goes through, short of bending the plate there was NO WAY that Allen bolt was going to go through the round hole plate and thread into the frame of the bike. Its a very strong unit, but getting the side guards bolted solidly in place was a bit more work then it should have been.



I like the skid plate but the installation leaves a bit to be desired.The other thing that I think would make the side guards MUCH easier to install would be to have the bolts have an Allen head, on my skid plate the hex head bolts were darn near impossible to tighten as the flat of the hex head was up against the flat side of the side guard frame. Another suggestion, the nuts that are on the inside of the side guards, weld a tab onto the nut that would allow it to still move but would rotate rest against the skid plate so that you didn't have to use a wrench to hold the nut, better yet just take a piece of steel flat stock rectangular shaped, drill and tap threads in to it and use that instead of a nut that way it could still move but would also rotate and lock up so you could use an Allen wrench to tighten the whole thing together.



As having made my living as a machinist, welder and metal fabricator over the last 40 years little things like this bug the heck out of me when I spend the amount of money this skid plate cost. All that said, its a good product just a real bitch to install, I haven't changed oil since the install if it gives me any trouble I'll modify the thing like I have suggested in my post that way I'll never have to fight it again.
 

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I was just reading an article in a moto magazine about installing an after market part. The author made this remark: "Our installation took about an hour, but could have been half of that if the instruction sheet had been better written (a common problem with many manufacturers). With web access being so readily available, manufacturers should take note and use this virtually free publishing medium to make liberal use of instruction manual photos, text and movies. They spend so much on R&D, it only makes sense to ease the consumer’s experience with detailed and more helpful installation instructions...." That made me think about this thread. Maybe Tom could consider a simple you-tube installation video.
 

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I still don't think I want to ride where lizrdbrth does though. Those are some big ole rocks, I usually go around them. It's nice to know you could ride over them if so inclined.


Trust me, one ride with me will me will prove that I'm neither fearless nor am I a particularly skilled rider. Around here we have a frequent need to crawl over 30 yards of pure garbage in order to get to the hundred miles or so of easy stuff on the other side. Just the lay of the land, consequences of flash flooding, sandstorms etc. You muddle through it as gracefully (or not) as possible, take lots of manly-looking pics then go on the internet and claim you climbed it while smoking a cigar with one hand and playing harmonica with the other. In reality you really looked like a prissy little schoolgirl with both feet on the ground, hellbent on self-preservation. Going around boulders isn't an option because your only option is another boulder. 30 yards later you've forgotten the entire thing but you won't get past it without a serious skidplate.



The TCI is for that crappy 30 yards. Most of my riding in that kinda stuff is alone. The TCI is on HER bike and it's saved her motor twice so it's staying on HER bike.



I'm too hardheaded to let 30 yards of junk keep me from seeing what's beyond it and that has happened a few times when I've been alone and the "discretion over valor" thing has kicked in. The Ricochet is adequate but compared to what I've seen the TCI withstand I think it's time I ponied up for another.
 
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