Spark Plug replacement
So I replaced my plugs today with Iridiums (NGK DR8EIX). What a pain in the ass. I wouldn't want to do that in the field. I probably should have taken pics and done a formal writeup since I wasn't able to find much online, but I figured I would post some tips that the next guy might be able to use.
First, there are two plugs (NGK DR8 EB).
I didn't completely remove the airbox, but I unbolted it and pivoted it up and back. To do this, I popped off the crankcase breather hose. I was able to remove it and replace it without removing the factory pinch clamp. I also found it helpful to remove the bracket that holds the horn and rubber snubber. I also pulled the fuse/relay holders off the airbox and removed the battery.
The outboard plug has the gray boot and the inboard one is black. Not sure it matters, but that's how it was on mine. The plugs require an 18mm spark plug wrench. Unfortunately, it seems most spark plug sockets don't fit through the access hole in the valve cover. Essentially, the valve cover has a shelf that goes over the plugs but it has two holes in it that hold the plug boots and gives access to the plugs. You also have some access to the plugs under the shelf and I think some people use a wrench/spanner rather than a socket. Here's what I did:
Place the socket on the outboard plug by going under the access hole and then attach an extension to it through the access hole. Loosen the plug, but then remove the socket from under the valve cover after a few turns. Then remove the plug by hand. Do the same for the inbound plug. But this is where it gets tricky because you have very little access to the inbound plug with your fingers (even girly ones like mine). So once the plug was loose, I pushed a piece of hose (fuel line size) onto the plug through the access hole and was able to spin it off easily by spinning the hose and pulled it out through the access hole. (Pictures would have been nice, right?).
Yes, I really should have taken pics, but the above will be clearer to those that have seen that area of the bike.
I also replaced the air filter (and removed the nuts my garage mouse decided to store in there). I double checked my IAC and it was still very clean after cleaning it several thousand miles ago.