Yamaha RT 180 (1990-1997) Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals

This is the maintenance schedule and service intervals for the Yamaha RT180, a 2-stroke dirt bike built by Yamaha between 1990 and 1997.

The Yamaha RT 180 is a 2-stroke dirt bike. It’s powered by a an air-cooled single-cylinder engine with 176 cc of displacement and a 6.5:1 compression ratio.

The RT 180 is a very simple motorcycle, with a kick starter. As a 2-stroke, it self-lubricates with Yamaha 2 cycle oil, or another air-cooled 2-stroke engine oil.

Yamaha these days makes just fuel-injected 4-stroke dirt bikes, like the very popular Yamaha WR450F.

Yamaha RT 180 Red RHS studio image

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Overview of Service Intervals for the Yamaha RT180

As a 2-stroke dirt bike, the Yamaha RT180 has a fairly simple maintenance schedule — though it depends on how aggressively you ride it.

The recommended maintenance schedule is based on time only, rather than distance.

Every six months, Yamaha wants you to change the transmission oil and check nearly everything — spark plug, filters, wheels, tires, clutch, suspension, and so on.

The schedule has some more items for the 12-month service interval, including major bearings and pivots.

More detail in the full maintenance schedule below.

Yamaha RT 180 — Pre-ride checks

Before every ride, check the following on your RT 180.

A few of these need inspection, but most are things you can feel as you ride off (e.g. if the clutch doesn’t work, you’ll know).

Yamaha RT 180 Pre-ride checksNotes
Fuel and oil — ensure there’s enough oil (Yamalube 2-cycle oil)
Air filter — check condition. Clean or replace if necessary. (Clean in solvent, without twisting)
Drive chain — check slack and alignment, adjusting if necessary. Clean and lube.
Do this more often if riding your bike in wet / dusty areas.
Axle torque: 85 Nm / 61 ft-lb. Always replace cotter pin.

Lubricate with 10W30 motor oil.
Front brake — check operation, free play, fluid leakage, and level. Top up fluid with DOT 4 or DOT 3 as necessary.2-3mm (0.08-0.12 in) free play
Rear brake — check operation, condition, and free play.
Clutch — check operation, condition, and free play.2-3mm (0.08-0.12 in) free play
Throttle — check for smooth operation. Lubricate / adjust if necessary.
Transmission oil — check oil level and top up as required.
Wheels / tires — check pressure, wear, and damage.
Controls (brakes, pedals) — check for smooth operation and lubricate if necessary
Lights — check operation.
Yamaha RT 180 Pre-ride checks

Yamaha RT 180 Full Service (Six Month)

Below is the full maintenance schedule for the Yamaha RT 180.

Do the pre-ride checks first then do these. Perform these items every six months

RT 180 Service — Every 6 MonthsNotes
Spark plug — check condition and regap Spark gap is 0.6-0.7 mm, 0.024-0.028 in.
Replace with NGK B8ES
Carburettor — Check idle speed / starter operation.Idle speed: 1450-1550 rpm
Fuel line — check fuel hose for cracks or damage.
Transmission oil — ReplaceYamalube 10W-30, 0.55L (0.58 US qt)
Plug torque: 20 Nm / 14 ft-lb
Autolube pump — Check operation, correct if necessary. Bleed air.
Wheels — check balance, damage, runout, and spoke tightness.
Wheel bearings — check for looseness or damage.
Front forks — Check operation / oil leakage
Rear shock absorber — Check operation / oil leakage
Fittings / Fasteners
SidestandLubricate with motor oil.
Yamaha RT 180 Full Service (Six Month)

Yamaha RT 180 Maintaining Pivots and Steering Bearings

A few items need less regular service on the RT 180. These are below.

ItemEvery
Steering bearings — Check for looseness.Year
Steering bearings — Repack (lithium soap-based grease)2 years
Rear arm pivot — check assembly for loosenessYear
Rear arm pivot — Repack (lithium soap-based grease)2 years
Replace brake fluid2 years
Replace brake hoses4 years
Yamaha RT 180 Full Service (Less Regular)

About the Yamaha RT 180

Yamaha RT 180 pic from magazine 2

The Yamaha RT 180 is a simple 2-stroke air-cooled dirt bike.

The engine is a relatively low-powered 176 cc single-cylinder engine.

Final drive is via a 6-speed transmission and of course a chain. Even with six gears, don’t expect to be getting this up to very high speeds!

At the front there’s a single disc brake and there’s a drum brake at the rear. The front suspension is not adjustable, but you can adjust the rear shock within five positions of preload, depending on your weight.

Many of the maintenance items of the Yamaha RT 180 can be done by a home mechanic. In fact, the manual was from back in the day when Yamaha would recommend using motor oil for most lubrication. No fancy greases or specialist products!

You do however have to repack bearings with lithium soap-based grease.

Being a 2-stroke, you do need to keep the engine topped up with both fuel and oil.

Reference — Manual for the Yamaha RT 180

The above came from the user manual for the Yamaha RT 180.

Some screenshots from the manual for reference are below.

You can get manuals for Yamaha motorcycles back a couple of decades from Yamaha directly.

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