According to the service manual, it didn't seem like a big deal to replace it, but I still procrastinated for nearly a year. I decided I would inspect the stator before buying a new part, since it is more than $200 from Yamaha (but $115 on Amazon.com). I finally got around to pulling the old stator out today, and it was a royal pain.
The stator is bolted to the inside of the left side engine cover and it has wires running up the frame of the bike. In order to free the wiring, you must remove the speedometer, gas tank, passenger seat, driver seat, battery cover, tool box cover, transmission cover, "middle cover," as well as cutting several nearly impossible to reach zip ties. To remove the actual stator, the engine cover must come off, but to do that, you first have to drain the oil, remove a clutch cable bracket, the kickstand (featuring the world's tightest bolts) and kickstand position sensor.
|Tools and parts. The hammer is the most important one.|
|Almost ready to ride.|
Luckily, I was able to visually confirm the stator is toast (to supplement an earlier electrical test).
Also, I managed to hurt myself, so that made the whole experience even better.