Sorry to have to tell you this, but yes, they are a real pain to remove and the tank has to come off. The good news is at 12k mine were like new. Chances are replacing them at anything under 25k probably is a waste of time.
It took me almost 2 hours to get to them ! There are 4 in case you weren't aware, and the coils are in the plug caps that go onto them. Taking the tank off and getting past all the crap under there to get to them is just one PITA. The other is getting them out with frame members in the way. It's a bit torturous the 1st time, but thankfully it's not often necassary. Just remove the tank and from that point on you'll figure the rest out. It's really simple, it's just time consuming and one of those jobs where you have to be a contortionist to work out. You also have to pull hard sometimes to get the coils off to get to them. And the plug holes are deep. Once the coil is removed and you unscrewed the plug, use the coil cap to click onto the plug to pull it out.
I wish NGK make a iridium plug for it but they don't have them in out heat range. I know some others do tho, so you might want to consider those, as iridium lasts nearly forever. I used them in my speedmaster and they never did wear at all as long as i had them, many 1000's of miles.
Oh, and congrats and welcome !
Last edited by dazco; 11-26-2012 at 05:33 PM.