No, you are not looking at it wrong. Per the Service Manual, you have to start with draining the oil, removing the floor board, alternator outer cover, front pulley cover, crankshaft sensor leads, left side cover, tool box, and ingition switch. I had a Nissan one time that you damn near had to pull the engine out to tighten the air condition belt. Sounds like the same Japanese guy designed this stator setup. Sorry, if I am the harbinger of doom. Good luck.
'07 VN900 Classic
Horsepower is an illusion.
Torque is the source of all good things.