these pages you will be reading about several Tips & Tricks that
I have learned through out more than Twenty-Five years of riding and wrenching. Being an avid Dirt Biker and ex- Honda/Kawasaki mechanic, I have picked up a few things that may interest you. I'm sure you have seen, or perhaps even used some of these tips and tricks in the past. If you get just one tip out of these pages it's time well spent on my part. Please, let me know what you think.
These Tips have worked well for me, and I would expect they will work for you ! I would also expect you would use your own good sense in applying these tricks to your own Machine.
in DIRT RIDERMagazine,June,
July & August, 2000
serious enduro riders out there may want to remove the nipple washer from
each spoke, this will involve removing each spoke nipple (while the tire
is removed, of course) and discarding the small washer and reinstalling
the nipple. Do this on each nipple then tighten up your spokes, paying
attention to make sure the end of the spoke doesnít protrude past the end
of the nipple and wear a hole in your tube. A little grinding with a Dremel
tool (or something similar)
may be needed. Now, during trailside tire repairs it will speed up the
time it takes you to change a tire by giving you another millimeter of
clearance enabling the tireís bead to get that much closer and enable the
rest of the bead to slide over the rim quicker and easier.
*Hint* When mounting new tires, leave them in the sun for several hours to soften the rubber making them easier to install. Or, toss it in the Hot Tub for a little while to get the same results.
Of course, the new "Bib Mousse" solid foam inserts are the way to go if you are a serious racer. The hefty price tag is a small price to pay to prevent lost time due to a flat.
the same line of thought, marking the location of your valve stem
on your rim with a little paint or fingernail polish will save time trying
to find that stem when your wheels are full of mud.
*Hint* Mark your master link also, for the same reason.
a large washer to the bottom of your kickstand will provide a larger base
to help keep your scoot upright in sandy or muddy conditions when your
stock stand may dig right in dumping your ride on its side.
a straight edge (a piece of string will do).
Line up your countershaft, swing arm pivot and your rear axle (a
tiedown or two will be required to keep your suspension
compressed) in this position, the chain will be at it's tightest point, now you have to find the tight spot, and adjust it to proper slack. Every chain has a tight spot, some chains are worse than others, but, you do have one, just spin your tire and check your chain in eight or ten different spots, you Will find a spot thatís just a little tighter than the rest of the chain. (I have found that the higher quality chains will have the least noticeable tight spot) This is where you want to make the adjustment. Pick a side plate on your chain in the middle of the tight spot and clean it well with brake cleaner (use Caution if you have an O-ring chain). Paint a large dot on it with a color of your choice, it will make it easier to locate it in the future. (not really necessary if your tight spot is minimal) You want to adjust your slack at the MINIMUM recommended adjustment at this point. This is the tightest section of the chain, at it's tightest spot in it's travel. Remove the tiedown(s). With the machine off the stand, reach down and grab the tight spot about midway between the sprockets, and lift the chain up. Note the location of the chain pins, and mark this spot on your mudguard (or someplace similar) with a small notch. Now, to check your chain adjustment just lift your chain up and if the pins are close to the notch you know you have the proper adjustment.
some machines (like my old XR) it's difficult
to tell exactly what notch the snail adjuster is in without getting down
on your hands and knees to look. With My 6'2" frame that's a long way down.
What Iíve done is make a chisel mark on top of both sides of the swing arm, using the snail adjusters as reference. Now,
all I have to do is use the chisel marks to make sure the chain is aligned properly.
quick and easy repair for cracked plastic fenders and side covers. Drill
(or melt) small holes along both sides of the crack about a 1/4" (or
farther) apart, and one more hole at the very
end of the crack to keep it from cracking further. Now using small nylon
Zip-Ties stitch the crack closed. This " Frankenstien-ish
" looking repair may even appeal to some of
you out there. Either way it holds up well till you can get it replaced
or even, use it as a permanent
repair if you wish.
you epoxy a nickel to the left side of your bar end, before you install
new grips, that will reduce the chance of cutting through them when you
Or just drop the nickel into the grip before installation.
found the best way to install grips is with contact cleaner and compressed
air. Poke a small hole in the center of the end of your new grips with
an awl or similar tool. Clean the left side of the bar well with contact
cleaner and coat the first inch inside of the grip with your favorite grip
Be sure to spray the inside of the grip wetting the glue well. As you slide the grip on the end of the bar, use an air nozzle, to force compressed air through the small hole until it escapes between the bar and grip, spinning the grip until your happy with the placement. You may need a helper to block off the other end of the bar (unless you use Tip # 8). Position the grips to your liking, and repeat the procedure on the right side blocking the throttle tube off. (You may have to remove the throttle assembly) Finish the job by wiping off any excess glue, paying particular attention to the throttle side. Then with two or three strands of safety wire on each side.
Let the grips cure for 24 hours.
Iíve used this method for years without any problems at all.
"Bark busters" are to be installed on your machine, sharpen the inside
edge of a one-foot section of 3/4" copper plumbing pipe and insert it into
the grip, sharp end first.
Now position the grip against a 2x4 or something similar and hit the other end of the pipe sharply with a hammer. This will punch a perfect hole in each grip end.
you enduro or dual sport dudes out there, a bead of silicone rubber between
your headlight and the number plate, will seal the gap and may keep water
from shorting out the electrical's that hide here.
small dab of paint, or fingernail polish, on the edges of all your screws
and bolts where they meet the frame will enable you tell if your nuts are
starting to loosen. Instead of grabbing a hand full of wrenches to check
your bolts for tightness, just a quick glance at the paint, and any movement
of the fastener will be quickly noticed.
old oil injection tank off any two stroke and a few feet of fuel line will
provide a great small portable fuel tank when your working on your bike
and donít want the bother of installing the fuel tank just to run the machine
for a couple of minutes. An in-line petcock is the hot setup. No petcock
will work if you just always keep the end of the hose higher than the tank.
I used an old wire coat hanger to fashion a holder that I just hang on
wifeís old nylon stockings provide an excellent mud shield stretched tight
enough over your front fender that you catch the back edge of the fender.
Take the pantyhose and cut each leg off at the crotch so there is about
1" of hem left on the leg, (you'll see what
Bunch up the stocking right down to the toe and slip it over the front fender, sliding the nylon all the way down to the fender mounting bolts, at this time, carefully, start stretching the hose till the hem can be slipped over the rear of the front fender. Take your time and go slow and try not to get a run in the stocking. Done properly it's an excellent way to keep mud from building up under your fender.
It may take you a couple of times to get it to work properly. It does work rather well, so well in fact, you may find yourself buying hose for this very reason (I do, despite the funny looks) and it lasts the whole day riding or at least as long as the race. Coat the under side of your rear fender with Baby oil from a spray bottle to help keep mud off, It works. The stocking trick works best on machines with the 3/4 front fender such as the XR, and many others.
*HINT* Hose for the Larger Ladies may be the Hot setup for your particular machine. I have found, Queen size, White, Sandal foot, regular pantyhose, to be the ticket for my XR. Walgreenís, $1.39 a pair
( KTM owners I have NO Idea ) <g>
I canít say enough about Reticulated foam (skid plate foam, a course plastic foam that doesnít rot) just trim this stuff to fit in all the little areas that collect mud, like the skid plate and the hollow area between your brake pedal, and your frame.
a short piece of 1" nylon strap (approx. 10"-16"
) double over about an inch and a half on each end of the strap
and stitch. melt a hole in each end though both layers. Into this insert
a 1/4" grommet
into each of the holes and crimp according to the instructions. (A grommet kit is available at most any larger store that sells camping gear) What you have now is a strap that you bolt on to your 6mm rear fender or seat mounting bolts, one on each side, this will provide a great hand hold to muscle your bike out of those mud holes without accidentally grabbing the hot muffler. OUCH!
to the hardware store and pick up several, 1/4" PUSHNUT BOLT RETAINERS
these kind of resemble a star washer and are great for holding your six-millimeter
sidecover bolts in place. Just remove your side covers and reinsert the
bolts back through the holes, slip one of
these retainers over the threads on the fastener, you now have a captive screw that will stay attached to the sidecover when you remove them, preventing loss. They have larger sizes available also if you happen to have an eight-millimeter bolt you want to use this trick on.
pay up to $10 for a brake snake. Just get a few inches of 3/16" vinyl hose
and an old throttle cable. Then head down to the local Radio Control Hobby
Shop and get the coupling they use to adjust the tie rods on those cool
little autos. Cut the cable in half. Discarding the outer cable housing.
You may get one or two good ends out of one cable, it depends on the cable.
Drill a hole in each pedal, close enough to the folding end to allow clearance
for the ferule on the cable when it folds. Thread the cut end of the cable
through the hole you just drilled, then through a short length of the vinyl
tubing, through the coupling, around a frame member then back through the
coupling again. Double check for proper length on both
the tubing and the cable allowing enough excess slack for full pedal travel, trim as necessary.
Tighten the screw on the coupling and stuff the ends in the tubing. Your done, and for only a couple of Bucks. This will keep sticks, rocks and little kids from wedging between your frame and pedals, not to mention, prevent them from pretzeling the next time a stump jumps in front
XR650L has a nice guard on the rear master cylinder reservoir to keep the
lid from loosening. It should fit most all-late Japanese offroad machines
Will eliminate the chance of your reservoir cap flying south and spilling
your precious brake fluid all over your pretty scoot. Must have item. Less
than $10 retail. Honda part # 45535-KW3-000
wire, at the junction where your spokes cross, will keep a
broken spoke from trashing your Speedo cable or getting caught in your
chain & sprockets. Safety wire works or small nylon tie-wraps work
a Half-Hour and take apart every electrical connector on your machine.
Remove any corrosion with a pencil eraser or fine Emory cloth. Lube well
with Dielectric Silicone Grease (available
at any larger auto parts store) and reassemble.
This stuff is recommended for all electrical connections, it prevents voltage
loss from arcing and dissipates heat while insulating and sealing the connector
against moisture. Donít forget the head and taillight bulbs and your Sparkplug
these a thick coat. This will help eliminate any corrosion while
sealing out water and dirt, not to mention it will be a lot easier to take
apart in the future.
old swing arm, some simple CPVC pipe spacers and your axle. Will make a
very serviceable truing stand. Just tighten the swing arm in a vice, (pointing
up) using the axle off the wheel in question, slide it through the
swing arm with the wheel suspended between the arms of the swing arm. Now
use 1/2- 3/4" CPVC plumbing pipe (depending on the
size of the axle) to make a couple of quick spacers, just to hold
the wheel centered. You should be able to spin the wheel freely in the
swing arm. Holding a grease pencil on line with the spinning rim, a mark
should be created on the high spot, tighten the spokes on the opposite
side of the high spot a little at a time.
Repeat the procedure until your rim runs true and your happy with the results. Double check all the spoke nipples for tightness, then reinstall your tire "Voila" true wheel, without the hassle or expense of sending it out for professional service.
22. Duel sport machines that feel at home on the street, as well as the dirt, need a reliable means for the storage of necessary documentation.Obtain the following at the hardware store.
8" -10" piece of 1"
O. D. Clear vinyl tubing.
2 - 1" I.D. rubber crutch tips.
2 - 1" nylon, one hole straps.
Use the two Nylon straps to fasten the piece of tubing to the bottom bolts on your license plate. Slide a crutch tip on both ends. You now have a waterproof compartment to slip your registration or Insurance papers in. I also carry a Copy of my drivers License. As I donít usually carry my wallet with me when riding off-road.
*HINT* By redrilling the plate holes a little narrower and cutting the tubing shorter you can streamline the holder a bit.
23.To reduce the chance of your rear tire spinning on the rim, causing a flat, take a chisel held at a 45° angle. And chisel marks inside the rim about one half inch apart, where the tires bead ride. Be sure you angle the chisel at the right angle to provide maximum bite taking into consideration the direction of rotation.
THE ENDo \\\0tO
. . . or is it?
*** DISCLAIMER ***
The above, "Twenty years of Tips and Tricks" are the sole property of the Author,
But can be reproduced in whole or in part by obtaining
permission from the author and giving a proper Credit Line.
Page created: 6-25-2001
let me know what you think.
Web Design by Ober 'D Barz Productions