Don't Ask: Super Hunky Answers Your Dirt Bike Tech Questions (May)

May. 03, 2010 By Rick Sieman

If you choose to email a question to this forum, then you must conduct yourself accordingly. Therefore, the following rules are in order:

1. Do not write your email to me IN CAPS. If you do so, I will print out your question and do terrible things to it.
2. Do not request a personal e-mail response. Since I get thousands of questions each month, trying to answer them all would cut deeply into my leisure time, which I value more than your current state of confusion.
3. Try to spell at least in a semi-correct fashion. If you choose to mangle the English language, expect no mercy from this quarter. You might be mocked severely.
4. Do not ask for me to send you copies of my many manuals and literature. I am not in the library business, nor do I want to spend the bulk of my day at the copy machine just because you're too lazy to ask your dealer, or look around a bit.
5. Don't bother me with truly stupid questions, like how to get 50 more horsepower for a buck and a half
6. Now that you know the rules, think carefully and have at it!

Oh yes … I’ll leave your e-mail unedited, for what it’s worth.


I just bought a 2006 KTM senior pro 50 for my son. I never owned a 2 stroke,the owner's manual says to use a 60:1 ratio. The previous owner told me to use 3-3.5 ounces for every gallon of gas. He also recommended Yamalube 2-r. Any suggestions. The above article was a big help.
Thank you
Joe M
Staten Island, NY

Go with the Yamalube at 32:1 ratio.  We’ve been using it for years with great results.



Hi Rick,
I was reading your article on the 74 Honda Elsinores Great Article! I installed a 30mm mikuni carb on my bike with the TM 250 manifold, but you did not address the problem with obtaining a correct air boot? Do you know of any "Crossover" boots from another bike that will work that is still available? I tried a Maico boot from Vintage Iron but that went into the trash can! It did not even come close to fitting! Please provide your Expert Advise! Thanks and RIDE ON!
George Yamanaka
Santa Clarita, CA

Your best bet is to get an air boot from a bike with a 30 Mikuni carb and the measure the air box inlet.  If the boot will fit, you're fine.  It's going to take some work on your part to find what you need.



Hey you dumb ass *&^%($#@%^*  I wrote u and askd you for how to git my cr80 to go faster and u were a smart ass so there.  U tole me to poor cement in the spark plug hole so how is that suposed  to help me huh.  U can go  $%&#%^* youself
Fast mike

Actually, Fast Mike, the cement would work well covering the entire motorcycle.



I have a 1997 yamaha RT100J dirtbike. When i crank the bike, it only runs wide open. I can keep it running by hitting the kill switch on and off, but if i just leave it on, it only wants to rev full throttle. I thought something was wrong with the carburetor so i bought a new one and it still does the same thing. I am wondering if you could tell me what the problem is? Im not 100% sure i have the carburetor adjusted right and could use a little advice on how to do that also. I was thinking maybe it has to do with the throttle cable comeing into the top of the carb because i tryed adjusting the carb every way i could and it stll just runs full throttle. Could you please help me?
Josh Moreau
Pollock, LA

One way or another, you're leaving the cable too short.  It might be getting pinched under the tank, or hanging up on the triple clamps.  To check this, remove the cable and let it hang outside of the tank and the normal (?) routing.  This means that the cable will go in a big arc from the throttle to the carb.  If the carb still hangs open, you either have the wrong cable, or have it adjusted wrong.



I just rebuilt my buddies 2001 yz 250 and before the rebuild it didnt smoke but was powerless and the parts showed major wear. Now when you start it, it smokes like an 80 yr old bingo player. It also has alot of oil running out of the exhaust port. I have rebuilt my smoker bikes several times and many four stoke four wheelers but never has this happened before. The only thing different we did was soak the pipe in kerosine to soften the carbon but I really don't think that is it. I have read and read and here is what i can narrow to Carb needs adjusted, repack silencer, crank case bearings (please not that) and blow by (new rebuild so blow by seems impossible. Need so old school help Thanks.
Smithburg, WV

It sounds like you might have put in a new piston and rings without doing anything to the liner.  Either that, or (hate to say it) you might need seals.  Poor seals will let the trans fluid get sucked into the lower end and  cause major smoking.



Mr. Rick Sieman
I just bought a 1982 Xl500R honda. I am 6'2 and 260Ib and i need to know how to make this bike sit higher so it dont sag so bad. What mono shock would work or what would work? Oh i also need to know how to adjust the jets.
Alamosa, CO

If you've run out of preload adjustment, then you'll need a heavier spring.  Or contact Works Performance (818) 701-1010 for a complete shock to suit your bodyweight.



Just got cylinder resleeved and new piston put it back together now it wont start or get close. Got Spark Got fuel Got Air just put nex reed valve the bike won't get clost to starting any suggestions
Sandy Howatt
Kalaheo, HI

When parts are mechanically sound and you have spark and fuel, only one thing is left: your timing is grossly off.



i have a 2003 kx 125 i cant get the bike to idle if i adjust the carb. to where it will idle the bike will bog out when i hit the throttle and when i have it adjusted to no idle the bike runs perfect what could that be about? thanks
Baltimore, MD

Ah yes, Mister Dude.  It's entirely possible that your pilot jet is badly clogged and when you set your throttle high, you're by-passing the idle circuit. Check your carb and jets for crud.




Dear Rick,
I recently bought a 1974 suzuki rl 250 dirtbke, it does have a few problems such as the clutch won't completely disingage and it has a bad habit of fouling the plug every time i kill it. it is of course a reedless two-stroke. my question to you is what kind of sparkplug i need,how would i fix the clutch and what i need to make it street legal in oklahoma. John
Chouteau, OK

Your RL is a hard core trials bike (see photo) and short of major work, you can't make it street legal.  Fresh plates will solve your clutch problem.  If the top end is solid, you should not foul the correct plug, which is an NGK B8E.




HI i have a 2001 yz 125 i was riding it and it stuck in 6th gear and will not come out the bike still starts right up wen you hold the clutch in.if you have any idas please let me know
Joe Brown
Waverly, NY

Chances are that your shifting pawl is either badly worn or broken.



Dear Mr. Super Hunky,
I read your artical about the garage queen Maico you own. Very nice long travel bike indeed. I am quite puzzeled with this "Maico Maina". Granted they are very nice dirt bikes but I am partial to the KTM line of motorcycles. I race a 1979 KTM 420 [AHRMA] Grand Prix class. How would my current ride stack up in a compairison to a Maico of simaler long travel design? I haven't had the oppertunity to go side by side with a large CC Maico yet so I can't say from my own experience what I think the streinghts of either bike is. I would be interested to here your thoughts on these two bikes.I will be at Devils Ridge for the vintage races so maybe I will get to see one of these Maicos for a second or two on my way to the first turn. Thanks for your time and have really enjoyed reading your articals for years!
Art Parry

Washington, DC

If you ride a good Maico once, you'll immediately see why they have the reputation they earned.  Those bikes just handle.  While the KTM is a good bike, nothing works like a Maico.



Hey I am a big fan of dirtbikes and I want to get one. I like riding with my friends but will soon start riding in races. I am a 14-year-old boy almost 15 in 2 months i weigh 125 pounds and my height is 5 foot 7 inches and I dont know What bike to get that fits my height and weight. I really like riding fast and im very strong because of my football skills and I really need help so do you know what bike do I need?
Lawrenceville, GA

Get a good used 250 two-stroke, like a YZ250 and it’ll serve you well.  Stay away from the new four-strokes unless you have a surplus of money.  They are like hand grenades and cost a small bundle to rebuild.



Hiya, i have a KX 250 (1999) i was riding it and it cut out and when i tried to start it a little later it wouldnt start and we tried bump starting it and it just backfires, i have changed the plug and it just does the same, please could you help.

If nothing happened to the bike mechanically, then you have to consider what makes a bike run.  If you have spark and fuel, then there’s only one thing left: when the spark happens, and that’s called timing.  Chances are that your timing slipped. 



Hi, i have a 1996 yz 80 and i know there is a certain way to install the clutch and friction plates. I see the difference in thickness between the clutch plates but i dont see any difference between the friction plates? What am i looking for and what order do i install them in? Thank you for any help you can give me.
Windham, ME

You should install the plates with one friction plate, then one metal plate. Put the entire stack in by alternating the plates and you should be OK.



Hello Rick...
I've been a fan and follower since the early eighties. I was particulary fond of your articles railing aginst the earth-first types around the time when Barstow-to-Vegas was shut down and converted to a dual-sport event. Who knew then how spot-on your forecasts would be regarding the challenges our sport faced, and still faces. Anyway, I'm now at a point where I have the time for a real project, and was considering a frame-up on an air-cooled, two-stroke, low-tech woods bike.

I grew up on an IT200 but am considering anyting similar, including KDX, Can-Am, KTM, Husky, etc... I'd even be willing to do a trail/woods conversion of an MX sled if the result would be better. Anything in particular that you'd recommend as a starting point, conisdering parts sourcing as well as end-result performance? Second, related question...though I'd understand if you can't answer it here. I've been following the series of five articles related to four-stroke motocrossers at the "other site." Is that information to sensitive to be expounded upon in this forum? Any additional information available in regards to builders who may buck Honda's trend and release a FICT two-stroke bike in the future? Thanks for any advice and insight you can provide.
Dinger Junkie
Linden, MI

The Yamaha IT 175/200 is a good reliable bike and  you’d be happy with it.  But as far as I’m concerned, nothing is better for trail/woods riding than a Kawasaki KDX200.  Not a 220, but a 200, most any year.  All you need to make it truly delightful is an FMF pipe and Boyesen reeds.  The suspension is just fine stock.



Dear Super Hunky,
I'm trying to get my dad into trail riding.  He's 59, 6 feet tall,
probably 200 lbs.  A while back, you recommended I look for an XR200.
I have a few follow-up questions:

1.  I found a decent deal on a 1984 model XR200, with the 2 carb, 4
valve setup.   Some bulletin boards recommend staying away from this
bike, but I kind of dig the mid-80s styling and the 4 valve tech.

2. I found another decent deal for a Yamaha TTR-225.   The boards all
say it's heavy and boring, but that electric start (magic button) sure
would be great for my dad.  What's your opinion of the bike?  I read
your articles about the TTR-230, but I didn't get a good feel for your
real opinion on the bike.

By the way, I'm loving my KDX200s!   I got a screamin' deal on a 1996
bike, and I have sent the cylinder from my old '86 model to Jeff
Fredette to be replated and have a new piston kit fitted.  Spendy, but I
hope it will be worth it.

Thanks for your advice, oh wise one!
Bert Carrier, Jr.

Stay away from the Yamaha TTR-225 mostly because it has a horrible suspension.  While the electric start is indeed nice, the jarring ride will take a lot of the fun out of riding the bike.  The stock XR200 has, at least, an average suspension.

Hi Rick,
I guess I missed an important memo, or something.  I have several Maicos (some which actually run), but I don’t know what you meant by your (eBay listed) 76 400 having a primary start, as mentioned in the description.    What do you mean? 
By the way, many thanks for all the years you’ve been providing great reading fodder about the world of dirt bikes!  
Not that you would, but if ever you are in Northern New England an want to ride, I have a natural terrain motocross track on my farm.  It’s almost a mile long, with some really great ups and downs and screaming sweepers, etc.     This  Memorial day weekend will be our 4th annual vintage dirt days.   No modern bikes allowed.  We play race,  roast a pig, torch a bonfire and swap lies.   I have the exceptional good fortune of living in a very rural area where I can run loud two strokes and not piss anybody off, because most of my more immediate neighbors are gun tote’n  slednecks who just love the smell of yamalube in the air!
 Tim Augustinowicz
White River Jct., VT

Yes, it’s a fact that the Maicos will start in gear, but most people don’t know about it.  They assume that because the clutch pull is so heavy, that you must be in neutral to get things fired up.  Thanks for the invite.



Welcome to a celebration of The Toughest  Race In America, the notorious Blackwater 100.  Held every year in Davis, West Virginia, the race was designed by Dave Coombs to be a real test of survival. While the race is no more, the tales of this legendary race seem to grow with each passing year.

What we have here, is a collection of hundreds photos, stories and copies of some of the actual programs.  These images tell you more about the nature of the grueling course than the many tales that circulate.
Included in this great collection are stories about the race by Rick Sieman, who competed in this event numerous times.  You’ll also find a story and test on the legendary 760 Maico, the first bike ridden by Rick in the Blackwater race.
The Blackwater 100 is a two CD set.  On Disc 1, you’ll experience a slide show with some classic bluegrass country music to accompany the images.  Just put the disc in your computer, go to MY COMPUTER and hit the BLACKWATER 100 button on your  screen.  Make sure you turn your sound on for Disc 1.
On Disc 2, you’ll find the same images, but these are in Picassa 3 format and literally hundreds of photos are there. This means that you can stop any image, or copy what’s on the screen, make it bigger (or smaller) and print out anything you see.  Just go to the bottom of the screen and a very simple menu is there. 
Cost for the CD set is $20 plus $5 for Priority Rush mail.  Paypal, checks or money orders OK.  Paypal address is:

Mailing address:
Rick Sieman
36607 W. Costa Blanca Dr.
Maricopa, AZ
Go to for more info on other products, including posters, CDs and the Monkey Butt book 
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