Don't Ask: Load Your Fanny-Pack With Answers and Hit The Trail

Oct. 01, 2009 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 email 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 email unedited, for what it’s worth.

SUBJECT:   Do it Yourself Workbench Tech - Build Your Own Bike Work Stand
Article URL:

Aloha Rick,
I'm a General Contractor by profession and have been riding bikes since childhood, mostly dirt back in the 70's and 80's, (Remember the Santee Sand Pits and when you could ride all day chasing jack rabbits next to Miramar NAS?) and later in life, street bikes (after the nasty divorce and no one said I couldn't). I've gotten back into dirt riding again here in Hawaii (well... mostly rock riding) and love the three CRF's that I have out in the work shop (very reliable bikes).

My point here is that I've spent some time looking over your plywood work stand and found a few places that need some clarification. I made a 3D shop drawing using my CAD software as to get all the measurements that you specify correct. Is there supposed to be 21-1/4" of overhang at the horizontal end of the bench? If so, how about using the 12"x96" fall off (saved for "later") for a 12"x18" piece similar to "A" (without hinges), except it can be attached with a 12"x12" square piece, then cut diagonally to form two triangle gussets? Not as clean as a piece that is 18"x24", but it would help the front tire from bowing the plywood deck and use up some of the leftover plywood.

Another idea I have is a parts drawer where you have your holes cut in the sides. I can send you the shop drawings, complete with dimensions if you wish, just let me know where to send it. Thank you again for all the time, dedication and devotion that you have given to the riding community over the lifetime of your career. Because of you and your CRF project bike articles, I have returned to my roots of riding and have experienced the thrill of my youth all over again ~ except with a little more pain the next morning.
With much Aloha,
Hilo, Hawaii

Much thanks, Blue.  Your ideas on the work bench make a lot of sense and would improve the performance.  Good luck with your CRF and keep the shiny side up.




g,day i have a ktm 520 2000 model i just changed water pump seal and now bike wont start it poping through exaust and shooting out a blue flame it was doing this before i started but it did start now it wont run at all any ideas thanks
Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

Two things come to mind:  A bad head gasket and your timing is grossly off. Possibly a combination of both.



Just had one of those customers. I am (still) a small eng. mech, but still have to do the phone and/or counter. Man sends Wife in for a spark plug. I ask, "For what?" "A generator." I ask, "What engine?". Says, "Troy Bilt." But what engine is on it...Briggs, Techemseh, Honda, Kawasaki, blah...blah. "You guys have worked on it twice, now."  (unless the engine model/type/code/spec number is on the old work order hard copy, I don't know) So I ask "How long ago since we worked on it?" "About 6 months".

So I go through this years hard copy under the 'R's' (last name). "Nope, nothing here." Well, maybe it was last year." Same thing. "let me call my husband." Hands me one of those postage stamp sized cell phones (I hate cell phones...don't own one) "You guys did warranty work on it." Shit, warranty hard copies are in different files. He DID say "It's a Briggs." I ask "Flathead or overhead?" "I don't know!" "Can you look?" "It's not with me." Sooooo, I figured Briggs uses 2 for flathead (short reach) and a long reach for O.H.V. "Let me sell you both, then just bring back the incorrect one." "Okay!"  ........."I also need a fuel filter." M.F.S.O.B!!!   I gotta go spackle the hole in the wall from my head.
Later, Bro.
Dave Fruhling

Good one. The life of a parts man can be brutal at times.


I am picking up an 84 Rm 500 to race in a vintage class. Any up grades you could recomend for this bike woul be nice. I can not convert the front brakes to disk but I would like to help the bike cornner. I am 52 years old 6 foot tall and 155-160 lbs.
Thanks Art
Washington, DC

The RM500 is a real brute and is much easier to ride with a one-tooth countershaft sprocket.  Also, install Boyesen reeds and use a Metzeler tire up front.



What is this thing, Super Hunky?  I saw it on Craigslist.
 Bert Carrier, Jr.

How about a 1972 Kawasaki 100 G4TR.  Here are some specs on it:
Model: Kawasaki 100 G4TR
Year: 1972
Category: Enduro / offroad

Engine and transmission
Displacement: 99.00 ccm (6.04 cubic inches)
Engine type: Single cylinder
Stroke: 2
Power: 11.50 HP (8.4 kW)) @ 8000 RPM
Torque: 11.45 Nm (1.2 kgf-m or 8.4 ft.lbs) @ 7000 RPM
Compression: 7.0:1
Bore x stroke: 49.5 x 51.8 mm (1.9 x 2.0 inches)
Fuel system: Carburetor. Mikuni VM19 sc
Fuel control: Rotary valves
Ignition: Fly wheel magneto
Starter: Kick
Cooling system: Air
Gearbox: 10-speed
Transmission type final drive: Chain
Clutch: wet plate


Physical measures
Dry weight: 84.0 kg (185.2 pounds)
Overall height: 1,062 mm (41.8 inches)
Overall length: 1,948 mm (76.7 inches)
Overall width: 840 mm (33.1 inches)
Ground clearance: 239 mm (9.4 inches)
Wheelbase: 1,270 mm (50.0 inches)


Chassis and dimensions
Rake (fork angle): 62.5°
Trail: 100 mm (3.9 inches)
Front brakes: Expanding brake (drum brake)
Rear brakes: Expanding brake (drum brake)


Speed and acceleration
Top speed: 107.0 km/h (66.5 mph)
Power/weight ratio: 0.1369 HP/kg

Other specifications
Fuel capacity: 9.46 liters (2.50 gallons)
Comments: Bike has dual range gear box giving 10 gears.



I have a 1997 RT100 Yamaha that I just took apart, cleaned up and put back together. I cleaned the carb, replaced the plug, cleaned everything up and put back together. Well, now it just idles itself up to max! When first started (cold) it idles just fine. Once it warms up, though, it will start running itself up to max. This is without touching the throttle. I checked the cable. it is not pinched or in a bind. When it is idled way up, I hit the kill switch, and really have to press on it hard to get the bike to kill. When idling normal, a simple swith of the kill switch and it dies. The idler screw has no effect on the idle, whatsoever. Any suggestions?
Plainville, KS

It sounds like you have a serious air leak.  Check the intake for cracks or poor seating.  Also check the carb top.



Okay here it goes, I have a 1975 DT175B and was wondering were I could find a manual dealing with only this bike, not one thousand other bikes. So far I can find nadda, and I need this so I can figure out the wiring harness on it so I can put the turn signals back on (didn't have them when I bought it). So I am going to buy a set of turn signals but I do not know which ones are right for the bike, or if my bike even has the flasher still. any suggestions?
Faith G.
Sherman, TX

Once again, we referred to our old Yamaha enduro specialist, Matt Cuddy.  Here's what he had to say:

Anyone can call Speed & Sport and get a Yamaha shop manual for about thirty bucks, Clymer/Chilton manuals cover a lot of years for the Yamaha 175. Unless the wiring harness is torn apart, there are two wires on each side of the seat-loop of the frame that have female connectors that go to the turn signals. You can get STOCK Yamaha turn signals from just about any MC salvage place on Earth. Again, when I couldn't find an NOS Yamaha part, Speed & Sport did the trick.

That's right - there's more! Wait for Page 3...


Thanks for your time to read this question from a newbie like me. I am reviving my father's Old and rusted Suzuki TS-125. The front fork shocks are really useless now because of rust. I am looking for 2nd hand replacements because they are cheaper than brand new ones. Some offer me with Yamaha DT and Kawasaki KMX front shocks. But my problem is their diameters. Will the DT or KMX fit to my TS-125 triple clamp? What is the diameter of ts-125 front (fork) shocks? and what is for DT and KMX. Thanks alot Sir. This is my first time to write a letter to a site like this.. because I am really looking for an answer from a professional like you.
Mike Rupnix
Muntinlupa City, PHILIPPINES

Measure the fork tube diameter of any KYB fork of the same diameter and it should slide right into the triple clamps. The stock TS 125 fork diameter is 30 millimeters.  A DT is a Yamaha enduro bike of that period.  There is no such thing as a KMX.  KYB forks are found on Suzukis, Yamahas and Kawasakis of that era.



Is it possible to install a wider-ratio gearset in the transmission of a Yamaha (or any brand, really) small-displacement MX bike (for example, a YZ85 or CR85). I ask this because I like the small size and good power-to-weight ratio of these bikes, but the close-ratio trans is murder anywhere but the track. I want a more "enduro"-like feel to it, where I'm not revving the guts out of the engine to get up to 50-60 mph. Any other suggestions about this are always welcome. Thanks in advance.
Lipetsk, RUSSIA

I'm not aware of any wide ratio gearboxes for the 80-85 MX bikes.  All you can do it go up one tooth on the countershaft sprocket.  This will give you a greater top speed and take away a bit of the hit down low.



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  Email: Newsletter
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