Donít Ask: Off-Road Dirt Bike Questions Answered (Nov.)

Nov. 02, 2010 By Rick Sieman
Have a question for Rick "Superhunky" Sieman? E-mail questions to Attn: Don't Ask.

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 Ö Iíll leave your e-mail unedited, for what itís worth.
I just got a 1975 DT100, broken down, and I've been rebuilding for the last week. My question is what type lubrication, if any, goes in the plugged hole just beside the clutch engagement arm on the engine? I have the dipstick hole right beside the kickstart lever filled with the correct oil, but when I turn over the engine it still has a "empty" sound to it. Is there another area for oil for the tranny? Advice would be appreciated.
Todd Jordan

There is only two sources of oil in that particular bike. If you have the transmission fluid promptly filled, the only other oil you've got is in the oil injection system. Make sure that you have oil in the oil injection system. The smaller DT Yamahas shared a lot of cases from model to model, and what you see could be something as simple as an access for an old tachometer drive. You only have one area for oil for the transmission, so don't worry about it.


I stumbled across a older 49cc mini motorcycle at a garage sale this week. i bought it for $100 the guy believes its worth $4000. but i have no idea what it is. its got a number on the motor, but the tranny and throttle cable was gone the tank, light, and speedometer are plastic, but its got a nice pair of solid metal forks and handelbars. its kinda harley lookin in style but he said something about it being an indian, the speedometer goes up to 60mph and its got a pretty good  red and white paint job on it. if you know anything please let me no. thank you very much

Your e-mail is the source of so little information that I almost did something horrible to it, but I searched my brain for an answer that just might do it. When you mentioned the word Indian, the word Minarelli comes to mind. They made a bunch of trashy little bikes up to about 100ccs and gave them the name Indian, which was a joke of the worst kind. Why donít you get down on your knees, taking great care not to scrape your designer pants, and find the numbers on the steering head so I can get a better idea of what the bike really is. Is the bike worth $4000? Hardly. Chances are it's more like $40. You, my friend, have been taken. Hereís a photo of Minarelli Indian.



i have a rm80 2001 and it doesn't want to take neutral but it takes all the other gears. whats wrong with it ?

It sounds a great deal like your clutch is dragging. When that happens, you can shift to most any year with the engine running, but when you try to engage neutral, it's really hard to find.

ive got a malagutti grizley 12 i kick start it it starts up then borks out some times i can ride it for 1 minuite then it borks ergen ive checked evreything i can but to no ervail ive had the carb apart iz it getting starved ov fuel
Dean Thoms

Well, here we go. Each month, I get a least one incredibly stupid e-mail from a person who can barely write or spell about some kind of miserable Chinese bike. Congratulations, you are the recipient of this month's Bonehead Award. By the way, what does ďborks outĒ mean? That's a new one on me.  Hereís a photo of a Grizzly, for what itís worth.


I have a 75 Can am bike that looks exactly like the one at the top of the page. But i was told it was a 350? Im leaning more towards a 250. But the throttle cable broke on it and i need a new one. Anyone have any good ideas about how to get one?
Clint Giddens

Can-Am did not make a 350 as far as I know, but they did make a 370 and it was a pretty good bike. I rode one in the Greenhorn 500 Mile Enduro and found it to be a splendid mount. I never did care much for the 250 Can-Ams, but they do have a certain quirky following. You can contact Terry Cables ( and you'll find just about any cable you need for sale. Good luck.

i was going to buy a 150 knock off of a honda and the brand name was pierre max but when i called honda they said the never hurd it before soo like what is a 150 pierre max???

It sounds much like another one of the incredibly obnoxious Chinese knock-off bikes. What happens is this: Honda wears out their dies and sells them to the Taiwanese. They refresh them until they can't even be fixed anymore, then they sell them to the Chinese. They then go about their business of making miserable little pieces of crap for people like you.


hey mate i have an rmx 250 97 model with a full rebuild and after about 5 mins of riding its starts staling and backfireing?? any hints? ive also got the carby rebuilt and a new stator
Ben Hines

My best bet on your problem is that the timing is off on your bike. Before you go and do all the local shop business, check the float bowl in the carburetor for water or crud. Having just a little bit of debris in the float bowl can momentarily block a main jet and caused the bike to stall and then backfire when restarting.  Itís such a common thing that most people never ever bother to check it.


hello i have a 2001 ktm 300exc bike got stuck in creek motor filled w mud had total rebuild new crank. bearings. piston cyl was perfect just honed done by prof shop all work should have been assembled with no problem. my problem is bike starts right up idles fine will rev a few thousand rpm just fine but will not make upper rpms been thru carb three times now put new reeds repacked silencer new air filter. good gas new plugs what am i missing im 41 been taking care of manny bikes thru the years thank you for help sam chester

I've heard this same complaint about KTMs that have been worked on and almost every time the problem can be traced back to the timing being off. When the timing is off, the bike starts very easy; it simply won't rev out. Before you do anything else check that timing first.


i have a 1999 xr 100 and i was riding it and it started to bogg down and i tryed to crank it and it wont crank does it have a timming
ethan cook

Based on the way you spelled and abused the punctuation laws of grammar, I can only assume that you are from Mars, or incredibly stupid. However, I would suggest that before you start pulling what passes for your hair out that you do basic maintenance on your bike. That is a fresh plug, a clean air filter, take at least some of the debris out of your carburetor, and the bike will then start.

On my 09 crf230 i have a FMF pipe only. I have a 120 main and 45 pilot which haven't been put in yet. I don't plan on any other upgrades, do i really need to change the stock power needle out? I'm at 800 feet elevation

On the project series that we did on the Honda CRF 230, we clearly pointed out exactly what you had to do when you opened up the exhaust system. Refer to the projects series and follow them step by step. When we told you to change something in the jetting, it was for a reason, not because we thought it would be cool.


Anybody knows the ratio for an 86 honda cr-250

You canít go wrong with a 32:1 ratio.



Get the first four years of DIRT BIKE Magazine on discs. Those early copies are getting hard to find and the ones in the first year (1971) are going for big bucks. Hereís what you get:

*   Every issue from June of 1971 through all of 1974. That June í71 issue was the very first issue. I worked on all of these magazines until that last issue in 1974. Youíll see a big difference in content in that last issue and the ones that preceded it.

*  Every issue has every page included. All the color pages are reproduced in color. You can print out every page if you want to, since the issues were produced in Picasa 3 format.

*  Or you can put it in your computer (or CD/DVD player) and simply enjoy a slideshow of each and every year. There are seven discs included in the package. Each disc contains one-half of a year (six issues) in order. This comes to about 4400 pages total.

Hereís how to work the discs: Pop a disc in your computer and open it. An icon saying PICTURES will appear. Left click it.

Another icon will appear naming the disc (ex: DIRT BIKE 2nd HALF 1974). Left click it. This will bring up a bunch of dates/icons. Left click on the first one.

This will open up Picasa 3 and the first page of the magazine. Go to the bottom of the photo with your cursor and this will reveal the tool bar for Picasa 3. Itís self explanatory. You can make the page bigger or smaller, rotate the page, edit the page in Picasa, advance to the next page, make a slideshow out of the magazine by clicking the arrow in the middle, or simply print the page out by going to the down arrow (far right), click it and follow the directions.

The seven disc set costs $70 plus $5 for priority mail.  So get your very own piece of history.   go the STORE for  details.

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