Donít Ask: Off-Road Dirt Bike Tech Questions

May. 31, 2011 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 Ö Iíll leave your e-mail unedited, for what itís worth.

Have a dirt bike questions for Rick "Super Hunky" Sieman? Send an e-mail with your name, vehicle year, model and a detailed description of the problem to Don't Ask at editor@off-road.com. Donít forget to be as complete as possible with the description of your bike and its problems.
                                              

Previous Donít Ask Columns:

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

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SUBJECT:  BULTACO FAN IN SEARCH OF PARTS
I love the Bultaco motorcycles and have a 1979 Alpina and want them to be produced again. I need a motor for my 350 Alpina 1979
Anonymous


 
Luckily for you, Bultaco used the same bottom end for many motorcycles and only changed the barrel to fit the need of the bike. You can probably locate a number of Alpina or even Matador motors that will bolt right in your chassis. A great place to find vintage parts is Marks vintage motorcycle swap meet. Do a little search and you should be able find the .com that you need. It also doesn't cost anything to run an ad asking for a part. Craiglist is worth a shot.
 
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SUBJECT: PROJECT 2-4, INSTALLING A TWO STROKE MOTOR IN A FOUR STROKE CHASSIS
Rick,
This is a real nice project you got going. I can't wait to see it completed.
Dave

Actually Dave, we have already completed the project bike, but are holding the readers of off-road.com in suspense and literally forcing them to read all the parts up until the conclusion. It looks like you're one of the hostages.

Project 2-4, Part 5

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SUBJECT: KDX 200 VERSUS KLX 300 SWAP
I have a 1999 Kawasaki KDX200 and I want to do a fork swap. Would a 2001 KLX300 fork, triple clamp and all other front-end components bolt right on? If not, what mods might I need to do?
Thanks
Ken
 

Why in the world would you even consider putting KLX forks on a KDX 200 front end? The KDX forks are little bit soft in stock trim, that's true, but the fork action itself is excellent. You could make the forks work exactly as you want with a slightly heavier spring, or heavier fork oil. I've never been impressed with a KLX forks. The steering stem from the KLX triple clamps will fit right in the steering head of the KDX, but why bother? Just do a little tuning on your KDX and you'll be a happy camper. I should know, as I have a 1990 and a 1997 KDX in my garage.
 
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SUBJECT: SUZUKI-TC100L-BLAZER-VINTAGE-DIRT-BIKE
hey do you know what type and how much tranny fluid or oil to put down in the bottom gearbox
Nick

First off, it's Mr. Hey to you. Fortunately for you, I have to have one of my many manuals handy and looked up the actual numbers for your pathetic little bike. It takes exactly 1.5 pints, or 700ccs, of transmission oil.
 
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SUBJECT: REGISTERING A DIRT BIKE
i bought a yamaha enduro with no ownership i think it is a 72 at1 125 could you help trying to register bike the vin on frame and engine is AT1-173469 thanks
bob bauer

Wow, you asked one hell of a question. Every state varies in the rules and regulations on registering a dirt bike. Some states are very easy, and you can actually get a dirt bike registered as a street bike just by putting some sort of a little dinky headlight, taillight and mirror in place, like Oregon.

Other states, like Arizona, demand that you do a title search to see if the bike is stolen, and if you don't have any sort of a title, you may have to go through a bond process that could cost $150 to $200 and Lord knows how much time wasted. Some states require only a bill of sale, and if the bike is quite old, they'll issue a title. Your best bet is to go to your local Department of Motor Vehicles and ask what they require for your particular bike. Make sure you have the frame number, located on the steering head, the engine number stamped on the cases, and some sort of a bill of sale. When you get done with the process, please drop us an e-mail and let us know what it was like in your state so we can share it with concerned with readers.
 
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SUBJECT: WHERE TO GET DIRT BIKE INFORMATION
About 6 months ago I found a cross reference chart for every Honda CR dirt bike. I think there were some other manufacturers aw well. My computer contracted a virus and I lost the line. Do you folks know of such a site and chart?
Thank you,
Good article
Dyno Doug
Doug Haus

A good solid bet would be www.bikebandit.com. Or you can even access on Hondaís site directly and they'll have a whole lot of information on various models that you can find.
 
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SUBJECT: VINTAGE-1968-HONDA-MINITRAIL-PICTORIAL
LOOKING FOR A HONDA 50 OR 70  CONTACT ME AT THIS E MAIL
ray sitkowski
Note: no e-mail left ...
 

Very rarely do we put someone's e-mail address on our site. It could lead to all kinds of nutcase or crank e-mails. However, in your case, the e-mails might be a perfect fit, and that you didn't even include an e-mail address in your missive. Rather than give you more of a hard time, your best bet would be to put a free Wanted Ad in Marks vintage motorcycle swap meet. They specialize in pre-1985 dirt bikes and have a great following.
 
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SUBJECT: ANOTHER DIRT BIKE SEARCHING FOR A TITLE
can  then teachyou tell me if i can get a title for a 1980 yz 465 with only a bill of sale and if so how
Jason

A few e-mails earlier, we had someone with a similar question. I suggest you back up a bit and read that particular missive.
 
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SUBJECT: WHAT IN THE WORLD IS A YAMAHA EVO?
hi there i was woundering if you could tel me when the yamaha evo was made and when they stopped making them thanks
natalie george
 
You had us scratching our head in the search for an actual model called a Yamaha Evo. There are any number of products on the market called Evo that can be used on various model Yamaha's, such as exhaust pipes, decal kits and so forth. But there is virtually no model itself called a Yamaha Evo. By the way, when you get done with your search for Evo, consider spending some time learning how to capitalize and spell and punctuate. As it stands right now, your writing skills are on the same level as a poodle.
 
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SUBJECT: SLUGGISH KTM 125
i just got a 1994 KTM 125, 2 stroke dirt bike. it has a recent rebuilt top end, new reeds,i cleaned the carbs jets and all of the carbs internals. The bike is having problems accelerating from (about) mid throttle to full throttle, the idle seems to be ok. it dose this in 1-3 gear 4-5 gear are not as bad at revving out but it acts kinda sluggish. what is causing this problem? is it the power valve or maybe the carb??
thanks
jerem
 
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but your bike is 17 years old and might just be worn out. The first thing you want to do is have a shop do a compression check and see if the top end is worn beyond proper specs. From everything you've told me, it does indeed sound like you've got some tired parts there.
 
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SUBJECT: HONDA CRF 230 SHOCK OIL
what is the stock shock fluid wt for the crf 230
jibber jabber
 

 
After spending a considerable amount of time wading through the actual factory workshop manual, you can find that there is no specified oil for the shock. The reason is quite simple: the shock is not re-buildable. In fact in the manual, there's a photo showing how you could drill a hole in the shock to let the gas out. Quite frankly, the shock that Honda put on that motorcycle is an embarrassment to the company. Itís trash, straight and simple.

However, if you really meant fork oil instead of shock oil, we could tell you that 12.9 ounces does the trick in the front and in each fork leg. The weight of the oil will depend on how much you weigh. My suggestion would be to start with 10 weight oil. However, the forks on that bike are in the same category as the shock: they are outrageous trash and nothing you could do to them makes it work. We did a whole series on our project CRF 230 on how to replace the forks. Read it and learn.
 
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SUBJECT: DT 175 AND TS 185 QUESTIONS
Hello,
I saw your article about vintage dirt bikes and had a few questions.
Is the Yamaha DT 175, (the 83 model) dirt bike a good bike and what is it worth?
I have the same questions about a 1976 Suzuki TS 185.
If these aren't good bikes, do you have any suggestions?
Also where can I find parts for these kind of bikes?
Thank you.


 
The '76 TS 185 was an odd handling peaky piston-port motorcycle with the styling of a juke box. If you can get an '83 DT175 that means youíre in a foreign country and should get the Yamaha, since Yamaha quit importing two-stroke enduros around 1978-79.
 
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SUBJECT: FEEDBACK FROM A FAN
Howdy, Mr. Sieman
 
I almost reached for a paper bag to breathe into before I discovered my prized, vintage From The Saddle stories archived between the pages of a few old Dirt Bike issues. Decades ago, when I moved to California from the midwest such as yourself, I reluctantly narrowed the travel library down to my favorite issues and articles. Moments ago, I was compelled to extract them and relive the escape I once felt before I followed my dirt bike dream.

I saw one of your ads on the VintageMX website for "any questions, or to just bench race." I thought it was about time to thank you for years of entertainment. My favorites include It may be just a garage to you, but it's home to me,  Long live rat bikes - unfortunately, and my favorite Perfection - and a little bit more.

So, without taking more of your time on a point you likely often hear, thanks. From myself and a friend in Washington state who insisted to be heard as well.
Brian Platte
 
Thanks for the kind words. Those stories were written for guys like you.

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SHAMELESS PLUG

SUPER HUNKY T-SHIRTS
They're finally here. Brad Lackey printed up a bunch of Super Hunky T-shirts and they're available now. Sizes are M - L - XL and XXL. If you don't know what those letters mean, you're too stupid to have one of these Collector's Items. White shirts only (so far) and the cost is $20, including postage in the US. Contact Rick for any questions, or to just bench race.  Email: superhunky@gmailcom
(photo t-shirt here)

SUPER HUNKY SWEAT SHIRTS
Sweat-shirts are available now. Sizes are XL and XXL only. If you dont know what those letters mean, you're too stupid to have one of these collector's Items. Shirts are white, with two-colors, the logo in blue and the image in black. They're heavy duty with a crew neck and the quality is high, as it should be, because Brad Lackey made them. Cost is $30, including postage in the US. Contact Rick for any questions.  http://www.superhunky.com/
(photo sweat shirt here)

Have a dirt bike questions for Rick "Super Hunky" Sieman? Send an e-mail with your name, vehicle year, model and a detailed description of the problem to Don't Ask at editor@off-road.com. Donít forget to be as complete as possible with the description of your bike and its problems.

Previous Donít Ask Columns:

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

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