Don't Ask Returns: Superhunky Answers Reader Questions

Mar. 08, 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 would like to upgrade my forks on my TTR230 (2005) I found a set of forks from a yz 125 (99-03) - what I want to know is about the spacer? does it need to be welded on or not? I would like to do this asap.
Michele Godfrey
Whittier, CA

We did the entire project series on the TTR 230. And one of the articles addressed installing  newer forks on the bike and some welding is required on the actual steering head. Refer to the project series for details here.


I have a 2001 YZ125 Yamaha Pro Circuit Exhaust Platinum dirtbike. What jet kit do I use for it?
Bristol, PA

Well now. You have a Pro Circuit exhaust pipe and need jetting for it? Have you ever considered contacting Pro Circuit? After all, they are the ones who designed the pipe and know what jetting works best with it. I realize that this information is quite simple and factual, but guess what? It works.


Hello, do you know if a 1987 yz 490 motor will fit into an 82' or 83' frame? Thank you
Kawasaki Guy
Lake Arrowhead, CA

Why in the pluperfect hell would you take a horrible motor and install it in a terrible frame?  Face it. The Yamaha 490 was a horrible bike and there's not much you can do to make it better, except take the cylinder out and make a planter out of the bottom and. That way it serves a function and can't hurt anyone.


I got the same glitch with my 85 honda CR 250R, I got the thing 4 months ago, it was running fine a little rich, needed blown out, had the carb, and power valve cleaned and overall degrease, mixed some yamalube 2S, 32/1, kid that had bike was using johnson outboard oil,yuccccch, I couldnt believe it, sheesh, so anyway i mixed some yamalube 2S and then i started it it ran ok, but then the temp went down, I didnt touch the carb or anything else, but now it plays like its weting plug,and then not getting fuel, I used the 32/1 all up and the rest of it is sitting in the bottom of tank, maybe its old gas, Maybe i should run it at 40/1 rather than 32/1? with this Yamalube synthetic? and drain it and make some fresh batch, I dont know?
Kirk C,
Alton, KS

If you would quit screwing around with premix ratios and settle on 32:l using Yamalube R, things would work out quite well for you. Use standard pump 91 or 92 octane gasoline and keep the gas fairly fresh, and you should not have any problems whatsoever. Putting all these different oils in your motors is asking for trouble. It does sound, however, like your Honda is running a bit rich in the jetting. Drain all the old gas out and put in fresh gas and a new plug while you're at it, and take a plug reading. If the plug is tanned in color, it’s fine. If it's black, or looks a bit wet, then you are more than likely jetted too rich.


Do you have have information on the 125 motocross bikes? I'm trying to determiine the lineage of the production 125 mx bikes. I think they were first manufactured in 1967 as the 125MC. Can you tell me if they made a GP and when the AW's were first in production? Thanks, Bill
Chicago, IL

The first 125 Maicos were brought in to the US in 1972, though the factory made a 1971 as well.  The last year they were made was 1978.  Even though the bikes were very fast, they didn’t work well on an MX track as they had utterly no low end and were all revs.  The motor was more suited to road racing than motocross.  Only a handful of the 125s were sold in the US.


I followed your instructions for key removal and connected the remaining red and black wires. I then yanked the key out but now my bike will not start. Is there anything that coul've pulled loose that i may have pulled?
Kevin M
Brainerd, MN

Are you nuts? You send an e-mail on which wires to disable, and you don't even tell me what kind of bike, what year, or what model you have? It appears, sir,  that you could bring down an entire power grid with a spare half hour on your hands just by pulling wires. Now go away.


My son brought home a Suzuki TM400. Just the motor. It doesn't seem to have oil injection. It has 2 spark plugs and two coils under the magneto cover. We cleaned the magnets and have voltage on 2 of the 3 leads.Can someone please tell where these go and create the spark for starting?
Altha, FL

Astonishing! Your kid just brought home one of the worst motors ever made from one of the worst bikes ever made, and you want to make it run? It may not have oil an injection unit in it now, because it may have been taken out by the previous owner who ran premix. Unless you plan on restoring the TM 400 Cyclone, my recommendation to you would be to get rid of the bike as soon as possible, and if you can't sell it, then bury it in a landfill nice and deep and far away from civilization.


I have a 1997 rm 125 (Suzuki dirtbike) with a chip in the cylinder wall. I am going to replace it and my friend has a cylinder from a 1990 rm 125. It looks like it would bolt up and i checked the piston stroke, there both the same(54x54.5=bore x stroke) if it matters. The only difference i noticed when i looked at his cylinder was that the power valve cover was shaped differently, but other than that the cylinder looks the same. So what i was wondering is if it would bolt on? Would the coolant holes line up with my 1997 lower end? And would my powervalve internals from my 1997 work and fit in the 1990 cylinder? thank you, Brennan
Haiku, HI

Of course, the stroke is critical. If you had a longer stroke, for example, the piston would hit the head. The shape of the power valve is not critical, but what is critical is that the coolant holes line up. By simply measuring the barrel against the base should give you the answer. The power valve internals from the 97 had different specs, but should be okay.


Super Hunky,  
I am new here and recently traded a 4 wheeler for a 1982 KDX175. She runs great but looks rough. The previous owner put a 420 tank on it. It is obviously too big and makes the front of the seat sit high. I know that Clarke has a tank I can buy and make mods for it to fit. I have been searching E-Bay, etc. and I see a lot of KDX200 tanks. Will a KDX80, 125 or 200 seat work to get my seat sitting right? Thank you O' Great One.
Richardson, TX

Actually, the KX 175 is a great bike. You can put any KX 200 tank on the bike with no real problem. Forget about the 80 or the 125 stuff fitting.


I have purchased a 1996 kawasaki klx 650 and all the electronics has been ripped off the bike just wondering if you could let me know what wires go to the coil to give me spark there is a red wire a white wire and the rest are yellow and hopefully she will go it is just so we have a spare bike if someone wants to go for a ride
Shane Harrison

Since I don't have a KLX 650 manual in front of me, I would just take one wire at a time to make contact, and then actuate the kick starter until you see a spark. That will give you what you need.


Hi, rick,
I remeber you from the first year of dirt bike magazine. Been awhile. Old school for us. My question is concerning the 230f fork swap. Could you please tell me all the years on the cr forks will work. Such as the newer cr models. I found some info for 94-06 125's but what years can I use for 250's. Basically what years of any of the cr forks can I look for on e-bay? thank you for your time and I hope this isn't too redundentor repetitive of a question. Best of luck to you.
David Voytik
Bogart, Ga


We did a comprehensive series of articles on the Honda CRF 230 showing step at a time procedures for installing normal forks and upside down forks. We found that just about any one the CR forks will work, but there would be some welding required on the steering head to make it a bit longer. Refer to the project articles complete details. Also, for what it's worth, we found that the KYB forks had a better action than the Showa forks.




i have a 05 yz125 it has oil coming out of the over flow tube
Zanseville, OH

Just about the only place that you can have oil blow out of a Yamaha 125, is the trans. And there are only two reasons oil will come out. If you have too much oil in there in the first place, or you have a bad seal letting pressure from the lower end get to the transmission and it literally blows the oil out. You can check the first option by putting in the proper amount of oil recommended in your manual. Then if it still blows out, chances are the seal is leaking.


I aquired a TY250 registered as a 1972, but I know it is a 1974 Trials bike. Where can I find a nine digit VIN chart that will prove what year the bike is so I can register it to the proper year. Thanks Note; I also aquired a 1977 I would like to validate the VIN number on.
Lake Havasu City, AZ


You can find the number you’re looking for on the steering head of the bike.  It’s either stamped on there, or a metal plate is riveted to the head.  Here are all the TY Yamahas made.

Yamaha TY250  
1974 Yamaha TY250  
1974 Yamaha TY250A  
1977 Yamaha TY250  
1978 Yamaha TY250C  
1979 Yamaha TY250  
1985 Yamaha TY250


i have a 2008 crf230f and i blew the seals in my front shock. i weigh about 225 and i was wondering what i could do to my bike to make it better for both jumping and speed.
thank you!
brandon maguire
Newark, DE

You’ve got to face facts, Brandon. The forks on any CRF230F are pure trash. The only way you're going to make the bike handle jumps of any size whatsoever is to do a fork swap with a more modern fork.  We did an entire series of project bike articles on how to improve the 230.  There we devoted a large number of articles step at a time on how to install good forks. Go to and click on project bikes. In there you'll find all the information needed to make your bike work properly. If you're too lazy to read and search these articles, then you're doomed to ride a truly wretched suspended bike.


Gday Rick
Question about my YZF 426 Im having a drama with 4th gear 1-3 is fine and 5th fine but in 4th the bike shudders and feels like its staving for fuel. Once I change out of 4th it goes back to normal. I have serviced the bike changed the plug, oil and filters cleaned the carby but cant think what else it could be any suggestions.

Instead of worrying about fuel starvation, you ought to consider the fact that the new four strokes (your bike is one of them) are just simply wearing out. My guess is that your valves have pretty much had it and the top end is ready for a rebuild. Plan on about $3000.


I got me a Harley Topper and want to do some Killer wheelies. Can I bore out the power band for more horse power? I'm looking to get about 45 rear wheel horses. All I got is $5. (sorry, Rick, I'm just bored here at work and miss my "Don't Ask") Also, will a Bultaco piston fit in my Taco mini bike? I figure it should, both being Taco-like. I may as well work on something. Later.
David Fruhling
Gold Hill, OR

Dave, you’ve got to stop drinking a case of beer before you e-mail me anymore. For a moment or two, I thought this was an actual e-mail from an actual reader. But no, it's good old Dave having fun once more.


Completely agree that most off-road cycles are not raced, merely ridden for fun. That said, how difficult would it be to engineer a reasonablyl powered air-cooled cyclinder/head conversion for when the modern unobtainium engines melt down.
Dallas, TX

It could be done, but who's going to pay the outrageous amount of money needed for the conversion, when the new four strokes cost about $9000 for starters.


this is my first bike. i have a two fifty two stroke and sometimes after i have been riding for a half hour then i get to second gear and try to go to third and it wont let me. each time i go down a gear i cant go back up and i have to let it sit for a while. what could that be from? and also now i cant get it started. i put a new spark plug in it and checked many other stuff and i cant find out why it wont start.
christian conaway
E. Helena, MT

The next time you write an e-mail, consider telling us the kind of bike you have, rather than have me just guess wildly. Two things come to mind: the dogs are rounded on the back of the gears and the clutch is going away.  Or possibly a combination of the two.


hey i have a 1980 Honda XL80s dirt bike that doesn't want to rev up has limited power give it any more than half throttle it stutters at any rpm it likes mid revs only revs hi in first, the weird thing is it starts up perfectly and idles good first or second kick. doesn't run hot Carbs perfectly clean i have 2 main jets one that came with it is bigger the other is smaller it sputters less with the small one and but the other ones stock. iv rebuilt the engine lapped valves adjusted valve lash bought new gaskets points and condenser spark plug NGK R points are set correctly to corresponding f mark on the magneto flywheel engine timing marks are set correctly iv taken it apart 3 times now i need some good help for the next time thanks
Ontario, CANADA

First off, the Honda 80 doesn't have much power to start with. Anything more than a very modest hill would be considered a major obstacle. My first thoughts are that you have crud somewhere in your fuel supply, or the bike is jetted completely wrong. Take it from there.


me and my friend would like to get in to motorcross racing we both have a motor bike 125 and a 110 pit bike's and we would like further information about upcuming racing avents and also prizes for the races thank you.

First of all, you should learn the difference with the difference between motocross and motorcross. There is no such thing as motorcross. The fact that you have a pit bike should bar you from any track in existence. When you first start racing, you're in the beginner or the novice class and there is no prize money other than a trophy. I suspect you have a very long and very hard learning curve ahead of you.


Hello there,
I have a 1973 Yamaha MX 250 that I have had running for about a year. It was running strong until my son decided to clean it for me, using an entire bottle of engine degreaser around the engine, cdi, etc. Anyway, I have no spark now and have a used, replacement CDI and ignition coil on order. I took off the outisde cover where the magneto and stator are located and the area was clean, but the coil pulser and coils were covered with what looked like dripped on wax. I have been away from MC's and their parts for about 25 years and took it up again when my son, (the genius with the degreaser), took a strong interest in it. I don't remember seeing this "wax" before, but somehow it looks like if is there for a reason. Anyway, should I be looking into this "wax" stuff, possibly obscuring the pickup/trigger coil, or would it be more sensible to think the CDI was fried. Everything else in the magneto/stator area looked clean and dry. Thanks for your time.
El Paso, TX

There are any number of connections in the electrical circuit on any motocross bike. An older bike tends to get corrosion on these connections with age. Water cleaning and degreasers will only worsen the problem. What you have to do is take everything apart one connection at a time and carefully clean every connection with a fine sandpaper and contact cleaner, then put it all back together. Then at this point, your bike should run.


hello im not a dirtbike expert this 1984 yz 125 cannot idle at all is there anyway i could fix that? or just give up on it?
Dekalb, MS

Most two stroke motocross bikes are not set up to idle. If you want it to idle, you can make a small adjustment in the throttle cable. And I mean small.  Apparently, you have given up on mastering the English language.


I have a01 rm125 that when I shift into 2nd gear and hit the gas it pops into neutral
Huntington, IN

Your Suzuki 125 probably has worn gears or rounded dogs on the back of the gears. This would prevent a clean engagement of the next gear and make it pop or jump into neutral, or another gear.  Time to take the cover off and check the gearbox.


What will it do if you just mix around a half gallon of alcohol thats used for my friends drag car with like 5 gallons of my 93oct in tank gas of my car? I have heard you can do it to clean out your fuel system and carbon build-up and stuff like that. Is it safe to be doing? I mix it up like that at times.
Summerville, GA

One of the biggest myths around is that more octane makes more horsepower. That is pure bull. You only need enough octane to where the bike does not detonate or ping under a heavy load.  91 or 92 octane gasoline works just fine. If you choose to put alcohol in your fuel, you'll have to drastically reject the carburetor to keep things from going haywire. Don't forget, the alcohol is an oxygen carrier.


How do i go about cleaning my carb on my kx 250f? how do i check to see if anythings wrong with it?
Dalton, GA

We did a comprehensive article in on how to clean a carb. I don't care what is carb you have, the information in the article covers just about anything. Do a search and read it.


I recently purchased a KX250 1991. I filled the rad to where it supposed to be acording to the manual but once the engine warms up it seem the antifreeze leaks out of the overflow. I replaced the rad cap but have the same issue. Is my head gasket gone?
Kamloops, CANADA

You've called it. When the head gasket is leaking the least little bit, pressure builds up in the coolant and it forces its way out of the radiator cap. Time to take that head off and check things out.


Hey Rick,
I need a bit of direction. Many years ago I happen to acquire a complete basket case 81 Maico-490 as a partial trade for a slew of vintage McCulloch kart racing parts. As a kid back in the early 80's I raced motocross quite competitively here in TX. So when this bike came into my possession I recognized right away what its potential value could be. Unfortunately it has all the usual suspect 490 problems. The kick-starter shaft is toast and the previous owner had simply welded the kicker to the shaft, which in turn cooked the seal causing a hemorrhage of vital fluids. That's when he decided to completely disassemble the engine down to the last bolt. Fortunately every part is in the box but the remaining chassis and plastic sat behind his shop for the next 9 years to rust and rot away.

I have found a source for the plastics and a new seat foam and pan but with the economy and EPA trying to kill our beloved sport most of the Maico parts suppliers I once got quotes from several years ago when I began this project, have gone the way of the dinosaur. Do you have any suggestions of who to go to first?

Also what color of red do you suggest I use to repaint the frame and swinger? Also in my stable is a pristine period correct DG race tuned 1979 CR250R with Fox Air's in the back and Simons forks up front. I bought it from the original owner who raced it for one season back in 1979 then put it away in his storage when his new 1980 bike arrived. Over the years he had sold off most of his collection but I believe this was the real gem of his 9 year semi-Pro career. I ridden it a few times out at the track and other than the total lack of reliable brakes, it's damn fast with explosive on the pipe power! Thanks for your expertise and many years of knowledge.

By the way I still have the DB issue where you did the write up on the 100MPH Maico 490 back in 1981.
Port Lavaca, TX


Contact RAGE RACING for the correct Maico color.  It’s referred to as simply Maico Red.  The source: 
Rage Racing

2709 N. 24th Place
Phoenix, AZ 85008
Contact: Lynn Shoup
602-470-2761 phone, Order by phone by calling (602) 957-7150
602-470-4747 fax

For a correct Honda color try Tahitian Red.


We bought a used 1998 KTM 50 mini adventure for my daughter's first dirt bike. I am wondering what causes hesitation? It seems to hesitate going up hills and when it is in mud. I hope that you can answer this question for me.
Winlock, WA

You have to remember that the bike is only a 50 and the hills and mud will make it bog down. However, if it seems to be a problem that goes beyond a lack of power, then take the bowl off the carburetor and check for crud in the gasoline. If that's the problem, mud or water will get sucked up in the main jet and caused a momentary hesitation. Give it a try.


I have a 1992 Suzuki RMX 250. When I fire it up after it's been sitting for about a week or so, the motor screams like the throttle is cranked but it isn't. It idles at high RPM like this for about 20 seconds then gradually starts to decrease as it warms up. I cleaned the bowl, checked the needle & seat, petcock, fuel line etc. and it doesn't seem to be starving for fuel. Also i think it is jetted to rich because it smokes excessively before warming up, and it fowls plugs every 2 or 3 rides. If you know why this would happen please let me know... also i have an FMF exhaust what size jets should be in it??
Erik W
Warminster, PA

If  the motor screams when you fire it up, chances are you have an air leak somewhere in the system. Figure the intake manifold, check for leaks in the carb and also consider the base gasket on the barrel. If you have an FMF pipe, then for God's sake call FMF for what jets should be run in their pipe.


I have a 1980 YZ 50 G it starts and idles good but as soon as I give it gas it bogs and dies. What could be wrong?
Edmonton, CANADA

You probably have some good old-fashioned Canadian dirt in your float bowl. As soon as you give it gas, the dirt is sucked up into the main jet, causing the engine to die. You certainly should have known this.


Hi rick,
Sorry to bore you with this, but I'm trying to rebuild two honda cr 125s, a 79 and an 80, and for reasons unknown, I can't find out what kind of red paint I need for the frames and engines. Yep, it's as dumb as that. No Honda dealer, website forum, AA meeting "feel good" group I've contacted has been able to render a legit answer. Any Idea of the paint codes, or what paint manufacturer would have what I'm looking for. BTW- thanks for the useful help with my previous Maico questions.
Cheers, tim in New Hampshire
tim Augustinowicz
Unity, NH

The correct paint for a Honda is Tahitian Red.


We have bought our son a 1982-1983 yz60. What would be the recommended brand of oil and ratio for the bottem end.

For many years I have run Yamalube R at 32 to 1 ratio with great success. I would expect no less for your  YZ60.


I have a 1975 250 Maico that I use to race and want to bring it back to life. However, I can't find my original shop /tuning book and wonder if anyone rememmbers how to adjust the timing and how far the piston should be from TDC to set the timing. I remember setting the timing with a dial gage located in the sparkplug hole. It worked great but I do not remember what the setting is and what the point gap shpuld be. Any help will be appreciated.
Thanks, Ron
ron smith
Cleveland, OH

For years, I always set the timing at 2.5 to 3.0mm BTFC.  The point gap should be 15 thou.


I have a 1973 450 husky desert master. You speak poorly of the 1974 version how does the 1973 version compare? I love my 73 I ride it alot I recently raced a guy who thaught he was hot stuff and smoked him, he was shocked, he was on a not so old elsinore.
David Byerly
Hillsboro, OR

While you may love your Husky Desert Master a great deal, I thought it was a giant step backwards for Husky.  It's a big heavy bike that burned your left leg and doesn't turn at all. It’s possible that your friend on the Elsinore is simply a slow rider.


I have a 1972 Rickman 250 on a long staight away I get head shake.Is there a way to correst this condition besides buying a different bike?
Strongsville, OH

You didn't mention what kind of power plant you had in the Rickman 250, but you can make the bike track straighter by stretching the forks in the triple clamps to the maximum, or backing off preload in the shocks. Doing one or the other, or possibly both, should solve your problem.


i bought a bike and i assume it is an IT 175.. i am not sure though, i call around the dealers for help identifying the bike and they say there isn't enough digits in the vin... i am not blind, i just think they dont know what they are doin... so here is my vin can you please help me identify the year so i can purchase a throttle cable: 3R6-001886. i checked both on the forks and on the engine, both match up..
Thank you
Gardnerville, NV

Your bike is a 1980 IT175 G model and you should have no problems finding parts for it.


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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