Donít Ask: Super Hunky Answers Questions in Monthly Column

Jan. 02, 2015 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.

Send your questions to editor@off-road.com, Attn: Don't Ask.


Previous Donít Ask Columns:
December 2014

November 2014

October 2014


SUBJECT: IN SEARCH OF THE ELUSIVE POWER BAND

This ought to take you back a few years, Rick.

I'm on this YouTube video site where I'm "chatting" with these "YouTube Mechanical Engineering Experts" about "torque" and "horsepower.Ē

One "kid" (I call 'em "kids" when they're stupid) tells me a dyno measures horsepower. I try to tell these kids that "horsepower is actually a mathematical calculation derived from (the) torque reading."

This one kid today said, and I quote the exact grammar: ďyou sir are a complete tool. Dynos measure both torque and hp. They also can determine where your power-ban is. Obvious troll is obvious."
 
Well, I, as a fan of "Mister Know-it-All" responded with good: "Where exactly is the 'power-ban'?" and "Is it located down near the clutch?" and "Is there a tool to adjust said power-ban?" and good stuff like that. I said, "Maybe you meant 'powerband'."
I usually end my severe mockings with "You should have known."
 
I tell these kids that "troll is a made-up definition of an already existing word that's used exclusively by the 8 to 16 year old mindset. Anyone older who uses the 'troll' word has obvious mild mental problems."

Dave
 
Thereís a whole generation of kids who would benefit from the straight talk of Mister K.
 
                                                      ***
 

SUBJECT:  HE SURVIVED MR K
Dear Mr. Sieman:

Just found a kawa greenstreak review with your name attached. I wanted to thank you for all the years spent at Dirt Bike mag and all the great reviews, stories and articles. I still have a lot of those mags from the golden years of moto x and trail riding, your humor and expertise were legendary among the dirt riding community in upstate NY. I even wrote a request to Mister Know-it-all and was properly put in my place by the afore-mentioned prevaricator of persnickety puns.  Thanks again!!
 
The Berm Buster
Richard Maines
Kill Devil Hills, NC
 
Mr. Know It All is still alive and well and just as nasty as ever. All the stuff that I learned throughout the years was from the riders I was riding with.  My thanks should go out to you.
 
                                           ***
 
SUBJECT: YAMAHA VINTAGE DIRT BIKE I.D. GUIDE
I have a Yamaha Mx 100 serial number #t0-068781 just wondering the year
                                      

First of all, your number is 3T0 not t0. Your bike is a 1980 MX100G.
 
 
                                              ***

SUBJECT:  MORE YAMAHA STUFF
I've got an old Yamaha vin # 1M2-002370... Can't look up or find info on this model anywhere???
 
You have a 1977 DT400D. The engine numbers start with 1M2-000101.
 
                                                    ***
 
SUBJECT:  HIGH ALTITUDE JETTNG
I'll be running at 6,000 to 9,000 ft above sea level, should I still change the jetting after removing the intake and exhaust baffles? Carbs run pretty rich at that altitude.
ARG
 
Absolutely. Even though you didnít tell me what kind of bike you have, chances are that the carburetion will have to be leaned out substantially even though you are removing the baffles from the intake and the exhaust.
 
                                          ***
 
SUBJECT:  PRICING A YAMAHA MX 360
I have a 1972 yamaha MX 360 that is all original and runs perfect . I`m thinking of selling it because it`s to much for me now . hahah It`s all race and ready to go . What kind of number would that be in ? Anyone know ?
KB
 
 
Everything depends on the condition of the bike. I saw fully restored MX 360s going for almost $5000. At the same time, I saw decent looking MX 360s for $2500-$2700. All things considered, the average Ė and I mean really average Ė 360 will go for about $1500 to $1700. Of course, the better the bike looks the more it will go for.
 
                                                        ***
 
SUBJECT: LOWBUCKS FAN
I love these Lowbucks projects - I need to put that Suzuki back together
Gilesmdavis
 
Our Project Lowbucks series is very popular. And why not? Weíre trying to buy a bike for real cheap and make it into a decent bike for not much money. If youíre on a budget, then this is for you.
 
                                                ***
 
SUBJECT:  YEP, STILL ALIVE
Gawd, I didn't know you were still around!!!
I love reading you and can't remember how I lost you several years ago. It was sometime just after I bought "Monkey Butt." I just stumbled on to an article you did about the Persangs and a link to your site and had to drop a note.

Living in the Promised Land now, eh? I moved to Phoenix 10 years ago from San Diego and love it here. I don't have anything as spiffy as a '59 Triumph (anymore) but I just got an old street bike ('81 XV920rh) up and running and am still working on my trusty, old, all original '76 TT 500. It needed rings and a valve touch up about 15 years ago...I'll get it done....real soon now....

By the way, what year(s) did the Euro street bikes switch to the left hand shift? I know it happened during my avid biking years because I about broke my toe off a few times up-shifting with the brake pedal on a Clews CCM (I'm proud to say).

I was at Bike Nite in Glendale last Thursday and saw a Royal Enfield with a left hand shift lever. I thought they stopped making Enfields before the left hand shift happened. And, there was a guy with a sidecar'd 2010 Ural  there. 2010 Ural ???? Now I'm waiting for a 2014 Henderson to show up...
JohnF

Most of the European bikes made the shift to the left hand side by Ď73 or Ď74. A few diehards try to hang in there and reduced sales put them out of business.
 
                                                ***
 
 
SUBJECT: SHARING MISERY
Rick-
 
Thought I'd share some misery with you again:
 
One of the most amusing things about vintage motorcycling is the effect it has on ones memory. If I've read one story about the famed and feared TM 400 and how horrible it was, I've read a thousand of them.
 
Don't sit there shaking your head in disagreement as if you've never lusted after a sweet, old SC 500 that probably crippled your best friend. Old bikes are like ex wives - you remember the good and forget the bad, no matter how truly awful, wretched and evil they may have been. You're like ďWell hell, she did cheat on me 44 times with the guy running the local gas station and was later convicted of marching band slaughter, but damn, could she make great meatloaf!"
 
I'll get my confession outta the way right now, before you start calling me a hypocrite. I'm a trials fanatic. Always have been. Oh sure, I dabbled in motocross and had some really fine bikes over the years, but let's face facts: I suck. I'm slow, terrified of jumps, and generally hate the way I had to sit around all day waiting to ride a pitiful 6 lap moto in the Forest Gump class - 250 b,c,d or whatever the hell they offered to guys like me. My particular lapse came in the form of Honda's wonderful, at least that's what the ads called it, TL250. Hell's fire boys, just like Marland Whaley's..... Well, almost.
 
I owned one back in the day because it was cheap, available, and easy to get parts for. Sure, I wanted a Bultaco like any other sane person would, but parts weren't exactly stocked down the street. We did have a Honda shop nearby, so knowing the bike's shortcomings and ignoring them, I took the plunge and bought one used. I figured anything would be a major step up from my TL125 and I was pretty much wrong. That TL 250 didn't do much well at all except run quietly.
 
My first outing was less than memorable as we descended deep into the southern Indiana woods on a hot, muggy July day. My riding buddy Darryl, always the smarter one, grabbed up a local TY250 from some local kid for a pittance and immediately bought some real honest to God trials tires - Pirellis, and proceeded to whip the living shit out of me everywhere except the parking lot where we started out. I watched in disbelief as he maneuvered down the snot slickened rocks in the creek before executing a perfect climb up a local incline called Grease Hill.
 
Grease had the reputation of being super slippery, even in the driest conditions. The only way I had ever climbed it before was on an enduro bike, and that was with a big run where momentum could make up for my lack of skill and finesse. But this time I thought it would be different. After all, I was on a trials bike and all Iíd have to do is tweak that throttle and use body english. Yes, Iíd show that little bastard on that rinky dink TY what 4 stroke power was all about. Yeah, right...
 
After fighting the heavy Honda over rocks that would be at home in a residential driveway, I turned the bars left to follow my friend up the incline. As I turned I gave the gas a blip and held on for the ride. To my utter dismay, surprise, or whatever the hell you want to call it, the pig Honda simply lurched forward and went straight ahead. The horrible even-when- new Nitto trials tire skidded on the moss covered rocks and down I went. Never was I so pissed off as my friend made the hill look so easy, and when he came down the smirk that I thought he displayed sent me into rage. The rest of the day was one incident after another and all I could think about was my little 125. It was underpowered, but a hell of a lot more fun than the 250.
 
It wasn't long before my friend Darryl moved up to an older Sherpa T. His TY ended up in my shed and the porker TL sat gathering dust. Years later some fool bought it from me for what I gave for it. I danced in the streets that night, let me tell ya.
 
Fast forward to present day when modern bikes are expensive and the four strokes really suck: Guys like me clamor for the days of old when bikes were bikes and men didn't wear dresses..... What a great time. Now that we are older and have a little money to spend, we all set about grabbing up those fine machines that we either owned before when the world was good or maybe even some of the ones we wanted in the worst way but could never afford. If you're like the rest of us, a lot of your spare time is spent browsing ads looking for the next great find and sooner or later one of the bikes that you owned before makes itself available, and at a bargain price. You tell yourself that the owner must not know what he has as the price is so low that he's either stoned or suffering from dementia.
 
Sure, I found some great bikes. I never owned a Husky or CZ until they became antiques, but I finally owned them. It's always the same - you make a few good buys and maybe make a profit and then - wham: it happens. A bike that was pretty much the biggest piece of shit you ever heard of is for sale and you start dialing the phone. If it's eBay and you are the only bidder you feel so insightful and lucky that everybody else missed it but you! Ha Ha! Suckers!
Brian

Wow, you should have written a book about some of your adventures. But you know what? Weíve all had our share of mishaps and adventures since riding dirt bikes and sharing the stories with others is a beautiful part of the game.
 
                                                   ***
 
SUBJECT:  BIKE WAS RUNNING BAD BECAUSE
That was it, Rick.
 
I removed and opened the carb and the pilot jet was obstructed. No light through it. I blew it out and saw light. I took a tiny drill bit the same size and made sure the innards were clean.
 
Now, it idles! It even started on an idle. One kick.
The bottom of the bowl had, below each float, this rust-like crud that wasn't there the last (first) time I cleaned the carb. I wonder if the float material is breaking down or something.
 
One thing is, the idle speed screw doesn't seem to do anything. The cable at the top of the slide housing was backed out and I screwed it back in because when I first started it, it ran at a high idle.
 
It kind of takes a 1/2 a second to come down to an idle when you rev it.
 
That engine is scary fast! I found, online, an old Cycle Magazine (May 1979) test of Hi-Per-Kinetics (printed it out) and they dyno'ed the stage two engine (mine) and it puts 43hp to the rear wheel. Nothing to sneeze at! 13hp more than stock they said. Wonder how the Stage Four (716cc) would do! They didn't have a chance to test it. It's an interesting read.
 
They also said had it been tuned to turn up to 6500rpm, it might put 50hp to the rear wheel but they said a stronger con rod would be needed that's included with the Stage 3 & 4 engine.
 
The last sentence of the test ended with "...the 43hp Yamaha 650 is a thumper fanatics dream." This engine in a TT would just Ditch Witch through a Mojave Desert hill instead of climb up it! Need any sprinkler lines dug?
 
I stuck the White Bro's baffle back in and it runs great. Neighbors are probably glad of that. No more open megaphone.
 
Thanks again, Bro Hunky.
 
We were only too happy to help our friend get his 650 running right. Once the carburetor was cleaned up properly and all the low-speed circuits made right, the bike ran as it should have.
 
                                       ***
 
SUBJECT: THOSE GREAT OLD BULTACOS
Dear Super Hunky! (And Matt!)
 
First of all, itís SO great that you are still writing about dirt bikes! Like thousands of others, I read every issue of Dirt Bike I could afford  back in the late Ď60s and Ď70s.
 
Iím responding to an article on your website titled ďTHE 1975 BULTACO JPR 360 PURSANG, CLOSE TO THE END,Ē By Matt Cuddy.
 
While stationed in Thailand in 1974 (Air Force), I read every issue of Dirt Bike trying to decide what motocrosser I would buy when I got home. I had my AJS 250 waiting for me, but I wasnít looking forward to EVER trying to start that thing again! It was Dirt Bike that convinced me the Pursang 250 was what I wanted. In January of 1975 I bought my dream bike in Thousand Oaks. But I hated the blue tank so the dealer agreed to put the red tank and panels on. I also asked for a Mikuni carb, Petty fenders and European, right-side shifting (which I was used to on the AJS).
 
My Bultaco memories are very much like Mattís, except I kept my bike all these years and had it professionally restored two years ago! Today it runs and rides better than when it was new.
 
Over the past two years I have encountered so many Bultaco lovers who bemoan selling their bikes. In fact, Bruce Reynolds, who restored my bike (and owns 30-40 himself), was excited that this was the first time he had restored a Bultaco for the original owner.
 
I really identified with Mattís comment about ďdreamingĒ of his Bultaco. For 30 years I had recurring dreams where my Bultaco was ratty and falling apart and failing to start, etc. Now that I have ridden it again, the bad dreams have stopped.
 
I have a short video of my first ride after restoration posted on YouTube.
 
Also, attached is a photo of me jumping into the creek at the 1975 Viewfindersí Grand Prix, at Indian Dunes (sigh). (I survived the landing, just barely!)
 
Again, itís so good to see your name on the Internet! Thanks for all the joy youíve brought to dirt bikers world-wide!
James Pepper
 

 
You brought a smile to Mattís face, as he was one of the biggest fans of that particular Pursang.
 
                                    ***
 
SUBJECT:  REMEMBERING B TO V
Hi Rick,
Today is the 40 th anniversary of the 1974 Barstow to Vegas Race so I am sharing my treasured stuff with you. It's all I have left from four years of desert racing. Our house burned down in 1995 and this and a few Viewfinders Race photos survived.

Hope you're doing well.

How bout we get together on the 50th anniversary and I buy you a beer.

Dick Pearson


 
The Barstow to Vegas race holds a special place in our minds throughout the years. Thanks for sharing that with us. And if we do get together on the 50th anniversary, Iíll buy the second and maybe the third and the fourth.
 
                                                       ***

SUBJECT: WATER IN THE OIL?
Hi I have a 2001 ktm 400sx dirtbike that I just bought and have just found out its leaking water into the oil. I have never owned a ktm before and have no idea how the cooling system works on this bike. Didnt know if anyone out there knew if the water pump could be a potential cause of this, was told the water pump was timing driven an was wondering if anyone has ran into this problem before, dont want to throw a whole lot of money at the bike but if i have to i will. Just need to know where to start without throwing a lot of money at it right off the bat.
johnnyblazezx7r
 
Before you start spending a bundle, you want to check the obvious first. My guess would be a leaking head gasket. If this happens, you definitely will get water mixing in with the oil. So try this first and eliminate that from your possible trouble list.
 
                                           ***
 
SUBJECT:  THE FEARED TM400 CYCLONE
Saw TM 400 Cyclone on vacation @ Indian Stream Road Pittsburg up from the Catina bike really loud was moving extremely fast! My dad said that was one of the most powerful dirt bikes ever made.
nextar
 

 
Your dad was right in that it was a very powerful bike, but the ignition system would go to full advance at varying points, depending on the temperature of the bike. In other words it would go to full advance at 3000 RPM when it was cold, and then as it got warmer it would advance at 4000. This meant that when you hit the throttle going around a corner, you could never tell when it was going to go from low power to full power. This bike also had a freaky chassis and swingarm that loved to flex. Combine that with the strange power band and below average suspension, and you can see why this bike earned a reputation as a real killer.
 
                                                 ***
SUBJECT:  YOU HAVE A Ö
Trying to find out what I have. On the
frame MC 020147
Engine MCE 020101
Please help?
Thomas Eggerichs
 

The next time you email me for information, how about doing at least some of the basics like what kind of a bike it is. Do you have any idea how much time it took to search through the various pieces of literature I have to find out just what this bike was? On second thought, donít email anymore.  By the way, the bike in question is a 1975 Kawasaki MC1B.
 
                                            ***

SUBJECT: MILD-MANNERED KTM

Hi I've got a 98 ktm 380 and it's not hitting band very hard
Jayde
 
Have you considered the fact that the bike just might be worn out and need a refreshed top-end? After all, itís over 15 years old.
 
                                    ***
 
SUBJECT: INSTALLING LED LIGHTS
This is a really cool idea, however i was able to hook up some off road LED lights to it which require DC, also the fact that we are using a single power wire with a ground mean that the power source is DC, not AC; for ac we would need a neutral and a hot power wire along with a ground wire? i just saying we can used DC lights, the Leds them selves i bought off Amazon for like $30, Chinese knock offs, i used some clear silicone to help make them water tight, for knock offs they are still super bright. All in all easy T-bracket i built bolts to the top bolt on the number plate and just wired it according to the article. The picture with showing the light output does not do justice.
Dustin Carl

Your lighting system would be at home on a Baja vehicle. Itís certainly not for the casual user.

                                      ***

SUBJECT: GOOD NEWS ON LAND USE
Dont look now super hunky but we're about to get all our trails and roads back from the BLM, STATE TRUST and the US FOREST SERVICE!
Google RS 2477

I'll be testifying on this issue in the Arizona legislature in January.
Utah has won its cases in the 10th and 9th circuit courts.
Read up on Kane County vrs Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.
Just picked up this 400 square barrel for $250 now for restoration!
 

Things are looking good for most of the people in the West, except for California. The open land there is not much and it seems like thereís less each year. I feel very fortunate to live in Arizona, as there is plenty of room to ride here. Nice Maico, by the way.

                                                 ***

SUBJECT: OLDEST FAN?
Rick,
I donít know if I qualify as your oldest fan or not but I have to be in the running. Over the long weekend I dug out a suitcase I had packed away when I went off to the Navy in 1976. Inside were what I considered my most treasured items. I had written you a letter when you were the editor at Dirt Bike asking you how to make my 65 Jawa street bike legal to ride off road. Your response was posted on my bedroom wall until I packed it away in '76.
 
I wanted to let you know that you fueled a life long love of dirt bikes and riding off road. I remember your picture in the magazine standing with your CZ motocrosser, which I equated to being just like my Jawa only a dirt version. The Jawa did have the CZ logo on it in a few spots. I even coerced a kid to let me ride his SL-70 if he could ride my CZ up at Saddleback Park in Orange County. I have looked you up a few times over the years but thought I would pass along a hearty thanks for the good memories you helped forge in my path of life.
 Sincerely
Tim Ketner
 

Genuine thanks for the kind words, Tim.  Dirt Bike magazine started out simply as a place where riders could talk to other riders. It grew wildly from there.
 
                                                   ***
 
SUBJECT: NOT A MAICO FAN
Rick, you mentioned that Maicos dominated motocross in the early 70's but failed to mention Bultaco. In my time racing the Sangs were more than a match for the big Maicos and were always considered equal. CZ's were ill handling and Flimsyvarnas were a joke in that department. Just sayin.
 
Having lived through that period of time, I must respectfully disagree with you. About half of the Bultacos that we tested gave us problems. Things broke, frames cracked, and the engine was only maybe. When it ran, it was fun to ride.  For far too much of the time, it didnít run.
 
                                       ***
 
SHAMELESS PLUG
My new book, THE LAST RIDE, is at now out. It's fiction and starts in 1969, when an 18-year-old kid just out of high school gets a chance to ride his Yamaha 250 DT1 from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles Ö all off-road.  His adventures are truly amazing. The book then jumps 40+ years where the same person, now in his 60s, wants to get that old Yamaha back in his possession and return it home by riding it all off-road across the country again.  The book is $15 plus $2.75 for mail anywhere in the US and for more information, the email is: 
superhunky@gmail.com.

Paypal address: 
superhunky@gmail.com
WEBSITE: www. superhunky@gmail.com


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