Donít Ask: ďSuper HunkyĒ Answers Your Dirt Bike Questions

Oct. 01, 2013 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 question for Rick ďSuper HunkyĒ Sieman? E-mail questions to [email protected], Attn: Donít Ask.

Previous Donít Ask Columns:
September 2013

August 2013

July 2013


Cute story from work today.  Maybe the "DON'T ASK!" gang might like it: Today at work this customer comes in. He's got to be the nicest, meekest man alive. Just the perfect customer. Sells rocks and boulders for a living, you know, ornamental types. He asks about two-stroke oil mix. Said he just bought a used dirt bike and used WalMart oil in the gas and thinks it may be mixed too rich. He can't get it to start yet the seller started it first kick. Someone told him, "I use Stihl mix in my bike w/no problems." Okay, so far, so good.

I asked him "What kind of dirt bike?" ďA YZ490." Gasp! I immediately though of you, Rick!  Well, I took him over to the computer and showed him your "10 worst dirt bikes" and he was bummed! "What have I got myself into?" I told him apparently the only way to resolve the problem is to reshape the combustion chamber... and even then. I told him your cure of "Remove the spark plug and screw it into a Maico" and "Remove the spark plug and pour cement in the hole." I suggested my "Ghost-ride it down a hill under a freight train."

Poor guy. He looks like he'd have trouble handling a Trail 90 much less a raging, detonating monster! Paid $900! Yee-OUCH!
David Fruhling

Itís really sad when you see a new rider get suckered into buying a piece of trash like that YZ 490. His best bet, as you probably figured out, is to sell it to someone and then buy a nice mellow KDX 200.


Dear Mr Hunky,
The other day I was talking to a friend about dirt bike riding at Saddleback Park during the seventies. Also at that time I was an avid reader of Dirt Bike and Motocross Action, never missing an issue. I enjoyed your stories every month.

I just have one question: Do you happen to know of a guy that raced a {hopped up DT1 i think} with only one arm? all controls were on the left side, i seen the guy at the Matterhorn then racing the expert class, he was really good.

I heard his name was Dick Mann, same as the famous 1/2 mile guy.
My buddy thought i was making up this story so i tried to find him on the internet with no luck. I figured if any body knew of this guy it would be you.
Thanks Rick and take care,
Rod H.

In a one of the early issues of Dirt Bike magazine, we had a picture of a one armed racer at the Hopetown Grand Prix. I took particular interest in this rider, as I was a member of the Dirt Diggers club who put on the Hopetown race. We also ran a photo of the same racer in one of our photo annuals. Hereís that photo. The quote in the photo was by Dick Mann; I donít have the riderís name.

Hello, I need answers and maybe some products to complete my project.  I want to make my XR completely street legal (already have the license plate).  All sites I visited just want to sell their products and none have oriented me well.  So I have to ask you about my project.  To start, I bought the following products:
1. Hydraulic brake light switches for the front and the rear brakes.

2. LED turn signals and the flasher for LED.

3. Handlebar control switch for turn signals, headlights, horn.

4. Horn.
I will buy an LED Headlight bulb with Hi/Low modes and an LED tail/brake light plate to install in the OEM cases.

I need to know if I really need a high output stator, a battery, a regulator/rectifier, and/or a capacitor (and what else do I need).

I know, it may be a big project, but I can't trust the commercial people out there.  Please tell me how to make all those electrical thing work.  I would really appreciate your effort.
Thank you.
Arnaldo Maestre 

Baja Designs has everything to make the XR series street-legal. It saves a lot of grief and bloody fingers, where to put the selenium rectifier and the battery. Comes with the entire new wiring harness, along with various switches and what-nots.
Try doing it yourself without any fused connections and you might end up with your Honda doing a Triumph imitation of cooking wires and smoked ignition stuff, like black boxes and such. Not cheap to replace.

Hello Rick,
I came across your website a few weeks back looking up some questions I had on a Yamaha 360 Enduro. Great information.
About 3 years back I got the itch to restore one of these old bikes to bring back a little of my young adult life. I grew up in the Mohave desert of California, the Antelope Valley area to be exact. Back in October of 1972 I purchased a RT1 from Ray Beven's Yamaha in Palmdale, CA. My home town was Lancaster, CA and the local Yamaha dealer (Don and Rays) either did not have this motorcycle in stock or I saved a few buck by making the 10 mile drive to Palmdale. I think that Ray's was the only dealer in the valley who had a RT1 in stock at that time. If my memory is correct I had the only 1973 RT1 in the area where I lived. that orange/copper colored gas tank is a dead give away.
After watching ebay for about a year I finally got a sweet deal, I think my timing was perfect just after Thanksgiving and just before Christmas I tagged a RT1 in good condition that runs and is actually street drivable. The bike was located in Bakersfield CA which is about 100 miles to the North of Lancaster. I bought the bike and had a small shipping company locally here in Mesa pick it up. When the RT1 arrived I was very happy, it was exactly as advertised and I got a smoking deal, yes it ran too. I fired it up and rode it down my street and popped a wheelie in front of the wife and nephew to their surprised.
I called the seller back in Bakersfield to get a little info on the RT1 and thank him for the ride. He then informed me that the bike had came from Rosamond CA and this small Mohave desert town is East of Lancaster and 10 miles in the opposite direction of Palmdale. Here is where the story takes a very interesting twist. I purchased my RT1 in Oct of 1972, the tile of this bike I bought was first titled in Oct of 1972. I joined the USAF and left for basic training in 1973. I sold my bike to a guy to take over payments when I left for the USAF and he lived in Rosamond. The same city the seller on ebay picked up the bike from. And again I am very sure I had the only 1973 Enduro 360 RT1 in the Antelope Valley, most people wanted the DT1. The 250cc was a great all purpose bike and was a few hundred dollar cheaper. I think the RT sold for $1095 when I bought mine.
I have contacted the California DMV to see who was if I was the first registered owner and their records do no go back that far. I spoke to Yamaha to see who was the original purchaser of this motorcycle and they could not help me.
Do you have any suggestions on how I might be able to find out if I truly was the original owner of this bike. I think you can understand why.
Another question; I have been buying NOS parts to replace on the bike before I break it down for paint and full restoration. I purchased 2 sets of front and back turn signals. One set was removed from a RT1 in 1973 and was forgotten and put in a box in someone's garage. These turn signal indicators are a 9.95 out of 10. The only question I have is there is a difference between the two sets and the read indications. Between the turn signal housing and the flange that mounts to the frame is a spacer (Best work I can think of to use) on the better set this spacer is roughly about 3 inches long, on the other set this is about half the length. I am thinking the longer spacer are the correct units and the shorter ones even though the seller said they came off a Enduro might have came off a Yamaha street bike. the last parts I need are the tank decals which I found a reproduction company, then the chain guard and a replacement seat which I also found. I am still searching for the chair guard. I was able to purchase a NOS lights/horn/turn signal control block and a new ignition switch and keys.
Bob Oberst
Mesa, AZ
PS: I also owned a 1969 AT1

I contacted Matt Cuddy for this one, since he knows more about 360 Yamaha  enduros than anybody I know. Hereís his answer:

Well, for one, he's got an RT3, the last of the "real" enduros before every bike got the DT prefix on it. If you'll remember I too had an RT3 Enduro, and it was one of the best motorcycles I ever owned, except for the sprocket bolts and the horrible head shake coming down from speed over the whoops. I could get on the freeway and bong along at 65 or so, and in a few hours (and tanks of gas) I would arrive at my Grandparents house in Banning, 15 miles out of Palm Springs.
After reading his question for about the fourth time, I'll be damned if I can understand what he wants. Oh well. And in '73 Yamaha put the front turn signals on the handlebars, not off the top triple clamp like the 1972 Silver 360 Enduro (RT2) that was the first year of reed valves. The '73 got a 21-inch front wheel with a tiny 2.75x21 Nitto than made handling in a sand wash quite a thrilling experience, especially if that sand wash was peppered with big rocks hiding under the sand.
The 1974 DT360A was a pig that gained about 20 pounds and holed pistons every few hundred miles. A 30mm carb and too-lean jetting had a lot to do with the miserable reliability of the 1974 360 Enduro. Stay away from the Green Tanked '74.
If you want to find out if this bike was your original motorcycle, all you need is the frame number. When motors were changed, the title stayed with the frame number. So if you have a registration, or even just a piece of paper with the real frame number on it that should have what you need.
Hope this helps.

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