Don't Ask: "Super Hunky" Answers Your Questions

May. 14, 2014 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.

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April 2014

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Here's the almost final project. You like my "Piled Rifles" logo?

I took my 2.5 gallon can to town, poured 2oz of octane booster in it and filled it w/Union 76 92 octane (the best there is around here)

I figured out the starting ritual:

1) put petcock on prime

2) push enrichening lever down

3) pull and hold compression release

4) kick like a mother until the open megaphone goes "BLAM!"

5) release compression release

6) close throttle

7) bring up to TDC compression

8) KICK!

Success! The sonofabitch started!

I put 2 miles on it and the engine is insane, Rick. Nuts! It has a powerband that comes on and the front end gets too light for my taste.

You'd love it! When Hi-Per-Kinetics built this engine, they sure knew WTF they were doing!

I'm off to the Yamaha shop to borrow a powerband adjusting tool. This bike is gonna kill me otherwise. I'll tell them you sent me.



PS Did Modern Cycle ever get around to modifying the TT500? If so, where can I get an issue(s)? Not that I need anything. I just love anything TT/SR related.  I could always stick the SR650 engine in my '76 TT if needed. 

Dave Fruhling

Yep, we modified the TT 500 again and again and again. Each time, we got a weirder power band until we finally gave up on the damn bike. Iím glad to see that you actually got that thing done. It sounds like youíre pretty happy with the results. Genuine congratulations.




I was pleasantly surprised to find your website in a link from an article about Maico Motorcycles.

My friends and I were avid Dirt Bike Magazine readers, we had the decals on our bikes, and anxiously awaited the next month magazine. Our parents were stationed overseas and we had to beg people to go out and buy the magazine for us and send it through the mail. but it was worth the effort.

I know that you're probably busy, so I won't ask any questions, but to just say Thank You for all the articles you wrote and the fun that DB Magazine gave a bunch of young motocross punks.

Darrel Gruhnmann


Thanks for the kind words.



I bought a KTM 500 new in 1985 because I wanted to be Magoo someday.  The bike has sat for years and now I feel inclined to restore it.  I recall, however, that the '85 had an issue with the first year "Pro-Link".  If I remember correctly, Chandler snapped the rear linkage on his bike on his practice track.  I snapped the rear shock twice back in the day.  I believe KTM redesigned the link to eliminate this issue in subsequent releases.  Do you know which suspension components are suspect and from what year can the redesigned parts be acquired?

Randy Zorro

It actually was not the design of the rear suspension linkage that was wrong. It turned out that the White Power shock was the culprit. I know of a number of riders who put a Works Performance shock on their bike and had no problems whatsoever with them.  The problem only lasted about a year and a half and then KTM fixed the glitch.



Hi Superhunky,

You have written in the past that ďevery Japanese factory bought a 1981 Maico 490 and attempted to copy the power bandÖĒ.  Iíve seen a few spins of this and in one place it was mentioned that it took 3 years to copy.  Are there any further details on this, i.e. what where they attempting to copy (the handling, the power delivery from low end, the wide powerband, etc.) and what bikes were the first to display their learnings (i.e. CR480, etc.) and how did they display these learnings (better handling, etc.).  I mean in 1984 for example the CR500 had detonation problems and the YZ490 for example was also not a great bike.  So I guess I am looking for the origins and outcomes of this information.

Toby Opfernan

The 1981 490 Maico was an absolute breakthrough in motorcycles. It pulled real good at low RPMs, very healthy through the midrange, and revved out like a road racer on top. People who raced against these bikes swore it was unfair advantage. Naturally, all the various factories got  a 490 and tried to duplicate the power band.

They had problems, they had big problems. What they didnít realize is that the carburetion that came stock on the bike was a Bing and was horribly temperature sensitive. What really worked good on a cool morning during practice, would barely get out of its own way on a hot afternoon. The factories thought that these bikes would be correct as delivered. They didnít realize that a racer on the European bikes was expected to know all the little details to make it run right and do it himself. We canít tell you how many 490 Maicoís ran big Mikuni carburetorís instead of those fussy Bings.

The closest anybody got to the power band of the 490 Maico was the Honda CR 500 and the YZ 465 Yamaha. And even then, the factories had very light flywheels on both bikes and the revs came too quick and sudden for proper motocross use.



Hello Rick,

Just wanted to say hello and wish you and family well.

P.S I love the things I have purchased. Also who would you like to see win Supercross this year? Cheers from an old guy.

Ben Hunter

I would really like to see Dungy take the win on his KTM, but didnít happen. Villopoto did it again.



Hi Rick,

I'm Baz (Barry) and I'm writing to you from Coonabarabran, around 6 hours west of Sydney. How are you going?  It's quite an honour to communicate with you ! You see Rick, I'm 60 now but still have most of my Dirt Bike Magazines from '71 to maybe '74 or so, from where your influence helped me enjoy my dirt bikes just that little bit more. Thank you.

I was, and still am, one of those who not only loved riding my bikes but in the evening, when all of my mates were getting drunk and chasing women (girls maybe), I was in my dad's shed, modifying and altering various bikes. For example....You had an article on " The world's fastest 125 "  I had an AT1 with a GYT kit and was keen to make it faster. This was about 1971 and I was an apprentice plumber, so had vast skills at welding and sheet metal, well, I was pretty good anyway, so, because in those days, we had to make everything ourselves or import them, I decided to have a crack at copying the computer designed exhaust which gave the test bike most of it's power. I used the rear engine mounting bolts to scale the photo and then proceeded to do drawings and then make the exhaust. I was 17. It worked.

I had already imported a reed valve from you Yanks and ground holes and channels in the barrel and matched them to the piston ( all from Dirt Bike ) and fitted a race kit carb from a DT1. Dad and I machined the head down to raise the compression to about 14 to 1 and I drilled the main jet out with an eighth drill ( I kid you not ) so the methanol would flow faster....  I cut and lowered the frame, laced in a twin leading shoe brake, fitted a pair of flat track bars to it and even lengthened the gas tank.

I wanted to win the St George MCC Dirt Track championships at Napean, west of Sydney ( a short road race on dirt, the called Short Circuit ) ... I could wind the taco needle off the dial and if I could keep it in the 500rpm ( the reason for the taco, somewhere between 7 and 8 grand I think ) or so power band, I reckoned I was in for a trophy....

The bike attracted a gathering as I was always doing something outrageous, the pipe alone had about 6 different cones mixed with short straights, definitely a forerunner of modern units we have today..

I nursed it in practice but the potential was there, quicker than most of the 250's down the straight. The start of the 125 and I had a the inside run. The flag dropped and I was instantly in front. 7500, change,8000, change, sit up and slam on the brakes to square off and blast away to victory.  Problem is, the one thing they failed to inform me of is the effect of inertia on a standard ignition flywheel when you apply the rear brake at 7000 RPM....  With the clutch still out... It snapped the crankshaft in two, threw the flywheel clean out of the engine, broke the con rod and destroyed the crankcase....  I didn't even get round the first corner... The bike never went again, but when it did, boy was it quick.

But I digress...Sorry !  The main reason for my letter is, my other bike was a 1968 Greeves MX4. I couldn't afford a Maico so I painted it yellow and blurred my eyes a little when I sat to admire it. It was a very good machine but I wanted a new one..  So I was offered a  brand new 1972 QUB 380 with a no interest loan of $ 1100.00.

It too was a good machine but I was determined to make it  " Special "

In 1973, I pulled it down. I had the beautiful Reynolds 531 frame chromed and ordered Arnaco shocks, a reed valve and a Walbro pumper from the States. I had the seat covered in leather and painted the alloy tank white. BSA B50's were doing very well with their works bikes so I cut the huge fins on the head and barrel to look like one of these most beautiful machines, though even blurring my eyes alot still left me with a Greeves...  I spent many hours on it but was put off by the ignition being unreliable and one very sexy young lady who drained me of all my enthusiasm and, of course, money. The Greeves, in standard form was a stump puller. I made power from nothing and was light and nimble. You could easily flip it in 3rd but opening the throttle too quickly though it ran out of breath just as fast.

The bike was sold and I moved on, not until 1993 did I re-enter the world of Vintage Motocross on, once again, a personalised B50 with a CCM short stroke crank and various other tasteful mods which made for a rather beautiful looking bike indeed...

I have attached some photos, hope I haven't bored you too much.

Baz Patterson.

# Have a look  at the sump plate on the B50. It's an old alloy washing machine lid which I formed with lead dressing tools and heat from an oxy, really nice.

 # Not sure if you can see it or not, but the brake lever on the QUB was a spring loaded folding unit I made in 1972, before the Japs came out with them, it was my own thoughts and lack of staying upright which caused me to make it, the first in Australia and quite possibly anywhere else.. There ya go Superhunky, what fabulous question in a trivia quiz...


Really enjoyed hearing from you, Baz. Like a lot of other people, folks here in the US never really appreciated that Greeves.  When I rode one, I fell in love with it. Jim Connolly, an expert racer in our club, turned me onto the Greeves and ended up putting a bunch of number one plates on it.



Maybe you can answer this:

Why, every time I stop and look at AMA or any Superbike road racing on TV, no matter where it's held, one of the two trackside TV announcers has to have this damn Scottish accent?

What's up with that? Drives me up the fricking wall!

Can you imagine having the same "chap" announcing monster truck racing?  Or roller derby?

Thank God he stays away from MX racing!

Dave Fruhling

I can answer the road racing part of the question for you, Dave. In Europe, road racing is a real big deal and draws healthy crowds. In the US, they darn near have to give tickets away to get any kind of a crowd all. The best and most knowledgeable announcers on road racing are English, Scottish, or Irish, and thatís why they get hired.



Hi, Super Hunky,

I hope that you are doing well.

After reading and re-reading your many articles for years, I have finally bought a real motorcycle:  A 1972 Maico MC 250 Square Barrel.

I've never read but good things about Maico.  And, being a vintage dirt bike fan, I decided that it was time for me to fine a real world class, vintage dirt bike.  I was looking for a 1970 thru 1974 250 Square Barrel or Radial Head and this bike was offered to me.  It was a deal that I could not refuse.

I have a lot of work to do, but hopefully by next season, I will be piloting an awesome yellow 250 Square Barrel around the vintage MX circuit instead of my current steed.  And, I feel like I have you to thank for it.  So, thank you for you untiring praise of the Maico brand and your many articles supporting the brand.


Dal Aymond
Jonesville, Louisiana

It was not too hard to become a Maico fan when I first started in the magazine business. I went from a middle of the pack novice to a winning racer just by getting on Maicos. Thatís enough to turn you in to a stark raving lunatic, and I guess thatís what I was.



"Hey just who do you think u are anywyay [sic]

I just read the April DON'T ASK! and liked "Billy's" letter.

You rite [sic] about my Yamaha SR500 and its [sic] a streat [sic] bike. Dont [sic] you now [sic] dont ask [sic] is abuot [sic] dirt bikes and the SR is a street bike. A hell of a street biek [sic] mind you but...

I live in oregun [sic] and you cant have my name its a dumb name anywyay." [sic, sic, sick!]

Seriously, thanks for taking the time to post the text and modifications to this thumping rocket ship. If I ever put this engine in my TT, it'll be the ultimate Mojave Desert general purpose bike and destroyer of hills.

It's missing one shock (the TT). Do you have any recommendations for a decent, American-made set of modern shocks? It now has the stock SR500 engine in it but it's missing the carburetor. Also, your DON"T ASK! column is getting shorter by the month. I recall it used to be 2 to 3 pages. Are you pooping out? Need help? I'm here, recently retired and bored out of my gourd.

If you're sick of the disrespectful kids sending illiterate, child-like scrawls for so-called "questions", I'd be glad to answer them for you, Rick. I'll put these squid-kids through the wringer and mock them beyond your mild mocking. Just forward them to me.

Let me at them!

Anyway, how do you spell "anywyay" anyway? I know. It's a stumper.

David "TT500" Fruhling

Somewhere in Southern Oregon 47 miles north of the California border just 1.3 miles off Interstate 5 just up the street from the deli in the 3 acres full of trees with the 109 pound, snarling, hair-hackled Rottweiler.

Don't tell anyone where I live.  

Iíll keep it a secret between me and you and 5 ½ million other people.



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 (or $5 for Priority Rush mail) and for more information, the email is:  [email protected]

 Paypal address:  [email protected]

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