Don't Ask: Super Hunky is At It Again

Suzuki RM400, KDX220, CRF230 and more

Aug. 01, 2009 By Rick Sieman

***

DIRE WARNINGS AND THINGS YOU OUGHT TO KNOW

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 email 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 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

Now that you know the rules, think carefully and have at it!

Oh yes … I’ll leave your email unedited, for what it’s worth.

SUBJECT: 1995 SUZUKI DS80 ACTING STRANGE

I Have A 1995 Suzuki DS80 When It Gets Hot It Will Quit And U
Roll It Off U Have To Open It Up For It To Start Mabye If Your Lucky It Will Start Back Up When It Cools Down Please Answer My Question
Sonny Ratliff
Ravan, VA

Nice typing, Sonny. It sounds like you have a fuel starvation problem, probably caused by junk in your float bowl.  But your real problem is your battle with the English language.  If you are much older than 9 or 10, sell the bike and hire a tutor.

***

SUBJECT: QUIET … OR ELSE

I HAVE A 1990 KDX 200 AND I LOST THE SILENCER ....... IF I RIDE WITHOUT A SILENCER WILL IT WARP MY VAVLE
HCR
C'Field, SC

If you ride without a silencer, I hope some big irritated guy kicks your ass. 

***

SUBJECT: MUNG AND DROOL

Mr. Super Hunky:
You keep refering to "stuff" in the carb. bowl as "crud". The correct mechanic's description is "MUNG". What is mung? I
describe it as a mixture of dirt, sand, water, pubic hairs, mud, rubber
chunks from fuel line, taco shell pieces...I guess you get the idea.
Remember, it's "MUNG". At one shop I worked at, a female office worker brought out a work order that had been run through and asked, "What is mung? I've never heard this word before."

Well, I started to describe what "mung" is and when I got to "pubic hairs" she got all wadded-up and stomped off. Go figure...As to the rider who does not like the 5 foot seat height and 4 foot height and 18 inch wide bars on new bikes, here-here!

Hunky, you know I am an old TT500 fan (had 2 '77's) and went riding with a bunch of folks (you saw the pic's I sent). Jim Martin had a new CR500. I rode it about 1/8th mile, turned around and flopped back into the seat of my TT. Too damn high! Tippy-toe at rest, and I'm 6'2"! And this was a mid-80's CR! I'm old-school. Gimme a pumped-up TT500 and ride the worlds most powerful Barkalounger! Later...
David Fruhling
Gold Hill, OR

I stand corrected.  From now on, I'll make it mung, drool and crud in the float bowl.  That should cover it.

***

SUBJECT: SUZUKI RM250 CARB

i have a 1996 suzuki rm250 and i was wondering what other carbeurators will fit on it because its im possible to find a used one and new ones arent cheap
Cotyrlong
Ashland, PA

You're not trying, which is more than obvious from your below average email.  Go to ebay and you'll find many carbs for sale.  And what, pray tell, is wrong with the carb that's already on the bike?

Wait while more pages load... more good stuff coming!

***

SUBJECT: RM400 IS A REAL BEAR

Hi Rick,
I have a lot of respect for your opinions on dirt bikes. I am a big fan of late 70's and early 80's off-road machinery.
Two bikes which have been in my collection for a while that I really enjoy are my '79 KX250 A5 and my '78.5 RM400C. I love them both, but I need a little advice. Recently, I was trying them out on a new dirt track built by a friend at their farm. It is a decent track, fairly small, not many straight sections, lots of tight corners and mid size jumps.

The KX250 seems to get round it really nicely (bike is completely unmodified), but the RM400 is a bit tricky. The gearing is short right now with a 12 teeth front sprocket and 54 teeth rear. It has tons of torque and the gearing seems not too bad for a short circuit like this.

Suzuki RM400 motorcycleHowever, I find it is a bit of a bear through the turns and it seems to tire me out really quickly. Also, it just doesn't seem to handle the jumps with anything close to the competence of the KX. I'm a small guy at 5' 8" and 150 lbs. Is it just that the RM needs to be wrestled around, or is there something I can do to improve its behaviour? Any
advice is very welcome.
Sincerely, Ray
Winnipeg, CANADA

The RM400 was a brute of a bike, but if you go up two teeth on the countershaft sprocket, it'll change the personality of the bike completely.  It will also give you a much better top end.  Try it. 

***

SUBJECT: FLYING HIGH AND WRITING BAD

dear rick'
i m a 14 year old guy and i wanna fly but provided the fact i had to pay for my bike i picked a rediculusly cheap price on a used 03 crf 230 for 1800 that had never been used. well i love to hit jumps and fly but the 230 is just holding me back. do u have any tips on getting this thing to get higher and farther without spending more than $300
thanks
colton mann
Boise, ID

The biggest problem you have is the wimpy suspension.  You can swap the forks (see our Project CRF230 series on how to) for $150 or so, but the shock is going to cost some money.  Contact Works Performance (818-701-1010) for a quote. 

***

SUBJECT: COOLANT FOR A KX85

hi i have a kx 85 big wheel its an 04 model i have no books or anythin for it just wondering what the water coolant mix is for it
Wales, UNITED KINGDOM

What's keeping you from buying a manual for the bike?  Oh, sorry.  I didn't realize that you couldn't communicate very well based on your email.  Meanwhile, use 50 % anti freeze and 50 % distilled water.

***

SUBJECT: LOOKING BACK AND LOOKING FORWARD

Howdy Rick, 
At one time, when I was very young, in my early and mid teens, I read your editorials every month.  I had dirt bikes, they were old ones even then, that were always marginally reliable and peformed poorly but they were used daily.  When I read your magazine articles (in "Dirt Bike" I think), I always felt like you were talking to me.  Maybe like a good friend.  My "real" friends and I read every dirt bike magazine out there and drove daily.  Some local guys who were a little more lucky than we were had "real" dirtbikes and raced motocross.  We stuck to the woodsy single track and logging roads that are everywhere here in Fredericton, New Brunswick Canada (look it up, its right next to the middle of nowhere).
 
Anyway, I am 41 now and going through my second childhood.  I just bought another "old" bike, a 1992 XR 600 R.  Its the first true dirt bike I have owned in over 20 years.  To me, it seems like new tech but I know its nearly 20 years old.  Its big, actually has a lot of power and a whole lot of torque.  Sometimes it scares the poop out of me but most times its just a ton of fun.  I sure don't get out daily and when I do I kind of get some aches and pains that I dont remember having before.  Inside, there is a 14 year old that is thinking "This sure is a lot of fun" though.
 
I thought I would look you up again and I have read a bunch of your articles on line.  Feels like I am re-meeting an old friend.  I hope you are still riding and having fun!
Cheers,
Gerry

 
Thanks for the kind words. Those early magazines were written for guys like you:  riding friends.  I still ride, even though the years have taken their toll and I'm slower than snot now, but I still appreciate a good ride on a good bike.  Take a peek at my website (www.superhunky.com) for some more stories.

***

SUBJECT: MAICO CARBS

O GREAT ONE!I WOULD LIKE TO SEEK YOUR ABUNDANT KNOWLEDGE OF CARBS.WHAT BRAND OF THESE SPECIFIC CARBS WILL WORK BEST ON THE 2009 MAICO 500MC,A KEIHIN,MIKUNI OR THE OLD BING THAT COMES ON THE NEW & HOPEFULLY IMPROVED MAICO? AH,THANKYOU FOR YOUR PRECIOUS TIME O'GREAT MR.KNOW IT ALL.
Jeff Flick
Cumberland, MD

The carb that worked best on the big Maicos throughout the years have been the Type 55 Magnesium Bing carb.  And the next time you write, don't use ALL CAPS or I'll do terrible things to your email.

***

SUBJECT: SPONSORS FIRST, THEN RACE?

I just good my first dirt bike two weeks ago and i have already considered going into mx racing. i want to know how to get started into racing,like finding sponcers and good trainers to teach me how to race.
Tristan Clark
Woodstock, GA

Well now, you just started riding and you want some sponsors?  Truly amazing!  The first thing you have to learn is how to spell the word "sponcers" correctly.  The second is to learn how to go fast and win races.  Win first and get sponsored second.

***

KTM 50 dirtbikeSUBJECT: SLOW DOWN THAT KTM 50

can you tell me the best way to make my sons ktm 50 pro senior slower it is way to fast for him.
John
Tulsa, OK

The cheapest and simplest way is to go up one or two teeth on the countershaft sprocket.  Even though it will give him a higher top end, the acceleration will be much more mellow.

***

SUBJECT: GLOWING PIPES ON A HONDA CRF230

i just installed a brand new pro circuit t4 exhaust opened up the air box and installed the power up jet kit on my crf230 it smokes while riding a little and after i kill it. and the pipe glows at night do you think its running lean or could the smoke be from the new pipe? this was the first ride for about 10 mins.
James
Fort Worth, TX

You could go a bit richer without hurting your performance, but it's normal for the head pipes on a four stroke to glow in the dark.

***

SUBJECT: THE BONEHEAD FACTOR

yeah how much money would u take for the bike because i am looking for a ttr125 cheap though cause i am riding a ttr90 and i want some thing toller and faster or at least more gears and i want a clutch all my friends are riding bikes with clutches eccept for me
TTR Man
Middleton, MA

Once again, I am truly amazed at the level of stupidity that can be generated by a human being that will someday be allowed to reproduce.  Yes, the bonehead factor that you read here will be passed on.  Be afraid, very afraid.

***

SUBJECT: HUSKY FORK OIL LEVEL

Im restoring a 82 WR250 Husky. Have re chromed and rebuilt the 40mm Forks What weight and how much fork oil is required? i think 15wt not sure about amount. Any help appreciated.
Matt
Bunbury, AUSTRALIA

With just about any conventional fork, the oil level should be six inches with the forks fully compressed and the springs removed.  The weight of the oil will depend on your weight, type of riding you're doing and your skill level.

***

SUBJECT: THE MYSTERIOUS PENTON TRIALS

I had a flashback of the Penton Trials bike, with the Sachs 125 radial head 2 stroke single.  I actually had something like this bike that had been passed from teenager to teenager in my neighborhood.  By the time it was my turn to own it, it was pretty beat but still ran strong.  It had a Dalesman frame, the 125B Sachs radial head engine & wide ratio gearbox, and had been fitted with  BSA triple clamps, front wheel and forks.  The counter torque rod for the rear swing arm was my own high school metal shop creation.  I beefed up and modified the Dalesman rear swing arm (to help with chain tension adjustment), threw in a few gussets and added a modified beefy torque rod from an old Suzuki DT (old one kept buckling when rear brakes were applied). 

This bike was very fast.  It had a red, one piece fiberglass fuel tank/seat assembly.  My dear mother made me an awesome replacement seat cover.  The fiberglass tank had so many cracks in it, that team and product logo stickers just covered the tank to stop the leaks. It was heavy like an elephant, brakes were thin like tissue, it was unbalanced like a unicycle. It took Hulk-like muscle to ride it in the woods and forget about going over any logs but it was fast, powerful and the throttle was responsive.  I will remember that bike to until the day I die.  It totally sucked yet it was awesome.  It sucked by my standards today.  It was awesome by my standards then.  I wish I had a photo of it since no other bike like it on this planet ever existed and never will.  I truly miss that flying boat anchor!!! 
Tom
Detroit, MI

Here's a photo of the bike, as you requested.  It was the forerunnner of the Penton Mudlark, a truly wretched bike.

***

SUBJECT: LIGHTS ON A PURSANG?

Super Hunky,
I am restoring a '79 Bultaco Frontera 250.  The original 6 speed engine was scattered before I bought it so I have stuffed a '77 Pursang 250 motor in it.  I read a response from you about using Yamaha electronics and junking the Bul electronics but can't find that post now.  Could you refresh my memory about that modification?  I'd love to have a working headlight.
Clint Schreiber
South Elgin, IL

 
I never wrote an article of that nature, but you can make your task easier by installing a Motoplat ignition with a lighting coil.  Just about all the Buls ran Motoplat, so one from a Matador, for example, should work.

***

SUBJECT: Article Title: Red and Green Sticker Seasonal Riding Areas for California OHV Program
i have a question on the whole red sticker green sticker season.. I i think it is Bulls**t that all the bikes that meet the state emissions standards are green stick when all the old two strokes propably have worse emissions than the new mx fourstrokes and the new two stokes but the old ones are red sticker and the new ones are green sticker?? please fill me in on this.
thanks like
L.P.G.
San Jose, CA

Face it, the sticker fiasco is nothing more than a tax gathering scheme.  The people who wrote this could care less about emissions.  Nancy Pelosi emits more crap into the air with her private jet trips back and forth than all the off-road bikes put together.

***

SUBJECT: Article Title: Q & A, September 2007 - Project Honda CRF230F - Part 25
Hi, i just want to to make some comments about jetting the 230, due to different experiences. Notice that i'm not trying to teach anything or contest Rick's mods. Here at Brazil the CRF comes exactly like the american version (all them are made here, i guess), except for some details: it comes without baffle or limitations in the airbox. So, stock pilot and main jets are #42 and #140. Jetting the bike allow us to use #45 and #145 jets without changing the needle (only adjusting it, if necessary) with no further modifications. The bike turns to another with even more powerful acceleration and even more difficult to control at low gears without changing the front sprocket for another with 14 or 15 tooth. It's worth trying.
Best regards.
Quin
Goval, BRAZIL

Thanks for sharing this info with us.  You might have to go the alternate needle if you change the exhaust.

***

SUBJECT: KDX 220 SLOW AFTER REBUILD

have kdx 220 just rebuild motor changed everything l could think off .its just not as fast as it once was could you please tell me why
Skycart
Deep River, CANADA

 

It takes while before all the new parts are loosened up and seated in.  And if you pushed the engine hard before it properly broke in, chances are that you marred the piston or cylinder walls.

***

SUBJECT: FEEDBACK FROM KANSAS

Hi Rick, kirk from kansas,hows it going guy?? I hope your feeling like your old self again, I was just remembering the old Yamaha HT-1 90 MX, it would kill about anything it was put against, My friend in La Mesa Cal had one, he got it from Don Vesco Yamaha back then and rode it over on a raining day as he couldnt wait to show it to me, It was the 1st MX yamaha Id seen, or just after the 125 MX with the metal fender's in 69, and 70, Honda 100,s SL125's Yammie 175's AJS 125's were no match for this thing, Fast, LOUD, handled good for that day, Light,comfy what more could you want,???

It looked alot cleaner than my 74 YZ 125 I had, Id be riding the YZ out at Santee Sand Pits in about 1977, the silly silencer would get oily from the inside and then fall off when Im not paying attention, I wasnt wearing my helmet then and the thing would clean my ears out, WOWSIE!!!!!! I took on this guy on a husky 250 I think, and i was right with him and he got ticked off cause a yamaha was keeping up with him on his Husky, I turned off and then
went my own way, i thought what a turkey he thinks hes sooo baddd on that husky and Im right there with him, I said hahahaha well whatever and turned off, Mannn that YZ was a real hard puller, it was fast but didnt handle that good,

Then,,,In 1983, I got a new 84 XR 200 from Fun Bike Center in Kearney Mesa, It was a little tall for me but I Liked the newness of it, It was not too bad on berm's but I had to be careful to go shallow, or fall over, so i had to sell it, and that was the end of my riding days until now here in Kansas, Ive got this 85 CR 250 and its a rocket, Im getting used to it, Hope things are going good for you and tina, All the best to you guy's ok, A,, Rumpa RUMPA RUMPA, Take er easy ok Rick, and Ill talk to ya later,
Kirk,

It's always good to hear from Kansas.  Keep us posted on the latest bikes that we have to watch out for.

***

SUBJECT: FEEDBACK ON AN OLD HONDA SL175

Hiya, I have acquired a Honda SL175 and would LOVE some history on it, Please.
Tantalia
London, UNITED KINGDOM

Your best bet is to order a copy of the 7-disc set of old Dirt Bike magazines.  The full test of the 175 is in there.  Space does not permit us to run a full five page test here. Go to the end of this DON'T ASK column for details.

***

SUBJECT: NO MANUAL? TOUGH.

hey I have 1990 rm 125 that I tore apart to swap the cases and I don't have a manual and I was wondering if you could tell me the torque settings and patterns for my motor
The RM 125
Santaquin, US

 

Since you are proud enough to use RM125 as your email name, one would think that you would  be smart enough to purchase a manual.  Apparently not.  And next time you email, include your state.

***

SUBJECT: 81 YAMAHA DT175 THROTTLE PROBLEMS

hello living legend, i have a 1981 yamaha dt175h enduro that was running descent until 3/4 to full throttle and would bog out. i cleaned the carb and jets and now the problem has changed. i cant get it to idle under 3000 rmps or it dies and if i get on the throttle to rev it, it will stay in the highest rmps and will not come back down unless i kill it? i've tried messing with both the air jet and fuel jet to get a smooth idle but it just won't happen. i did have to adjust the floater because it was pouring out gas previous to this problem now. oh yeah, where the heck is the oil drain "nut or screw"? thanks, Mad Martigan
Winchester, CA

You have the carb slide in backwards.

***

SUBJECT: KTM 495 PARTS PURSUIT

Hi, I own a 1983 ktm 495 and would like to restore it. It needs a complete motor rebuild except the tranny. .I have the complete bike but its gonna need a top end, crank , clutch and the little things like cables chain sprockets ect. I was wondering if you knew where to get parts for this old beast? I would greatly apprieciate it if you could email me with any info that can help me thanks. Pat
Holley, NY

Here's the contact for KTM in  your neck of the woods:
KTM-North America Inc.
East 
1119 Milan Avenue
Amherst, Ohio 44001
Phone: 440-985-3553

***

SUBJECT: CRANK STUFFERS

Dearest Super Hunky
I ran into a strange situation while rebuilding the engine on my '79 YZ250.    Old bike, wierd situation, who would know something about this?   Hmmmm....  Super Hunky!   So here goes-  When I got it, the guy told me it was siezed, so I expected problems.   I used the old Hunky trick of pouring some atf into the cylinder, and I let it sit for a while.   I pulled off the head and used a block of wood to pound the piston down, and I got the cylinder off.   So far so good, right?  I could almost smell the fresh 2-cycle smoke in my nostrils, but not so fast, what do we have going on here, the engine still wont turn over?
   
The crankshaft has what I call "freeze plugs"  but others have called "stuffers".  They are metal discs that are pressed into the balance holes of the crankshaft, and they look just like the freeze plugs on a Chevy V-8.    Well, water got behind these, and I live in Michigan where it is winter 6 months out of the year.   Long story short, the water froze, and one of them protruded into the path of the rod, and this didn't allow the crank to turn over a complete revolution.
 
So, I split the cases, and the freeze plugs were all cockeyed in there, and swollen up from the freezing water.   I got out the punch and hammer, and out they came.   Removing the plugs destroyed them, but the crank looks ok.   I have attached some pictures of the crank as it now looks.
Here is my question, Super Hunky:  What would you do now?  Should I leave them out and run it?    Should I get a new crank?   I don't think either Wiseco or Hotrods makes a kit for this bike.  I don't think you can get these plugs from Yamaha any more.   Someone told me to make new ones from cork and 3m Weatherstripping sealant.    Custom molded plastic would be better, but I don't know how to do that, short of melting down my kids' toys with an acetylene torch.  
   
Are the plugs necessary?   Someone said that it has to do with crankcase volume, and I really don't wan't to re-engineer the '79 YZ250.
 
Your advice would be appreciated, as usual.
 Thanks
 Bert W. Carrier Jr.

As per usual practice, whenever we get an older Yamaha question, we enlist the services of Matt Cuddy.  Here are his thoughts on the subject:

Those are the stock crank stuffers. Remove them, and replace them with cork that's gas-proof expoxied in. Just like the old days.
 
And since he's been beating on the crankshaft with what appears to be a hammer, he should take it to a shop with all the correct tools to get it re-aligned (dial-indicators, etc.)
 
A '79 YZ250 was one of the best ones ever built. Still a mono, and put out some real good power. Great desert bike (all that rake). My 490 had a bent frame one time, and a buddy let me ride his "spare" bike, a '79 YZ250. I blew by everbody like they were standing still. For the people who are still alive on that ride (one left) I'm sure he didn't forget it.  

***

Article Title: Which Dirtbike is For You? What You Want Versus What You Need
Great article, don't know if you're still reading comments after 5 years. Maybe its time for an update, I would really like to hear about newer motard/ dual-purpose bikes, especially for the beginner. Thanks again for this great read!
Aus
Alamordo, NM

As far as I'm concerned, they don't make a good dual-purpose bike yet.

***

SUBJECT: RM ENGINE SWAPS

Can i put a rm 250 motor on a 125 rm frame?
Tattpar
Hiawatha, IA

Yep, but you're going to have to fabricate things like pipe hangers and motor mounts. 

***

SUBJECT: YAMAHA 465 TIRED STUFF

hey hows it going i have an 1982 yamaha 465it aka the widow maker lol i was just wondering what gas ratio and gear box oil you would recomend and if theres anything else you think i should be weary of with this particular bike thank you for your thoughts and time
Franklin
Toronto, CANADA

Run a 32:1 ratio in your mix.  While you're at it, have your pet explain how to spell and punctuate.  Yes, you should "be weary" of your bike.

***

SUBJECT: KX500 POWER BAND
Hi, I just picked up a 1995 KX 500 and it seems to bog out at higher rpms. I cleaned the carb it helped a bit but still doesn't have the high rpms. Someone told me to clean the power valve but having no experience with 2 strokes I dont know how. So, how do I clean the power valve on a 1995 kx 500.
Eric
Regina, CANADA

First off, the KX500 is not a high rpm bike.  It's happiest when short-shifted and allowed to torque its way around a track.  Before you worry about things like power valves, take a look at the plug.  If it's black, you're jetted way too rich and that would prevent the bike from revving out properly.

***

SUBJECT: YAMAHA RT180 PREMIX CHANGE

i have a 1990 rt180 and i want to run premix do i need to disconnect the pump or can i just leave the oil tank empty and run mixed gas?
Rich
Clarksville, PA

You have to take the pump out and block the intake hole, then make a plate to cover up the missing pump.  Then you can run premix.

***

SHAMELESS PLUGS

BLACKWATER 100
Welcome to a celebration of The Toughest Race In America, the notorious Blackwater 100. Held every year in Davis, West Virginia, this off-road motorcycle 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 of 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 yours truly, Rick Sieman, from when I competed in this event numerous times. Youll also find a story and test on the legendary 760 Maico, the first bike I rode 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.

On Disc 2, youll 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: [email protected] Mailing address:

Rick Sieman
36607 W. Costa Blanca Dr.
Maricopa, AZ 85238

Go to www.superhunky.com for more info on other products, including posters, CDs and the Monkey Butt book Email: [email protected]


Off-Road.com Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!