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Know a little something about maintenance, fixing, tuning, or modifying MX, offroad, & dual sport motorcycles, ATV or UTV? Or, maybe you have mad skills riding or racing them? Whatever the case, if you have valuable knowledge & experiences that relates to motorcycles, ATVs, or UTVs, please help your fellow riders by sharing your best tips, tricks, and how to articles.
    Nihilo Concepts
    STUART, FL – November 1, 2021
    Nihilo Concepts is excited to announce Ceven 16, their newest product for the true Moto enthusiast.
    Ceven 16 is an advanced cleaning formula spray developed exclusively for Dirt Bikes and Motorcycles. This new spray is made from the most powerful but safest chemicals on the market today and acts like an electric contact and brake cleaner but will not leave an oily residue or damage delicate plastics and engine parts. Ceven 16 removes oil, grease and grime from electrical systems, sludge from carburetors, dirt and dust from brake components, and is perfect for preparing frames and plastics parts for sticker and graphics installation. Ceven 16 is the technicians #1 choice, is rapid drying and is not chlorinated. Ceven 16 is also great for cleaning up and removing any grease from your tools. 
    In the past, you would have to go to a professional auto parts store to try and find anything close to Ceven 16 and many times, and those sprays would dull your plastics or damage your parts. However, Ceven 16 was developed with the moto enthusiast in mind and was specifically designed to be used on motorcycles when cleaning and repairing them. Therefore, Ceven 16 is the one chemical that you must have in your toolbox. You will find hundreds of uses for it, and once you try it, you will not be able to live without it.

    Ceven 16 by Nihilo Concepts, grab a can today. Go to www.nihiloconepts.com today to see the full line of innovative products for your dirt bike.

    Kevin from Wiseco
    Wiseco was born 80 years ago from a passion for the performance and racing lifestyle. Read the story on how Wiseco evolved from garage-made pistons to an industry leader in aftermarket performance.
    In 1940, when Clyde Wiseman first manufactured his own big-bore marine engine pistons, in his garage located on the East side of Cleveland, Ohio, it was with a purpose: to fill a void in the marketplace by building the performance pistons he needed (yet was unable to find) to win races. Word quickly spread about Wiseman's high-quality pistons, and by 1941 — with origins rooted in racing — he formed Wiseco Piston to serve the needs of fellow motorsports enthusiasts who needed performance pistons for outboard marine racing.

    Clyde Wiseman founded Wiseco from a passion stemming from outboard marine racing and a need for quality pistons he couldn't find at the time.
    Like any new business, times were tough in the beginning. Yet, Wiseco persevered, and today the company is one of the leading manufacturers of high-performance motorsports performance parts in the world, with 2021 the 80th anniversary of the company and its team of high-performance employees.
    When Wiseco first opened its doors all those years ago, it's unlikely Clyde Wiseman gave much thought to his company's longevity and what it might look like some 80 some years later. He was a racer driven by his passion for racing that simply wanted to win outboard marine races and make the best performing product possible. But the company did grow, and by 1948, Wiseco had moved to Wickliffe, Ohio, before moving again to its present location in Mentor, Ohio, in 1972.
    The stomping grounds of the early days of Wiseco Piston Co. before moving into the current, 150,000 sq. ft. facility in Mentor, OH. 
    During those formative years, the company expanded into the powersports segment by making pistons for ATVs, motorcycles, snowmobiles, and personal watercraft. Inevitably, that led to the company's further expansion into the automotive segment by producing performance products for racers competing in NHRA, NASCAR, World of Outlaws, and other forms of four-wheel racing.

    Passion for motor sports and performance doesn't end at two wheels, sometimes there's no wheels at all.
    Wiseco is unique among aftermarket piston manufacturers in the United States because it is the only brand that produces pistons strictly using the forging process. Starting with aerospace-grade aluminum, the forging process compresses the material's molecules, increasing the density of the aluminum and aligning the grain flow of the alloy, resulting in a high-quality product that's resistant to impact, fatigue, and has improved material properties such as ultimate strength and ductility, which is a material's ability to stretch or move without breaking under tensile strain. For high-performance race applications (where increased horsepower and compression can stress an engine's components further than a stock engine), it's of critical importance.
    To this day, Wiseco remains one of the only piston manufacturers to forge pistons in-house in the USA.
    This is why Wiseco engineers utilize the latest 3D design techniques and finite element modeling software to ensure each design provides the highest strength and lightest weight for each application. Wiseco's state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and in-house Dyno facility, combined with its talented group of high-performance employees and field-testing network, ensures each product they produce exceeds the expectations and demands of the motorsports industry.

    In-house engineering, 3D-modeling, CNC-machining, dyno testing and everything in between is nothing new to the Wiseco manufacturing plant...these methods have been in place for decades.
    Today, Wiseco corporate headquarters boasts over 150,000 square feet of state-of-the-art forging and CNC machining equipment. The company has distribution centers, sales offices, and manufacturing operations in strategic locations throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe to better serve markets outside its domestic U.S. market. But one thing has remained the same after 80 years in business: the Wiseco motto of "quality people building a quality product," with many Wiseco employees having worked at the company for 10, 15, 20 — and even 40+ years. Something apparent when speaking with current and former employees of the company.
    Time passes, but a dedicated and passionate team remains constant.
    "I was fortunate to join Wiseco in 1988, which opened the door for me professionally, where I was able to develop as the company also grew," recalls Dave Sulecki after 31 years as Engineering Manager at company headquarters in Mentor, Ohio. For Sulecki, the doors opened led to engineering and product development milestones he's proud to be a part of to this day — from two-stroke piston evolution to market-changing technology and products to NASCAR championships. Adds Sulecki, "The company was founded by and is driven by enthusiasts. The core employees are the reason that Wiseco earned the motto 'quality people building a quality product.' Who knows what a racer needs more than another racer?"
    From machinists to engineers to customer support and accounting, the people of Wiseco are dedicated to living up to its policy to meet or exceed customer requirements and expectations every time. They thrive in an environment focused on continually refining its "culture of quality" that thrives on the pursuit of perfection. And because racing at the highest level requires perfection, Wiseco's winning combination of quality people building quality products has continued to help elevate the brand to its current level of success.

    Regardless of the discipline, developing a product from a racer's and enthusiast's mentality is an irreplaceable advantage.
    “My career at Wiseco spanned 32 years as manager of Research and Development Department prior to my retirement,” explains Dave Fussner. “These were great years working with great people at a great company.” As Fussner goes on to explain, many of his friends at Wiseco stayed with the company for long periods, several that have more than 40 years with the company and are still going strong. “Working at Wiseco was truly a big part of my life. Being there lead me to a successful career doing what I loved, working with great people within the company, and also with the great racers and teams that chose Wiseco time and again.”

    Evolution and success over 80 years is a product of every player on Team Wiseco, both in-house and out on the track.
    Ryan Nau is another example of quality people building quality products that make Wiseco what it is today. He’s been with the company for almost 18 years and grew up interested in anything with an engine. For Nau, Wiseco has been the perfect career path. He started as a CNC operator and worked his way into the engineering and quality departments, and now currently serves as Research and Development Manager. "It's been a great journey working with the team here, and there is always more to learn in such a fast-paced performance market," explains Nau. "Many long-time employees share the same passion I do, and Wiseco keeps us engaged in the industry and aftermarket quality racing parts. A lot has developed in the last 80 years with internal combustion engines, and Wiseco continues to stay on the cutting edge of this development."

    Wiseco practices what we preach! Our Research and Development Manager with his Yamaha YZ295X build.
    Another area that's contributed to the long-term growth and success of Wiseco is its roots in racing that started with Clyde Wiseman back when he founded the company. Through the years, Wiseco has continued to support and nurture all forms of motorsports racing — from the local grassroots level to national-level professional. Each year, Wiseco sponsors hundreds of amateur and professional racing events and series. Iconic events like the Blackwater 100 in Beckley, West Virginia, back in 1974 are where Wiseco's roots in racing support began.

    Wiseco has helped power just about any type of motorsports racing discipline you can think over the past eight decades.
    For over 50 years, Wiseco has been a supporter of racing events, series, and racers, including the Grand National Cross Country Series, ATV Motocross Nationals, Loretta Lynn's Amateur National Motocross Championships, Wiseco 2-Stroke MX World Championships, and many other two and four-wheel events and series. It's a testament to Wiseco's commitment to motorsports that it continues to support racing at all levels. And likewise, continues to sponsor racers and teams from the local to the national level as they pursue their dreams of winning championships, breaking records, and achieving goals.

    Scott Parker
    After 80 years in business, the Wiseco name has become synonymous with performance. And although the brand is recognized as the only U.S. manufacturer of forged pistons for the motorsports market, these days, pistons are only one part of the brand's product offerings. Today Wiseco offers gasket kits, clutch components, valve train components, crankshafts, hour meters, connecting rods in addition to its line of performance pistons. And as motorsports technology continues to evolve, Wiseco remains at the forefront of the market with an expansive line of innovative products.
    Browse Wiseco products for your machine here.

    The Wiseco catalog has grown quite a bit since the piston-only days, but we'll always stay true to our roots.
    That's why top engine builders and racers in every motorsport depend on Wiseco products for consistent, winning results. Through its commitment to quality, integrity, and service as the backbone of the business, no other manufacturer can match Wiseco's advanced technology, high quality, and attention to detail. After 80 years of perfecting its products, led by a talented group of employees, it's easy to see why champions choose Wiseco.
    In honor of Wiseco founder, Clyde Wiseman,
    a dedicated racer and performance innovator who established the Wiseco legacy!

    Clyde Wiseman, 1912 - 1996
    Words - Dale Spangler/Buzz Media
    Images - Wiseco archives and Dale Spangler/Buzz Media
    Good Morning/Day Fellow TT Readers/Posters
    I have found the TT forum maybe in 2011ish? I was so excited to find this site had categories for all types of Dirt bikes, but it's name made reference, to/for me, about being a site for "4 stroke dirt bikes" by just it's name "Thumper Talk". I don't know if that is accurate or not? 
    I couldn't believe my eyes of the "Technological wonder" I had stumbled upon (actually TT was referred to me by another rider IIRC). I couldn't believe there was even a forum dedicated to Vintage Bikes like the ones I ride. I made some posts early on, about a Frankenbike (Primarily motor/chassis, then frame upgrades) I have been developing & riding for years. After explaining what this bike was I got a few posts that bagged on the bike and information I was posting about it. After getting razzed about my bike's description, this caused me to stop visiting TT for a number of years, interacting w/ site information and of course no more posting. 
    So, to get to my Point, I started trying to help others with informational posts more so, than the  very "Hyped up NEWS up topics at hand for the present day". In this effort, this TT member & frequent Poster's name kept popping up in topics of research. 
    SWISS aka Jim Schneider. He always had lots of great helpful information to share on the subject at hand. He seamed to be a much bigger authority on "Thumpers" than I was/am/or ever will be. The information he shared was not only very informative, accurate, but sometimes, seemed unbelievable, but NO DOUBT truthful! 
    Fast forward to Today 10-22-2021, I was researching the Bill Bell built XL Competition Racers and ran across SWISS's comments on Dirtrider.net about the Modified Big Bore XL subject matter I am researching. LOW and behold to find the above message sent out in 2014. This has made me think about past posters information they have shared concerning their knowledge or involvement with said subject matter.
    I will truly miss the chance to interact with his vast knowledge and Life experiences through his attendance in the "School of Hard Knocks". Unfortunately my chances to have passed me by & what knowledge I learn from SWISS will only be what the fortunate others have learned from his un-selfish acts of sharing his life experiences and vast notebook of notes from the Lifelong School of Hard Knocks.
    I think we TT member community should come up with some way to collect these posts in a "notebook of Bike model relevance subject matter" as a form of commemoration to that passed posters history of knowledge shared with others. Those searching subject matter on this forum could be made aware of this lost poster and their contributions in the subject matter.
    Could you imagine the interesting forum created from just SWISS's posts? It would range from helpful information, to actual life experiences on potential information research. Not to mention the pictures of bikes posted. I find many old posts pictures seem to disappear or become unavailable many times.  
    Leaky fork seals may be seem like minor problem, but it can lead to further damage of your fork internals, and even handling and braking safety. In this guide, we go through each step you need to know to replace oil and dust seals in your bike.
    Whether you’re out with friends or at the track on race day, leaky seals can ruin any day of riding, especially if that blown seal is on the brake side. When your forks seals are just leaking or won’t hold hardly any oil at all, your forks won’t dampen or rebound the way they’re intended to. The oil helps create bottoming resistance, allowing the fork to stay up in the stroke where it is intended to perform.

    Staying on top of leaking fork seals is critical to maintain optimum suspension performance. Remember, improperly operating suspension is a safety concern.
    Most current generation forks contain a closed cartridge, which houses the damping and rebound valving as well as oil. The outer chamber houses the fork spring plus additional oil. When the forks main seals blow, it’s the oil in the outer chamber that leaks out.
    As oil seeps out through the seal and down the lower fork leg, dirt and debris can stick to the tube. The initial size of the tear in the seal may be small and somewhat unnoticeable, but after dirt makes its way past the dust wiper, it damages the seal itself, causing oil to leak out more rapidly.

    You won't need to disassemble your fork this far for a seal change only, but it helps to be able to visualize the components inside your forks and where the oil is leaking from.
    Unaddressed leaking fork seals can lead to dirt working its way through the fork internals, likely leading to more damage and potentially costly repairs.
    Replacing fork seals is something that can generally be done in a well-equipped garage with the help of some standard tools and supplies, plus a couple specialty tools that are readily available.
    It’s important to note that different suspension manufacturers have different methods of disassembly and reassembly, so always be sure to reference your owner’s manual for guidance specific to your application. This guide is intended to be a general how-to and not all steps will be the same across all applications.
    In this step-by-step guide, we replaced the fork seals on a set of used Showa closed cartridge forks off a 2007 Honda CRF 450R. For the purpose of this guide, we will focus on a simple seal replacement to get you back on the track or trail rather than a full cleaning of the outer chamber and seal replacement.
    The first step before you begin your repair is ensuring you have the correct tools in your arsenal, and a set of new seals to install. Trying to “MacGyver” things with the incorrect tools can easily result in more repairs and more cost to you. Below is a list of tools we used for this project:

    Be sure you have the proper tools and a clean work space before you begin. Specialty suspension tools are readily available online.
    47mm ProX fork seal kit Torque wrench (recommended from a reputable company for accuracy) Socket wrench (3/8 drive) 8mm socket or 8mm T-handle wrench 10mm socket or 10mm T-handle wrench 17mm, 19mm, 21mm sockets 17mm open end wrench 5mm Allen wrench Fork cap wrench #2 flat head screw driver 47mm fork seal bullet 48mm fork seal driver Seal and O-ring grease 5W fork fluid (or whatever is recommended in your manual) Pen and paper 600 grit wet/dry sand paper Work bench vise with rubber padded jaws Oil drain pan Suspension-specific cleaning chemical (ex: Maxima Suspension Clean) Microfiber towels **NOTE: Tool sizes may vary depending on the suspension’s manufacture.
    There are many choices when sourcing new seals. OEMs are great, but can be overpriced. ProX oil seals and dust seals are made by the same OE suppliers in Japan to meet OEM quality without the price tag. They are available both individually and as sets.
    Be prepared and order new seals before disassembly. Fork oil and dust seal kits from ProX are made by OE suppliers to OE specifications and are provided at a more budget-friendly price. They're available from most of your favorite online parts retailers or local dealers. ProX also offers kits with bushings for forks with more hours on them.
    Want to find your part number? Search your bike and find it here.
    To start, it is always a good idea to have all your tools laid out on a clean work bench or table. Start by placing your bike on a stand and removing your front wheel, then your forks. Be sure to remove the fork guards and brake caliper (when applicable) before loosening the triple clamps and removing the forks completely.
    Remove your front wheel, fork guard, and brake caliper (if on the brake side) before removing the fork from the triple clamps.
    Check your rebound clicker settings using a flat head screwdriver and write them down. To do this, turn the clicker clockwise, counting each notch you feel until it stops. Once it stops, do not force it. The number of clicks is your setting. You will need to reset to this after reassembling your fork.
    If you don't know where your clickers are set, it's a good idea to check and record them so you can reset upon reassembly.
    Now, with the clicker settings recorded and the fork(s) completely removed from the bike, we can begin the seal replacement process.
    Place the fork in the vise by clamping it by the axle lug.

      Using a socket/wrench, fully loosen the bottom bolt underneath the axle lug.
      Be careful with this step, it can be a bit tricky. Once the bottom bolt is loose, you will need to compress the fork by pulling the top of the fork toward the axle lug.
      With the fork compressed and the damping rod exposed, using the fork end of the fork cap wrench, slide the damping into the middle of the “U” shaped prongs behind the jam nut and slowly let the fork rebound to lock the tool against the axle lug.

      You’ll need an open-ended wrench, a socket/wrench, and two hands for this step. Place the open-ended wrench on the jam nut and the socket/wrench on the rebound bolt and loosen the rebound bolt. Remove the rebound bolt from the damping rod along with the internal adjusting rod.
      Compress the upper tube toward the lower tube to remove the fork cap wrench from the damping rod jam nut and release the tension on the spring.
      Remove the fork from the vise, being careful not to spill any oil, and reposition the fork in the vise so the upper fork tube is clamped moderately tight with the top of the fork angled down. It is important to clamp in the middle of the tube where it is the most round with no taper. This is where the bottom triple clamp holds the fork.

      Using your flat head screw driver, separate the dust seal from the upper tube. Then, remove the internal seal clip from the groove inside the upper fork using the flat head as well.
    Use the flat head to separate the dust seal from the upper tube and to remove the seal clip (second photo).
      With these parts cleared from the tube, grip the lower tube with one hand and the upper tube with the other. Slide the lower tube into the upper tube, then quickly pull the lower tube away from the upper tube with enough force to separate the two tubes with the oil and dust seal remaining on the lower tube.
      Remove the slide bushing, guide bushing, base washer, oil seal, seal clip and dust seal from the top of the lower tube, making sure to place them on the work bench in the order they came off. It is also very important to note how the oil seal was positioned. Incorrect positioning will not seal oil.
      Using a clean microfiber, clean your lower tube and inspect the tube for dings and sharp burrs that may have caused the seal to leak. If nicks and burs are found, use the 600-grit wet/dry sand paper lubricated with the suspension clean to remove any sharp edges. Wipe the tube down with a clean micro fiber rag to remove contaminants from sanding and place the tube on your work bench.

    **NOTE: ONLY use the sand paper WET and ONLY to remove specific burs. Do not rub the entire tube as you will scuff the friction-reducing coating on the tube and cause pre-mature bushing wear.
      Inspect your guide and slide bushings, washers, snap rings, and O-rings. If any of them show damage or excessive wear, you may want to consider replacing them. If they look okay, a good cleaning should be sufficient. If they need to be replaced, fork bushing kits can also be sourced from ProX with same OEM quality and affordability of the fork seals.

    Inspect and clean your bushings, washers, clips, and O-rings. Should anything be damaged, replaced or excessively worn, consider replacing with a new bushing kit. Click here to check out ProX bushing kits.
      After cleaning the bushings, apply seal and O-ring grease to the Teflon coating of the bushings as well as the inside of the oil seal and dust seal for lubrication.
      Place your seal bullet over the fork tube far enough to cover the side bushing journal. In this order, slide the dust seal on the tube, then the seal clip, oil seal, base washer and guide bushing. Remove the seal bullet and place the slide bushing back in the journal.
      Gently place the lower tube back over the damping rod and into the upper tube far enough to allow the slide bushing to hold the tube in place. Slide the guide bushing and base washer into the upper fork tube. Using your seal driver, drive the base washer down and into the tube opening. Repeat this process with the oil seal, making sure to drive the seal far enough to expose the grove for the seal clip to fit in. Place the seal clip in the tube, making sure the clip fits in the grove 360 degrees around. Lastly, use the seal driver to drive the dust seal into place at the bottom of the upper tube.

    **NOTE: It is extremely important to make sure the seal clip is secured in the groove. This clip holds the seal in place and keeps the lower fork tube from separating from the upper tube.
      Un-clamp the upper fork tube from the vise being careful not to tilt the fork down and lose oil. Reposition the fork in the vise and clamp it by the axle lug with the fork cap angled down.
      Carefully compress the upper tube to expose the damping rod through the bottom of the axle lug and place the forked end of the fork cap wrench behind the jam nut. Slowly release the tension allowing the tool to settle on the bottom of the axle lug.

      Re-install the adjuster rod and rebound bolt onto the damping rod. Using the open-ended wrench and socket/wrench, tighten the rebound bolt until it bottoms out against the jam nut.

      Compress the upper fork tube towards the axle lug to remove the holding tool. Thread the rebound bolt into the axle lug and torque to the specification in your owner’s manual.
      Reset the rebound clicker to your desired settings.
      Reposition the fork in the vise again with the fork cap angled up, clamped moderately tight. Using your fork cap wrench, loosen the fork cap from the upper tube. Do not fully remove the cap from the tube.

      Remove the fork from the vise and place upright on the floor. Fully unthread the fork cap from the upper tube and slide the outer tube down.
      Now, add a measured amount of oil to the fork. This will be an estimated amount of oil depending on how much oil you have lost due to the leaky seal. In most cases, 10-20cc’s of oil will be adequate, however, it’s important to make sure you have your manual’s recommended amount of oil in your fork. Slide the outer tube back up to the fork cap and thread the cap into the tube. Using your fork cap wrench in one hand and holding the fork tube in the other, jerk the cap tightly onto the fork to seal the cap to the tube.
    If replacing seals in both forks, repeat this process for the remaining fork.
    Re-install the fork(s) on the bike as well as the fork guard(s), brake caliper (if applicable), and front wheel. It is important to consult your service manual for all torque specs when tightening bolts.
    While 4 stroke mufflers are low maintenance, they are not maintenance free! Repacking a 4 stroke muffler is key, both for the longevity of your exhaust and performance. Yep, a properly packed exhaust gives your bike better throttle response and restores peak power. On top of that, it keeps the sound down. 🙉
    Need packing for your 4 stroke muffler? FMF has you covered.
    FMF Exhaust Packing
    Coach Robb
    The shoulder bade (aka scapula) should be able to move freely. When it becomes tight your body will compensate for movement, this leads to other problems like headaches, muscle weakness and overall fatigue.
    Give this technique 10-15 minutes with a little oil or lotion. Ideally 2-4x a week for optimum range of motion!
    The video file is too big to post here: visit my IG account for the video @completeracingsolutions 
    While four-strokes have a lot of power and are a blast to ride, valvetrain maintenance is a responsibility that comes along with them. Here we take a look at proper practices when replacing valves and valve springs.
    Four-stroke engines have been serving the Powersports community for decades, in applications ranging from street motorcycles, dirt bikes, ATVs, and UTVs, to name a few. Over time, engine technologies have evolved on many fronts, which have ultimately led to ever greater engine performance. Maintenance practices have also evolved, and in this article, we’re going to focus on modern valve installation.
    The role the valves play is critical, and, consequently, as valve technology continues to evolve, the margin for error on part of the installer continues to decrease. There are a number of steps that must be carefully considered and done just right when installing new valves to ensure long-term success. We’ll work from the pre-installation phase through to post-installation checks. This article will ultimately give you a checklist so the next time you have to install valves in your engine, you’ll be well equipped.  
    See all our guides to 4-stroke top end rebuilds here!

    Building a 4-stroke head can seem like a daunting task, but understanding how to take each step can greatly lower intimidation.
    Work done prior to the installation of the new valves determines how long the refurbished top-end will last. The two most important components that must be considered here are valve guides and valve seats. Due to the way each of these parts interacts with the valve, their condition, and the decisions made surrounding them, will dictate how long the new valves live.
    Valve Guides
    The role of a valve guide should be no surprise based on its name. A valve guide’s function is to ensure the position of the valve is well controlled as it reciprocates up and down. Ensuring the face of the valve repeatedly contacts the seat in the same location is important for engine performance, and valve seat and valve longevity.

    Valve guides are the passages the valves operate through, allowing the valve stem to lead from the combustion chamber and through the valve, without losing pressure thanks to the valve seals.
    Due to the forces present in most valvetrain designs, as an engine wears, the valve guides will wear into a distinct shape. This shape can visually be represented by thinking of an hourglass. When measured from top to bottom, worn valve guides will usually feature slightly larger diameters at the top and bottom than in the middle. Once the valve guide takes on the hourglass shape, the likelihood that the valve face will contact a much broader area of the valve seat is greatly increased, which will increase the seat and valve face wear rate.
    Your OEM service manual will specify the service limits for the valve guide bore. Measurements can be made a couple different ways, usually with small hole gauges and micrometers or dial indicators. Methods specific to your engine are typically outlined in the service manual. It is imperative that the valve guides are measured and qualified prior to installation of the new valves.
    Valve Seats
    The valve seats serve as the mating interface for the corresponding faces of the valves. This interface, along with the piston rings, is ultimately what seals the combustion chamber during the compression stroke. As a result, the integrity of the seal between the valve face and valve seat is one of the primary drivers of engine performance. 

    Valve seats are the chamfered rings around the openings in the combustion chamber. These must be consistent and smooth for valves to seal properly. This used head will get the valve seats recut by a reputable shop before new valves are installed.
    As an engine runs, the valve seat and valve face wear together. Typically, the contact area between the valve and seat will increase in proportion to engine run time, and the valve seat can take on an ovalized shape. Both wear characteristics are detrimental to engine performance and longevity.
    Since the valve face and valve seat wear together, it is almost always best to have the valve seats recut prior to the installation of new valves. Doing this ensures the valve seat and valve face are properly matched together, and will wear together correctly. Installing a new valve to a worn seat often leads to accelerated wear of the new valve face.
    A reputable shop that specializes in cylinder head work should be entrusted with the job of re-cutting the valve seats and, if necessary, valve guides. Due to the high level of accuracy required to ensure concentric valve seats and guides, a shop equipped with specialized seat cutting machines should be used, as opposed to hand operated seat cutters.
    Valves and Springs
    The type of valve being installed will have some bearing on subsequent work and considerations. The scenario that deserves the most attention is the one where titanium valves are being replaced with steel valves. This is a common swap that is made which trades a little performance for added valve life. When this is done, the valve springs must be considered.

    Some OEMs have supplied bikes with titanium valves from the factory. It's common to convert these valves to steel for longevity, but don't forget the springs must also be changed accordingly. ProX steel valve kits include the necessary springs rated for the specific valves.
    Click here to check out ProX's valve and spring offerings.
    Since steel alloys weigh more than titanium alloys, the steel valves will be heavier than their original counterparts. Valvetrains are finely tuned systems, and the added mass of the steel valves typically will require different valve springs to compensate.
    Fortunately for engine builders, brands such as ProX offer an array of valvetrain components designed to meet or exceed OEM quality, which includes valves, springs, valve stem seals, and shims, to name a few. Both direct OEM replacement valves are offered, as well as valve conversions that replace OEM titanium valves with steel valves.
    ProX offers both titanium and steel OEM quality valve and spring kits at a wallet-friendly price.
    Keepers, Retainers, Seats, and Seals
    The condition of the valve spring seats and retainers should be checked. It is not uncommon to reuse these components. However, it is important to make sure they have not worn. Check both the seats and retainers for signs of wear, which usually originate as a result of contact with the valve spring. If heavy wear or indentations are observed, these parts should be replaced. Similarly, it is considered best practice to replace the keepers and valve stem seals as part of the valve overhaul.
    Be sure to inspect your retainers for damage and wear before reusing. It is common practice to use new keepers and valve seals. OEM quality valve stem seals are also available from ProX.
    Once all the necessary new hardware is on hand, and servicing tasks have been taken care of, final component checks can be performed. The primary focus here should be on confirming the new valve spring free length is within spec, and contact between the valve face and the valve seat is within specification.
    Valve spring free length is simply a measurement of the valve spring’s length in its uncompressed state. The service manual or documentation provided with the valve spring kit should be referenced to determine the acceptable free length criteria.

    Before installing, measure valve spring free length and compare to what is recommended in your owners manual to ensure your valves will be operating and sealing properly.
    The valve face to seat contact pattern and contact width should be checked to ensure the valve and seat will seal well. To do this, a valve lapping tool is used in conjunction with a transfer fluid, typically a Sharpie marker or machinist’s dye.

    To test valve-to-seat contact, a permanent marker can be used to dye the valve seat.
    The valve seat is covered with marker or machinist’s dye, then the valve is inserted. The valve lapping tool is used to apply light pressure to the valve face and seat.  Next, the valve is gently rotated back and forth for a few seconds. Upon careful removal of the valve, the marker or dye that covered the valve seat should have transferred to the valve face. The resulting contact pattern and contact width can be referenced to assess the quality of the sealing interface. The valve face should show that it is in complete contact all the way around its circumference with the valve seat. The contact width should be measured carefully with a caliper, and the resulting width should be checked against the specifications outlined in the service manual.
    If either contact continuity or contact width is a problem, it is highly likely that the valve seats have not been cut properly or the builder is trying to install new valves into worn out seats. Since almost all modern valves feature some form of a thin coating or hardening process on their exterior faces, lapping valves using a lapping compound should never be considered due to the risk of wearing away the coated or hardened layer.
    A complete seal will leave a solid red line on the valve, while an incomplete seal will have patchy sections of red, or no red at all.
    Once it has been determined that the new valves and components will result in a well-sealing combustion chamber, the installation process is fairly straightforward. Prepping all components for installation by pairing and separating the new components based on their location is recommended. This is incredibly important since the intake and exhaust valves can vary in diameter and mass, resulting in the usage of different springs, seals, seats, retainers, and keepers. 

    Be sure your valve components are re-assembled with oil or assembly lube where appropriate.
    First, the valve spring seats should be coated with a light amount of engine oil or assembly lube and installed. Next, the new valve stem seals should be installed. Since the intake and exhaust valve diameters can differ, make sure the correct seals are installed in the correct location. Next, apply a couple drops of oil just below the notch in the valve stem. Install the valves by gently rotating them past their respective seals. Lightly coat the valve springs and retainers in engine oil or assembly lube at their contact points. Attempt to keep oil out of the area of the retainer where the keepers reside. Position the keepers inside the retainers, then set the springs and retainers in their respective locations on the cylinder head. 
    Carefully use a valve spring compressor to compress the valve springs so that the keepers can drop into position. To facilitate positioning of stubborn keepers, a pick can be used to help guide the keepers into position. Once the keepers have located in their notches in the valve stem, the valve spring compressor can be removed and the remaining valves assemblies can be compressed and completed. Once all the valve springs have been compressed, a brass punch and hammer should be used to tap the top of each valve stem a few times. Tapping the top of the valve is a critical step, and will help ensure all the keepers have seated correctly prior to startup.

    When re-installing keepers, use a valve spring compressor to allow you drop them into place, so they can find the proper position in the valve stem groove. A pick is often used to assist in positioning the keepers.
    Post-Installation Checks
    At this point, the rest of the cylinder head and engine can be reassembled. It is of the utmost importance to check the valve clearances, and re-shim as needed. Anytime new valves are installed, the likelihood that different shims will be required is very high.
    Lastly, upon reassembly, it is critical to ensure that the cam timing is set according to the procedure outlined in the service manual. Mis-timed engines can lead to catastrophic failures. Double or triple checking that the timing is set correctly is cheap insurance. Furthermore, rotating the engine through several revolutions by hand is also good practice, and helps ensure no mistakes have been made during reassembly.
    To qualify the integrity of the seal between the valve face and valve seat, a leak down test can be performed prior to startup. A leak down test will provide quantifiable means to assess where any cylinder leakage is originating and the severity of it.

    Checking valve clearance after installing new valves and springs is a must, because different sized shims will often be needed. Click here to see ProX's shim kits.
    In this article we cover the reasons why motorcycle graphics installations don't go as well as you'd like and how you can avoid the mistakes that typically get in the way of an otherwise flawless installation.
    1: Condition of Your Plastics
    In a perfect world, graphics would be stuck to brand new plastics every time. But, who wants to toss perfectly good plastics? If your plastics are free of cracks or deep scratches, new graphics will stick just fine. Be honest; if they're on the rough side, buy new plastic to ensure that your new graphics have the best chance of staying on the bike for as long as possible.

    The essentials needed for installing graphics
    2: Preparation
    Plastics need to be free from all contaminants before you proceed. If you're removing old graphics and stickers, use an alcohol based cleaner, methylated spirits, brake cleaner or even petrol to help remove all the old glue. A little bit of heat on the old graphics will help to release the glue from your plastics.

    If you have removed old stickers from your plastics, some glue may be left behind as shown. It is important that this is all removed before installing your new graphics.
    If you’re applying graphics to brand new plastics, it's extra important to use one of the cleaners mentioned above to take off the wax coating that plastic companies use to make their product look extra shiny. If this isn’t done, your graphics won’t stick properly and likely peel.

    Any alcohol-based cleaner will work to clean contaminants off your plastics. We mainly use Methylated spirits, or our purpose designed SKDA Prep Spray.
    3: Installation
    There are many different methods to install graphics, all with pros and cons. The following tips are based upon years of successful results installing many, many graphics kits.
    > Make sure that your hands are free from oil and contaminants before beginning. A quick wash with something like Dawn liquid dish soap does the trick.
    > We advise against using water, soap or any liquid for installation, as you need to ensure that every bit is removed from under the surface or bubbles will form. A bit of patience and planning is all you need to install a kit!
    > Before removing the backing tape, take a minute to line the sticker up on the section you are working on to try and get an idea of how it is meant to align on the bike. If your graphics are die cut (like ours at SKDA), you can align the graphics against your bike and see exactly where bolts and edges are supposed to line up before you get into the nitty-gritty stuff.

     Before removing the backing tape, line up the graphics on the plastics so you can see where they are meant to line up on the plastics.

     Always start at a point you know must be exact, like the bottom corner of this front plate shown above.
    > After you have an idea of where a piece is meant to sit, remove the backing tape and get to it. Always start at a section that must be perfect, such as a corner or bolt hole. After you have this section on, simply work your way along ensuring that no air bubbles are present. If you notice it is going on crooked, with bubbles or not how you like, simply pull it back off and try again. MX grade vinyl material is very forgiving and can be removed for another attempt several times. We always have a heat gun or hair dryer handy, as a little bit of heat makes the material that little bit softer to fold around sharp edges and curves. Be careful with the heat though, as too much will cause the material to become flimsy and harder to manage. Be patient and add heat little by little until you feel it is warm enough to manipulate how you need it.

     Bubbles happen, it’s not the end of the world though! Simply peel back the sticker and try again. MX grade vinyl is super forgiving, so it can be peeled up and reapplied as needed.
    > Once you have the graphics installed correctly, grab your heat gun again and go over all the edges, corners, and sharp changes of angle to give the kit one final heat cycle. This time you can get it a little bit warmer and really make sure that the graphics is holding to the plastic everywhere. You may find small edges lifting over the next few hours/days; simply reheat and push the sticker back down. This will "train" the vinyl to stay in its current form and not flatten out.

     Smaller edges may pop up in the days following the install, this is normal. Simply heat the area back up and reapply.
    4: Patience
    As mentioned in the above step, take your time with the install. Sticker material in the current age is very advanced compared vs. the material used in the past and it can be removed and re-applied several times when applying. It is that final heat cycle over the entire kit that really locks-in the graphics from being removed, activating the adhesive for a long-lasting stick.

    Give the graphics one final heat cycle to really activate the glue in it’s final position.

    Congrats, you’ve just finished installing a section of your graphics. Now move on to the next section and repeat!
    5: Aftercare
    As mentioned above, you may find small edges lifting for a day or two after installing; take your heat gun and heat these sections and stick them back down again. Give your bike 2-3 days after install before riding/washing it; this will give your new graphics the best chance possible to dry to its new surface. Hard to resist riding, but worth the wait. After that, you're free to head out riding with the coolest looking bike in the pits!

    ThumperTalk.com/SKDA collab graphics coming soon!
    If you have any questions, hit us up in the comments section below. Feel free to add your personal tips & tricks for getting graphics installed to perfection.
    About SKDA
    SKDA (pronounced letter by letter; ‘es-kay-dee-ay’) is an Australian based moto graphics company, driving for global excellence.
    We service local and international moto industries – Regardless of your accolades, our goal is to make you look world class with the most innovative designs in the business. Our expansive Online Store is updated constantly; therefore finding a design that suits your taste and needs is easy. All our kits can be customized to align with your requirements & desires.
    SKDA graphics & seat cover products are manufactured in house, to ensure 100% consistency and quality. Our graphics products are printed on top-shelf US manufactured materials, with superior machinery & inks for perfect vibrant colors. We operate mainly from our headquarters based in Australia, whilst also providing localized support and print services from our overseas facilities in USA and Sweden.

    Premium quality is simply non-negotiable.
    Every product we sell is put through intense testing by our own people, to ensure it stands up to the level of expectation our customers embrace.

    ORIGINALITY IS EVERYTHING. Our products are designed to stand out and sync with the unconventional characteristics of our customers. Our willingness to take risks and be adventurous co-exists with our audience. We embody transparency and to always be unique.
    We uphold the highest standards to deliver exceptional results.

    Coach Robb
    Always a pleasure to be back on Maddi's show. We take a look at:
    1. Eating on race day
    2. Addressing dreaded arm pump
    3. Supplementation
    4. Off the bike training (why and how).
    Please add this podcast to your library - you won’t regret.
    Coach Robb
    This was an interesting ninety minute conversation with Mark, Andrew and Nsima concerning the state of sport and the use of PEDS (Performance Enhancing Drugs).
    With the extensive backgrounds that all three of these guys possess, we walked through various situations, athletes and governing bodies associated within all sports.
    Subjects included: Why would someone want to take a PED, what are some indicators that someone is on PEDS, associated health ramifications (immediate and long term) associated with PEDS, how do individuals "pass" drug tests for years only to put out a tell all book on how they competed juiced to the gills all along?
    It is an honor to be an invited guest to this show and the banter about this subject was refreshing. I hope you enjoy the content as much as I enjoyed discussing it!
    Coach Robb
    Huge thanks to TreeHouseCreativeDesigns.com for this new recipe book featuring 25+ travel-inspired dishes based on our adventures and friends we have met over the last five years of traveling the globe!
    This cookbook tells stories about where the recipes come from as well as offers nutritional insights into the ingredients. Dishes are made from real food and most are extremely healthy, although we’ve thrown in a few variations and “reward” meals. I hope you and your taste buds enjoy these adventure meals as much as Micaela and I did!
    To purchase either a digital or print version of this (or any of my three other books), click here: https://www.coachrobbstore.com/product/culinary-adventures-with-coach-robb/

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