Jump to content

Articles

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.

    Kevin from Wiseco
    It's no secret Wiseco's crankshaft assemblies experienced some growing pains early on, but various supplier and material actions have been taken and quality control processes put in place to make sure Wiseco bottom end kits make your rebuild easy and reliable. See what has been done for Wiseco's crankshaft line here.
    Whether you ride a dirt bike, ATV, or any other powersports machine, the time for a bottom end freshening up will come. Hopefully it doesn’t come because of a crankshaft failure, but we all know sometimes stuff happens. Regardless of the reason you’re rebuilding your bottom end, ordering durable parts and having everything you need makes it a lot easier on your mind and your wallet.
    An extensive process of designing, engineering, quality control, and benchmarking goes into every Wiseco bottom end rebuild kit. Wiseco’s bottom end kits consist of the crankshaft itself, a bottom end gasket and seal kit, and main bearings. Each application has one part number for the complete kit, making it simple and easy for the customer.

    Finding individual part numbers for all the seals, bearings, and gaskets you need can be a pain. We think receiving everything in one full bottom end kit is much easier.
     
    Research and Development
    Wiseco’s engineering staff is responsible for the complete design of all Wiseco crankshafts, including all assembled dimensions, clearances, materials, and specifications. During the research and development process, the engineering team will first examine the OEM crankshaft. They will take numerous measurements of lengths, widths, thicknesses, tolerances, and clearances. OEM crankshafts will be put through this testing process first, allowing engineers to determine where there are weaknesses in those crankshafts so they can tailor their designs to improve upon those areas.

    The first step in crankshaft reliability is using properly treated materials.
    One critical component of all Wiseco crankshafts is properly treated materials. Crankshaft webs and connecting rods are double forged for strength, and then put through heat treatment. Proper heat treatment on connecting rods and main webs of crankshafts normalizes the materials and is essential to wear resistance because it prepares the metal for the heat and stress conditions experienced during engine operation.  Without this process, the rod and crank webs could have inconsistent qualities and weak spots. If the crank components don’t have the lowest friction and best possible wear protection, some or all of the affected crankshaft components could fail, which is almost always catastrophic for the entire engine.
    Also included are low friction bearings. Optimally located rod oil slots help keep these low friction bearings properly lubricated. A main bearing that spins smoothly and easily while also operating within strict tolerances is important to allow your engine to perform quietly and efficiently, without any accelerated wear from operation outside of tolerances.

    Keeping crank bearings properly lubricated and free of debris is essential to crankshaft function.
     
    Before designs are finalized, crankshafts are installed in a motor and tested at wide open throttle for 4 hours. If a crank or any part of it does not last for the entire 4 hours, the engineers will reexamine and redesign any parts needed. When the crank lasts the full 4 hours, it is next inspected for signs of high wear resistance, so Wiseco can be sure the crankshafts will have many hours of service life.
    Testing and Quality Control
    The first step in the quality control process for the crankshafts is ensuring consistent quality across every part that comes in. Wiseco has created close relationships with their material and parts suppliers to make sure that each and every part going into their cranks meets strict quality standards.
    A great example of the importance of working with suppliers is the big end bearings used in Wiseco crankshaft assemblies. Cleanliness of the bottom end bearings is a major factor in proper crank operation. If there is any debris from manufacturing in a main bearing, wear on the bearing will be accelerated, leading to bearing failure, and ultimately, crank failure. Adequate filtration systems and processes have been put in place with the supplier to make sure debris is taken care of right away. Individual inspection and initial testing steps are also taken by the supplier to assure quality begins at the source.

    Quality control steps for cleanliness, material, and operation start at the supplier, and don't end until everything is boxed up and ready to ship.
     
    The next step in the crankshaft assembly after parts are received from suppliers is to thoroughly hand-inspect for any imperfections or dimensions outside of Wiseco’s specifications.
    According to Wiseco's Director of Powersports, Scott Highland, “A sample group from each incoming shipment is fully inspected in our engineering lab prior to being placed in inventory to be sold. Inspection is fully dimensional, and all data is recorded and compared to standards for each specific crankshaft.” Crankshaft pieces that pass inspections are then used to assemble the crankshafts themselves, then sent off for further testing.
    The assembled cranks are first tested for any operation that runs outside of specified tolerances. This is referred to as testing the crank for trueness.  If there are any that are found to not operate completely within the specified tolerances, they will not be used.
      
    Crankshafts are individually measured and inspected to make sure all critical dimensions are met.
    Scott Highland comments, “Inspecting crankshaft run-out, or trueness, is critical to the crankshaft running smoothly in the engine with less vibration and improved main bearing wear.” Any part that is not in compliance will be recorded and scrapped.
    OEM Following the Aftermarket
    Back when Honda was still making the good old 2-strokes, there were certain model years that had what the powersports industry refers to as the “tin can” design for the crankshaft. What this nick name refers to is the web of the crankshaft -- which is the section that houses the main bearing and shaft -- had a surrounding metal piece that resembled somewhat of a tin can. The connecting rod would rotate on the main bearing through the middle of this “tin can.” The natural highly repetitive motion of the crankshaft would cause a great deal of fatigue on the tin can, which ultimately resulted in the metal fracturing and metal fragments falling into the crankshaft.
    Wiseco created a newly designed crankshaft for the CR250R models that came with the faulty “tin can.” Their new design scrapped the tin can structure and utilized more conventional plastic stuffers that were much more resistant to wear, drastically reducing the chance of bottom end failure. After endurance testing, it proved to be a worthy design. In fact, the new design worked so much better that Honda later started using a similarly designed crankshaft with plastic stuffers instead of the old faulty design.
    It’s always a good idea to inspect the bottom end components of your machine and replace as needed according to your manufacturers suggestions. Ordering one bottom end kit from Wiseco and receiving everything you need at a fair price makes the first steps of your rebuild a whole lot easier.

    Bryan II
    Beta launches the new 2020 RR Race Edition Models on the market!

    Beta presents the race-ready version of its new-generation Beta Enduro range, unveiled back in July. As customers have come to expect, it's fitted with all the equipment needed to make it a truly race-ready machine, set up for any situation it'll encounter during competition.

    Beta engineers have therefore focused on developing a high-end set-up and incorporating all those details - both aesthetic and functional - that reduce weight and ensure even higher performance under all race conditions.

    The new RR Racing MY 2020 has, in fact, all the same features that have enabled Steve Holcombe and Brad Freeman to dominate the World Enduro circuit over the last few years, winning several titles in succession.

    The Racing family consists of 7 models: 125, 250, 300 cc 2T (2-stroke) and 350, 390, 430 and 480 cc 4T (4-stroke).
    Compared to the respective standard versions, the RR Racing MY 2020 range stands out on account of:

    Suspension
    Kayaba AOS forks with closed ø 48 mm cartridge: these new KYB spring forks feature a closed-cartridge design and are renowned worldwide for being top-of-the-range. Close collaboration between Beta and Kayaba has created a bespoke product which features a new fork shoe design and a unique calibration reserved for the RR models. Also, the presence of anodized internal components minimizes sliding friction, whilst the customary compression and release adjusters allow easy attainment of optimum settings at all times. Therefore, Kayaba forks ensure excellent operation under all usage conditions, being ultra-reliable, easy to tune and, what's more, considerably reducing weight (0.5 kg lighter than the MY 2019). ZF ø 46 mm shock absorber with new calibration: this newly refined set-up lets riders make the absolute most of the new chassis. Black anodized triple clamp. Premix

    In response to riders who are always looking for slashing weight, the Beta R&D department has once again decided to dispense with the automatic mixer in order to reduce bike weight as much as possible. RR Racing MY 2020 2-stroke machines run on oil/gas premix, thus honing the racing pedigree of this version.

    Special components
    Quick release front wheel pin: essential for saving precious seconds during a race, this device speeds up tire repairs. Vertigo hand guards: solidity, eye-catching design and In-Mold graphics make this accessory indispensable for off-road riding. Metzeler Six Days tires: for confident off-road riding. It's no coincidence that these tires are the most widely used in top-level Enduro competitions and by multiple world champion Steve Holcombe. Black Aluminum footrests: with a broad contact surface and steel pegs to ensure optimum grip under all conditions. A robust yet lightweight structure means these footrests also have a longer lifespan. Rear sprocket with anodized aluminum core and steel teeth: a perfect combination of lightness and durability. Red aluminum chain tensioner blocks. Racing seat with pocket. Black anodized shift/brake levers. Transmission oil cap, engine oil cap and oil filter cap in red anodized aluminum. Racing graphics and red rim stickers. New battery charging system: more efficient and reliable (4-stroke only). New expansion chamber: improves performance across the entire power curve, especially at high revs where it boosts acceleration (125 2-stroke only). Availability
    November Want more on Beta Motorcycles? Checkout our Beta Motorcycles owners forum.
    Kevin from Wiseco
    The clutch system is the most important connection between your hand and the rear wheel, as far as controlling the machine. When working properly, most riders don’t give their clutch a second thought. However, the importance of the clutch quickly snaps into focus when there’s a problem with the system.
    A clutch is an engineering marvel. Imagine you are on the starting line waiting for the gate to drop. You start your bike and pull in the clutch. What follows is a chain reaction of events. A series of moving parts transfer that load down to the clutch, where the pressure plate is pushed away from the clutch pack, basket and inner hub. At that point, there is a disconnection between the transmission and crankshaft.

    Clutch functionality involves a series of moving parts that are crucial to engine operation. Periodic maintenance, inspection, and replacement will keep your machine running as it should. Shown here is an exploded view from Yamaha of a YZ250 clutch.
    With the clutch disengaged, you click the shifter into gear. The gate drops, and you quickly release the clutch lever. The clutch springs force the pressure plate to squeeze the friction and drive plates together, causing the clutch basket and inner hub to synchronize. At that point, the energy generated inside the combustion chamber is carried through the transmission and to the countershaft sprocket, which then transfers the load to the rear wheel. Without an operating clutch, you would be sitting on the starting line as the pack raced away.  
    Suffice it to say that your clutch is a vital piece of the overall puzzle. And, like most parts on your bike, it won’t last forever. Fortunately, there are three general indicators that your clutch is not working properly. You don’t need to be deft or dexterous to determine whether your drive system is giving up the ghost. The only necessities are a handful of tools, basic mechanical knowledge, and a good sense of smell. In this article, we delve into the symptoms, causes and solutions for the most common clutch problems so you can get back to riding.

    Sign #1: Slipping Away
    Symptoms:
    A slipping clutch is quickly recognizable when you’re twisting the throttle with reckless abandon while the machine is in gear, yet the rear wheel isn’t rotating in unison with the engine’s rpm. If you’re wound out in third gear and only accelerating at a snail’s pace, then something is wrong. You may also be able to notice a vague feel at the clutch lever. Either of these symptoms suggest that the internal clutch components need to be inspected for wear.
    Causes:
    When a clutch is performing optimally, the drive plates and friction plates are pushed together during clutch engagement (i.e. when the clutch lever is let out). The connection causes the rotation of the clutch basket and the inner hub to synchronize and work as one unit. However, as the plates begin to wear out, the clutch plates will slip against each other instead of grabbing. This prevents the transfer of energy from the engine to the transmission. Unfortunately, clutch slipping is inevitable, even if you aren’t a clutch abuser. Clutch plates wear out over time as a result of rubbing when the clutch is engaged.

    When experiencing clutch slipping, the likely culprit is worn clutch plates. It's time to disassemble and inspect your steel and fiber plates for wear.
    It is also possible that the clutch springs have lost their tension. When this happens, the springs aren’t strong enough to effectively pull the pressure plate against the clutch pack. Just as with clutch plates, clutch springs do not last forever.

    Worn clutch springs can also contribute to a slipping clutch. Read on for an explanation on inspecting your clutch springs.
    Solutions:
    When you experience clutch slippage, you’ll need to inspect the drive and steel clutch plates, as well as the clutch springs. To quote Dave Sulecki, Wiseco Powersports Engineer, “It’s very easy to access the clutch on all the new bikes. You can literally lay the bike over on its side, pop off the clutch cover, and start inspecting the components.”
    Using a vernier caliper or micrometer, measure the thickness of the steel (or aluminum) drive plates, and the fiber plates. Consult your owner’s manual to find the recommended specs. Be sure to also check the free length of the clutch springs. It’s a good idea to replace the drive and fiber plates, as well as the clutch springs.
     
    The most accurate way to know if your steels and fibers are worn is to measure them and compare the thickness to the recommended spec range in your owner's manual.

    Similarly, clutch spring free length can be measured to determine if they are outside of spec and need to be replaced.
    Replacement clutch components—both in individual components and clutch pack kits—are readily available through aftermarket companies like Wiseco. Replacing your fiber and drive plates at the same time is common practice, and when springs are required as well, all these components are available in kits with fibers, plates, and springs in one box. Each kit is built to OEM specifications and far less expensive, and Wiseco clutch springs feature a stiffer rating for a more positive clutch engagement.

    Replacement clutch components from Wiseco are available in individual packs of steels, fibers, and springs, as well as in clutch pack kits that include all three.
    Find Wiseco clutch components for your bike or ATV here.
    Sign #2: Creeping & Bad Smell
    Symptoms:
    The machine is emitting a foul burning smell that could strip paint off a wall. The stench might be so pungent that it’s evident after pulling into the pits. Generally, though, the smell is noticeable after removing the clutch cover. You may also notice your bike creeping forward with the clutch pulled in and the transmission in gear, no matter how much you adjust the clutch cable.
    Causes:
    Do the sniff test. Pull the clutch cover off. If you smell burnt clutch material, chances are your clutch will need new components. The burnt smell is the result of the clutch heating up.

    “The parts that burn first are generally the friction plates. It’s a real obvious odor. You’ll know it when you smell it. Visually, you’ll see the heat marks in the drive plates. The friction plates can also become black in color. The best thing to do is check the plates dimensionally against the specifications in your owner’s manual. Make sure you’re within tolerance on width and flatness,” states Sulecki.
     
    Burnt friction plates will typically become black in color and burnt drive plates commonly show dark colored wear marks.
    Solutions:
    For starters, you’re going to need to replace the oil. Be sure to pay close attention to the recommended service intervals in your owner’s manual. Doing so can extend the life of your clutch.
    Sulecki adds, “Fresh oil will help keep things lubricated and running cool. Oil does break down from heat and friction over time. In a lot of engines, the clutch shares oil with the transmission and valve train. Oil gets a lot of opportunity to break down quickly. Keep the oil fresh.”
    However, the damage of a cooked clutch cannot be undone. Clutch plates can warp over time from the heat. Warped plates cause the clutch to disengage unevenly and create all sorts of headaches. You will need to invest in new friction and drive plates, at least. However, heat could also damage the clutch springs, effecting spring tension. Be sure to inspect all your clutch components.

    If you find your clutch components have been subjected to excessive heat, it's always a good idea to at least replace the drive plates, fibers, and springs (when applicable).
    Sign #3: Feeling A Drag
    Symptoms:
    The clutch lever feels lumpy during clutch engagement/disengagement. Sometimes the lever can feel jerky. These are telltale signs that the clutch basket and/or inner hub is damaged and needs inspection.

    Causes:
    If your machine has the OEM/stock clutch basket, it was likely made using a diecast aluminum material. While fairly lightweight, durability is not stellar.
    “When you cast aluminum, you take molten aluminum and pour it into a mold. Once it has solidified, it gets processed from there into a finished part. When the material is molded it is generally not very dense. You get a lot of voids, porosity, inclusions, and imperfections in the material. The constituents inside the material aren’t bonded tightly against each other,” states Sulecki.
     
    The most common wear on cast clutch baskets is notching on the edge of the tangs where the clutch plates engage. The inner hub can be inspected for similar wear. If you see notching like this, it's time for a replacement.
    Solutions:
    There are a variety of aftermarket clutch basket options that use different manufacturing processes. Billet is a common alternative to casting, but even that has downfalls.
    Sulecki explains, “With billet, you’ll start with a cast piece of aluminum. It will generally get compressed a little bit in a forge press or some sort of pressure casting. That’s to condense the material a little tighter. Then the part is machined from the solid piece of metal. It has slightly better properties than a cast part, but not as much as a forged part.”
    Forging is a very intricate and involved process. It begins with a cast and drawn bar of aluminum material, which is then smashed until all of the molecules are bonded to each other. This makes the material much denser and creates what engineers refer to as feature aligned grain flow. Basically all of the grains in the material are forced to flow up through the features–particularly the tangs on the clutch basket and stanchions on the inner hub–for greater strength. All of the material properties improve–from tensile to fatigue to ultimate strength. Ductility is also improved, meaning the material can bend before it breaks.

    Cast and billet constructed clutch baskets are susceptible to wear. This is why Wiseco forges their clutch baskets in house before machining them, achieving greater tensile strength and wear resistance.
    Sulecki adds, “The denser material is very resistant to impact and fatigue, which are two critical components of a clutch basket. Impact is caused by the clutch plates as they drive against the tangs on the clutch basket. Clutch plates will actually start to create indentations on a stock cast part, and dimples on a billet basket. In turn, the plates can’t slide smoothly across the width of the tab as you pull in the clutch lever to disengage the clutch. A forged clutch basket’s resistance to impact means that it will not develop notches in the tangs.” Suffice it to say that forging is the superior material for clutch basket durability and lasting performance. 
    Check out all the technical details on Wiseco clutch baskets here.

    The forged material creates much greater resistance to impact from the clutch plates during operation, providing a seemingly lifetime solution to tang notching.
    To cap it off, Wiseco hard coat anodizes and coats their forged clutch baskets with Teflon. Hard coat anodizing aids in wear and abrasion resistance, as well as improves lubricity and corrosion resistance. Teflon coating is the last process. It helps fulfill the wear resistance and lubricity that Wiseco requires for their clutch baskets.

    Hard coat anodizing and teflon coating finish off Wiseco clutch baskets for ultimate wear resistance and smooth operation.
    Find a Wiseco clutch basket for your machine here.
    Lifetime Guarantee
    It’s interesting to note that Wiseco has been manufacturing forged clutch baskets, pressure plates and inner hubs for years, but this all-too-important detail has flown under the radar. “Our forged clutch basket is the best product we make that nobody knows about,” says Sulecki. The performance-driven powersports magnate is so resolute in the durability of their forged clutch baskets that they offer a lifetime guarantee against notching and breakage. What does that mean? You’ll buy it once and never have to worry about it again.

     
    Related Reading: How to Replace the Clutch Basket in your Motorcycle
    Rob@ProX
    Is your clutch having problems engaging and disengaging? Do you feel inconsistency through the clutch lever when operating the clutch? A worn clutch basket could be the cause. In this article, we’ll look at diagnosing a worn clutch basket, review replacement options, and step through the process of replacing the clutch basket so that the next time you need to tackle the job, you’re well prepared.

    Time to replace your clutch basket? Read on for a step-by-step on getting your clutch working smoothly again!
    Diagnosing the Issue
    Any clutch issues that a machine may have are typically very apparent to the rider because there is a complementary feeling of loss of control of the machine. The machine won’t become outright unrideable; however, subtleties that quickly become annoying will arise when utilizing the clutch. Most notably, modulation of the clutch may become more difficult, and the clutch feel will be inconsistent.
    Before taking the machine apart, verifying possible simple issues such as clutch cable adjustment and that the engine or gearbox oil has been maintained regularly should be confirmed. To inspect and disassemble the clutch, the procedures outlined in the machine’s factory service manual should be followed. Once the clutch has been removed from the engine, inspecting its condition is straightforward.

    Double check that any issues you may be experiencing are in fact caused by a worn basket and not from a different culprit, like a clutch cable.
    Click here for tips on replacing a clutch cable.
    The basket consists of a series of “fingers,” or “tangs” which mate with the friction discs. The basket fingers drive the friction discs. The friction discs slide out when the clutch is engaged and back in when the clutch is disengaged. Due to this interaction, notching can occur on the edges of the basket fingers. Any notching that can be felt with a pick or a fingernail can be potentially problematic. In terms of clutch basket wear, the main grounds for replacement of the basket are worn and grooved basket fingers.

    Notching on basket tangs is typically part of normal wear and is the main reason to warrant basket replacement.
    Replacement Options
    The clutch basket is a great component to upgrade since it has surfaces such as the basket fingers that are inherently wear surfaces. Selecting a ProX basket, which is significantly stronger and more wear resistant than OE baskets, has a high return on investment in terms of reduced maintenance and improved performance. ProX clutch baskets are precision machined from forged 7075-T6 aluminum, which is one of the strongest alloys on the market. Wear resistance is ensured by utilizing a sophisticated hard anodizing process. A final layer of performance is added in the form of a Teflon coating which seals the basket surfaces and allows the friction discs to slide effortlessly over the clutch basket fingers while in operation.

    ProX clutch baskets are forged from aluminum, precision machined, and hard anodized and Teflon coated for smooth clutch actuation. The tensile strength of the material combined with the coatings make notching the basket tangs almost impossible.
    Find ProX clutch components for your bike or ATV here!
    Tools Required
    The clutch basket is an assembly of parts including the basket, starter gear, clutch driven gear, dampers, and backing plate. The starter gear is pressed into the clutch basket, and the driven gear, dampers, and backing plate are riveted or screwed in place. When it comes to tools, you’ll need the following, outside of your standard tools used to remove the clutch from the machine:
     Hydraulic press or vice - capable of exerting up to 8 tons of force.  Center punch, drill and drill bits, or grinder, or mill - for removing the rivets  Punch and hammer - for driving the rivets out of the assembly  Torque wrench and Loctite - for securing the screws in the new basket  Fixturing - for adequately supporting the basket while removing and installing the starter gear. The fixturing doesn’t have to be anything fancy, and examples are provided later in this article.  
    There a number of tools required to do the job correctly. For example, having the ability to properly press the starter gear out and in is key to retaining proper function.
    The Process
    We’re going to jump into the process post clutch removal and focus on servicing the basket. ProX clutch baskets include new dampers and screws along with instructions for your specific application. The following instructions should be considered supplementary.
    Mark the backing plate and gear - Use a marker to mark the outside surfaces of the backing plate and gear. Doing so will ensure that these parts are installed in the correct direction when reassembled.


      Removing the rivets - It is preferable to drill the rivet heads off, however, grinding and milling the heads off are also acceptable options. When drilling, it is best to start by using a center punch to indent the center of the rivet so that the drill bit will not walk. Once center punched, start with a small drill bit and work up to a bit that is slightly smaller in diameter than the rivet itself. Only drill down far enough to remove the head from the rivet. Typically, a depth of 0.040 - 0.080” (1-2mm) below the surface is all that is required to drill out the rivet head. After the rivet head has been drilled out, use a punch and hammer to drive the rivet out of the assembly. 

     
    The most recommended method to remove the rivets is to drill the heads off then use a punch to remove the rest of the rivet completely.
      Remove the driven gear - Pull the backplate off before removing the driven gear. Note the orientation of the dampers. Take the driven gear off, then remove the dampers.

     
    Make sure you note the orientation of the dampers before removing them all after removing the driven gear.
      Remove the starter gear - The starter gear utilizes an interference fit with the clutch basket, so it will have to be pressed out. The exact geometry of the starter gear will be model specific. Some starter gears will feature teeth that bite into the clutch basket. Depending on the starter gear geometry and geometry of the clutch basket, it is possible the clutch basket will be destroyed during the removal process. 

     
    Starter gears will differ depending on the model. Make sure it's adequately supported to press out without damaging the gear.

    Adequately support the clutch basket around its base so that loads applied will transfer through the center of the basket. Standoffs may need to be utilized to support the basket properly. Select an appropriately sized spacer to place between the starter gear and press. Appropriately sized sockets can serve as suitable spacers. Carefully press the gear out of the hub.

     
    There's a good chance the old basket may break when pressing the starter gear out. This is fine, the focus is on not damaging the gear itself.
      Clean the parts - Remove any clinging material from the starter gear, clean the driven gear and backplate.
      Install the starter gear - Apply engine oil to the outside of the starter gear. Carefully position it in the center of the new clutch basket. Before pressing it in, be sure to confirm any specific press-in depth requirements outlined in the instructions. Ensure the clutch basket is adequately supported before pressing the gear in place. The press force required to install the gear will be model specific and highlighted in the installation instructions.


    Be sure to oil the starter gear and note any depth and force specifications for your specific application.

    On some models, a simple shrink fit is utilized to install the starter gear. When this process is specified, follow the heating instructions for the clutch basket. Once up to temperature, carefully drop in the starter gear.
      Install the driven gear and dampers - Place the driven gear on the clutch basket noting any orientation requirements previously identified. Install the new dampers in the correct orientation.


    Install your new dampers in the correct orientation and reinstall the primary gear.
      Install the backplate - Double check the orientation of the dampers and driven gear. Install the backplate onto the clutch basket, noting any orientation requirements. 
      Torque the backplate screws - Consult the installation instructions for the proper torque specs, apply Loctite if the screws are not pre-Loctite, then tighten in a cross-pattern.


    Reinstall your back plate with new screws and thread locking compound and torque them to spec. At this point, the clutch basket is ready for service and can be reinstalled on the engine. Refer to your service manual for assembly instructions and specifications to reinstall your clutch and button up the engine.
    The process of replacing a clutch basket is straightforward and can be executed by anyone so long as the necessary steps are followed and tools are available. We hope this write-up simplifies the job and helps our fellow riders and racers get back out there performing better than before!

    Freemotion
    Not long ago we were able to meet 6D Helmets' Co-Founder, Bob Weber during a media day at Cahuilla Creek MX park just outside Temecula, California hosted by InsideLine.
    We were able to discuss a little history, the details behind their revolutionary technology & what makes it different, advice on finding the right helmet, and what might be next for 6D all in Bob's own words. 

    Co-Founder Bob Weber Explaining 6D's Patented ODS System
    ThumperTalk: How did 6D come about? What year?  
    Bob Weber: I believed I had an idea worth developing to improve the capability of the helmet and better protect the human brain when subjected to oblique angle impacts in 2011. At that point, I contacted a good friend and engineer Robert Reisinger to help develop the technology. This process took us nearly 2 years. After prototype testing in an independent laboratory in Los Angeles, we were certain that we had a winning technology and could benefit the market with an improved helmet. It wasn’t so much a hole in the market we saw, but a massive development in how the helmet could be improved from an energy management and safety aspect. We sold our first helmets in 2013.

    ATR-2 'Circuit' from the 2019 Spring Collection 
    ThumperTalk: Since the launch of 6D Helmets in 2013 there's been A LOT of helmet technology thrown into the market. So much so, it can be confusing for the consumer. What should a consumer look for (in technology) when purchasing a new helmet? 
    Bob Weber: Today, helmets are much improved over the traditional designs of only a few years ago. So educating oneself on the various technologies out there should be the number one objective of the consumer. Riders, team managers, and parents should do their homework and learn about the different technologies available from the various brands out there, and how they differentiate from each other before they purchase. Head protection is about safety first, and should out-weigh any particular brand loyalty, cool graphic, or specific helmet design.

    ThumperTalk: Explain how Omni-Directional Suspension (ODS) works? And how is it so different to the standard style of helmets with EPS? 
    Bob Weber: Simply put, the inner liner (much like an inner helmet) is uncoupled from the wearer’s head and can compress and shear within itself under impact conditions. This capability can dramatically reduce energy transfers to the brain from impacts at all velocities, and all impact angles. 
    6D’s ODS technology:
    Uncouples the outer surface of the helmet from the wearer’s head  Dramatically improves low-threshold energy mitigation for both linear and angular accelerations Has less constraints based on the shape of the human head Is more tunable at the manufacturing level (defined by testing)  Provides active suspension of the inner liner (6-Degrees of Freedom)  
    Cutaway helmet showing the proprietary systems 
    ThumperTalk: Since 6D came on the scene in 2013, it has started a kind of 'arms race' among helmet manufacturers for “new technology”. What are some certifications and testing standards that the consumer should be looking for when shopping for a quality helmet?
    Bob Weber: Actually, there are no standards currently established to help guide the consumer when exploring angular acceleration force and low-threshold energy compliance. This will take time and in general, the governing bodies are slow to respond. The FIM has instituted a new standard for closed course road racing in Europe that was adopted in June of this year. They also have an off-road standard in development, but currently there is no date established for homologation requirements. 
    At 6D, we’ve been testing for these dynamics longer than anyone. We started in 2011 developing the ATR-1 and established a testing protocol that we conduct on top of the US DOT and European ECE standards. Our method establishes testing starting with low-velocity impacts, measuring both linear and angular acceleration performance, and then climbs at controlled velocities all the way up to the maximum certification velocities set by the regulating bodies. 6D helmets are certified to the US DOT, European ECE 22.05, ASTM F3103 and UK ACU standards. Also, worth mentioning here, 6D does not make different helmets for different markets because of standards.

    "We make one helmet, which exceeds the required standards in the US and all global markets, and sell that helmet everywhere"- Bob Weber
    ThumperTalk: How do you know when it is time to replace your helmet? What are some things to look for or best practices can you share?
    Bob Weber: Your helmet is a consumable device. It is designed to crush and yield when subject to impact force of some level of significance. After any moderate to severe crash you should inspect your helmet for damage, stress, or cracks in both the EPS material inside, and the shell surface. It is a good idea to have your dealer assist if you are unfamiliar with this process as damaged EPS is sometimes difficult to identify. Also, if you are competing on a regular basis, 2 to 4 times a month for 8 or 12 months out of the year, you are going to wear out a helmet and it should probably be replaced. Liners get played out, EPS compresses, and parts may be damaged by roost, crash, or poor handling and service. If there is none of that going on, your helmet may provide you 5 years or more of great service.

    ThumperTalk: What's next for 6D? 
    Bob Weber: We are preparing to launch our new ATS-1R street helmet in July. We’ve put a lot of work into this helmet updating the technology and improving fit and features for the rider. The ‘1R is getting “Advanced ODS” similar to what is in the new ATR-2, but without the multi-impact capability. It’s also lighter, has improved shield fit and function, and better fit when putting on and off. Especially for people with larger heads where we were pretty tight before. We also have a couple of cycling helmets in development and pretty exciting project going with a multi-impact helmet for another market. Watch for a 6D and FXR collaboration this fall as well. These helmets should be available in August from FXR.
    **ThumperTalk would like to thank Bob & 6D Helmets for sitting down with us and talking helmets  
    Spider Tech
    Rekluse auto clutches are high-performance clutches that offer riders many benefits ranging from improved control to increased power transmission; however, like any clutch, it is imperative that they are adequately maintained to ensure long clutch life. Rekluse auto clutches are not overly complicated devices, but they do differ from regular clutches, which means they have different maintenance requirements. In this article, we’ll outline  auto clutch maintenance inspections and procedures so next time you inspect your clutch, you’ll be confident and ready to tackle the job.
    For starters, it’s important to note the key difference between a Rekluse auto clutch and a regular clutch. While Rekluse clutches have many performance enhancing benefits, the main difference between an auto clutch and a regular clutch is the incorporation of Rekluse’s EXP disk. In summary, the EXP disk is the mechanism that allows the clutch to engage and disengage automatically as a function of engine RPM. The EXP disk is the key component within a Rekluse auto clutch and is a crucial point for inspections.
    Don't have an auto clutch for your bike yet? Find one here!

    The EXP disk is the key component to Rekluse auto clutches and will be part of auto clutch maintenance. Read on for all the key maintenance details.
    Click here for our complete guide on everything you need to know about the auto clutch!
    Maintenance items within this article are broken into two categories: regular maintenance, and periodic maintenance. Regular maintenance are the maintenance items that are essential to perform frequently and ensure you get the most out of your clutch. Periodic maintenance are the maintenance items that are important, but occur less frequently. Periodic maintenance tasks require partial disassembly, whereas most regular maintenance items are performed before operating the machine.

    We'll cover regular maintenance and periodic maintenance, which may require different levels of disassembly.
    Regular Maintenance
    Checking Free Play Gain
    The most important functional check that can be performed to ensure a Rekluse auto clutch performs reliably throughout its life is to check its free play gain. This check should be performed every time before the machine is ridden. Free play gain that is set incorrectly can result in degraded clutch performance and life. Too little free play gain can result in clutch slip and too much free play gain can result in clutch drag.
    Checking free play gain is a verification method to assess the installed gap. The “installed gap” is a term used to describe the amount of free space between the clutch pack and pressure plate. The free space is critical because it is what allows the clutch to spin freely until the engagement RPM is reached and the EXP disk expands to engage the clutch fully.
    Free play gain can be checked using two methods, “the rubber band method” and “the hand method.” Comprehensive instructions on how to check and adjust free play gain can be found in the videos below and in the installation manual. A complete collection of Rekluse support videos can be found HERE.
          
    Checking free play gain is a standard practice with Rekluse auto clutches and is a key to ensuring long life and proper performance. It can be done with the supplied rubber band at first to build an understanding, then done by hand once the user feels comfortable.
    Rubber band and hand methods
    In both procedures, the bike is warmed up, running, and in neutral.
    The next step is to take play out of the clutch actuation system by squeezing the clutch lever, whether cable or hydraulic so that the pressure plate springs are on the verge of being compressed. The “hand method,” is done by squeezing the lever and feeling for resistance from the pressure plate, and the “rubber band method” is done by wrapping the supplied rubber band around the handlebar and securing it to the clutch lever. The picture below shows the correct way to secure the rubber band.
      Once the slack is taken out of the clutch system, quickly rev the engine up to 5000 - 7000 RPM (½ to ¾ throttle). The clutch lever should recede toward the handlebar. Observe the amount of clutch lever movement at the end of the clutch lever. The amount the clutch lever moves is the free play gain.
      Repeat the revving procedure a couple more times to confirm that free play gain is consistent. Be sure to let the engine return all the way to idle before revving the engine again.
      For most machines, the correct amount of free play gain is ⅛ inch but can be up to ¼” on select machines. Refer to your installation manual for specific free play gain specifications.
      If the free play gain falls outside of spec, adjustments to the installed gap should be made before riding the machine. For instructions on how to adjust the installed gap, consult the installation manual provided with your auto clutch.
       
     
    Appropriate Oil
    Using a suitable oil is key to ensuring peak auto clutch performance. Rekluse has recently developed its own line of oils for street and dirt motorcycle applications and has recommendations on alternatives. Learn more about Rekluse Factory Formulated Oils HERE.
     Dirt Bikes - Rekluse clutch systems are designed to work with OEM recommended oils, specifically those that meet JASO MA or MA2 standards. In-house oil testing has repeatedly shown that clutch performance is maximized with oils explicitly designed for wet-clutch applications.
    There are some oils Rekluse does NOT recommend which are JASO-MB oils and automotive oils. JASO-MB oils are not designed for wet-clutches, and automotive oils may contain friction modifiers that negatively affect clutch performance.
       Street Bikes - Rekluse recommends its Factory Formulated Oils, to use the OEM’s recommended oils, or any high-quality primary oil. Break-in Procedure
    Any time a new Rekluse auto clutch is installed or rebuilt it is imperative to follow the break-in procedure outlined in the installation manual. The break-in procedure is essential for a couple reasons. First, to ensure proper and smooth EXP disk operation, and second, to ensure the clutch components gradually mate to one another. Proper break-in ultimately allows the clutch to create the most friction during engagement and efficiently transfer power to the ground. A series of roll-on starts are used to break-in Rekluse auto clutches.

    Be sure to follow the break-in procedure outlined in the installation manual that came with your clutch. This is key to performance and durability!
    Re-check Free Play Gain
    Once a Rekluse auto clutch has been broken in it is important that the free play gain is re-checked. As parts mate to one another during break-in, it is possible the installed gap will change and require adjustment.
    Regular Oil Changes
    Clutch performance and longevity depend on oil quality. Dirty or degraded oil can easily and quickly increase clutch wear rates. To ensure your clutch operates optimally, Rekluse recommends following your machines OEM specified oil change schedule.
    Periodic Maintenance and Wear Signs
    In-depth instructions for checking and servicing Rekluse auto clutches can be found within the supplied installation manual as well as online. Generally speaking, aside from the additional checks and inspections of the EXP disk, clutch inspections and servicing tasks are very similar to regular clutches.

    The Rekluse website has a complete archive of support documents. Click the image above to find support material for your product and application.
    Periodic maintenance should be performed per the schedule shown below. The “light” usage range is based on an average rider’s moderate use. The “Heavy” inspection range is based on riding in extreme environments or riding conditions.

    Use this table as a general guideline to maintenance intervals based on riding style and conditions for the maintenance practices below . As always, each person's situation will vary, so be sure to be sure to perform maintenance as necessary.
    The following information is provided to highlight essential maintenance inspections and to provide an overview of periodic maintenance activities.
    EXP Disk Inspection
     
    Measure the EXP Disk thickness
     The thickness of the EXP disk should be measured across the friction pads and compared to the specifications provided in the installation manual.
    Measure the thickness of your EXP disk on the friction pad and compare to the spec in your Rekluse product manual.
    If measurements are outside of spec, the EXP bases and Teflon pads should be replaced. Test the EXP Wedges
    From the inside of the EXP disk, push a pair of wedges opposite one another outward. Once fully extended, release the wedges and observe how they retract. The wedges should return smoothly to their original position.     
    With the EXP disk removed from your machine, push the wedges outward, then release. They should return quickly and smoothly. Consider replacing if there is any stiction or notchiness.
    If any of the wedges stick, the EXP bases and Teflon pads may need to be replaced. EXP Disk Visual Inspections
    Inspect the EXP tabs that engage with the clutch basket tangs for signs of hammering and deformation. Check that all friction pads bonded to the EXP plates are in place. Ensure the friction pads are not glazed over. They should appear almost black and have a somewhat rough surface. Pads that are glazed over will have a smooth and shiny appearance. If any glazed pads are encountered the EXP base should be replaced.    
    The first photo shows a new friction pad and the second photo shows a worn friction pad. A worn friction pad indicates the EXP bases should be replaced.
    Check the EXP assembly for discoloration. Discoloration may be a sign that the clutch overheated. If overheating occurred, the bases and wedges may need to be replaced. With the EXP Disk Disassembled
    Check the ramps in each EXP base. The ramps are the part of the EXP base that engages with the Teflon pads and allows the wedges to slide in and out of the disk assembly. Ramps that have machining marks or are slightly polished are normal. Ramps with indentations or raised burrs are abnormal, and the EXP base should be replaced.    
    Notice the worn out ramps on the EXP base in the first photo versus the ramps on the new EXP base in the second photo. This is a sign it's time to replace the EXP bases.
    Check the Teflon pads that reside in the wedges. The Teflon pads should be defect free and sit slightly above the wedge pocket. The Teflon pads can sometimes fall out when the EXP disk is disassembled, so be sure that they are all accounted for before reassembly. Any time the EXP bases are replaced, it is highly recommended that the Teflon pads are replaced as well for best performance.
     
    The Teflon pads that sit in the wedges are the contact points for the ramps on the EXP bases. These should also be inspected for wear and replaced as necessary, especially when the EXP bases are being replaced!
    Drive Plate Inspections
    Check all drive plates for signs of excess heat buildup by looking for discoloration. Drive plates appearing purple, blue, or black can be an indication that excess heat was built up.
    This example shows what coloring to look for on the drive plates to know if they've been subject to overheating, and if so, how much.
    Friction Disk Inspection
    Check all friction disks for signs of glazing. The friction disks will appear black and rough under normal circumstances. Glazed friction disks will appear smooth and shiny once oil is removed from them.    
    Friction pads on new friction plates have a textured surface and are tan in color. If your fiction plates appear dark or black in color and have a smooth, glossy finish, it's time to replace your friction plates.
    Operation
    While there are limited operating restrictions associated with Rekluse auto clutches, there are a couple of noteworthy restrictions that should be adhered to.
    Do not perform 3rd gear starts - starting in 3rd gear will increase the chances of burning up the clutch and significantly decrease its life. For some street applications, it is crucial to maintain a cruise RPM at or above the recommended cruising RPM outlined in the installation manual. For example, cruise RPM for auto clutches installed on Harley-Davidson motorcycles should be above 2200RPM to ensure the EXP disk is fully engaged. This will ensure clutch slippage and excess heat build-up is avoided.
    Wrap Up
    This overview of regular and periodic auto clutch maintenance highlights how easy maintaining an auto clutch can be as well as how important doing so is to ensure the clutch performs optimally throughout its life. Regular maintenance boils down to ensuring break-in is performed according to Rekluse’s recommendations, the free-play gain is checked consistently, the proper oil is utilized, and the oil is changed routinely. Periodic maintenance items consist of a couple of measurements, a functionality check, and several visual inspections to ensure all components are in tip-top shape. If you’re ready to increase the performance of your machine, you can find Rekluse clutches via the Rekluse Make/Model finder or dealer locator. Alternatively, Rekluse customer service can be contacted at 208-426-0659 or by email at customerservice@rekluse.com.


    Freemotion
    Use it responsibly & sustainably, or lose it, right? That’s how the saying goes when talking about OHV use. If we continue to lose OHV access the impact that will have will be far greater than just losing a hobby or sport.
    Americans spend more each year on outdoor recreation than they do on Pharmaceuticals & Fuel, combined(1). The outdoor recreation crowd is an economic engine in and of itself. The industry as a whole generates(2):

    Our industry as a whole has a massive impact on the overall economy and we are just starting to learn how wide the impact reaches. Our outdoor recreation economy directly supports 7.6 Million american jobs. Our industry supports more jobs than Food & Beverage service and Real Estate & Leasing(3).

    If we continue to lose land and the number of jobs will no longer be needed so we will see unemployment impacted. No one will have the incentive to go to their local dealer and purchase the new vehicle because they have no where to use it. All of the little small mountain, mining towns that rely on those yearly rides and benefits to keep their economies propped up will be first hand witnesses to the power of outdoor recreation.
    Our Outdoor Recreation industry is finally being measured and taken seriously at the federal level due to the sheer size. But with that growth comes opposition. We lead a constant effort to fight for our rights to use public land in a responsible & sustainable manner.

    “The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets that it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impared, in value” - Theodore Roosevelt
    Teddy did more for national parks than any other president and even over 100 years ago these words hold true.
    So what can we do?

    We are an industry showing growth year over year. If we are going to keep the American staple that is the Great Outdoors, we are going to have to fight for our right to protect it.
     
    Written by Jon Freehill 
    Sources: 

    Rider Eh
    Purpose:
    I like working with my hands, and wanted to come up with my own skid plate at a fraction of the cost of those on the market. I’ve previously used and OE Hard parts aluminum and HDPE skid plates, but found them to have high sliding friction and/or weight compared to other modern materials. The total cost of material for this project was approx. $50 CDN. Tools are not included in cost.
    Difficulty:
    3 out of 5. You need to have some knowledge of how to use tools such as a rivet nut, jig saw, and heat gun.
    Build Time:
    I believe this could be done in approx. 3-4 hrs or less if you are a good fabricator. In total this one took about 8 hrs to do, but my lesson learnt was I a lot of time trimming the plastic down to suit as I had a poor initial template. I think I could get the second one down to ❤️ hrs as the template is the majority of the work.
    Plate Material:
    UHMW has very high impact and abrasion resistance in comparison to OEM style HDPE skid plates. You may be able to use Nylon as well. UHMW is the same material I believe both Obie link guards and SXS Slideplates are made form. I'm not sure if TM Designs uses Nylon or UHMW, but I believe they are using Nylon. UHMW should have no issues withstanding the heat of the engine, but leave some room for your exhaust. Nylon would withstand heat better but is much harder to form.
    I chose to use 3/16" material as that is the same thickness as my previous KTM OEM skid plate and Obie link guards. I have a friend who followed my procedure and successfully used 1/4", but it is a bit harder to mold/bend. I believe the SXS slideplates are also made of 1/4".
    Tools & Material Required:
    A bench vice or other method of clamping the material Cardboard (of similar thickness to the UHMW) Sharpie/pen Measuring tape/ruler Paint pen Jigsaw Scissors Heat gun Hole saw Hack saw Rivet nuts and gun (purchased at harbor freight in the USA or Princess Auto in Canada) I recommend to use high quality knurled steel rivet nuts, not the cheap aluminum ones UHMW sheet 1” Aluminum tubing (for front mounts) Roughly 1/8” Aluminum flat plate (for rear mount) Low Profile Hardware (I recommend Stainless Hex Socket Flanged Button Head Hex Screws). Button head cap screws will also work. Template Process:
    Start by cutting a template out of cardboard, this is a method I jokingly like to call CAD (Cardboard Aided Design). Tape and form this to your bike frame; markup and trim the cardboard until you get the shape and profile of the skid plate you desire. Be sure to get this template precise, as the cardboard is much easier to cut and change than the final UHMW material.
    Transpose the cardboard onto the UHMW and use a paint pen to trace out the profile; mark up the cuts and bends.
    Plastic Process:
    Cut the plastic using a jigsaw or band saw, and a hacksaw as required. I recommend a jigsaw for tight corners. You can use a file to clean up any cuts for a more professional look.
    The process of forming the UHMW involves the use of a heat gun and a vice to clamp and form your bends. Heat up from the inside of your bend, and in addition make quick passes with the gun on the outside. You will see the material become shiny and glisten with heat; this is when it will form well. If you don't heat up the outside, the plastic will separate and crack. Take care not to overheat and melt the material. I recommend testing with a small scrap piece prior to performing on your skid plate cutout. Slowly bend the material and hold it in place until it cools and maintains form. You will find you need to over bend it, as it will spring back a bit. Keep moving the plastic cutout to the bike and checking the fit until all of your bends are completed. You can reheat and increase or decrease the angle of the bends as you like to get a nice fit.
    I drilled a few large holes in the bottom for drainage and washing purposes. You can add a hold for oil draining as well if you like.
    Tip: If you did not heat the outside of the bend properly and/or over bent it, you may have cracked the material. I used a HDPE (P-Tex) stick to plastic weld some minor cracks I made before I learned it was necessary to heat the outside of the bend. You can purchase these at snowboard/ski shops in stick form. Simply light the stick on fire and drip it into the cracks. These sticks also work well for repairing stripped holes in KTM gas tanks where wood screws are used.
    Mount Fabrication:
    I made three mounts in total out of aluminum. Initially I only had two, but with all of the rocks and logs we ride over here I found the skid plate was not as secure as I would have liked.
    The 2 forward mounts were made of 1” aluminum square tubing. I simply cut 3 sides of the tubing so that I had tabs that stuck out and rested on the frame. I then drilled holes in and inserted rivet nuts to create threads for the fasteners. These mounts were then transposed and aligned to the skid plate to drill holes to match for the screws.
    The rear mount was made by bending aluminum into an S shape, so that it would clamp on the rear frame brace by the swingarm. This was then similarly transposed to the skid plate for drilling holes. I used rivet nuts to create the threads for this mount as well.
    Optional Work and Lessons Learned:
    I made the 2nd front mount to fasten the skidplate better, as with initial testing and riding over large logs, the old one appeared loose. I also added a second small square piece of UHMW to the linkage guard, as I found this area was wearing due to impacts from rocks and logs. I simply drilled holes and secured it with button head cap screws.
    A poor template will result in trimming more plastic, which takes much more time. Make sure to get the template right the first time, as it is a lot easier to cut and transpose to the plastic. The plastic can be quite slow cumbersome to cut!
    Conclusion:
    Now that I have fabricated one, I likely won’t ever buy a skid plate again. This was a pretty easy and fun project, and will save you a lot of money if you don’t consider your time required. Having developed a good template, it will be quick and easy to build a second one.









    Freemotion
    The Real Dubya USA- The One You Know, But Don't Know  
    Family Owned. Family Run. A family that is motorcycles to the bone and have been that way their whole life. That's who John & Kristin Anderson of Dubya USA are. John Anderson worked for White Brothers Cycle Specialties for over 20 years with various responsibilities, his primary focus was Managing the Race Teams & supported riders. Kristin (White) Anderson, daughter of The Tom White from White Brothers Racing, has been involved in every aspect of motorcycles and the demands of racing since she was young. The two now run Dubya USA, named after the first letter 'W' of the historic White family name.

    John & Kristin Anderson
    You might know Dubya for their sharp wheelsets on teams like Rocky Mtn MC/ATV KTM, Red Bull Factory Racing KTM, Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna, JGR Suzuki, Star Racing Yamaha, Monster Energy Factory Yamaha, etc. What you might not know is the same care, attention & components that go into those teams' wheels goes into all Dubya wheels. It all started with a simple idea: build the best wheels with the best components. Whether that is using your stock hub and lacing up new rims, a custom wheel set, or a vintage restoration - they strive to do the same thing - build the best wheels they can.

    The knowledge & knowhow was no problem as John had been building race spec wheels for over 20 years at White Bros Racing. But they still needed the components to put it all together and get rolling. When White Brothers sold in 2008, Talon Engineering, widely regarded as some of the best hubs, lost their US distribution. John & Kristin were able to re-establish this through Dubya in 2011 and negotiated for exclusive distribution of Talon Hubs in the States. Soon after they also secured the Kite line of products exclusively, as well.
    Talon Engineering, out of England, has been producing high quality machined hubs for over 40 years. They have over 100 World Championships on their products and 75 current Champions riding on their product. With over 75,000 sprockets in stock at all times for a variety of machines & distribution to more than 35 countries, they have earned their reputation as some of the best machined moto parts money can buy. It's the little things that give Talon their legendary name. For example, Talon uses 36-hole hub construction as opposed to 32-hole used by others. All Talon hubs use a ‘3-cross’ lacing pattern translating to superior strength over other methods.

    Since then, Dubya USA has earned a reputation for building the high-tech race wheels for today's fastest riders. But I am writing this to tell you they do so much more. From just getting your practice wheels refreshed with new rims to complete vintage wheel restoration- Dubya does it. They even have you covered on the larger, adventure bike dual-disc wheels.

    Dubya completes all projects in 1-3 days
    Getting a pair of wheels refreshed with new rims is one of their most popular services. I would bet it is because of how simple they make the process. There is a lot of communication from Dubya, nothing sits for weeks, and you know exactly what's going on & how much it'll cost up front. They have all projects finished in 3 business days, some projects sooner. Their goal is to do top-shelf work fast, so they earn your repeat business and you tell your friends. Apparently it is working as Dubya has seen steady, year over year growth.  

    Find out more here
    Thinking about a custom wheel set but not sure how it will look? The idea is in your head but you need to see it? Their custom wheel builder tool is great for this dilemma. Believe me, I know, this is where I started.

    Check out what your idea looks like here
    Choose your bike color and start mixing and matching. You can select all the customizations they offer in whatever combinations you want and the tool will show you the MSRP in real time. This is great for comparing cost options and making those hard decisions on which spoke color looks better; the black or silver.
    Choose from premium components like rims from Excel Takasago or DID Dirt Star, chains from RK or DID, braking systems from Galfer & Motostuff. Regardless of your taste, Dubya has your flavor.
    Wheel sets come ready to mount with front disc & rear sprocket hardware, spacers; the works.

    One of the coolest services Dubya offers is their Vintage Wheel Restoration.  I think offering this service is a cool tip of the hat to Tom White, Kristin's father. He owned more than 200 Vintage bikes and had them in his own private museum. Tom always made sure the history of bikes was preserved and remembered. Dubya doing this just helps ensure that same vintage preservation be available to all of us.  

    Some parts are nearly impossible to find given their age or rarity, so Dubya makes them. All you need is your hub and they will cut, bend & thread spokes onto your choice of rim so you receive your wheel ready to mount. You can do as much or as little with your hub as you like. They can reset the OEM look with a simple wet blast restoration. Or, they can Cerakote them for that extra bit of durability and a super clean look, just pick your finish:

    A few Cerakote finish options, one of Dubya's most popular services

    Excel Takasago Rims,  Talon Billet Magnesium Hub, Black Bulldog Spokes, Silver nipples on #ThumperTalkTurns20 Bike Build
     
    Dubya USA recently built a set of wheels for a bike build we did for ThumperTalk's 20th Anniversary. The bike is a 2018 KTM 300 XC-W Six Days. I knew I wanted to go with blue rims, but that was about all I knew. All the other color & style options made it hard to visualize a concept and choose it with confidence.
    So I sat there on the Dubya Custom Wheel Builder Tool and mixed and matched options for hours. It really is fun. It's easy to send to your riding buds and get their input. I sent at least 10 different options to my buds to get their feedback. The tool really does give you a realistic idea of what the actual wheel will look like. There are tools out there that let you see the wheel build, but they only show the wheel and you can't really picture how the overall scheme will look on the bike. That's what I liked about the tool, getting that complete bike picture.
    The build came out great! The blue rims & mag hubs really sets the bike off. I really do enjoy getting to know the people behind the brands. Dubya USA has built a reputation of high value. You get what you pay for sort of thing. They offer a 1-5 year warranty on their wheels (depending on what products) and genuine customer service. I would encourage you to take a close look at Dubya for your wheel needs and see if they don’t do everything they can to earn your business, I bet you’ll be happy you did.
    A few more juicy pictures below of the 20th anniversary build

    18" Excel rims, Talon Billet hub- mag finish

    21" Excel Rim, Talon Billet hub- Mag finish

     
     
     
     
    written by Jon Freehill
     
     
     
    Kevin from Wiseco
    Profile and ovality are two main characteristics of piston design. Here we'll take a look at why pistons are designed to not be perfectly round.
    When you look at a piston, it is easy to think that they are a perfectly round,  cylindrical shape. After all, they go into a round hole (the cylinder!) So why shouldn’t they also be round?
    The fact is, the external shape of a piston is very sophisticated. An internal combustion engine is a hostile environment where combustion gasses can reach dangerous temperatures, and there could be port windows and surface undulations from uneven cylinder cooling. Designing a piston that is optimized for combustion chamber conditions is an important challenge.
    Throughout the years, piston materials and design characteristics to compensate for expansion under heat have evolved. Forging pistons out of aluminum provides great strength and durability, but it must be used in the correct design to properly optimize the performance of the piston.
     
    (Left) These are an example of early piston design, using steel as the primary material. These would not be sufficient for the requirements of modern engines. Compare with the variety of modern forged aluminum pistons from Wiseco (right) featuring different coatings and designs.
    Read more about the forging process here.
    There are two major characteristics of piston shapes: profile and ovality. Wiseco's Product Manager and long time engineer Dave Sulecki commented on these piston characteristics: “Piston profile and ovality are one of the most important features of a piston, these really determine not only how the piston will wear over time, but also how well the piston can perform. When the engineer calculates the piston to cylinder clearance, this is only the beginning of a complex determination of the final piston geometry."
    Profile
    If you roll a piston across a flat surface, you'll notice it does not roll in a straight line. You are observing characteristic number one: profile. Because aluminum conducts so much heat, pistons are designed with a taper -- the top of the piston, near the crown, is a smaller diameter than the bottom of the piston, near the skirt. The skirt of the piston actually is designed with what is called a barrel shape, illustrated below. This is beacuase temperatures near the dome of the piston vary from the temperatures at the skirt of the piston, resulting in different levels of expansion. The tapered shape allows the piston to expand as heat is applied, so the piston does not bind in the cylinder bore. The higher the temperature, the more the piston will expand. The design challenge then becomes calculating the degree of taper. Too tight of clearance can induce scuffing or seizure from heat expansion, while too loose of clearance can introduce noise from piston rock.

    This illustration shows piston profile: the barrel shape and taper pistons have. Because of this, measuring diameter on the skirts yields a larger number than measruing near the dome.
    "The piston profile is critical to how the piston will support itself as it reciprocates in the cylinder bore. For example, the piston profile must help hold the piston vertical in the bore during combustion; imagine any excess leaning of the piston would allow piston rings to become “unseated” and not seal properly against the cylinder wall," elaborates Sulecki.
    Ovality
    As you roll the piston across the table, you will also observe the piston rising and falling in a “hump-hump-hump” motion, much like a wheel that has a flat spot. This characteristic is called ovality, also known as camming. In the simplest terms, ovality means that the piston is smallest in line with the wrist pin bore.
    As the engine begins its movement, the connecting rod is not moving only up and down, but due to the rotation aspect is simultaneously moving sideways. This action from the connecting rod and the motion of the crankshaft place load forces on the piston along the plane of the connecting rod inline with rotation (known as the “thrust axis”). To allow the piston to move freely with this sidelong force, the piston cannot be perfectly round, or it would bind in the round cylinder bore. By applying ovality to the piston, the piston is free to move up and down as needed. The challenge in design is applying the proper amount of ovality. Too little ovality can cause the piston to contact the cylinder wall nearest the end of the piston pin, while too much ovality can cause the piston to ride too heavily against the cylinder wall along this “thrust axis.” Too much load along the thrust axis can result in heavy scuffing or seizure, when the piston breaks the oil film barrier and contacts the cylinder wall directly.

    This illustration shows piston ovality. The solid-lined ellipse represents the diameter of the piston as if you're looking down onto the dome.
    Dave Sulecki commented on ovality, "Ovality is an unknown thing, when most people look at a piston they think it is round, and to the naked eye this must be the case. However, take a new two stroke piston and roll it across the table and what happens? You will see the uneven “hump, hump, hump” as the piston rolls in a large arc…you are seeing both the profile (the “cone shape” of the piston”, in combination with the ovality as the piston rolls unevenly. Ovality is necessary for the piston to move up and down in the cylinder bore, as the crankshaft and connecting rod try to force the piston upward, and combustion forces the piston downward, ovality allows the piston to move without binding in the round cylinder bore."
    Your bike's engine need a complete rebuild? Or maybe just a piston and valves? Check out our Garage Buddy line of rebuild kits.

    Another visual representation of piston profile and ovality.
    Ovality is a key detail to remember when measuring piston size. The piston must be measured at the bottom of the skirt, 90 degrees from the wrist pin hole to reach an accurate measurement. 
    When measuring piston diameter, be sure you’re using the proper tools. Do not use calipers to measure your piston(s), as you won’t get an accurate measurement. The most accurate tool to use is a set of outside diameter micrometers.
     
    Your piston should be measured at the bottom of the skirt, 90 degrees from the pin hole.
    Please note: The measurements displayed here are for representational purposes only. Measure each of your own individual parts for accuracy.
    Some Wiseco pistons feature proprietary skirt coatings such as ArmorGlide or ArmorFit, which are designed to reduce wear, provide smoother and quieter operation, and are applied to last for the life of the piston. With certain skirt coated pistons, piston-to-wall clearance measuring specs will change, so be sure to read the instructions that come with your piston(s).
    Click here to find out more about Wiseco's different coatings.
    Freemotion
    We brought the Leatt 6.5 Velocity along with us on our first trip to Moab. It was a great trip and we got in some great riding. We thought wearing the goggles all day in the heat & sun would give us a good feel for their performance. Just wanted to share some pictures from the trip and and what we liked & didn't like. 

    2018 KTM 300 XC-W Six Days ThumperTalk 20th Build we Rode in Moab

    Leatt 6.5 Goggle in Moab
    One of our favorite things: Safety. Like everything Leatt makes safety is a chief concern. They carried that over in the goggles and have the highest impact rating out of any goggle. They are actually bulletproof. Well, from a .22lr bullet, but it's still a bullet! They carry the Military Ballistic Impact Rating certification, actually. At least you know your eyes are safe from roost.

    Me hoping to see some carnage from the side by sides, no rollovers
    We were out in the sun riding for about 4 days straight. When you order the goggles you can choose how much light transmission you want to allow. AKA- how much tint on the lens do you want. You can transmit anywhere between 22-83% light transmission(VLT). The ones I wore all week were 28% light transmission. So, a decent amount of tint. I thought it was the perfect amount. I like little tint in my goggles anyway.   

    Choose how much lens tint you want when ordering. These are 28% VLT

     
    If you've ever been to Moab you know it's mostly rock, at least the fun stuff for bikes to ride is. The goggles didn't seem to move on my face when bouncing along over the rocks. That was nice. Sometimes the face of the goggle will slip and slide with your helmet and that can be frustrating depending on when it happens. Im not sure if its the wide 50mm strap or the silicone coating doing the work but its nice not to have any movement. 

    50mm strap with anti-slip coating

    Triple layer foam was comfortable, even soaked in sweat
    I never felt like my field of view was restricted at all. I think the 170* field of vision is achieved by how rounded the goggles are coupled with how they cut the foam. The foam is cut out along your peripheral vision and opens your field of vision up. Thought that was a nice little differentiator from other goggles. 
    We didn't need a roller system but for one section. There was a section that was non-stop riverbed crossings and me and the crew were all riding through throwing water and mud everywhere. We did manage to take come pictures of the system before we get everything filthy though!

    Roller system is additional $20

    Pick your flavor 
    One of the things we did not like was they are a bit heavier than some of the other goggles we have tested, like the Scott Prospect for example. Now, some people don't care about weight and it's never a concern and additional weight usually translates into additional structural strength. But we just know how they hold up long term just yet. 
    All in all it was a good trip and we got some god use out of the goggles. Especially for the first generation of this goggle Leatt did a great job of understanding what consumer wants, like being able to wear glasses with the goggles, and strives to deliver that at a good price point. 
    They are $79 retail & $99 with a roller system so not bad at all considering you can spend 2x that on other premium goggles. 
    No real drama on the trip other than having a tire bead fail about 10 miles in on the first ride out! I put in mousses for Moab and the tire ended up failing on a mild rock face and would not hold the bead. 

    Impromptu bike stand 

    Had to put zip ties around tire so it would stay on the rim and then limped the bike back

    Not the best place for this to happen
    It was a great trip and we're already planning the next one! 

    You can check these out on Leatt's website here. (We do not get anything if you order)
×
×
  • Create New...