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  • Coach Robb

    10 Body Indicators That Tell You When to Workout & When to Back Off!

    By Coach Robb

    TIME TO REST - Pay attention to these 10 body indicators to gauge when to work out and when to back off!   If you don’t take time to rest and recovery, your body wont adapt to the stress of training and racing – and as a result you won’t get stronger or faster. If you neglect recovery for too long, you will start to lose strength and speed.   Here are some symptoms to look for: First your sleep patterns will be off (tired and you can’t sleep, restless sleep, etc.). Second your energy levels will be negatively affected. Third, you will begin to get sick more frequently (and take longer to heal from the virus). Fourth, your appetite will become suppressed.

    Remember, over training is not applicable only to elite athletes and professionals, recreational athletes have to balance, personal, professional, bills, children, inadequate sleep, etc. which is what makes recovering from your workouts and racing even more difficult.  
    Symptom Evaluation
    See if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:   Symptom #1-Body Mass
    A 2% drop in weight from day to day indicates a body-fluid fluctuation. More than likely, you didn’t hydrate enough to offset heat, humidity, intensity and duration. Dehydration negatively impacts both physical and mental performance and could compromise the quality of your next workout or race.   Symptom 2-Elevated Resting Heart
    An elevated resting heart rate is a significant indicator of stress within the body. An elevated HR indicates that your nervous system is in that “fight or flight” mode which results in elevated hormone levels to provide more oxygen to the muscles and brain. Your body doesn’t know the difference between and physical and psychological stress. A hard day at work and/or a hard workout or race both require additional recovery protocols.   Symptom 3-Sleep Quality: you wake up and don’t feel fresh.
    Quality sleep: falling asleep quickly, deeply and staying there for a long period of time will allow your body to release the much needed growth hormone (hGH) necessary for rebuilding muscle and burning body fat. Several low quality nights of sleep will decrease your reaction time, immune system, can cognitive functions – not a good scenario when it comes to quality workout or high end performance on race day.   Symptom 4-Hydration: your urine is dark yellow
    Unless you are taking B vitamins, a dark colored urine can be an indicator of dehydration. Your urine is an easy indicator of your water levels throughout your body.   Symptom5-Energy Levels are Low
    Honesty is the key here. You know the difference between being tired and having low energy. Being tired is about recovering from yesterday’s workload. Being low on energy is a at a completely different level. Athletes think they can block out signs of fatigue and push to the next level of fitness, performance just doesn’t develop in this environment.   Symptom 6-Mood State: your moody (and even cranky).
    When your body is overwhelmed by stress (training, racing, work, family, etc.), it produces the stress hormone cortisol that can cause irritability and/or anxiety. Stress also halts chemicals like dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that has a big bummer effect on mood when depleted. Crankiness means not enough recovery.   Symptom7-Sick Frequently
    Any illness or even a woman’s menstrual cycle, will increase your need for energy to refuel your immune system, which is having to work overtime. This translates into fewer resources available for recovery from training.   Symptom 8-Pain: your excessively sore or have a nabbing injury.
    Whether you are sore from over worked muscles or have an injury that continues to linger is an indicator that your body needs more energy to put towards the repair, which extends your total recovery time.   Symptom 9-Performance is sub-par.
    This is a subjective measure of workout quality, not quantity nor intensity. If you perform well on a particular workout, you would rate that workout as “good”. If you have a sub-par performance or feel like you are struggling to complete that same workout, you would rate that workout as “poor”. Trending workout quality – multiple poor workouts in a row – is one of the easiest ways to identify the need for more recovery.   Symptom 10-Oxygen Saturation: low oxygen levels.
    The amount of oxygen in the hemoglobin of the red blood cells can be measured and is thought to be an accurate assessment of recovery because of the association of high oxygen saturation levels and higher energy levels.   Evaluation Time: count how many of the above symptoms you have experienced over the last week and then compare this against the following:
    0-1: Green Light: you are recovering adequately and can maintain your normal volume and intensity
    2-4: Caution: You can complete your hard workouts; however, cut the workout short if you are struggling to complete the first couple of intervals after a long warm up
    5-6: Warning: This is the zone where you are close to tipping the scales and becoming over-worked, sick and injury prone. You need to add a second rest day to your week
    7-10: Danger: You are IN the danger zone and need to take one week completely off (no sport specific training); increase your high quality food intake and take 2 hour naps each day.   If you want me an my staff to review if you should take a break from training and racing, please feel free to contact us at Contact@CoachRobb.com.
    • 2 comments
    • 4,284 views
  • Paul Olesen

    Help! - Bike Only Starts When Pushed

    By Paul Olesen

    Today I want to talk about a situation I hear all too often. Someone’s bike, whether it be a two-stroke or four-stroke, only starts when it is pushed.

    Before I discuss potential causes for this scenario, take a moment to think through the situation yourself. What mechanical factors would result in either a two-stroke or four-stroke only starting when it is bump started?

    In either case, the reason the engine is able to start when it is push started is because it is able to build more compression than it otherwise could when it is kicked or the electric starter is engaged. More compression is achievable because the cranking RPM is higher than what’s possible with the aforementioned starting methods. With a higher cranking RPM for a four-stroke, more air will fill the cylinder on the intake stroke, and for a two-stroke the scavenging process will be improved. With this being the case we must look at reasons why the engine is struggling to build compression in the first place.

    Starting problems specific to four-strokes:
    1. Valve seat recession - When a valve seat wears out and recedes, the valve moves up towards the camshaft. This leads to diminished valve clearances and if left to run its course, the valve and shim will bottom on the camshaft’s base circle. This can prevent the valve from seating and make the engine hard to start. 2. The valve is bent - A valve with a serious bow to it may get jammed up inside the guide and not return all the way back to its seat. Bent valves typically result from an over-revved engine where the valves contact the piston. Valves can also bend to a lesser extent if they were mated to valve seats that were not cut concentrically to the guides, or they were paired with worn seats.

    3. The valve stuck in the guide - This is usually due to the engine overheating. When the engine overheated the clearance between the valve and guide diminished which caused metal to transfer from one part to the other, ultimately ruining the surface finish on one or both parts. Once this happens the valve may be prone to sticking in the guide until the engine warms up. 4. The valves and seats do not seal well - Worn valves and valve seats can compromise the seal between them. Valve and seat wear is a natural part of running an engine but can also be accelerated by ingesting dirty air.

    Starting problems specific to two-strokes: 1. The reed valve is worn - Reed petals that don’t close all the way, are chipped, or bent will not allow sealing of the crankcase and efficient gas flow up from the crankcase into the cylinder.

    2. An engine seal or gasket has failed - A two-stroke engine requires a well sealed crankcase and cylinder in order for it to scavenge gases efficiently. A worn crank seal, leaky base gasket, or problematic power valve seal can all make starting more difficult. Two and four-stroke problems: 1. The piston rings are worn - Worn piston rings will allow compressed gases to escape past them. 2. The head gasket or o-rings are leaking - Usually a leaking cylinder head will be accompanied by white smoke if coolant is being pushed into the combustion chamber, by coolant being blown out the radiator, or both.

    I hope you found this rundown of potential problems useful for diagnosing bikes that like bump starting over a kick or the push of a button. Can you think of any other problems that would lead to lack of compression? If so, leave a comment and share them. If you liked this post and want more technical info, check out my book, The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook. In it you will find over 300 pages of technical knowledge to help you get off on the right foot when rebuilding!

    - Paul
      Amazon DIYMotoFix.com  
    • 17 comments
    • 2,133 views
  • scottiedawg

    Turning Stones vol 1

    By scottiedawg

    The official ride video...Make sure to watch in HD The day started by waking up in a lavish hotel room at the Aranwa Resort in Urubamba, Peru. I had a couple of hours to eat breakfast, gear up, and drive across the valley to another fine hotel to meet up with Imad.

    A month prior, I received an email inquiry about running a one day hard enduro tour. I was available for the dates, so I began discussing the options for the tour. What I found out was that Imad, who lives in Dubai, was vacationing with his wife. He had come up with a brilliant plan to offer a full day at the spa for his wife which in turn allowed him to take advantage of another type of "SPA." Brilliant!

    Normally, I begin the tours from our headquarters in Cusco, but in this case, I was able to accommodate by starting at Imad's hotel in Urubamba. This gave me an excuse to bring my entire family to the valley, put them up at a nice hotel complete with all the fixings, and combine it with a one day enduro ride that has kept a smile on my face for days. I hung out with my family when I was at the hotel, then snuck out for a ride with Imad, then returned to spend more time with the family. Perfect!


    A couple of happy fellas I arrived at the Tambo del Inca, one of the finest hotels in Urubamba. I unloaded the bikes, prepped the lunches, warmed everything up, then headed into the lobby to find Imad.
    There he was with his happy wife who was about to be pampered for an entire day at the spa. She couldn't have been more happy. Imad was stoked to be able to enjoy Peru on a dirt bike. A win-win in my book!

    His wife made sure that I was legitimate. She was a bit concerned about me bringing him back in one piece. She mentioned the fact that there are two young kids who have a special relationship with their dad. I also fit that scenario, so I piped in my story to appease his wife that it was indeed my plan to bring Imad back alive and in good condition.

    Within minutes, Imad and I found ourselves mounting up on the two Husqvarna TE 300's. The trail head, just a minute away from the hotel was screaming for us to come try her out.
    The trail started out with a daunting strip of tight rock walled single track that resembles a jungle tunnel. It wasn't raining at the time, but it was extremely wet from the rain the night before. Imad pounded out the section with a bit of wonder about whether or not the rest of the day would be similar. I think it scared him a bit. To his pleasant surprise, I explained that it's not all as difficult, but that we would face countless obstacles in the days ride...But not to worry, it would all be worth it.


    Just a little rocky section to play around on We continued to work our way up the canyon with a goal of reaching the lower lake. I figured it would be a worthy goal to reach the lake, have lunch, then work our way back down the valley.
    Along the way up, we encountered numerous switchbacks, rock gardens, open meadows, creeks, and many a wet alpaca poop pile. The ride was just what Imad had hoped for.
    As a guide, I never know how people will do with the altitude. It can be a butt-kicker for some, and for others, it hardly makes a difference. With Imad, he struggled with it at first, but somehow caught a second wind as we reached the bottom of the last big obstacle before the lake. It was a rocky staircase climb that typically wreaks havoc when its dry, but this time it was soaking wet. We had  our work cut out for us.

    Like two mules, we worked up a good lather climbing up each of the rock steps. I made sure to tell Imad that the view would be worth it. Within a few minutes, he had the opportunity to agree with me. The view was just what Imad needed. In fact, he was so stoked about the view that he told me he wanted to try to reach the upper lake. We had plenty of time, so why not?
    Taking a break! The stakes go up on the route between the lakes. The terrain we saw below the first lake was only a warm up. Imad confirmed that he was indeed ready to give it a shot. Atta boy!
    The coolest part of the section is a waterfall that cascades down the mountain as the trail goes right through it. Check out the video if you want to see what I mean! We worked our way through the water, up a number of tight rocky switchbacks, and finally through a stand of scary red-barked trees where one would expect to find a creepy murderer with an axe. The ride is so fun that you forget the altitude. Just past the forest was the final climb before the upper lake. Imad was feeling his oats at this point. We crested the top to discover a sight to behold; The upper lake.
    It's absolute beauty. It was a perfect place to eat our lunch, take a million pictures and get ready to ride around the side of the lake to an untouched area where a dirt bike has never been. That is always a special treat that I can do for my customers. There are hundreds of places like that which can be explored on my tours.


    The upper lake never disappoints...well worth the effort! A bit of food and drink, then we mounted up and began a fun trials type of terrain complete with granite rock slabs, bright green grass, tons of mud, and views that continued to blow us away. We played around for a good hour until it was time to begin our descent to the bottom of the valley.

    Although it is the same trail, it seems like a different valley and route altogether. The downhill is sketchy. It's fast and rhythmic, but there are so many places to find yourself on your face. We experienced a couple of crashes, but coming down provides such a thrill...in fact, it's that type of thrill that keeps me riding. Pure smiles all the way down.


    A little ride through a waterfall We made it back to the hotel with nothing left in our tanks. No gas, nor energy. Completely smoked, but so satisfied! Another typical ride in the Andes of Peru! Make sure to check out the ride video to see what I am talking about. I can't wait to share another one next time around. Stay tuned and make sure to follow the blog so you can see the next post when it comes out.

    Until the next one,

    Scott Check out more of our hard enduro videos on our Youtube channel at MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures.  
    • 5 comments
    • 1,331 views
  • Paul Olesen

    DIY Piston Ring Compressor

    By Paul Olesen

      Today I want to share a quick tip with those of you who are working on your own engines but just can’t justify buying a set of piston ring compressors. It’s entirely possible to make a perfectly good ring compressor from materials you can get at the hardware store. All you need is some plumber’s pipe hanging tape and a hose clamp that is sized according to your cylinder bore.

    To construct a DIY ring compressor from plumber's pipe hanger tape you will need to determine the length of tape required. This is easily done using the following equation for calculating the circumference of a circle. Length of Tape Required = Piston Diameter x π (Pi) When the tape is wrapped around the piston tightly, the final length may need to be reduced slightly so that the ends don’t butt together. Once the tape has been cut to length, make sure whichever side of the tape will be contacting the rings is smooth and free of little plastic burrs that could catch the rings.

    Simply lube up the tape, tighten down the hose clamp, and you are in business.



    Do you have a tip that makes compressing rings easier or cheaper? If so, leave a comment below! - Paul

    If you enjoyed this tip and want access to more like it, check out my book, The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook. On the fence about the book? Check out what other riders are saying: Thumper Talk Review

    Available at: Amazon.com DIYMotoFix.com  
    • 11 comments
    • 1,520 views
  • Paul Olesen

    What Spare Parts Do You Bring To The Track or Trail?

    By Paul Olesen

    With warmer weather and the riding season around the corner for many of us, I wanted to cover a topic that can either make or break an event. Whether you’re competing in a racing series or traveling to the track or trail, let's talk about event preparedness. More specifically, what spare parts should you keep on hand? Plus, what methods do you use to keep your spares organized?

    Honestly, I struggled with organization until I started working on this post. I had no method to my madness. Every time an event came up I’d do the same thing; throw a bunch of stuff in a box or the back of my van and head to the event. The sad part is I now realize this was a weakness of mine for quite some time, but didn’t do anything about it! Maybe you can relate?

    I finally said enough is enough. I don’t throw my tools in a cardboard box when I go to a race, leaving what I bring to the fate of my memory. So why would I do that with the spare parts I bring?

    I started solving this problem by compiling a spreadsheet detailing what spare parts I keep on hand for ice racing and hare scrambles. I realize that each discipline will differ and may have niche parts that should be kept. The goal here is not to definitively define what spares one should keep on hand, but to have a conversation and provide a resource that can be used to help people get set up based on their own needs.

    Once I took inventory of everything I felt I wanted to bring to a race, I went to Menards and went hunting for the perfect organized storage bin/toolbox. Here’s what I ended up with:



    Naturally, once I returned with the toolbox, my list grew and I probably need to go back for a bigger one. I intend to store a copy of the spreadsheet in the tote so I can keep tabs on inventory and know exactly what I have available.

    Should I get another bike, this system is easily replicable and my plan is to get another organized toolbox that goes with it.

    This system is how I went from being an unorganized “throw it in the van at the last minute” rider to a more relaxed well prepared rider. I’d love to hear how you handle event readiness, what you bring, and how you keep track of it. My hope is that by sharing our strategies we’ll save someone the misfortune of having a bad day at the track or trail. Perhaps I'll even end up with more things I need to add to my list.

    -Paul

    If enjoyed this post be sure to follow my blog and sign up for my newsletter!
    DIY Moto Fix Newsletter      
    • 16 comments
    • 1,084 views

Our community blogs

  1. Are you frustrated that your training and eating habits are not producing the results you are looking for? Coach Robb’s Podcast #11 drills down on the top six culprits that could be holding you back.

    Coach Robb taps into his 30+ years of working with clients, athletes and racers to outline how overlooking little things can create a domino effect that undermines your efforts and eventually your health without you seeing it until it is too late.

    He also explains why trying harder is not always the correct mindset when it comes to breaking through personal plateaus. If you are tired of being tired or ready to bust through performance glass ceilings, you don’t want to miss this podcast!

    https://www.dmxsradio.com/

     

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  2. Hello TT readers! I’ll be taking a little bit of a different approach to my entries. I’m looking to focus a little more on how my prep goes and things I learned from prep and my race, rather than on the race itself. Also, my entries may look different than they were before. Of course, if you’d like to see any more about the race itself, feel free to find me on social media!

    A few things I have learned recently:

    Keep up with the times

    Patience is key

    Don’t overjump and flat land a Supercross catapult

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    Those who follow me on social media or race around the central Florida area know that I have switched from Kawasaki to Husqvarna. This decision came about after a few experiences where I felt that I was bested only by the power of the bikes I was racing against. Not that my bike wasn’t fast, but it was not a 6-hour motor like many of the pro-level bikes I line up against, and to make my bike that fast was going to cost a lot of money and lose a lot of reliability. When I had heard that Husqvarnas came stock with a substantial amount of power more accompanied with less weight, I was thoroughly shocked. After doing some research on different bike brands and the advancements in technology I felt like I had been living under a rock! Of course, once I got my FC250 I was even more blown away at the nimbleness of the bike and how well the stock suspension worked. Pay attention and keep up with the times!

    Before I was able to ride any Arenacross, I had less than 7 or 8 hours logged on my new bike and had been riding on stock suspension on outdoor tracks, a very different reality from what I needed to become accustomed to. I think that was good to learn the ergonomics of the bike, but also, I hadn’t ridden on stock suspension (especially on a place like Gatorback MX) in years because I have worked closely with Race Tech. Helped keep me humble and remind me how lucky I am to have some of the best suspension in the business!

     

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    Thankfully, I had the opportunity to train at the South of the Border training facility the week of the Greensboro Arenacross. When I showed up to the SOBMX Arenacross track on Monday, I really didn’t know what to expect out of myself, and I wasn’t entirely sure where to start. However, I did know that I did not have much time before the weekend and I needed to get myself situated and get down to business if I had any hopes of gaining my Road to SX points. While it took me a couple of laps, I quickly tapped into the skills I had gained from 2 years ago racing AX. I was quickly reminded, however, that in that type of tight riding and especially in the whoops needed to be taken with a bit of patience. It only took one “holy crap I’m about to eat dirt” moment on the AX track. In motocross, the motos may be longer and the tracks are bigger, but you have moments for rest and can usually keep it very smooth and not expend a ton of energy. In AX, this is not the case. It is constant setting up and adjusting and analyzation and awareness which can be both mentally and physically exhausting if you don’t learn how to make your moves less dramatic and set up correctly to fight the bike less. Patience is key, don’t rush it!

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    2018 Greensboro Arenacross, photo by MEPMX

    Now, onto the fails! After gaining some useful time on the AX track and relearning how to approach the obstacles and rework my thoughts, I decided to take a swing at the SX track for fun! Rhythm sections, no issue. Whoops, well I decided to avoid those on my first day (SX whoops are VERY different from AX whoops). Long story short, I WAY over estimated the catapult and ended up overshooting and flat landed… my wrists still feel it a week and a half later. Another awesome fail came when I was working on rhythms through the whoop section on the AX track because they had gotten too beat to consistently blitz every time. Like a typical guy I was getting it down pat, using a mixture of jumping and wheel tapping to make my way through with ease and a lot less energy. Then, I started coming into my first wheel tap with a bit more gusto because I was nailing the corner before. All went well until I started rushing the rhythm… and it was then that I had missed the second wheel tap because of a lapse of judgement and accidentally decided to try and ride a nose wheelie through the rest of the whoop section, which ended in me crashing. Had to walk if off, of course. That helped me learn that when I let “it” come naturally and didn’t rush the track, it allows me to think each step out and adjust in those fraction-of-a-second moments. This also helped me maintain focus and hammer out smooth, consistent laps. Patience is key!

    Ended up coming away from Greensboro Pro Arenacross with 13th in the AX class, and 15th in the AX Lites. Straight to the AX main event from the heat race, and through some rather determined racing in the AX Lites Last Chance Qualifier I worked my from 5th to 2nd for the last spot for the main. All while keeping these small lessons (along with others) in mind in the process. Not too bad for my first Pro Arenacross race in 2 years with a week of prep! Be sure to keep your eyes for the next entry where I will talk a little more about the mental game in prep and during race day. Click the follow button to get updated when I post new entries! I’ll see you at the races.

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    2018 Greensboro Arenacross, Lites LCQ, Photo by Mike Vizer

    Big thanks to Mike Burkeen and Taylor Futrell at SOBMX for having me at the facility and for the words of wisdom that were massively helpful in my prep. Looking forward to going back for the week of the Florence Arenacross and progressing even more and getting better and better! Also, big thanks to Hans and the crew at Xtreme Powersports for getting me in touch with the right people to make the Husqvarna deal happen! Lastly, big thanks to Jeff and his crew at MPR Suspension for getting my suspension set up and returned to me in a bit of a pinch.

    Thanks to Husqvarna, Xtreme Powersports, TMI Calibration, Race Tech, MPR Suspension, Boyesen, Twisted Development, Fly Racing, EKS Brand, Wiseco, EVS, RoostMX graphics, Acerbis, Dunlop, Bulletproof Threads, Mika Metals, DT1 Filters, MotoSeat, Tamer Billet MX, Evergood Co, and SOBMX.

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    2018 Greensboro Arenacross, Photo by MEPMX

  3. scottiedawg
    Latest Entry

    Peter Weiss is a name in the Hard Enduro world that you have most likely heard of. This is the guy that gets contracted by race organizations to build hard enduro race tracks. Look him up sometime...He has a long list of great race courses under his belt. In addition he does enduro schools and exhibitions that usually accompany his travels to various parts of the world.

    While Peter was in Peru laying out the route for the El Inka Hard Enduro, he wanted to come out to Cusco and do some tourism stuff as well as pack a couple of good days of riding into his
    schedule. It was ON!

    This is what its like to ride the Andes with a pro!

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    I don't always have the chance to ride with pro level riders like Peter. What I like about it most is that I get a chance to stretch my ability by trying new things. I can't take big risks when riding solo, which is what I do most of the time.

    So Peter shows up and my buddy Alex and I decide to show him some of what the Andes are all about. Big mountains that stretch up to the 16,000 ft mark just behind my house. He was stoked to give it a go.

    We rode for two days, covered a bunch of types of terrain, and returned home with huge smiles on our faces.  I will let the video do the talking. This guy likes the routes tight and crazy...He got what he wanted!

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    Keep your eyes out for Peter Weiss. He puts down some killer GPS tracks for a number of races in South America and other parts of the world.  Check out The El Inka Hard Enduro(ZICK is the race organization) in Peru which takes place around the beginning of December. Peter's route this past race left only a small handful to reach the finish line... Mario Roman took home the prize.

    I always look forward to riding with Peter.  If you get a chance to take part in an enduro school of his, you won't be disappointed.

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    Enjoy the video and make sure to follow this blog so you can stay tuned to what's happening in the enduro world of Peru...

     

    Wheels down,

    Scottiedawg

    Scott Englund of MotoMission Peru is a social entrepreneur who puts together hard enduro tours in the Andes of Peru. Feel free to contact Scott via this blog, or catch up with him on Facebook at MotoMission Peru. Also, you can see all of his tour videos and more on the official MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures channel on Youtube.
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    “Splitting the cases” is often referred to as a daunting or undesirable task, but if you are well prepared and properly equipped then it can be a straightforward job. To alleviate any concerns you may have with the task, I want to discuss best practices and share some tips that you may find useful when dealing with crank bearings that utilize an interference fit with the crankshaft. We’ll get started by discussing preparatory items and work through to completing the job.

    Preparation

    I always recommend prepping for crankcase separation by thoroughly reviewing the service manual. This is important in case any special instructions are present, such as guidance on how the crankcases should be positioned. Typically, it is advantageous to lift one half off the other in a certain orientation due to the way the gearbox or other components are installed. Secondly, a review of the manual may highlight any specific hardware that must be removed prior to attempting to split the cases.

    From a tools standpoint, a crankcase splitter tool is a worthy investment because it will help ensure the job goes smoothly. Case splitters are relatively inexpensive and widely available. Alternatively, for the budget conscious or lesser prepared, a case splitter is something that could be fabricated. Whether buying or making, ensure you pick up a model with a protective end cap for the crankshaft or fabricate one. We’ll discuss the end cap later. The other tools required are all fairly standard and include your typical sockets, wrenches, and soft mallets.

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    Wooden blocks or other soft semi-malleable spacers should be selected which level and raise the crankcases off the tabletop. This allows the cases to be positioned so that the split line between the cases lies horizontally and subsequent splitting can be done vertically. This will help ensure evenness of separation as well as reduce the likelihood of components falling out of the cases unexpectedly.

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    As much as shortcuts are desirable, just about everything external to the cases must be removed in order to successfully split the cases. Clutch, stator, crank gear, etc. must be removed prior to case splitting. Your service manual will provide further clarity as to what needs to come off.

    Technique & Tips

    Once you’re ready to separate the cases, the first thing we’ll need to do is remove all the crankcase bolts. The crankcase bolts should be removed via any prescribed patterns outlined in the service manual. Since the crankcase bolts are typically several different lengths, ensuring the location of each bolt is well documented is extremely important. As I discussed in my post on keeping track of bolts, the cardboard gasket method or any other you find suitable should be utilized so that the reassembly process is straightforward later on.

    After the crankcase bolts have been removed, the crankcases should be inspected one final time to ensure no hardware that should have been removed prior is hitchhiking. Trust me, trying to separate cases only to find there is one last forgotten bolt is quite frustrating! Once you’re confident all the necessary hardware has been removed, position the cases on the blocks with the correct half facing up.

    Next, install the protective cap over the crankshaft. I advise using the cap whether you own a two or four-stroke simply because in both cases it helps preserve the end of the crankshaft. This is of particular importance on four-stroke engines that utilize an oil feed that passes through the crank.

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    Once the crank end is protected, proceed to install the crankcase splitter. Select threaded holes that are as close to equispaced from one another as possible to promote uniform loading of the case splitter. When threading the case splitter studs into the crankcase, make sure you engage at least 1.5 times the diameter of the stud diameter. For example, if the stud is 6mm in diameter make sure at least 9mm of thread engagement length is achieved. This will help ensure the threads are not stripped when you attempt to separate the crankcases.

    With the crankcase splitter installed begin tensioning the main bolt against the end of the protective cap. Proceed to tighten the bolt until the crankcases begin to separate about a 1/16” (1.5mm). Once separation has occurred, make sure that separation is even all the way around the cases. Due to the way the case splitter loads the cases, the area near the output sprocket tends to lag. Case separation needs to be even so that the dowel pins used to pair the cases together don’t bind.

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    If the output sprocket end of the cases hasn’t separated, use a soft rubber or plastic mallet to gently tap in that area. Tap carefully and only on case areas that appear sturdy. Once you’ve created an even gap, proceed to tension the splitter bolt, tap when necessary, and fully remove the crankcase.

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    Upon separation, make sure that no gearbox components, such as washers, have stuck to the case.

    What I’ve described is the ideal sequence of events for a successful case separation, however, occasionally the cases won’t be as cooperative. In the past, I’ve had to deal with crankcases where moisture has found its way into the dowel pin bores and corroded the dowel pins. This effectively seizes the dowel pins in their bores and makes the separation job more challenging.

    If the crankcases are being resilient to separation, stuck dowel pins may be a potential problem. Most dowel pins are located opposite one another and their exact position can often be referenced in the service manual or in the crankcase section of part microfiches. Once the location of the dowel pins has been confirmed, a torch can be used to lightly heat the dowel pin areas. Heat will expand the metal surrounding the dowel pin and aid in freeing up the stuck pin bore. Usually, a few careful rounds of heat, tension on the splitter, and well-placed tapping is enough to free up the pesky cases and get them separated.

    Alternatively, if the heat does not help, applying a penetrant to the pin bore areas is another option that may help free things up. If you find yourself dealing with stuck cases, the key is to be patient and think through all your options. In these types of situations, most mistakes are avoidable and are usually the result of rushed decisions.   

    Once the cases have been separated, the remaining tasks of removing the gearbox and pushing the crank out of the remaining case half can commence. I hope you’ve enjoyed this write up on crankcase separation and that it makes you more prepared for the job. If you’ve got additional crankcase separation tips that you want to share, please leave a comment below.

    For additional engine building information, whether two or four-stroke, check out my engine building handbooks. Each handbook is offered in print or digital form, contains over 250 color pictures, detailed instruction from start to finish on full rebuilds, and contains a wealth of information pertaining to diagnostic testing and precision measuring.
    DIY Moto Fix Books

    Thanks and have a great week!

    -Paul

  5. Had a great day of riding Saturday with my buddy @Bryan Bosch in the Withlacoochee National Forrest just north of Dade City, Fl. It's still pretty wet from the summer rains and Hurricane Irma didn't help! But, like always, the 701 took everything in stride, even with worn Continental TKC80 tires. Well, "almost" everything...

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    Unfortunately, the trail riding portion of the day got cut short because of a little mishap that resulted in my clutch perch letting go of the handlebars...

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    As we left the sandy trails, turning onto a damp, hard-packed clay road, just a tiny little goose of the throttle caused the bike to walk sideways into an unrecoverable low-speed drop...

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    Since the fall seemed so minor, I was surprised to see that the pinch bolt for the clutch perch had pulled out the threads! Uhhhhh, this is the "Enduro" model, not the wimpy SM version or even more girly-man KTM 690 Enduro R! IT'S a HUSKY!!!!! ;)

    Fortunately my riding partner is a zip tie junkie, so we patched things up enough to get 'er home.

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    When I got it home, I noticed that the threads went quite a bit deeper than the factory installed bolt was taking advantage of, so I was able to thread it back together using a longer bolt. Clearly this is a bit of a weak spot on the big girl, so I'll be installing REAL hand guards shortly.

    What hand guards do you guys like? Hit me up in the comments section below and don't be afraid to share your pictures. I'd love your help in picking out a pair of hand guards. Time to replace the stock wannbe  "bug guards" er, huh... "hand guards". 
     

    Bryan Bosch
    Steve Claus
    #dualsportduo

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    Moto the big girls? Thought about it!!!! ;) - Dade City MX park on the way home. At least the KTM comes with full wrap around hand guards.

  6. This is episode 7 of my video off-road training series where I cover the basic techniques used to wheelie over trail obstacles such as logs. Give it a watch and hit me up in the comments section below if you have any questions. Thanks for watching.

    Brian Garrahan
    Garrahan Off-Road Training
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  7. UNLV Rebel MX Club
    Latest Entry

    What is the Rebel MX Club up to today?  We have a lot planned for this upcoming school year and we are excited to tell you about it.  Our purpose is to grow the dirt bike community and that is what we plan to do! In Las Vegas, Nevada, our riding season is from October until March so of course we will be doing lots of riding and camping and having a good time but we also plan to expand the dirt bike community! In the spring of our last school year we held our first ride day where we taught 3 brand new individuals how to ride a dirt bike! We started the students out on a CRF 50 to learn some throttle control and shifting up into the next gears and coming to a stop. Once the students felt more comfortable we moved them on up to a CR 85 or a CR 125 depending on their size.  We put together a short little video of our first ride day on our youtube page if you'd like to go check it out at this link:

    For this upcoming Fall semester we have six Learn How to Ride Days planned and we are stoked to teach some new people how to ride a dirt bike but we need the dirt bike community's help!!  Our awesome student government called the Consolidated Students of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (CSUN) has granted us $1000 to buy a dirt bike to teach our students on.  We are currently searching for a dirt bike to purchase for our club. If you or someone you know is in the surrounding area of Las Vegas, Nevada and have a dirt bike that you would like to sell please let us know! We are also looking for some possible donor bikes that might need a little work that anyone would like to donate to our club.  The more bikes that we have means more students and community members we can have learning.  If there are any vendors or reps out there that would like to sponsor some gear to keep people protected we would greatly appreciate it and would be proud to represent your brand. The same goes for gear as it goes for the dirt bikes, we would greatly appreciate some old donor gear or hand me downs that you would like to donate.  If you would like to help the Rebel MX Club achieve our goals you can contact us on our Facebook Page: UNLV Rebel MX Club or through our email at rebelmx.unlv@gmail.com or leave us a comment in the bottom of our blog! Our general meeting and first ride day will occur on September 6th and 9th. We will post more about the details on our Facebook Page. Anyone is welcome to come, you don't have to be a UNLV Student.  Thanks for reading. We will post an update on our first ride day after it occurs.  Keep on braaaaping.

  8. blog-0894440001474291336.jpg

    Sure, it's fun to put some laps in on a motocross track. But, you'll fall short of your potential if you're not using this key practice law of practicing important techniques separately. This is true for motocross cornering skills as well as motocross jumping skills. Did you know that riding really well requires mastering as many as 55 separate techniques, all laced seamlessly together? Find them all in the popular Motocross Practice Manual! blog-0894440001474291336.thumb.jpg.a96590e7f91f982e1fcf1eab446c083c.jpg

     

     

    If you'd like more of my riding tips, browse my blog here on ThumperTalk or my website. If you'd like to be notified when I post new riding tips, subscribe by clicking the "follow" button (upper right). :thumbsup: