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Frequently I discuss the importance of proper hydration and nutrition as it relates to building and repairing muscle tissue, burning unwanted body fat and consuming enough water, sugar and electrolytes to perform optimally every day when you head out the door.
With this in mind, I want you to begin keeping a very detailed analysis of your sweat rate. Nutrition as it relates to performance is an interesting subject; we look at the quality and quantity of your food intake and evaluate if you have enough energy to finish your workouts feeling strong throughout the duration of the workout. If you begin to fatigue, we know that we need to adjust the quantity (we assume that the quality is there at this point).
Now let’s take a detailed look at your hydration as it relates to your performance. Proper hydration is going to affect your body in two ways: one, it helps you regulate your core body temperature. The cooler you are from the inside out, the better you will perform.
The second benefit to proper hydration is that your muscles (and brain) are receiving enough water, electrolytes and sugar to perform properly: good mental clarity and strong muscle contractions.
To improve your confidence on race day, you need to know what your sweat/replenishment rate is specific to your intensity with the factor of temperature & humidity. Though it sounds tedious during the week, it is invaluable on race day – you will know exactly what your hydration strategy to implement to race up to your fullest potential.
Until next time, work smart - not hard!
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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...
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...
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...
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.
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".
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.
Hello ThumperTalk readers! Been some time since my last post. After Loretta’s some take a small break, which is good for the body and for re-evaluating plans going forward. For me, it’s been a mixture of both.
Things have been calm or the calm before the storm, Hurricane Irma, yet hectic in the Meshey camp. The rush and intensity of getting to Loretta’s is over. Next the new academic year; college starting, sponsorship season renewing, training, and then throw a hurricane in the mix… it’s safe to say that things continued to stay busy for me. However, to be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way! Looking back just a year ago, I was not cleared to start physically training yet by my doctor, no running or working out, no riding or bikes, and unclear when I was going to be able to race again and questioning if I would regain my standing within the racing community (don’t mess with the flu, kids). I knew I had the ability, but how long was this going to take get up to speed from my last national gate drop in 2015. It does not happen over-night and learning to be patient, can be hard when you breathe racing. I am pleased with my progress and recognize that you have to be grateful and appreciative of your own evolution, it’s not about where everyone else is…it’s about you and your efforts.
Loretta Lynn's Amateur Motocross National 2017
Some really cool things have happened in the months of August/September, lots of new opportunities. One of those being the opportunity to write for Wiseco on their Racer Elite piston, so be sure to keep watch on their site or stay tuned to my profile/blog series, I will be posting the link when it is up and running, the product is awesome and the new relationships formed from giving valuable feedback has proven to be not only in the products performance, but those who work within the company, it’s a great group of people and I am thankful for the new avenues to explore. Also, I had the privilege of being EVS’s athlete of the month for September! (Link: http://evs-sports.com/explore/blog/athlets/scott-meshey/ ) Despite my time off, they have stood behind me and continue to do so through the good and the bad. Thanks Brad!! Along with a few new product review opportunities, including the Fly Tri-Pivot levers, Excel/FasterUSA wheel build, Race Tech Engine Services, and the Acerbis X-Seat. I’ll be putting all those products to the test to see how well they hold up, how well they perform, and if they add an edge to your racing program. I will also be adding new video content to my blogs and reviews using the new SENA Prism Tube camera, putting it through the paces to show its capabilities.
So, what are my plans going forward? Balancing college, work and training isn’t exactly the easiest, but where there is a will there is a way, if you want something bad enough you relentlessly pursue every avenue, no matter the obstacles, for those are just challenges to test you, to live to your fullest potential. The focus to continue building through practice and hitting races in my area, along with the Evergood Open race. I’m looking forward to re-connecting with those who have given me the chances to evolve as a racer, the track looks awesome and good times to be had by all. Mini O’s is the next national and is probably my favorite national of the year, between the atmosphere of the race and the track, it has the feel of a family-oriented event, Thanksgiving and Mini O’s, go together if you are a racer. From there, Arenacross and spring nationals. Thankfully, I have already learned the basics of Arenacross and the process of pro race day and it will allow for a better result and not something that will come as a shock to me as previously. My health, breathing in particular, working with me instead of against me, Lots of exciting things coming up!
MXGP Amateur Race Day @ WW Ranch, photo by MEPMX
This entry may seem short, but there is always more to come from me! Be sure to stay tuned to the blog series and click/tap the “follow” button to stay updated on any new entries! You can also click the “follow” button on my profile to stay updated with anything I post on ThumperTalk. Thanks for following along, I’ll see you at the races!
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This week I want to talk about two-strokes. To kick off this post I have some awesome news. The Two Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook is off to the printers and will be available for pre-sale very soon! Getting the book off the ground has been no cake walk. It's been two years coming and we are so thankful our riders and fans have been patient with us! At the end of this post I'll give you instructions on how you can stay updated on the launch. With that said, let's get started. Today's post aims to provide an overview of the important aspects of the two-stroke cylinder and answers a couple commonly asked questions relating to cylinder modifications.
The ports found within a two-stroke cylinder in combination with the exhaust system have the greatest influence on power, torque, and the RPM at which maximum power is created out of the various engine subsystems found within a two-stroke engine. Typically when a new engine is designed the port characteristics are one of the first parameters to optimize. With this being the case they are also one of the first things anyone planning on altering an existing engine should consider improving or tailoring to their specific application. A two-stroke cylinder consists of exhaust, transfer, and occasionally inlet ports (true inlet ports are only found on piston or rotary valve controlled engines). The port heights, widths, areas, directions they flow, and relationships to one another all have a significant influence on how the engine will behave. The cutaway of the cylinder shown details the port arrangement and common nomenclature.
The inlet port/passage delivers air into the engine’s crankcase, most commonly through a reed valve, on a dirt bike engine. On older engines, a rotary valve or the piston may also be used to control the opening and closing of the inlet port. On modern machinery, the inlet simply connects the reed valve to the cylinder or crankcase. In this case, the primary restriction in the inlet port is the reed valve and as such the valve’s geometry and flow capabilities often dictate the inlet port's performance.
The transfer ports are responsible for moving fresh air and fuel up from the crankcase into the cylinder. This occurs as the piston travels downward after the cylinder has fired. Once the piston uncovers the tops of the transfer ports the blowdown phase is complete, at which point much of the exhaust gas has been expelled from the cylinder. As the transfer ports begin to open, the exhaust pipe sucks fresh mixture up through the transfer ports into the cylinder. To a lesser extent, the downward motion of the piston also aids in creating a pressure differential between the crankcase and cylinder. The shapes and flow capabilities of the transfer ports play a big part in how effectively the cylinder can be scavenged of exhaust gases and filled with fresh air and fuel. The transfer ports also help cool the piston.
The exhaust ports dictate how much and how well exhaust gases depart the cylinder. Similar to the transfer ports, the duct shape, angle, length and volume have a large influence on how well gases can flow through the port. Typically, dirt bike engines commonly feature bridge port or triple port designs.
General insights into a cylinder’s performance can be made by characterizing attributes such as the timing of the exhaust and transfer ports, the port widths, and the directional flow angles, but a deeper analysis is required to truly optimize a cylinder. Today, tuners and designers rely on computer software which computes a port’s specific time area (STA). As defined in the EngMod 2T software suite, “STA provides an indication of the effective port window area that has to be open for a certain length of time to allow enough gas to flow through the port to achieve the target power at the target RPM for the given engine capacity”. STA values are used to quantify the exhaust, transfer, and inlet port geometry as well as the blowdown phase of the two-stroke cycle. The blowdown phase occurs between exhaust port opening and transfer port opening and is one of the most important parameters in predicting engine performance.
By manipulating STA values and subsequently the height, shape, and size of the exhaust, transfer, and intake ports, an engine’s power characteristics can drastically be altered. Port modifications can be made which allow more air to move through the cylinder, ultimately increasing the power of the engine. Conversely, ports can be filled or welded and reshaped which tame the engine and provide less peak power but a broader spread of power. Simple modifications to the ports can also be carried out which improves the air or exhaust gas flow through the port yielding better cylinder scavenging.
Can I modify my own cylinders?
Unless you have a deep passion for two-stroke tuning, are willing to spend money on software and porting equipment, and are comfortable throwing away botched cylinders, I would recommend having a reputable professional carry out any desired port modifications. Experienced tuners have developed a number of porting combinations that will work well for various makes/models and riding applications which will take the guesswork out of the situation and provide you with a good performing cylinder.
Who should consider two-stroke porting modifications?
For the sake of simplicity, I will lump porting modifications into two categories: major and minor.
Major port modifications would include tasks such as significantly changing the port timings (by either removing or adding material), altering the shapes of the ports, or changing the directions the ports flow. Anyone drastically altering their engine, such as turning an MX engine into a road racing engine, should consider major porting modifications. Other examples of applications that may require or benefit from major port modifications include drag racing, hare scrambles, ice racing, or desert racing.
- Minor port modifications would include basic tasks such as removing casting flash, slightly altering the ports to achieve the stock port timing, and correcting areas that result in minor flow deficiencies. Just about everyone could benefit from these types of corrective actions; however, if the engine is already performing or producing adequate power, they often aren't considered.
I hope you enjoyed this writeup on key features affecting the performance of two-stroke cylinders. To stay officially updated on The Two Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook we created an email sign up for our readers. Click this link to see the new cover, the Table of Contents, and some sneak peek pages right from the book.
Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!
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THE OFFICIAL TOUR VIDEO...Enjoy!
The day started early. We wanted to get going early as the route was formidible and there was a high likelihood that we couldn't all make it to the other side. In fact, I didn't even call ahead and get hotel reservations. I was pretty certain we stood no chance.
The day's ride was not long in distance, but in difficulty, it was overload. I had done the route once before as I rode it solo. Looking back on it, I realize I am an idiot. I am working on a solo documentary project and this route was the culmination of the film. So I rode it solo, filmed it solo, and suffered all by myself. The film is in post production at the moment and will be coming out in the next few months, at least that is the plan.
As for the four of us, we had a plan to reach the pass at no later than 3pm. Any later and we would have to come back the way we came, defeated. All gassed up and ready to ride hard, we headed up the canyon to the trailhead.
The anticipation was high. Fernando Puga, who I just call Puga, told me that there is no option other than to reach the other side. He's a tough fella and a good rider. To put it in perspective, he is a bronze finisher in the 2017 Redbull Romaniacs. He is one of the top riders in Peru. He was determined.
His buddy, Duilio, who stands at about 6ft 4inches give or take a few inches, is a beast. He, also, had no intention to give up. We either made it or we made it. No other options.
In addition, there is Alex. He is my riding buddy from Cusco. This guy has a story to tell. I won't give it all away now, but he is as short as they come. I call him Chatito. That means "Shorty" in Spanish. He is starting the inning with a couple outs. His feet hardly can touch the ground when he mounts up on his KTM 300. However, the boy can ride.
The plan was to ride steady. No long stops. I was the only one who knew just how tough it would be. Alex had seen parts, but not very much of the trail. We began pounding through obstacle after obstacle. They just kept coming. Relentless, gut wrenching, head exploding obstacles that scream at you to quit. One by one, we conquered. I am not sure how many times the guys asked me if we were close, but it made me chuckle each time.
There were a number of "filters" that we would face on the climb to the 15,800ft pass. Each one posed its own set of problems. The technical part was enough to make one give up. However, add the altitude to that, and the will to continue dwindled to hardly anything.
It was a privilege to watch these guys battle the mental part of this journey. None of us had it in us to finish. However, there was something about the makeup of the team, that compounded the energy we had left, and turned it into a reserve for each other when we needed a little bit more boost. Somehow, we pushed through each obstacle to get closer to the top.
One of the obstacles, that is properly named for the biblical scripture painted in graffiti on the rock, is the Stairway to Heaven. The words say that the day of God is soon. Pretty much spot on. We spent an hour climbing 100 feet of elevation. There are 13 switchbacks, and enough rocks to build a quarry. Literally a one foot lunge forward on your bike was all one could do in most parts. It was a war. Each in their own battle, working their way to the top. The arrival at the top was met with a view of the upper valley, a long break to recover from the chaos, and a bunch of fluids and protein which would lead us to the next set of filters that would certainly break us down some more.
It seemed like forever, but we finally pushed through all of the obstacles to the pass with exception of the pass itself; a 15,300ft rock garden with an incline that makes me want to cry just thinking about it. One by one, we arrived at the top. Somehow, everyone made it.
I remember Puga asking about the downside of the mountain. He had this idea that it would be "just" a downhill. I chuckled again and informed him that we were not done with the filters. Just because its downhill, doesn't mean it's easy. After a short celebration on the top, our heads were ready to explode from the altitude. Air was light and nothing could get us off that mountain fast enough. Down we went.
The highest altitude area is full of rock. We had to navigate hundreds of steps and drops to bring us down toward the Cuncani Valley. With our tongues hanging out, we pounded down the edge of the canyon. Little by little, the air began to provide more oxygen as we reached the 14,000ft range. It's crazy to think that one would be happy to breath the thin air at that altitude, but when you compare to the pass, we were happy with 14k.
Before long, the hot springs that awaited our arrival was on the forefront of each of our minds. Cramping arms, legs that no longer wanted to properly stand on the pegs, and minds that were exhausted from the 7 hours of intense concentration were beginning to let each of us know that the day was just about over.
We reached the little community of Cuncani and found a new dirt road that had been cut, which we were happy to use to reach the hot springs. It wasn't long before we found ourselves pulling into the hotel and pool area, ditching our gear and plunging into the steaming mineral water to soothe our hammered bodies.
The ride was something only one could dream about, with the exception of the four of us. It's a privilege to be able to do this. Finishing a day of riding in this manner should always feel this good. I am so stoked to have shared and fought the trail with these guys. I can't wait to try the next impossible!
Stay tuned for the next adventure!
Hey ThumperTalkers, checkout my latest off-road motorcycle riding video tip on the proper techniques necessary to navigate rutted corners with speed, control, and confidence. Of course, if you have any questions, hit me up in the comment section below and I'll do my best to answer. Please be patient, I'm at the track and events a lot, but I'll do what I can!
How would you rate your skills in tackling rutted corners? What's giving you the most trouble?
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 email@example.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.
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?
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).
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