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As you might know, I'm one of the contributing editors for the ThumperTalk.com review crew, and I wanted to let you know that I just finished up my review on a set of custom wheels built by the folks at FasterUSA with components from the folks at RKExcel America. If you'd like to read my review as well as catching a video of me racing on them, here's the link:
Thanks for taking the time and hit me up in the comment section below if you have any questions. Oh, and don't forget to tap that "follow" button so you'll be notified when I post new stuff.
Scott Meshey #141
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Do you struggle with building a nutrition and training program that doesn’t leave you exhausted and flat on race day?
During Podcast #13, Coach Robb walks you through the four stages necessary for optimum strength, speed and endurance specific to anything endurance (triathlon, running, mountain biking, road cycling, adventure racing, long distance open water swimming, hiking and climbing, off road motorcycle racing (2 plus hours like BAJA & GNCC).
Before listening to this podcast, make sure you have a pen and paper to take some notes. Coach Robb outlines the three main components associated with performance then walks you through four stages associated with building the perfect endurance program: Creating an Athlete Performance Profile, Creating an Athlete’s Foundation for Performance, Performance Evaluation and Performance Development. After listening to this podcast, you will have the ultimate template for optimized endurance specific performance.
And as the people’s podcast, Coach Robb answers listeners questions about the benefits of massage, how to control intensity for weight loss and cycling, how to recover from a snowboarding session, benefits of energy gels and blocks during a half marathon and when to review biofeedback indicators.
Click the play button below to to listen to the podcast. If you want to be notified of future podcasts & blog entries, be sure to tap the "Follow" button right here on ThumperTalk.
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So many of us have one. We drag it around each ride. Some mount it to our helmets, some put it on a chest, and yet some use it with a tripod. The action camera has been a catalyst in the world of sports to bring all of its excitement to a screen near you.
I remember back in college duct taping a big VHS camera around our bodies as we leapt off bridges. We loved to revisit the adventure later on. There is something captivating about sharing experiences with others. It's part of a visual storytelling phenomenon in which many have become addicted. I am one of them.
Have you ever sat through a treacherous three minute ride video that your buddy put together? He was so stoked about it, but as you reached the 20 second mark you wanted to do something else? Was it all taken from the latest GoPro mounted on his helmet? The sound consisted of a wound out two stroke at blaring levels? Yeah, I've been there. In fact, that may have been one of my earlier videos.
I ride dirtbikes in one of the coolest places on the planet. As I have been exploring the backcountry of Peru over the years, I have picked up some great ride shots via my handy little GoPro. Times have changed a bit with technology. Now, I capture 4k footage straight onto my phone, I can fly a drone above and beyond to bring even better footage back home to show the audience. The mount options are infinite as well as the gadgets for taking different shots.
All of this technology has opened up a new passion for me. I have combined my longing to lay my tires on new tracks with the thrill of capturing the right shot. I also love to write and tell stories.
Over the past decade, I have developed a pet peeve with bad videos. I certainly cannot claim to be top drawer when it comes to talent, but there are a few things that I have learned along the way that can help you put better videos together.
I have included my latest ride video of a group of three guys and myself that hammered our way through some great riding in the Andes of Peru. It is more of a ride video and not much of a story video. My plan is to use it as an example. Whether you think it's good or bad is your opinion. My hope is that you can improve the viewability of your videos with just a couple of practical and simple to use techniques. Besides, you want people to enjoy your work.
Keep the camera still
Whenever possible, use a tripod, a rock, a prop up device to keep the camera from moving while taking the shot. This goes for those that are using basic stuff. If you don't have a gimbal (most riders don't carry one around in their tool pouch) use creativity to figure out a way to place your camera on a solid spot. Personally I almost always use a flexible, three legged tripod to mount my Samsung S7. I can place it anywhere, I keep it in my pocket on my riding pants, and can set it up before the guys come around the corner and into the shot.
Take short clips
If you have ever spent much time editing, you understand. Large files have to be processed by your computer even if you only want a three second clip of a 45 minute file. Another reason to keep them short is for entertainment purposes. Mainstream movies change camera views and angles each few seconds. Its so you don't get bored with the film. Same thing goes for your ride video. Mix it up where possible.
Many Points of View
As I mentioned above, changing camera angles will make your video easier to watch. If you watch a 5 minute video of the same helmet mounted GoPro footage, you might die. It's boring for most everybody that wasn't on the bike.
Its OK to use helmet mounts, but change the scene. Stop and film your buddies zipping by as they bang through the rocks. Pan around and take in some pretty scenes. Follow along on that gnarly section of trail. Get in your buddy's face and ask him about how he crashed. Film a high five or fist bump. Mix those in with your video and you will make it much more enjoyable to watch.
Length of Video
Keep your edits between two and three minutes preferably, and under five minutes for best audience gain.
Many of the professionals on social media talk about how important it is to keep things short. People have little windows of time that they can sneak in a Youtube video. If you have a 45 minute movie, they probably won't be able to check it out while on their coffee break. They also won't run over to Charlie and say, "Hey, check this one out!" In my experience, it's like pricing...Keep it under the minute markers...do a 2:59 second video instead of a 3:02 video. In general, the shorter the better. I try to keep ride videos to the three to four minute mark per day. Pack the best stuff in there and get rid of the rest. People will watch your videos much more often.
In addition, there are limits on social media for file size and video quality. Last thing you want to do is make a cool video to find out the file is too big for your Facebook page.
Keep Edits Simple
You don't need to add a million crazy transitions or graphics. Unless it is done well, its more of a distraction. Transition from shot to shot with basic cuts. Is easier and works well with ride videos.
The Rule of Thirds
This is a time tested film and photo basic...Take your screen and divide it into thirds, up and down and side to side. Basically make a tic tac toe board on your screen. Place your subject in one of the corners of the middle square. If you have a full length subject that takes most of the height of the screen, place the subject on one of the up and down lines. It creates perspective and makes a better shot. Same goes with horizons and mountain backgrounds. Place them on one of the horizontal thirds to make your image more pleasing.
Subject is not centered in the middle of the frame...but rather on one of the 1/3 lines.
If you don't record good sound with your video, don't put it in there.
If you are making a sandwich and the bread is bad, it will make your whole sandwich bad, even if you have the best cheese and meat. Cover up with clear voice over or music. Smart phones usually have good sound recording for videos. Use the best you have available, and if you have little to work with, put in more music.
You are trying to tell as story each time you make a video. Keep an eye out for things that stand out to make your story interesting. A wreck, funny things people say, beautiful scenery, obstacles and struggles, and anything else that stands out in your story. Highlight it with clips that you have taken and your video will be better for it.
As for the video that I included in the post, look it over. I have put many of these principles into practice. It's not perfect, but imagine what it would be like to have only on point of view, or mumbled GoPro sound? Do yourself and your friends a favor and make those videos more entertaining to watch.
Until the next time...keep the wheels down.
Scott Englund is a social entrepreneur living in Cusco Peru. Scott operates MotoMission Peru, which offers super exotic hard enduro tours through the Andes. You can check out MotoMission Peru by visiting the website at www.Motomissionperu.com or find them on Facebook or check out other ride videos and media on the MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures YouTube Channel. Feel free to contact Scott right here through TT if you have any questions about MotoMission Peru.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks and have a great week!
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.
Eat, sleep, work, and repeat. Sound familiar? This is the hamster wheel we’ve all heard about. It’s hard to see it and even harder to break the cycle when you’re in it. Some say this is the cycle of life and that’s just the way it is. I say I want more. To quote one of the best movies of all times “This is your life, and its ending one minute at a time.” Tyler Durden, Fight Club. Let’s take a look at one of the best possible ways you can use those valuable minutes.
I came into dirt biking at the age of 32. I was not bottle fed as a child out of old Rotella bottles. The only clutch control I had was clutching at my TV remote when my wife tried to steal it from me. I had been very active in the outdoors as a kid growing up, but the last 10 years had seen a move across the country, a new career and a new mortgage. I was, for a while, living only to progress my age. I felt every rung of that wheel as I ran along. It was just over a year ago when I rode my first dirt bike, and my average suburban grind had a fistful of cayenne pepper thrown on it, then lit on fire, then thrown off a cliff. Point is I woke up to a whole new lifestyle and I know I could never go back.
I ran into my first obstacle the minute I opened my mouth and spoke the words Dirt Bike around my wife. I got that look of “Oh yeah? At your age” and she spoke to me of not being a kid anymore and what bills we had to pay and that I would just hurt myself and blah yadda yadda yadda. I zoned out. After hearing silence for a few seconds I snapped to and realized by her last inflection of her voice she had asked a question. “Well” I said “you know, if you put things off you want to do throughout your life, eventually you will have a midlife crisis and end up running away with a 20 year old in a new convertible. It’s better to do irresponsible things in small doses throughout your life instead of at one big go when you realize you’ve never done what you wanted and it’s almost too late.” I finished, giving her the most genuine look I could muster. Luckily I have a really great wife who really supports me if I want to do something, and she agreed.
The next few months I spent absolutely obsessing over the online used stuff website, I’m sure you know the one. I also read every review, article and watched every youtube video on how to select the proper bike for you. After some long theoretical debates with myself over what type of rider I wanted to be, I determined that the WRF series from Yamaha would best compliment me as a theoretical rider. I then poured over the web looking for the nicest, newest WRF I could find. I ended up with a 1984 Honda CR125 with no front brakes.
You see, there’s one small thing I forgot to mention, as a part of my wife agreeing to me riding, it was that it would not be at the monetary detriment to our family….And seeing as how we had only in the last year bought a new house and had to pay for all the accoutrements that go with it. I was house poor. I ended up getting the Honda by bartering and trading some household items to a man that was an approximately 5 hour drive from me. Beggars can’t be choosers. After watching a few videos on how to strap a bike into a truck, as I had a hard time believing it would stay in with just two straps to the handle bars, I was able to load it up and take it home ready for the new life I was about to have. This was but the first bike in a few I would own over the last year, after having bartered, traded up and sold my soul I now have a 2017 Husqvarna FE350.
Stay tuned for my next chapter on how you too can maneuver into the bike of your dreams, and some of the pitfalls to watch out for along the way. Do you guys remember what your first bikes were and what you had to do to get it? Post in comments below.
Also don’t forget to follow this blog to get alerts on new entries.
In this offroad motorcycle training video, I want to show you the benefits of using your front and rear brakes at the same time for maximum control and speed. Give it a watch, see how you're doing, and of course, hit me up in the comment section below if you have any questions or comments.
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!
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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