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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
    • 4,386 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
    • 1,392 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
    • 2,205 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
    • 1,638 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
    • 1,147 views

Our community blogs

  1. 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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  2. CoachRobb.png

    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.

  3. 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.

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    Subject is not centered in the middle of the frame...but rather on one of the 1/3 lines.

     

    Sound

    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.

    Story

    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.

    Scottiedawg

     

    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.
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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. 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.

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    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.

     

  7. 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.

    Brian Garrahan Off-road Training
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    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: