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  • Coach Robb

    Natural Alternatives to Performance Enhancing Drugs

    By Coach Robb

    It has been a few years now since Lance Armstrong appeared on TV and admitted to his, and his teams, use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDS).  To say that there was an awareness of PEDS influencing the race results of the Tour de France is an understatement; however, to the extent that past racers and champions have admitted to using PEDS (both regarding the type and amounts) is frightening.  In this article, I thought I would provide a recap of the most popular PEDS and how you can get the same performance results in a healthy and natural way.  Note: Your body produces these substances naturally in the body, the key to optimum health and performance is to maintain a high quality & quantity of healthy blood through clean eating and controlled training efforts (volume, intensity and frequency). Drug: Erythropoietin (pronounced, ah-rith-ro-poy-tin, and abbreviated, EPO) What EPO Does Within the Body Erythropoietin (pronounced, ah-rith-ro-poy-tin, and abbreviated, EPO) is a relatively recent entry into the deceitful pursuit of glory. EPO is a protein hormone produced by the kidney. After being released into the blood stream it binds with receptors in the bone marrow, where it stimulates the production of red blood cells (erythrocytes). Medically, EPO is used to treat certain forms of anemia (e.g., due to chronic kidney failure). Logically, since EPO accelerates erythrocyte production it also increases oxygen carrying capacity. Side Effects of EPO: Death In the 1990s, there was a spate of sudden deaths associated within the cycling world associated with EPO: Marco Ceriani (16 years old), Johan Sermon (21 YO), Fabrice Salanson (23 YO), Marco Rusconi (24 YO), Jose Maria Jimenez (32), Denis Zanette (32 YO), Marco Pantani (34 YO), Michel Zanoli (35 YO).  This negative publicity was at least part of the reason for the clamping down on EPO use, which was rampant at the time.  The reason that EPO, and transfusion blood doping, is dangerous is because of increased blood viscosity. Basically, whole blood consists of red blood cells and plasma (water, proteins, etc.). The percentage of whole blood that is occupied by the red blood cells is referred to as, the hematocrit. A low hematocrit means dilute (thin) blood, and a high hematocrit mean concentrated (thick) blood. Above a certain hematocrit level whole blood can sludge and clog capillaries. If this happens in the brain it results in a stroke. In the heart, a heart attack. Unfortunately, this has happened to several elite athletes who have used EPO. EPO use is especially dangerous to athletes who exercise over prolonged periods. A well-conditioned endurance athlete is more dehydration resistant than a sedentary individual. The body accomplishes this by several methods, but one key component is to “hold on” to more water at rest. Circulating whole blood is one location in which this occurs and, thus, can function as a water reservoir. During demanding exercise, as fluid losses mount, water is shifted out of the blood stream (hematocrit rises). If one is already starting with an artificially elevated hematocrit then you can begin to see the problem -- it is a short trip to the critical “sludge zone”.

    Additional dangers of EPO include sudden death during sleep, which has killed approximately 18 pro cyclists in the past fifteen years, and the development of antibodies directed against EPO. In this later circumstance, the individual develops anemia as a result of the body’s reaction against repeated EPO injections. There are some other reasons why cyclists might be predisposed to sudden death - riding at high intensities when carrying viral infections (as pro athletes tend to do) is one of them. And, as Ryan Shay, and a number of other high-profile cases have shown recently, sudden death is a tragic, but not completely uncommon event. There are reports that Nolf’s cardiogram was normal, but even that are not a guarantee of health, because those tests can often miss the quite rare conditions that cause sudden death in athletes. Source: click here How to improve the quality & production of red blood cells naturally With a balanced diet of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein sources, your body will produce the blood chemistry necessary to perform at an elite level.  Determining the optimal amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats that an individual need for optimal health and performance is beyond the scope of this article; however, I want you to know how to create healthy red blood cells.  Natural Eating Solution: eat high quality protein along with high quality brown bread with real butter.  The protein will provide your body with iron (helps form hemoglobin which carries oxygen in the bloodstream from the lungs to the muscles & brain) and the brown bread will provide you B vitamins (also referred to as Energy Vitamins).  An additional benefit of eating protein and brown bread is that the bread with improve your absorption of the iron.  Drug: Human Growth Hormone (hGH) What HGH Does Within the Body hGH is stored in a pea sized ball called the pituitary gland and is the primary stimulus to muscle & muscle strength, bone growth & bone strength, tendon growth & tendon strength, injury repair and mobilization of body fat for use as energy.    Warning: this gets technical, but necessary to fully understand this process.  The key to overall health and performance is to stimulate your own production of growth hormone and you accomplish this by stimulating the pituitary gland correctly.  The pituitary is stimulated to release growth hormone by another hormone circulation in the brain called somatocrinin.  Levels of somatocrinin can be increased by increasing levels of brain neurotransmitters.  These neurotransmitters are the chemicals that carry information from one nerve to another.  Their activity constitutes your mind, your consciousness and dreams.  To increase neurotransmitters, you have to get the amino acids that influence them past what is called the blood-brain barrier.  This concept is beyond the scope of this article, but what needs to be discussed here is an amino acid, Tryptophan, which is a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin.  Serotonin is a compound that slows down brain activity during rest & sleep.  Shortly after you fall asleep, your pituitary gland releases a burst of growth hormone.   Source: Optimum Sports Nutrition, Dr. Michael Colgan. Side Effects of Synthetic hGH External side effects of synthetic hGH include: intense wrist nerve pain, diabetes, overgrowth of the facial bones, gaps between the teeth as the jawbone widens, development of a fatter nose, thickened bone above the eyes resembling an ape and excessive hair growth.  Internal side effects include stressed liver, thyroid & pancreas symptoms, diabetes and historically die prior to the age of 60.  How to improve the production of hGH naturally As mentioned above, the largest growth homone release occurs 30-60 minutes after falling asleep along with high intensity exercise (within moderate volume levels).  To take advantage of these normal physiological functions, racers need to increase the duration and quality of sleep and monitor exercise durations and intensity levels.  Ideally, racers should train twice daily, mid morning and early afternoon and take a nap immediately after training.  Remember, each time you rest, your body receives a burst of growth hormone naturally.  Natural Eating Solution: consume a high-quality smoothie that contains a high quality whey protein prior to sleeping and napping.  Research has shown that the production of hGH can improve by up to 300% when high quality whey protein is consumed before resting.  Drug: Testosterone What Testosterone Does Within the Body Testosterone has two distinct modes of action, androgenic (masculinizing) and anabolic (tissue building).  Up to a certain level of testosterone in your body, a level that varies widely with biochemical individuality, the androgenic action produces more maleness, broader features, more hair, deeper voice, and larger sex organs.  Along with it, the anabolic action produces larger muscles and greater strength. 

    Side Effects of Synthetic or Excessive Testosterone If you take synthetic or excessive testosterone, the androgenic action turns nasty (aggression, violent anxiety, paranoia, and manic-depressive reactions).  Additional negative side effects are irreversible baldness, overgrowth of the prostate, (which chokes the bladder and requires a catheter in order to urinate), acne (the blood fails to contain the excess hormone and overloads the sebaceous glands), impotence, shrinkage of testicles, cardiovascular disease and cancer.  How to improve the production of testosterone naturally Sleep 8-10 hours; eat high quality fruits, vegetables and high-quality protein.  Control your exercise intensity & volume to avoid over stressing your body.  Natural Eating Solution: eat foods that are high in boron, zinc, vitamin C, branched chain amino acids and maximize the release of growth hormone.    If you have any questions, comments, or suggestion for a future article, hit me up on the comments section below. I enjoy hearing from you. Oh, and don't forget to tap that "Follow" button so that you're notified when I post new tips on reaching your highest potential. Coach Robb Beams
    Complete Racing Solutions
             
    • 2 comments
    • 2,974 views
  • scottiedawg

    The Eighth Wonder

    By scottiedawg

    "While at Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the world, Ryan was counting down the days for our dirtbike tour." Todd explained just moments before heading out on the trail.
    It's hard to look down upon the Andes as you fly into the Cusco valley, and not have your mind blown with the enormity and vastness of the terrain below the wings. If you are crazy passionate about dirtbikes, it's even more mind blowing to imagine riding it on two wheels. Todd and Ryan joined up with Scott Englund of MotoMission Peru for a custom three day hard enduro ride. The ride catered to their skill levels, journeyed across the type of terrain that the boys wanted to ride, and filled their minds with hundreds of unforgettable images of Peru. Each teetered on the edge of comfort as Scott managed to push them beyond their norms of riding in Colorado. The official tour video...Check it out!   Toothbrush anyone? "There is something special about leading a father son duo into the back country." Englund said as he explained how his own father bred a bit of adventure in his own heart. "I get people from every corner of the planet. They are all awesome peeps, but to share this experience with Todd and Ryan, that's a thrill."

    Three days of exotic dirtbiking. Beginning at Englund's home, the trail begins just minutes from the garage. "No trailers, you'll see what I am talking about. You won't even have time to warm up before we hit the trail." Englund explained.

    What goes on inside of Motomission is nothing short of a dream. Scott has been running MotoMission Peru for a number of years. He is a social entrepreneur who gives 100% of the profits of the business to charity. His family is supported by a number of people and/or businesses who believe in his mission. Sponsors have supported MotoMission with equipment and gear. The marketing arm of the business are happy customers that tell others about the experience and share the included tour video via social media.

    Scott does what he loves to do. Riding dirtbikes, exploring new areas, cinematography, adventure, travel, serving others, business...It all fits his lifestyle. You can see it in his smile when he hands over the bike to you at the beginning of the tour. So many views! "I've got the coolest gig on the planet!" Englund states. "In my wildest of thoughts, I couldn't have dreamt up a better situation. I live here with my amazing family, all who ride, and I get to do what I love to do, while giving it all away."

    It's not all happy and easy.  "It really sucks when you have to haul a bike out of a canyon in backpacks."  recalled Englund of a time when a customer launched a bike off a ledge so steep and deep he couldn't see where the bike had landed. Good times with Dad! Todd and Ryan got the full package. Englund was able to lead the men into an unforgettable riding experience like they had never imagined. Beyond tired, they had to make it to the next town for the night. They rode a section that is typically a two day ride, all in the scope of one day and a little bit of night. "My hand is so tired I can't squeeze the clutch anymore."  Ryan said as the cramping in his forearm curled up his hand.

    When it comes to an exotic dirt bike adventure, MotoMission Peru has the holeshot.  With countless untouched routes, an epic landscape, and a personable and capable guide, you owe it to yourself to check out this little gem in the Andes. You can reach Scott at Scott@motomissionperu.com to find out more about tours and riding in the Andes. He is always ready to talk shop! Also, don't forget to "FOLLOW" this blog if you want to have access to MotoMission Peru's new posts and videos. 
    • 1 comment
    • 2,705 views
  • Paul Olesen

    New and Re-plated Cylinder Prep

    By Paul Olesen

    Today I want to share some pointers on preparing new or re-plated cylinders that will help ensure your engines run stronger and last longer. Plus, I've got an update on the two-stroke book I've been working on that I'd like to share. Let's get started!
     

    A Universal Concern
    First, both new and re-plated cylinders must be cleaned prior to assembling. Normally the cylinders will arrive looking clean, but looks can be deceiving. I have no doubt that the factories and re-plating services clean the cylinders as part of their processes, but I highly recommend cleaning the bores a final time prior to use. Shown below is a new Yamaha cylinder that I extracted quite a bit of honing grit out of.


    If left in place, the honing grit will ensure that the piston rings will wear out faster than they need to, so be sure to take the time to properly clean new cylinders prior to assembly.

    What’s the best way to clean the cylinder bore?
    Start by using warm soapy water and a brush to clean the cylinder. Take your time and be thorough.

    After the majority of the honing grit has been removed switch to automatic transmission fluid and a lint free rag for one final cleaning.   As a test to check cleanliness, rub a cotton swab against the cylinder bore. If the swab picks up any debris and changes color, your cleaning duties are not over. The swab should be able to be rubbed against the bore and remain perfectly clean.
      Two-Stroke Port Dressing
    For two-stroke owners, the second item I want to bring to your attention is port dressing. Port dressing is a term used to describe the process of deburring/breaking the edge at the intersection of the cylinder plating and the ports in the cylinder. During the plating process, plating usually builds up excessively at the edge of the port and must be removed after honing. Proper removal is critical to ensure acceptable piston ring life.

    Manufacturers and plating services will break the edge in different ways and to different magnitudes, which ends up being a whole other topic. The important thing is to ensure that any new or re-plated cylinder you use shows visible signs that the port edges have been dressed. A dressed port edge will be easy to spot because it will feature a different surface finish than the cross-hatch created from honing. This is easily visible in the image shown above. Many port dressing operations are done manually so some irregularity in the geometry will usually be present. If there is no visible edge break on the port edges, I would be highly suspicious and contact the service that plated the cylinder or sold the cylinder and confirm with them if a step was missed. Typically a chamfer or radius in the .020 - .040” (0.5 - 1mm) range is used. Two-Stroke Power Valves
    Lastly, it is possible that some of the power valve components, such as blades or drums, will not fit correctly on cylinders that have been replated. This is because the plating can occasionally build up in the slots or bores where the power valve parts reside. Prior to final assembly, be sure to check the function of the power valve blade and/or drums to ensure they move freely in their respective locations within the cylinder.

    If plating has built up in a power valve slot or bore, it will need to be carefully removed. To do this, appropriately sized burs for die grinders or Dremel tools can be used. If one is not careful, irreversible damage to the slot or bore can result. When performing this work proceed cautiously or leave it to a seasoned professional. Burs for the job can be difficult to track down in stores, but are readily available online from places like McMaster-Carr. When purchasing burs, be sure to pick up a few variants, such as rounded and square edged, designed for removing hard materials.

    The Two-Stroke Book
    From February to March we photographed the entire book. From April onward we have been formatting and proofreading. Needless to say, we are in the final stretch! If you want to stay updated on the moment the Two-Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook is ready for pre-order, sign up at the link below. We can't wait to get this book out the door and into your garage.
      Sign Up for Updates on the Two-Stroke Book Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!

    -Paul
    • 1 comment
    • 3,366 views
  • Scott Meshey 141

    Nothing Like Loretta's!

    By Scott Meshey 141

    Hello ThumperTalk readers! It’s been a while, and a lot has happened! My absence hasn’t been a negative time, but rather a time of building and preparation for the success I had just a few days ago. As I said in my previous entry, things are always likely to change, and I’ll talk a little about that too. Let’s get to it!   In the weeks leading up to the largest amateur national, Loretta Lynn’s, the preparation was nothing short of busy. Working three 12- hour days in the Florida heat, the other day spent either on the bike training with, Ricky Renner, in the gym or on a road bike. One thing I hadn’t thought about, I hadn’t been on an amateur national gate since November 2015, and I was competing in two of the most competitive classes at the ranch. However, a little bit of ignorance was bliss, and it allowed me to come in with a level of confidence to start the week and only get better. Loretta Lynn's Amateur National, College 18-24 Moto 2, Photo by MEPMX At the ranch, the usual ups and downs of competition is an understatement. However, I found myself able to walk away with my head held higher than ever, accomplishing many firsts and doing it was more awesome than I could’ve imagined! In the 250A class, if something could go wrong, it did. A nasty get-together with another racer over a jump – first moto, a fried clutch – second moto, and a flat tire in the fourth lap third moto, it would’ve been enough for some folks to give up and go home. On the opposite side of the spectrum, it seemed like everything went right in the College 18-24 class. It was in this class that I got my first ever podium moto finish, moto win, and overall podium at Loretta Lynn’s! 5-3-1 for 3rd overall!   Loretta Lynn's Amateur National, 250A Moto 2, Photo by MEPMX This year was very different from the rest. With the guidance of Renner, and my long-time wrench, Amish Sam, we came into things with more strategy and well-thought out plans for success, rather than “just go for it” mentality.  I am not an inside starter… but this week was different. The slight disadvantage of a 250 against 450s, I had to get a good start to set myself up for the rest of the moto, rather than trying to get a holeshot from the center of the starting line and putting myself in a spot to potentially get pinched off and shuffled to the back. We made a few bike changes throughout the week, different gearing, different piston, and new mapping (big thanks to Doug @ Kawasaki for helping me). More than anything, I was open-minded to achieve the success I wanted along with hard work and effort it ultimately created the scenario for success, and more confidence which allowed for greater accomplishments. Loretta Lynn's Amateur National, College 18-24 Moto 3, Photo by Ricky Renner I believe the most exciting thing that happened last week was the last moto of the week, College 18-24, when I had my first ever moto win at Loretta Lynn’s! Perhaps you have experienced the feeling when you are leading, thoughts of, “just stay up”, and there’s a good chance of caving under the pressure. I went from 6th to 2nd in about 3 turns, and from there I passed into the lead by the 3rd lap finishing 8 seconds ahead of second place. When I passed into the lead and started to pull away, there was no sense of “don’t go down”. Instead, I was feeling confident and pride in myself. It felt like it was another day doing 20-minute motos… just nailing the lines, clicking off laps, in control, and CALM. It was at that moment I realized, that this is what I have trained for, all the preparation, to be in first place, at the most prestigious race of the year. To feel calm and comfortable in the most coveted spot. How awesome to be at the highest level in amateur racing of the year, leading the race, and feeling like it’s another day at the office, the sense to just keep it flowing! Going forward with this new confidence, I believe is a great stepping stone for further accomplishments at other national events and even into professional racing. I just had to have the breakthrough and get the momentum going! Loretta Lynn's Amateur National, College 18-24 Moto 3 Win & Awards Ceremony, Photos by Ricky Renner As mentioned in my last blog, plans change.  I will be staying amateur another year. This decision has been unanimous with those who support me. I have missed a full year’s worth of gate drops, training and practice, and want to give myself adequate time to fully re-integrate back into the top level of amateur racing/competition. When I go pro, I want adequate support behind me, and to have all the tools necessary to create waves, and go in with the speed to be competitive off the gate drop.  I will continue to document my journey in the A class, Arenacross run, and further. Be sure to check in and click the follow button for future blogs! We are always keeping it interesting in the Meshey camp.   I want to thank everyone who helps me along this journey. Wouldn’t be able to do what I do without all of you! Jimmy, Mike, and Eddie at Cycle Springs Powersports, Chris and the whole crew at Race Tech, Erik at Boyesen, ThumperTalk, Mike at FLY, Brad at EVS, Dien at Acerbis, Rich at EKS (X) Brand goggles, Rob at Dunlop, RoostMX Graphics, Simon at Mika Metals and DT1, MotoSeat, Kevin at Tamer Holeshot Hookup, Gregg at Lynk’s Racing, Dale at Bulletproof Threads, Andrew Campo, Ricky Renner for stealing my candy, Amish Sam, Momma Meshey, Keith, Amanda, Adam, and Lauren. Also, a huge thanks to everyone at USF Health, especially Dr. Tabatabian and Dr. Welsh for bringing me back to good health! Also, I look forward to my future with Wiseco, big thanks to Al and Kevin over there! Photo by Ricky Renner
    • 2 comments
    • 1,371 views
  • scottiedawg

    Stairway To Heaven

    By scottiedawg

    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! Scott
    • 4 comments
    • 2,401 views
 

Where to Next?

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!

Scott Meshey 141

Scott Meshey 141

 

Everything You Need To Know About The Two-Stroke Cylinder

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! -Paul  

Paul Olesen

Paul Olesen

 

4 Reason (and solutions) Why Your Training is Making You Fat and Slow!

Mistake #1: Not knowing YOUR sport specific heart rate training zone Your maximum heart rate number changes specific to the sport that you are training and racing.  For example, your maximum heart rate on the motorcycle will be higher than on a bicycle (because of the amount of muscle you are using).  A frequent mistake athletes make is completing a maximum heart rate assessment within one discipline and then use the established heart rate training zones across all forms of training and racing.  An additional mistake is using the generic algorithms that are programed into heart rate monitors.  When you plug in your age, height, body weight and activity level, the watch is programmed to provide you GENERIC heart rate zones.  The most accurate assessment of your maximum heart rate is to complete field testing every 6 – 8 weeks. Solution #1: Complete Sport Specific Time Trials and Determine Your Maximum Heart Rate [Note: your maximum heart rate varies from sport to sport – the more muscle you utilize, the higher your heart rate] Your maximum heart rate changes as your aerobic engine improves.  The stronger your aerobic base, the lower your resting heart rate.  With this being said, your maximum heart rate will come down as well because the heart can pump the necessary amounts of oxygenated blood to the working muscles at a lower number because it is “stronger” and pumps more volume of blood with each beat.  Over the duration of my career, I have found the following field tests as a solid indicator of maximum heart rate along with muscular endurance: Swimming: 500 yards (capture your interval at each 100 yard interval) Cycling: 10 miles (capture your elapsed time and heart rate at the five mile and ten mile mark) Running: 3 miles (capture your elapsed time and heart rate at each mile marker) For physical strength, I have a customized Plyometric routine that I feel tests your lactate tolerance and anaerobic thresholds.  This test is EXTREMELY difficult and requires a doctor’s approval.  If you have your doctor’s approval and would like a copy of this Plyometric Assessment, please email me directly.   Mistake #2: Not Testing and Evaluating Your Training Efforts Correctly When you complete your maximum heart rate assessments through time trials, you want to make sure that you are not fatiguing the muscles too quickly which keep you from accurately testing the strength of your heart (specifically oxygen volume as it fuels your working muscles with oxygenated blood). Keep in mind that there is a difference between muscular endurance and muscular power.  If you muscles fatigue due to excessive load or exertion, you will not push your heart into its upper limits.  The key is knowing how to evaluate your time trial results.  Below mistake number three, I will outline testing protocols along with how to evaluate them correctly.  Solution #2: Allow for an Adequate Warm Up When you are attempting to test your aerobic engine, you need to make sure that you don’t increase your intensity too quickly for two reasons. First: the muscles need adequate time to warm up (usually 20-30 minutes) so that you don’t use the first half of your assessment as your “warm up”.  Second: trying to hit maximum effort too early.  The idea is to see what your maximum is over the entire duration, not the first five minutes.    Mistake #3: Following a Generic Training Plan Following a generic training plan that doesn’t take into consideration your training background, physical abilities and availability of time to train will lead to performance plateaus, illness and injuries. Within our performance programs, we factor in your testing results, physical limiters (see Mistake #2), goals and objectives as we develop your training program.  Too frequently I interview new clients who are frustrated with their last year of training and racing because they don’t see any improvements despite the consistency in their training.  The reason for this is that the efforts are not being quantified and the athlete spends too much time in the “grey zone” that yields little to no improvements in performance.  Solution #3: Begin Following a Scientifically Backed Training Program If you would like to begin maximizing your training efforts, please email me and let’s get a nutrition & performance program built for you ASAP!  I guarantee that you will burn body fat, build muscle and improve both your speed and endurance in as little as 12 weeks.  Stop the insanity of training without a plan and email me today.   Mistake #4: Not Eating Enough Fat, Protein and Raw Fruits & Vegetables Many athletes become fat and protein phobic because of the misinformation that is floating around on the internet and morning shows.  The truth of the matter is that the body needs more protein and fat than you can even begin to imagine. Simply put, lean protein re-builds torn down muscle.  If you want to build more muscle you have to eat protein.  Lean protein also supports your immune system which helps protect you against viruses and being down and out being sick. Clean fat will help your body recover from the oxidative stress of aerobic exercise (at all intensity levels).  Eating raw fruits and vegetables will provide your body with the necessary vitamins and minerals to both produce energy as well as recover from your daily training.   Solution #4: Begin Eating More Protein, Fat and Raw Vegetables & Fruits to Burn Body Fat and Improve Your Speed & Endurance The only two things that satisfy appetite is fat and protein – NOTHING ELSE.  If you are on a low fat, low protein diet, you will never experience the true feeling of being full.  This will negatively affect your ability to sleep (which makes you gain weight because your body doesn’t have the chance to release human growth hormone (hGH) which is responsible for making you lean).  The key to burning fat and building muscle is to satisfy your appetite so that you can sleep deeply (REM patter three).  When you get to REM pattern three your body rejuvenates from the inside out and allows your body to release human growth hormone naturally – you will wake up both refreshed and leaner.  However, it starts with real, raw fruits, vegetables, high quality fats and lean protein. You can now see that by training with a scientific, yet simplistic approach will yield the long-term results that you have been always wanting.  I look forward to hearing from each of you and how me and my staff can help you and your program. Until next time, Train Smart-Not Hard! -Coach Robb   About Coach Robb and MotoE (CompleteRacingSolutions.com)  Coach Robb has been working with riders and racers since 1987 and is the founder of the Complete Racing Solutions Performance System, the Mental Blueprint of Success, the MotoE Amateur Development Program, the MotoE Educational Series and a nutritional consultant to Nutritionally Green Supplements based out of Orlando Florida. CompleteRacingSolutions.com is a premium resource center for motocross, supercross and GNCC riders of all abilities and ages.  Visit CompleteRacingSolutions.com & subscribe to his monthly newsletter that outlines the training solutions used by Factory KTM/Red Bull Ryan Dungey, Geico Honda's Jeremy Martin, Factory KTM/Red Bulll Alix Martin, Factory Kawasaki/Pro-Circuit Adam Cianciarulo, multi-time Loretta Lynn & Mini O Amateur Champion Jordan Bailey (Factory Rockstar/Husqvarna), Factory KTM/Red Bull Broc Tickle, Factory Kawasaki/Pro-Circuit Stilez Robertson, off road riders Charlie Mullins (Factory KTM/Red Bull), Chris Bach and Ryan Overton along with quad racer Roman Brown (Factory Yamaha) along with thousands of riders all around the world who have families, hold full time jobs and just love to ride and race motorcycles.   Instructional videos with Coach Robb can be found on the Coach Robb’s YouTube Channel addressing rider’s questions about speed, endurance, strength, nutrition, biomechanics, stretching, and soft tissue maintenance. You can also find articles and videos at CompleteRacingSolutions.com relevant to riders of all abilities.  If you are into social media, you can find him on Twitter: @MotoCoachRobb, Instagram: CoachRobbBeams and Facebook: Coach Robb.  If you are into podcasts, CLICK HERE for his first three shows where he outlined: How to Eat Healthy on $10 a Day; Importance of Sleep and It's Influence on Weight Loss; The Dangers of Over-Hydrating.    

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Stairway To Heaven

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! Scott

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

braking Braking position

Check out our latest training video about braking positioning. To ride fast (and safely), you have to be able to slow down properly!  If you'd like to be notified of when I share new riding tips, be sure to tap the "Follow" button for this blog or subscribe to the Youtube channel. If you have any questions about braking techniques, hit me up in the comments section below.
Brian Garrahan
http://garrahanoffroadtraining.com/    
 

Nothing Like Loretta's!

Hello ThumperTalk readers! It’s been a while, and a lot has happened! My absence hasn’t been a negative time, but rather a time of building and preparation for the success I had just a few days ago. As I said in my previous entry, things are always likely to change, and I’ll talk a little about that too. Let’s get to it!   In the weeks leading up to the largest amateur national, Loretta Lynn’s, the preparation was nothing short of busy. Working three 12- hour days in the Florida heat, the other day spent either on the bike training with, Ricky Renner, in the gym or on a road bike. One thing I hadn’t thought about, I hadn’t been on an amateur national gate since November 2015, and I was competing in two of the most competitive classes at the ranch. However, a little bit of ignorance was bliss, and it allowed me to come in with a level of confidence to start the week and only get better. Loretta Lynn's Amateur National, College 18-24 Moto 2, Photo by MEPMX At the ranch, the usual ups and downs of competition is an understatement. However, I found myself able to walk away with my head held higher than ever, accomplishing many firsts and doing it was more awesome than I could’ve imagined! In the 250A class, if something could go wrong, it did. A nasty get-together with another racer over a jump – first moto, a fried clutch – second moto, and a flat tire in the fourth lap third moto, it would’ve been enough for some folks to give up and go home. On the opposite side of the spectrum, it seemed like everything went right in the College 18-24 class. It was in this class that I got my first ever podium moto finish, moto win, and overall podium at Loretta Lynn’s! 5-3-1 for 3rd overall!   Loretta Lynn's Amateur National, 250A Moto 2, Photo by MEPMX This year was very different from the rest. With the guidance of Renner, and my long-time wrench, Amish Sam, we came into things with more strategy and well-thought out plans for success, rather than “just go for it” mentality.  I am not an inside starter… but this week was different. The slight disadvantage of a 250 against 450s, I had to get a good start to set myself up for the rest of the moto, rather than trying to get a holeshot from the center of the starting line and putting myself in a spot to potentially get pinched off and shuffled to the back. We made a few bike changes throughout the week, different gearing, different piston, and new mapping (big thanks to Doug @ Kawasaki for helping me). More than anything, I was open-minded to achieve the success I wanted along with hard work and effort it ultimately created the scenario for success, and more confidence which allowed for greater accomplishments. Loretta Lynn's Amateur National, College 18-24 Moto 3, Photo by Ricky Renner I believe the most exciting thing that happened last week was the last moto of the week, College 18-24, when I had my first ever moto win at Loretta Lynn’s! Perhaps you have experienced the feeling when you are leading, thoughts of, “just stay up”, and there’s a good chance of caving under the pressure. I went from 6th to 2nd in about 3 turns, and from there I passed into the lead by the 3rd lap finishing 8 seconds ahead of second place. When I passed into the lead and started to pull away, there was no sense of “don’t go down”. Instead, I was feeling confident and pride in myself. It felt like it was another day doing 20-minute motos… just nailing the lines, clicking off laps, in control, and CALM. It was at that moment I realized, that this is what I have trained for, all the preparation, to be in first place, at the most prestigious race of the year. To feel calm and comfortable in the most coveted spot. How awesome to be at the highest level in amateur racing of the year, leading the race, and feeling like it’s another day at the office, the sense to just keep it flowing! Going forward with this new confidence, I believe is a great stepping stone for further accomplishments at other national events and even into professional racing. I just had to have the breakthrough and get the momentum going! Loretta Lynn's Amateur National, College 18-24 Moto 3 Win & Awards Ceremony, Photos by Ricky Renner As mentioned in my last blog, plans change.  I will be staying amateur another year. This decision has been unanimous with those who support me. I have missed a full year’s worth of gate drops, training and practice, and want to give myself adequate time to fully re-integrate back into the top level of amateur racing/competition. When I go pro, I want adequate support behind me, and to have all the tools necessary to create waves, and go in with the speed to be competitive off the gate drop.  I will continue to document my journey in the A class, Arenacross run, and further. Be sure to check in and click the follow button for future blogs! We are always keeping it interesting in the Meshey camp.   I want to thank everyone who helps me along this journey. Wouldn’t be able to do what I do without all of you! Jimmy, Mike, and Eddie at Cycle Springs Powersports, Chris and the whole crew at Race Tech, Erik at Boyesen, ThumperTalk, Mike at FLY, Brad at EVS, Dien at Acerbis, Rich at EKS (X) Brand goggles, Rob at Dunlop, RoostMX Graphics, Simon at Mika Metals and DT1, MotoSeat, Kevin at Tamer Holeshot Hookup, Gregg at Lynk’s Racing, Dale at Bulletproof Threads, Andrew Campo, Ricky Renner for stealing my candy, Amish Sam, Momma Meshey, Keith, Amanda, Adam, and Lauren. Also, a huge thanks to everyone at USF Health, especially Dr. Tabatabian and Dr. Welsh for bringing me back to good health! Also, I look forward to my future with Wiseco, big thanks to Al and Kevin over there! Photo by Ricky Renner

Scott Meshey 141

Scott Meshey 141

 

New and Re-plated Cylinder Prep

Today I want to share some pointers on preparing new or re-plated cylinders that will help ensure your engines run stronger and last longer. Plus, I've got an update on the two-stroke book I've been working on that I'd like to share. Let's get started!
 

A Universal Concern
First, both new and re-plated cylinders must be cleaned prior to assembling. Normally the cylinders will arrive looking clean, but looks can be deceiving. I have no doubt that the factories and re-plating services clean the cylinders as part of their processes, but I highly recommend cleaning the bores a final time prior to use. Shown below is a new Yamaha cylinder that I extracted quite a bit of honing grit out of.


If left in place, the honing grit will ensure that the piston rings will wear out faster than they need to, so be sure to take the time to properly clean new cylinders prior to assembly.

What’s the best way to clean the cylinder bore?
Start by using warm soapy water and a brush to clean the cylinder. Take your time and be thorough.

After the majority of the honing grit has been removed switch to automatic transmission fluid and a lint free rag for one final cleaning.   As a test to check cleanliness, rub a cotton swab against the cylinder bore. If the swab picks up any debris and changes color, your cleaning duties are not over. The swab should be able to be rubbed against the bore and remain perfectly clean.
  Two-Stroke Port Dressing
For two-stroke owners, the second item I want to bring to your attention is port dressing. Port dressing is a term used to describe the process of deburring/breaking the edge at the intersection of the cylinder plating and the ports in the cylinder. During the plating process, plating usually builds up excessively at the edge of the port and must be removed after honing. Proper removal is critical to ensure acceptable piston ring life.

Manufacturers and plating services will break the edge in different ways and to different magnitudes, which ends up being a whole other topic. The important thing is to ensure that any new or re-plated cylinder you use shows visible signs that the port edges have been dressed. A dressed port edge will be easy to spot because it will feature a different surface finish than the cross-hatch created from honing. This is easily visible in the image shown above. Many port dressing operations are done manually so some irregularity in the geometry will usually be present. If there is no visible edge break on the port edges, I would be highly suspicious and contact the service that plated the cylinder or sold the cylinder and confirm with them if a step was missed. Typically a chamfer or radius in the .020 - .040” (0.5 - 1mm) range is used. Two-Stroke Power Valves
Lastly, it is possible that some of the power valve components, such as blades or drums, will not fit correctly on cylinders that have been replated. This is because the plating can occasionally build up in the slots or bores where the power valve parts reside. Prior to final assembly, be sure to check the function of the power valve blade and/or drums to ensure they move freely in their respective locations within the cylinder.

If plating has built up in a power valve slot or bore, it will need to be carefully removed. To do this, appropriately sized burs for die grinders or Dremel tools can be used. If one is not careful, irreversible damage to the slot or bore can result. When performing this work proceed cautiously or leave it to a seasoned professional. Burs for the job can be difficult to track down in stores, but are readily available online from places like McMaster-Carr. When purchasing burs, be sure to pick up a few variants, such as rounded and square edged, designed for removing hard materials.

The Two-Stroke Book
From February to March we photographed the entire book. From April onward we have been formatting and proofreading. Needless to say, we are in the final stretch! If you want to stay updated on the moment the Two-Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook is ready for pre-order, sign up at the link below. We can't wait to get this book out the door and into your garage.
  Sign Up for Updates on the Two-Stroke Book Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!

-Paul

Paul Olesen

Paul Olesen

 

The Eighth Wonder

"While at Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the world, Ryan was counting down the days for our dirtbike tour." Todd explained just moments before heading out on the trail.
It's hard to look down upon the Andes as you fly into the Cusco valley, and not have your mind blown with the enormity and vastness of the terrain below the wings. If you are crazy passionate about dirtbikes, it's even more mind blowing to imagine riding it on two wheels. Todd and Ryan joined up with Scott Englund of MotoMission Peru for a custom three day hard enduro ride. The ride catered to their skill levels, journeyed across the type of terrain that the boys wanted to ride, and filled their minds with hundreds of unforgettable images of Peru. Each teetered on the edge of comfort as Scott managed to push them beyond their norms of riding in Colorado. The official tour video...Check it out!   Toothbrush anyone? "There is something special about leading a father son duo into the back country." Englund said as he explained how his own father bred a bit of adventure in his own heart. "I get people from every corner of the planet. They are all awesome peeps, but to share this experience with Todd and Ryan, that's a thrill."

Three days of exotic dirtbiking. Beginning at Englund's home, the trail begins just minutes from the garage. "No trailers, you'll see what I am talking about. You won't even have time to warm up before we hit the trail." Englund explained.

What goes on inside of Motomission is nothing short of a dream. Scott has been running MotoMission Peru for a number of years. He is a social entrepreneur who gives 100% of the profits of the business to charity. His family is supported by a number of people and/or businesses who believe in his mission. Sponsors have supported MotoMission with equipment and gear. The marketing arm of the business are happy customers that tell others about the experience and share the included tour video via social media.

Scott does what he loves to do. Riding dirtbikes, exploring new areas, cinematography, adventure, travel, serving others, business...It all fits his lifestyle. You can see it in his smile when he hands over the bike to you at the beginning of the tour. So many views! "I've got the coolest gig on the planet!" Englund states. "In my wildest of thoughts, I couldn't have dreamt up a better situation. I live here with my amazing family, all who ride, and I get to do what I love to do, while giving it all away."

It's not all happy and easy.  "It really sucks when you have to haul a bike out of a canyon in backpacks."  recalled Englund of a time when a customer launched a bike off a ledge so steep and deep he couldn't see where the bike had landed. Good times with Dad! Todd and Ryan got the full package. Englund was able to lead the men into an unforgettable riding experience like they had never imagined. Beyond tired, they had to make it to the next town for the night. They rode a section that is typically a two day ride, all in the scope of one day and a little bit of night. "My hand is so tired I can't squeeze the clutch anymore."  Ryan said as the cramping in his forearm curled up his hand.

When it comes to an exotic dirt bike adventure, MotoMission Peru has the holeshot.  With countless untouched routes, an epic landscape, and a personable and capable guide, you owe it to yourself to check out this little gem in the Andes. You can reach Scott at Scott@motomissionperu.com to find out more about tours and riding in the Andes. He is always ready to talk shop! Also, don't forget to "FOLLOW" this blog if you want to have access to MotoMission Peru's new posts and videos. 

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

 

Natural Alternatives to Performance Enhancing Drugs

It has been a few years now since Lance Armstrong appeared on TV and admitted to his, and his teams, use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDS).  To say that there was an awareness of PEDS influencing the race results of the Tour de France is an understatement; however, to the extent that past racers and champions have admitted to using PEDS (both regarding the type and amounts) is frightening.  In this article, I thought I would provide a recap of the most popular PEDS and how you can get the same performance results in a healthy and natural way.  Note: Your body produces these substances naturally in the body, the key to optimum health and performance is to maintain a high quality & quantity of healthy blood through clean eating and controlled training efforts (volume, intensity and frequency). Drug: Erythropoietin (pronounced, ah-rith-ro-poy-tin, and abbreviated, EPO) What EPO Does Within the Body Erythropoietin (pronounced, ah-rith-ro-poy-tin, and abbreviated, EPO) is a relatively recent entry into the deceitful pursuit of glory. EPO is a protein hormone produced by the kidney. After being released into the blood stream it binds with receptors in the bone marrow, where it stimulates the production of red blood cells (erythrocytes). Medically, EPO is used to treat certain forms of anemia (e.g., due to chronic kidney failure). Logically, since EPO accelerates erythrocyte production it also increases oxygen carrying capacity. Side Effects of EPO: Death In the 1990s, there was a spate of sudden deaths associated within the cycling world associated with EPO: Marco Ceriani (16 years old), Johan Sermon (21 YO), Fabrice Salanson (23 YO), Marco Rusconi (24 YO), Jose Maria Jimenez (32), Denis Zanette (32 YO), Marco Pantani (34 YO), Michel Zanoli (35 YO).  This negative publicity was at least part of the reason for the clamping down on EPO use, which was rampant at the time.  The reason that EPO, and transfusion blood doping, is dangerous is because of increased blood viscosity. Basically, whole blood consists of red blood cells and plasma (water, proteins, etc.). The percentage of whole blood that is occupied by the red blood cells is referred to as, the hematocrit. A low hematocrit means dilute (thin) blood, and a high hematocrit mean concentrated (thick) blood. Above a certain hematocrit level whole blood can sludge and clog capillaries. If this happens in the brain it results in a stroke. In the heart, a heart attack. Unfortunately, this has happened to several elite athletes who have used EPO. EPO use is especially dangerous to athletes who exercise over prolonged periods. A well-conditioned endurance athlete is more dehydration resistant than a sedentary individual. The body accomplishes this by several methods, but one key component is to “hold on” to more water at rest. Circulating whole blood is one location in which this occurs and, thus, can function as a water reservoir. During demanding exercise, as fluid losses mount, water is shifted out of the blood stream (hematocrit rises). If one is already starting with an artificially elevated hematocrit then you can begin to see the problem -- it is a short trip to the critical “sludge zone”.

Additional dangers of EPO include sudden death during sleep, which has killed approximately 18 pro cyclists in the past fifteen years, and the development of antibodies directed against EPO. In this later circumstance, the individual develops anemia as a result of the body’s reaction against repeated EPO injections. There are some other reasons why cyclists might be predisposed to sudden death - riding at high intensities when carrying viral infections (as pro athletes tend to do) is one of them. And, as Ryan Shay, and a number of other high-profile cases have shown recently, sudden death is a tragic, but not completely uncommon event. There are reports that Nolf’s cardiogram was normal, but even that are not a guarantee of health, because those tests can often miss the quite rare conditions that cause sudden death in athletes. Source: click here How to improve the quality & production of red blood cells naturally With a balanced diet of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein sources, your body will produce the blood chemistry necessary to perform at an elite level.  Determining the optimal amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats that an individual need for optimal health and performance is beyond the scope of this article; however, I want you to know how to create healthy red blood cells.  Natural Eating Solution: eat high quality protein along with high quality brown bread with real butter.  The protein will provide your body with iron (helps form hemoglobin which carries oxygen in the bloodstream from the lungs to the muscles & brain) and the brown bread will provide you B vitamins (also referred to as Energy Vitamins).  An additional benefit of eating protein and brown bread is that the bread with improve your absorption of the iron.  Drug: Human Growth Hormone (hGH) What HGH Does Within the Body hGH is stored in a pea sized ball called the pituitary gland and is the primary stimulus to muscle & muscle strength, bone growth & bone strength, tendon growth & tendon strength, injury repair and mobilization of body fat for use as energy.    Warning: this gets technical, but necessary to fully understand this process.  The key to overall health and performance is to stimulate your own production of growth hormone and you accomplish this by stimulating the pituitary gland correctly.  The pituitary is stimulated to release growth hormone by another hormone circulation in the brain called somatocrinin.  Levels of somatocrinin can be increased by increasing levels of brain neurotransmitters.  These neurotransmitters are the chemicals that carry information from one nerve to another.  Their activity constitutes your mind, your consciousness and dreams.  To increase neurotransmitters, you have to get the amino acids that influence them past what is called the blood-brain barrier.  This concept is beyond the scope of this article, but what needs to be discussed here is an amino acid, Tryptophan, which is a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin.  Serotonin is a compound that slows down brain activity during rest & sleep.  Shortly after you fall asleep, your pituitary gland releases a burst of growth hormone.   Source: Optimum Sports Nutrition, Dr. Michael Colgan. Side Effects of Synthetic hGH External side effects of synthetic hGH include: intense wrist nerve pain, diabetes, overgrowth of the facial bones, gaps between the teeth as the jawbone widens, development of a fatter nose, thickened bone above the eyes resembling an ape and excessive hair growth.  Internal side effects include stressed liver, thyroid & pancreas symptoms, diabetes and historically die prior to the age of 60.  How to improve the production of hGH naturally As mentioned above, the largest growth homone release occurs 30-60 minutes after falling asleep along with high intensity exercise (within moderate volume levels).  To take advantage of these normal physiological functions, racers need to increase the duration and quality of sleep and monitor exercise durations and intensity levels.  Ideally, racers should train twice daily, mid morning and early afternoon and take a nap immediately after training.  Remember, each time you rest, your body receives a burst of growth hormone naturally.  Natural Eating Solution: consume a high-quality smoothie that contains a high quality whey protein prior to sleeping and napping.  Research has shown that the production of hGH can improve by up to 300% when high quality whey protein is consumed before resting.  Drug: Testosterone What Testosterone Does Within the Body Testosterone has two distinct modes of action, androgenic (masculinizing) and anabolic (tissue building).  Up to a certain level of testosterone in your body, a level that varies widely with biochemical individuality, the androgenic action produces more maleness, broader features, more hair, deeper voice, and larger sex organs.  Along with it, the anabolic action produces larger muscles and greater strength. 

Side Effects of Synthetic or Excessive Testosterone If you take synthetic or excessive testosterone, the androgenic action turns nasty (aggression, violent anxiety, paranoia, and manic-depressive reactions).  Additional negative side effects are irreversible baldness, overgrowth of the prostate, (which chokes the bladder and requires a catheter in order to urinate), acne (the blood fails to contain the excess hormone and overloads the sebaceous glands), impotence, shrinkage of testicles, cardiovascular disease and cancer.  How to improve the production of testosterone naturally Sleep 8-10 hours; eat high quality fruits, vegetables and high-quality protein.  Control your exercise intensity & volume to avoid over stressing your body.  Natural Eating Solution: eat foods that are high in boron, zinc, vitamin C, branched chain amino acids and maximize the release of growth hormone.    If you have any questions, comments, or suggestion for a future article, hit me up on the comments section below. I enjoy hearing from you. Oh, and don't forget to tap that "Follow" button so that you're notified when I post new tips on reaching your highest potential. Coach Robb Beams
Complete Racing Solutions
         

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Checking and Setting Cam Timing

Today I'm going to cover how to check and set cam timing, which is something you can do if you have adjustable cam gears in your engine. This is a procedure often performed by race engine builders to ensure the valvetrain performs just as they intend, and ultimately so that they extract the desired performance out of the engine. Adjustable cam gears typically aren't a stock option but are abundantly available in the aftermarket. The following text is exerted from my book, The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook, so if you find this info valuable please take a look at the entire book.  

Degreeing the camshafts is the process of checking, and if necessary altering, the cam timing so that the timing is set perfectly to specified timing values. On stock and performance engines, cam timing can be off slightly due to manufacturing variations in parts such as the camshafts, cam gears, cam chain, cylinder, cylinder head, crankshaft, crankcase, and gaskets. With so many parts having an influence on cam timing, it is necessary to adjust and correct the timing so it coincides precisely with the desired timing values.  The biggest factor determining how the camshafts must be timed is whether the cam lobes are symmetrical or asymmetrical. Camshaft lobes that are symmetrical have opening and closing ramps that share the same profile. Asymmetrical cam lobes have opening and closing ramps with different profiles. Symmetric and asymmetric camshafts are timed differently. First we will focus on the timing of symmetrical camshafts. Symmetric camshafts are timed most accurately by determining the position of the camshaft’s lobe center in relation to crankshaft position. A camshaft’s lobe center is where peak lift occurs, which is the most important timing event of the camshaft. Since the tip of the camshaft is rounded, it would be difficult to determine the lobe center by taking a direct measurement of peak valve lift. The opening and closing points of the camshaft are also of little use because the cam opens and closes gradually. This makes it difficult to determine the precise position in which the camshaft opens or closes the valves.

The lobe center position is a calculated value based on the position of the camshaft at two specific points of valve lift, typically with valve clearances set to zero. Normally the position of the camshaft is recorded at 0.050” (1.27mm) of lift as the valve opens and 0.050” (1.27mm) of lift when the valve closes. By recording the position of the camshaft at a specific valve lifts, the cam lobe is on a predictable portion of the opening and closing ramps. The center of the cam lobe is exactly in the middle of these two measurements. To calculate the lobe center of a symmetrical cam lobe you will need to do the following: 
1. Add the measured opening and closing timings together
2. Add 180 degrees to the sum
3. Divide the answer by 2
4. Subtract the smaller value of the two opening and closing numbers from the answer to reach the lobe center value.

Once the actual lobe center value has been determined on the engine, it can be compared to the specified lobe center timing presented by the manufacturer, aftermarket cam supplier, or the engine tuner. If the measured lobe center position coincides with the targeted position, all the work is done. If not, the cam gear will need to be adjusted so the timing is corrected. 

If you are checking the timing on stock cams and lobe center information isn't presented, you will need to determine the lobe centers the manufacturer recommends. To do this, the opening and closing timing information supplied in the service manual can be used. Aftermarket camshafts should come with a timing card full of useful information to set the cams correctly if they are adjustable, otherwise the lobe centerline can be calculated if the opening and closing timings are known. If you don’t like math, there are plenty of lobe center calculators available on the internet you can use. 

For the Kawasaki KX250F engine with the stock camshafts, the timing information is as follows: 

Intake Opens 40° BTDC (Before Top Dead Center)
Intake Closes 72° ATDC (After Top Dead Center) 
Intake Lobe Center = ((40 + 72 + 180) ÷ 2) - 40 = 106° 

My calculated lobe center timing is 106°. When I check the cam timing, this will be the value the real engine hopefully yields. The lobe center for the exhaust cam can be found the same way. For the KX250F exhaust cam: 

Exhaust Opens 69° BBDC (Before Bottom Dead Center)
Exhaust Closes 49° ATDC (After Top Dead Center) 
Exhaust Lobe Center = ((69 + 49 + 180) ÷ 2) - 49 = 100°  Something not obvious I want to touch on is that if the intake opens after top dead center, a negative value for the opening should be used. If the exhaust closes before top dead center, a negative value should be used here as well.

To start the process of checking the timing the valve clearances should be set to zero. Thicker shims can be used and zero clearance can be confirmed with a lash gauge. A degree wheel and pointer will need to be installed on the engine. There are many ways of attaching these items and each engine will provide its own challenges.

Here I’ve left the flywheel on and installed a couple washers behind the degree wheel to space the degree wheel from the flywheel. Then the flywheel nut is used to secure the degree wheel. The pointer can be made from welding rod, a coat hanger, or anything else you can find. I’ll be finding TDC with the cylinder head installed, so I used one of the exterior head bolts to secure the pointer. If you will be finding TDC with the head off, choose another location. 



Before the cams can be timed, TDC must be found. This can be done with the cylinder head on or off depending on the process you use. The piston dwells a few degrees at TDC so more accuracy than zeroing the degree wheel to the piston’s highest position is necessary. Similar to finding the cam lobe center, TDC can be found by measuring equal distances on the piston’s up and down stroke and then confirming that the degree wheel timing is equal on both sides at the measured distances. Dial indicators or piston stoppers are commonly used to do this. 

HOT TIP: Piston stoppers can easily be made by removing the center section of a spark plug and then tapping a suitably sized threaded hole in the remaining part of the plug so a bolt and lock nut can be installed. The stopper can then be easily threaded into the spark plug hole. 

Whichever method of finding TDC you decide to use, start by moving the crankshaft to the approximate TDC position. Then without rotating the crankshaft move the degree wheel so that TDC on the wheel coincides with the pointer. Next, set up your piston stops or measure piston travel on both sides of TDC. In this example I’m using a dial indicator which extends through the spark plug hole down into the cylinder. I’ve decided to take measurements at 0.050” (1.27mm) of piston travel before and after TDC. At each measurement point the number of degrees indicated on the degree wheel before and after TDC should be the same if I have found true TDC. 



If the degree wheel values don’t read the same before and after TDC determine which way the wheel must be rotated so that the values become equal. Then carefully rotate the degree wheel without rotating the crankshaft to alter the degree wheel’s position. Once altered, recheck and confirm that true TDC has been found. This can be a tedious process but is extremely important for checking cam timing accurately. Repeat the procedure for checking TDC 3 - 5 times to ensure repeatability and accuracy.

After true TDC has been found, be extremely careful not to inadvertently move the degree wheel or pointer. Do not rotate the crankshaft using the nut securing the degree wheel to the crankshaft. Instead, use the primary drive gear nut or bolt to rotate the engine over. 

Next, set up a dial indicator on the intake or exhaust lifter bucket, depending on which camshaft you are checking. You’ll have to use some ingenuity here in determining the best way to secure the dial indicator to the engine. I’ve used a flat piece of steel and secured it to the cam cap using the cylinder head cover holes. Make sure the indicator travels as parallel to the path of valve travel as possible for accurate readings. Also makes sure at least 0.060” (1.52mm) of travel from the indicator’s resting position is possible so adequate valve lift can be measured. 



Once the indicator has been set up, the cam timing can be checked. Whenever checking timing only rotate the engine over in the direction of engine rotation. Reversing engine rotation will result in inaccurate measurements due to the reversal of gear meshes and chain slack. If you miss a measurement point, rotate the engine over until you get back to the previous position. 

Slowly rotate the engine over until 0.050” (1.27mm) of valve lift has occurred. Then record the position of the degree wheel. Next, rotate the engine until the cam begins to close the valve. Once only 0.050” of indicated valve lift remains record the position of the degree wheel. Repeat this process of checking opening and closing positions 3 - 5 times to check for repeatability before calculating the cam lobe center. 

Once you are confident in your measurements proceed to calculate the cam lobe center. On the KX250F engine my intake lobe center is as follows: 

Measured Intake Open (0.050” Lift) 39 ° BTDC
Measured Intake Closure (0.050” Lift) 74 ° ABDC 
Intake Lobe Center = (( 39 + 74 + 180 ) ÷ 2 ) - 39 = 107.5° 

On my stock KX250F engine the actual lobe center is 107.5°. At this point if I had adjustable cam gears, I could rotate the gear slightly so that the lobe center corresponded to the specified lobe center value. The same procedure is followed for checking and adjusting the exhaust cam timing. Remember if mistakes are made when setting cam timing big problems can result, so it is best to be very patient and focused when performing this task. Always check your work 3 - 5 times to make sure the timing is repeatable and making sense. When tightening adjustable cam sprockets, use a locking agent and be sure to torque the bolts to their specified values. 

When working with single camshafts that have both the intake and exhaust lobes ground on them, focus your efforts on achieving correct intake timing. Correctly setting intake timing is more important since it has a larger effect on power. The intake valves also have higher lift than the exhaust valves, potentially creating clearance troubles between the piston and valve if the intake valves are mistimed.  

With your new fangled ability to adjust cam timing, you may be wondering what happens if you advance or retard the intake and exhaust cams from their standard positions? The lobe separation angle refers to the number of degrees which separate the lobe center of the intake lobe from the lobe center of the exhaust camshaft. The lobe separation angle can be calculated using the following formula:

LSA = (Intake Centerline + Exhaust Centerline) ÷ 2 

As a rule of thumb, reducing the lobe separation angle by advancing the intake and retarding the exhaust camshaft will increase valve overlap, move power further up the power curve, increase cylinder pressure, increase the chance of detonation, and reduce the piston to valve clearances. On the contrary, increasing the lobe separation angle by retarding the intake cam and advancing the exhaust cam will have somewhat of the opposite effect. There will be less valve overlap, power will move to a lower RPM, chances of detonation will be reduced, and the valve to piston clearances will increase.



The likelihood of finding more or better power by advancing or retarding the camshafts is not all that likely because manufacturers, tuners, and aftermarket companies already test specific combinations of cam timings to death. In addition, if the lobe separation angle is reduced, the piston to valve clearances should be checked to ensure they are adequate. My advice is to run the prescribed cam timings to reduce the chance of problems occurring.

Asymmetric camshaft timing can be set in a similar fashion to symmetric camshafts, however instead of focusing on the lobe center position, the specific opening and closing points will need to be measured. Timing cards supplied with asymmetric cams should have specific instructions for setting timing, but normally valve clearance is set to zero and cam positions are recorded at specific lift heights. Based on the measured opening and closing positions, adjustments are made to the timing until the timing matches the specified values.

I hope you enjoyed this exert on checking and adjusting cam timing. As always feedback is appreciated so please leave comments below. 

If you're interested in more engine building info check out my book The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook. Right now we are having a 4th of July Sale where everything on our site is 20% off with the discount code fourthofjuly2017. Just be sure to enter the code upon checkout so you receive your 20% off!  So if you've had your eye on our Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook or even our Value Pack, but haven't pulled the trigger yet - go for it!
  Availabe at: DIYMotoFix.com - Paul

Paul Olesen

Paul Olesen

 

romainiacs Trainiacs...A Red Bull Romaniacs training session in Peru

Peru, has an astounding number of riders that will participate in the 2017 Red Bull Romaniacs hard enduro race. The final count is nine riders. Each has a training regimen that consists of various modes of mental and physical preparation as well as a keen focus on building the technical wherewithal that will increase the odds of reaching the finish. Two days of Romaniacs training on video...Check it out!   One of the hazards... One of those riders, Joso Fatule, will be a contending force in Romania. Joso is the top hard enduro rider in Peru. He has participated in a Romaniacs before. He knows what he is up against.
Joso asked me if he could come out and do a two day training ride in the Andes around Cusco, Peru. I obliged, as it sounded like a good time, with the exception of the suffering that might come as a result of pushing ourselves beyond our limits. We scheduled a date. It was on!

Just another view... Joso arrived from Lima on one of the first flights in the morning on day one. We returned to the house, geared up, and headed out with no time to spare. The days ride would take us over a section of trail that has only been crossed on one motorcycle; mine. I knew just how the trail would beat us down.

Yup, we're going down there! It certainly did. The trail is not impassible. However, after one's body is spent, there will be another 500 more obstacles to overcome. Relentless, physically exhausting, and seemingly no end in sight...It breaks down every bit of will to keep going.

We forced ourselves into finishing. With no overnight gear, we either made it all the way, or chicken out and come back. Onward we pounded up the trail to reach the pass, or abra as we say in Spanish. The drop dead goal of reaching the abra was 3pm. If we couldn't reach it by 3, we would have to head back the way we came to return to the valley floor by nightfall. We arrived with 15 minutes to spare. 

On top of the pass...the view is usually better, trust me! Over the top and down into the valley on the other side. The views were incredible, and the ride was legendary. Not easy, but memorably fun. Our goal for the night was the Lares Hot Springs. It is a perfect place to finish a hard ride. Hotel, food, gas, and the sweetest hot springs to soak in after a tough ride. Rest for the weary.

The second day would carry us up through another valley via a high speed ride filled with plenty of technical climbs, steep down hills, waterfalls, and views that would blow anyone's mind. We managed to play around in numerous areas where training could be had. Joso attempted to climb a moss covered section of rocks where the water cascaded down, attempted numerous short and technical climbs, side hill turning practice, and dropping off and down various obstacles. The day was very productive in being able to practice a number of varying types of terrain and obstacles that would be faced while in Romania. That was the point...TRAIN!

Sweet! When it was all said and done, Joso, got on his plane exhausted and a bit more prepared to face a giant. I am honored to be able to help him prepare. Besides, it was a sweet couple of days of riding.

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

 

lorettalynn The Post-Regional Report

What’s up ThumperTalk readers! I’m back with an update from this past weekend at the Southeast Loretta Lynn’s Regional Championship at MillCreek MX as well as some thoughts going into Loretta’s prep. When I say that it was a long weekend, I mean that for more than just one reason! Between the drama of Open Pro Sport, 10 long and hard-fought motos, and some personal strifes, I was ready to leave the track with my tickets in hand. Of course, at the end of the day, I got what I went there to get… tickets to the ranch. With that being said, I will be going to Loretta’s in the 250A and College (18-24) classes. Before I start, I just want to say how awesome it was to return to a high-profile race and be welcomed back by good people as well as fellow competitors. While Motocross is a highly competitive atmosphere, we all like to see each other in good health. Loretta Lynn's SE Regional Championship at MillCreek MX, Photo my Martha @ MEPMX  While there was some foul play among the races in the Open Pro Sport class, in the form of riders jumping the gate, leaving us to run 4 full motos instead of 3; I certainly did not make things easy on myself in most my race scenarios. I was trying to reacquaint myself with the old scenario of a full gate with some of the top racers in the class. It is very different racing local A races compared to racing almost 40 guys who are gunning for the top 6 positions in order to guarantee their spot at one of the most prestigious motocross races in the world, and they will do almost anything to get there. It took a few motos to get myself together, all the while working my way through the pack and making some rookie (but costly) mistakes. As far as speed goes, the lap times don’t lie… the speed was there, despite racing a 250 against 450s on a track that eats horsepower and will allow you to go as fast as you want as long as you have the cajones to twist the throttle. That’s why it’s one of my most favorite tracks of all time! However, in this sport, if you aren’t winning, there’s always a story. I will note though, it’s been since November of 2015 that I’ve been on an MX gate drop like that. That reality hit me pretty hard sometime this past weekend. However, I am proud of myself for gaining tickets in the A class, only riding for 3 months after a year off, in one regional compared to others who run two and three regionals to gain their ticket. Loretta Lynn's SE Regional Championship at MillCreek MX, Photo my Martha @ MEPMX  There were things I needed to learn about my riding, some things that I needed to have reinstalled in my mind about racing at the top level, and things that I need to focus on going forward. I believe “reinstalled” is an appropriate word because I knew going into the race what I needed to do, but there were things that I forgot, as far as the level of importance. Probably the biggest thing is the importance of the start. At the top level of amateur racing, the top racers are all very close together as far as speed, usually within a second or two. If you get caught in a group of guys on the start, the top racers are already a few seconds ahead by the time you are able to make your moves. The start is the only place you can pass 41 other guys in a few seconds. While many already know this, understanding it is another thing… the race can be won or lost in the start. While I didn’t exactly nail all my starts, something I’ve always seemed to do well with is first-lap intensity. It’s easier to pass when racers are out-of-sorts compared to when they are comfortable, have a rhythm, and are using the main lines. I will give credit where credit is due and say thanks to Alex and Mr. Dan Frye for that valuable information. Going into Loretta’s prep time, I know where I stand, how to improve, and how I plan to make myself better. My costly mistakes from the weekend help shed light on what needs to change and the direction I need to go. I am a firm believer in learning from every experience. I was rusty! But I got the job done and continue to do what many never achieve for the 10th year. Something that may change however, is my path. Like I said in the first blog, nothing is certain in the world of Motocross. Stay tuned for more! Loretta Lynn's SE Regional Championship at MillCreek MX, Photo my Martha @ MEPMX  Check in for content along the way and come along for the ride, tap/click the "Follow" button! I’ll see you at the races. Scott Meshey #141 I definitely want to thank everyone who helps me along this journey. Wouldn’t be able to do what I do without you all! Jimmy, Mike, and Eddie at Cycle Springs Powersports, Chris and the whole crew at Race Tech, Erik at Boyesen, ThumperTalk, Mike at FLY, Brad at EVS, Dien at Acerbis, Rich at EKS (X) Brand goggles, Rob at Dunlop, RoostMX Graphics, Simon at Mika Metals and DT1, MotoSeat, Kevin at Tamer Holeshot Hookup, Gregg at Lynk’s Racing, Andrew Campo, Ricky Renner for stealing my candy, Amish Sam, Momma Meshey, Keith, Amanda, Adam, and Lauren. Also, a huge thanks to everyone at USF Health, especially Dr. Tabatabian and Dr. Welsh for bringing me back to good health! Big thanks to Martha at MEPMX for the awesome shots!

Scott Meshey 141

Scott Meshey 141

 

The Pre-Regional Report

Hello ThumperTalk readers! I’m back with a small entry before my regional qualification race for Loretta Lynn’s. While most regionals are over, and many have qualified or just missed it by that much… there’s still a select few left. Whether you made it to the big show, are still waiting to make it, or didn’t make it, I would encourage you to read on.   First off, I’ll be direct when I say if by chance you did not receive a ticket to the ranch because you missed it by a couple spots, send in your money as an alternate. Between the power ranking system and the uncertainty of regionals and pre-Loretta’s prep, you may earn a spot on the gate. I tried for about 4 years to make it to Loretta’s, missing it only a spot or two, not knowing that I would’ve gotten in if I sent my money in. Don’t miss out an awesome opportunity. Tampa MX Top Gun Dealer Cup Round 3, picture by NDA Action Sports Personally, I’ve only entered in one regional. As someone who has raced for 15 years, nationally for 10, doing something like that doesn’t stress me out. Sure, it’s ballsy, but I know I have the speed and the confidence to do what I need to do. At this stage of the game, I concern myself with something more than just qualifying. I’m focused on winning. Every race, no matter how big or small. However, it’s important to temper this mindset with the idea that winning a regional doesn’t mean as much as winning Loretta’s, and it’s better to earn a ticket and settle for less than to try too much and put my spot in jeopardy for a better position at a regional. Learning to pick and choose your battles is pretty important in this line of work, look at most points championships. Tampa MX Top Gun Dealer Cup Round 2, photo by NDA Action Sports While I’ve only been back on the bike for just over 3 months, I feel faster and more confident than ever. I credit this to the confidence in my health being 100%, on and off the bike training with awesome people, the maturity gained from my year off, knowing that I have awesome equipment that is mechanically sound, and working with people who listen to my feedback to make the bike as fine-tuned as possible. Specifically for regionals, getting plenty of gate drops in at races in the local area and having proper time to prep for what comes next is my key. Doing the day-before readiness program won’t garner much success. Tampa MX Top Gun Dealer Cup Round 3, photo by David Lando: WFO Action Shots Regional mindset to me is no more than just another race but with a little heftier competition (I don’t underestimate other’s abilities). For me, avoiding unnecessary stress at these races is much easier than before. Mainly, sticking to your routine, with a slight increase in attention to detail helps one’s mind stay on what needs to be done and away from worry. Use your lucky race goggles, do your usual gate prepping technique, put on your awesome music playlist… whatever works best for you, just replicate it. Recognizing what helps bring success can help bring further success because it gives the mind a sense of familiarity and comfort, and when we are comfortable, we race better. Personally, I like to put on a certain number of tearoffs on my goggles, prep my gate a certain way; start my bike, activate my holeshot devices, put my goggles on, and put my bike in gear in a certain order at a certain time, along with a small pre-race thought process. Another great thing to remember when it comes to regionals, is to always make the best of your worst race. Consistent, good finishes is usually rewarding, but that’s not the easiest thing. Most importantly though, keep it fun! Tampa MX Top Gun Dealer Cup Round 3, photo by David Lando: WFO Action Shots I’ll have a post-regional/pre-Loretta’s prep entry up sooner rather than later! Check in for content along the way and come along for the ride, tap/click the "Follow" button! I’ll see you at the races.

Scott Meshey 141

Scott Meshey 141

 

Stop Training & Start Improving!

The key to maximizing your productivity within your workouts is to be hitting the exact duration and intensity levels necessary to address your identified weaknesses.  Each workout’s elements (duration and intensity) are created to stress the body in a manner that creates a stimulation at the hormonal (aka human growth hormone), the aerobic (larger oxygen uptake) and muscular level (development of new muscle) resulting in faster speed and enhanced endurance in a shorter period of time.  Please keep in mind that if you push beyond the necessary duration and/or intensity levels, you are pushing the body into a zone that can become counterproductive and negatively affect your speed and endurance – this fine line is the difference between being fit & razor sharp or being over trained, fatigued, sick and/or injuried.  Also, by keeping a close eye on your resting heart rate and your body weight in the morning (utilize the Body Analysis spreadsheet – email me), you have two of the key indicators to evaluate how your body is adapting to stress of training on a daily basis.  By keeping detailed logs of your food & body analysis information, you are able to adjust your training & eating habits to turn the body from a catabolic (tear down mode) to an anabolic mode (growth and improvement).  It cannot be emphasized enough the impact your eating and sleeping habits have to your health, wellness and ultimately your performance results.  Finally, if logistically possible, please set up an appointment with your physician and have your blood drawn (request a full panel) so that your physician can review the health of your blood chemistry.  By reviewing your blood panel every 12 weeks, we can evaluate the effectiveness of your training, eating and sleeping patterns.  If any of these three variables  become out of balance, you run the risk of becoming over-trained and the associated side effects: fatigue, decreased speed & endurance, irritability, depression, etc.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me!  Remember, Work Smart, Not Hard! Yours in sport & health, -Coach Robb, Coaches and Staff  

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Four Stroke Cylinder Head Reconditioning

It's time to open up a can of worms and talk about a hotly debated topic in the powersport community - four stroke cylinder head reconditioning best practices. I've perused the forums and had discussions with people about reconditioning four stroke cylinder heads and there appears to be a lot of mixed opinion and beliefs on what is right or wrong. I'm certainly not going to say my take on the subject is the only way, but I do want to share my opinion, explain the technical details, as well as touch on the machining process. The text below is out of my book, The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook, and details why cylinder heads should be reconditioned a certain way.  Whenever new valves are installed in a cylinder head, it is best practice to recut the valve seats since the valves and seats are mated parts, otherwise the new valves are very susceptible to premature wear when run in the old seats. If a major overhaul is being performed, there is a good chance that enough seat wear will have occurred during the engine’s life that the valve seats will need to be recut before new valves are installed. This may be news to you, so I want to provide an explanation of why this is necessary. 

The term concentricity is used to describe the relationship between the axis of two circular objects. When two objects are perfectly concentric, their axis match up precisely with one another. In the case of the cylinder head, the valve guide axis and the valve seat axis must be as close to perfectly concentric as possible and parallel to one another. Usually, guide to seat concentricity is kept around 0.001” (0.025mm) or even less for racing applications. This is achieved by the factory by using a manufacturing process where the valve guides are reamed first. Then the freshly reamed valve guide bore is used to center the valve seat cutter. Once centered, the valve seat is cut. This process is then repeated for all the valves and results in very good concentricity between the valve guides and valve seats. As the engine is run, the valve guides, valve seats, and valve faces will wear. The valve guides will wear from front to back in an oval shape at the top and bottom of the guides. In a cross sectioned view the valve guide will take on an hourglass shape. The guide will become oval as a result of thrust forces stemming from the way the camshaft contacts the lifter bucket or rocker arm. These forces are transmitted to the valves and cause the valves to thrust against the sides of the guides, eventually causing the guides to become oval shaped. Once the guides start to become oval shaped, the valve faces will no longer be as concentric to the valve seats as they originally were. When this happens the valves will start to slide against the seats, causing the seats and valve faces to wear. The valve seats will eventually become out of round and the sealing between the valve face and seat will suffer. Installing new valves into oval shaped guides and out of round seats will ensure that the new valves wear out very quickly!

To ensure the new valves being installed last as long as possible, the cylinder head’s seats and guides must be reconditioned once they are worn out. Complete cylinder head replacement is always an option, but I want to focus on freshening up the original head which is usually a more economical option, but comes with many more variables surrounding the quality of the job.

There are numerous services offered in the marketplace for valve seat cutting, however, not all valve seat cutting methods are equal in terms of quality. There are hand operated seat cutters, dedicated seat cutting machines, and a few other options to choose from. Selecting the correct seat cutting process and entrusting the work to a competent engine builder is very important. The valve seat cutting process should mimic the OEM process as closely as possible. A concentric valve seat will never be able to be cut without first servicing the valve guides. If the valve guides are out of round then they will either be reamed to a slightly larger size if they are not too oval in shape or they will be replaced. Once any issues with the valve guides are addressed and they are perfectly round from top to bottom, it will be possible to cut the valve seat. Ensuring the valve guide is perfectly round is extremely important since the valve seat cutter is centered off of the valve guide bore.

Cutting the valve seat concentrically to the guide requires a combination of skill and using modern machinery. The best valve seat cutting equipment in the world is worthless without a good experienced operator running it. There are two main factors which make cutting a seat concentric to the valve guide difficult. To start with, the valve seat cutter uses a pilot which locates in the valve guide. Since the valve stems are very small in diameter the pilots used to guide the seat cutters are also very small in diameter. A small diameter pilot shaft that centers the cutting tool can flex easily, which presents a real problem when cutting the seats. The next issue that arises when reconditioning seats is that often times the cutting tool will try to follow the path of the old valve seat which can make it hard to cut a concentric seat. Couple these factors together with slop within the machine, setup error, and operator error and you can see how quickly things can come out of alignment and you can end up with a poorly cut seat. In addition to seat concentricity, the depth the seat is cut to will influence valve spring pressure, shim sizes, and the compression ratio of the engine. All three of these variables will be reduced the deeper the seat is cut, which is not a good thing. The surface finish of the seat itself will influence how well the valve seals. A seat with chatter marks or other machining blemishes will not seal as effectively as a smooth seat. The valve seat width and the contact point between the seat and the valve face are also very important. Due to the complexities involved with cutting valve seats on modern four-stroke dirt bike engines, the job should not be left up to just anybody. There are numerous businesses which specialize in valve seat cutting which have both the right equipment and expertise to do the job correctly. I highly recommend spending some time researching and finding a reputable cylinder head machining company when it comes time to recondition your head. If the cylinder head must be shipped off in order to do business with a reputable company, the additional wait will be worthwhile. If you found this information helpful and would like more technical info on maintaining your four stroke engine, check out my book, The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook. Thanks for reading and happy wrenching! As always if you have comments or want to share your thoughts please leave a note below.

-Paul



Available at: 
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- Moto Fix Website

Paul Olesen

Paul Olesen

 

Preparation: The Effort

Hello ThumperTalk readers! Welcome to the second entry of my blog series, following my journey exiting the amateur ranks into pro status. For more information about the blog series, check out the first entry, The Beginning of the Journey. For now, I’ll be taking a dip into my approach to the Loretta Lynn’s qualification process and preparing myself for regionals and forward.  In the past, I’ve had a bit of a “just wing it” approach to what I did as far as racing went. While it has garnered me some success, it does not yield what I am truly capable of. Before I was released by my doctor to come back to racing, my family and I made the decision that we would change things up a bit. Of course, changes in plans isn’t uncharacteristic in a sport where there isn’t a whole lot that is certain. Like any racer, sometimes we have to switch up our lines in order to achieve the same goal. 

Wildwood MX, Picture by Bobby Bammann My approach is this… be as prepared as possible and do not rush the processes that take time. It wouldn’t be very wise to rush into the first regional event with semi-adequate preparation, not only in the sense of myself, but also my bike. Instead, I am giving myself plenty of time to continue riding, becoming faster on the bike and becoming stronger physically and mentally through gate drops and training with great people who know the process and know what it takes to reach where I want to go. Every time I am on the bike, I strive to learn something new about myself, the bike, push myself to try new things, and if I am unsure about something, be open to the advice given. With that being said, big thanks to those in my company that are making my journey to make myself great more possible than ever; Ricky Renner, RJ Hampshire, and DJ MacFarlane. I personally believe that the best form of training is to race. If you fall in a moto during training, you can rush to get up and get back going again to simulate a race. However, the environment of actually being in a race where everything you do has a real consequence can create a very different mindset. Gate drops are key in order to have your important race days on lock *insert key-and-lock emoji here*. Obviously, having A class payback is always a nice incentive to go racing… getting some gate drops in and make a couple bucks in the process. On the other hand, experience, and of course fun, is what it’s all about. If you can’t keep it fun, then it’s not worth pursuing. Dade City MX, Picture by Erwin Ziegler I’ve never lived at a training facility, so my efforts have required a different level of mental toughness where no one is forcing my hand at being “mentally tough”. My efforts are self-imposed and they require the want and drive in myself to achieve success. Most of my competitors at the top level of amateur racing have spent months and years at training facilities with the constant intensity of daily and hourly practice and training sessions, being pushed beyond what I have ever experienced, other than my few weeks here-and-there training with professionals. After a year off, my hunger and desire to get back and surpass my previous standing in the racing community pushes me to aggressively attack my riding and training time with a new level of determination and maturity to quickly reconcile mistakes, figure out why I goofed it, make necessary adjustments, and find the best course of action for me to be the best I can be. Lazy River MX Loretta Lynn's Area Qualifier, still shot from a video taken by Ricky Renner By this time next month, regionals will be finishing up and it’ll be time to prepare for the big show. Check in for content along the way and come along for the ride, tap/click the "Follow" button! I’ll see you at the races.  Scott Meshey #141

Scott Meshey 141

Scott Meshey 141

 

fitness 4 Rest Day Tips That Fast Riders Follow

Between riders riding and racing every weekend, a frequent question is how to recover properly.  If you have followed me for any period of time, you know that I am an advocate for one day of rest per week and to pull back the overall volume and intensity every six weeks to allow your body to rejuvenate both mentally and physically (at a blood chemistry level). What does that look like? 1. Rest Means Rest: this is not the day to go to a theme park,run errands that have you outside and in the heat and humidity, etc. Anything that is stressful on your body should be avoided. Note doing a sport specific event “easy” is not the idea of a rest day. Instead schedule a massage, read a book, go to a movie or go to lunch with an old friend. 2. Take a Nap: when your body gets into REM (rapid eye movement) level 3, it releases hGH (human growth hormone) which make you both lean and facilitates recovery. Make the room dark and cold, eat a quality snack and consume 5-8 ounces of cold water prior to lying down. 3. Contrast Therapy: the goal here is to expose the muscle tissue to the largest temperature deviation that you can tolerate; the bigger the temperature spread between hot and cold the better. If you complete in the shower, strive for 2 minutes hot – 30 seconds cold. If you utilize a bath, strive for 4 minutes hot, 1 minute cold). Repeat 2 to 4 times. 4. Loosen your muscles up: go for a therapeutic massage or take a yoga class the night prior to your rest day. Spend 20 minutes both in the morning and the evening foam rolling and working on trigger points. Gotta' slow down sometimes to go fast!
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestion for a future article, hit me up on the comments section below. I enjoy hearing from you. Oh, and don't forget to tap that "Follow" button so that you're notified when I post new tips on reaching your highest potential. Coach Robb Beams
Complete Racing Solutions About Coach Robb  

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Can Dakar racers ride hard enduro...These ones can!

Follow along for a great three day ride! I often receive the privilege to ride with people from all the corners of the globe. While living in Peru, one thing I notice is that very few Peruvians have ever ridden in the areas around Cusco where I live and ride. So when I get a chance to show some locals(Peruvians) some of the secrets of their country, I try to do it well.   This is what its like to ride in the Andes of Peru...Check it out! I met up with the boys in the Sacred Valley on the first day. They told me that they wanted to make another attempt at the trail that we rode two years prior, but never even came close to finishing. It really doesn't matter where you are from, if you are a dirt biker and there is an unknown or impossible trail in front of you,  you want to give it a shot...Maybe not everyone is like that, but most that I run with are. The First Day-The impossible trail These guys have seen and heard the stories of countless attempts to reach the end of this particular trail. I took a group of some of the best riders from Lima and they fell quite short from the end. I think somewhere in my language, I may have fostered a bit of competition between the guys from Lima and the guys from Arequipa. Sebastian kept asking me if the guys from Lima made it this far. Regardless, I am the only one that has reached the other end of the trail on a dirt bike and neither group has come close. I do look forward to the day when I can cross over and down the other side with another rider or two. Not sure when that will be, but hopefully soon. We started up the trail like a herd of deer. The route is super fun with every type of obstacle one could imagine, while taking breaks when someone got hung up. That means it was quite often. The trail was dry at first, then the rain came and put a little bit of extra difficulty in the path. Regardless, we all pounded through hundreds of obstacles in the first couple of hours.
The trail is relatively short in distance, but time is another measure. The entire trail to the other end is 18 km or about 13 miles. My guess is that we completed about half before throwing in the towel. The constant struggle to keep your wheels on the ground and your sanity intact is not easy. Regardless, the day was a huge success. Smiles all around. Nobody with broken bones, only a few bike issues that we managed to deal with on the trail, and a bunch of sore fellas for the next day of riding. Day one...SUCCESS! Just getting started... Day two was also a trail that would challenge each of us. It was a trail that I have done a number of times, but this time was different. We went the reverse direction. I was sure it would make it more difficult, but how much?

As we started up toward the couple of alpine lakes, we found ourselves exerting a lot more energy than we expected. The toll from the previous day may have had something to do with it. Day two was a loop, so the plan was to reach a certain point of no return and keep on going till we reached the place where we started.

The weather was cooperative, the trail was formidable, and the good times were had by all. Little by little we made our way over and down to the valley, then up and over another to reach our destination. Check out the videos to see what it was like. Be careful, you might want to come down and join me for a ride after seeing the video...Here is my contact info- scott@motomissionperu.com.
The final day on the Cresta overlooking Cusco With all that said, we finished the day, absolutely smoked. With one more day of riding to go, we made the plan to meet up for the final day. The guys wanted to ride a bit closer to the city of Cusco. I took them to one of my honey holes. The "CRESTA" I call it. The longest ridge ride that one can imagine. Its filled with nearly impossible hill climbs, drop offs, fast rhythmic sections, and views that are mostly missed due to concentrating on the trail in front of your tire. Another perfect day of riding. Finished off with a plate of local cuisine in the small Peruvian town of Ccorrau and said goodbye to my buds. I can't wait until they come back so we can give it another go on that impossible trail. Make sure to follow the blog to stay tuned for the next ride. Also, for more info about Motomission Peru and riding dirt bikes in the Andes of South America, check out our website at www.motomissionperu.com. Also feel free to reach me through TT at Scottiedawg. Stay tuned for the next one! Scottiedawg

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

 

Maintenance Readiness

I hope you all have been out riding and enjoying spring. I got back into the hare scramble racing scene over the weekend after a three year hiatus and had a blast. Today, I just want to share a quick tip and start a discussion on preparatory things that help shorten the time it takes to do complex maintenance tasks, such as rebuilding an engine.

Quick Tip
Prior to turning a wrench carefully look over the service manual scanning through all the applicable procedures and subsystems. If I’m working on an unfamiliar model, I find it is helpful to jot down a rough outline of the disassembly sequence. This saves me time in the long run as I don’t have to rely as heavily on the service manual or continually flip through various sections. Another option is to use post-it notes to bookmark each relevant section in the manual. Mark the post-it notes with numbers or headings so you know where to turn to next. Earmarking or bookmarking the torque tables is also a huge time saver no matter the task. 

Be sure to scan through the manual as well to identify any specialty tools that are required that you may not have.

Discussion Points What other preparatory things can be done to help speed up the major maintenance process? Is there a method to your madness or do you dive right in? Thanks for reading!

Paul
https://www.diymotofix.com/


 

Paul Olesen

Paul Olesen

 

5 Most Common Mistakes on Race Day and How to Avoid Them!

Before we review the five most common mistake that a rider needs to avoid, let’s take a brief look at the physiological demands put on a rider during riding and racing. First, a rider has to “teach” the body to conserve glycogen and burn fatty acids as a primary fuel source.  Note, the higher the riding intensity level, the more glycogen (aka stored carbohydrates) your body burns.  The downside to higher intensity and the utilization of stored glycogen, is that your body only stores about 60-80 minutes of glycogen within the muscles – not enough to finish strong, hence the need to prepare and train properly (which will be outlined below).  With this in mind, it is imperative that the racer focus on maximizing his or her aerobic capacity, both on and off of the motorcycle.   When this is implemented properly, the following physiological adaptations take place (which results in better endurance and overall speed): -  Improved delivery of oxygen to the working muscles -  Lower overall heart rate due to the increased stroke volume of the heart -  Improved elimination of lactic acid (a by product of burning carbohydrates) -  Increased number of mitochondria (remember in school: “The power house of the cell” In my opinion, one of the most beneficial by-products of endurance training is that it prepares the rider for the psychological demands of racing – especially late in the race when mental focus can make the difference between 1st and 5th place.  When you teach yourself to stay mentally sharp, you the rider will be able to make the necessary decisions that will build upon themselves throughout the race.  Here’s how.  When you don’t mentally drift off, you will consistently consume the necessary fluids and calories (ideally every 15-20 minutes) which will result in stabilized blood sugar levels.  When your blood sugar levels are optimized, your brain has the necessary “fuel” to implement the proper techniques that you have worked hard to incorporate into your riding.  These proper techniques lead to faster speeds which your brain has to process efficiently throughout the entire race.  If your brain runs out of fuel, you will find yourself missing your important lines, resulting in slower average speeds and ultimately more work and fatigue on your body as it fights the non-optimal lines.  You can see how this becomes a problem quite quickly.  Here are few things you want to avoid to enjoy your riding and/or improve your race results: Mistake #1: Deviating from your regular routine When it comes to getting the body warmed up sufficiently and properly, it needs to be subjected to the same exercise protocols that are used in training when away from the track. For example, it doesn't make any sense to expect a bicycle to be a sufficient warm-up tool if you're using something like the Concept 2 rower in your every day workouts. You also need to consider intensity levels. We don't want the intensity to be so high during the warm-up that is that it ends up leaving the body tired, but we also don't want the heart rate to not rise to a level that starts to produce and activate the lactic acid shuffle. What we see is either riders are using the wrong tools to warm up or they're warming up at too high of an intensity. Mistake #2: Coming to the starting line dehydrated or under nourished When you sleep at night; your body pulls the necessary glycogen (which is sugar) from your liver to sustain your brain functions during the night. Then when you wake up in the morning and put demands on the muscles, the energy necessary comes from the glycogen that's been stored within the belly of the muscle tissue. The challenge that we have on race day is the duration of time since your last meal - sometimes between 12 to 15 hours. Think about race weekends: you're going to be racing on Sunday morning and practice or racing begins at 7:00 am. Let’s say that you ate dinner at 6:00pm Saturday night and you wake up at 6:00am Sunday morning, that's 12 hours since your last meal.  To put it in perspective, imagine that if you ate your morning breakfast at 8:00 in the morning, but then you didn't eat dinner until 8:00 pm and you had no snacks or any meals in between that timeframe, you'd be extremely hungry. But for some reason (whether we chalk it up to a nervous stomach or we're afraid that we're going to get cramps) we don't take the time to eat a good-sized meal early enough so the muscle glycogen is already at a deficit before the gate drops. When you add high intensity racing, which tends to drain the glycogen from the tissue very quickly, and you can see why riders have a tendency to fade quickly or miss simple lines – all because the blood sugar levels within the rider is too low.  Frequently this fade or silly mistake syndrome is blamed on a lack of fitness, but rather, should be attributed to low blood sugar levels.  Mistake #3: Lack of a post-race recovery routine When you come off the race track, there's an enzyme that helps you replenish glycogen within the muscle and the liver called the Glycogen Synthase Enzyme.  You've got about 20 to 30 minutes where that enzyme is at its highest level, so when a riders comes off the track, the first thing they need to be focusing on is the replenishment of depleted glycogen. For example, if you took a bit of oil out of the engine after each lap, you wouldn’t expect the engine to still be running strong at the end of the race.  The idea here is that every lap depletes some level of glycogen (the exact amount is based on the duration and intensity level) and it's the athlete's responsibility to get the body replenished to perform at an optimum level.  Whether its 20 minutes later, 30 minutes later, whenever your next race is, you have to understand that as soon as you come off the track, priority number one is to get that body replenished and to get it rehydrated.  Failure to do so is going to manifest itself out on the track as you start to fade and go backwards.  Again, we're right back to an empty gas tank within the muscle.  If you want to be able to perform optimally, moto after moto, day after day, it starts after each race or workout – so plan ahead and implement consistently.  Mistake #4: Racing at an intensity that is not familiar to your body This mistake is not a misprint – many racers fail to race to their full potential by riding too hard - too early in a race! It is obvious that on race day you're going to be pushing a pace that's difficult to emulate during training, but training at an intensity level that's much less than the demands of race day leads to a culture shock to the body. It produces more lactic acid than the body has been acclimated to and the physiologic process of absorbing and diffusing lactic acid shuts the muscles down. The end result is that the contractions of the muscles are slowed down, you begin to focus on how bad your body is hurting and instead of focusing on racing the course, and you begin to make errors on the course that begins to negatively affect your confidence. To offset this negative effect of lactic acid, you want to try to incorporate a couple of workouts a week that is held at an intensity level on the motorcycle that will accurately emulate race intensity. Additionally, you need to make sure you are testing and training at the same intensity levels off the motorcycle with various forms of cross-training. If you want to race at a higher level on the race weekend, incorporate similar conditions and intensities when you're practicing on the motorcycle along with your cross training off of the motorcycle. Mistake #5: Not racing the track The final and biggest problem that we see on the race day is racers shifting their focus from preparation and implementation of a normal routine to who is on the gate.  The rider begins to size themselves up against somebody else and then pulls in a past performance of the other rider, and then immediately dumps that information into the race at hand.  Your goal is to make the least number of mistakes, carry as much momentum as possible and charge the course.  If somebody else is jumping something, they think they need to jump it.  My question is why you don’t just focus on racing your race; race every section as hard and as fast as you can, try to optimize every single section of the course and your goal is that you would do it faster and better than everybody else.  It's not that you can't learn something from somebody else, but when the gate drops, the only thing that you can take control of is yourself.  So, what I want you to be thinking about is how I can get through this section faster than anybody else.  Frequently, this requires thinking outside the box.  When another rider is doing something through a section that nobody else has thought about, and probably not even willing to try, the results speak for themselves.  Be smart, but creative and you will be surprised at the outcome.  If you really want to optimize your fitness and preparation, you want to create the mindset that you are racing the course - minute after minute with your pace falling off as minimal as possible.  We don't want you to come around the course on the opening lap with a time of 2:00 and then fall off to a 2:15.  Ideally we are looking for less than a 2 second deviation from your first to last lap - you've seen this emulated by the best racers.  The only way you can do this, is to race the course, minimize mistakes and make the best of something when it goes wrong.  Allowing frustration and anger to sidetrack your focus, doesn’t fix the fact that you've messed up a section.  Re-establish your timing; get back to charge mode and carry as much momentum as possible to create the fastest lap times on the course.  Remember, practice doesn’t make perfect.  Perfect practice makes perfect!  If you have any questions or are interested in a customized nutrition and performance program, please feel free to contact me directly at Robb@CoachRobb.com. Also, don't forget to hit that "follow" button! Yours in sport and health, -Coach Robb  

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

The Beginning of the Journey

I’M BACK! Hello ThumperTalk readers! My name is Scott Meshey. If you’re from the Motocross community there is a good chance you might know me through my blog series from Vurbmoto “Life with the Mesheys”, if not, please check my profile. Get to know me, and I hope you follow along with this blog series. For this entry, I’ll dish out some background and where I am headed right now, kicking off the start of the series. So let’s get to it! My blog series for Vurbmoto ran for 3 and a half years until their recent shutdown. The opportunity to share my experiences through Vurb and now on ThumperTalk is something I truly enjoy. This blog series will follow my progression, good, bad, and everything in between to the pro ranks, sharing my experiences and wisdom I gain along the way. Whether you ride the trails on the weekends, hit the back roads after work, are a serious racer, or a parent of a racer, I hope my experiences give insight not only to just Motocross racing, but I hope they give a unique perspective of the challenges behind the goggles. I want readers to enjoy reading my experiences, but I also want others that aspire to achieve the same goals as myself, particularly the youngsters of the sport, to learn from these blogs in their quest to be the best.  I’ve been riding since I was 4. I started competing at amateur Motocross nationals when I was about 9 or 10 years old, contending at the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Motocross National 9 years in a row, the Winter National Olympics or “Mini O’s”, the RCSX at Daytona, the Lake Whitney Spring Championship, the Mill Creek Spring Classic, and the JS7 Freestone National Championship. I’ve ridden for several amateur teams, and had the privilege of working with some legends of the sport. In 2016, I jumped into the pro Arenacross series for a few rounds to get experience in the pro ranks. Unfortunately, my experience was cut short by unresolved health problems from a bad case of pneumonia in 2015.    Loretta Lynn’s 2015, Picture by Sarah Behrens Photography  This brings me to where I am today. After hitting the reset button and off the bike for a year, I’m back home in the motocross scene, eager to continue sharing my story and experiences with the dirt biking world, back to good health with amazing people behind me. I’ll be going to Loretta’s for my 10th year in the 250A and Open Pro Sport classes, and jumping into the pro Motocross series thereafter.  Come along for the ride and tap/click the follow button! I’ll see you at the races. Scott Meshey #141
 

Scott Meshey 141

Scott Meshey 141

 

Don't Read Unless You're Serious About Your Speed!

@Scott Meshey 141 When it comes to preparing for a new season of training and racing, there are several tricks to performing at your full potential.  When it comes to the human body, you must realize that you are only as fast as your weakest link!  Let’s take a look at a few tricks that you can implement today: Test Your Fitness Regularly Your season needs to be broken up into four definitive seasons: Pre-Season, Pre-Competitive, Competitive (with several peak performances) and the Off Season.  During each of these training cycles, you want to begin each cycle with a series of base line assessments to establish a quantified measurement of your sport specific speed, strength, endurance and lactate tolerance. During each training cycle, the focus of your efforts changes according to your race schedule – you don’t want to be working on your endurance too much when your race schedule requires short, explosive efforts.  
Know Your Sweat Rate It is imperative that you know how much and when you should be drinking to avoid either dehydration (not enough water) or hyponatremia (too much water).  Your goal is to stay within 2-3% loss during each workout. Research has shown that if you lose more than 3% of your body weight in sweat, the strength of your muscle contractions can diminish by 10-12% robbing you of both speed & endurance.   To receive a copy of MotoE’s Sweat Rate Calculation Spreadsheet, email me directly.  This simple resource will ensure that you are not drinking too much or too little which will help you train and race to your full potential.
Maintain a Food Log Your daily food log should have three pieces of information for each day: what time, how much & what you ate.  This data will provide you a clear snap shot of the quality and quantity of food you are consuming on a daily basis.  Many times, the lack of muscular endurance is a result of inadequate amounts of food (i.e. fuel) coming into the body resulting in low blood sugar.  Low blood sugar can lead to a lack of mental concentration, weaker muscle contractions and lack of consistent speed.  To receive a copy of MotoE’s Food/Energy Spreadsheet, email me directly.  This simple resource will ensure that you are getting the right amount and type of foods to sustain your duration and intensity levels.   
Reduce Your Body Fat It is not a surprise that lighter racers have a lower overall core body temperature than heavier athletes; this is a result of body fat to lean muscle ratios.  The same principle applies to speed & endurance – the stronger and lighter the body, the easier it is to produce and maintain a fast rate of speed.  To accurately measure your body fat/lean muscle ratios, utilize a combination of tape & caliper measurements.  These two forms of measurement are the cheapest & most accurate (second only to submersion which is difficult to find and cost prohibitive) way of seeing how your body composition is changing specific to your food, hydration and workout/performance logs (relevant to volume & intensity).   By evaluating your body measurements and skin fold measurements every six weeks, you will get an accurate snapshot of your program and determine if your training efforts are delivering the incremental progression that you outlined in your goal profile.  To receive a copy of our MotoE’s Body Measurements Spreadsheet, please email me directly.
  Establish a Warm-up Routine Nearly every new athlete we have worked with says the same thing “I always feel better at the end of the race than I do at the beginning of the race”.  This is because the rider has used the first half of the race to “warm up” - the scientific term is called the Lactic Acid Shuffle.  When the body burns stored carbohydrates (i.e. glycogen) it releases a hydrogen atom that acidic in nature – hence the feeling of burning in the muscles.  As the body becomes more acclimated to the presence of this hydrogen, your circulatory system increases its efficiency and rids itself (actually reabsorbs) of this burning sensation.  In order to improve both your opening speed along with maintaining that speed throughout the race, a warm up that is specific in duration, intensity and time before your actual race is imperative to performing at an optimal level.
  Visit a Chiropractor and Massage Therapist When you recognize that muscles stay tight when bones are out of alignment and that bones get pulled out of place when muscles are tight, you recognize that these two modalities are synergistic – you shouldn’t have one without the other.  A qualified massage therapist will help you identify what muscle(s) that are chronically tight which will help direct your stretching efforts to eliminate any future muscle strains and/or tears. An in-line spine and flexible muscles will allow for proper biomechanics which will produce faster speeds & improved endurance.  Please email me directly for more information about what to look for regarding a qualified massage therapist and chiropractor.
  Get Some Blood Work When you have your blood drawn, 99% of the time, they draw and evaluate a partial panel; however, a full panel will provide you better insight regarding your overall health – especially the health of your blood cells.  For example, when you train and race hard, you break down your red blood cells, which are necessary to carry fresh oxygen to the working muscles.  If you’re RBC (red blood count) is down, you will feel sluggish and fatigued for long periods of time and not know why – you have a low red blood count.   By having your blood drawn every 12 weeks (once a quarter), you can evaluate the effects of your food, hydration and training schedule as it relates to your overall health.  Please note the ranges that are established on your blood panel reports are established based on the absence of disease verses a more important range referred to in the human performance world as functional health.  Your optimal health and performance ranges are nowhere near what is outlined on your blood results data sheets, hence the need for a qualified physician who understands the nature of your sport and its demands on your body.   At MotoE, we have a staff of physicians that can read and evaluate your full blood panel results and make recommendations to improve your health and ultimately performance.  Please email me directly for more information about this service.
  Listen to Your Body One of the worst things that you can do to your body is to stop listening to the external signs that your body is either hurt or fatigued.  By tracking your morning heart rate, you will be provided specific feedback on how your body is responding to stress (virus, training, hungry, dehydrated, etc.) and whether or not you should workout today (in any way) – our rule of thumb is that if your resting heart rate is up by more than 5 beats, you don’t train but rather eat cleanly and go back to bed.  The signs of injury are pretty obvious: the injured area is swollen, hot to the touch, tender to the touch, discolored, and has limited range of motion.   These self defense mechanisms are designed to provide you feedback so that you can make adjustments that will turn these conditions around.  If you take pain medication, this only masks your body’s natural receptors of pain, which increases your risk of further injury or illness. At MotoE, we have numerous cross reference tools to keep our riders from getting burned out, overly fatigued which helps them avoid injury or illness.  It is imperative that you pay close attention to your body’s external signs: elevated morning heart rate, a normal workout effort is harder than normal, suppressed appetite, low motivation and excessive muscle soreness are examples that are easy to identify.     Establish Goals and Training Objectives to Achieve To maximize your productivity and ensure that you are achieving your personal racing goals you must establish three sets of goals: 3 months out, 6 months out and 12 months out.  The reason for the three sets of goals is associated with how long it takes the body to develop the necessary physiological elements (i.e. strength, endurance, lactate tolerance, flexibility, etc.).  The objectives that are established for each goal are based on the results of your baseline assessments – nothing will keep you on the straight line of success like honest evaluation of your assessments. Either your endurance is getting better or it isn’t – what you choose to do with this information is the difference between a champion and a good racer.  To receive a copy of MotoE’s Goal & Objective Spreadsheet, email me directly. Have Fun! Don’t lose sight of the fact that you took on racing for the fun and the challenge.  No matter what happens on race day, be thankful that you had the opportunity to go out and race (at whatever level) and that no one can ever take that experience away from you – ever! ***** Thank you for taking the time to read!  If you have any current frustrations that you would like some help breaking down, please don’t hesitate to drop me and my team an email.  We would enjoy answering your questions and getting you on the path to success immediately. Yours in health and sport,  Robb Beams
Owner-Founder of MotoE’s Complete Racing Solutions

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Three Easy Ways to Improve Engine Cooling

This month I want to discuss three easy ways to improve engine cooling for your dirt bike or ATV and explain why they are effective. As improvements are made to an engine that increase its power, the amount of heat the engine will create will also increase. Effectively removing heat from the engine and cooling it is very important as the power output of the engine goes up. The cooler an engine runs, the more power it can produce. There are three ways that the aftermarket attempts to improve the cooling system of a particular engine. 1. Increase flow through the cooling system. 2. Increase the cooling capacity of the radiators. 3. Increase the pressure of the cooling system. Let's dive in. 1. Increase flow through the cooling system
The flow through the cooling system can be increased by installing a water pump impeller designed to increase the flow rate of the coolant. The reason increasing the flow rate of coolant works is because the rate of heat transfer from the engine to the cooling system is directly proportional to the mass flow rate of coolant. This is thermodynamics jargon, but there are two key parts to consider. First, how much coolant is flowing, and second, at what speed the coolant is flowing. The more coolant that flows and the faster it flows will reduce the temperature difference between the point where the coolant enters into the engine and where it exits. This next part is not quite as intuitive. When the temperature difference between the inlet and outlet is reduced, the average coolant temperature is lowered. When the average coolant temperature is lowered the engine will run cooler. This is why fitting a water pump, which increases the flow of coolant through the engine, improves cooling. 2. Increase the cooling capacity of the radiators
Radiators consist of a series of tubes and fins which run from the top to the bottom of the radiator. These are often referred to as the radiator’s cores. As coolant enters the radiator it moves through the series of tubes and heat is transferred from the coolant to the fins. Air passes over the fins and heat is transferred from the fins to the air. This transfer of heat from coolant to air is how radiators reduce the temperature of the coolant. Coolant temperatures can be reduced by upgrading radiators in three ways, by increasing the frontal area of the radiators, by making the radiators thicker, or by using materials with better heat transfer properties for the cores. For all practical purposes, increasing the radiators’ frontal area and improving the core materials is rarely a viable option for dirt bike applications. This is because there is little room for the radiators to begin with and they are susceptible to damage, making the use of expensive core materials a risky affair. Unfortunately, both of these options are better improvements to make before resorting to increasing the thickness of the radiators. Increasing the thickness of a radiator is not as efficient of an improvement as increasing the frontal area of the radiator. In order for thicker radiators to cool more effectively than their stock counterparts, airflow past the radiators is key. When the thickness of a radiator is increased, air must travel a greater distance through the radiator before exiting. The speed the air is traveling plays a big role in determining how quickly the air heats up as it moves through the radiator. If the air is not traveling fast enough through the radiator, the air temperature will rise and equal the coolant temperature before reaching the end of the radiator. Once this happens, heat transfer stops and whatever portion of the radiator remains will not help with cooling. In order for a thicker radiator to be effective, air must flow quickly enough through it so that the exiting air temperature is at, or better yet, below the coolant temperature. In conclusion, benefits from adding thicker radiators will be more prominent in applications where speeds are relatively high. Whereas in applications where the bike is hardly moving, improved cooling may not be noticeable. 3. Increase the pressure of the cooling system
The last alteration to the cooling system that can be made is to install a high pressure radiator cap. As coolant temperature increases, pressure increases inside the cooling system. The radiator cap is designed to be the pressure release point in the cooling system in the event that too much pressure builds up. This can occur as a result of overheating or a blown head gasket for example. By designing the radiator cap to be the weak link in the system, other parts of the system, such as seals, don’t end up getting damaged from being over pressurized. The radiator cap features a plug and spring on its underside. The spring is designed to compress once a certain pressure is reached, at which point the plug will move upwards and uncover a pressure release hole where excess pressure will be vented.



The coolant’s boiling point and ability to conduct heat are necessary factors in understanding why a high pressure radiator cap can help improve engine cooling. Water alone boils at 212°F (100°C) while a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze boils at 223°F (106.1C). Radiator cap pressure designations are usually advertised in bar, with most stock radiator caps designed to withstand pressures up to 1.1 bar (16psi). The more pressure a fluid is under, the more difficult it becomes for the fluid to vaporize, and the higher its boiling point becomes. When water is under 1.1 bar of pressure, the temperature water will boil at is 260°F (127°C) while a 50/50 antifreeze mix will boil at 271°F (133°C). By installing a radiator cap designed to withstand higher pressures, an additional increase in the coolant’s boiling point will be seen. High pressure caps are usually designed to withstand 1.3 bar (19psi) of pressure. This 0.2 bar (3psi) increase in pressure over the stock system will increase the boiling point of water or antifreeze by 8.7°F (4.83°C). This will then bring the boiling point of pure water or a 50/50 antifreeze mix to approximately 269°F (132°C) and 280°F (138°C) respectively. While this small temperature increase alone won’t do a lot for your engine, coupling a high pressure cap and using coolants with better heat transfer properties can do wonders. Antifreeze (ethylene glycol) alone is not an inherently good conductor of heat. In fact, pure antifreeze conducts heat about half as well as water, while a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water conducts heat approximately three quarters as efficiently as pure water. This means a cooling system using a 50/50 mix of antifreeze would have to flow faster than a cooling system filled with pure distilled water in order to achieve the same cooling efficiency. What this means for you is significant cooling gains can be made by using distilled water and an additive called “Water Wetter” in place of an antifreeze-water mix. Water Wetter is an additive that improves water’s “wetting” abilities (another whole subject), adds corrosion resistance, and slightly increases the boiling point of water. A high pressure radiator cap in conjunction with distilled water and Water Wetter as the coolant is by far the best route to go for high performance applications where freezing is not an issue. For applications which must still be resistant to freezing, the antifreeze-water ratio can be altered in favor of mixtures incorporating more water than antifreeze so that the cooling efficiency of the mixture is improved. Just bear in mind the freezing point of the mixture as it is thinned with water will be reduced, so you will need to pay close attention to the environment you are operating in so that the coolant is never susceptible to freezing. A frozen coolant system can ruin an engine and makes for a very bad day! I hope you enjoyed this post on three easy ways to improve your engine’s cooling.  One more thing before I wrap up! April is Autism Awareness month, and here at DIY Moto Fix we couldn't be more excited to announce that we will be donating 15% of all profits made in April to AutismMX. If you haven't heard of AutismMX, this amazing non-profit brings Autism awareness to the motorcross community. Founder, Matthew Dalton, created this non-profit after finding that motorcross was an amazing way to connect with his autistic son. At DIY Moto Fix this non-profit also touches a chord with us. Our filmmaker and photographer, Kelsey Jorissen, loved dirt biking with her autistic brother throughout their childhood. The Autism MX Project focuses on four areas: Autism MX Day Camps are days for ASD kids and families to have the chance to ride AMX’s little dirt bikes and quads and enjoy the sport of motocross. Team Autism MX Sponsoring amateur MX racers, riders as well as sponsoring AMA pro racers. Through doing so, they are getting out the word on Autism Awareness to millions. AMX Puzzle Piece Apparel from shirts, graphics, goggles, to help stand out and support Autism Awareness. AMX Ride Days for Autism Awareness AMX celebrates Autism Awareness and is a fundraiser for The Autism MX Project. So for the entire month of April - if you buy a book, a video, even a poster - 15% of that purchase will go towards AutismMX and their amazing cause. Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!

Paul Olesen

Paul Olesen

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