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  • scottiedawg

    Alpacas in the Crosswalk

    By scottiedawg

    Guiding groups of dirtbikers through the Andes of Peru is surreal. First of all, it is a huge privilege to be able to do what I do. I love riding dirtbikes as much as anybody possibly can. Combine that with serving others by leading groups on various trails, providing communication support such as translating a menu, or taking a picture or video to help recall the memory at a later date, these are the things that I do. There are many other tasks as well, but to simplify things, my job isn't much of a job. It's pure joy!
        I always love it when people take a daring step towards something adventurous; Quitting a job to travel, starting a business, becoming a volunteer, adopting a child. This seems to be where life really gets exciting. Most of the people that join me on dirt bike tours are just that...They take the steps that most won't.  I love hanging out with these kinds of peeps.
    Recently, a couple of guys got in touch with me about doing a three day ride. One of the guys had a lot of dirtbike experience, but it was a couple of years back. The other, had experience, but it was 25 years back. This poses a challenge for a guy like me who has a duty to my customers to provide a legendary motorcycle experience. How can I mix these two friends up, show them some amazing back country of Peru, and somehow keep them safe, cover the necessary ground to complete the route, and assure them a plethora of smiles? It was a tall order, but I was willing to give it a go.

    I asked a lot of questions in order to get to know these guys a bit. Each customer is different and will respond to risk, thrill, fatigue, and stress in various ways. I put a plan together to cover a route that had all the elements to satisfy the more experienced rider, but also have easier options in case anyone was overwhelmed with the trail level. These guys put it all out there. We made it. I pushed their limits, gave them the thrill they were looking for, and had an amazing time getting to know a couple of great fellas.

    The whole experience is one that I give to my customers, but I also reap the benefit of the adventure. I often receive the privilege of lighting a flame of dirtbike passion in someone who may have lost it a while back. A few days after the trip, one of the guys let me know he was in the market for a new dirtbike...That's music to my ears.

    It's always a tough one to match skills in a group so that everyone can ride at the same level. In fact, it is almost impossible. However, I often deal with the differences. In this case, I used a smaller bike, had various route options, allowed the faster rider the freedom to freeride, and used a lot of flexibility in the plan. By the end of the first day, the lack of the past 25 years of riding became a non issue. A few tips, some verbal encouragement, and a reassurance that our team will make it to the other side was all that was needed. What a thrill it is for me to assist a customer to overcome obstacles on the trail!

    Do yourself and another rider a favor by opening up and being that mentor to help a newbie learn what someone taught you. We are all recipients of someone else's experiences. It costs little to share, but opens up a world to those who want to experience what we have.

    Make sure to check out the video to see what it's like to ride in the Andes of Peru! Until the next time, keep the wheels down!

    Scottiedawg Scott Englund is a seasoned hard enduro guide, explorer, and social entrepreneur living and operating MotoMission Peru in the heart of the Andes of Peru. MotoMission puts together a high end hard enduro tour filled with every kind of amazing you can think of. Contact Scott at Scott@motomissionperu.com to find out more about riding in the Andes.    
    • 1 comment
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  • Paul Olesen

    Four Stroke Cylinder Head Reconditioning

    By Paul Olesen

    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: 
    - Amazon
    - Moto Fix Website
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  • Paul Olesen

    How The Two-Stroke Exhaust System Works

    By Paul Olesen

    In my last post, I shared details about how the two-stroke cylinder works, in today's post I want to provide an overview of how a performance two-stroke engine's exhaust system works.
     
    Adding a performance exhaust system can be a great way to increase power and/or alter the power delivery of an engine. I would also argue that optimizing a two-stroke engine’s exhaust system is equally as important as ensuring the cylinder’s ports are correctly designed for the given application. Not all exhaust systems are designed to do the same things, and much like cylinder port design, exhaust designs are intended to alter power in specific ways. Having a basic understanding of how an exhaust system works can go a long way when it comes to selecting the right exhaust pipe for your engine.

    Two-stroke exhaust design is complicated and there are many different variables that must be considered when designing a pipe. I don’t intend to go into all of them, but I will share a few of the most critical.
      Each time the exhaust port opens to release spent combustion gases, pressure pulses are created. Modern pipe designs harness this pulse energy and use it to help scavenge and fill the cylinder. The process starts when a positive pressure pulse is created once the exhaust port opens and combustion gases leave the cylinder. The positive pulse travels down the pipe until it reaches the diffuser, at which point part of the pulse is inverted and reflected back towards the cylinder as a negative wave. This negative wave is very beneficial in pulling spent exhaust gases out of the cylinder and fresh mixture up through the transfer ports. The remaining positive pulse continues on its journey towards the end of the pipe where it encounters the reflector. The reflector acts as the name implies and forces the positive pulse back towards the exhaust port. Once reflected back, the pulse remains positive and, if the pipe is designed correctly, will reach the exhaust port just as the piston is about to close off the port on the compression stroke at the desired RPM for maximum power. Any fresh mixture which has escaped out the cylinder will be forced back in by the positive pressure pulse.

    The tuned length of the pipe is dictated by the exhaust port timing, RPM of max power, and the speed of sound. Pulse length and amplitude are governed by the angles of the diffuser and reflector. Generally, steeper cone angles create pulses with more amplitude but shorter duration. Shallower angles generate pulses with less amplitude but longer duration. Given these variables, it is easy to see how a pipe could be tailored for specific applications. An engine converted for road racing may utilize a pipe designed for peak power which incorporates steep diffuser and reflector cone angles so that pulse amplitude is not sacrificed. This peak power would likely come at the expense of a narrowed range of power. An engine tailored for woods riding may feature a pipe with shallower cone angles, resulting in less pulse amplitude, but a broader spread of power.  

    The last parameter I want to touch on is how the tailpipe, which is sometimes referred to as the stinger, influences the pipe. The tailpipe creates a flow restriction in the pipe which allows the pipe to have a certain amount of back pressure. Enlarge the tailpipe and the back pressure decreases, make it smaller and the back pressure increases. As back pressure increases or decreases, so does temperature and ultimately the speed of sound. As the speed of sound changes, so does the resonance RPM of the pipe. If the tailpipe is sized too small, cylinder scavenging will be inhibited. When this happens, the cylinder, fresh mixture, and piston will all be overheated.

    While engineers and tuners can estimate starting pipe dimensions and tuned lengths, a great deal of trial and error testing is usually still necessary to fine tune the exhaust pipe and optimize the design. Unless you intend on building your own exhausts, this work will have already been done for you. When selecting an exhaust system, you need to focus on how the exhaust alters the power curve. Exhaust systems are tailored to deliver more bottom end performance, top-end performance, or performance throughout the power curve. Selecting which system is right for you will depend on how you want your engine to perform. If you’ve chosen to modify your cylinder ports, installing an exhaust system that compliments the porting can be very beneficial. You might be wondering about slip-on mufflers. If you’ve followed along with my explanation of how exhaust pipes work, you’ll notice I made no mention of the muffler. While the muffler can have a small effect on performance, it is not the primary factor. Upgrading a muffler is a good way to reduce weight, but there won’t be a slip-on out there which significantly increases power, in the same way, a properly designed expansion chamber can. I hope you enjoyed this write-up on key features affecting the performance of two-stroke cylinders. As for Two Stroke Handbook news, we received our first printed proof of the book this week! Needless to say, we are inching closer and closer to an official release date. To stay updated on The Two Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook we created an email sign up for our readers. Click this link to sign up, 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
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  • Coach Robb

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

    By Coach Robb

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

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

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

    By Coach Robb

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

-Paul

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Paul Olesen

Paul Olesen

 

DIY Piston Ring Compressor

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

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

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



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

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

Available at: Amazon.com DIYMotoFix.com  

Paul Olesen

Paul Olesen

 

Help! - Bike Only Starts When Pushed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Paul
  Amazon DIYMotoFix.com  

Paul Olesen

Paul Olesen

 

motomission peru Turning Stones vol 1

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

Until the next one,

Scott Check out more of our hard enduro videos on our Youtube channel at MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures.  

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

 

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

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

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

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Help Moto Mind Help You + A Quick Tech Tip

I hope you all had a good holiday season and are excited for 2017. The ice bike has been kicking my butt so far, but I’m thankful I’ve been able to get out and ride. I’m definitely excited for the new year and today I wanted to discuss my upcoming blogs and share a quick tech tip with you.   My blog post pool is low right now and I’d like your help! Looking ahead to 2017 I want to deliver informative posts tailored to what you need to know and want learn. In the comments section below be sure to share your thoughts on what you’d like to learn about this year. Whether it’s maintenance, tuning, suspension, two-stroke, four-stroke, or anything else-- I want to hear what you have to say.   Depending on post length it takes me anywhere from 2 - 5 hours to write a piece I feel comfortable publishing for you, so I want to make sure I’m spending my time covering topics that are truly beneficial and relevant.   Moto Mind Quick Tech Tip
Anytime you drain fluids from something you’re working on and halt progress (think waiting for parts) tag the throttle or any other visible location and note that there’s no fluid in the machine.   This isn’t always applicable but here’s an instance of when it was. I’ve moved a few times in the last couple years and during that transitional period my bikes were five hours away in northwestern Wisconsin. One weekend I was set to make the trip back home to go riding, certain that my bike was ready to go. I got there and found that I’d left myself a tag noting that I was only part way through the oil change I so vividly remember completing. While I usually check my sight glass anyway, I can’t say I always do, especially if I’m in a hurry. Whether or not I would have caught the lack of oil without the tag I will never know, but I’m just glad I left myself a visual reminder.   If there’s something you’d like to learn about, please leave a comment below and I’ll see what I can do to work it into this year’s blogging schedule!   Plus, if you got socks or other stuff you didn't want over the holidays, be sure to check out my book and treat yourself!   http://www.diymotofix.com/books.html   Amazon   - Paul  

Paul Olesen

Paul Olesen

 

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Not sure about you, but for me, there is something refreshing about starting a new year! However, when looking back on 2016, there were tons of great moments! It must be those moments that remind me that the future holds some more incredible adventures and more virgin trails! What's on your riding list for 2017?   WARNING: Watching this may cost you a plane ticket to Peru  
 
  Within walking distance to MotoMission headquarters...  
This is rainy season...12 months of great riding conditions   Metaphorically speaking, virgin trails are something we all need to seek out. I am not suggesting you rip up any old growth hillside in a national park, but seek out something you have never done before. Stop talking about it and wishing you had made it happen. The world is too full of people that don't "DO."
Whether its racing in the Dakar, Baja 1000, or that ADV ride across Canada, those opportunities will present themselves this year. Don't use safety as an excuse. Don't use money as an excuse. Don't use your job as an excuse. That is what they are...Excuses. People that "DO" don't use excuses.
Practice your "DO" this year. Find something that scares the crap out of you and give it a whirl. In fact, grab your buddies and do it together. Odds are, they are in the same boat.     The area I call the Golf Course...
This past year, I had a group of guys join me on a ride. One of them was a buddy I had grown up with. He rounded up some unsuspecting fellas to join in on a crazy adventure. They came to Peru, one with limited riding experience, and joined me for four days in the back country of Peru. The video(Where the Sidewalk Ends) tells much of the story.     Where The Sidewalk Ends- OFFICIAL TOUR VIDEO   These guys stretched a "DO" muscle. They committed and finished a feat that most would never even try. Now, as they look for another adventure, most likely it will be a bit bigger and more crazy than the first. Start that process of working out your adventure muscle. People don't usually regret adventures.     Bring your cameras!
One option for adventure is to join me in Peru for an exotic ride through the Andes. If you have ever wanted to ride in a cool place that is beyond your usual, this is it. Peru offers virgin trails, no other dirtbikes, and views that never disappoint. I have included a few pics and a video for your viewing pleasure. This is 2017. Make it a good one!   Scott is the owner/operator/guide of MotoMission Peru, a social enterprise in Cusco, Peru that supports local children's projects with 100% of the profits from its operations. Hard enduro is our specialty. We have a turnkey tour with everything you need to enjoy Peru on a dirtbike. Contact Scott if you want more information. Scott@motomissionperu.com   Follow this blog, our Youtube channel at MotoMission Peru Adventure Dirtbike Tours, Facebook at MotoMission Peru, and our website at www.motomissionperu.com.     Ride motos=Make smiles!     Christmas Party at the Altivas Canas Children's project brought to you by MotoMission Peru and our customers.

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

 

5 CHARACTERISTICS OF A CHAMPION AND HOW THE WEEKEND WARRIOR CAN BECOME ONE!

For the weekend warrior who has limited time to train, here are 5 things you can implement tomorrow to improve your racing results.   Step 1: Establishing a Weekly Routine
Take your personal calendar and schedule the following elements for the next seven days (in this specific order):   § Hours of sleep you plan to get – daily!
§ When you are going to eat your meals and snacks
§ Hours you will be working
§ Time you will be exercising (include intensity levels)
§ When you will prep your motorcycle and you’re your transportation
§ What days you will compete   Your goal is to complete at least 75% to 80% of your scheduled elements on a weekly basis. Don't complicate things by trying to add a bunch of sophisticated elements to it. Just keep it basic and easy to follow. By focusing on all of the small elements, they add up to a very solid program. So, if you get your program moving to the next level immediately, establish a routine and stick to it!   Step 2: Establishing a Practice Routine
One of the most common mistakes we see is that riders will go to the track to practice and they just run laps without any evaluation of lap times. To make the most of your time on the track, capturing lap times will determine your consistency, along with the deviation between your fastest and slowest laps.   Practicing starts and working sections of the track is imperative to finding new found speed; however, you need to put all of the elements together to emulate actual race conditions as often as possible. As we have discussed in previous articles, what ends up happening on race day is that the body is exposed to high levels of speed and associated lactic acid that is produced as a by-product of burning glycogen. As the lactic acid accumulates within the blood, it begins to “burn” and mentally throws you off.   Depending on the nature of your track and its practice schedule, it is important to implement practice segments that include such physiological challenges such as negative split intervals, pacing intervals, pacing pyramids and sprint intervals. These types of intervals will challenge all of the various energy systems necessary to perform optimally during the race weekend. Remember, practice doesn’t make perfect, specific and perfect practice makes perfect.   Step 3: Consuming sufficient calories for optimum performance and maintaining proper hydration
The challenge that you have when the intensity goes up is that it drains the stored muscle and liver glycogen very quickly. So what ends up happening is by the time you get to the end of the moto, your gas tank (of glycogen) is essentially on empty. To give you a good analogy of that, it is kind of like building a very strong motor, and then just not putting sufficient gas in it to finish the moto. If you think about all of the strength training and all of the cardiovascular cross-training that you do, if you don’t give your body enough fuel, it will not have the necessary amount of energy to finish the moto strong. Many times we see late moto fatigue and heat related sickness, due to the lack of necessary calories. For you, the racer, looking to get the most out of your body you need to approach food from a functional stand point. Carbohydrates provide the necessary glycogen to your liver and muscles for exercise. Protein provides the necessary building blocks to repair torn down muscle tissue and fat provides the macro nutrient necessary for proper neurological functions and bodily needs (i.e. oil for skin and hair quality).   The second component that you can address to improve your speed is to avoid coming to the starting gate under-hydrated. Just as a rule of thumb, we are looking for around 40 to 50 ounces of water to be consumed on a daily basis - and that does not factor in the needs of what is lost in the form of sweat from exercise. To help offset this situation, you need to make sure that you are starting your day with a good eight to sixteen ounces of clear water to jump start your hydration levels. If you go to the starting line under-hydrated, let’s say by 2-3%, it won't take long before the contractile strength of your muscle tissue is adversely affected (in some instances as much as 20-30%). The key here is to determine how much weight you are losing during a race (or intense practice session) to determine what your perspiration rate is for the duration of your session. Add in your total consumption of fluids consumed during the last hour of before your moto or practice and you will get an accurate idea of how fast you lose fluids in a given environment of temperature, humidity and race intensity. This information becomes priceless in regards to preparing your body to handle the demands of high intensity racing.   Step 4: Establishing a body that is resilient to stress through fresh fruits and vegetables along with sufficient amounts of quality rest
Though this step appears to be similar to Step 3 in regards to food, it is different from the stand point that we are discussing the body’s ability to adapt to stress associated with training. When it comes to establishing a body that is resilient to stress, the two things that you need to pay attention to are:
Eating raw fresh fruits and vegetables
How much rest you are getting each evening   In regards to your fruits and vegetables, if you can afford and can find organic, this is ideal. However, at the very least, you want to lean towards raw and fresh food items whenever possible. Without getting into a dissertation about nutrition, you need to understand that there are three macronutrients: Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fat. You hear about them often and know what they are; however, the thing that makes them work at an optimum level is the integration of micronutrients (sourced from fresh fruits and vegetables). Whenever possible, you need be looking for a way to introduce raw and fresh fruits and vegetables (i.e. salad, vegetable & fruit salad or steamed vegetables). The bottom line is to avoid anything that comes out of a can along with trying to get as many servings throughout the day that we can without causing any gastrointestinal issues.   In regards to your sleep, you need to be striving to get eight to nine hours per evening. Please keep in mind that sleep is not how long you are lying in bed, but rather hours that you are in the state of sleep. When you get into REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Pattern Three, you are at a state of relaxation where your body releases hormones that are instrumental to getting stronger.
To help facilitate quality sleep try the following:
§ Eat a small amount of high quality protein and complex carbohydrates 30 minutes before going to bed
§ Drink 8 to 10 ounces of cold water
§ Don’t watch any television in your bedroom
§ Keep the room as dark as possible
§ Set the room as cool as you are comfortable with
Remember, you don’t get stronger from your workouts, but from quality eating and sleeping! If you don’t eat and rest, your body will never elevate itself to the next level of performance.   Step 5: Improve your speed by improving your range of motion through flexibility
Within your performance program, flexibility is probably one of the most boring yet most productive uses of your “extra” time. Most racers don't like to stretch because they don't see the direct benefits associated with it. Stretching is somewhat a nebulous concept. What are the benefits of stretching as it relates to a racer?   First, by increasing your range of motion (i.e. working on your flexibility), you are working towards re-establishing your normal range of motion within each muscle group and associated joints. Let’s take a look at the shoulder for example. The shoulder is designed to have 360 degrees of range of motion. There are muscles surrounding the entire head of the shoulder joint on the front, side and back. As a racer, when you encounter a high speed get off, the impact on all of the supporting muscles is high.   As a racer, you need to be prepared for any contact with the ground (whether it's a high speed get off or whether it's a slow speed tip over), by having as close to 100% range of motion as possible. If the muscles that protect each joint are tight (hence limiting your range of motion) the impact of each fall has a much more negative effect (i.e. greater damage).   Let's take another look at your shoulder. When you fall and put your arm out in front of you, the head shoulder gets jammed back into that capsule extremely quickly. If the muscles are tight and the range of motion is limited, the net result is usually a torn muscle. If this injury isn’t handled properly, scar tissue begins to form within the capsule of the injured shoulder joint and your range of motion is further limited due to the in-elasticity of scar tissue.   Though scar tissue doesn’t sound like a big deal, as a racer it is very detrimental to your positioning on the bike due to the limited range of motion and the compromising you do with your body on the motorcycle. For example, if you've had a lower back injury, which has resulted in limited range of motion, you wont be able to keep the bike stable going through the whoop section because you're having difficulty getting into the proper attack position and the bike will swap all over the place. Another example is getting your elbows up into a corner. You may not be able to accomplish this important skill because you've got restrictions in your muscles surrounding your shoulder joint. It isn’t a lack of desire or discipline, it is a physical limiter!   By focusing on your flexibility, you will be able to get into the proper position on the bike without self induced restrictions. The better your range of motion, the better your position on the motorcycle the faster your lap times will become.   If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to post a question here on TT!   Yours in sport and health,
-Coach Robb

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Uncle Scotty's Little Secret

In my line of work, I run across moto enthusiasts from every corner of the planet. We all share the same passion which helps establish an instant connection. While living in Cusco, Peru, I find that the enduro crowd is quite limited. I can count the number of riders on one hand...That's coming from a city of 600,000 people.  
A little trouble getting over the water   Sometimes clients come from closer areas. There is a large dirtbike community in Lima, the capital city of Peru. The population of the city is roughly 10 million people. Dirtbiking is big in Lima! In fact, the local dealers have facilities set up at the ride staging area complete with bike storage, maintenance program, lockers, showers, and any part or accessory you may need for your bike. The mechanics are ready to fix anything at moment's notice, and are happy to get to work as you dump off your dirty bike after a long days ride. It is a sweet setup. Not cheap, but sweet!   Recently, a group of some of the top riders in Peru connected with me to guide them on a tour. I obliged and began the process of preparing for the ride. They told me they wanted to suffer. They had seen some of my videos that I posted to my Youtube channel and Facebook and wanted to take on my gnarliest route. Perfect!  
Suffering in Peru   I confirmed that they in fact wanted one of the toughest of my options. I reiterated that I didn't think they would all make it. I explained that it had never been ridden expect by me. I told them it was not very long, but oh so technical. Needless to say it turned them on for the ride! They couldn't wait.
Before they got here, I had the chance to do a little business with the group. As some of you may know, MotoMission Peru is a missional business. Our goal is profit, but with the final focus being on the children's projects we support with 100% of the profits. Because of the nature of how we do things, I made the pricing structure a bit different for this group. The group was large. In fact it was a group of thirteen riders. They each paid a guide fee as well as had another strange requirement.   The guys were given the sizes and ages of two children who are part of the Altivas Canas Children's project. Each rider was required to bring pants and a shirt for two kids. The group was making custom shirts already for each of the guys, so they added the sizes for the kids, purchased the pants, and brought an enormous bag of clothes to make sure each kid had something new to wear. In addition, the entire guide fees were thrown into the mix to purchase school supplies and other essential items for the project.  
This is the one they coined Scotty's Staircase   When it was all said and done, the ride was as much as they could handle. A few made it quite far along the trail. Nobody made it to the end. They all had a blast trying to conquer an almost impossible trail, debilitating altitude, and paralyzing fatigue.   They returned home with huge smiles on their faces while leaving behind enough clothes to provide each of the kids a new outfit and a batch of supplies to restock the shelves of the project. Dirtbikers are good folks. It makes no different which part of the world you are from, there is a common theme with riders. They know how to chip in and make a difference. So good to be part of that community!  
Misery with a smile   So now you can take a look at the ride. It was nothing short of spectacular. A good buttwhoopin' trail that made a few good men cry. Hope you enjoy the video. Stay tuned for the next one.
Scottidawg     Scott Englund is the owner operator of MotoMission Peru. They offer hard enduro tours through the Andes of Peru. 100% of the profits are used to support local social projects. If you are interested in booking a tour or want information about the mission, please contact us at Scott@motomissionperu.com.   Feel free to follow our blog here on Thumpertalk or check out our Youtube channel at MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures or our Facebook page at MotoMission Peru.

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

 

Do You Know The Importance of Tightening Techniques?

I hope you’re all enjoying the fall weather. For those of you in northern states, I hope that you’re getting in some end of season riding. This month I want to touch on bolted joints and the importance of adhering to tightening techniques outlined in your model’s service manual.   How A Clamped Joint Works
I’m going to discuss the importance of criss-cross patterns, tightening sequences, incremental steps, and joint lubrication but first I want to explain how a bolted joint works. As a bolt is tightened to secure a pair of parts, the bolt will stretch a very small amount. The stretch in the bolt creates tension or preload in the joint which is the force that keeps the joint together. The amount of preload created is dependent on bolt size, bolt material, the torque applied, and the friction between the threads. There are additional variables, however a discussion on bolt engineering would be very long and not all that exciting! As long as you understand the basics for engine building you can begin to appreciate the importance of correctly tightening fasteners.   As you are well aware, an engine consists of many parts fastened together. What you may not consider as much is that the majority of these parts are fastened by more than one fastener. This means that how much you tighten/preload one fastener will have an effect on the surrounding fasteners. This interaction between the fasteners begins to shed light on why tightening sequences are so important.   The evenness of the preload across the bolts securing a part can affect part life. Warpage can occur in parts which are improperly tightened, ultimately rendering the part useless. A prime example of a part that can warp is a four-stroke cylinder head. If the bolts are unevenly tightened over time, the cylinder head can become permanently distorted. Gasket sealing problems can also occur from improper preloading of bolts across a part. In order for a gasket to seal it must be evenly compressed. If one area of a gasket is highly compressed and tensioned while another area is not, the gasket can easily leak through the low tensioned area. In the case of plain bearing bores, such as the cam cap, uneven preloading may cause the bearing bore to distort. As a result the cam may become difficult to turn. Or if run, the cam bearing bore will wear unevenly and in severe cases the cam could seize.   While ensuring bolt preload is even can be a problem there are three tightening techniques that virtually eliminate the issue. If you’ve been building engines for any length of time you’ve probably already been utilizing these techniques. Hopefully now you may have a better understanding of why the service manual instructs you to tighten parts a specific way.   Criss-Cross Patterns
Criss-cross patterns are called out when tightening or loosening parts with a simple square pattern or circular bolt pattern. These basic patterns have been around for a very long time and are a proven method for evenly distributing clamping load across a part. Most cylinder heads will utilize this type of clamping pattern.

Tightening Sequences
For more complex bolt patterns, such as those found on cam carriers and crankcases, the manufacturer will usually identify a specific sequence for tightening and loosening the fasteners. This sequence is based on testing and the past experiences of the manufacturer.     Incremental Steps
Highly torqued bolts, such as those found on the cylinder head, are almost always tightened and loosened in incremental steps. An incremental tightening sequence consists of torquing all the fasteners to a specific torque value, then increasing the torque and tightening again, and finally arriving at the final torque value. This sequence is typically performed in two to three steps.   Here’s something important to keep in mind regarding incremental steps! When torquing bolts in steps the change in torque between the steps must be large enough to induce bolt movement. For example if a bolt was torqued to 35Nm at the first step and the second step was 38Nm this would not be enough of a change to make the bolt move at the second step. The torque wrench would not overcome the friction of the stationary bolt and would hit 38Nm before the bolt even moves. As a rule of thumb incremental changes should be no less than 5Nm and if possible should be greater.   Lubrication
For highly torqued fasteners often times the service manual will specify that the threads of the fastener must be lubricated. The lubricant can be as simple as fresh engine oil or a specifically formulated thread lubricant product.     Adhering to any lubrication guidelines is of utmost importance. Since we most commonly measure torque to determine whether a bolt has been tightened/preloaded enough any change in the amount of force required to turn the bolt will influence the resulting bolt preload for a given torque value. The force required to turn a bolt is partially dependent on the amount of friction in the joint. If we had two identical fasteners where one was lubricated and the other was not, and we set the torque wrench to the same value for each, then both were tightened, the resulting bolt preload would be different between the two. Due to the reduced friction in the lubricated joint the bolt would stretch more and the preload in the joint would be higher at the specified torque wrench setting than the unlubricated joint. Depending on the criticality of the joint this can be a really big deal! It also shows why in some applications (think two piece conrods) directly measuring bolt stretch is a more accurate means of determining bolt preload.   I hope you enjoyed this quick summary of tightening techniques and their importance! If you have tips of your own you’d like to share or other pearls of wisdom please leave a comment.   For those of you interested in more engine building knowledge check out my book, The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook. You’ll find more detailed and comprehensive info on engine building there. Simply follow the links below. Thanks for reading and have a great week!   -Paul     The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook   Available on Amazon

Paul Olesen

Paul Olesen

 

Do You Know How To Properly Inspect a Clutch?

Having a clutch that works correctly is key to being able transfer all the power your engine produces to the rear wheel (or wheels if you're a quad guy/gal). In this post I want to share some key clutch inspection techniques I use and recommend to help ensure your clutch works as it should. These tips are presented in a step by step format and are taken right from my book, The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook.   Basket Inspection
Inspect the driven gear which is secured to the basket. Look for damaged gear teeth and other imperfections. Grasp the gear and basket firmly, then try to twist the gear. The gear is secured to the basket either with rivets or fasteners. With use, the rivets or fasteners can loosen causing the gear to become loose. Most baskets use round rubber dampers to locate the gear to the basket, which are sandwiched behind the backing plate. The dampers can wear out and break, which will create excessive play between the gear and basket. Any looseness may have been accompanied by excessive gear noise or rattling sounds when the engine was previously running.     On baskets with loose gears and riveted backing plates the corrective action which will need to be taken is to either replace the basket or drill the rivets out. The idle gear may need to be pressed off in order to remove the backing plate. Once this is done, holes can be tapped and bolts installed which will secure the gear in place. Any rubber dampers that have worn can be replaced with aftermarket options. Check out this article for more details on clutch basket damper replacement: How to repair your clutch basket dampers for less than $30.   Inspect the needle bearing bore surface on the basket next. Run your fingernail across the bore feeling for signs of wear. The bearing surface should be smooth and free of imperfections. If the surface is grooved or worn the basket will need to be replaced.     Inspect the area inside the basket where the large thrust washer resides. Wear should be minimal in this area. If any grooving is present, the needle bearing and spacer the basket rides on may have worn causing the basket to wobble or the pressed in steel insert has backed out, ultimately causing the face of the basket to rub on the edges of the washer.     Check for bent clutch basket fingers on the basket. Then look for grooving on the basket fingers where the clutch discs come in contact with the fingers. Grooving is caused by the clutch discs slamming into the clutch basket fingers. Normally grooving will be more pronounced on the drive side fingers. Grooving is not abnormal and occurs through usage of the clutch.   If any grooving is present, use the end of a pick to evaluate how deep the grooves are. Any grooving that can catch the end of the pick is also likely to be able to catch the edge of the clutch discs. When this happens, the clutch will have difficulty engaging and disengaging. If your bike had clutch disengagement/engagement problems prior to disassembly, basket grooving is the most probable cause.     A file can be used to smooth the grooves so the discs no longer catch, however deep grooving is an indication that the basket is near the end of its life. When filing clutch basket fingers, attempt to remove as little material as possible and remove material evenly from all the fingers.   Some manufacturers provide a specification for the clearance between the clutch disc tang and the basket fingers. This clearance can be measured by temporarily installing a clutch disc into the basket and using a set of lash gauges to check the clearance between the two parts. Both the clutch disc tangs and basket fingers will wear so if the clearance is outside the service limit it may be possible to prolong the life of the basket by installing new clutch discs. This is a short term fix however, and replacing both components at once is advisable.     Bearing/Spacer Inspection
Inspect the clutch hub needle bearing and spacer for signs of wear. The needle bearing will be replaced with a new bearing, but if the spacer is in good condition it will be reused. Check for grooving or concavity along the surface of the spacer where the bearing rotates. While the needle bearing won’t be reused, it can be inspected as well to help confirm any problems associated with the clutch basket or spacer.     Hub Inspection
There are two main areas on the clutch hub which will wear. First, grooving can occur on the splines which locate the clutch plates to the hub. The grooves are a result of normal clutch use and occur when the steel clutch plates rotate back and forth in the spline grooves. Any grooving which catches the end of a pick should be considered problematic. Careful filing to smooth the grooves or hub replacement are the two options available for remedying the issue. The clutch plates must be able to easily slide back and forth along the hub, otherwise clutch disengagement/engagement problems will occur.     The second area susceptible to wear on the clutch hub is at the back face of the hub. This is where the outer clutch disc contacts the hub. When the clutch is engaged, the clutch disc and hub will rotate in unison. However, when the clutch is partially engaged or disengaged, the clutch disc will rub against the face of the hub causing both the hub and disc to wear. Look for uneven wear patterns and indications of how deep the clutch disc has worn into the clutch hub.     If the face of the clutch hub has worn excessively or unevenly, the hub should be replaced.   Pressure Plate Inspection
The interaction between the pressure plate and clutch disc is identical to the situation previously described between the clutch disc and clutch hub. Wear will occur on the face of the pressure plate which contacts the outside clutch disc. Determine the condition of the pressure plate by looking for signs of excessive or uneven wear on the face of the pressure plate.     Disc and Plate Inspection
Both the clutch discs and clutch plates are designed to be wear items which will need replacement from time to time. Thickness and straightness are the primary inspection criteria used to determine if either component requires replacement. If there are any problems with any of the discs or plates replacing them as a set is best.   Clutch Disc and Clutch Plate Inspection
Clutch discs are made out of various compositions of fibrous materials which wear at different rates, while clutch plates are made from steel. Service manuals will specify a minimum thickness that the clutch discs and plates can be. This thickness can easily be measured by using a caliper. Take measurements at three to four locations around the clutch disc or plate to confirm either has not worn unevenly.     Once all the disc and plate thicknesses have been measured, both should be inspected for warpage. This can be done by laying the disc or plate on a surface plate or other flat surface. A set of lash gauges are used to determine any warpage. The service manual should specify a maximum warpage value which is usually around 0.006” (0.15mm). Attempt to insert the 0.006” lash gauge underneath the clutch disc or plate at multiple points. If the feeler gauge slides beneath either of the parts, those parts are warped and should be replaced.     Clutch discs which have been overheated due to excessive clutch fanning by the rider, not only may warp, but also emit an unpleasant stinky burnt smell. If a noticeable smell is present, the discs have overheated and should be replaced. Likewise, clutch plates that have overheated will likely be warped and exhibit discoloration. The discoloration is a sign of excessive heat build up. Once the clutch plates have overheated, the material properties of the plate change, the hardness is reduced, and the plate becomes less wear resistant. This means discolored plates should be replaced.   Lastly, inspect the clutch disc tangs for wear, chipping, or damage. If any tangs are damaged the disc should be replaced.   Clutch Spring Inspection
Over time and due to normal clutch use, the clutch springs will shorten. Clutch spring minimum free length specifications are provided by manufactures and can easily be measured using a caliper.     Clutch springs that are shorter than the minimum spec provided by the manufacturer will not have sufficient spring pressure to keep the clutch from slipping under heavy loads. Any springs at or past their service limits require the replacement of all springs as a set. This way when the new springs are installed, even pressure is applied to the pressure plate.   I hope you enjoyed this passage from my book detailing clutch inspection. If you have additional tips you'd like to share please leave a comment!   If you want more technical DIY dirt bike engine information, learn more about the book on our website or on Amazon. Simply follow the links below!   The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook   Amazon Store     Thanks for reading!   -Paul

Paul Olesen

Paul Olesen

 

A Day's Work...So Close to Impossible

The ride through the eyes of the camera...   I found myself the other day at the base of a trail that quite frankly scared the crap out of me. I straddled my seat, both feet on the ground, motor idling, and my neck looking so far up, the back of my helmet hit the plastic drone case that I had strapped to my body. Video or it didn't happen, right? Well, you're in luck. Keep reading...    
 

The beginning of a perfect trail   I was solo. My buddy Alex was with me for part of the day, but he had a major situation with his business that forced him to peel off. I figured the trail would kick my butt and send me home without reaching the destination. I, however, thought I could at least reach the trailhead, fly the drone up along the side of the mountain to see what I was facing.
Being by myself, I can't take the chances that I would if I were riding with a group. Before you guys give me a hard time about riding solo, let me just say it is a stupid idea. I know that. I do it quite often because I have no other option. I live in a city of 700,000 people and I have one guy that will ride with me when he can. That's my good friend Alex. There are at best, 20 trail worthy dirt bikes in the entire city, and most are only used on an MX track. I ride solo, most of the time. I would rather not, but when I do, I find some crazy things.  
Some of the never ending switchbacks   This day was no different. Alex and I ripped through an hour and forty-five minutes of the most rhythmic, flowing, and scenic single track that one could imagine. From Cusco to the Sacred Valley via walking routes and animal paths that peak out at 14k feet down to the valley floor at around 9k. Once there, Alex and I parted ways with the assurance that I would continue with caution and care and let him know that I was safe when I got home. Sounds like my mother!   The afternoon was fading away. It was 2pm as I peered up the enormous mountainside. I could not see the top. It was thousands of feet in elevation above. There would be glaciers. The trail would pass through a number of climates in the next three and half miles. I would have to push my physical limits much further than I could imagine. I couldn't play it safe. I had to give it a go. With the beginning of the trail right in front of me, I started screaming at myself inside my helmet, "Git it Scotty!"   Releasing the clutch and twisting the throttle, I began a journey to a place I should have never gone in the first place. I proceeded. Switchback after switchback, ledge after ledge, I trudged up the side of a monster. Within minutes I was looking down as if from an airplane window, peering onto the valley floor where I had recently commenced.
I was an ace. I was riding like a champ. You guys know what I am talking about. It was my A game I brought with me on this ride. The switchbacks were gnarly, and each one that I railed just boosted my confidence.   I kept telling myself, Just another corner and I will take a break.
My goal was to reach the lake that I found on Google Earth that happens to be at 15,400ft and nestled in a glacier riddled alpine area. I was pretty sure that the trail would be impossible.  
I stared at this the whole way up the other side of the canyon   After 30 or so switchbacks and a relentless climb that never went flat for a second, the trail entered a rocky outcropping and into a chute filled with another batch of switchbacks. I thought, I am pretty sure this is the end of the trail.   I came across a sheer downhill section of six switchbacks that I could count by looking almost straight down the hillside. Risky!   I got off the bike, hiked down to make sure it was doable on the down, but also possible to get up as I may have to come back the same way. There certainly were no other trails on this mountainside.   I pumped myself up with some more screaming in my helmet, "You're a badass Scott! You got this!"   Down I lunged with the first tightening of the triceps. Uphill uses other muscles. I was fresh, but scared out of my wits. I had committed and therefore had to continue. Turn after turn, my bike couldn't make the corners without giving me the feeling that the back wheel and fender would push me into the abyss. With not enough space for the front tire to be on the trail below and the back to be on the trail above without a ledge in between, I found myself carefully muscling my aluminum horse down the path. I reached the final turn. The steep rock met me face to face. I managed to wrestle the bike around so it was pointed somewhat in the right direction. Fully committed, I pulled the clutch and began racing down the face of the rock to the dirt trail below. Keep your eyes on the dirt. The ledge that would have swallowed my bike after the 1000 foot tumble would have screwed up my day.   I made it. With my heart racing and my confidence boosted like a rocket, I took a drink of water, a few pictures, and pumped myself up for more. I remember looking back and thinking, I hope I can get up that later. Now let's get to the lake.   I spent a good two hours navigating a three and a half mile trail. I was thrilled to be there. Alone, I couldn't have done it any other way. I am not sure my buddy could have made it up, nor wanted to. It was high risk.   I hammered out another thirty to forty more switchbacks. Exhausted, I reached the height on the side of the mountain that had to be similar to the elevation of the lake. The trail went side hill and relatively the same level for a couple of hundred of yards. The rocks were brutal, but fun. The landscape greeted me with large granite slabs, altitude which turned my 450 into a 250, and a view that one has never seen from the saddle of a dirt bike. I had arrived. The lake stood there waiting for my arrival.  
Stoked!   As I reached the vista of the lake, my excitement spiked as I could only imagine the drone shots I would capture from that vantage point. The sun is good, no wind, and about 45 minutes of time before I need to get down the mountain. This is going to be amazing. I love shooting video!   I quickly set up a time lapse to begin running. I then turned my attention the assembling the drone. While hiding myself and my drone backpack from the field of view of the time lapse camera, I began putting the props on the bird. In the minute or so that it took for assembly of the drone, the sun disappeared, the wind picked up, and the sleet began tapping on the side of my helmet. I couldn't believe how fast the weather changed. I could no longer fly. I put it all back in the pack, sealed it up, and began to freeze. It was time to head down the mountain.   I finished up a few things at the top, but couldn't get off the mountain fast enough. With little to no oxygen, a piercing wind, countless small rocks of ice hitting my cheeks through my helmet and goggles, and a bit of fear resurfacing about the gnarly giants I must face on the trail on the return, I began my descent. I still had my confidence. I rode well for a few minutes until I found myself in a sunny and dry calm, just off the high alpine plateau. I don't have much time, but I hauled this drone up here to shoot some vids, I am gonna give it a shot.
I spent the next 15 minutes maximizing my time as a pilot and cinematographer and grabbing some cool images. The task of reaching the bottom before dark was still haunting me, so I packed up things and continued the descent. In what seemed like hundreds of switchbacks, I found myself facing the biggest of the giants. The rock wall that looked at me with daring eyes. It was waiting for me to return.   I gandered at the lines available, chose to hit it hard, reach my rear tire up to a high point on the rock, then high side my bike and let it cling the stone by way of a hooked foot peg and or handlebar.   Perfectly executed! I wasted little energy, caused no damage, and was ready to tackle the next monster. The ride back down to the trail head greeted me with a couple of falls, mostly because of my fatigue and the angle of the downhill switchbacks. I managed to reach the bottom of the trail with everything intact, hardly a drop of energy left, but a smile as wide as the Pacific Ocean.   It was a perfect trail. I could not be more stoked to be able to reach my desired destination. Solo...Yeah, I would have rather shared it with a good riding buddy. I wasn't dealt those cards.  
I had this little obstacle in my way...   What I was dealt was a winning hand. An amazing day with an amazing ride. I made it to the lake, busted out some new trails, and learned a lot about how to handle difficulty and fear. I made it home to be greeted with a hug from my wife and kids... the makings of a perfect day!   The reason for testing out the route is that in one month, a group of some of the best riders in Peru will be joining me on a ride. I believe this is exactly what they want. Something so close to impossible. I cannot wait to share my new riding spot with the guys.   Until next time, keep testing the impossible,   Scottiedawg   If you want to hear about all of the crazy trail tales from South America, follow the blog. You will be notified each time a new story is posted. Also, feel free to like us on Facebook at MotoMission Peru, and watch all of our videos on our YouTube Channel at MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures.

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

 

Are you getting the most out of your motocross practice sessions?

Sure, it's fun to put some laps in on a motocross track. But, you'll fall short of your potential if you're not using this key practice law of practicing important techniques separately. This is true for motocross cornering skills as well as motocross jumping skills. Did you know that riding really well requires mastering as many as 55 separate techniques, all laced seamlessly together? Find them all in the popular Motocross Practice Manual!     If you'd like more of my riding tips, browse my blog here on ThumperTalk or my website. If you'd like to be notified when I post new riding tips, subscribe by clicking the "follow" button (upper right).

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

What is holding you back from reaching your full potential?

When speaking with my clients, we frequently discuss training protocols (duration, intensity levels, frequency, workout purpose, etc.) however, nutrition is a big area of confusion for most riders. With this in mind, I wanted to discuss the importance of post workout/recovery nutrition. Simply put it is THE key component of improving your fitness and speed by 1% every day. The first 20 minutes after a workout or race, your muscles have an enzyme (glycogen synthase enzyme) that is responsible for the replenishment of depleted sugar (specifically glycogen) in your liver (to feed your brain) and muscles (for movement).   Benefits of Post Exercise Nutrition
Research has proven that consuming a post workout/race meal or snack consisting of a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates (for depleted sugar) to protein (to repair torn down muscle tissue) will not only facilitate your recovery but also help offset the negative side effects of training: high cortisol levels (a fat magnet) associated with physical and mental stress. Keep in mind, that training is designed to “stress” your muscles and various hormonal systems; however, too much intensity (HR too high) or duration (going to long) will cross that fine line from training into the zone of over training and the associated negative side effects.   Optimum Recovery Through Nutrition – Phase 1
To nail your post exercise/racing nutritional recover (at a 3:1) ratio, strive to consume 70-100 grams of carbohydrates, and 20-25 grams of protein (err on the high side of these ranges) within the first 20 minutes of finishing a workout or race (plan ahead to ensure that this materializes).   Optimum Recovery Through Nutrition – Phase 2
The second window of recovery occurs 2 to 3 hours after your workout or race. Similar to your immediate post workout/race meal or snack, consume a 3:1 carbohydrate/protein meal or snack.   Convenient Recovery Options
10-12 ounces of Recovery Fuel
10-12 ounces of a post exercise smoothie
2 hardboiled eggs and a piece of fresh fruit
10-12 ounces of chocolate milk
4-6 ounces of mixed nuts (macadamia, pecans, almonds, almonds) and organic raisins   Please let me know if you have any questions or need anything clarified.   Yours in sport & health,
-Coach Robb   Coach Robb has been working with riders & racers since 1987 and is the founder of the Complete Racing Solutions Performance Program, the Mental Blueprint of Success, MotoE Amateur Development Program & Nutritionally Green Supplements based out Orlando Florida.   CompleteRacingSolutions.com is a premium resource center for motocross, supercross and GNCC riders of all abilities and ages. Visit his website & subscribe to his bi-monthly newsletter that outlines the training solutions used with great success by Factory KTM/Red Bull’s Ryan Dungey, Star Yamaha’s Jerry Martin and Alex Martin, RCH’s Brock Tickle, Factory Kawasaki/Pro-Circuit’s Adam Cianciarulo, multi time Loretta Lynn’s & Mini O Champion’s Jordan Bailey (Monster/Pro-Circuit/Kawasaki), multi time amateur national champion Jon Jon Ames (Thousand Oaks Yamaha), GNCC champion Charlie Mullins (Factory Red Bull/KTM), Chris Bach & GNCC Quad racer Roman Brown along thousands of riders all around the world.   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, and stretching and soft tissue maintenance. Please visit CompleteRacingSolutions.com to subscribe to his bi-newsletter and learn more about various resources for riders. You can follow him on Twitter: @MotoCoachRobb & on Facebook: Coach Robb.   Coach Robb is a regular contributor to Vurbmoto.com, Racer XVT, FLMX & FTR Magazine and various websites. Robb can also be heard on the monthly radio show DMXS answering listener’s questions about nutrition & fitness.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

15 Simple Foods to Fuel Your Workouts and Races

When it comes to getting faster and having better endurance, nothing creates more confusion than what to eat and when. I receive close to three hundred emails a day, and I would say that 25% of them pertain to nutrition and hydration. With the internet being the go to source for most everyone, the conflicting claims about carbs, protein and fat have left most people frustrated.   As stated by Liz Applegate, Ph.D “most supermarkets stock more than 30,000 items, yet every time we race up and down the aisles of the grocery store, we toss into our carts the same 10 to 15 foods. Which isn't such a bad thing, as long as you're taking home the right foods -- ones that will build muscle, burn fat and fuel your workouts. These 15 foods fit the bill -- add these to your must-buy list:”   Almonds These are an excellent source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that many of us fall short on because there are so few good food sources of it. And the form of vitamin E found in the nuts, called gamma-tocopherol (a form not typically found in supplements), may also help protect against cancer.   Eggs One egg fulfills about 10 percent of your daily protein needs. Egg protein is the most complete food protein short of human breast milk, which means the protein in eggs contains all the crucial amino acids your hard-working muscles need to promote recovery.   Sweet Potatoes Just a single 100-calorie sweet potato supplies over 250 percent of the DV for vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, the powerful antioxidant. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, iron, and the two trace minerals manganese and copper.   Whole-Grain Cereal with Protein Look for whole-grain cereals that offer at least five grams of fiber and at least eight grams of protein. If you pour on a cup of milk or soymilk, you'll get 30 to 40 percent of your protein needs in one bowl.   Oranges Each oranges supply over 100 percent of the DV for the antioxidant vitamin C, and a recent study from the University of North Carolina Greensboro showed that taking vitamin C supplements for two weeks prior to challenging arm exercises helped alleviate muscle soreness.   Canned Black Beans One cup of these beauties provides 30 percent of the DV for protein, almost 60 percent of the DV for fiber (much of it as the cholesterol-lowering soluble type), and 60 percent of the DV for folate, a B vitamin that plays a key role in heart health and circulation.   Mixed Salad Greens Rather than selecting one type of lettuce for your salad, choose mixed greens, which typically offer five or more colorful delicate greens such as radicchio, butter leaf, curly endive, and mache. Each variety offers a unique blend of phytonutrients that research suggests may fend off age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer's, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.   Salmon Besides being an excellent source of high-quality protein (you get about 30 grams in a four-ounce serving), salmon is one of the best food sources of omega-3 fats. These essential fats help balance the body's inflammation response, a bodily function that when disturbed appears to be linked to many diseases including asthma.   Whole-Grain Bread Whole-grain bread may help the weight-conscious. One study showed that women who eat whole-grain bread weigh less than those who eat refined white bread and other grains.   Frozen Stir-Fry Vegetables Research shows that eating a combination of antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and vitamin C, may lessen muscle soreness after hard workouts by reducing the inflammation caused by free-radical damage.   Whole-Grain Pasta Whole-grain versions are a must over refined pastas because they contain more fiber to fill you up, additional B vitamins that are crucial to energy metabolism, and disease-fighting compounds such as lignans.   Chicken Along with protein, chicken contains selenium, a trace element that helps protect muscles from the free-radical damage that can occur during exercise, and niacin, a B vitamin that helps regulate fat burning during exercise.   Frozen Mixed Berries The colorful compounds that make blueberries blue, blackberries deep purple, and raspberries a rich shade of red are called anthocyanins--a powerful group of antioxidants that may help stave off Alzheimer's disease and some cancers.   Dark Chocolate Chocolate contains potent antioxidants called flavonols that can boost heart health. In one study, a group of soccer players had lower blood pressure and total cholesterol levels, and less artery-clogging LDL cholesterol after just two weeks of eating chocolate daily. Other research suggests that the chocolate flavonols ease inflammation and help prevent blood substances from becoming sticky, which lowers the risk of potential blood clots.   Greek Yogurt Besides being a good source of protein and calcium (one cup provides 13 grams of protein and 40 percent of the DV for calcium), yogurt with live cultures provides the healthy bacteria your digestive tract needs to function optimally.  
Coach Robb has been working with riders & racers since 1987 and is the founder of the Complete Racing Solutions Performance Program, the Mental Blueprint of Success, MotoE Amateur Development Program & Nutritionally Green Supplements based out Orlando Florida.   CompleteRacingSolutions.com is a premium resource center for motocross, supercross and GNCC riders of all abilities and ages. Visit his website & subscribe to his bi-monthly newsletter that outlines the training solutions used with great success by Factory KTM/Red Bull’s Ryan Dungey, Star Yamaha’s Jerry Martin and Alex Martin, RCH’s Brock Tickle, Factory Kawasaki/Pro-Circuit’s Adam Cianciarulo, multi time Loretta Lynn’s & Mini O Champion’s Jordan Bailey (Monster/Pro-Circuit/Kawasaki), multi time amateur national champion Jon Jon Ames (Thousand Oaks Yamaha), GNCC champion Charlie Mullins (Factory Red Bull/KTM), Chris Bach & GNCC Quad racer Roman Brown along thousands of riders all around the world.   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, and stretching and soft tissue maintenance. Please visit CompleteRacingSolutions.com to subscribe to his bi-newsletter and learn more about various resources for riders. You can follow him on Twitter: @MotoCoachRobb & on Facebook: Coach Robb.   Coach Robb is a regular contributor to Vurbmoto.com, Racer XVT, FLMX & FTR Magazine and various websites. Robb can also be heard on the monthly radio show DMXS answering listener’s questions about nutrition & fitness.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Is A Piston Upgrade Right For You and Your Four-Stroke?

This month I wanted to share an exert from the Race and Performance Engine Building chapter in my book, The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook. If you've been wondering how high compression pistons work and if they are right for your application, read on!   Piston upgrades are normally considered when changing the compression ratio is desired or larger valves are installed. In both instances the shape of the piston is altered either to reduce the volume in the combustion chamber or to allocate additional room for larger valve pockets.   The compression ratio defines how much the original air/fuel mixture which was sucked into the engine is compressed. The following equation shows how an engine’s compression ratio can be calculated.     The swept volume is the volume that the piston displaces as it moves through its stroke. Mathematically this volume can be determined using the following equation.     The clearance volume is the volume of the combustion chamber when the piston is at top dead center (TDC). While manufacturers specify what the compression ratio should be, due to subtleties in manufacturing, parts vary slightly from engine to engine so finding the exact clearance volume of your engine actually requires measuring the clearance volume.   Undoubtedly you have probably heard that raising the compression ratio will increase the power of an engine. This is definitely true, however you should be aware of the other consequences that come along with this.   The more the air/fuel mixture can be compressed before it is combusted, the more energy which can be extracted from it. The reason for this is due to thermodynamic laws. In summary, the temperature difference between the combusted mixture when it is hottest and coolest determines the power and efficiency of the engine. The hottest point of the mixture will arrive shortly after the mixture has been ignited and the coolest point will occur around the point where the exhaust valves open. Since the temperature of a gas increases as its volume decreases, it is easy to see how increasing the compression ratio increases the overall combustion temperature. Something less obvious is that because the gases are compressed more, they will expand more and actually be cooler by the time the exhaust valves open.
  If increasing the temperature of the compressed mixture is good, you might be wondering what keeps us from raising it higher and higher. Detonation, which is a by product of the additional heat and pressure in the combustion chamber, is the main reason the compression ratio can’t be increased beyond a certain point. Detonation occurs after the spark plug has ignited the air/fuel mixture. Normally once the spark has ignited the mixture, the flame will propagate outwards from the spark plug evenly in all directions. When detonation occurs some of the remaining air/fuel mixture situated towards the edges of the combustion chamber spontaneously combusts before the flame reaches it. When this happens a large spike in combustion pressure occurs. If severe enough detonation can cause engine damage in the form of pitting on the piston crown, broken ring lands, and scuffing of the piston from overheating.   To combat detonation there are a few different parameters which can be tweaked to help alleviate the problem. The air/fuel ratio can be altered along with the engine’s ignition timing to change the peak combustion temperatures, a fuel with a higher octane rating can be used which will be more resistant to detonation, and upgrades to the cooling system can be carried out to help keep the combustion chamber cooler.   Along with increasing the likelihood of detonation as a result of increasing the compression ratio, the engine will also produce more heat. The cooling system must absorb this additional heat and be able to adequately cool the engine, otherwise overheating and detonation may be problematic. Radiator size, thickness, and the speeds at which you ride at all play a big role in how efficiently the cooling system operates.   Now that you have an understanding of how high compression pistons affect performance, you can consider if this will be a good modification for you. Aftermarket pistons are usually offered in a few different compression ratio increases. You will want to look closely to see if any high octane fuels will be required to use in conjunction with the piston and if any cooling system improvements are necessary.   For racers looking to extract all the power from their bike, adding a high compression piston is one of the things that will be necessary. If you do a lot of tight woods riding, hare scramble racing, or enduros where low speeds are the norm, you may want to shy away from raising the compression ratio as the cooling system will have difficulty dealing with the increased heat at low speeds where airflow is limited.   I hope you enjoyed this excerpt on piston modifications and how they affect an engine. If you liked this write up and are interested in learning more about performance options and four stroke engine building, pick up a copy of my book. Right now the book is on sale at 20% off our list price when you order within the next two weeks.   You can grab your discounted copy off our site here: The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook Or on Amazon: Amazon Book Store     Thanks for reading and have a great week!   -Paul

Paul Olesen

Paul Olesen

 

Bro Hug at Trail's End

The official tour video...feel free to share it with your riding buddies!   I have the privilege of surrounding myself with various levels of dirt riders from all corners of the globe. There is one thing that never gets exhausting for me...Pushing people deeper into a passion for dirt biking.   Please enjoy this helmet cam riding video full of awesome trails & scenery from a recent tour in the Andes of Peru.
   

A worthy reward!   I recently finished up with a two day ride that took us into some incredible places. Curt was the name of my customer. He and I quickly hit it off. We both shared a lots of years of moto stories and crazy experiences. Curt has been around the block with dirtbikes. He has been racing for a lot of years, in a lot of areas, and knows a lot of people in the moto world. I never know what my customers will be like once we hit the trail.   I was pleasantly surprised. Curt was no spring chicken. He was one of those guys that appeared to be ten years younger than his actual age. He rode like a beast, had the endurance of a mule, and was always happy as a clam.   Curt and I started on a rhythmic ridgeline trail above the city of Cusco which finished a few hours later in Chinchero. We each consumed a half of a pollo a la brasa (rotisserie chicken-Peruvian style) for lunch , then finished off the day with an epic Inca trail leading down to the Sacred Valley and the Urubamba river below. The ride is just plain fun. With views spread throughout the length of the route, we took plenty of pictures and shared numbers of stories. The first day was perfect.  
The landscape behind the Sacred Valley   Day two began with a world class trail that leads to an exotic location that only a hand full of people have ever seen from the seat of a motorcycle. All of them have been with me. Nobody else would have ever known to ride this trail. Leave it to MotoMission to take you places like this.   The trail is not easy. It has its parts of rhythm and flow, but there are sections of rock stairs, loose bowling ball size rock, and switchbacks that sneak up and try to throw you off the route. Curt pounded through each obstacle with fervor. He impressed the heck out of me.
Our goal was to reach a high mountain lake, eat a snack, then bomb down the same trail we had just climbed an hour before. When we reached the lake, I was surprised by Curts reaction.  
No apologies for the views!   He glared out over the alpine lake, wind blowing off the water and into his face. With tears welling up and into his eyes, he turned and looked at me. He was in the midst of receiving his reward for the strugglesome ride, the physical exhaustion, and the hoards of fear he had to overcome to reach the prize. He made it.  
A couple of content fellas   "Scott? Can I have a hug?" Curt asked with his arms spread wide. "I cannot thank you enough."
I must admit, normally I get a high five or a fist bump. This time it was a deep hearted bro hug from an emotionally stirred enduro rider who had just upped the ante on the best riding day of his life. My goal...Reached!   To say it was a great ride would be an understatement. Curt was smiling from ear to ear all the way back to headquarters. His deep passion for motos grew as a result of our two days of activities. That is what I call a successful tour.
I cannot wait to do it again.
Scottiedawg   Scott Englund is the owner/guide of MotoMission Peru. The goal of Motomission Peru is to share our backyard with other dirtbike enthusiast that want an exotic enduro adventure in the Andes of Peru, South America. Our operation is a social enterprise which gives 100% of its profits back to the community in the form of financial support for a number of projects helping children and families. If you are interested in booking your next riding adventure with MotoMission, please contact Scott at scott@motomissionperu.com

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

 

MX Riding Tip: How to Maximize Speed in Flat, Slippery Corners

Hey TT'ers, here's a short video I did that breaks down the techniques & skills necessary to maximize your speed & control through flat, slippery corners. Give it a watch and post up any questions that you have for me (comments section below). I'll do my best to point you in the right direction.

How's your flat corning speed & control? What's giving you the most trouble? Let's get a good discussion going on this topic; it's an important one if you want to win races.

 

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

Gary Semics
Professional MX Trainer

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

Dangers of Ice Baths and Anti-Inflammatory Medicine

Based on research – we need to rethink Ice Baths & Anti-Inflammatory Medicine
Each year, thanks to improvements in technology & extensive research, exercise physiologists are discovering more about how the body responds to the numerous variables that contribute to performance. This includes, but is not limited to: energy systems, muscular strength & endurance, nutrition & hydration, neuromuscular and many more. With this being said, it is a surprise that many performance coaches are adhering to the mindset that ice baths and NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as aspirin & ibuprofen are still being advocated as part of the recovery process.   In 2006, the European Journal of Applied Physiology studied a group of college age males for six weeks while they trained on stationary bicycles. Following each workout, each student placed one leg in an ice bath and the other was left out and kept at room temperature. Over the six weeks, they discovered that the non-iced leg had gained more strength, circulation and endurance.   At the University of Florida, a study found that muscle strength decreased after taking NSAID’s while a study at the University of Arkansas showed that high doses of ibuprofen appeared to limit the body’s ability to increase the development of new muscle.   As stated by Mackenzie Lobby, “there is more than a decade of research that backs up these studies’s suggesting that for recovery, there are better options than ice baths and anti-inflammatory drugs”. According to Dr. Jennifer Solomon, a sports medicine physician in NY City, “The bottom line is that in order to recover, your body needs to go through a process which includes inflammation – and ice bathes and NSAID’s inhibit the normal inflammatory process”. Dr. Solomon points to a more natural approach to recovery, low intensity & impact exercise, dynamic movements after a warm up and a post exercise massage.   Anti-Inflammatory Medicine
Old School: use anti-inflammatory medicine to control inflammation after a hard workout or race
New School: use raw fruits & vegetables, eliminate refined carbohydrates (most anything in a box or a bag that you eat), consume extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, high quality Omega 3 fish oil & walnuts to offset inflammation; foam roll and if possible massage work.
Exception: when dealing with inflammation and swelling associated with an injury, anti-inflammatory medicine will help limit the negative side effects of excessive swelling: pain and limited range of motion. This would be imperative in a multi-day race. Remember, it is the excessive, long term use of NSAID’s that have proven to inhibit new muscle regeneration, muscular strength and interrupt sleep patterns.   Cold Plunge & Ice Baths
Old School: use to reduce muscle damage & speed up recovery
New School: unless you are racing a multi-day event (see below), let your muscles recover and rebuild naturally. The inflammation process is part of adaptation to training and racing, facilitate recovery with real food and soft tissue work (foam roller, trigger point & massage work).
Exception: similar to NSAID’s, when dealing with inflammation and swelling associated with an injury or high intensity racing over several days, a cold plunge/bath will help offset the inflammation & swelling. Remember, the inflammation process is a natural reaction to training and racing, and your body needs the opportunity to react and adapt long term for optimum performance results.   How To Reduce Your Core Body Temperature
The key is to bring down the core body temperature slowly to minimize the “shock” to your body. Think about when someone falls into a frozen lake, the biggest shock to the body is the drastic temperature change. This creates incredible stress and ultimately fatigue to the body. The body’s natural defense mechanism is to try and heat the body of water that you are in, unfortunately, being submerged in freezing cold water lowers the core body temperature too quickly and you begin to shiver (your body’s natural way to warm itself). Shivering is fatiguing on the body and uses a tremendous amount of energy – not a good state to be in between races when you are attempting to conserve energy to finish each race strong.   Step 1: Come off of the track and into the shade of your awning, strip out of your gear (logistics pending) and sit under an oscillating fan. Place hand clothes on the back of your neck, both wrists and your groin. On your neck and groin you have to large arteries that will help decrease your body temperature quickly. Your wrists are low in fat and will help cool the core temperature quickly as well. Consume a cold sports drink slowly.   Step 2: Pour room temperature water onto the wash clothes while you are sitting under the fan; continue to pour onto the clothes to keep them damp with the air blowing across them. Duration: 3-5 minutes.   Step 3: Pour slightly cooler water (not ice cold) onto the wash clothes while the fan blows across the slightly cooler clothes. Continue to re-hydrate with cold sports drink. Duration 3-5 minutes.   Step 4: Pour ice cold water onto the wash clothes while the fan blows across the cold clothes. Duration: until you begin to feel slightly chilled. Then move back to room temperature water and stay under the fan. If you begin to get “goose bumps”, discontinue the water and adjust time in front of the fan accordingly. Remember, if you get too cold, your body begins to shiver to create internal heat, robbing you of much needed energy.   Once you have pulled your core temperature down; strive to consume fresh fruit for the water, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes to prepare you for your next race. Remember to add some high quality, easily digestible protein to control your hunger during the day (protein and fat are the only elements that control your hunger).   Thank you for taking the time to read this article, if you have any questions about your current program or would like MotoE to create a customized mental, nutrition and performance program for your racing program, please email me directly.   -Coach Robb   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 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 bi-monthly newsletter that outlines the training solutions used by Factory KTM/Red Bull’s Ryan Dungey, Star Yamaha’s Jerry Martin and Alex Martin, RCH’s Brock Tickle, Factory Kawasaki/Pro-Circuit’s Adam Cianciarulo, multi-time Loretta Lynn’s & Mini O Champion’s Jordan Bailey (Factory Monster Energy/Kawasaki) GNCC bike racers Charlie Mullins and Chris Bach, and GNCC Quad racer Roman Brown along with thousands of riders all around the world!   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. Please visit CompleteRacingSolutions.com to subscribe to his bi-newsletter and learn more about various resources for riders. You can follow him socially on Twitter: @MotoCoachRobb & Facebook: Coach Robb.   In addition to his own newsletters, Coach Robb is a regular contributor to Vurbmoto.com, Racer XVT, iMotoOnline, ThumperTalk & and various websites. Robb can also be heard on the monthly radio show DMXS answering listener’s questions about nutrition & fitness.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

What you really need to know about air filter maintenance

Air Filter Maintenance - What You Need To Know
In my last post I shared an account of what happens when dirt gets past the air filter and into an engine. This was a telling tale, however I want to go further and discuss key components of what can be done in terms of maintenance to limit the chances of sucking in dirt. Whether you ride a two-stroke or four-stroke, it makes no difference, the importance of keeping dirt out cannot be overstated.   I want to start off by thanking those that left constructive comments in my previous post. Your insights into filter maintenance are much appreciated and help reinforce what I’m about to share.   How often should I change my air filter?
This depends entirely on the conditions you ride in. Dusty dry conditions will warrant more frequent filter changes than a damp riding environment where dust is non-existent. The amount of dirt accumulation that is acceptable is subjective, but I always err on the safe side. As an example, my filters are blue when freshly oiled and as soon as they start to become blotchy and start to turn color I change them.   Can I change my air filter too often?
Yes and no. I say yes only because every time the filter is removed there is a chance for dirt to enter the engine. A sensible changing regimen decreases the odds of dirt getting into the engine as the filter is removed/installed.   What to Use
I’ve personally been using FFT filter oil, however, there are many great options out there. No Toil’s water based oil system is something I’ve heard good things about and would like to try too. Asking other riders or doing a quick search will certainly turn up more great options as well.   Removing the filter
The main point I want to mention here is to be careful when removing the filter from the airbox so that dirt does not come off the filter or surrounding areas and find its way into the intake. On most bikes, fitting the filter between the subframe is a tight fit and dirt can occasionally come off as the filter is pulled up.     To help prevent this, clean the subframe or any areas the filter is likely to contact prior to removing it. Also watch for dirt accumulation at the top of the filter between the sealing flange and airbox.   Airbox Cleaning
Prior to any cleaning efforts be sure to use an air box cover or stick a clean rag in the intake tract which will help ensure any dirt that is dislodged won’t make its way into the engine.   Filter Cleaning
The correct way to clean a filter depends entirely on the type of oil used. Petroleum based oils will require a two step cleaning process. First a solvent must be used which removes the majority of the dirt. Second, the filter must be cleaned in soapy water and rinsed.   Water based oils only require a one step cleaning process using soapy water or a water based filter cleaner.   Selecting Solvents for Cleaning Away Petroleum Oils
Air filters consist of multiple foam elements which are bonded together chemically with adhesives. Depending on the adhesives used in the filter, certain solvents may or may not react. If a reaction occurs, the joint can break down and the filter can be ruined.   When selecting a solvent, it is always a safe bet to follow the recommendations provided by the filter manufacturers. However, as many will point out through their own experiences, there are several potential solvents that can work in place of the manufacturer’s.   A quick forum search will surely result in an overwhelming number of hits on filter cleaning and potential solvent solutions. I personally use parts washing fluid which I've downgraded from the washer to a bucket.   Cleaning Technique
The biggest tip I can share here is to make sure you only squeeze the filter when cleaning, don’t twist it. Squeezing lessens the likelihood of the glued joints getting damaged.   Filter Oiling
The goal is to get complete uniform saturation without over oiling. This can be done a number of ways and is largely dependent on the method of application (rubbing in by hand, dunking in oil, spray on, etc.).   My preferred method is to dispense oil from a bottle and work it in by hand. I believe this process keeps the amount of excess oil at bay, isn’t too messy, and it’s relatively easy to get good uniform saturation.   Many filters have two stages, a coarse foam filter element good for trapping large particles and a fine element suited for trapping smaller contaminants. Be sure to work oil into both elements.   Remember when working the oil in to be gentle with the filter. Rub and squeeze but don’t twist.     Once the filter is saturated with oil remove any excess by carefully squeezing the filter. Ideally, very little excess oil should get squeezed out, but remember, this is entirely dependent of how generous oil was applied. After excess oil has vacated the filter a nice even thin layer of oil should be visible.   Batch
Filter oiling is a dirty job. No matter how hard I try, oil always seems to end up where I don’t want it. To make things messy less frequently, batch the filter cleaning and oiling process. Buy a few filters, oil them, use them, clean them, and then repeat the process all over again so the task isn’t done as regularly.   Keep the pre-oiled filters in Ziploc bags so that they’re ready to go when you need them.     Greasing the Flange
Is it necessary? I believe the directive to grease the flange of the filter may have originated long ago when the sealing flanges of filters were not predominantly foam. Nowadays whether grease is necessary or not is mostly personal preference accompanied by whether or not the filter cage and airbox seal flat to one another, and how tacky the oil is that is being used. Personally, I still use a waterproof grease on my filter rims, however I’m aware it is probably not necessary in all circumstances.   Installation
Keeping dirt off the freshly oiled filter during installation is the main challenge. There are a few helpful tips I can share for doing this.   First, make sure the bolt is installed in the filter cage! It’s frustrating when you forget it.   Once you’re ready to install the filter I find that rotating the filter 90 degrees to its normal direction so that it can more easily be slipped past the subframe makes things much easier. Once down in the airbox the filter can be rotated into position.     The other option is to use a plastic bag as a shield effectively covering the filter while it is being lowered down. Once in position the bag can be removed.   Wrap Up
I hope you’ve enjoyed my post on air filter maintenance. If you have any questions or comments please share them below!   For those of you interested in all things engine related check out my book, The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook for more awesome information. In honor of Independence Day we’re having a two week sale where you can save 15% by entering offer code july4th at checkout if you order before July 17th.     Thanks for reading!   -Paul

Paul Olesen

Paul Olesen

 

Pain vs Gain

Jamie and Scott at the beginning of the adventure...Ready to roll!     The official tour video...Check out the ride!   I picked up Jamie at the airport. He was unfamiliar as I had never seen a picture nor had much else to go on but instinct. I do have some life experience in stereotyping people, so I mustered up my best and started from there.
A new batch of people began pouring out of the airport exit. It must have been his flight. What would he look like? I knew he was Canadian. I knew he was in his twenties. I knew he was an avid dirtbiker. He was traveling alone. I must say that it was not hard to pick out the tall, long haired guy with a Troy Lee Designs moto hat and a backpack with the Canadian flag proudly flopping side to side.   On top of the pass and taking in another view   I waved him down, and the journey began. Jamie checked into his hotel, received a little tour of the downtown area of Cusco, then spent a couple of days acclimating to the altitude.
Day one of the ride came. I picked up Jamie and headed to the international headquarters of MotoMission (better known as my house). We carefully packed for a four day journey through the back country of Peru. One certainly does not want to leave anything out, but the pack seems to fill too quickly.   They said we couldn't make it   Jamie had taken a hard crash just a few days before his arrival in Peru. He was back home goofing around doing wheelies and forgot to cover his brake and went down hard enough to where he walked with a heavy limp. He must have been in pain as he made mention about lightening up the planned ride from a super hard enduro to something more manageable just so he could see how he could manage the pain.
  Taking a little breather   There is something that intrigues me about priorities and pain. I watch the pro motocross series and see those guys ride with major injuries. Four weeks out on broken bones, crushed vertabrae, punctured lungs; I cannot imagine the pain. What I can imagine and relate with, is the absolute thrill that we receive when we throw our leg over a motorcycle. That is what pushes us to keep on going despite the pain. We prioritize the elements of our lives in such a way to receive the most value. Pain lowers the value, but the thrill of ripping through the Andes was enough for Jamie to push forward.
I was able to modify the route a bit. The first day was tough for Jamie and a bit too much foot work. Day two, we ended up riding all the way to the jungle and back into the Andes. It was a lot of dirt road, but it gave Jamie a good break from the hard enduro.
Day three was an exploratory day. Jamie was feeling good, and kept pushing forward while we found and explored numerous virgin trails. We rode for an entire day on new stuff. Even I had not even run the trails. Pure exploration! What a thrill.
Check out the video for a good run down of the tour. I like to put together a video of each adventure. It's a great way to show people about riding in Peru. And if that isn't enough, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube Channel at MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures. There are a ton of cool ride vids on there.
  A happy fella!   As we pounded out four full days of riding, I had some solid helmet time to think. That is where the pondering of our ride priorities idea hit me. I began to think about the times that I have ridden with a messed up back, knee, or elbow. I thought about the times in my life where I played baseball with a foot cast or my hand wrapped up for my opening tennis match of the season. We tend to have a little bit more in the "tank" so to speak, when a fun time is at stake.
Riding a dirtbike is certainly one of those activities that many people love to do so much so that we overcome pain and discomfort for the thrill of the ride. I see it every Saturday in the ranks of the pros. I see it when I ride with my buddies. I saw it with Jamie. I know that I am involved in a special kind of sport when people are so willing to throw their leg over a bike. Makes me appreciate the times when the wheels are turning.
Until the next one...
Scottiedawg

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

 

4 Reasons Why Training Might Be Making You Feel Nauseated

Nutrition and how the human body absorbs and responds is unique from individual to individual, influenced by outside variables (i.e. heat, humidity and intensity) and has to be validated by trial and error. Let’s review some basic elements that may cause nausea and some suggestions on how to reduce or eliminate associated symptoms.   Cause #1: Pre Race Anxiety & Race Intensity
Everyone experiences anticipation and stress on race day. Pre race stress can lead to feelings of nausea and may have a negative effect on your race day nutritional plans. This is caused by the fact that body has to “decide” which is more important: digestion for fuel or maintaining core body temperature.   Digestion: blood & water are needed in the digestion process to convert your food to stored sugar
Performance: your racing efforts require blood (for oxygen to be carried to the working muscles) along with water (to be diverted to your skin to rid yourself of internal heat).   You can see how this creates a “stress” on your entire body as it attempt to prioritize what to do: break down food for fuel or sweat to maintain your core body temperature. Solution: consume easily digestible foods that maintain blood sugar levels within the blood.   Cause #2: Food Timing & Types
Low blood sugar levels are frequently associated with dizziness and nausea. Maintaining a consistent blood sugar level has a significant impact on your energy and performance. Because the body stores carbohydrates in limited quantities, 60-90 minutes of stored energy in the muscles and liver, it is important to eat throughout the day. To keep your blood sugar level stable and energy stores high, aim to eat 4 to 6 small meals throughout your race day. Solution: eat at the correct time with the correct types of food.   Timing
Give yourself 2 hours between your prerace meal and start time. This will allow enough time for your body to break down, absorb and purge completely. On race day, choose food items that are easy to digest (see below).   Types
The following sources of carbohydrates (stored in the muscles as glycogen) should be consumed throughout the day: whole wheat grains, rye, stone ground bread, oatmeal, lentils, beans, peas, asparagus, broccoli, fresh ripe fruit (specifically apples, pears, apricots & bananas) high quality cereals, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, couscous and quinoa.   The following sources of carbohydrates should be consumed immediately after your race: white potatoes, watermelon, white rice, noodles, cereal, waffles and pancakes.   Don't forget the protein
For controlling appetite and speeding up recovery after your race, immediately consume a carbohydrate-protein beverage to replace depleted sugar & repair torn down muscle tissue. The ideal recovery nutrition source is 150 to 200 calories at a mixture of 3:1 of carbohydrates & protein. By consuming this carb-protein drink within 30 minutes of your race; your body takes advantage of a highly active enzyme (glycogen synthase) responsible for replenishing depleted sugar within the muscle and liver. This will result in a higher level of replenishment, setting you up for higher levels of output in your next race.   The following foods are great sources of protein: salmon, tuna, lean deli meat, mixed nuts (avoid peanuts), beans, lentils, tofu, whey, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, ice cream (if you are not lactose intolerant).   Avoid Excessive fiber & fat
Meals in the day leading up to the race need to be easy to digest. As mentioned above, stick to carbohydrate-based meals with lean protein and a small amount of fat. The low fiber residue will lessen the severity of G.I. (gastro-intestinal) disturbances on race day.   Cause #3: Fluid Timing, Types and Amounts
The key to proper hydration is not the act of drinking water and sports drinks that contain sugar and electrolytes, but rather the absorption of what you drink. Solution: drink at the right time with the correct concentration of carbohydrates & electrolytes specific to your sweat rate.   Timing
Throughout the day, sip consistently on a sports drink that has a 4-6% carbohydrate concentration and a solid electrolyte profile (Energy Fuel) to ensure that you are maintaining your hydration levels.   1 Hour before your race: consume 8 to 10 ounces of ice cold sports drink (cold absorbs better than warm)
15 Minutes before your race: consume 4-6 ounces of your ice cold sports drink
Immediately following your race: consume 8 to 10 ounces of your sports drink; when you have raced your last race of the day, consume your protein-carbohydrate beverage as mentioned previously.   Drinking too much water can lead to a state of hyponatremia (low blood sodium) which can increase nausea related symptoms. Drinking too little water can lead to a state of de-hydration which can also cause nausea related symptoms. The key is to determine the optimum amount of fluids to consume – see below.   Amounts
You need to determine your sweat rate given your intensity level, duration, air temperature and humidity. If you haven’t picked up a copy of Coach Robb’s Sweat Rate Calculator, please email me directly and I will forward you a copy for FREE. By determining your sweat rate, you can determine how much fluid you need to consume on race day.   Choosing the right sports drink
Research science has shown that the key to maintaining high levels of energy from a sports drink is determined by how quickly the body can convert the sugar to energy. Complex carbohydrates have to be broken down over a long period of time which results in a slower delivery of energy. During high intensity racing (and in high temperatures), the digestive process is slowed down, as mentioned earlier because the body is working hard to deliver oxygen and rid itself of heat. When you compound a slowed digestive system with complex carbohydrates, you have delayed delivery of energy for racing.   The solution is to use sports drinks that have a 4-6% concentration rate, which are made from simple sugars and have electrolytes added for better absorption. A product that I helped develop, Energy Fuel, has this exact profile and has been tested for over a year with great results on the track. The sugar in Energy Fuel (cane sugar) is absorbed passively (without the need of your digestive system to break it down) and will not only sustain your energy, but also help prevent any backing up in the stomach (and associated discomforts).   Cause #4: Cold & Hot Environments
Both hot and cold weather places stress on your body by elevating your heart rate. This places a demand on your stored sugar levels and begins to shut down your digestive process (refer to Causes 1-3). Solution: choose your racing gear accordingly.   Hot weather: as your body strives to rid itself of heat, you will notice that your heart rate will be elevated and sweating will start immediately. Wear gear that is light in color, has wick away characteristics and vented.   Cold-weather: your body is constantly trying to conserve heat & stay warm (hence the shivering). Wear throw away clothing to the start line & discard as come up to the starting line.   Other possible irritants
Alcohol, caffeine, spices, artificial sweeteners & ibuprofen can create irritation in some people. The body’s various systems (circulatory, respiratory, etc.) become more sensitive to any irritants when under physical emotional or mental stress. Racing tends to present all three of these types of stress. Identifying anything that might create symptoms before you get to the races will result in better race day results.   What else can you do?
As always, speak with your physician about anti-nausea medication that may offer some relief when racing or training hard. Probiotics may assist with G.I. disturbances as well as being of assistance to general immune health.   Yours in health and sport,
Coach Robb   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 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 bi-monthly newsletter that outlines the training solutions used by Factory KTM/Red Bull’s Ryan Dungey, Star Yamaha’s Jerry Martin and Alex Martin, RCH’s Brock Tickle, Factory Kawasaki/Pro-Circuit’s Adam Cianciarulo, multi-time Loretta Lynn’s & Mini O Champion’s Jordan Bailey (Factory Monster Energy/Kawasaki) GNCC bike racers Charlie Mullins and Chris Bach, and GNCC Quad racer Roman Brown along with thousands of riders all around the world!   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. Please visit CompleteRacingSolutions.com to subscribe to his bi-newsletter and learn more about various resources for riders. You can follow him socially on Twitter: @MotoCoachRobb & Facebook: Coach Robb.   In addition to his own newsletters, Coach Robb is a regular contributor to Vurbmoto, Racer XVT, iMotoOnline, ThumperTalk & and various websites. Robb can also be heard on the monthly radio show DMXS answering listener’s questions about nutrition & fitness.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

How Setbacks Can Elevate Your Performance

Extended recovery can be the key to peak performance later in the season. I want to recap an insightful article written by a retired professional triathlete who had reached the pinnacle of his professional career and is providing validation to many scientific studies about the value of rest and recovery. There is no better way to learn something than from someone who has been there before.   How Can Setbacks Elevate Your Performance Potential?
As articulated by Torbjorn Sindballe, "the rules of training to achieve your peak will tell you that a top performance after an injury isn't possible. Those rules say peak performance requires relentless commitment over many months and endless hours of training. How then is it possible to come back stronger than ever in a season that has offered more than a fair share of health issues, setbacks and injuries eroding the base of consistent hours you typically rely on? Is it the body responding to a welcome break? Is it a reinvigorated hunger to win? Or is it a sense of urgency to perform?"   When you see a professional athlete come back from a major setback and then perform at an all new level, it sheds light on amateur training and racing that forced rest can help you achieve your own peak performance.   Health is the Key to Fitness and Performance
"With all we know about training, examples of incredible comebacks should be surprising. We know that 2-3 weeks of tapering leads to improved performance, but two to three months with a drastically reduced training load should be detrimental to performance and require much more than a month or two to build back. As quoted by Craig Alexander, 2 time winner of the Hawaii Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run), "Being healthy is as important as being fit. Because I was forced to rest because of an injury, my body responded well to training and I became more mentally confident in my ability".   "An injury typically exposes a weak link somewhere in your musculoskeletal chain. For example, low back dysfunctions typically stem from weak and poorly controlled abdominal muscles. The body spends a lot of energy compensating for such instabilities. Taking time off to recover and restore function with treatment, strength and stability training will allow you to tap into your body's full potential.   Being rested is an important part of being healthy. A body that has gone through half a season of training and racing will not respond as quickly and effectively to training as a fully rested and balanced body.   What Causes Declining Performance
Timothy Noakes, a South African sports physician and physiologist, has studied the human body for many decades with a particular interest in how the brain regulates fatigue and hence affects human performance. According to Noakes, there isn’t any controlled studies on how forced rest upon an athlete effects mental perspective and performance output.   Take a top endurance athlete like Robert de Castellas who set the marathon world record in 1981 but was barely able to break into the top ten at various marathons over the next five years. This is a clear indication of complete physical and mental fatigue. His body wasn’t capable of performing at its optimum level because it was offset with overall fatigue. Castella then took a full year away from structured training and racing. Over a six month time period he built a base of strength and endurance along with systematically adding speed and threshold work. The end result was winning the Rotterdam marathon in 1991.   Noakes did a study on chronically fatigued athletes with adrenal or hypothalamic (mental) burnout. In such a state, “an athlete is unable to secrete stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, which are responsible for raising blood glucose levels or mobilizing fat for energy”. Keep in mind that these hormones are part of a natural functioning body and are needed when exercising, training hard or racing.   Noakes’ research team injected insulin into the test subjects to get their blood glucose levels down and observed the results. In a chronically fatigued state, their bodies were unable to get blood sugar levels back up which is a critical stress response in sports.   The take home message? When chronically fatigued, your body’s ability to produce hormones required to function normally is suppressed and you will more or less be forced onto the couch.   Chronic Fatigue
During heavy training (volume or intensity) the body is under a tremendous amount of physical stress. This is a combination of mechanical breakdown of muscle and tendons or use of energy storages along with oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a byproduct of metabolizing sugar commonly referred to as free radicals. Their effects on the body are similar to a peeled apple; the antioxidants in the apple are all in the skin. When the apple is peeled, the flesh is exposed to the reactive oxygen in the air and a breakdown begins which is illustrated with the flesh of the apple turning brown.   During hard training sessions and racing, the body has a difficult time consuming enough antioxidants from foods such as raw fruits, vegetables, dark chocolate, wine and certain teas imperative to maintaining optimum health and performance.
Noakes points out that oxidative damage is higher when eating a high-carbohydrate diet. Keep in mind that a high-fat diet may be important to reduce overall oxidative stress on the body as well.   In addition to the oxidative stress it is important to look at the brain itself. Noakes’ research points to the critical role of
the brain in regulating fatigue; hence anything that affects our brain function will also impact our physical performance.
Heavy workloads or high stresses in life often compromise sleep quality which is paramount to brain recovery. You can recover physically during the day, but the brain only recovers at night during deep sleep. Lack of quality sleep will then, over time, affect your body’s most basic levels of function.   Keys to Recovery
As outlined by ex-professional triathlete, Torbjorn Sindballe, the idea is that forced rest improves performance in athletes who have a form of chronic fatigue. We can distinguish between short term fatigue linked to the body’s day to day carbohydrate stores and long term fatigue linked to fatigue in the brain, changes in the hormonal system as well as micro-tears in the tendons, ligaments and muscles. Long term fatigue can result in injuries, illness or can even cause severe chronic fatigue with adrenal or hypothalamic burnout.   Noakes’ personal experience is that it takes six weeks with complete rest to recover from chronic fatigue and much more when the case is severe. As a result, for athletes with excessive training volumes and intensity, it may be beneficial in their longevity and performance results to take longer periods of the year where rest, good sleep and light alternative activity replace sport specific/structured training.   Recovery Tips for Peak Performance
Take an extended break from training and racing. Most racers take too little time off at the end of a season or after a peak performance. Strive to take 8-10 weeks away from structured training and racing, depending on your training background, volume and training intensity. The focus must be on the restoration and recovery of the body and the mind, this is imperative to your longevity as an athlete.   Improved sleep. Quality of sleep is the key to brain recovery. Many athletes cut into the volume of sleep so they can train. This strategy will have a negative impact on your health and ultimately your performance.   Eat more antioxidants and fewer carbohydrates. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants and experimenting with how many carbs you need to maintain training intensity and volume with will help you offset some of the negative side effects of high training loads and reduce the oxidative stress on your body. Keep in mind that carbs are imperative to fueling performance efforts; be cautious of cutting back your carb intake too aggressively.   Conclusion
What can you learn from elite athletes and clinical researchers? Ask yourself the question why you are afraid to rest? The logic of rest and recovery are simple. No amount of training will do someone good if they cannot absorb the adaptations associated with training. I have known many athletes who get injured and suffer from burn out as their season progresses. The overtraining culture of athletics is enormous and very few have the confidence to go against it. It is not surprising that those who adhere to the benefits of rest are the most successful within their respective sport.   Until next time, Train Smart-Not Hard!
-Coach Robb   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 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 bi-monthly newsletter that outlines the training solutions used by Factory KTM/Red Bull’s Ryan Dungey, Star Yamaha’s Jerry Martin and Alex Martin, RCH’s Brock Tickle, Factory Kawasaki/Pro-Circuit’s Adam Cianciarulo, multi-time Loretta Lynn’s & Mini O Champion’s Jordan Bailey (Factory Monster Energy/Kawasaki) GNCC bike racers Charlie Mullins and Chris Bach, and GNCC Quad racer Roman Brown along with thousands of riders all around the world!   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. Please visit CompleteRacingSolutions.com to subscribe to his bi-newsletter and learn more about various resources for riders. You can follow him socially on Twitter: @MotoCoachRobb & Facebook: Coach Robb.   In addition to his own newsletters, Coach Robb is a regular contributor to Vurbmoto.com, Racer XVT, iMotoOnline, ThumperTalk & and various websites. Robb can also be heard on the monthly radio show DMXS answering listener’s questions about nutrition & fitness.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

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