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About this blog

The ramblings and discoveries of an old(er) father with a habit for adopting orphaned, unwanted bikes...who remembers King Moon Racer and the island of forgotten toys?  That's me, but with grease, knobbies and kids to ride with...

Entries in this blog

King Moon Racer 02: Chapter 4 - Back from a Long Summer

King Moon Racer 02: Chapter 4 - Back from a Long Summer

Greetings, followers and fans of those loving “orphan toys.”  My apologies for the extended gap between blog posts.  More important things in life got in the way over the summer (passing of a relative, relocation of another, and other such worthwhile uses of focus).  Thank you for coming back to check the latest. KMR02 and I have been getting along quite well with the little time we’ve had together.  A very active thread on this bike has spawned itself in the “Chinese bikes” section of TT

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

 

King Moon Racer 02: Chapter 3 – Ride Review & First Projects

Hello, and greetings from King Moon Racer (also known as DingerJunkie).  It has been far too long since my last update on the second official KMR Blog Project.  Unfortunately, life has a habit of getting in the way.  I hope the info makes up for the delay…my apologies. Joining My Daughter’s Ride My first “ride” on the RXB-250 ended up being a break-in/shakedown session during one of my daughter’s club rides with Little Speedsters (littlespeedsters.com).  The owner, Christophe, gives

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

 

China-Bike Hassle or View to the Future: The Direct-Purchase Dirt bike Model

My recent purchase of King Moon Racer 02, an Orion Powersports RXB-39, has given me an opportunity to expose other riders to information they may not have been able to find clearly stated in other avenues.  Because this is ThumperTalk, most of that desired information is about the bikes, and I’m looking forward to providing more there.  However, day-job duties have me travelling this week, so trail data will have to wait a bit.  Meanwhile, there is something possibly more important to cove

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

King Moon Racer 02: Chapter 2 – First Experiences

King Moon Racer 02: Chapter 2 – First Experiences

This will be one of two rapid-fire blog entries related to my beginning experiences with the Orion RXB-39, which is a custom-to-distributor variant of the XMOTOS XB39.  This is the first “crate-bike” I’ve ever experienced, and I believe that the entire sales/distribution model for that deserves a deep-dive for itself.  Look for a post on that shortly.  This particular post is specifically about the bike itself, the inspection process and what I thought of the first interactions with/on the

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

King Moon Racer 02: Chapter 1 - Dawn of the Dad-Bike

King Moon Racer 02: Chapter 1 - Dawn of the Dad-Bike

Well, well, well…King Moon Racer 01 sold within 12 hours of my posting it for sale, and at a higher price than I was expecting to get. Here’s a tip to those of you selling project bikes.  Documentation and support are your friend.  Since I had… a clean bike extra supporting parts (ring sets, gasket sets, stock parts that aftermarket replaced) supporting materials (Chilton book, receipts, this blog) an inspection-friendly environment (compression tester on-hand,

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter XVI -  KMR-01 Comes to a Close

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter XVI - KMR-01 Comes to a Close

Greetings from King Moon Racer’s island of forgotten dirt bikes. I’m overdue to give you all an update on King Moon Racer 01, my 1997 Honda CR250R off-road (non-MX) Project.  I believe the effort has reached completion.  There are stories to tell, evaluations to give, lessons that were learned…and decisions to be made. In our last discussion, I let you know about my planned visit to Doc at 812 Suspension.  I received an effectively new shock after the rebuild service for very little

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter XV - Progress, but there's always something...

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter XV - Progress, but there's always something...

This will be short on text, but will include pics of the current bike state...cleared one obstacle to reach another with King Moon Racer #1. The new carb is in place, with the Y2K Boyesen Rad Valve.  Nice fit and a cleaner look to the engine. New top-end is on the bike...and the compression seems crazy high when kicking it over.  Looking forward to a three-heat-cycle break in. Replaced every oil seal on the engine.  It was another one of those jobs that sounds intimidating u

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

Kid Bike Chronicles: Little Speedsters Dirt Bike School

Kid Bike Chronicles: Little Speedsters Dirt Bike School

Yes, yes…for those of you following King Moon Racer #1 (my CR250), an update is coming quickly.  Work, life and weather got in the way a bit.  Fortunately, I have a subject that will hopefully be of interest and use to a few of you while you wait. My last three posts involved a look at answering the “big what” question…what bike should I get for my kid?  Yes, all dads focus on the gear… There is a bigger question that needs to be answered FIRST for a great many parents. How. 

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

Kid Bike Chronicles: TaoTao DB10

Kid Bike Chronicles: TaoTao DB10

This is the third installment of my kid-bike posts, written while setting up for the next evaluation ride of King Moon Racer #1.  Pictures will be added to galleries for these posts as soon as possible. The past two entries have been around bikes for my son.  Well, my daughter decided she was willing to try riding after a few family trips to Little Speedsters for my boy.  She took to it immediately.  Christophe and his instructors made it really fun, and I was asked by her to arrange her o

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

 

Kid Bike Chronicles: The Yamaha TTR50E

This is a continuation of the kid-bike posts I decided to write while setting up for the next evaluation ride of King Moon Racer #1.  Pictures will be added to galleries for these posts as soon as possible. After selling my son’s JR50, we decided to pick up the same bike used as a base trainer by the staff at Little Speedsters.  We set out to find a good deal on a Yamaha TTR50.  It took a while to find something I was willing to buy, but after a few weeks of combing ads I had the right opp

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

Kid Bike Chronicles: the Suzuki JR50

Kid Bike Chronicles: the Suzuki JR50

Since King Moon Racer #1 is waiting for the next evaluation ride, I figured I’d share some experiences and opinions related to some supporting gear and the bikes I’ve put together for my kids.  Pictures will be added to galleries for these posts as soon as possible. This chapter will cover the first bike my son really got to experience no-training-wheels riding on, a rebuilt 1995 Suzuki JR50.  Honestly, I wish Suzuki still produced this bike for the little ones. This was truly a bask

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

 

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter XIV - Ride #2...Tweaks, Meltdown and Protection

The mechanical projects began again.  I went back to RaceTech products and ordered a Gold Valve kit, along with all the necessary seals and fluids required for a shock re-valve.  The process was simple…simpler, in fact, than rebuilding one of my forks. You know what was NOT simple, though?  Paying for all the specialty tools that really make these jobs possible.  Shock bladder puller…shock shaft bullet…3.5mm super-fine drill bit for the required bleed hole on the Gold Valve.  By the time t

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

 

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter XIII - Ride #1 (Finally)

I had finally reached a point where I could begin a true evaluation.  The bike was running, though I knew the carb jetting was still miles off.  Fortunately, a good neighbor had taken interest in the project.  When this stage was reached, he invited me out to a local private riding club called CTOR, or Central Texas Off Road, for a half-day shakedown.  In addition, he allowed me to run the same trails on his 2004 KTM 200 EXC for comparison, which allowed me to gauge what was really going on. 

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

 

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter XII - False Start #3...Runaway!

I had finally reached a point where I could fire the girl up.  It had been a few years since I kicked over something with such high compression that was this tall, so the bike went on the stand. Fluids…check.  Oiled filter…check.  No visible leaks…check.  Spark at the plug…check.  Time for the moment of glory. First kick…nothing.  Second kick…a burble…YES!  Third kick… …and a nightmare began to unfold in my garage… There are many younger riders, or mechanics from the four

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

 

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter XI - Finishing the Triage Build (False Start #2)

Three days after finishing up the suspension work I received a box at the front door.  It took five weeks, but the top-end work by Eric Gorr was flawless.  Out of paranoia, and at the request of some doubters on one forum thread, I had etched a marking on the cylinder casting to ensure I got the same part back.  There should never have been any doubt.  There was also a new number stamping/etching by Gorr’s shop, letting me know they keep notes on cylinders that come through their business.

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

 

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter X - Fuel...What Kind, How Much & How to Deliver It

This component of the project is far-reaching.  The decisions here impact areas way outside of mixing fuel, oil and air.  How much fuel will I need to carry with a given setup?  How much will that weigh?  How will it impact ergonomics and suspension?  What will the maintenance burden be for the motor or for the fueling system itself?  How will environmental variances impact setup and maintenance issues? This is where systemic thinking is required.  All components of a system interact, and

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

 

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter IX - Mastering the Front Suspension

I was ready to give in and trust a local suspension guru with this.  Experience with tuning suspension goes beyond repair.  A specialist, with special tools, has their place.  That is why I sent my top-end to Eric Gorr for corrective work.  Even simple suspension stuff can be difficult to coordinate…ever try to measure race sag on a bike without two other people, or a hugely expensive, computerized tool?  I’ve never re-valved and tuned suspension like this on my own.  However, I have rebui

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

 

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter VIII - Working on The Rider

I could tell that this bike, once done properly, should surpass me.  I also know from instinct that my kids will physically surpass me sooner than I’d expect.  There is no reason to magnify those two gaps by working with the kids, working on the bikes and not improving myself. Years of working at a computer, sitting behind drum sets in clubs and eating the wrong things have left me beyond “pudgy.”  So, what does my personal assessment look like? I need to shed fat, not weight.  So, a

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

 

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter VII - “First Ride” Revelations, Interrupted

Working through a bike in “evaluation state” can be rewarding, frustrating, draining and entertaining all at the same time.  The key to keeping your sanity is remembering that the goal of these first few rides is not to figure out how long you can delay doing more work to the bike.  It is also not about fine-tuning or dialing in. This is where you hope to see what the character of the basic bike is, so you know how to approach making it a long-term fit.  However, many times this stage is a

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

 

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter VI - Operational Madness (Bringing Her to Life)

In the last post, I went over everything I found during a half-day triage-pass on the project bike.  It wasn't pretty, but it lined up with about what I expected for this project at my starting price. So, given my project-approach rules (covered in a previous post), I reviewed each area of the bike and made my decisions on first purchases and first actions to, at least, be ready for a legitimate evaluation ride.  Here is the grocery list as I wrote it in the first post-triage night.

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

 

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter V - The Many Faces of Neglect (My God…What Have I Done?)

The bike came home, and tear-down began.  Everything I found would be expected by anyone to takes the care and feeding of old dirt bikes seriously.  Anyone insisting a two-decade-old bike NOT have most of these issues at purchase will spend as much on that bike as they would on a new machine (they are called “vintage shop restorations”). Craigslist pictures are always taken to hide problems.  Horrors, or amusing jokes, always come during the visit to see the project.  Even if externally cl

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter IV - THE RULES (Guidelines for This...Or Any...Project)

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter IV - THE RULES (Guidelines for This...Or Any...Project)

This chapter is really a set of guidelines that I’ve learned to apply in just about any project, whether it be working on a bike, repairing lawn equipment, writing software, re-engineering a product for a company, handling handyman jobs around the house…you name it. These are here as a framework to refer to when working through my King Moon Racer.  Thinking about these rules when tearing down keeps me from being overwhelmed by a project.  They keep me in controlled stages with my budget. 

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter III - THE OBJECTIONS (Why the **** Would You Choose That?)

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter III - THE OBJECTIONS (Why the **** Would You Choose That?)

A 1997 CR250R?  Really?  They supposedly handle terribly.  They supposedly vibrate horridly.  They have a tiny tank and a 19” rear wheel when you’re going off-road.  You’ll spend more than what the bike is worth before you’re anywhere close! Yeah, yeah, yeah… It is time, once and for all, to end the line of argument about the “value” of ANY bike regarding maintaining, restoring or improving it.  This is not a disposable commuter-car that you’ll drive until it explodes.  We’re not wat

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter II - The Hunt/Finding My Starting Point

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter II - The Hunt/Finding My Starting Point

For those who caught the list of bikes in my previous post, you’ll likely see a pattern.  Outside of maybe the SOHC 750-4, most of the bikes I’ve rebuilt and chosen to love have been also-rans.  Not necessarily high in popularity.  Sometimes hard to source stuff for (especially the ’82 650 Seca and the ’72 GT380).  Many were frequently considered lost causes (why would someone care about that pig of a 1992 KDX250 when the 200 was better and more common?). I’ve made my choices for a few rea

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter I - An Introduction

King Moon Racer 01: Chapter I - An Introduction

Many of you reading this will get far different things from what I write.  Some will see this as a bike-specific technical project.  Others will see this as reflections of a father indirectly teaching lessons to his son.  Many will take the contents as a general primer on how to…and how not to…approach the reclamation of a neglected motorcycle.  I’m sure a good size group will simply chuckle into their coffee at the ramblings and failings of an aging goof in his garage. Regardless of what

dingerjunkie

dingerjunkie

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