What's your last stupid mistake? Here's mine!

This was a while back also. First time I changed the oil on my 400F I place a drain pan under the frame and loosened the frame drain bolt. The oil shot out of the drain bolt all over my front tire/rim/floor/etc. This was for sure my longest oil change, the learning curve has come way down since then. I cut the back/bottom off of a plastic milk jug and hold it upside down in front of the frame drain plug now!

When I changed to YZ timing last year, I put the engine top cap back on and put the two bolts in but did not tighten it down yet. My neighbor came over and started talking to me about the bike. When he left, I totally forgot about the loose engine cap bolts. I fired it up and ran it up and down the block to make sure it worked. When I pulled back in the garage, I had oil all over the engine, frame and my shoes. DOH!

So, last night I pull of the front tire to fix a flat tire. Not thinking at all, I use a punch and hammer to knock out the axle. Opps, there's threads in the axle! :D So, not thinking anything of it I fix the flat, put the tire back on and start cranking away at the bolt that holds on the stock plastic brake cable guard. Pop, off comes the head of that bolt. :) Crap!! I put the other bolt in and drill a little hole in the plastic guard and zip tie the guard on with only one bolt until I have time to pull out the axle, EZ-out the broken bolt and then probably re-tap the threads inside the axle. :D



When in doubt, GAS IT!

What are you, YELLOW?

Almost a very costly mistake.

I started using a MotoJack that lift/jacks the bike up and lock via the footpegs. This is connected to the trailer hitch of my truck. I take the jack off so I can put the tailgate down to sit on. Otherwise I will dent and scratch it. Anyway. I slide the jack on the hitch and slide the hitch lock on and pinned it. I lock down the footpegs and jack it up. As I was placing the tie down on the front tire, I realized I had a few extra inchs to move around. I looked at the hitch and realized I did not push the motojack into the hitch all the way and missed the hitch lock by 3 inches.

If I did notice it I would have dumped my 3 day old 01 WR426 bike for sure. it was only in about 1 inch. I had chills thing about it. Know I double check every time for everything.

Not necessarily the latest, however, when I got back into riding 4 years ago, I said to my riding buddy, "I don't need riding boots. I'll just wear hiking boots." Wrong! I still remember the day I firmly planted that nice, sharp peg into my shin! Ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch!!!!! Very, very stupid!

I think I can top you guys for stupidity, (is that a good thing?)

Years ago I decided to give my 1989 WR250 a new top end, I bought a piston kit complete with gaskets and rings. When I finished the job I started the bike, it would just sputter and spit, I said to myself what the hell? I could figure out what I had done so I ripped it down again only to find that I had installed the piston backwards. :)

Now THATS stupid!!!

What a great idea for a post! Here's my story of stupidity:

When my 1999 WR400 was brand new. I don't mean sort of new, like a week or two old. I mean BRAND NEW! It was on my trailer right after I picked it up from the dealership! I had the trailer sitting in front of my house with my, did I mention it, BRAND NEW WR400 sitting on the back.

I loosened both tiedowns, the removed one completely. The bike was leaning on just one tiedown.

Right then my neighbor drove by in his truck. I figured, what the heck, the BRAND NEW WR was leaning safely on one tiedown, I'll go chat. I went over and started chatting with my neighbor. After about 5 minutes his eyes got real big as he was looking at my BRAND SPANKING NEW WR. He didn't have time to tell me it was falling.

It came off the loose tiedown and fell into the street. There sat my BRAND NEW 1999 WR400 sitting UPSIDE DOWN IN THE STREET. Yes, COMPLETELY UPSIDE DOWN, wheels spinning.

Of course I calmly said, 'Oh, it's a dirt bike and is meant to be crashed'. But it was BRAND NEW and to this day has gouges from that incendent.

It was very tramatic!



Some of you may recall that my kickstarter stopper broke this past winter and I had to replace my crankcases. The day it happened, I tried to see if I could fix it in the field, and that involved removing the the clutch basket. After I took off the clutch plates and tried to take off the "big nut", I realized I couldn't do that without an impact wrench, so I began to put it all back together. I have a micrometer-style torque wrench and was tightening the clutch bolts. A friend of mine who was watching the whole thing told me that he never uses a torque wrench because he always breaks off the bolt heads with them. Smugly, I said "That NEVER has happens to me!" 2 seconds later--"PING!" and the bolt head snapped right off. I should have knocked on wood. I ended up heli-coiling the threads on the clutch boss after I had to drill out the bolt.

I got ya topped Dan.

Two tears ago I helped a kid rebuild his raced-out CR125. The poor bike needed new crank bearings so we proceeded to tear into the bottom end. The idea of this exercise was to teach the kid how to wrench a bit, so I let him do most of the work while I watched.

He did a fine job removing the many small parts of the bottom end. After installing the new bearings, he needed help putting the whole mess together, so I stepped in and installed the crank and assembled the complicated tranny. This took about two hours.

Everything was back together and looking good, but when it came time to install the clutch assembly there was a problem: I INSTALLED THE CRANK BACKWARDS!

Another two hours later WE had it in correctly and the thing still runs great!

I guess I have a couple of them...

We got the bright idea that we could carry bikes on the top of the tent trailer. Well needed reinforcing on the roof. Got that covered with an inch of plywood. Tying down? No prob, welded a loop to the tongue.

First trip we head out to Mojave. Gets pretty windy out thru Palmdale/Lancaster. What kind of shape are those tiedowns in? OOPS!!! The inside tiedown breaks and literally launches the bike over the side of the trailer. The outside one holds firm though as we proceed to drag the bike a half a mile until we hear honking and sparks a-flying.

So much for inventing under the influence. Hey it sounded like a good idea at the time!

The other one was thinking you could jump your bike out of the bed of the truck. Fired it up, goosed it as the front wheel got to the end of the tailgate. Boy was that bed slick, wheel spun like crazy! As I tried to control it, front wheel dropped over the edge, engine high-centered, I went over the bars, landed on the ground and then the bike landed on me!

Gee,I've done so many stupid things over the years that I could probably write a book! One of my least-favourite ones happened at work about three years ago.The Yamaha Grizzly 600 ATV had just been introduced and we had one at the shop for display.Our order of Grizzleys hadn't even arrived yet,this one was a corporate demo on loan from our district sales manager.It was the end of the day and we were putting units that were displayed out front away for the night.The loaner Grizz was out front too and I decided to use it to pull a few PWCs on trailers around back to the compound.On the second or third trip I turned left a little too sharply with a loaded double and the rear tire grabbed the tongue jack, pulling the (unlatched) trailer off of the hitch ball.The tire then picked the tongue of the trailer up,carried it forward,cleaned a couple of relays off of the frame,skipped off of the CDI box,drove clean through the rear fender,caught the back of my left leg and pinned it to the shifter.Elapsed time from the moment I turned too tight untill I was pinned to the ATV was about 1.5 seconds. I didn't know what hit me!Once I did figure it out and let off of the throttle I realized that my leg was stuck.The only way I could free myself was to slam the shifter repeatedly(and painfully)rearward into my knee in order to catch reverse and drive the tongue backwards on top of the tire.Luckily all I wound up with was a bruised leg.My boss even sort of laughed it off and refused to let me pay for the damages.I suppose that all's well that ends well,but it still was a bone-head incident that I won't soon forget.

Well, lets get humble. My biggest mistake was leaving my son along a desert sand wash 7 miles from the truck while I went to get gas for his KX-80. I rode back toward the truck worrying about remembering the way to find him, when half way I remembered that I have a GPS in my enduro pack. I could have marked his location for easy navigating back.

Luckily, Army scout experience never really goes away.

I found him and got he and his bike back to the truck. I think I'll get a supplimental gas container.



Old Guy on WR400F following the KX_kid through the harrowing desert of Idaho at breakneck speed.

Last week I invited my neighbor to go riding with me, I would ride my WR and he would ride my Brand New Grizzly 600 ATV. He had never driven an ATV before so I gave him some basic riding tips and we hit the trails. It didn’t take long before my neighbor must have felt he was a seasoned rider and was getting a little cocky. I cautioned him on his riding and after about an hour and a half of me leading I asked if he would like to. He took off like a bat out of hell and went up a sandy trail between two small hills; I lost sight of him due to the bends in the trail. After a moment I came to the crest of the hill, not knowing what was on the other side I slowed down just in time to see treetops below. I was lucky and stopped at the top of a 50 to 70 foot drop off that was close to being straight down, my neighbor and my New Grizzly 600 ATV had not been so lucky and ended up at the bottom in the trees. To my amassment my neighbor was still alive with no broken bones, the Grizzly did bite him on the leg when it went end over end. The important thing is my 600cc Grizzly was OK :) although I had to bend a little metal back in place.

How about forgetting to tighten the gas cap after fueling, and having gas slosh all over my crotch, and legs. Then having to make the decision of whether to ride back, and maybe catch myself on fire, or ride back with no pants on. The whole time feeling the gas start to burn my skin.

I changed the oil on my WR this weekend and after filling with new oil I decided to start the engine for a few seconds so the oil will circulate through the frame and get a accurate oil level reading, everything was going well and clean before I noticed oil gushing out the unscrewed oil dipstick :), it was a big mess, radiators, engine, you name it, covered with oil.


2000 WR400/ powerbomb-SX1 combo,YZ tank & seat. 2001 TT-R125L/ pro-circuit T4 (son), 2001 breeze (son, wife)

I can't say it was smart, but the day I was picking up my WR 400 at the bike shop, I fired up the bike and proceeded to ride it up the loading board (been doing it for years though not on a brand new bike.)And lo & behold the darned thing died 3/4 up the board. Boy it's a long way down to the ground that way. The plastic still has the marks from it being folded over. Not one of my finer moments. Oh by the way it was brand spanking new.....


how about pushing the new front mudguard as close to your front tyre as possible & leaving the holding bay at snetterton, 300yds later as you close the throttle for the first corner you go down like a bag of **** !

how about doing 126 races in 1984 without a DNF & then breaking down in your first race of 1985.

as i sit in the car before working on the bike my 17YO nephew & his best mate say "you know when we laid your fuel tank down earlier, well you'll laugh taff coz we found fuel running out of your tap. er taff, what was wrong with your bike just now?".


After the snow melted and winter riding was over I did a teardown on the bike and greassed the pig. I put on nice new tires, 756's, for my trip to Bills in PA. I got it all back together, clean and shiney! Got to test it! got on and went for a spin down the road. In a t-shirt, no pads, no helmet and dumped it on the pavement. I lost all the skin on my right forearm one day before my trip to PA.

New tires + asphalt + corner =pain and stupidity.

Here's one for you. Covered pipe with rubber glove, washed down bike and then dumped oil, cleaned filter to perfection and rewashed area arouns oil drain bolts and filter cover. Removed rubber glove and stood around admiring my super sano '99 400 with 420 kit. Fired it up as usual after washing to rid it of humidity and idling it for a minute or so only to shut it off and stare at the oil dipstick knob unscrewed and realizing that my gallon of Golden Spectro is still in the shed. Yep! No oil in bike! Look over on the YZ400 side to follow up.

[This message has been edited by Hugh LePage (edited 05-07-2001).]

You guys should love this one. I read this Saturday night and was tell my riding buddies about it on Sunday as we unloaded. Then I added, "I'm glad I haven't done anything worth putting in there". We rode all day nothing bad happened except for a little cactus in my knee, but nothing really bad. Then it comes time to load up. I fire up the bike, turn the fuel of and head down the dirt road a bit. Turn the bike around and head back. Then I get the idea to wheelie back to impress everyone. Well as I just about reach topped out in third the bike runs out of fuel and does a 2 stroke scream to the rev limiter. All I know is I am now sitting up in the road legs out in front of me hands slightly behind me still traveling at 40 mph sliding down the road and watching the bike wheelie over and go into and flat spin in front of me. Needless to say I left an impression on everyone watching.


y2k wr, airbox lid and baffle removed, 180 main, 45 pilot, 426yz er needle,

wr timing

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now