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SSR 125 New owner couple of questions

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So last fall I bought an SSR 125 4 speed manual. The bike started right out of the box. Its been a blast. Just taking to the track as a pit bike. No jumps or crazy crap (maybe a couple of wheelies) lol. Got the oil changed and tightened all the bolts/nuts/spokes. I see people say the carb is lean and should be jetted. How the hell do I know if its lean? It seems to run fine but this is my first pit bike. I'm used to running and working on (basic maintenance) late model fuel injected sport bikes. 

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I also have an SSR 125, mine has inverted front forks is about the only difference. So you do not know if you are running lean or not.  If it is California sold, it probably comes running too lean.  I believe they come set up for sea level to up to 3500 feet before you start having problems with it running too rich due to thin air.  anyway, if your under this elevation the carburetor settings should be darn close to right on.  To see if its running too lean, the plug must be removed after some medium speed riding, or varied riding speeds.  IF center electrode is white its too lean, if ya can rub off some carbon with your finger its too rich. This is probably not going to help. The outer ring of the spark plug will indicate the idle and low speed carburetor settings, the center reading is for high speeds. The only adjustment you might need is the "air fuel" mixture screw, located on the very bottom of the carburetor bowl.  Turn it in first (clockwise), count the turns, mine was about 3/4 of a turn to the stop, then back it out 1/2 to 3/4 of a turn from what it was, making it about 1 and 1/2 turns out. This lets in more gas.  If you bike idles badly, put it back, if you notice an increase in idle speed, that is a good sign it was too lean, now adjust your idle back down and your set to go. That is what I did, and felt improvement in idle warm up time,went to under 30 seconds instead of 5 minutes, and no more small hesitation at first throttle twist. 

Do not forget to drain your front fork oil too, its ok for a little while but get some good 20 weight fork oil.  These bikes shocks are adjusted by oil thickness and spring rate, to make front end a bit stiffer, put a clutch spring on top of the existing spring and take out most of the spacers if any. Be sure to measure very carefully the amount of oil you drain out of the front forks, the TECH guys do not really know how much oil goes back in.

 The chain will keep needing adjusting, its a cheap chain, once the adjusting slows to only once in like 4 hours of riding, then the chain is probably worn out and about to break because it not longer can stretch anymore.  Do not make the mistake of thinking you got the chain all set up, they always should need adjusting, its when they do not, you need to replace them.  I also drained my oil out, and it was black after only 4 hours of riding, and I put in four stroke motorcycle synthetic oil, 10-40 wt.  it helped a little with power.  Get a new spark plug, spend some money on it too.  Bleed the brakes, I got black fluid out of  my front brake and it all had to be pumped out. The rear fluid was good and clear.  Hey its a motorcycle, they all need attention, sounds like you went through all the basics right out of the box, good work on that one. I would re-frame from ringing its neck for first five hours, try not to rev it over 80%, it is a new motor and was made in China not Japan or USA.  I did run mine at 100 % just a few times when it was under 3 hours old, and I should not have, but its all OK.   The rear spring will break in and sack a little, so adjust the spring tension about one full turn tighter, after about 6 + hours, and several runs over bumpy ground.  They need to get HOT to break in. You might have to turn it in two turns later. We only get a few inches of travel, and we do not want to be using up half of it with just our body weight while sitting on it.  BTW they do jump nice, land soft, turn good, but totally suck in deep sand, stay out of it. YOU will see. haha HAVE FUN< I plan to.

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Sorry, DEMENTIA HERE,  all I remember is I got an NGK plug.  It got sent to me by warranty service from who I bought my bike from for free.  The ones I saw on line, were about 18 bucks.. YIPES   Try parts  at  PowerSportsMax.com They sell the plug and many  other common parts, nothing special is available that I have found so far for specailty parts, like better rear shock for instance.  You would think there would be someone making aftermarket parts for the bikes.  oh well.  Remember, our bikes suck in the sand and will eat your front wheel and toss you to the ground, be careful of that flaw in the bike. My front wheel is only 14 inch, if you have 17 inch  you should be ok.

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 Hi, you can not adjust the air bleed screw while running the bike, UNLESS you make a special screw driver like I did out of a cheap slot screw driver that you can bend the tip 90 degrees, about 1/2 inch from end of slot screw driver to fit it under the float bowl.  it is easier to just loosen the clamps on the carb, and turn it, if it wont turn enough, pull out the slide, then turn carb.  The screw should only need 3/4 of a turn OUT.  The idle should end up high, that is good, just adjust it back down.  Throttle response will be much better, and any hesitation should be gone. IF not, turn out the screw one third more, adjust idle again, test ride. if this is not helping, something else is messed up.  I would check valve adjustments, mine was tight after only 8 hours of running  time, set at .004 mm both on cold engine. This made mine come to life and really scoot.   

 

here is the picture,  I added another one of intake manifold work you might want to do, with your dremel kit. 

 

intake dimples.JPG
Air fuel screw.JPG
 
This is my first attempt to post a picture, I hope it works for you. 
Gary

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The plug you want is a NGK CR7HSA or C7HSA. Most off road bikes run lean out of the box to pass EPA certification, and changing jets will actually void your EPA certificate, but it basically needs to be done. Do a plug chop (roll the throttle on in 3rd after warming the bike up, and pull the clutch in and kill it after you've revved it out, and pull the plug after its cooled down). Google "plug reading chart" and compare your plug to the chart, you should have a light brown colouring. Whiter is lean, darker is rich. Sometimes jetting is hit and miss, so do an inital plug chop and buy three or four different sizes either smaller or larger than your current jets, depending on the plug chop. Adjusting the fuel screw and idle screw wont help a lean condition as much as doing it right.

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I check tail pipe color too. Mine is rich so I will raise needle clip one groove up

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Last resort is changing jets when adjusting won't work

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Last resort is changing jets when adjusting won't work

Changing jets is part and parcel of tuning. EPA carbs come LEAN. I'm talking absurdly so, just to pass regulations. Yamaha WRs and Honda CRF-X and CRF-Fs were notorious for having to rejet right out of the box on the old, looser EPA regulations. The only thing the adjustments on the carb will do is help jetting that's in the ballpark, chinese carbs are shipped with the jetting still on the road to the ballpark.. 

Any vehicle, be it a chinese pit bike, scooter, ATV or even a car, if it has a carburetor, will benefit from proper jets. In my pit quad, with a fairly stock Zongshen 107 (Cylinder is stamped 124 cc?!) I run a 38 pilot (stock was 30) and 100 main (Stock was 85) to get it to run well off the choke.

A good resource is the Mikuni tuning guide, it may be put out for Mikunkis but will help with most any bike carb.

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Leave the main jet it came with in it.  If you must try a change, go buy three jets of larger sizes.  The one you remove should have numbers on it, and take it too motorcycle shop to match it up perfectly to same  type.  An increase if I remember right of 5 numbers is plenty of a change.  Like if you have a 135, stock, get a 140, a 145, and 150. and maybe one smaller 130.   main jets are rarely the problem, keep in mind main jets only effect wide open high RPMs.  Do not forget to richen up, the AIR pilot adjustment screw located on the very bottom of the float bowl, back it out 3/4 of a turn for start, result would be Idle should be higher, adjust that down while running a warm engine.  This will also get rid of backfire on deceleration and lag response when throttle is first open.  if not, give it another 1/4 to 1/2 turn out.  Total turns out from dead stop in, is 1 and 1/2, to 1 3/4 turns out.  More than 2 turns out, means something else is wrong.. Check for any intake carb connection leaks.    Good luck.   BTW I live at 5000 foot elevation, and usually ride from 5000 feet to 7000 feet, with just a little fat carb settings at 7000 feet up, the rest is good. (stock)  btw, my carb needle is on middle clip. (plenty rich), my plug color was perfect tan.   (bike is SSR 125cc manual shift, after market carb (22mm mikuni copy) and pipe and air cleaner, stock carb jets)

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