Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Trail Riding with an MX race bike

Recommended Posts

Hey guys I did a search on this and didn't really find the info I was looking for so I am posting here. I would have put this in the YZ426 area but I feel like the info I am looking for really pertains to any 4 or even possibly 2 stroke water cooled race bike. 

 

I have been trail riding with mine for awhile now and it is doing really well. I do still stall it from time to time but a gearing change when I need new sprockets and a heavier flywheel would definitely fix that...

 

Here is where my question comes in. 

 

I know that these bikes need to keep moving and to stay cooled and not overheat. My question is, how much slow speed stuff can I get away with? I have been so worried about making sure I don't overheat the bike that it adds an unnecessarily element to riding.

 

Here are some of the examples of the terrain that I am faced with.

 

1) MUD! Slogging at around 5 mph about half to 3/4 throttle for minutes on end to get through muddy trails.

 

2) Idling at up to 5 minutes talking and figuring out trails to go down and stuff

 

3) Rocky and otherwise rough terrain that I have to ride slow on and work the clutch on.

 

I must say I have never had antifreeze boiling over or anything like that and I have been SUPER careful to avoid these situations but I really just don't have much idea of what these bikes can take as far as heat goes. Heck, maybe I am worrying way too much I don't know. That is why I am asking. Don't want to mess up the bike.

 

If there is a thread on this please post a link if you don't mind and sorry I missed it. Still getting used to this forum. Thanks guys. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first suggestion is not to stop and talk for more than a few secs.  Besides--that takes away from ride time!!  

 

Suspension is pivotal though.. I guarantee you'll keep a better pace and ride faster (thus keeping the bike cool) having redone your suspension for trails.  

 

Another thing.  I didn't develop these habits by trail riding.  To get faster and learn to ride without stopping, I started racing.  And I didn't get good at racing til I took my gym routine seriously, so I could ride hard without stopping.  Just my input, repost what you think!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first suggestion is not to stop and talk for more than a few secs.  Besides--that takes away from ride time!!  

 

Suspension is pivotal though.. I guarantee you'll keep a better pace and ride faster (thus keeping the bike cool) having redone your suspension for trails.  

 

Another thing.  I didn't develop these habits by trail riding.  To get faster and learn to ride without stopping, I started racing.  And I didn't get good at racing til I took my gym routine seriously, so I could ride hard without stopping.  Just my input, repost what you think!

 

I should have mentioned that I DON'T stop and talk at the moment...just wondering if I could...

 

As far as suspension what should I do to redo it for trail riding? Less stiff I would assume? I know lots about street bike suspension but dirt bikes...not really. 

 

I am getting ALOT faster through the trails as I get more and more used to the bike. The issue comes in though where there is just some terrain that you can't go fast in (like thick mud or really rocky, rough trails) and I am wondering if I have to just avoid them or how much I can get away with without hurting the bike. 

 

As far as physical fitness I am not the most fit person in the world but I am 6'0" 220 but fairly strong so honestly no matter how hard I ride I don't really get tired out. I'm a little chubby but I do a lot of physical stuff so riding the dirt bike on trails doesn't phase me much. This being said if I were racing I would definitely need to shed a few pounds...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should have mentioned that I DON'T stop and talk at the moment...just wondering if I could...

As far as suspension what should I do to redo it for trail riding? Less stiff I would assume? I know lots about street bike suspension but dirt bikes...not really.

I am getting ALOT faster through the trails as I get more and more used to the bike. The issue comes in though where there is just some terrain that you can't go fast in (like thick mud or really rocky, rough trails) and I am wondering if I have to just avoid them or how much I can get away with without hurting the bike.

As far as physical fitness I am not the most fit person in the world but I am 6'0" 220 but fairly strong so honestly no matter how hard I ride I don't really get tired out. I'm a little chubby but I do a lot of physical stuff so riding the dirt bike on trails doesn't phase me much. This being said if I were racing I would definitely need to shed a few pounds...

Suspension should be set to your weight and valved correctly for conditions.

My experience,

True off road suspension doesn't work great for MX,

MX suspension doesn't work great off road.

You can get it close for both, then just change clickers for each. But its compromising for both.

Off road suspension, is supple not soft. Soaks up bumps and hits ( this is where the valving comes in)

Tree roots and rocks when hit at speed deflect, "woods suspension soaks up relieving 75% of the deflection roughly.

MX suspension Ping-Pong's off most obstacles on trail more.

Edited by ridngslikecrack
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

for your size and weight stock mx suspension shouldn't be bad for offroad. As for over heating, on both two stoke and four strokes i've gotten the bikes to the point they were boiling coolant and steaming over. four strokes tend to get hotter and do it more. Is it the best thing for the bike? definitely not, and i try to avoid it, take time for breaks and let it cool off. That said i've never had it cause an issue for me or anyone else i was riding with. At the end of the day it's a dirt bike, i bought it to use and abuse it. Not to avoid some of my favorite riding spots.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Suspension should be set to your weight and valved correctly for conditions.

My experience,

True off road suspension doesn't work great for MX,

MX suspension doesn't work great off road.

You can get it close for both, then just change clickers for each. But its compromising for both.

Off road suspension, is supple not soft. Soaks up bumps and hits ( this is where the valving comes in)

Tree roots and rocks when hit at speed deflect, "woods suspension soaks up relieving 75% of the deflection roughly.

MX suspension Ping-Pong's off most obstacles on trail more.

This makes alot of sense thank you.

for your size and weight stock mx suspension shouldn't be bad for offroad. As for over heating, on both two stoke and four strokes i've gotten the bikes to the point they were boiling coolant and steaming over. four strokes tend to get hotter and do it more. Is it the best thing for the bike? definitely not, and i try to avoid it, take time for breaks and let it cool off. That said i've never had it cause an issue for me or anyone else i was riding with. At the end of the day it's a dirt bike, i bought it to use and abuse it. Not to avoid some of my favorite riding spots.

I've never gotten anywhere close to that point! Are there any telltale signs that it is heating up or about to boil over? Seems to me it is hard to tell if it's between that range or not. Just trying to get a feel for what it can handle so I dot blow it up!

I definitely bought this bike to have lots of fun and use it, but I also just don't want to abuse it unnecessarily if I can modify my riding a bit to keep it cool. I guess I should have stressed I haven't had issues so far but with Temps rising I wanted to just make sure.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Provided its jetted right.

Air flow through the radiator is key.

The slower you ride the hotter it gets. But again if jetted safely and everything in cooling system is working properly, it should be fine.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kill the engine if your gonna be stopped, that will make it boil faster than anything. You can really go pretty slow for awhile on these bikes. If your coolant boils then stop and wait for it to cool down. Keep the radiators full, and wire up a fan it will be good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good oil makes a difference in engine temps as well, use good stuff and keep it clean.

Running a little heavier on water than antifreeze, adding Water Wetter or Engine Ice helps keep temps down.

You can get higher pressure caps to prevent boiling. 

Shut off the bike if you stop for more than a minute.

Going slow and chugging won't necessarily make a bike overheat. Going slow and working the engine hard probably will.

I have only MX bikes and I only ride woods. Never had one of them overheat on me.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i wouldnt worry about it much either unless its boiling over. i ride a yz400 and just yesterday i was reving the crap out of it and barely moving to get through some deep snow it never boiled over. but we did stop to let the bikes cool off periodicly. also evertime i stop to chit chat or whatever i kill the bike. my bike has an auto decompression cam so its not terrible to have to start evertime. it can also help to stop on a hill that way you can just bump start it and not have to worry about kicking it over.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Suspension should be set to your weight and valved correctly for conditions.

My experience,

True off road suspension doesn't work great for MX,

MX suspension doesn't work great off road.

You can get it close for both, then just change clickers for each. But its compromising for both.

Off road suspension, is supple not soft. Soaks up bumps and hits ( this is where the valving comes in)

Tree roots and rocks when hit at speed deflect, "woods suspension soaks up relieving 75% of the deflection roughly.

MX suspension Ping-Pong's off most obstacles on trail more.

I know this is true, almost did a front flip off a tree root when i bounced the back tire off it . On the 250 first ride , softened it up, still not great but tolerable . Ping Pong  :lol:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhh, yes, I remember quite a few years ago, the first time trail riding my al frame cr250 like all MX badass! Thinking what's so hard about the woods, its like no jumps maybe a real small whoop section or 2 here and there right? Woo maybe a creek crossing, look out a tree!

Watch the trees they are fast. Lmao

Was riding with a couple local A riders, they say so let's see what we can torture the newb with.

I thought, what ya got really?

First 1/2 hr not bad but later hopping logs getting kicked almost over the bars, ricocheted off rocks and roots, my bars jerking almost out of my hands.

Smacked a couple trees, then came the steep hills, "just like a jump right? " WOT!

Didn't end well.

Lmbo

looped out 3/4 way up then got to see the MX badass(cr250) cartwheel down the hill over and over till the bars where smashed and the levers, fenders and seat, subframe all broke.

Oh fond memories!

Buddy says, Gives ya a new respect for the talents of A woods riders, huh?

Learned patients and respect through my wallet!

Just another life lesson learned then realized!

That quickly changed my riding style and outlook at which sport was harder. MX was then boring to me.

Like NASCAR, turn left, turn left again!

Woods riding is you and your machine against the woods terrain and yourself!

When you can control yourself, you can then and only then master the terrain!

OK, enough about me.

Lol

Edited by ridngslikecrack
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of this is fantastic info guys exactly what I'm looking for.

I'm running amsoil synthetic 10-40 race oil and plan on running that or something equivalent for the time I own the bike.

I am planning in changing the coolant and I will add engine ice for sure, didn't think about that for some reason.

How hard is it to put a fan on these? I didn't think they produced enough electrical power to run a fan.

I'm sorry for all the noob questions too but I haven't ridden dirt in 7 years and back then I was just a kid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of this is fantastic info guys exactly what I'm looking for.

I'm running amsoil synthetic 10-40 race oil and plan on running that or something equivalent for the time I own the bike.

I am planning in changing the coolant and I will add engine ice for sure, didn't think about that for some reason.

How hard is it to put a fan on these? I didn't think they produced enough electrical power to run a fan.

I'm sorry for all the noob questions too but I haven't ridden dirt in 7 years and back then I was just a kid.

You CAN run a fan on most any MX bike. You'll need an aftermarket stator with a lighting coil and a rectifier bridge - Steahly makes them and they are a great company to deal with.  

Then you can wire in a 12v fan with a temp sensor or on/off switch. 

 

If you aren't currently boiling your bike over I think it's unecessary but you do have that option.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You CAN run a fan on most any MX bike. You'll need an aftermarket stator with a lighting coil and a rectifier bridge - Steahly makes them and they are a great company to deal with.

Then you can wire in a 12v fan with a temp sensor or on/off switch.

If you aren't currently boiling your bike over I think it's unecessary but you do have that option.

OK that makes sense. After hearing all you guys I am a lot less concerned because I feel like people have definitely done the type of riding I do without issue. At his point after reading all these posts is I will just continue to use it the way it is, plus engine ice just to be safe and I think I should be good. Luckily new York doesn't get too hot so I'm hoping that will help me out as well.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hey what kind of oldyz is this anyway?

Sorry must have forgotten to put it in the first post.

It's an 01 426. So it's not too old but it'd just kinda a running joke my friend and I have because one day I asked him how old something he had was and he said "ain't as old as that Damn dirt bike ya got". Mind you, he is the one who sold it to me hehehe. So I just started calling it the old yz.

But anyways that's not really relevant!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

please excuse this question but your best answer will be greatly appreciated:  If you boil it over is it dead?

it steamed out the overflow. tvm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry must have forgotten to put it in the first post.

It's an 01 426. So it's not too old but it'd just kinda a running joke my friend and I have because one day I asked him how old something he had was and he said "ain't as old as that Damn dirt bike ya got". Mind you, he is the one who sold it to me hehehe. So I just started calling it the old yz.

But anyways that's not really relevant!

It is relevant. The four stroke motor runs warmer and if slow woods riding tend to boil over. However, I had a YZ450 for a short time :rolleyes: and I was unable to boil it over unlike my YZ250F which boiled now and again because I revved it more. 

 

Boil overs do not blow up motors. They're just a sign that you've exceeded the load of the cooling system. Ways to fix this is jetting, fans, aftermarket bike specific coolant, high output water pump impeller (Boyesen), try and find faster trails, kill motor at every talk break, bump start on hills, etc. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

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

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×