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Progress?

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I'm a guy who likes technological progress. I try to solve problems ASAP, so I pay attention to that with motorcycle companies' production models.

It seems to me some things could have, and probably should have, been done by now, on ALL dirt bikes. Other than the cheezy chains, sprockets and bars, here's what I mean:

1) You ever see the little KTMs with the thumb-twist device that holds the back of the seat in place? Why wouldn't that be standard for the rest of the bikes? Wouldn't it work? I don't see the seat taking SO much abuse that it needs 2 wrench-operated bolts to hold it in place, in addition to the big plastic catch on the tank. One quick twist of the wrist and the seat could be off. No tools. Patent infringement? There's got to be a smarter way. We yank those seats off constantly.

2) Side-opening air boxes. Honda does it on the X model, why not the CRFs? Especially since they're such a pain to work with any way, now that the space in there is so tight.

3) This one is a bonus question: Why would anybody swap out a hand-operated oil filler cap for one that you MUST use tools to open? There's only one accurate answer, "Uh, it looks cool." I went with a comprimise on my bike. I got the cool red anodized caps, but with a knurled top that you twist with your fingers, not with a wrench. I'm not into making it harder than it was ever supposed to be.

Gentlemen, your thoughts?

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Totally agree on all of that! 😢

Isn't it about time for the chain adjustment to be redesigned to the notched cam type of adjustment. Had that on my 83 XL 600 and thought it was great! No going back & fourth constantly.

Grease fittings? NO-WAY ever I guess with how weight congest they are.

Really is time for a newly designed air box though.

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Here's another question I have:

Why are clutch and front brake levers still about 7" long, when all you're supposed to use is 1 or 2 fingers? They're so long that they get knocked all to oblivion by everything that can possibly make contact with them. They're bufoonerie magnets!!! That's why companies are making big, expensive, elaborate, bulky, multi-colored, heavy units that fold forward and spin just to avoid snapping. I have a simpler solution.

I have an old set of levers I keep moving from one race bike to the next, as I trade up, because they're the heat. They're just stock, CR levers, but I've cut them down and rounded off the tips. I cut the brake lever down about 2 " and the clutch about 3". I've NEVER needed anything longer. 1 finger on the front brake, and 2 on the clutch. They're pushed in far enough that they don't stick out and get into any trouble. The brake lever is curved slightly forward, so the grip with 1 finger is primo.

I know I'm not THAT freakin smart. Who else has wondered why levers are still long enough to use all 5 fingers on, like an ape?

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There used to be shorty levers called "DeHandlers" that I had on my old race bikes. They were very nice.......two finger size for the brake, three finger size for the clutch. Since I got back into riding, I haven't been able to find them. 😢

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Calhoon,

Same here. Parts guys looked at me like I had 2 heads or something when I asked about shorty levers in 2000. I know I used to see 'em back in the early 80's. Nowthe pros like their levers long and level with the ground, which brings up another point:

Why are top pros running their levers level, when you're supposed to keep your elbows up? If your elbows are up, you'd have to bend your wrists all the way back to reach levers that are set up that way. I know Gary Bailey teaches to angle your levers down so your elbows can be up. So, why the contradiction. These pros are obviously riding just fine with the levers up and level. What am I missing? 😢

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I think the levers are long for leverage. Look at most of the pro's bikes. The clutch lever is long, but it is mounted very far inward. If you set the levers up like this the clutch is way easy to pull.

David Vuellimin's 12 Yamaha is the easiest one to see this on.

The levers also do not get broken as easily.

Does anyone remember the plastic "dog leg" levers??? The ones that flexed so much it was impossible to pull the clutch or use the brake?

How about the goofy levers with a notch out so you could leave your middle (?) finger on the bar???

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The X airbox is no easier to get the filter in, other than you don't have to take the seat off to do it.

Totally agree with this remark. It might be a little harder. 😢

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