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A Return to the Dirt


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Hi all, Im a big street guy that has been away from serious dirt for about 15 years. I recently bought a 2003 YZ450F to see if I still have what it takes.

I have ordered a Haynes Manual for it as I plan to do my own work and I cant really make heads or tails of the Yamaha book??? Right now the bike has a persistant backfire on decel, but on the throttle it pulls hard. It has a White Bros slip on, other than that it is stock, so Im going to get in the carb as soon as my manual gets here and figure out the jetting.

I will prolly need to ask some questions here and there and I look forward to building relationships here. I belong to a forum for my sportbike and we are a tight community and they have provided me with a wealth of info that I hope to experience here too.

I have been reading a lot of post here and it looks like the best dirt forum on the net. Congrats on your work so far!

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I recently bought a 2003 YZ450F to see if I still have what it takes.

Ha, ha.... I'm not sure how to interpret that. Still have what it takes to RIDE a bike like that , or WORK ON a bike like that???

I can tell you from experience that our bones get a little crankier after 15 years, and these bikes get more complicated and harder to work on too.

I don't have much experience (purposely) with these newer (more sophisicated) liquid-cooled four strokes. I stuck with old school (2003 XR250R) so I could concentrate more on the riding than tinkering with the new stuff. About all I can offer for advise (beside have fun) is make sure you've got fresh gas in the bike. Can't tell you how often I've found and heard that fresh gas improves things when getting a new (used) bike.

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I have allready been doing some reading in the bike specific area. I like the way that is set up.

There is a piece of mesh in there. it is the same diameter as the hole so I kind of figured that the arrestor was allready out. I will take another look at it.

As for what it takes, both would be a concern. Ill try to dial in some plush for the ride. My first bicycle was heavier than this bike!

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To me it sounds like your jetting is off.

Congrats on getting back to the dirt! I took a two year break and was dying to get back on a dirt bike. Luckily I too had a street bike at the time to satisfy my motorcycle urges. Thank god for multiple motorcycles!

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My work schedule is way screwed up right now but I cant wait to get out and tinker with it. If you all have any other suggestions keep them coming so I have a good list to go over. A friend of mine suggested getting a jet kit for about 50 bucks, but I have to dicern what kit I need as a base then tweak main from there for about 5 bucks a shot. Does this sound right to you? He said the factory jetting is always a little off and this kit provides time tested R&D for the whole jet package??? Does this sound right to you?

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My work schedule is way screwed up right now but I cant wait to get out and tinker with it. If you all have any other suggestions keep them coming so I have a good list to go over. A friend of mine suggested getting a jet kit for about 50 bucks, but I have to dicern what kit I need as a base then tweak main from there for about 5 bucks a shot. Does this sound right to you? He said the factory jetting is always a little off and this kit provides time tested R&D for the whole jet package??? Does this sound right to you?

There are so many variables when it comes to jetting. You said the bike is making good power, I wouldnt change much.

There is alot to be said for factory engineering, that includes jetting. If you have the service manual, and prolly the owners manual also, they will give suggestions on what to change for climate and elevation and terrain.

My bike happens to be doing the exact same thing, I plan to adjust the pilot screw at the track, if that doesnt help I may need a bigger main jet.

I would adjust the carb before spending $50, thats for sure!

Hope this helps, good luck:thumbsup:

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