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mikea 2

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  1. I've ridden small to large bore 2 strokes for many years. I've never replaced pistons based on hours but rather based on condition. You can tell the amount of wear in a few ways. Compression tests are easy and a gauge is cheap. Not sure what is low on that 80 but you can find out. Low compression will cause hard starting, especially when the engine is hot. Taken alone it won't hurt anything but will run poorly and not make power. Easier yet is to take off the pipe and look at the piston. The worst of the scoring is almost always on the exhaust side and you can easily see that through the exhaust port. If it is gouged up you should plan on replacing. As scored up piston is typically a result of running hot or lean. Risk is seizing, potentially bending a rod. I've actually broken a seized engine loose and ran it more but it is not recommended! Another option is simply listening to the engine. Piston slap occurs from the lower portion of the piston wearing down due to the rocking motion as it travels up and down. When it is worn it will emit a very light ticking sound that comes off as a whirring. It will be most noticeable around idle and takes some practice to hear accurately. If you have piston slap replace straight away. The worst case scenario is a badly worn piston skirt that lets go when running--essentially the piston comes apart--scattering metal through the engine and tearing the hell out of it. You should also be concerned with the lower end. At some point it will suffer wear to the bearings. You can get an idea of the status by removing the stator cover and feeling the flywheel for up and down play. Any up and down is too much--it should be tight. A little bit of in-and-out is ok--specifications should be available in a service manual or online. 2 strokes, old a new, are about the same. Condition is far more important than year or hours. A low hour engine that gets dusted, run too lean, etc is worse off than a higher hour machine that has been cared for. Also small bore machines require far more maintenance and a shorter service interval than large bore machines. To say "2 strokes last for x hours" is bogus. You might get a few hundred hours from a big bore and a few dozen from a small bore.
  2. mikea 2

    what pump for tubliss?

    I use bicycle pumps usually. I carry a floor stand-up model like above in the truck and camper. I can't be bothered to hook up my electric truck compressor when the bike pump is $25 and takes 5 pumps. On the trail I have a packable bike pump that switches between high pressure and low pressure. Look for them--there are models like this. It will build 120psi on one setting and switch to high volume/low pressure typical 10 psi needs.
  3. mikea 2

    I tried, and tried again, still a POS

    Thanks for the report. Nothing worse than spending money and time on a tire to find out it's a dog. Been there, done that. Anymore I'm hesitant to try anything new from these sort of crap experiences; the disappointments outnumber the wins.
  4. mikea 2

    Dirt bike gear for toddler

    I've started three around that age (4). Helmets aren't so hard to find small enough. We found little Alpinestar boots that worked well. I think Fox makes the pee-wee chest protectors that help as well as their youth knee guards. Gloves are a must and I recommend pants--you'll find them in waist size 20 or so that will work, though there is lots of variation between brands. We had a couple of leg burns from early failures in the pants dept that were set backs. The older one might fit into an EVA pressure suit. Having enough armor will change a small get-off from tears to laughter. I never bought a set of training wheels for a motorcycle. I told my kids they could ride the dirt bike when they could ride their bicycle without training wheels. That was impetus enough and they quickly learned to ride without. I also tied a rope to the bike and ran with the kids. It's great exercise and I only had one ride through my fence! Practice stopping. It is done in steps--let off the throttle, apply the foot brake, the put your left foot down. Again and again. Finally you have to untie them and cut them loose and hope for the best. I used to ride behind on my mountain bike where I could shout directions. Eventually they would lap me and I would just catch up to pick them up. Mostly you will need tons of patience and the right attitude. For the kids to want to ride you have to make it fun. Set really small goals and give rewards. Be prepared to take and hour getting ready to ride and heading home after 5 minutes while trying not to threaten to sell the bike. All carrot and no stick. It was a lot of trouble but now I get to take my kids riding on the weekends while my old riding buddies who didn't bother are going to soccer games. I think it was worth it.
  5. mikea 2

    What Bike should i get?

    The 150r and 125 2 stroke with both give you a quick spanking if you lose control or don't supply adequate respect. However, with a few hours of riding and a can-do attitude (and proper riding gear--boots, helmet, gloves, chest protector is nice) you will likely learn. The 150r will be better--the 125 is a lot of bike. You might consider a big wheel 85 or, if you can find one, a super-mini (105). You would learn a lot on an 85 and not be as likely to get throttled. While you've not stated your goals I would steer you away from the ttr125. Sure it will be easy to learn on and easy to ride but based on your bike selection I don't think it will last you very long before you are bored. If your buddies are riding 85's, 125's, and 150r's you will be getting smoked. The other bikes mentioned do everything better.
  6. mikea 2

    Tubliss- Love/hate relationship

    Changing tires with tubliss is way easier than with standard tubes because you don't have to mess with a tube and valve stem. Why are you taking out the bladder for tire changes?? Where you start and stop with the tire installation is critical. Do not start or stop opposite of the high pressure valve stem. If you do, your tire bead will be forced down into the center of the rim where that valve stem resides. It will fight the valve stem for that space and it will tear the liner tube around the stem, causing damage that cannot be patched. I've found that after enough tire changes the liner tube just fails at the stem even if you are careful with installation as I described. So I try to keep one of each on hand. The good news about the failure at the valve stem is that it presents itself when you are still in the shop.
  7. mikea 2

    Second chances. (Graphic warning)

    Mike I just saw this thread. I'm glad to see that you are OK. Do you need anything? I'm working locally so if you need a hand let me know. Btw, you look sort of pissed with that groot on your shoulder. Hopefully things are starting to get better! On the bright side, no matter what life throws at your way you can rest assured you've been penetrated worse before...
  8. mikea 2

    Lucas 2 stroke oil??

    I ran it without incident for a couple of years. When I was re-jetting my new carb from JD it was running too rich and the guy at JD told me to throw away the Lucas Semi-syn. He said it was too thin and was causing my bike to run richer. Previously I had used belray exclusively for many years and didn't notice any difference on changing. When I changed back to another (can't recall the brand, but it was over $20/qt) I again could not tell the difference. JD recommended a couple, one being Yamalube. I have run that now and still could not tell anything and fixed my jetting problem with jets and his red needle. I might go back to Lucas, but Yamalube is pretty cheap too.
  9. mikea 2

    Galfer floating wave rotor flex?

    If it is moving when you hit the brake then your caliper is probably stuck. I don't know what bike we are talking about but most have the caliper on rails (so to speak) that allow them to float. If it is stuck then it will pull the rotor to the side when you apply the brakes, and when you are not it will continue to apply pressure which will overheat your brakes and cause poor function as well as eating up pads. You could also have a bent rotor causing the same effect.
  10. Your assessment of sxs users may be accurate for some. However I know several people who own them and they have been using trails for a very long time. I'll bet there is a higher rate of new users then there would be with motorcycles. Not many who know me would accuse me of being politically correct. Practical, yes.
  11. Ok. But are you certain no mountain biker or hiker has ever made the same claim of dirt bikers. From my experience I feel like there are a few hysterical Trail users with the same opinion of us.
  12. Change "SxS" for "dirt bike" and put this post in a mountain biker or hiker forum and it'll slide right in. The trouble is with individuals, not their equipment. You cannot make a meaningful judgement about the whole group based an a couple of butt holes. I've never ridden one of the machines and I do not like encountering them on the trail but most of the people in them are good folks out enjoying themselves. I think we need to maintain as much common ground with fellow trail users as possible in order to defend our right to use our lands. My irritation with them is when I encounter the 5'-6' wide models on atv trails. It hammers the trails and it's hard to get around them and scary when they are going fast. I've never seen one trying any of the single track where I ride.
  13. Sarcastic remarks aside, I would try not to sweat this too much. They heal quickly and this injury is easily avoided. Had you been wearing the bare minimum of riding equipment you could have avoided this injury. If I did not wear good boots I would have broken a foot countless times. So you made a rookie mistake, learn from it. Stop skipping steps. I would consider investing in knee guards, gloves, and maybe a chest protector as well to avoid these little dings from minor get-offs, which you will have many in your learning experience. BTW, your bike will suffer the same. If you can provide the same protection (bark busters, radiator braces, etc) it will also endure the inevitable abuse better.
  14. The last bike I bought new was about 4 years ago for my daughter--TTR50. The information I got from the dealer at time of purchase was non-existent. I got it home and sent her on a test ride before our riding trip the next day and it died after a few minutes with no spark. When I looked closely I noticed the bike was covered in screws with incorrect heads (or different from one another). There were hex heads and philips heads holding on the same piece of plastic. 8 millimeters with wide flange next to some with separate washers, etc. I took it back over and they kept it overnight and found the problem. Actually I think it took two tries. Anyhow, they had routed wires incorrectly and caused a short from the seat. Some black tape and it is all better, right? At the dealership I told him it was bunk and pointed to another of the same model and asked him to trade me. He said no way, he had already submitted the paperwork for that bike. There was no way he would give me a different bike. Fun fact, when I didn't get the rebate money after a few months I called to find out why. He had submitted an incorrect vin for the bike and I was denied my factory rebate. It had expired before the problem was discovered. Same dealer sold me an oil filter for the wife bike and it was wrong. The filter they gave me was exactly like the stock one but did not have a hole in the end. Not noticing, I sent her out this way. She made that engine scream, literally. It ran without oil. I took the filter back to the dealer and he gave me the right one, no charge. He even said he was sorry. I asked what he wanted to do about my engine and they were clear that they would do nothing. If you want to buy a Yamaha or Yamaha parts in Bozeman I cannot recommend a dealership. I've heard Livingston has a good one though. The Billings Yamaha shop used to be decent--we called their engine builds "Gunder's Grenades" for their fearsome but sometimes abbreviated performance. Now I thought the post was more about the industry in general rather than dealerships, but my experience with the latter has not always been great.