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About juanroberts

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    Trailwork, trash removal, & quiet mufflers improve unpaved travel.

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  1. juanroberts

    After racing...shins and Calves, ITCH BAD!!

    During day-long summer trail rides in the mountains, I take my Tech 10 boots off during lunch. My socks are usually soaked, but they amazingly dry out within 5 minutes. This cooling seems to provide a lot of itch mitigation on the following day. Similarly, when my shins are itchy, at the end of my shower I cool them off using cold water and that seems to help too. For bonus points, in the winter when my shins are itchy seemingly because of the dry air, I dab conditioner on them in the shower and that helps too. Good luck.
  2. juanroberts

    Crank bearing squeaks when wet?

    THE QUESTIONS: Is it normal for a crank to start squeaking "immediately after" it gets wet? And if so, should I replace it even after it stopped? THE STORY: My son dropped his 2015 Husqvarna TC85 in the Creek yesterday. Its the same motor as my daughter's 2015 KTM85 so I thought I would post here. The bike would not start, so I removed the spark plug, flipped it upside down, and about a couple of shot glasses of water came out. Even though this was only about 10 minutes after the bike was dropped in the creek, when I proceeded to turn the crank slowly, it squeaked a lot, as if a cat was getting killed in there. At the time I figured the water went in through the airfilter and put a lot of dirt in there. Today I took the pipe off and it had no water. I took the engine out and removed the cylinder. There was a little water here and there. When I flipped it, about 1/2 of a shot glass of water came out. I put diesel in the crank, spun the crank, drained, and repeated a few times. Whenever I turned the crank, there was always a heavy squeak, it sounded like from the magneto side, or left bearing (when looking forward as if seated on the bike). It did not matter if I pulled or pushed on the magneto, when I turned it, the squeak was always there. I poured a bit of two stroke oil, about 1-2 inches deep in the crank, and the squeak continued even after leaning the motor from side to side and spinning the crank. The crank was also hard to turn at times (sort of like when I over tighten the head steering bearings and they get a little tight at the stroke here and there, as if randomly). With the crank the tight spots were also random and not always in the same spot of the crank's 360 turn. There really was no dirt in there, but there were some floaters that looked like tiny leave material the size of tiny black pepper specks, could have been rust specs but they were too tiny to tell. So I decided to flood the crank with two stroke oil to see if it would muffle the squeak somewhat as a way of isolating it from possible noise coming from somewhere else, such as the water pump. All of a sudden, to my surprise there was no more squeak at all and the crank started to slowly get less and less tights. I drained the oil, and the squeak was still gone. Before, I had to turn the crank by hand with the magneto, but now it loosened enough to free spin from pushing and pulling the rod just like a new crank would. The only thing that makes sense to me is that by filling it with oil, the oil was able to enter into the upper portions somehow (for example, there are two holes on the top of the crankcase on either side of the crank that when I push and pull on the magneto results in increases and decreases in the level of oil in each of these holes when they were flooded with oil). Before yesterday's fateful ride, I had put a flywheel weight on this bike, and the crank did not squeak at all at that time. As background, the bike has 25 hours on it since storeroom new, and I always run 40:1 Maxima full synthetic two stroke oil and its jetted rich enough where it always has a bunch of spooge to clean after each ride.
  3. I run Scotts oil filters in my WRs, and used it on an XR650R as well. I sometimes check them, and always think to myself, why did I even bother. Lets say I change the oil about 15 times before I clean a Scotts oil filter, and even then think I wasted my time. One thing though, I only do this because I always run a magnetic drain plug, and every other oil change I change the oil after riding the bike for 15 minutes so that the tiny stuff that gets suspended gets drained before it settles back to the bottom again. KEEP CALM, AND RIDE ON.
  4. juanroberts

    Fork Seal Failure Rate

    Concur on the two year cycle, give or take 1.5 years. OEM seals fail at this rate. Now, I have never, ever, had to replace a green SKF or a Synergy Seal. They are worth the money. The last suspension guy also did the Kawasaki offroad pro team suspension about 5 years back and would not install anything but SKFs. You pay 2-3 times as much, but they last longer than that. Well worth avoiding the hassle of changing seals. In fact, if I was not this mechanically lazy, I would replace all OEM seals before riding a new bike. The same suspension guy said the seal savers are absolute crap because they cause a lot of friction (stick-tion) and mess up the suspension's feel. As in, lots of people come to him to improve the suspension, and most the result comes from removing them. My personal experience before hearing this wisdom, is that they require virtually per ride mandatory maintenance because they trap a lot of dirt, and then they scratch the tubes, the neoprene wears out, etc.
  5. juanroberts

    Dirt accessible lodging in the Sierras

    I would love to but am saving the long drive for next year. The kids may even be ready by then. Thanks!
  6. juanroberts

    Dirt accessible lodging in the Sierras

    Ballisticexchris - That is what we ended up doing these last few days at Downieville. We stayed at Packer Saddle Campground and unfortunately had to drive up to Packer Saddle Staging on day 2 and 3. On day one we drove to Gold Lake to stage and scope the campgrounds out for next year, and did some fireroads as a warm up. On day 2-3 we rode Butcher, Pauley, Empire, Chimney, Boulder, Third Divide, Lavezolla, and a bunch of fire roads. Sorry to see the area's historic 'non-designated' trails were taken back by nature. We got to swim every afternoon at Packer lake, which was cool. Now for next weekend a hotel no longer matters. I would be happy with singletrack loops at high elevations to escape from the heat. Ideal if it had nice views and a lake. Horse Canyon is out. I did not realize how limited the mountain riding in California was until I tried to ride with my kids who are not old enough to be street legal yet. Thanks.
  7. juanroberts

    Dirt accessible lodging in the Sierras

    Nice writeup. It even inspired me to try to rent a trailer with facilities, as in a Weekend Warrior. I even looked at VRBO.com, selected California as a criteria, then did a keyword search for "dirtbikes". Most of the hits are booked for months, or are really expensive. I did find an interesting one that popped up in Nevada where I can ride right out of the house unto BLM land. Keep the ideas coming. Thanks.
  8. juanroberts

    Dirt accessible lodging in the Sierras

    Thank you for the recommendations. I figure there are plenty of places, I just have not done my homework during rides. Certainly lots of cabins that would have a garage. Thank you and please keep the ideas coming. This is very helpful.
  9. juanroberts

    How long do people go before top end rebuild?

    I have ridden my 2007 WR250F since new in all types of conditions, terrains, events, etc. Only a few months ago did the bike have problems starting and so I did the shims for the first time. Some of the valves were open at this point, so I had to do two iterations to figure it out and put them into spec but now it starts like new. Have not done anything else to the motor. Riding wise the only thing I do materially different, is I always try to keep the revs low, or moderate. On pavement sections I go between 45-55 mph, and not faster except for the brief occasional "lets see if I can hit 70". OK, for short bursts, I can also get competitive on singletrack, or if I am doing a hillclimb I will mercilessly hit the rev limiter. But by on average by keeping the revs moderate, I think, my motor has not required much tooling or parts. A mechanic once told me that the motocross guys go through the YZ motors "much much quicker" because of how high they rev them (you could also argue that the cams are different and such). So it may depend not so much on years, or even necessarily hours on the bike, as much as how many high revving hours you have put on your bike?
  10. When doing your calculations for the new shims, if you could not get the feeler gauge in there, then assume it was zero clearance. Then reshim, put the cams back on, and test the clearance a second time. It is theoretically possible that the clearance was negative, which in plain English means you will have to go through the process of shimming twice: once to get within the ballpark, and a second measurement to get into spec. Put a rag so as not to drop any metal down the motor. Once you are done, the bike should start like new (but only because its a Yamaha). ;-)
  11. juanroberts

    09 YZ250F: Runs rich and floods out at start up

    Not sure on the slit at the end of the fuel screw hole. I have never had to remove my carburetor, and I dread at the thought of having to take the bike apart to do so, so always drain the carb when I am not going to use it for more than a week to unsure a healthy carb. Its a good lead, hopefully you can find a pic on the internet and then be able to determine if that is normal or not. My 2007 WR250F and WR450F personal starting procedures invariable involve a barely noticeable, tiny bit of slow throttle turn and hold in order to get them to start quickly. The exception is when they are cold. When cold, I just let it crank over 3-4 turnovers and then regardless of throttle, they fire up. It is nice to have an e button. They also typically need the choke if its even a little bit cold. When I crack the throttle for the bike to start, I always turn it very very slowly so as to avoid the pumper shooting gas in there. Because you have the wire, even an o-ring, and a Quickshot, it sounds to me like a formula for squirt. I once heard a supercross guy had a routine of holding the handlebar inside of the front brake lever clamp (and not the throttle) with his right hand to keep the temptation away of twisting as he tried to start the bike. I say if all else fails, try deactivating your pumper by removing the wire and oring and seeing if that helps start the bike. This is not a permanent solution, as much as a way to temporarily diagnose the malady so you can then adjust your bike and starting procedures for easier starting routines. Good Luck!
  12. juanroberts

    09 YZ250F: Runs rich and floods out at start up

    Valve adjustment, clean airfilter, etc.
  13. juanroberts

    09 YZ250F: Runs rich and floods out at start up

    What perplexes is that gas is usually good for starting bikes, hence the nature of the choke. If you happen to have a small leak jet, plus are also using the o-ring fix on the gas pump, then you may have a confluence of squirt when you twist the throttle. Maybe disconnect the pump to see if the problem goes away? Try the fuel blow-by test to see if the carb holds air/gas while you lean the bike over simulating the tilt the bike goes through when you kick start it (angle ranges from being on the kickstand, to being balanced, etc.). Try leaving the petcock closed when starting it cold. Less likely options: Test the resistance of the ignitor coil when cold against the specs. Try a hotter spark plug (may be risky). I have given up options: Bump starting. Blow torch on the spark plug (like a diesel engine of sorts). Good luck!
  14. Are there hotels or rental cabins in the Sierras within a block or two from a dirt network? I have kids and I plan to ride with them next month in the Tahoe/Downieville/Sierras area and are open to try different areas. What I was looking for was a hotel or two no more than a couple of blocks away from dirt riding areas. What I want to avoid is what happened when we stayed in Downieville last year and I had to shuttle the dirtbikes to First Divide Trail a few miles away (maybe I am not privy to closer dirt access roads). Feel free to send me a message offline. Thanks beforehand for the help!
  15. juanroberts

    Gear ratios for newer WR250F's (2016+)

    Agreed on the FX and its purpose, but for the WR I could use a taller 6th. I am not complaining about first per se, as much as how my 2007 WR250F can only comfortably cruise at 45MPH (stock sprockets). After that, it starts to rev too high for my liking (think sand road at that same speed for an hour). Yes, I could ride it at 70MPH, but then valve wear and such start to take a toll on my ability to not do any mechanical work on the bike. I had the bike about ten years before I finally adjusted the valves for the first time. That was because it would not start and the valve was so tight it no longer closed. It is all the wrenching this bike needed since new (other than prepping it before the very first ride). I have ridden it in many enduros on the East Coast, and on the West Coast as well. Its been numerous times on the Rubicon Trail, in Baja 1000 racecourses and Tecate singletrack. It really has been bullet proof. Oil, airfilters, fork seals, tires, tubes, gas, a front sprocket, a chain and that is it for 10 years. It still has the stock rear sprocket.