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About JemmyOtis

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    TT Member

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    Friends, experiences, car touring and camping, backpacking, dirt biking, writing, guitar, philosophizing, good cigars, great whisky.

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  1. JemmyOtis

    WR250F as a light wight dual sport

    True enough on the temps, although I kind of like them. Was back cross country skiing in -30 windchill a couple years back. As long as there's a warm bar somewhere at the end I can hang on. I'm also hoping to try one of these out in Utah this year, could make your winters more bearable.
  2. JemmyOtis

    WR250F as a light wight dual sport

    I own both, the F is a 2015, the R is a 2017. I'll admit it's hard to climb on the R after riding the F. I'm originally from MN (CA now) and would absolutely do what you're thinking of if I still lived there and didn't plan any long adventure rides. I can't speak for others but I love the R for its legendary durability because I almost always ride solo and have done, and will be doing, pretty big trips on it. I don't approach adventure trips like I do off-road riding/racing. Speed and torque are not that big of a deal when I want to load 30+ additional pounds on the bike. For all the common dissing of Rs, to me it is a tractor that can do almost anything except serious technical stuff (though I've seen video of riders doing that). I get lucky enough to move back to MN, or any other state where the F can be legal, it would be a dream. I think I'd keep the R for riding roads--it's heavier, more stable and with gearing you can cruise easily at 70+ for hours. I can't speak to luggage carrying capabilities for the F but if you set up the suspension for it I can't see it being an issue. Cheers.
  3. JemmyOtis

    2005 yz250f Suspension set up

    You're not too heavy, that's laughable. And spending a few hundred bucks on something that affects your ride in a big way is an easy decision. You can learn to service your suspension (for the most part--the one exception being nitrogen for the rear), it's a satisfying skill to learn and will allow you to keep reasonable service intervals, and the skill will follow you to any future bike you own. Or, if that's intimidating, call around, there are a ton of suspension shops, and most will do business via UPS so you're not limited to where you live. I don't know about your specific bike but replacing the rear spring shouldn't involve any other parts. But, as mentioned above it's best to service front and back at the same time. I'm 6'1", 220, and the biggest factor in how confident I feel on the bike is how dialed in the suspension. I'm still learning and sometimes it feels like voodoo trying to translate what the bike is doing to what adjustments to make. I envy some of the riders I see who can go for a ten minute ride and know exactly what they need to do. Where you really start to run into money with suspension is when you upgrade internals or do mods. I think many riders do that way too soon, before they know enough to appreciate or feel the difference. Get the right springs, service everything, and start playing with the adjustments. Good luck. Cheers.
  4. JemmyOtis

    15 top end rebuild

    If you get a chance please report back with how it went, any issues, tips, etc. Thanks.
  5. Did a leak down test today, or tried to. This was my first one and after some reading I decided to do the first one at a lower psi to get a sense of how much pressure it would put on the piston and how much force I'd need to hold it. So I started at 40 psi and even that low the crankshaft bolt (thinking it's called something else?) came loose as I held it at TDC. Kind of amazing considering suggested psi for the test is 90 - 100. I have no idea what that means but it seems problematic. Maybe I'm using the wrong terminology but so far my searches haven't turned up anything useful. If anyone can tell me what this means and/or next steps I'd appreciate it.
  6. I've read as many of the TT blogs (and others) on this but nothing really matches my situation so asking for advice. I returned to riding last year after 35 years away, so basically a noob. I took an all-day class, bought a 2015 WR250F and started riding. In the first year of owning the bike I've put on 4000 miles and roughly 350 hours (I added an hour meter but only after ~35 hours and don't have the power tuner). Only engine mods were competition ECU kit (before I even rode it) and the airbox mod. All my riding has been desert and mountains (think Hungry Valley and LPNF single track). I do lots of training exercises, mostly low-to-mid speed stuff for balance, clutch/throttle control, etc, as well as longer rides up to 40 - 50 miles. I don't get in the high revs very often. I've been good on maintenance--oil and filter changes every 8 - 12 hours, constant air filter changes, wash and lube after every ride, suspension, steering and wheel bearing maintenance, clean and adjust chain, shock seals and oil, etc. I've checked the valve clearances regularly and they've still well in spec (latest was 15 hours ago). I don't see any exhaust smoke on start-up or acceleration. I've seen two broadly grouped opinions on bikes with miles/hours like this. One says ride until you start having symptoms of problems, the other says be more aggressive to avoid ever having symptoms. I worked on and built car engines as a kid and generally belong to the latter group, but I don't have enough knowledge to make an informed decision here. I guess I'd be fine if those symptoms were gradual and I had time to react, but the last thing I want is to be a fool and have a $40 cam chain disintegrate and do major damage. Thanks.
  7. JemmyOtis

    Lpnf East Frazier open?

    Open, rode it yesterday.
  8. JemmyOtis

    2015 YZ250FX Oil strainer weep

    What they said...mine leaked several times until I found a similar thread and stopped pushing it in. The only time it has leaked since I put on a new O-ring and that solved it.
  9. I've got the same bike and am 220 / 6' 1", but hardly qualified to give advice. I will give some thoughts though. So I took a guess on a few of the questions but the RaceTech calculator (http://racetech.com/ProductSearch/1/Yamaha/WR250F/2015 and then click "Calculate Spring Rates...") suggests .44 fork springs and .5998 shock spring, but possibly the age or type of rider I entered was off and it would matcn what FC told you with the right values (not claiming one is more right, just comparing). I've been on a quest to learn how to get my bike setup. You can see my similar post at http://www.thumpertalk.com/topic/1175953-sag-sanity-check-2015-wr250f/ - some very useful comments there. The only mod I've done is the recommended RaceTech spring in back. I haven't done the recommended front fork spring yet because it's so close to the factory one, but I'll likely do that and maybe add RT gold valves sometime. Other than that, new fork oil, sag set according to what I've seen (most guys run it higher), bringing the forks up through the clamps (factory is 5mm, I saw suggestions for 3 - 4mm and so far am using 4mm), and then, starting with factory compression settings and adjusting for where you ride based on a bunch of reading and research (desert for me meant generally 1 - 3 clicks in on everything), I feel like I'm getting real close to something very good, or at least it's far and away the best it's been. Or, I'm deluding myself. I'm sure you'll get some good thoughts from others here.
  10. JemmyOtis

    So Cal guys: What dealer did you buy your bike(s) at?

    Good luck, and let us know where you land.
  11. JemmyOtis

    So Cal guys: What dealer did you buy your bike(s) at?

    Absolutely I would have paid for the bike and parts up front and gladly waited for the work to be done. I just didn't have the knowledge to ask them to measure sag, etc. at that time. And, I think more experienced riders probably go home and do their own setup. But with suspension being so crucial to the riding experience, and the factory suspension setup for a 165 - 180 pound guy, how many guys leave with a bike that isn't ideal? I suppose the other question is, how good are the dealer mechanics at giving suspension advice? I think for my next bike I will probably trailer it straight out to someone like RaceTech before I even take it out.
  12. JemmyOtis

    So Cal guys: What dealer did you buy your bike(s) at?

    What year/make/model? 2015 WR250F Where did you buy it? Simi Valley Cycles Did you go through the internet and get a quote first or walk in and negotiate? A few emails back and forth and I got a OTD price. Do you feel you got a fair deal? I dont need numbers what you paid just how you feel about it today. Very fair based on what I've seen others paid for the same bike. Best part was, the OTD price he quoted didn't change when I went in person. How was the overall experience? Anything the salesman or dealer could have done better? What did they do that was great? Great experience. The bike was ready and the whole deal took very little time to complete. One thing I was not happy with, but didn't know until I learned more about bikes, is they didn't do any setup unique to me. They could have sold me a rear spring, and maybe front, that was better suited to my size and weight if they had tried, and the bike would have been that much better. I wonder if many dealers do this though. As people go I liked everyone I met at the dealership.
  13. JemmyOtis

    Sag sanity check 2015 WR250F

    Thought I'd follow up since I feel like I made significant progress last week. After reading through this and other threads, and several websites and articles, I did the following: As mentioned, I already have replaced the rear spring with the one recommended by RaceTech. The manual suggests 90 - 100 mm of rider sag but several people, including 2banga and F-Pilot in this thread, said they preferred it higher, from 105 - 115 mm. I set my at 108. This left my static sag at 25, which confuses me if this is indeed the correct spring for me. I may play with letting the sag out to 110+ mm or so in a few weeks. 2banga and F-Pilot also suggested of lowering the forks through the triple clamps from the factory 5 mm to 3 - 4 mm, and I found a couple of other references to doing that. I changed mine to 4 mm. I then decided to set all damping and compression to factory settings, and then adjusted them based on what I've seen for desert terrain, which was: Front damping: 1 - 2 clicks in (I did 1) Front compression: 1 - 2 clicks in (I did 1) Rear damping: 1 - 2 clicks in (I did 1) Rear high speed compression: 1/2 turn in (I left mine alone) Rear low speed compression: 1 - 2 clicks in (I did 1) The only disagreement I found for those settings was some people suggested the rear compression should be backed out instead of in, but most agreed with in. I rode three days in a row with these settings with the only change being 1 extra click in on the front compression and a 1/2 turn in on the rear high speed compression on day two. The bike felt the best it's ever felt. Cornering was the best it's ever been, and over whoops at low speed and high the bike just kept the line--almost unbelievably at times compared to what I've felt before. I still think it's a couple of clicks away from being the best it can be but I'm not sure what those would be so for now I'm getting used to this. I'd love to have someone ride it that actually understands what a good bike setup is like and either confirm or debunk me, but as frustrating as this has been so far I still find value in going through the motions. I still haven't ruled out having a shop set it up for me eventually but for now I'll keep tinkering.
  14. JemmyOtis

    Sag sanity check 2015 WR250F

    Just an update and rant for any riders who become overwhelmed like me... Spent the last two days out testing different settings. This is some daunting sh*t when you don't have the experience to know what "right" or "good" feels like. Add to that I've trained for over 2000 miles over the last seven months riding everything stock (I did make some attempts to adjust sag and think it was probably up around 115), which means my reference is probably poor to wrong. When you think about it there are seven suspension adjustments: sag, front rebound and compression, forks through triple clamp height, rear rebound, rear high and low speed compression. Add in other factors that can affect what you feel: fatigue, mental distraction, heat/cold, traction (ride a day or two after rain in the desert and it bears almost no resemblance to the same ride before the rain). I tested on a 2 mile loop out in the desert I use as my warm up. It's a great loop with a bit of everything--wide open, loose sandy wash with many corners, short single track with whoops and corners, a bunch of small hills/mounds with different pitches and surfaces. I tested by starting with stock, then 4 clicks out, then 4 clicks in, and worked my way through all the adjusters. You'd think that swing of 8 clicks would have been glaring but sometimes I couldn't tell anything at all. Other times I could tell something had changed but couldn't tell you what it was exactly. I followed that up with several more rides over two days, everything from single track to a rocky dry stream bed, trying a few smaller adjustments that mostly confused me more. On the plus side, cornering improved (just the new spring, or change in sag, or the adjustments?) and preloading to get the tire up over things was way better than before. But there were other times where the bike just felt unstable or unsure, i.e., the back end wanting to "swim", the front end pitching, getting a bit out of control in whoops. Maybe that was just my body reacting to what I became used to versus what it is now, but translating that to adjustments? Forget it. I don't want to use my frustration as an excuse to go to a suspension shop. I hope to do that someday, because after reading the Race Tech suspension book and a million suspension articles on the web I have no doubt they do great things that come from experience and scientific data. But I want to understand my bike first. What would their setup matter if I can't understand or appreciate what they did? I'm not sure what's next. Obviously you can't glean all of this in less than a year of riding, no matter how many miles or hours you ride. I guess I'll just keep riding and adjusting, though I feel it's a bit of a fool's errand. One thought I have is to focus on only one thing at a time, and make the adjustment swing huge, i.e., take rebound all the way out, then all the way in, then narrow from there. One thing's for sure: I envy you guys that can ride and translate issues you're feeling into a specific adjustment.