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kawagumby

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About kawagumby

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  1. kawagumby

    Beta 125rr?

    Why get a 125? In my case, I bought a couple of older YZ125's, a 1997 and a 2001 (smokers must be pre-2003 to ride in CA year round). The reason I got two was the 97 has a lower seat/frame and the 2001 was the first to go with a 38mm carb, larger brakes, low and high speed shock adjustment...etc. In most ways they are completely different bikes, handling and power-wise. I rebuilt both, revalved and shortened the suspensions, and so forth. They are a complete blast to ride and provide an element of challenge that a 200cc bike will not. They take work to ride but leave me less beat up than any other bike I've ever owned. I can easily make any hill, blast through any kind of terrain on a 200, and it gets a little boring, to be honest. The 125's put the challenge back into every technical trail and I love that. A 125 will still be more "flickable" than a 200 also. BTW, the '97 has a torquey engine that still pulls like a demon when it gets on the pipe - and that's the one I'm tweaking into a woods bike. A Beta 125rr would be a good buy for someone who thinks like I do. I almost bought one, but sadly, the CA smoker restricted riding months killed that idea. My xtrainer feels like a Harley after I ride a 125, LOL.
  2. kawagumby

    Rear brake pedal while standing downhill

    I keep my pedal much lower than most guys...it helps on fireroads when flat-tracking and I do tend to use the rear brake to steer alot. I still don't have problems on downhills. I do use Forma boots which are flexible, I do keep my butt off the seat, but more an attack position than standing - I think that's the key, keeping that aggressive body position, bent knees, crouched over the bars...so you can absorb hits and change lines, then the pedal is still well within reach. Also, for guys that have brakes that heat up and fade..try DOT 5.1 - it pretty much eliminates that problem, the downside is that the fluid is more hydroscopic and needs to be changed more often.
  3. kawagumby

    Regrets Buying a New Motorcycle?

    For many years all I bought was new, and yes, I had some regrets. The '15 TE250 KTM/Husky...stands out, the KTM 350 EXC and a WR250F too. Where I live virtually all the new smokers are red sticker bikes, meaning I can only ride them 8 months out of the year. So, I'm slowly building a stable of older bikes, pre-2003 yz's, etc. The used prices are low enough that I can put some money and effort into them to make them personalized for my riding wants. I modify the suspensions, both valving and height, modify the engines for more low to mid, add flexx bars for comfort. And guess what? For trail riding they ARE quite superior to the newer bikes I've owned. Sure, some of the new bikes are dialed for higher speed "racing" stuff, but suck on single track in rowdy terrain. The older bikes can be modified to be more versatile, IMO and they are stone reliable too. I never used to like to work on bikes, but when I see how the changes I'm making translate to very fun riding, it's becoming much more fun to wrench. Jeez, I bought a new Xtrainer, had to add a kicker, disable the unreliable oil injection, fix a few things, change out the forks... I like it but that's a lot of money just to get a modern KDX. I've been eye-balling the YZ250X, but that's another red-sticker bike, so I'm going to buy a pre-2003 YZ250 and mod it out. I bet it will work out great like the other used bikes I have.
  4. kawagumby

    Fork oil is BLACK

    Is the black mostly due to aluminum oxide forming on the aluminum component surfaces and tainting the oil, or is it a result of wear? Of course, no matter where it came from, aluminum oxide suspended in fluid would quickly accelerate wear. I frequently pull apart KYB forks with heavy wear that are decades old, and I don't see that kind of dark oil - Could it be that they are using a more reactive aluminum alloy for their forks?
  5. I've been using EVS knee braces for a couple of years now, and really like them. They tend to reduce the small rotational stresses that cause knee pain (especially with older worn knees like mine) and provide good protection too. Before I used them, I'd have knee pain after about 1/2 hour of riding, now there is no pain. Mine are the RS9 model...good product.
  6. Riding since the 60's. Two head-on collisions; broken ribs. Handlebars into ribs; broken ribs. Falling off cliffs twice; loose and arthritic SI joints. Falling over going walking speed on tight technical trails; broken ribs (I now wear football rib protectors). Kicking over an RM400; broken toe. Dislocated fingers: two. Hours of fun and FREEDOM; unlimited.
  7. Since you bring it up....actually I think the big 4 Japanese ARE better regarding line assembly issues. Why? Because I've ridden Jap bikes since the 60's and have never come across the obvious assembly issues I've found on the Euro bikes I've owned. Sure the Japanese don't put enough grease on some bearings, but there has always been SOME grease there...LOL. I can only relate to what I've purchased, but sticking just to the Xtrainer...the first day I rode it I noticed an oil leak...it was due to an improperly tightened clutch slave cylinder. Riding on flat surfaces I'd get a lean knock that would worsen... due to a pinched off tank vent line (that one took me a while to figure out). I had to replace the cylinder/head o-rings after about 30 hrs or so. In many places the wiring was routed where it could pinch. Now, none of that stuff is a big deal to me, but I've never had such issues with ANY of the many Jap bikes I've owned. I've had similar assembly problems with the two KTM's I've owned (like a flat tire after 10 minutes on a new bike - rim strip improperly installed). Interestingly enough, my daughter works as a service manager at a Chrysler dealership and says the Fiats have a real quality control issue. After doing some research I found that Italy has laws that make it very difficult to fire employees. That kind of makes sense - sometimes you get someone assembling the bike that probably shouldn't be on the line. Not everyone wants to strip a bike down like you do...I don't, LOL. I do that enough with the used bikes I rebuild. But, my initial post didn't mention or compare with Japanese factories, just a heads-up regarding grease missing.
  8. Check those linkage bearings...mine came with the shock bearing completely dry. Nada, zip, no grease at all. The Italian assembly workers are not the best, that's for sure...it's a good idea to double check all chassis assembly stuff, IMO.
  9. I've been eye-balling that bike for a while now. I'd get it but I'm afraid the DMV will eventually pull the license.
  10. kawagumby

    Cheapest xtrainer pipe guard option

    I've used these: https://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p/905/28377/Tusk-Aluminum-Pipe-Guard
  11. I was going to edit this post, but it appears after a time that's not allowed. One issue with just revalving the base valve (compression stack) is that the bike feels like it is "packing" over long successive stutters while braking, especially downhill ones (better than before and not bad), but irritating to an older guy like me. I knew it wasn't a rebound issue, so I decided to get into the midvalve. Anyhoo, after making some changes there, the forks are outstanding in all the situations and conditions I can throw at them. Supple over slow rough, good over smaller jumps, will hold the line through fast rough, and can take some big hits while keeping control. So, for those who decide to do this conversion, have your tuner soften up the midvalve stack too, they'll be into that location anyway while doing the shortening.
  12. kawagumby

    Any way to tame down the xtrainer?

    You might want to see what happens if you richen the carb pilot circuit a little (turn the screw in) so it doesn't come on so quickly off-idle. Experiment. Keep an eye on the plug until its no longer necessary.
  13. kawagumby

    Rider Weight vs Springs

    have a good laugh, assbite. Yes, water pack, fanny pack, boots, knee braces, neck brace, helmet, etc.. And I'm using light forma boots. Weighed it all a couple of weeks ago. Where do people like you come from?
  14. kawagumby

    Rider Weight vs Springs

    I believe the Beta spring rates are clearly for rider with full gear. I'm about 150 lbs nekkid, but about 185 with gear and the stock setup was a little soft for me doing anything but casual trail riding. My bike was a '17 390 RR-S with stock valving. Hans is right, valving will stiffen it up just right for more aggressive riding...I'd blow through off of small jumps, but springs were spot on for trail riding.
  15. kawagumby

    2019 RR Race Edition Models - First Look

    Well, I'm 71 and hanging in there...every year I wonder if it'll be my last...but so far so good. Gawd, I love riding and pain is my friend, keeps me company all the time, LOL.
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