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About kawagumby

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  1. I use the Gaerne oiled because I already had a pair I bought for dual sport riding. Imagine my surprise when I found out they were actually trials boots! So, I've used mine for hard core dirt riding (not recommended - no realistic protection), and dual sporting. They are very comfortable, you can wear them in a restaurant without getting stared at...LOL...I put the optional toe guards on mine. Another boot that I am especially fond of is the Forma Terra. Waterproof, more protection than the Gaerne, very light and requires no break-in. I use my set for all kinds of riding, including nasty single track. They would work fine for trials, and are more versatile if other kinds of riding is in your plans. I've had a pair for about 4 years and the soles are in amazingly good shape, they are still waterproof (as demonstrated by my fall into a creek last week) - as an indicator of how much off-road time I have on them, they are on their third set of toe guards. Highly recommend - best boot for trail riding I've ever owned and light and flexible enough for trials, IMO.
  2. Now that I have had some time on a trials bike, I think I see what Beta had in mind with the Xtrainer. That softer suspension is golden for trials-like trail obstacles - and I'm sure that's why they had Olle develop the shock and forks. I may be wrong, but they probably had the idea that the bike would be used more than most bikes in situations where low speed suspension loading and unloading could be a major factor - which high speed specific forks don't work well for. They also originally advertised the bike as purposed for newer riders, which would fit the suspension characteristics too. I just spent this morning having fun with my xtrainer jumping over logs and practicing (small) wheelie turns - things that would be an absolute drag with a racing type suspension. I went up a steep, usually downhill, overgrown single track trail with no wheel-spin that none of my other bikes could even come close to making. What a neat do-it-all machine - I guess the bike's popularity due to the ergos and sweet torquey engine just outgrew Beta's original customer profile - LOL - but well worth the mods for the larger guys IMO. bikesandcars, I honestly think for trials-like trail obstacles that many of us like to challenge ourselves on, the stock suspension is better than the K9. I'm still fiddling with my K9 trying to find the sweet spot for my overall riding spectrum.
  3. Here's my two Beta's with Flexx bars. I'm an old guy too and feel the Flexx bars are just another way to keep riding longer. The downsides are cost, the bars are heavy, don't like to be cut down width-wise due to the square tubing that limits the round bar attachment area (especially tricky with the 390 RR extra stuff including the positioning of the brake line/master cylinder limiting the brake lever position), and... the extra pivot point that occurs when attaching hand guards, which makes them more likely to shift when hitting something hard. Still worth it tho'. I'd probably try the Composi-flex bars next time if the flex is similar and I can get past my concern about stress risers from the inadvertent nick or scratch. Here's the XT and 390...
  4. I noticed a reduction in inflammation when I do that. Regarding an inversion table, you might want to check out the Back Bubble as another option. I have one and think it is pretty effective when things get out of hand, plus it is easy to take with you if you travel. https://www.amazon.com/Back-Bubble-Spinal-Decompression-Relief/product-reviews/B01LMOS1SU
  5. At 70, my exercise routine is a product of worn-out knees and spinal discs, blown loose SI joints, and heart rhythm issues. What has evolved is the daily use of a cheap treadmill running at very low speeds, circulating fluids while keeping the weight off the lower spine by leaning forward and pressing down on the grab-bar, and doing both limited push-ups and some squat walking at intervals. It works well, keeps the back spasms at bay better than drugs or any other exercise, also helps keep the legs strong for off-the-seat riding, and so on. I ride once a week too, on trails that work out my whole body plus a weekly back-yard practice on my trials bike. Just yesterday while "attempting" to practice my new trials moves on a regular dirt bike, I managed to fall into a running creek - argh- so my heart is getting more than enough action by just being around for my cartoon-like dirt bike adventures. I almost forgot, as surfer-dude said above, nutrition is everything, if I go off my carefully developed diet I'm in pain all day, and lose energy.
  6. two places, right above idle and roughly 1/4 throttle, about where it is operating most with me on it. The bike is a true trials bike - no "quasi"...lol...just has some reduced features, in the form of a lack of suspension damping adjustment and the use of a tubed rear tire rather than tubeless. Engine, tranny, etc all the same as the more expensive models.
  7. A follow up: After cycling the battery from dead to fully charged several times during this ordeal, the battery now seems to work normally (we'll see about the long term, but I have another battery on the way in any case). The carb was off a bunch by way of the mixture screw - over two full turns too far out making it too rich and fouling the plug. I turned the mixture screw in until it would bog some when the throttle was cracked, then backed it out until the bog was gone (about one-eighth turn). The plug chop says the mixture is pretty good now. I set the idle speed to just above where it would stall to assure the choke circuit was involved. Before I attempt to start the bike I also lean it over to make sure the float bowl is full. Now it starts instantly after a single hit on the starter button followed by a thirty second delay before engaging the starter (this must be done even in warm temps if the bike has sat over nite). The bike is fun and I've already managed to crash it several times learning trials skills...
  8. So true. Back when I used to race hare scrambles, I had two bikes, a kdx200 and a kx250. For the more open race courses I would use the KX, for the tight courses I'd use the KDX. It was hard for me not to notice that my bike of choice for just having fun was nearly always the KDX. The KX was much faster on open trails, but was more a means to an end than a fun bike. The Xtrainer is like a KDX only much better - if I want to have fun, maybe jump some logs, rail some really tight technical trails that can challenge both mind and skills, the Xtrainer is the go-to bike, so putting a more high-speed oriented suspension on it would miss the point of why I bought it in the first place. I have an old riding buddy that just hates the kind of trails I ride, and is still into MX, so the Xtrainer's best traits would be viewed as drawbacks to him.
  9. Nice suspension review! Don't forget that some of these mods might apply more to heavier riders than lighter riders. I've been using the K9 kit for a while now and miss some of the trials-like character of the stock cartridge, esp when doing low speed technical stuff. The front end does tend to stay higher than before. I've gone from 550ml 15 wt to 500ml 10 wt in the k9 equipped forks but I'm also now running nearly full-out on the compression adjuster...just yesterday riding fast on rough trails I'm getting a bit of head-shake..., so I'm going to try about 7.5 wt (prob type F auto fluid just for fun) next. I like my forks with as little preload as possible. I feel the K9 doesn't need a revalve as I'm closing in to "my" perfection with just fluid mods. The K9 is a good compromise, IMO, but still needs to be dialed in for whatever the particular rider has needs for - which for me is slower technical trails with faster fireroad connectors. I'm 150 lbs w/o gear. I have no issues at all with the shock for what I use this bike for. This bike is still my favorite of all time -
  10. Yes, actually the crank spins if I charge the battery with a lithium charger, but it won't hold a charge for more than about a day. When I measure voltage at the battery, it reads fully charged until I hit the starter button, then it drops to only about 6 volts...sometimes, then other times it works. I suspect the battery's built-in electronics - in any case, a new battery is being shipped to me from the dealer. My carb did seem to be off a ton also; it runs perfect once going, but I've gone to using plug readings to fine tune the off-idle mixture screw. At this point I've gone in nearly two turns on the screw from where it was and still not getting a lean knock or flat spot and the plug looks much better. I hope the choke jet is not an issue too. I watched that KTM start video - to me that is a bogus way to deal with the issue. I dunno, unless you are really into light batteries, I think I'd generally prefer the old lead acid especially for trail riding, if just for the instant start. I've read all the pro's and con's, the longer lithium life-span, the weight savings, and the cranking benefits, but I've personally never had a problem with lead-acid and a tender...they last very long...many years and they are lots cheaper and will survive situations that the lithium battery built-in electronics may not. I also have a problem with using the starting system to heat up the lithium battery...that seems like a lot of unnecessary wear and tear of a starter system - with the attendant issues of contact surface breakdown. When I ride my other e-start bikes, I still bump start whenever possible just to keep the starting system wear to a minimum. I think a bike with a lithium battery that is subject to lower temperatures should have a dedicated resistance device that can heat the battery without the use of the starter system ( I've read posts where guys with street bikes use the headlight to do the job). It would be fairly easy to wire something like that up, and there may even be some commercial products that do just that. The Gas Gas Contact comes wired for a horn, so I think I'll install one and use that to heat the battery. I've read where you can hold the horn button down until it sounds right, and that indicates the battery is ready for start duties.
  11. You could get rid of the headlight and put a custom made box on the front of the triples. All kinds of plastic boxes out there...
  12. Regarding relocating the battery, it is not possible (IMO) to tuck it in the frame anywhere. The battery is exceptionally small, 2.25 X 4.25 X 3.375 inches +/-, but there is nowhere in the frame that is open enough to take it, further, the starter relay is attached to the battery directly which is clustered with some other wiring items, so it's a no go. Although I'm a beginner trials bike rider, I think the seat is situated low enough that it really won't matter for nearly any maneuver. I can lean the bike way over with no contact issues at all. If you are in a situation where you really don't want the seat or need the starter, you can always install some electrical disconnects to make the removal quick and easy (it uses a single bolt at the rear).
  13. Man, what a bummer. I hope you haven't paid them in full yet - that milky oil is the real concern to me, the other stuff can likely be worked out.
  14. I sold my 2015 KTM 350 exc (which I too spent a lot of money on to try to get it to run right) and bought the '17 Beta 390. The KTM was not fun to ride in tight trail conditions, the Beta 390 is. Lower CG and seat, better ergos, and the engine runs perfect out of the box. Stalling is no longer an issue. The suspensions are a wash, IMO. BTW, the '17 Beta has the kicker but it is a joke. I've never been able to spin it fast enough to start. I was showing a riding buddy how I could stand full-weight on it, and it wouldn't even move...LOL.
  15. "Thou shalt come upon a dirty beast, thou shalt kick the beast, and verily, it shall set forth a mighty dark cloud that blocks out the sun. And from that darkness will begin the end of days."