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About ericinmichigan

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    Cycle riding with friends and with my family
  1. The funny thing is that I actually told the guy at the dealership when I checked it in for service that "it's almost like someone is hitting the kill switch!" I thought about checking that, but it never had an issue before that one moment when the throttle jammed. Must have been one huge coincidence! I am grateful for everyone's time and energy in terms of suggesting solutions, so thanks again to everyone who chimed in with suggestions!! Eric
  2. Problem SOLVED!! I only have my son with me every-other weekend, and I was just plain out of ideas on how to fix this thing. I called a couple of my buddies who are mechanics and asked if they could sneak in a look if I brought it to their place some evening, but both of them are busy with other side work. So for the first time, I broke down an brought it into the dealer where I know the guys and buy all of my parts. I dropped it off late yesterday, and just got a call from them - they said it's the kill switch wiring. Apparently it frayed and when the bars get turned one way, a wire rubbed against the frame. $44 is way less than I was afraid of, and I'm really glad that the dealer was kind enough to understand my part-time parenting situation and get the bike right in. Thank you to everyone who chipped in thoughts. It's quite a coincidence that this kill switch problem reared it's head right when the carb issue happened, but that's the way it goes sometimes I suppose! Thanks again!! Eric
  3. I appreciate your thoughts on this issue, thanks for taking the time to chip in. The problem originally started with the throttle being sort of stuck not being able to close all the way. My son got scared and killed the engine. I got the throttle straightened out by taking it for a quick ride and "blipping" the throttle wide open and then letting off. It returned to normal when I did that. So all of the problems seem to have started all at once, and with a physical occurrence of that throttle sticking like that. That's why I wonder if maybe the nozzle might have gotten slightly reamed so as to allow too much fuel to flow??
  4. Thanks for putting your time and energy into trying to help me on this! I filled up a pretty big pickle jar that took a good 30 seconds or longer, all with the same smooth fuel flow rate from the fuel line (disconnected from the carb and routed into the pickle jar, lol). So I'd say that I don't have a clog there...
  5. Thanks for the ideas guys. I did just replace the reeds, and was very careful when I reinstalled the reed block, so I don't think that's an issue. When I drained some fuel into a glass jar to look for possible water or other contamination, the fuel flowed nicely out of the fuel line, so I don't think it's an issue with the petcock or vent tube. It really does seem like an issue with the carb not being able to supply enough fuel - but that doesn't fit with a sudden jammed throttle and now this running issue. When I started it cold it didn't want to start or run at all with the choke on, so when I started it with the choke off, the exhaust had a lot of smoke. I wonder if maybe the needle got jammed in the nozzle (the brass tube that the needle slides into which has a jet on the bottom) due to some dirt or something, and then maybe the nozzle got damaged a little bit (it's the only thing related that I couldn't replace since it's on back-order until mid-july), and now that's allowing it to run super rich, emptying the bowl quickly. The nozzle looked okay when we checked it, but I know it wouldn't take much damage to allow a lot more fuel to flow up into the airstream! At this point I'm thinking it's that you guys agree?? Any ideas on where I could get one right away?
  6. Thanks for chipping in a thought Jimmy. I thought about that too...but it all started at one particular time when the throttle got jammed up and then the carb needle was gouged afterwards. That was a physical problem, and up until that moment it ran just fine. Now the running problem (starts fine, but just quits after a short time) seems like a pattern that is repeating itself. I feel like the problem is right in front of me but I just can't figure it out and my son and I want to ride!! Grrrrr....
  7. Okay guys, so here's the latest. I installed new reeds, a new needle, and all new hoses (since I had it all apart anyway). I cleaned the air filter and took the whole airbox out and completely cleaned that too. I disassembled the carb as far as I could and cleaned it inside and out. Suspecting that gas might be an issue, I cleaned out a glass pickle jar and drained gas out of the tank into the jar, then capped it and let the jar sit for a while to see if it appeared to have water or maybe some other contaminants - it looked perfect. I did order a new nozzle too since the needle obviously had been jammed into it, but that is on back order until July (ouch), and the one I have appeared undamaged visually. I also had a guy at the dealer help me check the float height, and that is right where it's supposed to be. So, with everything super clean and all put back together, the bike starts right up, but it will only run for a few seconds and then it's like someone hit the kill switch - it just dies. It will start right back up, but it seems like it only wants to run for a certain amount of time, around 5 - 10 seconds if only at idle, or a little less if you blip the throttle a little...kinda like if it only has a certain amount of gas to use and then the engine quits. I just don't get it - there was the big, sudden issue with the throttle (caused by the needle jamming somehow), and now the thing just doesn't want to run. I have very few hours on a new top end, and there is a ton of compression. I just don't know what the problem could be, and am seriously thinking about just finding a PWK to swap out for this TMX. Anybody care to chip in their thoughts please?? THANKS!
  8. Okay, I'll toss in my thoughts here. My son had a CR80R for the past three seasons. At first, he BEGGED me not to replace the worn back tire (which would = traction, lol). I did anyway, and he grew right into the power. Fast forward a bit, and last season he was asking "Dad, can I ride the 250?" all too often. That left me on a CR80R, which is fine save for my not-so-svelte 270 pound frame! Suffice it to say, he was doing GREAT on my CR250R 2-stroke, which amazed me! At the same time, I rode his CR80R and tried to keep up so I could get some GoPro video of him on my bike. Bad move - small tree acted like a big one and didn't budge - ouch to my shoulder and forearm! My son just rode away, having fun and enjoying how "it makes power no matter what" (so he doesn't have to rev it for power). I was fine, but it was neat to pass the torch a little bit like that. Kids can do anything...but we can't, because we know that we can't. The cool thing is that they don't know that they can't - just like my son didn't know that he couldn't cruise my CR250R around out in a field and do wheelies when his feet were each a foot from touching! All of this is within reason of course, but hopefully you get the idea. So this spring I found a '01 250R for him, and we sold his CR80R. He has been doing GREAT on the new bike; while everyone I know has told me I'm crazy for putting a 12 year old on a CR250. I could show you pics of him flying high, or GoPro vids of him losing me on the trails. The bottom line is that your son is better than you think he is, so don't limit him with predictions of crashes or getting hurt. That boy can ride, so just encourage him and be his works and he'll be fine! Just wait, he'll school you pretty soon...don't ask me how I know that, lol. And if you're anything like me, you wouldn't have it any other way...and you'll hope he doesn't notice your eyes welling up with tears of happiness and joy as you ride right behind him and notice how he just loves the same sport that you do, but how he is so much better at it than you are (and you are actually happy about that). This is what it's all about...we ride, and we love it every time, and we pass the same torch... Eric
  9. So I pulled my (my son's, lol) reeds and found that one was chunked off on a corner, but maybe not even enough to prevent a seal. Dang, I sure wish I could find an obvious problem here! Anyway, the guys at the dealership agreed that the needle is trashed, and we figured out that something must have gotten sucked in that jammed that needle up! I ordered up a new needle, plus the tube it goes into, and some new reeds. I will clean the carb very thoroughly and then put the whole thing back together and cross my fingers! Once again, any thoughts from you guys would be appreciated!! Thanks, Eric
  10. Thanks for that feedback. I looked at the needle and it looks pretty straight to me! I gave a ring to the guys who are really good to me at the parts desk at my local dealer and I'm planning to bring the carb in to have them take a look (they're good to me like that). They thought that maybe something go sucked through the carb and jammed the needle. I'm about to go pull my reeds and take those with me too - maybe something got sucked through and damaged a reed?? I'll report back what I figure out. Any more thoughts from anyone would be most appreciated!
  11. I did some searching and couldn't figure this out. My son and I were riding our CR250's (his is the 2001 and has a stock TMX carb) and having a great time. We were on a wide, open type of trail - lots of wide open throttle - when suddenly he stops in front of me. Turns out that his bike was suddenly holding a high throttle and he reported that the throttle was sticking. I felt it and he was right - it wouldn't release all the way, and felt like it would "stick" when you first try to give it throttle. I started the bike and it idled really high, so I killed it and checked for a kinked throttle cable. Nothing. Everything appeared to be fine. I took it for a spin and it ran kind of gurgly, like it was missing or something, and wouldn't idle down. I pinned the gas wide open for a second and then let off, then the throttle started working fine again. We managed to get the bike back to the parking lot, but it runs, then burbles and dies. The cycle repeats. If we wait a moment we can restart it, but then it happens again. Note - we finished our gas can into my bike and topped his up with fresh premium fuel from a busy gas station. We put 1 gallon in our van to flush the 87 out of the pump lines, then filled the can (yes, I'm positive I put pre-mix in). Also, recently replaced the float and seat, and have ridden it since. Got home and pulled the carb. Found that the needle has gouges on it, which fits that feeling that it maybe got jammed in the nozzle somehow. But why all of the sudden, and why does it run like crap now? Jets don't appear to be clogged, and the float and seat look perfect. I thought maybe bad gas, but that wouldn't cause the needle to jam and scrape in the nozzle, and we were several miles out when this suddenly happened. Thanks for any ideas... Eric
  12. Hi all, I just wanted to give out some good feedback about Highline Recreation. I installed a Tugger Lift Strap on my son's motorcycle and another one on my own bike. I must not have tightened a bolt quite all the way because I found that one side lost a bolt and a special washer that came in the kit. I e-mailed Highline Recreation and heard back from Burt, who promptly sent me a replacement at no charge! I had a chance to e-mail back and forth with him a few times and have found him to be a super nice guy. Highline Recreation is a small company and I am impressed with their products now that my son and I have used them for a bit and their service is outstanding! By the way, they can also embroider a lift strap too, fyi. Let's all support this company who makes great products and takes good care of us motorcylists when we need a hand with something! In case you don't know what the Tugger Lift Strap is, here's a link to their site: or Eric
  13. Michigan

    So Mark leaves me a message - he says that he'll be ready to ride this weekend after picking up 20 rolls of silver duct tape from Home Depot. What a nut...but thank goodness he has his sense of humor (even if pain meds might be involved) and is thinking about riding. Maybe he opened his trailer and saw Mr. YZ250 staring back in all of it's 2-stroke glory, ready to go have fun??? Let's hope so! Mark, I hope you're healing well and healing quickly. Collin and I are looking forward to riding together again...I'll ask him to slow down so we can keep up next time instead of pushing ourselves to that little stinker's pace and winding up hurt!! I guess all those riding tips to him are working...and backfiring too!! All joking aside, don't think about selling and quitting; focus on getting well and then we'll ride at 80% like we always did so that we have fun but hopefully avoid getting in trouble! We'll ride again...believe that my friend. Get well brother!! Eric
  14. Michigan

    UPDATE! Good news...Mark's brother and a friend just brought him by so they could retrieve his truck and trailer. Mark is riding home comfortably with his brother (thanks to obviously needed pain meds). His leg is wrapped up and in a knee brace, and he looked great considering what he's been through. We talked about going riding again once he's healed, but keeping our tempo down just a bit (like we always did until this ride) so as to hopefully avoid this very thing. It'll be a great day when I see Mark throw his leg over his YZ and we get to throw a little roost together once again!
  15. Michigan

    My son Collin and I went riding on the trail in White Cloud with Mark on Sunday. It was an epic ride...the first time around. We decided to take a second trip up the trail, around the loop, and then back down to the parking lot because we were having a blast. Mark was happy with that since he drove four hours to get there as he lives over near Detroit. Mark and I have an unspoken rule between us that one of us (or both) rides behind my son Collin (11, rides a CR80R) in case he goes down so we can be right there. We set out from the parking lot and everything was going great. As we pulled away from one of the stop signs I waived Mark to go ahead and take the lead, then I fell in behind Collin. The trail had some serious puddles in places, so we went around them when it was convenient. Collin ran into some trouble while doing that a couple of times, and found himself having to back his bike up to get around something and he stalled once or twice. Mark ended up getting a little bit ahead of us, maybe two or three minutes...normally just until the next stop, when whoever is in the lead will wait for the rest to catch up. Collin and I came around a curve and started up a hill when we saw a sight we NEVER want to see...Mark lying down right in the trail, holding his left knee, already having taken off his helmet and grimacing in pain. His YZ250 was pointed the wrong way on the trail and was lying on its side, leaking gas from the carb tube. Collin and I immediately parked our bikes and I said "Mark I'll be right there; I'm going to pick up your bike because it's leaking gas". I picked up his bike, then went to him. He couldn't put weight on his leg and was in huge pain whenever it moved. Not good. I will say that he was very, very calm. The dude is cool under pressure without a doubt! Fast forward...a bunch of guys come down the trail and one of them has a Honda 400EX four wheeler. We put Mark on it, and he rides slowly up the trail to where it meets 6-mile road. The guys help out by riding his bike to that spot, and they stay with him while Collin and I head back to the parking lot to get our van and trailer. We finally drive to get Mark, load him in the passenger seat of my van, get his bike on my trailer, then head back to the lot, where Collin and I put his bike into his trailer for him. I helped Mark out of his riding pants (hey, they're gonna get cut off if we don't). I see that Mark's left thigh is swelled big time just above the knee. He insists on driving and actually wants to drive HOME (4 hours). I finally talked him into following me to my place in Marne, under an hour away, so I can transport him to Spectrum Butterworth in nearby Grand Rapids. On the way we stop for gas and I get him an ice pack, then I call my bro-in-law who is a paramedic. He tells me to summon an ambulance to meet us at my house...excellent advice. I call Mark for his permission - got it - then make the call. The first responder upgrades the ambulance to priority one and tons of help show up. They rush him to the E.R., and x-rays reveal a badly broken femur. Due to sharp points of bone sticking out, they put a screw in the lower part of the broken bone and hang weights for traction. On Monday they did surgery, installing plates and screws to put humpty dumpty back together again. I talked with him today and he sounded good. Stoned, but good. Hopefully he'll be able to head home tomorrow. His truck and trailer are secured at my place. On Sunday, Collin and I got his gear out and got it all dry, cleaned and dried his boots, and spent an hour and a half cleaning his bike - we're hoping that it looks good to him once he opens the trailer and sees it, plus we considered that obviously he won't be able to clean it anytime soon. Honestly, it was a pleasure doing that for our riding buddy! His back fender is broken (must have wheelied and whisky-throttled, going over backwards and probably tossed him around a bit since he can't recall exactly what happened), but otherwise his bike looks perfect. Let's all wish our friend well. I learned that femur breaks are really serious, and realize that we should have kept him still and called for immediate help. Mark's a tough guy though; you would have never known how bad his injury was. He had no symptoms of shock, and wasn't really complaining much or showing too much in terms of outward signs of serious injury. With his riding pants on, we couldn't see his leg, so we were thinking/hoping that maybe it was just a sprain in the beginning. Again, let's all wish our friend well. Hopefully he'll heal well and we'll ride again!