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DIY Moto Fix The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook Reviews

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  • Price Range $21.25 ~ $34.99 Shop Now
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I recently got my hands on the paperback and e-copy versions of The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook written by Paul Olesen.   Not only a lifetime motorcycle enthusiast, Paul also has a degree in motorcycle engineering and powertrain design and work experience at Erik Buell Racing.  He eventually started his own business DIY Moto Fix, from which this book originates.


Product Overview

This 300 page book focuses on the general concepts of how to rebuild a four stroke dirt bike engine, focusing on diagnostics, tear down, inspection, assembly, and break-in.  It will not be a substitute for your make/model specific service manual, nor was it intended to.  I think that everyone from the complete novice to self-proclaimed professional will find the material useful, all in an easy-to-follow layout. There are special sections that includes "Technical Takeaways", "Hot Tips", and "Race Engine Techniques" sprinkled throughout the book that give the reader more depth to the already detailed concepts.  The book also includes recommendations based on your type of riding; whether it be weekend warrior, racer, or performance engine builder.  The book can be purchased HERE.


Title Contents

The opening chapters revolve around engine diagnostics.  The author goes into detail about how to perform many of these procedures the right way and also notes how they can be done incorrectly.   One basic example is how to perform a leak down test, and how should you really interpret these results.  What if you have an auto-decomp device?  Should you even bother measuring leak down?  He then goes into a chapter on the leading causes of engine wear and failure along with what you can do as an owner to prolong the life of your engine.  


The next  sections focus on helping you prepare for your rebuild.  I think that this is a great, with many good take-aways such as the necessary tools, importance of work space cleanliness, and organization techniques.  Throughout the entire book there are reminders of “Don’t forget this!” or “Beware of this on the next step!” that I feel would really help build confidence for beginners.  It seems like every aspect covered goes in-depth on why it is important, both in practice and for some, in theory.  The same is true for dispelling several of the common myths that revolve around engine procedures with theory to back up his claims.


Engine rebuilds take a lot more tools than just a socket set and hammer.  Many of the tools required for inspection aren’t typically found in your average garage (and frankly, neither is the knowledge of how to use them).  Paul spends two chapters flooded with pictures and examples, showing what each tool is, how to properly use them, and how to interpret the values.  I feel that this is a very important topic that most of your typical rebuild manuals leave out.  Paul does a great job of outlining the suggested tools and recommending areas where lower-cost solutions or home-made tools will suffice just fine, saving you money in the process.


Before we get to engine assembly, there is an entire chapter devoted to race and performance engine builds that I found to be interesting, even though the majority of readers will never need to go this in-depth in a rebuild.  It does a great job explaining what effects certain performance parts will have and gives you an understanding on why they might affect engine longevity.  Once you start engine assembly, there are some great tips on how to perform system level checks.  This allows you to verify the sub-assemblies (transmission, crankshaft, clutch, etc) are working as they should before the entire engine is put back together.  The final section goes over engine break-in procedures and post break-in inspections so that you have a baseline for future engine health checks.


Pros  :thumbsup:

  • Easy to follow layout
  • Clear pictures and diagrams
  • Great explanations of methods and procedures getting down to the “why”
  • Price: $34.99 (paper back), $21.25 (e-copy)


Cons  :thumbsdn:

  • None

Bottom-line  :prof:

I have been riding and wrenching on dirt bikes for over 15 years and now work as an engine durability test engineer.  I’m no book worm, but I found the The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook to be a very informative and well-written piece.  There are multiple, high-quality color pictures on nearly every 8.5"x11" page to supplement the text.  My favorite part is all the tips explaining common mistakes and how to avoid them.  It’s always easier (and cheaper) to learn from others’ mistakes than your own.  If you’re looking to start a rebuild in the near future, you will love having this book around.

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Absolutely amazed at the detail of the paperback version.  This book offers a great deal of detailed motor building information and along with the OEM manual for your particular bike its a must.   Explains in detail the do’s and dont’s of 4S building.  The detailed section that describes how to use micrometers and making proper measurements is my favorite.  


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There are some great things to learn from this book ,not just the tech info but a few tricks too.. It's been written by someone who is actually doing the things he is writing about so it all makes sense..Someone with a good knowledge of engines may benefit less than someone with no experience but there will always be something you can learn from this book .Great pics lots of info ,things like which tools ,grease how to's all add up to make this another valuable tool to add to you box of spanners ..worth buying..

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The best I've found for hands on DIY rebuilding of four strokes. You can't get more detailed than this book. Worth every penny.

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I received the four stroke engine building handbook and Love it!! I have rebuilt three top ends so far ( 2 XR650Rs and one crf230f) using the OEM service manuals and all worked out well. But even with the oem service manuals I have been fear full of tackling the crankshaft and transmission removal and installation on dirt bike engines until now. There are Many excellent tips in the book that I had no idea about and will help tremendously on my next rebuild. MR Olesen did an excellent job of putting this book together and it will help many people to rebuild their engines properly. Well worth the money.

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