Tuesday
May082018

Doug’ latest project!

2017 Husky FC450

Let me set this up a little. I sold my Husky FC 350 so I could buy a 450, I had decided I wanted to go back to a 450, my flawed thinking is since I don’t have a lot of corner speed  with the 350 (Or with any bike for that matter) I need to rev it in order to try and jump some of the jumps. (Emphasis on some) So I figured with a 450 I can gas it at the last minute and fly over the jumps. (I see other people do it all the time, so why not me)

So I started looking for a KTM or Husky. I found a couple right away that were priced fair, but I wasn’t ready to pounce. (I didn’t have all my money lined up) and as a consequence I missed out. Then when I did have my money there weren’t any to be had.

I found out Yamaha had a deal on the 2018 YZ450F a brand new bike for this year with the priority of having a electric start. The deal was $8800 OTD and if you qualified, no down payment and 24 months no interest, that’s almost free. The people at Roseville Yamaha for some reason like me and gave me a brand new 450 to try.

I thanked them for providing me with a 450 to try that was above and beyond. So much so I couldn’t take it out and get it dirty. I know they  would have been ok with me actually riding and getting it dirty, but I thought In the back of my mind I would have felt obligated to buy it.(G the sale manager said “You should have gotten it dirty then”)

Our club had a ride day at Dixon on Saturday and as luck would have it a friend Brian who just purchased a 450 from Roseville was at Dixon and let me ride it. And another friend had just purchased a 2018 Husky FC450 and he let me ride it. So over the course of the day I got to ride these two bikes back to back. Both had a little over two hrs on them when the day was done. Both were totally stock not even the clickers had been touched it was about as fair as it could be. Both suspensions were naturally stiff but by the end of the day both were starting to break in a little. The Husky was a little softer than the YZ but I know when the YZ breaks in it will be great. They both did everything they were supposed to, neither did anything unexpected. I was pleasantly surprised how well the YZ felt in the air.

Both bikes are very good and I would recommend both, obviously the YZ is much less money. But for me it came down to one thing and that was the Husky’s motor was smoother, off idle. The YZ’s motor felt a little violent, even though it wasn’t, under way they both had 450 vibes. The YZ wasn’t any harder to modulate the power than the Husky’s it was just a personal feeling for me. It’s hard to explain the Husky motor just felt smoother, the Husky was more familiar no doubt because I have been riding one for a couple of years.

So on Monday I took the Yamaha back a little cleaner than when I picked it, thanked then again and snuck out the back door.

I found a 2017 Husky FC450 and bought it. It was very clean but has a lot of hours on it. The hours on a450 don’t bother me and the bike looks like it has been taken care of, my 350 had 76 hrs on it and I know it was ok. So I’m in the process of making the 450 set up for me. This will be my first foray into air forks, so we will see how it goes. I kept my Yamaha front end I had been using on my 350, so if doesn’t work I’ll put that front end on I know it works.

I’ll report on how it’s going later.

21J

 

Monday
Apr232018

Round 3 of 2018 IOTMX

The Sand Box International Old timers MX round 3 

The race was held at the sand track in Fernley NV this past weekend; Friday’s practice was a little windy, a little cold with a little blowing sand. By the time I got out there the track was pretty beat up. The track layout there is always pretty simple and all the jumps were very safe. (Except when) This year’s track was a little tighter than year’s past; they took out a couple of long straights and made turns out of them. The thing about sand tracks is they get rough so they don’t need to be tricky just surviving can be difficult enough. Like I said the jumps were all safe except all the faces of them became cupped and rutted which meant they could either kick the back end up or sideways. I wasn’t real comfortable and my confidence wasn’t great, so I started making excuses about things, you know just in case it didn’t go well on the weekend.

Saturday morning was sunny and warm. After a short riders meeting the racing started. I don’t know how many riders the club had but the turnout looked to be pretty decent. Saturday is always a long day because most of the riders have three motos. (I’m glad I’ve reached the status of not having to ride the third moto, I know how rough the tracks get for that third moto) My race was the second race of the day and after my first gate drop of the weekend we raced around and around and around, pretty soon I and everyone else in the race started thinking where is that white flag. You sort of have a timer in your head and have kind of a sense of when you should see a white flag. Well we didn’t and onetime I went by the flagger and scores and raised one hand in the air in a gesture of, hey where’s the white flag. Finally it came out, after the race I rode back to the flagger and asked how long was that race to which the scorer replied 15 minutes. It was actually 21 minutes. Turns out they were brand new at this particular task and were confused as to when they were to actually start timing the race. They soon figured it out and all was well after that. But they definitely kicked our ass in the first moto.  I don’t believe the ambulance moved all day, and the racing ended in time for the 4:30PM dinner bell. I thought the meal ticket was a little pricy. I didn’t pre enter but the meal was excellent and actually worth the price. 

Sunday was a little cooler and the wind was blowing just enough to make it annoying. The wind did help keep the oversized Fernley mosquitoes away for the most part. I did notice a few walking wounded wondering around the pits Sunday morning so a few riders had bit the dust on Saturday. Sunday’s racing was short sweet and to the point. In the second moto on Sunday I was catching a friend of mine on the last lap, he had to go off the side of a jump to avoid a rider who had drifted over into his path. He went down the side of the track and entered just at the beginning of a left hand bowl turn; he came across in front of me and almost took out my front wheel. Now Duane is a friend of mine but I started yelling at him, but I wasn’t cussing at him (Kind of weird) I remember yelling things like Duane you can’t do that, you can’t do that. I’m sure had that been someone else I would have been flinging all kinds cuss words at them. It was strange, in the middle of all this I realized I wasn’t cussing at him, very strange. But all down the long straight I became determined to pass him, so a few corners later I got on the inside of him in a slow berm turn and slammed into him knocking him out of the berm, almost taking us both down. That’s totally out of character for me, I don’t do things like that but I guess I was mad enough and determined enough to do that. After we got back to the pits we talked about it. All was well, he said he knew it was me he cut off in the corner because he recognized my voice yelling at him but not cussing.

When I came off the track at the end of the last race on Sunday there was short heavy set gentlemen pointing his finger at me motioning me to come forward to him? My first thought was oh shit someone saw the move I put on Duane and wanted to chew me out for it. But he turned out to be a reporter from some local newspaper wanting to do an interview, he asked me are you 83 and I said no I’m just 76.  He said oh, I’m looking for the 83 year old rider.  I said he has number 83 on his bike, he says thanks and I rode off.

I want to take a few lines here , well maybe more than a few and talk about something that I’ve noticed this year and it’s a bit disturbing to me and that’s riders riding out of class. I’ve been able to make the first three events this year and have seen a lot of it. I thought it was particularly bad in Arizona. I’ve had people tell me they’ve overheard some of these riders who are actually bragging about how they are kicking ass. It seems to me it’s mostly riders who are signing up and riding in the Novice classes who clearly don’t belong there. I don’t know if it’s the riders local clubs cutting them some slack or what. My guess is it’s because they belong to say an organization like the OTHG and ride in a higher level in that organization. Then come to these events and somehow are able to sign up in a lower level class. I see a lot of riders with yellow backgrounds with black numbers or even white backgrounds with black numbers with green Novice tape or yellow Intermediate tape all around their numbers. That indicates to me that they are riding at something other than a novice or intermediate level wherever they come from.  

Most of the riders in those classes, especially in the Novice classes don’t complain to anyone about it so most of the cheaters get away with it. The clubs need to adhere to the rules which mean club reps need to be watching motos and recommending those who need to be advanced. I don’t know if when these riders initially join to race the clubs are letting them sign up in say the Novice class when the rules state a new rider will automatically be signed up in at least the Intermediate class. I think any rider who shows up on the line with the wrong color background and numbers with some tape around the edges should be double checked and scrutinized. The Old Timers certainly encourage riders from other organizations to ride their events by letting them run their numbers and background colors and providing colored tape to indicate a different class other than what their bikes have on them. And at the first three events I’ve seen a lot of bikes with the wrong colors with tape on the starting lines.

 

That’s my rant and my two cents worth.

 

Overall it was a good weekend for most everyone I think. I won’t be going to the Montana race so my next Old Timer race will be at Prairie City June 9th and 10th.

 

Doug 21J

 

 

Thursday
Apr192018

1.7 Cleaning Solution Formula 4

Hard parts dressing by Matrix Concepts

Art who always becomes my best friend when he gives me free stuff to try. Gave me a bottle of 1.7 Cleaning Solutions with a 4.0 formula; I have no real idea what that means, the good people at Matrix could no doubt shed light on this.

It says “Spray Shine & Protection for Frames, Wheels, Suspension and Components” It’s also “Earth Friendly” and “Non Toxic Biodegradable” which are all good things.

Art knows I’m anal when it comes to keeping my bikes clean and looking good, but he gave the bottle to me anyway. I have my methods and stock piles of the goodies I need to keep my bikes looking as new and fresh as possible. And quite frankly thought I’m sure I won’t really need this product it would just add to the products I already use.

I’m getting my 2016 Husky FC350 ready for this weekend’s International Old Timer race being held at Glen Helen so I thought after I’ve done all my normal prep I would try this stuff on the engine covers. So per the instructions I sprayed it on the covers the muffler brake and shift levers and waited for a minute then wiped it off. (And this is where the only complaint I have comes in, the spray nozzle has two settings it will shoot a strait stream or a fan spray. The fan spray kind of dribbles out in a fan spray, I think the fan spray needs to be much finer almost like a mist) Shoot I was very surprised, it worked and it worked well. Normally I would use the show and shine or shine and show products which are really for plastics on the engine covers etc. and it does a good job but always feels like it leaves a film. The Matrix dressing didn’t do that, after wiping it off it felt like it left a hard coating and it was brighter. So I sprayed it on the frame the fork tubes, the swing arm etc. I even sprayed it on parts of the engine just see if it made them look better, it did.

So for anal guys like me it helps those hard parts look even better. But there are a lot of guys out there that aren’t as anal and don’t care as much about appearance as guys like me do, but when they get ready to sell that bike they may want to make it look as good as possible, this stuff really works and will no doubt make those parts look much better, even if they have been neglected.

I have a 2012 KTM 500EXC that I bought a few years ago and I spent many hours trying to make it look as good as possible. The guy I bought it from looked after the mechanical part of the bike but didn’t care about the looks of it (That’s one of the reasons I was able to purchase it for much less money than I normally would have) I’m now anxious to use this stuff on the 500 to see if I can help those hard parts look better. I also want to see how this product holds up on my Husky after I’ve race it and cleaned it up again. So I’ll wait to finish this latter.

As I had hoped when I cleaned my bike after last weekend’s races the hard parts I had treated still looked great. The water actually beaded up on those parts and dried looking just as good as before, which means I won’t have to use it every time I wash the bike, unlike the show and shine products for the plastics.

The question now is how many times can I wash it before I have to reapply it?

I’m sold.

Doug 21J

 

Sunday
Apr012018

21J's Husky FC350 update number 3

Husky FC350 update number 3

It’s been awhile since I updated the progress or lack thereof on my Husky, so here it is.

Actually about all I’ve been doing with it is ride it on MX tracks, exactly why I have it. It still works as well as it did the last time I wrote something on it. The KYBA (Yamaha) front end works very well for me. The only thing I’ve changed is the material I use to make up the difference in the fork diameter and the lower triple clamp. I started out using number plate graphics material but found I had to constantly check the lower triple clamp bolts as they would loosen. I now use soda can material as a shim and they don’t loosen as often. This is strictly a factory fix of course.

The one issue I still have with bike is pop stalling even though I have a Rekluse. It doesn’t happen often unless the motor is not up to operating temp but will still occasionally do it. I am convinced it’s me that causes it. I am an old rider who learned on the old two strokes when you couldn’t trust they would continue to run while going down hills or cornering while riding on trails. So those old habits of playing with the throttle still haunt me. And the modern fuel injected four strokes don’t like their throttles blipped off and on at slow speeds even with a Rekluse. I don’t know maybe it would work better without the Rekluse. Ain’t no way I’m going to give up my Rekluse (Although not using a Rekluse for MX would work except I’m addicted to it?)

A friend of mine who rides a KTM 450 almost exclusively at chalk Bluff where the trails are very tight and has very strange ideas on how to set up his bike to ride there and he’s a very fast rider up there, but he likes no engine braking which is hard to accomplish with a 450 four stroke. First of all he converted his clutch lever to a hand operated rear brake. (No clutch lever) He sets his Rekluse to free wheel as soon as possible and sets his idle at around as low as he can and have it still run (Four stroke fuel injection idle is normally around 2000 RPM +) So his bike stalls a lot and is a big source of frustration for him.

So he tells me about a fuel rail that is made and sells for about $75. Apparently someone wanted to get a KTM 500 up to 150MPH but it was running out of fuel at the higher speeds. The fuel entering the throttle body had two 90 degree bends before it reached the injector. They believed in that space between the two 90’s it was running out of fuel. So they developed a fuel rail that eliminates the two 90’s and goes straight into the injector. Apparently as a side benefit it helps with pop stalling. So my buddy and I ordered a couple of them. We’ve both installed them and he’s had one opportunity to try it. According to him once the bike was up to operating temp it did not stall. I haven’t had the chance to try mine yet, so when I do I’ll finish this article.

Well I went to Prairie City the day after the big cross country race to test out my new fuel rail. I found out a couple of things, first I didn’t enjoy riding my MX bike on yesterday’s course. It’s one thing to race a rough course on the day of the event you sort of get in the grove of it but trying to duplicate that the next day is difficult especially riding a bike suited for a motocross track. So in other words the bike and track beat the shit out of me. And the other more important thing is the bike still stalled.

I certainly thought the bike was warmed up enough. I was putting around in the rocks and ravines going very slow. Once I got out into the more open areas it didn’t stall again. I don’t know what to think at this point, I am obviously going to try it on a motocross track and see what happens.

I start thinking about old gas, winterized gas maybe it could use a little octane booster things like that. Or maybe I need to see where the TPS (Throttle position sensor) is set, maybe advance it a little.

Sierra Old timers had their first ride day of the New Year on Friday February 2nd at Prairie City MX, track this gave me another shot at evaluating the fuel rail. It did stall on me a couple of times at first, but not on the track. But after that it didn’t.

I still haven’t changed the gas and the motor normally starts right up especially when warm but struggled a little on this probably the warmest day of the year so far. I’m still not convinced it’s better yet.

Had Bucky at SBB check the valves, the intakes were a little tight. It still stalled and was hard to start. I decided to have it tested and set up on a real KTM Diagnostic program. They basically ended up cleaning the injector. I did find out the idle I’ve been running is too low. (1900-2000) And I did have to put in a new battery which I think contributed a lot to the bike’s resistance to starting especially when cold.

I went to Prairie City to test again and this time the bike ran great, no stalling and started fine. I ended up raising the idle to the high 2100’s low 2200’s.

No practice before the first race of the season in Arizona, it’s raining. I’ll save the last paragraph for how things went.

Traveled to Arizona for the first Old Timer race of the season, got there too late to practice on Friday, so my first ride was Saturday mornings practice. Practice and the motos on Saturday went great the bike ran perfect. Unfortunately it rained all night and for most of us was to wet to ride, so I packed up and left.

This has been a long draw out report; you’re probably just as tired reading this as I am of writing it.

Doug 21J.

 

Saturday
Mar242018

First Race 2018 International Old Timers MX

Arizona Rain?

Held at Canyon MX Park in Peoria Arizona March 10 and 11th Peoria is north of Phoenix. Canyon is the oldest MX Park in Arizona, don’t know how old but that’s what they say, so who am I to argue.

My wife and I made the trip in our nice little 22 foot motor home towing my 12 foot enclosed trailer. I’m going to have to go back and look at the route I took to get there because it was 811 miles and took forever. In fact it took so long I didn’t get there until after 5:00 Friday afternoon. Which would normally be too late to practice, but not at Canyon, practice went on until 9:00 PM because they have lights, which didn’t do me any good because I can’t see anymore at dusk or night on an MX track.

I did walk the course that evening with my wife during the small bike practice. We witnessed a very interesting scene a young riders chain came off and he immediately dropped his bike to the ground didn’t even bother to see what was wrong, except to look around for someone who might care then put his hands on his helmet in a desperate attempt to find someone, anyone who might care and come to his rescue. The only two anywhere near was my wife and I. I told my wife that I bet his father does all the work and he just pretends to be a factory rider and not learn anything about how to work on his bike. And sure enough as we continued to walk the course (And he still with his hands on his helmet) his dad came running over and down the hill to his rescue. My last vision of him as his dad came running was to tap his exasperated hands on his helmet.

The track was built in an old river bed, I bet in the early day’s chest protectors and hand guards were an absolute must. But over the years and lots of rice hulls and other materials the rocks were few. The track was very fast, the track and jumps were well established. The good news on the long table tops is that they are long and flat, the bad news is if you don’t clear them but almost do is when you fall out of the sky the landing hurts. There was only one jump that was scary (For us really old guys anyway) it was a gap jump and I’d say it was about 20 feet across and a depth of at least eight feet. Needless to say I rolled down into it and jumped out of it. The track didn’t get real rough so the speed stayed, there were a number of downhill drop off jumps and uphill jump ups, and the track was a lot of fun to ride. On my gate the rider who was leading (And I was following) wasn’t jumping the gap jump until a couple of sandbaggers passed me and started pressuring him then all three of them started making that gap jump and when they did they started gaping me. Turns out the guy leading (And winning) was a local legend who grew up riding this track and his family had donated the first water truck and out buildings for the track. I asked him about that jump and he tells me he didn’t need to do that jump until the two riders came up on him and started roughing him up a little; he said he wasn’t going to put up with that. The start was unique, it was a bending to the right long third gear wide open until you reached a downhill that at the bottom put you on a very long fast left hand sweeper to the first uphill jump.

Don’t know how many riders they had but the turnout was good I believe. Once again the 50+ classes were the biggest. The races were run for the most part on time. A few downed riders and overzealous water trucks held things up a bit here and there. When they watered the track it got very, very slick.

After the Saturday races a great Mexican dinner was served. Oh I forgot to mention it was a t-shirt and shorts overcast day. We all went to bed looking forward to Sunday’s races, until sometime during the night it started raining. It was still raining a little in the morning as everyone was up wondering around, wondering if the races were going to be canceled. Remembering how the course reacted to a water truck Saturday and barely being able to walk around the pits without falling a good percentage of us packed up and left.

The last word I heard as I was packing up was they were going to try and run one set of motos later that day. I don’t know if they did or not, my guess is they did.

Fortunately for my wife and I not all was lost, we had planned to take a couple of weeks seeing the sights in Arizona, New Mexico and a little of Utah. Which we did 3200 miles worth, the weather ranged from that T-shirt and shorts day to blowing wind and snow and cold, cold, cold. It was a great trip though.

Doug 21J