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

 

Monday
Dec042017

EKS Brand Goggles

EKS Brand Goggle test

      

Art, with mx43.com laid a set of EKS Brand goggles on the table where I was sitting at a recent club meeting telling me to talk with him after the meeting.

So after the meeting I did and Art said these are for you and before he could finish I started bitching about the color, they were green and I ride orange and white/blue bikes. (As if that should make any difference at all, I am far, far from every being a color coordinated rider, but I complained none the less.) Art says these are yours to keep, but I want you to evaluate these goggles and write a report about them. Well I said, this is right up my alley, but I’ve only used Oakley’s for years because they have a high nose piece and I can breathy through my nose. (I’m a nose breather) Art says so am I and I’ve been wearing these and they work as well as the Oakley’s. Since I do have a much bigger nose than Art I told him I was skeptical, but free goggles are free goggles.

So with the green goggles clashing with my blue helmet I tried them, I was pleasantly surprised. My blue helmet is a Bell Moto-9 and they fit within the opening well and sealed where they should seal. They did allow me to breathy through my nose. Even my Oakley’s will slide around a little requiring me to typically push them up. The EKS goggles seemed to have stayed in place longer before I needed to move them, I’m not sure if it was because they were just new or what. I rode for an hour or so and after awhile wasn’t aware I was wearing anything other than my Oakley’s. I have a yellow Troy Lee SE4 helmet I use for riding my MX bike (White and blue Husky) so I want to test these green goggles with this helmet. (More color clashing) 

You know the thing about wearing a helmet and goggles that clash is you don’t see it so it doesn’t matter to the one wearing the ensemble. The green EKS goggles and the yellow Troy Lee SE4 helmet worked every bit as well as the blue Bell helmet. The thing is I wasn’t even aware I wasn’t wearing my Oakley’s, truth be told they were a bit more comfortable than the Oakley’s

Overall I liked these goggles a lot. The fit was very good, vision was good and they were clear with no distortions and the quality looks like they will last as long as any other goggles. The foam part that presses against your face isn’t as wide as the Oakley’s but certainly wasn’t a problem. I took the lens out just to see how difficult that would be. The EKS were ok to change not more or less difficult than any other goggle.

I went on their web site and was blown away by the number of goggle selections and lens color options. The prices were very reasonable especially when they work for us nose breathers. $26- $65 for the goggles (The kind I’m trying are $26) Tear off’s $8, replacement lens $10, $45 for a sand/desert goggle and $35 for a roll off system.

I’m going to order some tear off’s (I understand the tear off’s work very well) and a roll off system, I’ll let you know how they work.

Doug 21J

 

Friday
Nov102017

A Halloween trail ride in the mountains

 

 

Scott a rabid trail riding friend of mine thought it would be fun to put on a trail ride for a few of his friends and fellow woods riders. So with some help over the course of a few weekends laid out a couple of loops in the woods in the Tahoe National Forest. Trails developed years and years ago by other rabid trail riders and maintained today by the forest service and rabid woods riders.

This trail system is known for its very tight technical trails. Not a whole lot of huge elevation changes but expect 2nd and 3rd gear riding. This kind of riding is not for everyone. If you put 30 miles on in these trails you’ve spent part of a day. On a good day if I’m lucky I can average maybe 14 mph. There are of course riders who can average higher than that, but I’d say the vast majority of us are less than 14 mph. On a bad day it can be really ugly and I’ve had my share of those. I’d say most of Scott’s friends like this kind of riding.

This was the second year Scott put on this ride. This year’s theme was Halloween and the main camp site reflected that. I couldn’t count all the ghosts and goblins, spider webs, lights and things that go bump in the night that were hanging around. This is not an organized event so riders could start the two daytime loops anytime they wished. The night ride did start at 7PM and they did take names so they could account for everyone at the end. People started showing up as early as Thursday, however the official ride didn’t start until after a riders meeting Saturday morning. Scott reminded everyone that the trails were open to anyone so you needed to be on the lookout for other riders. There were no incidents to my knowledge.

There were two courses laid out the blue ribbon course consisted of fifteen miles and most riders said it felt like twenty five to thirty miles. The yellow course was ten miles and at the half way point stopped at an overlook that looked out at Bowmen and Spalding lakes and if you knew where to look North Star. The yellow course was also used for the night ride and it was recommended that everyone who planned to ride at night ride the yellow loop during the day as there were some off camber down hills that could make you pucker up a little, better to these in the day light first.

Saturday night before the night ride there was a big pot luck dinner and a raffle. As with most pot lucks the food was plentiful, varied and delicious. There were a lot of people who donated raffle prizes and the main real reason for the raffle was to help pay for the out houses that were provided. Scott had some great stuff to give away. One guy won a rear tire and latter on won a front tire, it doesn’t get better than that.

After dinner and the raffle Scott introduced Paul who is the ranger for that area. Paul is an avid rider and advocate for more, better trails. In fact he had just returned from a Dual Sport ride that started in Downieville, CA to Idaho and back, that’s a real enthusiast. We are very lucky to have a Ranger like Paul; a lot of areas now have people who do not like recreationists.

When the night ride started there were several ladies who donned costumes and positioned themselves out on the trails. The yellow loop was full of hanging ghosts, skeletons, and spider webs and such. One of the guys had a Sasquatch costume and jumped out at the riders on the night ride. One of the riders Go-Pro’d it and you could hear him say oh shit when Sasquatch jumped out at him. I told Bob (Sasquatch) he’s lucky no one was carrying and pulled a gun a shot him.  After the night ride people gathered around the camp fire and told stories. And they also had a motocross trivia game.

 

I’ve said this before when you get a bunch of like minded people together to have fun share food and tell stories it doesn’t get any better. Volunteers are always plentiful at gatherings like these; people are always willing to pitch in. Not all knew each other but that didn’t matter everyone got along. (Even all the dogs that always accompany people where ever they go) It’s always great to meet new people and create new friendships.

 

I believe Scott is planning to do this again next year. Better find out Scott’s last name and start sucking up for an invitation next year, I know I will be.

 

Doug 21J

 

Tuesday
Oct172017

2017 IOTMX Wraps Up at Glen Helen

Glen Helen the last round of the 2017 International Old Timers MX series.

Let’s get the bad out of the way. Friday offered up Santa Ana winds. For those not familiar with them suffice it to say they are nasty. High winds, dust and heat along with a practice day track that not been prepped. So what we got was Thursday’s beat up practice track. With all that going on for some it wasn’t worth the money. I know more than a few riders who didn’t bother practicing.

I was one of those who did practice Friday, if you want to call it that. And on top of that when I came off the track in front of the front grandstands (Luckily for me empty grandstands) I jumped off the side of the track right into the path of a fully charged two inch water hose in a snake like pattern going the same direction I was. I didn’t have enough time to react (Old slowing reaction times here) and that piece of shit hose put me on the ground so fast I couldn’t believe it. My leg was trapped under the bike; another rider stopped and got the bike off me. I jacked up my neck, left knee and my little pinky got smashed between the handle bar and clutch lever. That was it for practice I limped back to the pits and spent the rest of the day out of the wind licking my wounds.

Saturday morning had the promise of a better day, with the wind changing direction and a slightly cooler forecast, and a track that had been prepped. The track layout was a little different than last year’s track, slightly longer I’d say. I think most everyone liked the layout except there were a series of corners that were wet with deep sand. I’d say the vast majority of us struggled with those sections.  

I don’t think the ambulance left all weekend, one rider did crash at the highest point in the Talladega turn and they red flagged the race, but I think he was alright.

Still feeling the effects of my Friday encounter with the water hose (Hose 1 Doug 0) Saturday morning I got to practice something my friend Eric McKenna first told me about when we were riding in Baja many years ago and unless you have broken something to the point of not being able to get on a bike you practice it, it’s called active recovery. Which means even when you are beat up you go out and ride thereby starting the recovery process. So I raced Saturday practicing AR. I actually felt pretty good and rode well to boot. Thanks to ice packs and Ibuprofen.

After Saturday’s racing dinner was served and the raffle prizes were given out. Last year they ran out of food so people showed up early for dinner. By the time we got there the place was packed almost out of food and it was only 5:20.

The start of practice was delayed Sunday waiting for flaggers who apparently didn’t get the memo about this being a two day race. They also deliberately (I assume) did not prep a couple of the really nasty sections and completely changed a couple of others. (Some thought it was better and others not) No matter, there were only seven motos so we still got done early Sunday. The last time I raced was at Washougal where practice started at 7:30 AM and the last race left the starting gate about 7:30 PM on Saturday.

I didn’t watch much of the racing over the weekend; I was still recovering from Friday’s encounter with the hose and Friday’s weather for that matter. Saturday’s weather was much better the wind was a lot less and had changed directions and it was a bit cooler. Sunday definitely had the best weather for racing and getting out of town.

Only one of my starts over the weekend was good (The last one on Sunday) I even ran into the gate once. I had no one in my class (first time this year) so as usual I raced whoever’s in front of me.

I accomplished the two things I set out to do this weekend; I clinched the Sierra Old Timers Club championship and my class championship for the International Old Timers MX association. I guess its congratulations to me.

Despite the start to the weekend the track and weather turned out ok. Oh by the way we shared the facility (It was packed) with the car guys who were also having a three day event using the stadium track. There were cars for the eight-nine year olds all the way up to the trophy type trucks with the big horsepower engines. They were spread out and camped among us bike guys and my first thought was aw shit this will probably not work out, but it really wasn’t that bad. They also had a concert at a nearby outdoor venue and shuttled the artists in and out using buses escorted by police using a back a road that leads out of the back of the Glen Helen Raceway, the heightened security no doubt as a result of the Vas Vegas shootings.

 

Doug 21J