Virgin ride and wet ending.

5 replies to this topic
  • Dave_B

Posted March 23, 2001 - 04:55 PM


Hi guys, just need to share this with everyone. The day Wednesday March 23/01, time 12:30 pm. Weather, about 50 farenheit, no wind, and sunny. Attitude: screw work, time for the inaugural ride of my new 00WR.

Headed home and hooked up the trailer. My wife curious to know why I'm home and not working. Two words: going riding. Innocently my wife asks how I intend too get the bike from the basement, up 8 steps, and outside. I reply it's gonna be tough, but it must be done. What I figured is that if I tied straps around the front forks, I would be able to drag it up if she held the rear fender to stabilize it. Reluctantly she agreed. Once the rear wheel was at the bottom step, all progress ended. Were my dreams of riding to be postponed, it seemed likely. Now my wife of 115 pounds offers to pull from the front if she could tie the straps around her waist. Being the last resort I agreed and went to the back of the bike. Immediatly, I said I would have to post this story on TT. Anyways, 3 minutes later, the bike was out and the adrenaline was starting to flow. I went up to my dads farm and geared up. Bike started easy, donned my helmet and went for an old tractor road between farms. Now I must admit I have never ridden a dirt bike before and was feeling rather nervous and sweaty when I saw the condition of the road. Ice patches, 2" slick, slippery mud, water runoffs every where. Doubt enters my mind, is this wise? What the heck, it's a dirt bike right! Putting along, getting the feel of sliding everywhere the front end drops 1 1/2' into a water runoff, immediatly stall and me worried if I can start this thing in this mud bog without dumping sideways into the water. Fortunatly, started on 1st kick and away I went putting along. Stalled it three more time, stuck 4 more times! This isn't fun!! Is this worth $8000.00!! Finally find a field that isn't buried in water. Up to second and third gear, no WOT. Head back, stall, stuck etc.. Have a smoke break, collect my thoughts, and head in a different direction. Find some great fields, start to feel more confident. Let's see what this bitch can do!!

Well holy **** !! New respect for all you guys who want more power!! I'm getting some good traction in 3rd (on wet grass)and the front end is continually climbing up, up, but not away. Phew!! That was worth eight grand. Start jumping ruts, seeing that speed is my friend on these nasty bumps. Getting cocky now, gotta remember to take it easy. Love the wheelies in third, still scares the **** outta me though. Have a smoke break and start to head back. Have to cross a small water hazard, been through it before so not expecting a 2 FOOT SINK HOLE. SSSHHITT! :) Dumped her in sideways on the brake side. Having just read all about the nasty habits of water, panic sets in. Bike stalls out and drowns. Stupid idiot me. Not a single tool with me and thinking of a long push. This isn't worth eight grand! Fortunatly got the bike started, (had lots of practice at that) and headed back. Got lots of milky white deposits coming out of the crankcase hose. Checked the oil, looks clean. Some water in the air box drain hose. Since this was my break in ride, any suggestions on proper procedures for this problem, (is there a problem) is appreciated. Thanks guys.

[This message has been edited by Dave B (edited 03-23-2001).]

  • Bill

Posted March 23, 2001 - 05:09 PM


Sounds like a good time overall and also a very supportive wife :)

You should never try and start the bike if the crankcase vent hose is submerged. You can suck water into the motor. Not sure if this happened to you, but for the cost of 2 quarts of oil. You may want to change it. Don't forget to warm up the bike prior to the oil change.

If you haven't trimmed the throttle stop, removed the baffle and air box lid. You can make the bike considerably faster without spending any money. It should only take about an hour to do all of these modifications.


97 KDX220, 86 TTR225, 99 WR400f, WR timing, throttle stop trimmed, air box lid removed, White Bros head pipe, silencer and air filter. De-octopussed. Works frame guards and Thumper Rad Guards, Scotts steering damper. Odometer and headlight removed. Moose hand and mud guards. YZ stock tank, IMS seat and number plate. Renthal Jimmy Button "highs" and Renthal Soft half waffle grips. AMA, SETRA, Happy Ramblers MXC.

  • Dave_B

Posted March 23, 2001 - 05:21 PM



I pulled the bike out of the water first, which was a bit of hard work. Then I started it. I can't start that bike without standing on the clutch side foot peg. I balance the bike on the kickstand, stand way up high to kick it. Thats why it's hard for me to start it when it's muddy, the kickstand just sinks. Is there a trick to this, any other techniques? Without the kick stand I doubt I could start it.

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  • mcarp

Posted March 23, 2001 - 05:31 PM



I really enjoyed reading your story. Reminds me of when I got back into riding about 4 years ago. Glad to hear you're enjoying yourself :) $8,000 !! Damn, is that OTD or did you add a bunch of goodies already (or Canadian?)

I have to give you credit for starting on a WR400. These are big bikes for beginners, as you've seen by the 3rd gear wheelies. Pump it a little and it will wheelie in 5th!!!

Don't worry, it will dry up and you'll find better traction. In the meantime, the stock WR tires SUCK! in the mud, I really like the Michelin S12 in front. The jury is out on what rear works best, at least for me.
What kind of conditions do you expect to ride in?

I guess I'm one of those guys always searching for more HP. There's a lot of damage control work that you should do right away if it's bone stock new. First, the jetting may be lean and adding to stalling. The engine is still tight and it will stall a little more when new.

To help with airbox flooding, you'll have to either trim the fused-closed end section of the clear 1 " overflow tube on the left side of the airbox OR replace it with a longer 3/8 hose running down between the shock.

Did you do any maintenance? Steering head? linkage/swingarm/axes? Cables? Spokes/bolt tight? There's a ton of work to do before yo want to start hammering on it.

The stock handlebars are crap, replace them before you're sorry. You may want to add metal and plastic handguards. You'll thank yourself.

Search for Clark Mason and breather hose. Good advice on new routing. Search on carb venting, that's what probably made the bike stall when it submerged.

Geez, I could on. Search back into old posts and read up. Don't believe everything you read :D

Hope you saved another $1,000 for YZ ank/seat,damper,tires,bars,guards, chain,jets. hehe.

Congrats on the new toy, give it a few months--you'll love it!!!!

Mike C

  • Dave_B

Posted March 25, 2001 - 07:23 AM



Your right about being a big bike to begin on Mike, I wasn't quite counting on all that power, but figure I'll get used to it. I didn't want to buy an underpowered bike and be unhappy with it in 3 months. The $8000.00 is Canadian money (thats like play money in the US) including taxes and all the gear. (needs lots of protection for the spills I know I'll take) Going to start with trail riding and some easier MX. Parked the bike now for two weeks till it warms up again, snowed yesterday!! Probably will need to spend a day to grease, lube etc.. everything suggested on this site. The first time will obviously be a big job because I'll have to figure it out as I go. The bike is totally stock right now but will need adjustments. I'm 6'3" and think a higher handlebar configuration will help with balance. Also the bike was back firing a bit when off the throttle so some jetting changes probably (really looking forward to that 1st time in) I wonder if taking the airbox lid off will lean it out a bit so it doesn't backfire. I'll start with getting it running smoother, change the bars, add a steering damper, possibly seat in that order. Any suggestions appreciated.

  • Bill

Posted March 25, 2001 - 09:23 AM


Dave B,

At 6'3" you should have enough height to start the bike on flat ground. I'm 5'11" and can start my bike in most conditions, if I have decent footing for my left foot.

Here is the starting procedure I use.

Turn fuel on.

When stone cold, Turn the throttle once to wide open, Crack open the comp release and kick the bike about 8 times.

Release comp release, find TDC.
Pull comp rel in and move the kick starter an inch, no more, release comp release.

Pull choke on and kick like a one legged mule :)

Let it idle with the choke on for no more than 30 seonds and DO NOT give it throttle. Let it warm up for a couple of minutes and then gingerly apply some throttle. Applying throttle to early is a common problem with fouling plugs.


97 KDX220, 86 TTR225, 99 WR400f, WR timing, throttle stop trimmed, air box lid removed, White Bros head pipe, silencer and air filter. De-octopussed. Works frame guards and Thumper Rad Guards, Scotts steering damper. Odometer and headlight removed. Moose hand and mud guards. YZ stock tank, IMS seat and number plate. Renthal Jimmy Button "highs" and Renthal Soft half waffle grips. AMA, SETRA, Happy Ramblers MXC.


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