26 replies to this topic
  • Boit

Posted August 21, 2001 - 07:57 PM


I would like ask you guys for your tips on how to make things easier, cleaner, faster, smarter, better...etc. for working on your machine. Anything that comes to mind...homemade tools....changing oil...anything.

  • twej

Posted August 21, 2001 - 10:34 PM


Boit, this is a great question but after reading some of your other posts I think YOU'RE the one who needs to share all of your gimmicks and tricks :-)


  • mor

Posted August 22, 2001 - 02:29 AM


2 small tips that pops up in my mind
1. i cover my air box with a women stocking on top, it keeps the dirt out and still let the air get in...
2. i spary wd40 on all the bike after i wash it - keeps the engine n all the metal parts like new ( and prevent rusted coils).

  • dirtbikebd

Posted August 22, 2001 - 06:14 AM


I use the WD40 method as well. I also spray the underneath the fenders and other parts right before I go riding, it makes it easier to clean because the dirt and mud wash right off after riding

  • sirthumpalot

Posted August 22, 2001 - 08:49 AM


A tip from the boat world which may apply here. Be careful with WD-40 and similar lubricants on rubber and plastic parts as it can dry them out and cause cracking. Spray silicone should give equal protection without the adverse affect on rubber and plastic.

  • forloop

Posted August 22, 2001 - 09:19 PM


1. PAM cooking spray on under side of fenders. Keeps dirt off.

2. Simple green for general cleaning. Spray bike with simple clean let soak a bit hose off.

3. When cleaning air filters, the goal is to get the dirt off not the oil. I have found that plain dish soap works best.

4. When changing tire, use a rag between the rear sprocket and chain to keep the wheel against the stops.

5. Bleeding brakes. Get a syringe attached to brake caliper and suck the air out. Great if replacing entire brake fluid. If you get a long enough hose the fluid should not get in the syringe.

6. You can use the same syringe to adjust fork level hight at the track.

7. To help with fork seal leak. Trim about 4mm from the spring on the oil and dust deal. Find the place in the spring that there is a gap. It will unscrew there. Trim the end that is the fattest. Don't trim the skinny end. Screw back in place.

01 YZ426F #85 Vet C

  • Boit

Posted August 22, 2001 - 01:56 PM


Thanks twej. I try to add my cents when I come across a post that I feel I can help with. Some of the tips I've posted were things I've picked up here as well and I've found to work. Here's one that someone posted that works great. When you first start your engine for the day, pull in your clutch lever for at least 20 seconds before you snick it into gear. This gets oil between the plates and prevents grabbiness. This works exceptionally well on the '00.


Posted August 22, 2001 - 02:44 PM


I use Son of a Gun sprayed on my bike.
Quick fix if your at the track and have some leaky fork seals: Put in a little brake fluid in the fork and work it in, it will fix the leak for ya.
Teflon tape under your perches and they won't break as easy in a fall.
Take a piece of tubing and put it over the bleeder screw when bleding the brakes. You can pump the brakes and add fluid without getting any air bubbles in the line.
Take a hack-saw and cut the leading edges of your worn out knobbies for at least one more good ride.
Take off that little plastic thing that covers your counter-shaft sprocket, and put the little metal piece back on, the plastic piece just allows mud to hang up in there.

  • Husker_Mike

Posted August 22, 2001 - 03:26 PM


Get a factory mechanic :)

  • DaveJ

Posted August 22, 2001 - 03:44 PM


Here's what comes to mind.

Never clean a spark plug with a wire brush.

Always align the bent over portion of the plug tip with the electrode. Then re-gap.

Use a long straightedge against the length of the chain to assure a perfectly aligned rear wheel.

With the front wheel removed, make a narrow gauge that fits perfectly between the forks. With wheel installed, use this same gauge to assure proper fork alignment, (it has to fit between the spokes).

Drain the oil via the crankcase bolt and the right rear feed tube. This removes the largest quantity of old oil.

Safety wire the master link.

Carefully use a blowtorch or heat gun to remove fine scratches in the plastic. They essentially melt or burn away.

Never use carb cleaner on the carb.

WD-40 the fork tubes after you wash the bike to keep hard water deposits from forming.

Keep the WD40 over spray away from the disc brakes.

Always move the pucks into the caliper before bleeding.

Use a spray soap when installing a new tire on a rim.

Always push down, using your weight, when removing or torguing a wheel nut. Better on the back.

Get one of those furniture dollies (a flat wooden thing with four wiggly wheels) that fits under the bike stand, so that you can move the bike around in the garage when both wheels are removed.

Lay the bike on the side for emergency clutch work...or the likes, so to avoid having to drain the oil.

Use a phillips bit on an inch pound wrench when lacing wheels to assure even spoke tension.

And some say to use a plastic bag over the fork tube when slipping on a new seal (so the edges don't get caught). You can use plastic wrap as well, just make sure it doesn't tear leaving pieces in the seal.

Wash your bike after each ride. It's a great way of discovering all the stuff that is broken or falling off.

Umm...I think that's it.


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  • sirthumpalot

Posted August 22, 2001 - 03:51 PM


Just curious, but why do you say never use carb cleaner on the carb?

  • Dave_S

Posted August 22, 2001 - 07:52 PM


Also curious.

Why not clean spark plugs with a wire brush?

Dave S

  • DaveJ

Posted August 23, 2001 - 08:23 AM


Here's what I can add.

The rubber in this carb does not react well with carb cleaners. Mainly the problem with the carb cleaner running down the accel pump push rod and getting into the diaphragm. In seconds your bike just refuses to run after a quick blast with the stuff. Not good when your race is next.

And if you ever disassemble the carb and get carb cleaner on the bowl gasket, you need to let the thing set for few days before it comes back down to size.

Even if you avoid these two areas, there is an array of rubber between to the two carb halves that could get silly over this stuff. Proceed with caution.

Perhaps it's my brand of carb clean, but I just don’t ever remember automotive carb gaskets behaving like this.

As for wire brushes and spark plugs, wire brushes are known to leave their metals behind causing spark plugs to get a little dysfunctional. It's best to get one of those spark plug sand blasters that uses a non-metallic bead.

It's not like it's that big of a deal. I have cleaned many spark plus for years with a wire brush and never seemed to have a problem. Then I read some tech paper on the issue and it made it clear what really takes place. I guess it’s just a matter of taking the issue of doing something right to doing it a bit better.

In either case, I was never able to duplicate the performance you get within the first few hours with a brand new plug.


  • nozzlejockey

Posted August 23, 2001 - 10:25 AM


I have a question? Is it physically possible to set the rear sag on your shock by yourself/ If so please post the solution. Thanks :)

  • Terry_in_Reno

Posted August 23, 2001 - 12:25 PM


You can not sit vertically on the bike with your gear on, and measure the sag. Someone must measure the sag for you. Unless you want to let them sit on the bike (not good).

  • Bill

Posted August 23, 2001 - 02:31 PM


And after you complete everything listed above.... a glass of single malt scotch, a fine cigar and good lighting in the shop to veiw the blue beast.

yea yea, I admit the wife won't let me puff one in the house :)


99 WR400f, YZ timed, MX-Tech suspension, Scotts steering damper, White Bros E-Series (12 discs), tapered header and a/f. Kouba T-handle for the fuel screw. Works Connection billet throttle tube and frame guards. Cycra Pro-Bend, triple clamp mount handguards. Thumper Racing rad guards, Renthal Jimmy Button highs, YZ Tank and IMS seat, YZ number plate, odo removed, EKP #4, 50PJ, 175MJ at 500-1000' Thanks James Dean!

  • Boit

Posted August 23, 2001 - 03:59 PM


nozzle, I ran into that snag some time ago and had no choice but to come up with a way to measure the sag alone. What I did was to buy a sag tool from....Scott's, I think it was. I position the bike as close to my garage wall as I can so that I can sit on it and let the throttle end of the bars rest against the wall and be almost straight upright. I'm very near the balance point to fall over away from the wall. This lets me sit on the bike with my feet on the pegs while I slowly insert the sag tool and read the mark. I do this at least 3 times in succession to make sure I get the same reading. Make an index mark with a permanent marker on the rear fender vertically above the axle and use this mark to take your reading everytime. When my son was home a day or two later, I asked him to help me check my sag. It was right on the money.

  • Hick

Posted August 24, 2001 - 07:16 AM


Don’t have any friends? Then set your sag alone!

Put your bike up on a stand and attach a small tape measure with a loop of safety wire going around the axle adjuster bolt and the pocket clip on the back of the tape, twist the wire nice and snug with the business end of the tape pointing up, then extend the tape up to the seat bolt and lock it in place.

Then take the bike off the stand, sit on it backwards, put all your weight on the pegs and note the measurement. Using your workbench for balance (or the wall like Boit describes) note how far down the tape your seat bolt is with you sitting on it (no math required). Take a few different readings, one by gently putting weight on the pegs and another by bouncing hard. The average of the two is what you should use.

You may look silly sitting on your bike backwards, but this actually works very well. At least that is what my many friends tell me :)

  • mikeolichney

Posted August 24, 2001 - 10:37 AM


I have two ATK bike shoes mounted ona 3/4" piece of plywood that then mounts into my enclosed 6x12 trailer. This works great and I can easily remove the plywood and bike shoes.

Anyway, the bike shoes on the plywood, when placed on my flat garage floor, are great for setting the sag. Don't have to balance at all!

  • SealClubber

Posted June 07, 2002 - 06:25 PM


I taped a straight edge to my number plate. Set it to be 4 inches away from my swingarm. Adjusted the spring so that the straight edge just touches the swingarm when sitting.

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