Featured Content

Behind the scenes at the PulpMX Show
The PulpMX show is arguably the best Podcast/Internet radio show for unfiltered Motocross and Supercross information.  Steve Matthes would like his listeners to believe his antics are part of a “janky” radio show where he exchanges quick witted banter with his friends and MX/SX royalty every Monday night.  The truth is, Matthes approaches each week with intensity and hard work as he grinds to uncover the endless information he delivers.  His light hearted delivery style invites listeners to feel like they too are in the room bench racing alongside the crew and MX/SX guests.  And if that isn’t good enough, you can actually be a part of the show as Matthes allows listeners to call in and ask questions of the guests. Steve’s show prep is minimal compared to what I consider the work involved in creating a weekly 4-5 hour show.  The reason is simple, the work is happening all week leading up to the Monday night show.  With the TV packages available many media outlets choose to purchase photos from freelance photographers and regurgitate other news source’s information (looking at you MXA).  Unlike other media outlets Steve is still pounding the pavement and networking at the races.  It’s no accident Steve breaks the most stories in the sport.  Matthes comes across as a funny carefree guy, but his dedication to his job is undeniable.  Looking at him from afar, in his cargo shorts, he doesn’t appear to be a guy who takes anything serious.  The reality is Steve probably spends more time texting, calling, e-mailing, writing and talking about the sport than anyone else.  There is no such thing as a 40 hour work week at Pulp, and while Steve likes to joke about getting out of this media gig there is zero chance of his retirement.  Nobody works this hard at a job unless they have a passion for what they do, plus he would be bored out of his mind after two weeks!   The show starts at 6pm Pacific time, I showed up at 5:45.  I checked out Steve’s Honda Ridgeline in the driveway, not my cup of tea but a nice vehicle nonetheless.  I knocked on the door only to hear a stampede of Basset Hounds barking to greet me.  Steve's wife Angie (aka. Pookie) opened the door, and yes she is one of the sweetest people ever.  I have only met her a handful of times, but she welcomed me with a hug and pointed me toward the kitchen where Co-Host David Pingree, Producer Travis Marx and Steve were enjoying some pre-show pizza.  I shook hands with Ping and he said, “Nice to meet you Cooksey, that name sounds familiar did we race together?” I remind him we’ve previously met and raced together.  Steve then asks Ping if he took me out and Ping did take me out!  At the 1990 World Mini, Pingree T-boned me so hard his radiator exploded like a volcano spewing scalding hot water all over me, so yes I remembered racing him. After some pizza and bench racing we headed upstairs to the studio for show time.  Steve likes to call his studio “janky” but in reality it is a shrine to Motocross and Supercross.  I have been in studio 5 times now and each time I am still impressed with his collection of memorabilia.  The studio is in the loft of his home leading me to question Angie’s opinion regarding her house doubling as the studio.  She said she was a fan of Supercross before meeting Steve, and supports him in all aspects of his job.  They truly are a team, while she rarely picks up a mic Angie clearly has a big influence on the creative angles for the PulpMX Show.  As big as the Pulp show has become, I asked her if she worried about safety or creepy stalker fans finding out where they live.  Angie reassured this wasn't a concern as Pulp fans are respectful for the most part, although there was a guy who posted a picture of their house on VitalMX and that made her a little uneasy.   The first segment Steve interviews his scheduled guests, usually in an order based on time zones.  The first segment is the most content filled segment, as they break down last weekend’s race.  The first break doesn’t happen till about 2 hours into the show.  The breaks are the most fun for me, the guys let completely unfiltered speculation fly.  Steve only shares information on air if he has a trustworthy source, but during the break he discusses rumors and some of the unfounded information he knows.  While this information isn't always trustworthy enough for air I have found it is usually accurate.  Ping and Steve discussed the rumors around Factory KTM and who they are planning to hire for 2018.   During the breaks one might expect Steve to turn off his character, but what he gives on air is his authentic personality.  The ball busting never stops, the Pulp studio isn't for overly sensitive personalities.  If somebody takes life too serious they would surely be offended in studio, the show sometimes vibes like a comedy roast.  This leads to the producer Travis Marx.  Steve has truly found a guy of many talents in “Marx Dog.”  Not only does Travis have a technical understanding of producing the show but he maintains his poise in an environment that could send others into years of therapy.  The ribbing he takes from Steve doesn't start and stop with the show, it is non-stop.  With that said Steve clearly values Marx and his talents.  Look for big things from Marx in the near future as he is partnering with Steve and show contributor Jason “JT$” on a project that we will all enjoy.  I would love to share their idea, but it is under Embargo…. In an industry that is behind the times and known as a “Bro Network” people have a habit of taking themselves too seriously.   The PulpMX show is a breath of fresh air.  If you take yourself too seriously you might leave their studio in tears, no fake façades allowed in studio.  With Steve’s perspective and insight, PulpMX is changing the way Motocross/Supercross is covered.   Steve explains what is really happening even if it makes him unpopular with the cool kids of the sport.  The authenticity of Pulp is what makes it great.  It is amazing that a guy from Manitoba in his loft has become ground zero for Motocross/Supercross media.   http://www.pulpmx.com/ http://pulpmxshow.com/ http://www.flyracing.com/ http://racerxonline.com/                                          (The backfliping producer Travis Marx)                               (Rocky was ready for bed during the last segment)                       (Pookie snacks!  Might as well be crystal meth... So good!)                                                 (Steve and Ping talking shop)                                                                                                                      (The famous Rigeline)
Posted by Chris Cooksey on Jul 12, 2017

EVS TP199 Travis Pastrana Knee Pad
If you're a technical woods rider like me, big, clunky knee braces just don't work for you. Over the years I've worn a multitude of inexpensive plastic knee/shin protection and while most did the job, some had migration issues while others rubbed my skin raw. Now in my mid 30s, I'm even more concerned with protection and support, but I still didn't want to commit to a huge, clunky robo-guard. But, when I saw the sleek new EVS Sports T.P. 199 Knee/Shin Pad, I had to try them. Designed for the lunatic himself (Travis Pastrana), the T.P. 199 Knee/Shin Pad has been positioned as, "For those looking for complete support without the bulk of a traditional knee brace." That's me! Patella protection comes from a hard outer shell with Reactive Memory Foam (RMF) behind it. RMF is normally flexible, conforming to your knee for a comfortable fit, stiffens upon impact, and immediately returns to a flexible state. Cool stuff! The main carrier body is made from bio foam because it can be thinner and is more flexible than traditional foams, yet still offers good protection. Migration is controlled by silicone strips on the inner sleeve and the integrated internal floating knee sleeve offers continuous support, even when the carrier body moves around. The T.P. 199 Knee/Shin Pad is secured to your leg by Velcro straps above and below the knee and is further held in place by your boot.  Here's an exploded view the nicely shows each component and it's orientation. Exploded View of the EVS TP199 Knee/Shin Pad Out-of-the box, the EVS Sports T.P. 199 Knee/Shin Pads appear to be well constructed. The materials appear to be of good quality, the stitching looks top notch, and they're pleasing to the eye. I like em'! With a handful of good hard rides in, they're holding up extremely well with no visible signs of wear. Time will tell, but I expect them to last a good bit. When I first put them on, they reminded me of those simple compression knee braces. The inner sleeve really keeps them nice and snug. Once in place, they're super low profile. They're MUCH longer than I expected (18-ish inches), so if you don't wear over-the-boot pants like me, probably a good idea to put them off before your pants. However, I was able to pull my pant legs up just enough to still fasten the top Velcro strap. I put them on at home without my boots and walked around a bit to see how they felt. I got sucked into doing some work in the garage and pretty much forgot I was wearing them. With boots on, the feeling is the same. Unlike some of the cheapy units I've used, both on and off the bike, the T.P. 199 Knee/Shin Pads stay right where I put them and any protective gear you can forget you're wearing is comfortable. On the bike, the T.P. 199 Knee/Shin Pads don't restrict movement, but you do notice there is some added stiffness as part of the built-in support systems. However, I had no migration issues and they didn't interfere with my riding in any way. In terms of protection, thankfully I've not wadded it up while wearing them. About all I've noticed is that with cheapy pads, I can usually feel branches & other trail junk bouncing off my lower legs, something that was greatly reduced wearing the T.P. 199s. It would appear that the larger knee cap and RMF armor behind it do a lot better job absorbing impacts. About the only con that I can mention, is that they are a little on the warm side. It's summer time and there's a few more layers to these guards than the cheapies I've worn. However, given the increased protection, lack of migration, and comfort, an easy trade-off. Pros   Compression sleeve support. No pad migration. Low profile design. All day comfort. Good value. Cons  On the warm side for summer conditions. Russ's Bottom-line In my experience, the EVS Sports T.P. 199 Knee/Shin Pad is an excellent piece of safety equipment. Without the bulk of traditional knee braces, EVS has found a way to utilize high tech foams to provide good protection & support in lightweight, compact design that I genuinely enjoy riding in. If you're looking to move up from standard plastic $25 guards and into the world of getting a little older and caring about your knees, the T.P. 199 Knee/Shin Pads are a great way to increase the longevity of your riding days. 
Posted by Bryan Bosch on Jul 10, 2017

Motocross Halfway: What Have We Learned?
The 450 class was believed to be The Eli Tomac Show.  After Hangtown everybody was ready to crown him and move on to Monster Cup.  With Ryan Dungey unexpectedly retiring after a heated Supercross battle with Tomac, most expected a Tomac runaway this summer (if you say you didn't, you’re lying).  But Marvin Musquin, Jason Anderson and Blake Baggett all had other ideas.   Marvin showed everyone Eli was human during the first Moto in Glen Helen.  Eli had another front brake problem in the second Moto at Glen Helen.  Despite what Kawasaki says I believe it was the same issue as in Supercross.  Eli allowed these guys to gain confidence.  In Colorado Baggett did the unthinkable and ran down Eli for the win, and doubled down by making bold comments about how he “broke” Eli, even mentioning his famous father on the PulpMX show.  This didn't sit well with the competition, but Baggett backed his comment in High Point by going 1-2 for the overall.  The second Moto in High point Eli showed the rumors of his demise had been greatly exaggerated.    Eli has since corrected his mistakes and regained his early season form.  A knee injury has all but eliminated Musquin from the championship but he seems to have recovered his speed at Red Bud.  Marvin showed the speed that garnered him the overall win at round 2 in Glen Helen.  Baggett has appeared to crumble under the “red plate” pressure.   This season is proving that anything can happen.  Jason Anderson is hanging around positioning himself perfectly and waiting to see if anything happens to Eli or Baggett.   This season is anything but predictable and here are some of the ridiculous things to date: RCH has a pit fire, and 45 minutes later Justin Bogle (who has never been on a 450 podium) dominates the first Moto in Colorado.   Eli has another front brake problem in Glen Helen.   Roger DeCoster runs to the tower mid race at High Point to tell the announcers Marvin Musquin has a knee injury and nothing is wrong with his KTM.   Yamaha’s reason for getting a factory race team back together (Cooper Webb) quits the second Moto at Glen Helen because of a poor handling machine.   Justin Barcia riding the JGR Factory Suzuki, the bike he asked for looks worse than he did on the Yamaha he didn't like.  Rumor has it that he has been openly lobbying for a spot on Factory KTM for 2018, but he better show something or he might be completely out of a job in 2018.  He looked good for 15 minutes at Red Bud…. for 15 minutes.  He needs to get on the podium before KTM will take him seriously.   Dean Ferris showed up in a one off performance at High Point and got 2nd in the first Moto. This is more action than I can remember in any season and we are only halfway through.  Eli Tomac will have the Red Plate in Southwick next week, let's see if the “Red Plate” continues to curse whomever is running it. If Eli can go 1-1 at Southwick he could smash the confidence of the field, Baggett desperately needs to get some points back, but a thumb injury might be an issue.   Anderson needs to put it together for an overall and Marvin could play spoiler.  If this title comes down to Eli and one of the other three riders, will we see the team tactics play out like we did in Supercross?  Stay tuned! In the 250 class Zach Osborne is proving his program and confidence are exactly what he needed to become a contender.  He has been consistent while Jeremy Martin has been fast but plagued with mistakes and a bike failure.  This has put him 45 points behind Osborne.  Many have pointed to Jeremy's switch from Yamaha to Honda as the reason he is struggling.  I wouldn't count him out, he looks strong and could easily go on a run of 1-1 performances.  Also Zach Osborne seems to be “ill” quite often.  He was extremely congested in Colorado and said he battled an ear infection before Red Bud.  This is the time of year that riders in the Baker Factory have historically been run down and at risk for illness.  45 points could vanish quickly if Zach has a couple 4-5 finishes while Jeremy goes 1-1.  Don't crown Zach yet!  Alex Martin is fast but I don't see him winning the title, he doesn't have that little extra that Jeremy and Zach seem to find when needed.   The disappointing performance of the year goes to the entire Pro Circuit team.  From multiple bike failures and Justin Hill riding less than inspired, Mitch has to be losing his mind.  Going into the season all four of his riders could make a case for winning the title, but other than Savatgy’s win in Colorado they haven't had much success.  If Vegas gave odds on a Pro Circuit rider not being in the top 3 in the standings at the halfway point the odds would have been worse than Connor McGregor beating Floyd Mayweather.   Let's not forget 2017 has been a crazy year, so who knows how the season will end, but we can guarantee it won't go as expected!  Mitchell Harrison almost won the second Moto at Redbud…. What's next Nick Gaines winning Washougal? All I am sure of at the halfway point is I am getting my money's worth out of my NBC Sports Gold App purchase.  I also love the riders showing their personalities at the press conferences and on the podium.  I used to skip the redundant sponsor mumbling, but now I am watching to see who will say what and how the other guys will react.   (aftermath of the Anderson on Baggett block pass at RedBud) (Osborne has been flying) (Tomac has regained control of the 450 class)
Posted by Chris Cooksey on Jul 05, 2017

Trainiacs...A Red Bull Romaniacs training session in Peru
Peru, has an astounding number of riders that will participate in the 2017 Red Bull Romaniacs hard enduro race. The final count is nine riders. Each has a training regimen that consists of various modes of mental and physical preparation as well as a keen focus on building the technical wherewithal that will increase the odds of reaching the finish. Two days of Romaniacs training on video...Check it out!   One of the hazards... One of those riders, Joso Fatule, will be a contending force in Romania. Joso is the top hard enduro rider in Peru. He has participated in a Romaniacs before. He knows what he is up against. Joso asked me if he could come out and do a two day training ride in the Andes around Cusco, Peru. I obliged, as it sounded like a good time, with the exception of the suffering that might come as a result of pushing ourselves beyond our limits. We scheduled a date. It was on! Just another view... Joso arrived from Lima on one of the first flights in the morning on day one. We returned to the house, geared up, and headed out with no time to spare. The days ride would take us over a section of trail that has only been crossed on one motorcycle; mine. I knew just how the trail would beat us down. Yup, we're going down there! It certainly did. The trail is not impassible. However, after one's body is spent, there will be another 500 more obstacles to overcome. Relentless, physically exhausting, and seemingly no end in sight...It breaks down every bit of will to keep going. We forced ourselves into finishing. With no overnight gear, we either made it all the way, or chicken out and come back. Onward we pounded up the trail to reach the pass, or abra as we say in Spanish. The drop dead goal of reaching the abra was 3pm. If we couldn't reach it by 3, we would have to head back the way we came to return to the valley floor by nightfall. We arrived with 15 minutes to spare.  On top of the pass...the view is usually better, trust me! Over the top and down into the valley on the other side. The views were incredible, and the ride was legendary. Not easy, but memorably fun. Our goal for the night was the Lares Hot Springs. It is a perfect place to finish a hard ride. Hotel, food, gas, and the sweetest hot springs to soak in after a tough ride. Rest for the weary. The second day would carry us up through another valley via a high speed ride filled with plenty of technical climbs, steep down hills, waterfalls, and views that would blow anyone's mind. We managed to play around in numerous areas where training could be had. Joso attempted to climb a moss covered section of rocks where the water cascaded down, attempted numerous short and technical climbs, side hill turning practice, and dropping off and down various obstacles. The day was very productive in being able to practice a number of varying types of terrain and obstacles that would be faced while in Romania. That was the point...TRAIN! Sweet! When it was all said and done, Joso, got on his plane exhausted and a bit more prepared to face a giant. I am honored to be able to help him prepare. Besides, it was a sweet couple of days of riding.
Posted by scottiedawg on Jun 28, 2017

Checking and Setting Cam Timing
Today I'm going to cover how to check and set cam timing, which is something you can do if you have adjustable cam gears in your engine. This is a procedure often performed by race engine builders to ensure the valvetrain performs just as they intend, and ultimately so that they extract the desired performance out of the engine. Adjustable cam gears typically aren't a stock option but are abundantly available in the aftermarket. The following text is exerted from my book, The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook, so if you find this info valuable please take a look at the entire book.   Degreeing the camshafts is the process of checking, and if necessary altering, the cam timing so that the timing is set perfectly to specified timing values. On stock and performance engines, cam timing can be off slightly due to manufacturing variations in parts such as the camshafts, cam gears, cam chain, cylinder, cylinder head, crankshaft, crankcase, and gaskets. With so many parts having an influence on cam timing, it is necessary to adjust and correct the timing so it coincides precisely with the desired timing values.  The biggest factor determining how the camshafts must be timed is whether the cam lobes are symmetrical or asymmetrical. Camshaft lobes that are symmetrical have opening and closing ramps that share the same profile. Asymmetrical cam lobes have opening and closing ramps with different profiles. Symmetric and asymmetric camshafts are timed differently. First we will focus on the timing of symmetrical camshafts. Symmetric camshafts are timed most accurately by determining the position of the camshaft’s lobe center in relation to crankshaft position. A camshaft’s lobe center is where peak lift occurs, which is the most important timing event of the camshaft. Since the tip of the camshaft is rounded, it would be difficult to determine the lobe center by taking a direct measurement of peak valve lift. The opening and closing points of the camshaft are also of little use because the cam opens and closes gradually. This makes it difficult to determine the precise position in which the camshaft opens or closes the valves. The lobe center position is a calculated value based on the position of the camshaft at two specific points of valve lift, typically with valve clearances set to zero. Normally the position of the camshaft is recorded at 0.050” (1.27mm) of lift as the valve opens and 0.050” (1.27mm) of lift when the valve closes. By recording the position of the camshaft at a specific valve lifts, the cam lobe is on a predictable portion of the opening and closing ramps. The center of the cam lobe is exactly in the middle of these two measurements. To calculate the lobe center of a symmetrical cam lobe you will need to do the following:  1. Add the measured opening and closing timings together 2. Add 180 degrees to the sum 3. Divide the answer by 2 4. Subtract the smaller value of the two opening and closing numbers from the answer to reach the lobe center value. Once the actual lobe center value has been determined on the engine, it can be compared to the specified lobe center timing presented by the manufacturer, aftermarket cam supplier, or the engine tuner. If the measured lobe center position coincides with the targeted position, all the work is done. If not, the cam gear will need to be adjusted so the timing is corrected.  If you are checking the timing on stock cams and lobe center information isn't presented, you will need to determine the lobe centers the manufacturer recommends. To do this, the opening and closing timing information supplied in the service manual can be used. Aftermarket camshafts should come with a timing card full of useful information to set the cams correctly if they are adjustable, otherwise the lobe centerline can be calculated if the opening and closing timings are known. If you don’t like math, there are plenty of lobe center calculators available on the internet you can use.  For the Kawasaki KX250F engine with the stock camshafts, the timing information is as follows:  Intake Opens 40° BTDC (Before Top Dead Center) Intake Closes 72° ATDC (After Top Dead Center)  Intake Lobe Center = ((40 + 72 + 180) ÷ 2) - 40 = 106°  My calculated lobe center timing is 106°. When I check the cam timing, this will be the value the real engine hopefully yields. The lobe center for the exhaust cam can be found the same way. For the KX250F exhaust cam:  Exhaust Opens 69° BBDC (Before Bottom Dead Center) Exhaust Closes 49° ATDC (After Top Dead Center)  Exhaust Lobe Center = ((69 + 49 + 180) ÷ 2) - 49 = 100°  Something not obvious I want to touch on is that if the intake opens after top dead center, a negative value for the opening should be used. If the exhaust closes before top dead center, a negative value should be used here as well. To start the process of checking the timing the valve clearances should be set to zero. Thicker shims can be used and zero clearance can be confirmed with a lash gauge. A degree wheel and pointer will need to be installed on the engine. There are many ways of attaching these items and each engine will provide its own challenges. Here I’ve left the flywheel on and installed a couple washers behind the degree wheel to space the degree wheel from the flywheel. Then the flywheel nut is used to secure the degree wheel. The pointer can be made from welding rod, a coat hanger, or anything else you can find. I’ll be finding TDC with the cylinder head installed, so I used one of the exterior head bolts to secure the pointer. If you will be finding TDC with the head off, choose another location.  Before the cams can be timed, TDC must be found. This can be done with the cylinder head on or off depending on the process you use. The piston dwells a few degrees at TDC so more accuracy than zeroing the degree wheel to the piston’s highest position is necessary. Similar to finding the cam lobe center, TDC can be found by measuring equal distances on the piston’s up and down stroke and then confirming that the degree wheel timing is equal on both sides at the measured distances. Dial indicators or piston stoppers are commonly used to do this.  HOT TIP: Piston stoppers can easily be made by removing the center section of a spark plug and then tapping a suitably sized threaded hole in the remaining part of the plug so a bolt and lock nut can be installed. The stopper can then be easily threaded into the spark plug hole.  Whichever method of finding TDC you decide to use, start by moving the crankshaft to the approximate TDC position. Then without rotating the crankshaft move the degree wheel so that TDC on the wheel coincides with the pointer. Next, set up your piston stops or measure piston travel on both sides of TDC. In this example I’m using a dial indicator which extends through the spark plug hole down into the cylinder. I’ve decided to take measurements at 0.050” (1.27mm) of piston travel before and after TDC. At each measurement point the number of degrees indicated on the degree wheel before and after TDC should be the same if I have found true TDC.  If the degree wheel values don’t read the same before and after TDC determine which way the wheel must be rotated so that the values become equal. Then carefully rotate the degree wheel without rotating the crankshaft to alter the degree wheel’s position. Once altered, recheck and confirm that true TDC has been found. This can be a tedious process but is extremely important for checking cam timing accurately. Repeat the procedure for checking TDC 3 - 5 times to ensure repeatability and accuracy. After true TDC has been found, be extremely careful not to inadvertently move the degree wheel or pointer. Do not rotate the crankshaft using the nut securing the degree wheel to the crankshaft. Instead, use the primary drive gear nut or bolt to rotate the engine over.  Next, set up a dial indicator on the intake or exhaust lifter bucket, depending on which camshaft you are checking. You’ll have to use some ingenuity here in determining the best way to secure the dial indicator to the engine. I’ve used a flat piece of steel and secured it to the cam cap using the cylinder head cover holes. Make sure the indicator travels as parallel to the path of valve travel as possible for accurate readings. Also makes sure at least 0.060” (1.52mm) of travel from the indicator’s resting position is possible so adequate valve lift can be measured.  Once the indicator has been set up, the cam timing can be checked. Whenever checking timing only rotate the engine over in the direction of engine rotation. Reversing engine rotation will result in inaccurate measurements due to the reversal of gear meshes and chain slack. If you miss a measurement point, rotate the engine over until you get back to the previous position.  Slowly rotate the engine over until 0.050” (1.27mm) of valve lift has occurred. Then record the position of the degree wheel. Next, rotate the engine until the cam begins to close the valve. Once only 0.050” of indicated valve lift remains record the position of the degree wheel. Repeat this process of checking opening and closing positions 3 - 5 times to check for repeatability before calculating the cam lobe center.  Once you are confident in your measurements proceed to calculate the cam lobe center. On the KX250F engine my intake lobe center is as follows:  Measured Intake Open (0.050” Lift) 39 ° BTDC Measured Intake Closure (0.050” Lift) 74 ° ABDC  Intake Lobe Center = (( 39 + 74 + 180 ) ÷ 2 ) - 39 = 107.5°  On my stock KX250F engine the actual lobe center is 107.5°. At this point if I had adjustable cam gears, I could rotate the gear slightly so that the lobe center corresponded to the specified lobe center value. The same procedure is followed for checking and adjusting the exhaust cam timing. Remember if mistakes are made when setting cam timing big problems can result, so it is best to be very patient and focused when performing this task. Always check your work 3 - 5 times to make sure the timing is repeatable and making sense. When tightening adjustable cam sprockets, use a locking agent and be sure to torque the bolts to their specified values.  When working with single camshafts that have both the intake and exhaust lobes ground on them, focus your efforts on achieving correct intake timing. Correctly setting intake timing is more important since it has a larger effect on power. The intake valves also have higher lift than the exhaust valves, potentially creating clearance troubles between the piston and valve if the intake valves are mistimed.   With your new fangled ability to adjust cam timing, you may be wondering what happens if you advance or retard the intake and exhaust cams from their standard positions? The lobe separation angle refers to the number of degrees which separate the lobe center of the intake lobe from the lobe center of the exhaust camshaft. The lobe separation angle can be calculated using the following formula: LSA = (Intake Centerline + Exhaust Centerline) ÷ 2  As a rule of thumb, reducing the lobe separation angle by advancing the intake and retarding the exhaust camshaft will increase valve overlap, move power further up the power curve, increase cylinder pressure, increase the chance of detonation, and reduce the piston to valve clearances. On the contrary, increasing the lobe separation angle by retarding the intake cam and advancing the exhaust cam will have somewhat of the opposite effect. There will be less valve overlap, power will move to a lower RPM, chances of detonation will be reduced, and the valve to piston clearances will increase. The likelihood of finding more or better power by advancing or retarding the camshafts is not all that likely because manufacturers, tuners, and aftermarket companies already test specific combinations of cam timings to death. In addition, if the lobe separation angle is reduced, the piston to valve clearances should be checked to ensure they are adequate. My advice is to run the prescribed cam timings to reduce the chance of problems occurring. Asymmetric camshaft timing can be set in a similar fashion to symmetric camshafts, however instead of focusing on the lobe center position, the specific opening and closing points will need to be measured. Timing cards supplied with asymmetric cams should have specific instructions for setting timing, but normally valve clearance is set to zero and cam positions are recorded at specific lift heights. Based on the measured opening and closing positions, adjustments are made to the timing until the timing matches the specified values. I hope you enjoyed this exert on checking and adjusting cam timing. As always feedback is appreciated so please leave comments below.  If you're interested in more engine building info check out my book The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook. Right now we are having a 4th of July Sale where everything on our site is 20% off with the discount code fourthofjuly2017. Just be sure to enter the code upon checkout so you receive your 20% off!  So if you've had your eye on our Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook or even our Value Pack, but haven't pulled the trigger yet - go for it!   Availabe at: DIYMotoFix.com - Paul
Posted by Paul Olesen on Jun 29, 2017

General

Tacoma rated worst truck 2017 by consumer reports.
I know plenty of you will chose not to believe this one, but it fell flat with customers on reliability. Bustedbones has mentioned trouble with his and many told him he was wrong, but it seems to be true.   From consumer reports   The Tacoma remains as rough and tumble as it has always been. Toyota's compact pickup features a 3.5-liter V6 hooked up to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. A 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine, which can be mated to a five-speed manual, is also available. Both two- and four-wheel-drive models are offered. Our four-wheel-drive V6 Tacoma delivered a good 19 mpg overall. Though the truck is tough as nails and delivers impressive off-road prowess, it's primitive. The ride is stiff, handling is ponderous, the cabin is very loud, and the driving position is awkwardly low. The modern connectivity features are welcome. Safety features such as blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are available. First-year reliability of the redesign has been well below average.  
Marzocchi Roco
This shock came on a used bike I couldn't pass up, but the shock is beat and the 600lb spring is a little much. My question is, will the shock be worthy of about 200$ in parts to make right for me, or will I be further ahead just to stuff something else in all together? I hear all sorts of mixed opinion on the Roco and it's already just slightly long for the frame. On the other hand, I don't want to just say it sucks without ever even trying to set it up properly and I do like having the lockout on a dh shock.
Unloading from a hitch hauler
Yesterday I was taking my bike off my truck's hitch hauler and undid the two back straps first, then undid one of the straps closest to the truck (which was under heavy tension because the suspension was compressed). When I pushed the strap's release button (Ancra cam style pull straps, not ratcheting), it slackened very quickly and the bike tipped off the hauler and trapped my hand when it fell. It was extremely painful, my fingers started turning blue/purple, and now my pointer finger is still not fully back to normal. Anyway, that sucked, but I'm wondering if there are any tips you all have so I can prevent this again. I've done it before, but normally maybe I don't sinch it down so tight, or maybe I'm quicker at pushing the cam release and letting go before too much slack occurs, or maybe I just didn't hold the bike strongly enough this time. I assume a fork brace would do the trick, but the one I got (which a shop told me should fit) does not seem to fit my CRF230F.

Dirt Bike

2018 Yamaha YZ450F
http://racerxonline.com/2017/06/12/gallery-2018-yz450f-press-intro Let the games begin!
Beta throttle cable
Once again, how does/can Beta get away with a single cable on the 4stk bikes and all the Japanese bikes still have a dual setup? All are FI, is the Synerject that different?
WHICH WOULD YOU BUY & WHY?
FE501, FE350 or 300XC-W.... Type of riding ...everything but moto.

ATV/UTV

Namura pistons hate two strokes
I buy broken two strokes off Craigslist and fix them up for my family to enjoy. After my fourth purchase with all bad top ends I am starting to see a pattern. All 4 bikes had namura pistons and all four the piston broke and was to blame. I've seen crumpled crowns to crack in half and shattered skirts. Is any one have the same issues or is namura just junk.
Push start
Can A Yamaha 200 1984 be push started?
sport or utility for rocky technical colorado terrain?
Hey I used to ride dirt bikes years ago and finally am looking to get something to ride again. But I'm looking for something that I can take the wife out on with me....which is why I'm looking at getting a quad instead of a bike because riding a bike with a passenger is a huge pain in the ass. Even though I'd really really love a dirt bike. I grew up riding dirt bikes and quads on the east coast where the trails are pretty smooth so all the quad riders had sport quads (honda/suzuki 400, raptor, banshee, warrior, etc were all quads the group went through). I live in Denver and would be hitting the colorado trails which can vary from rocky gravel roads to extremely rocky, bowling ball+ sized rocks on slow going trails. So I'm wondering if a 4wd utility quad with independent or solid rear axle would be better than a 2wd sport/trail quad with solid rear axle? Can anyone give any advice/experience/opinions on the trade offs? Will I hate my life if I get a honda 400ex instead of a true utility quad? I'd rather get something more sporty, but if riding somewhat rocky trails with a 110lb passenger on that back is going to bounce us to death it probably isn't worth it. If it will still be enjoyable on a 400ex or raptor or something similar, I'm all game! Thanks!

Street

1981 Honda cr125 Timing
Looking to adjust the timing on my 1981 Honda cr125. I pulled the cover off the flywheel and found that the crackcase line was a good distance away from the flywheel "T" mark. Can someone please clarify that they should be lined up?   It's my first bike and have heard lots of bad stories about the bike rolling backwards after adjusting the timing.   Thanks in advance
1996 GSXR1100W Oil Change
Just got a 1996 GSXR1100W. Have all the oil and a filter, just never changed the oil on a big bike before. It does have an aftermarket exhaust and i know it will need some work to get the filter in and out. I don't know where the drain plug is or if anyone else has any other tips please share. Thanks
Suzuki Katana Build Adventure
This is to mirror my BMW build thread found here: http://www.thumpertalk.com/topic/1172570-bmw-airhead-build-adventure/   Back in May, I received a 1990 Suzuki Katana 600 from my father. I purchased the BMW from him previously and he felt bad about it breaking down and so let me borrow the Suzuki for some time.   Well since it's in my possession, I'm going to tear it down some and build it back up.   The bike in question   Tearing apart   Carbs are off   I have set float level. Next I will adjust valve lash.   Future plans include changing the chain and sprockets (converting to 520), getting new oem mirrors, installing a center stand, and reupholstering the seats.

Snow

Mxz 800 renegade
I bought this sled last winter and only got out on it a couple times and I was doing a little bit of work on it and I want to do a couple of upgrades and I'm just wondering where would be the best place to start?
Broken Clutch 2001 RMK 800. Sell it or fix it?
Bought an old sled, broke it 3 weeks later. What to do with it now. Don't have skills to fix it myself. I'am in Central Oregon, would be cool to meet somebody who could help me fix it. What to do what to do? Ideas
Is This A Polaris XCR 800?
I recently had someone offer me a 1999 Polaris XCR 800 triple in exchange for my dirt bike. The seller says it has a title and only has about 2000 miles on it! I've always wanted an XCR 800 triple. What confuses me is why does it a "600 XCR" on the side of the snowmobile? Another thing that confuses me is that I cannot find a single white 1999 Polaris XCR 800 triple anywhere on Google. The only color I see is from that year is red. The seller swears it's a 1999 Polaris XCR 800 triple. The seller claims that they cannot find the VIN. I honestly assume the seller may either be misinformed or is down right lying. I don't know much about snowmobiles so I need you guys to help me out on here!    Update: The seller claims "We put a different hood on it bc my dads buddy who we got it from he cracked the other one al little." The seller also claims to have the original hood. What do you think

PWC

stand ups
not much to say now. no one here
400ex upgrades questions
I recently got an 07 400ex all stock and just bought a stage 2 hotcam and a keihin flatslide carb...I don't know what year 450r it came off but I had a few questions. I know I'll have to modify the air boot and slide my air box up some but can I use my stock ex throttle cable...and if not will someone tell me why...I haven't even pulled my carb off to look yet...and also will I need to jet it differently or will the stock...assuming they are stock jets...work with my 400ex...after I put the stage 2 hot cam in with it...also will the stage 2 hotcam make it alot harder to start since it does away with the compression release...thank you to any and all who respond
1987 js550 top end
What top end kit do you guys recommend for one of these ski's?  I'm having a hard time trying to find oem Kawasaki parts online.

Meet the Experts