MX Riding Technique

Hosted by MX training legend, Gary Semics - www.gsmxs.com

5,952 topics in this forum

    • 0 replies
    • 213 views
    • 4 replies
    • 238 views
    • 4 replies
    • 255 views
    • 5 replies
    • 287 views
    • 11 replies
    • 356 views
    • 3 replies
    • 248 views
    • 10 replies
    • 311 views
    • 19 replies
    • 788 views
    • 1 reply
    • 242 views
    • 7 replies
    • 489 views
    • 4 replies
    • 298 views
    • 7 replies
    • 343 views
    • 11 replies
    • 351 views
    • 0 replies
    • 242 views
    • 3 replies
    • 318 views
    • 6 replies
    • 346 views
    • 3 replies
    • 287 views
    • 1 reply
    • 271 views
    • 10 replies
    • 462 views
    • 34 replies
    • 918 views


  • Featured Content

    The Beginning of the Journey
    I’M BACK! Hello ThumperTalk readers! My name is Scott Meshey. If you’re from the Motocross community there is a good chance you might know me through my blog series from Vurbmoto “Life with the Mesheys”, if not, please check my profile. Get to know me, and I hope you follow along with this blog series. For this entry, I’ll dish out some background and where I am headed right now, kicking off the start of the series. So let’s get to it! My blog series for Vurbmoto ran for 3 and a half years until their recent shutdown. The opportunity to share my experiences through Vurb and now on ThumperTalk is something I truly enjoy. This blog series will follow my progression, good, bad, and everything in between to the pro ranks, sharing my experiences and wisdom I gain along the way. Whether you ride the trails on the weekends, hit the back roads after work, are a serious racer, or a parent of a racer, I hope my experiences give insight not only to just Motocross racing, but I hope they give a unique perspective of the challenges behind the goggles. I want readers to enjoy reading my experiences, but I also want others that aspire to achieve the same goals as myself, particularly the youngsters of the sport, to learn from these blogs in their quest to be the best.  I’ve been riding since I was 4. I started competing at amateur Motocross nationals when I was about 9 or 10 years old, contending at the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Motocross National 9 years in a row, the Winter National Olympics or “Mini O’s”, the RCSX at Daytona, the Lake Whitney Spring Championship, the Mill Creek Spring Classic, and the JS7 Freestone National Championship. I’ve ridden for several amateur teams, and had the privilege of working with some legends of the sport. In 2016, I jumped into the pro Arenacross series for a few rounds to get experience in the pro ranks. Unfortunately, my experience was cut short by unresolved health problems from a bad case of pneumonia in 2015.    Loretta Lynn’s 2015, Picture by Sarah Behrens Photography  This brings me to where I am today. After hitting the reset button and off the bike for a year, I’m back home in the motocross scene, eager to continue sharing my story and experiences with the dirt biking world, back to good health with amazing people behind me. I’ll be going to Loretta’s for my 10th year in the 250A and Open Pro Sport classes, and jumping into the pro Motocross series thereafter.  Come along for the ride and tap/click the follow button! I’ll see you at the races. Scott Meshey #141  
    Posted by Scott Meshey 141 on Apr 14, 2017

    Grease Primer
    Grease is a tool used so universally around the world but remains somewhat of a mystery for many of the people who use it. Every motorcycle needs grease at some point and there are several different areas where it is applied. Although grease manufacturing is a somewhat complex process it is somewhat seen as an art and each company’s methods and exact formulas are different. This results in sometimes subtle but sometimes drastic differences in products. The basic formula for grease is this: base oil, thickener and additives. Base oils can be anything from petroleum to synthetic to plant based oils. There are several different commonly used thickeners. The most common types are lithium, aluminum and calcium sulfonate. The additives used are dependent on the type of grease and the purpose of the grease. Base Oil: The base oil composition of a grease will impart a few crucial properties: Table 1: Basic base oil comparison The reason synthetics are less versatile than non-synthetic base oils is because of synthetic types likes silicone and poly-alyklene glycol (PAG). These types of oil are usually only meant for very specific industrial applications and are unsuitable in many others, so care is needed when selecting grease to avoid these types of synthetics in many instances. With that same reason in mind, additive selection is also more limited with these alternative synthetic options. However, plant based oils are still generally less versatile due to the temperature constraints they are typically limited by to. Thickener: Different thickener types have different performance attributes distinct to each type. Here are the most common types of base grease thickeners used for multipurpose motorcycle greases. Lithium offers a good water resistance, heat tolerance and mechanical stability. It is currently the least expensive type of grease to make so it is very prevalent in the marketplace. The drawbacks of it compared to other types are that it is not completely waterproof and will accept moisture over time. Aluminum is practically waterproof but is more expensive to manufacture than lithium grease. It offers high temperature stability, but is slightly less mechanically stable than other types. Calcium sulfonate has excellent high temperature, low temperature and inherent properties that allow it to use fewer additives to obtain certain performance levels. Its water resistance is excellent and it is often compatible with other greases. The big drawback to calcium sulfonate is the price. It is typically much more expensive than either of the other two types to produce. A grease complex is a variation of the standard base grease that is possible to make with lithium and aluminum. Aluminum and lithium complex greases exhibit higher temperature limits and better mechanical stability than their uncomplexed counterparts. All three of the grease types listed are often compatible with one another up to around 25% contamination with one type and 75% of the other. Beyond that 3:1 ratio though, incompatibilities are more common and certain properties may be sacrificed if mixed. There are many other types of thickener types I haven’t mentioned but those are rarely, if ever, used for the types of greases commonly used for motorcycle. Additives: Common additives for greases include: anti-oxidation, anti-corrosion, anti-wear and extreme pressure(EP) additives. Additional types are certainly used, but those are going to be found in a lot of greases with perhaps the exception of extreme pressure additives if the grease is not labeled as EP grease. One last fairly universal additive is dye. Most greases are dyed some color and many people believe these colors mean something. Let me be absolutely clear here so there is no confusion; THE COLOR DOES NOT MATTER. The colors are arbitrary and chosen by the manufacturer for aesthetics and nothing else. They may have their own standards and reasons for why they color certain grease a certain way, but it is not to conform to any industry standard. Grease Applications & Properties: Grease has some advantages over oil in certain applications. It can be applied in open areas without a sump or reservoir. It forms a significantly stronger physical barrier on a surface making it more suitable in extreme applications. It can utilize solid lubricants more effectively than liquids can. There are basically two types of greases commonly used in most motorcycles. They are assembly grease used during engine building or repairs and multipurpose greases for everything else. Multipurpose greases are usually good for bearings, axles, pivots and really any grease point on a bike. Assembly lubricants usually contain a high level of solid lubricants and provide lubrication to machine internals that are normally lubricated by oil or special applications that require a high content of solid additives. The purpose of assembly lubricants is to provide lubrication on parts that have never been exposed to engine or gear oil yet, so when the bike is started for the first time after maintenance; those parts have some protection before the regular lubricant begins circulating. These assembly greases are usually washed away by the oil and are removed from the system during subsequent oil changes. Another application for these products are areas such as final drives where a high content of solid additives can be beneficial for surface protection. Most grease points on motorcycles are fairly low load compared to more extreme grease applications in commercial applications. This means specialized grease is rarely needed and a single multipurpose grease is usually able to serve all of those grease points. They go into places that are open and exposed, high load or in places that oil films cannot be maintained. Bearings, axles and chassis linkages are common applications for these greases. They generally will provide extreme pressure protection and decent anti-wear protection. Because they form a physical barrier against water and oxygen, corrosion protection is inherently high, but this is also often boosted further by additives to protect against rust and corrosion. They should maintain a physical barrier to keep out moisture and dirt from these applications that would self destruct very quickly if contaminated. Grease does all of this through both physical and chemical means and there are a few key points to consider when choosing the right grease for your application. First and foremost is the grease consistency or hardness. This property for grease is just as important as the viscosity is for oil. Using an incorrect grease consistency can quickly result in part failure and under-lubrication. Grease is categorized into different grades by the National Lubricating Grease Institute (NLGI) scale based on a grease’s penetration test result. Grease penetration is a measurement of the depth at which a calibrated metal cone will penetrate into the surface of grease when dropped form a standard height. Penetration is represented in decimillimeters (tenths of a millimeter), and the penetration is often taken under two different conditions: worked and unworked. An unworked grease is fresh from the container and has never been used. A worked grease is one that has been put through mechanical stress to simulate usage. The purpose is to indicate the stability of the grease with regards to its consistency. Working grease is a standard process that involves a piston churning the grease a standard number of times using an instrument known as a grease worker. The standard method uses a plunger with 60 holes in it and it is pushed a pulled a total of 60 times in 1 minute. Figure 1: Mechanical Grease Worker (please imagine there are 60 holes in the piston face) After that minute, the grease is considered worked and can now be tested for NLGI consistency. The grades identify significant differences in the hardness or softness of greases. The simplest way I find to describe them is to compare them to common foods. Table 2: NLGI grades and consistencies. Another important property of grease is the base oil viscosity. During the manufacture of base grease, the ingredients of the thickener are mixed with oil. When the grease reaction takes place, that oil becomes part of that grease. Typically the higher viscosity the oil, the more heavy duty application it can withstand. However higher viscosity base oils usually limit the low temperature performance, so for general purpose grease, a base oil blend balanced for moderately high and low temperature performance is preferable. Assembly grease typically contains a high level of solid lubricant meant to withstand high pressure and remain in place in the absence of the regular lubricant that would normally protect the surface. The reason this regular lubricant needs replacing is usually because the machine is rebuilt and hasn’t had the oil circulation system running yet. These greases don’t need to have a very long usable lifespan since they are designed to be used up fairly quickly, washed away by the oil and removed by either a filter or through the next oil change. Therefore, anti-oxidation and long term stability are not key features for assembly lubricants. However, another application for assembly greases comes from the typical high level of solid lubricants. Since these solid lubricants will resist extreme loads there are applications in some bikes that call for a grease like this such as final drive shaft gears. Grease application is an aspect that a lot of people have difficulty with as well. I often see comments implying to just pump in as much grease as a bearing can hold and that is how much it should use. That advice is almost universally bad. Over-packing a bearing can lead to some very bad failures. Alternatively too little grease is also a problem for more obvious reasons; under-lubrication and all that goes with it being the biggest of them. You can read about the pitfalls of these mistakes and how to avoid them here. So I hope that gives you a good basic starting point to look at greases and you are now armed with the knowledge to at least ask the right questions when trying to choose between different brands of grease.
    Posted by MotoTribology on Feb 27, 2017

    Don't Read Unless You're Serious About Your Speed!
    @Scott Meshey 141 When it comes to preparing for a new season of training and racing, there are several tricks to performing at your full potential.  When it comes to the human body, you must realize that you are only as fast as your weakest link!  Let’s take a look at a few tricks that you can implement today: Test Your Fitness Regularly Your season needs to be broken up into four definitive seasons: Pre-Season, Pre-Competitive, Competitive (with several peak performances) and the Off Season.  During each of these training cycles, you want to begin each cycle with a series of base line assessments to establish a quantified measurement of your sport specific speed, strength, endurance and lactate tolerance. During each training cycle, the focus of your efforts changes according to your race schedule – you don’t want to be working on your endurance too much when your race schedule requires short, explosive efforts.   Know Your Sweat Rate It is imperative that you know how much and when you should be drinking to avoid either dehydration (not enough water) or hyponatremia (too much water).  Your goal is to stay within 2-3% loss during each workout. Research has shown that if you lose more than 3% of your body weight in sweat, the strength of your muscle contractions can diminish by 10-12% robbing you of both speed & endurance.   To receive a copy of MotoE’s Sweat Rate Calculation Spreadsheet, email me directly.  This simple resource will ensure that you are not drinking too much or too little which will help you train and race to your full potential. Maintain a Food Log Your daily food log should have three pieces of information for each day: what time, how much & what you ate.  This data will provide you a clear snap shot of the quality and quantity of food you are consuming on a daily basis.  Many times, the lack of muscular endurance is a result of inadequate amounts of food (i.e. fuel) coming into the body resulting in low blood sugar.  Low blood sugar can lead to a lack of mental concentration, weaker muscle contractions and lack of consistent speed.  To receive a copy of MotoE’s Food/Energy Spreadsheet, email me directly.  This simple resource will ensure that you are getting the right amount and type of foods to sustain your duration and intensity levels.    Reduce Your Body Fat It is not a surprise that lighter racers have a lower overall core body temperature than heavier athletes; this is a result of body fat to lean muscle ratios.  The same principle applies to speed & endurance – the stronger and lighter the body, the easier it is to produce and maintain a fast rate of speed.  To accurately measure your body fat/lean muscle ratios, utilize a combination of tape & caliper measurements.  These two forms of measurement are the cheapest & most accurate (second only to submersion which is difficult to find and cost prohibitive) way of seeing how your body composition is changing specific to your food, hydration and workout/performance logs (relevant to volume & intensity).   By evaluating your body measurements and skin fold measurements every six weeks, you will get an accurate snapshot of your program and determine if your training efforts are delivering the incremental progression that you outlined in your goal profile.  To receive a copy of our MotoE’s Body Measurements Spreadsheet, please email me directly.   Establish a Warm-up Routine Nearly every new athlete we have worked with says the same thing “I always feel better at the end of the race than I do at the beginning of the race”.  This is because the rider has used the first half of the race to “warm up” - the scientific term is called the Lactic Acid Shuffle.  When the body burns stored carbohydrates (i.e. glycogen) it releases a hydrogen atom that acidic in nature – hence the feeling of burning in the muscles.  As the body becomes more acclimated to the presence of this hydrogen, your circulatory system increases its efficiency and rids itself (actually reabsorbs) of this burning sensation.  In order to improve both your opening speed along with maintaining that speed throughout the race, a warm up that is specific in duration, intensity and time before your actual race is imperative to performing at an optimal level.   Visit a Chiropractor and Massage Therapist When you recognize that muscles stay tight when bones are out of alignment and that bones get pulled out of place when muscles are tight, you recognize that these two modalities are synergistic – you shouldn’t have one without the other.  A qualified massage therapist will help you identify what muscle(s) that are chronically tight which will help direct your stretching efforts to eliminate any future muscle strains and/or tears. An in-line spine and flexible muscles will allow for proper biomechanics which will produce faster speeds & improved endurance.  Please email me directly for more information about what to look for regarding a qualified massage therapist and chiropractor.   Get Some Blood Work When you have your blood drawn, 99% of the time, they draw and evaluate a partial panel; however, a full panel will provide you better insight regarding your overall health – especially the health of your blood cells.  For example, when you train and race hard, you break down your red blood cells, which are necessary to carry fresh oxygen to the working muscles.  If you’re RBC (red blood count) is down, you will feel sluggish and fatigued for long periods of time and not know why – you have a low red blood count.   By having your blood drawn every 12 weeks (once a quarter), you can evaluate the effects of your food, hydration and training schedule as it relates to your overall health.  Please note the ranges that are established on your blood panel reports are established based on the absence of disease verses a more important range referred to in the human performance world as functional health.  Your optimal health and performance ranges are nowhere near what is outlined on your blood results data sheets, hence the need for a qualified physician who understands the nature of your sport and its demands on your body.   At MotoE, we have a staff of physicians that can read and evaluate your full blood panel results and make recommendations to improve your health and ultimately performance.  Please email me directly for more information about this service.   Listen to Your Body One of the worst things that you can do to your body is to stop listening to the external signs that your body is either hurt or fatigued.  By tracking your morning heart rate, you will be provided specific feedback on how your body is responding to stress (virus, training, hungry, dehydrated, etc.) and whether or not you should workout today (in any way) – our rule of thumb is that if your resting heart rate is up by more than 5 beats, you don’t train but rather eat cleanly and go back to bed.  The signs of injury are pretty obvious: the injured area is swollen, hot to the touch, tender to the touch, discolored, and has limited range of motion.   These self defense mechanisms are designed to provide you feedback so that you can make adjustments that will turn these conditions around.  If you take pain medication, this only masks your body’s natural receptors of pain, which increases your risk of further injury or illness. At MotoE, we have numerous cross reference tools to keep our riders from getting burned out, overly fatigued which helps them avoid injury or illness.  It is imperative that you pay close attention to your body’s external signs: elevated morning heart rate, a normal workout effort is harder than normal, suppressed appetite, low motivation and excessive muscle soreness are examples that are easy to identify.     Establish Goals and Training Objectives to Achieve To maximize your productivity and ensure that you are achieving your personal racing goals you must establish three sets of goals: 3 months out, 6 months out and 12 months out.  The reason for the three sets of goals is associated with how long it takes the body to develop the necessary physiological elements (i.e. strength, endurance, lactate tolerance, flexibility, etc.).  The objectives that are established for each goal are based on the results of your baseline assessments – nothing will keep you on the straight line of success like honest evaluation of your assessments. Either your endurance is getting better or it isn’t – what you choose to do with this information is the difference between a champion and a good racer.  To receive a copy of MotoE’s Goal & Objective Spreadsheet, email me directly. Have Fun! Don’t lose sight of the fact that you took on racing for the fun and the challenge.  No matter what happens on race day, be thankful that you had the opportunity to go out and race (at whatever level) and that no one can ever take that experience away from you – ever! ***** Thank you for taking the time to read!  If you have any current frustrations that you would like some help breaking down, please don’t hesitate to drop me and my team an email.  We would enjoy answering your questions and getting you on the path to success immediately. Yours in health and sport,  Robb Beams Owner-Founder of MotoE’s Complete Racing Solutions
    Posted by Coach Robb on Apr 05, 2017

    Three Easy Ways to Improve Engine Cooling
    This month I want to discuss three easy ways to improve engine cooling for your dirt bike or ATV and explain why they are effective. As improvements are made to an engine that increase its power, the amount of heat the engine will create will also increase. Effectively removing heat from the engine and cooling it is very important as the power output of the engine goes up. The cooler an engine runs, the more power it can produce. There are three ways that the aftermarket attempts to improve the cooling system of a particular engine. 1. Increase flow through the cooling system. 2. Increase the cooling capacity of the radiators. 3. Increase the pressure of the cooling system. Let's dive in. 1. Increase flow through the cooling system The flow through the cooling system can be increased by installing a water pump impeller designed to increase the flow rate of the coolant. The reason increasing the flow rate of coolant works is because the rate of heat transfer from the engine to the cooling system is directly proportional to the mass flow rate of coolant. This is thermodynamics jargon, but there are two key parts to consider. First, how much coolant is flowing, and second, at what speed the coolant is flowing. The more coolant that flows and the faster it flows will reduce the temperature difference between the point where the coolant enters into the engine and where it exits. This next part is not quite as intuitive. When the temperature difference between the inlet and outlet is reduced, the average coolant temperature is lowered. When the average coolant temperature is lowered the engine will run cooler. This is why fitting a water pump, which increases the flow of coolant through the engine, improves cooling. 2. Increase the cooling capacity of the radiators Radiators consist of a series of tubes and fins which run from the top to the bottom of the radiator. These are often referred to as the radiator’s cores. As coolant enters the radiator it moves through the series of tubes and heat is transferred from the coolant to the fins. Air passes over the fins and heat is transferred from the fins to the air. This transfer of heat from coolant to air is how radiators reduce the temperature of the coolant. Coolant temperatures can be reduced by upgrading radiators in three ways, by increasing the frontal area of the radiators, by making the radiators thicker, or by using materials with better heat transfer properties for the cores. For all practical purposes, increasing the radiators’ frontal area and improving the core materials is rarely a viable option for dirt bike applications. This is because there is little room for the radiators to begin with and they are susceptible to damage, making the use of expensive core materials a risky affair. Unfortunately, both of these options are better improvements to make before resorting to increasing the thickness of the radiators. Increasing the thickness of a radiator is not as efficient of an improvement as increasing the frontal area of the radiator. In order for thicker radiators to cool more effectively than their stock counterparts, airflow past the radiators is key. When the thickness of a radiator is increased, air must travel a greater distance through the radiator before exiting. The speed the air is traveling plays a big role in determining how quickly the air heats up as it moves through the radiator. If the air is not traveling fast enough through the radiator, the air temperature will rise and equal the coolant temperature before reaching the end of the radiator. Once this happens, heat transfer stops and whatever portion of the radiator remains will not help with cooling. In order for a thicker radiator to be effective, air must flow quickly enough through it so that the exiting air temperature is at, or better yet, below the coolant temperature. In conclusion, benefits from adding thicker radiators will be more prominent in applications where speeds are relatively high. Whereas in applications where the bike is hardly moving, improved cooling may not be noticeable. 3. Increase the pressure of the cooling system The last alteration to the cooling system that can be made is to install a high pressure radiator cap. As coolant temperature increases, pressure increases inside the cooling system. The radiator cap is designed to be the pressure release point in the cooling system in the event that too much pressure builds up. This can occur as a result of overheating or a blown head gasket for example. By designing the radiator cap to be the weak link in the system, other parts of the system, such as seals, don’t end up getting damaged from being over pressurized. The radiator cap features a plug and spring on its underside. The spring is designed to compress once a certain pressure is reached, at which point the plug will move upwards and uncover a pressure release hole where excess pressure will be vented. The coolant’s boiling point and ability to conduct heat are necessary factors in understanding why a high pressure radiator cap can help improve engine cooling. Water alone boils at 212°F (100°C) while a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze boils at 223°F (106.1C). Radiator cap pressure designations are usually advertised in bar, with most stock radiator caps designed to withstand pressures up to 1.1 bar (16psi). The more pressure a fluid is under, the more difficult it becomes for the fluid to vaporize, and the higher its boiling point becomes. When water is under 1.1 bar of pressure, the temperature water will boil at is 260°F (127°C) while a 50/50 antifreeze mix will boil at 271°F (133°C). By installing a radiator cap designed to withstand higher pressures, an additional increase in the coolant’s boiling point will be seen. High pressure caps are usually designed to withstand 1.3 bar (19psi) of pressure. This 0.2 bar (3psi) increase in pressure over the stock system will increase the boiling point of water or antifreeze by 8.7°F (4.83°C). This will then bring the boiling point of pure water or a 50/50 antifreeze mix to approximately 269°F (132°C) and 280°F (138°C) respectively. While this small temperature increase alone won’t do a lot for your engine, coupling a high pressure cap and using coolants with better heat transfer properties can do wonders. Antifreeze (ethylene glycol) alone is not an inherently good conductor of heat. In fact, pure antifreeze conducts heat about half as well as water, while a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water conducts heat approximately three quarters as efficiently as pure water. This means a cooling system using a 50/50 mix of antifreeze would have to flow faster than a cooling system filled with pure distilled water in order to achieve the same cooling efficiency. What this means for you is significant cooling gains can be made by using distilled water and an additive called “Water Wetter” in place of an antifreeze-water mix. Water Wetter is an additive that improves water’s “wetting” abilities (another whole subject), adds corrosion resistance, and slightly increases the boiling point of water. A high pressure radiator cap in conjunction with distilled water and Water Wetter as the coolant is by far the best route to go for high performance applications where freezing is not an issue. For applications which must still be resistant to freezing, the antifreeze-water ratio can be altered in favor of mixtures incorporating more water than antifreeze so that the cooling efficiency of the mixture is improved. Just bear in mind the freezing point of the mixture as it is thinned with water will be reduced, so you will need to pay close attention to the environment you are operating in so that the coolant is never susceptible to freezing. A frozen coolant system can ruin an engine and makes for a very bad day! I hope you enjoyed this post on three easy ways to improve your engine’s cooling.  One more thing before I wrap up! April is Autism Awareness month, and here at DIY Moto Fix we couldn't be more excited to announce that we will be donating 15% of all profits made in April to AutismMX. If you haven't heard of AutismMX, this amazing non-profit brings Autism awareness to the motorcross community. Founder, Matthew Dalton, created this non-profit after finding that motorcross was an amazing way to connect with his autistic son. At DIY Moto Fix this non-profit also touches a chord with us. Our filmmaker and photographer, Kelsey Jorissen, loved dirt biking with her autistic brother throughout their childhood. The Autism MX Project focuses on four areas: Autism MX Day Camps are days for ASD kids and families to have the chance to ride AMX’s little dirt bikes and quads and enjoy the sport of motocross. Team Autism MX Sponsoring amateur MX racers, riders as well as sponsoring AMA pro racers. Through doing so, they are getting out the word on Autism Awareness to millions. AMX Puzzle Piece Apparel from shirts, graphics, goggles, to help stand out and support Autism Awareness. AMX Ride Days for Autism Awareness AMX celebrates Autism Awareness and is a fundraiser for The Autism MX Project. So for the entire month of April - if you buy a book, a video, even a poster - 15% of that purchase will go towards AutismMX and their amazing cause. Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!
    Posted by Paul Olesen on Mar 30, 2017

    Clymer Repair Manuals
    I’m currently rebuilding my Honda   XR650R from the ground up after an unfortunate crankshaft failure last summer. Although I'm confident in my mechanical abilities, there are many details to a rebuild that can only be found in a make/model specific repair manual. Most (including myself) would head straight for the OEM   service manual, but what if all of the same information is readily available in an aftermarket manual with a wallet relieving price tag? Clymer   Manuals advertises their books as containing every bit of information needed to maintain and repair your bike, so when they offered up one of their paper books,  as well as digital online access, for evaluation, I thought it would be a good opportunity to see how Clymer stacks up against the factory Honda repair manual. I have used the factory manual for my bike for years and it's quite comprehensive, but it's written with the assumption you are working in a fully equipped shop vs. the more typically equipped garage a shade tree mechanic has at his or her disposal. A good example of this is swing arm bearing replacement.  While the Honda manual calls for using three manufacturer specific tools, the Clymer repair manual clearly lays out how to set the swing arm in a press and make due with a piece of pipe. Of course, there are going to be times when the only option is an OEM   tool, and in those cases, Clymer conveniently includes the part numbers. So far in my rebuilding efforts, every piece of info I've needed, Clymer included. Every torque spec is easily found, instructions are step-by-step, and useful pictures and illustrations are included. For me, when working on my bikes, finding and fixing an electrical issue is both intimidating and annoying. I was pleased to find a full, in-depth electrical section that explained tests and diagnostics as well as full color wiring diagrams in the back of the book. The Clymer manual is ready to get you back on the trail! Pricing... A Clymer repair manual can be in your mail box for around 30 bucks where the OEM repair manual comes in at about 130. I'll admit, I was initially skeptical of using a manual produced by anyone other than Honda, especially at a hundred dollars less. After completing a few jobs, I am confident that the rest of my rebuild will go just as smoothly with the Clymer manual next to me. Clymer also offers an on-line manual; a great addition or alternative to the more traditional paper format. The online manual costs $19.95 per year and gives you the ability to access and print information however you like. I leave greasy fingerprints all over my manuals, and the rest of the house for that matter, so having the ability to print what I need is extremely helpful.  With the digital version I don’t have to worry when I mark my territory on the pages. I checked the online manual on both my laptop and smartphone and it worked flawlessly. The best part of the online version is its search function. It's like being able to Google a mechanics brain for MY bike. Search, Print, Repair, & RIDE! It's an incredibly useful option and my only complaint is not being able to purchase the online content permanently. After having the opportunity to use all of the Clymer repair manual resources, I am confident that an average Joe, with some mechanical knowledge and initiative, can tackle rebuilding an entire bike. It also busted by skepticism that at its price point, there is no way it could stand up a factory manual. Good job Clymer!  
    Posted by Bryan Bosch on Mar 29, 2017