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17,980 posts in this topic
3yrs ago I parted ways with my trusty KTMs and jumped onto the Yamahas... Starting first with a YZ250 that I built into the ultimate woods bike, it was 'almost' everything one could want. But it did lack the e-start, HO stator and 6spd, things that I really wanted as the ultimate machine. Then a new YZ450F made it into my garage which I built into a woods machine (the FX didn't exist at the time). All the power in the world so a 6spd wasn't needed. But I still lacked the button and fat stator. Shortly after a large crash and some broken body parts, I then moved to the new YZ250FX which has been with me the last year. Coming with a near perfect 6spd, a 100+W stator and the magic button it should have been near perfect. But I did want for more. The bike was heavier then it's competition, taller and underpowered, but overall probably the best beginner/average riders bike available. There is no question that the Yamahas could be anything you wanted. I had great success on all 3 bikes with near bullet proof reliability, fantastic motors, outstanding suspension and unquestionable race worthiness adding a few wins and multiple podiums to my resume. But...
...when KTM introduced their new 16 models, it was hard not to look over the fence to see if the grass was greener. Could my criterias be met?
So on Saturday, I picked up a new 2016 KTM 350xcf. On paper, 'most' of all criterias are met.
-Less power then the 450, but more then the 250FX? Check!
-Magic Button? Check!
-HO stator? Uncheck!
So outside the stator, the 350xcf is looking pretty good on paper. Why not a new 250/300 2t? As mentioned in another thread, I rode a couple 300s and wasn't neqrly as impressed as I wanted to be. So why the 16 over the 17? Cost and cost alone was pretty much the deciding factor. Outside of the AER the bikes are virtually identical. With nearly a $2000 savings between the 2 it left money I table I could spend elsewhere. And after talking with a bunch of tuners, at worst if I can't get the 4CS working, the extra money can be used for another fork options such as a KYB internal setup, or CV cartridges.
So, I started this thread to kind keep my trials and tribulations on update for you wonderful folk on TT. Adding my opinion, impressions, mods, results and all that other jazz...
Initial impression while sitting on the stand seem good. I've been tearing it apart greasing everything, weighed a few parts and giving it the look over.
I question if the bike is built for long haul. It seems extremely well put together, but almost too well. The plastic lines blend well with no areas for hangups as well the bike feels thins, especially compared to any current Yamaha 4t. The bike also feels low and long, where as the Yamaha 4ts feel tall and short. Equally so the bike feels light and easy to throw on a stand with well placed grab handles.
Hello, everyone. I thought I'd share my personal experience on this bike considering its so new and very few people actually own one right now.
Background (for some context):
I'm a 31yr old mechanical engineer/entrepreneur, 6ft, 235lbs, and in okay shape. I've started riding when I was 6 on a Honda Z50, and besides about a 10-year hiatus starting in college, I've been riding since. Rain or shine my daily driver 9/12s of the year is currently a KTM 1190 ADV-R. I take it offroad quite a bit and try to do a 2-week multi-thousand-mile adventure/camping trip two-up with my wife once a year (I'm a lucky bastard). I love the KTM, but it definitely did not convince me to get a KTM dirtbike. The dealer had to rebuild the motor after 4k miles because the airbox looked like it was designed by a 6th grader. A design flaw causes it to flex and let air past the filter. It has a few other annoying quirks, like an undersized starter motor and battery which make it impossible to start sub 40 degrees outside. I feel like KTM pushes the weight/reliability boundary too far.
Back to the dirtbike, I'm currently focused on riding in the woods outside of Boston. I don't ride competitively, but many of the guys I currently ride with do. Most are vet A or B riders in their mid-40s and all are a little faster than me. I only recently started riding at a "competitive" pace to try and keep up. Up until last year, I was more focused on finding really technical terrain, like tackling the hardest lines up a steep hill or something. I've been really enjoying this new style of fast pace, more flowy woods riding.
My last bike was an '08 CRF450R. I got it originally for doing track days at the MX track. I switched to doing more technical offroad riding and plated it so to easily get from one riding area to the next. The bike was getting old and the suspension was set up way too soft for what I'm doing now so I figured it was time for something new. The timing worked out perfectly with the release of the CRF450RX. I literally couldn't have been more excited to hear of its release.
Before the first ride:
This is what I did and why:
Yoshimura full TI Exhaust : I only got it because it looks awesome. The weight benefits are nice and it supposedly gives you better low to mid power and sounds a bit nicer and quieter than stock. I can't compare it though since I never used the stock pipe. It was extremely easy to install, maybe 10 minutes. They do split the header into 2 parts, unlike the stock pipe. Also, they are longer, and there's a fat section in the area behind the shock. Hear it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BPQqqvojFX2/ Antigravity 8 cell Lithium battery (P/N: 1388590001): I got this because I figured it was a simple way to drop a few pounds. Install was simple, although I needed to drill out the power terminals on the bike since the bolts are larger for this battery. Acrebris Endurance handguards: These were missing a couple of M6 Hex bolts that hold the bar clamps together. According to reviews I've read, others have had this issue too. As expected, it requires you to cut the end of the handguards to fit them in the bar ends. In doing so, you compromise the adhesion between the rubber grip and plastic throttle tube, which broke free shortly into my ride. The bike didn't come with the little wire that holds down the grips. I was forced to use a couple of small zip ties. Fortunately, when placed correctly, they didn't get in the way. I'll have to clean this up for next ride. 12 tooth front sprocket: We ride in the woods, its very tight, so I figured it needed to be geared down more than just 1 tooth on the rear. So I'm running 12/50. I think its perfect, more on this later. Studded tires from http://www.kevinscycle.com/ These are needed this time of year in New England. The ground is hard and there is still some snow in north facing hills and heavily shaded areas from a storm last weekend. Ride review:
I'll break things down to keep things organized. As a heads up, besides the gearing and exhaust, I didn't want to make any changes to the bike until I get more hours on it. I wanted to focus on getting comfortable with it and understand the baseline. I didn't even change the mapping. I feel like doing this really helps me understand subtle changes more easily.
Chassis and ergonomics:
I feel at home sitting on the bike. The riding position is very comfortable. The pegs, handlebars and seat feel similar to my '08. The biggest difference is how narrow and light it feels. Pivoting the bike left and right is incredibly easy. The bike also looks really small, although I don't feel cramped at all. Everything is exactly where I want it to be. My only complaint is the seat foam. Its way too stiff for anything but the MX track. The seat cover, however, is great, very grippy.
The bike turns similarly to the '08 but the front end feels more planted. It really dives and leans into corners well. Still can't get over how light it feels. I swapped rides with friends on a KTM 250 XC-F and 350XC-F and it did not feel an ounce heavier. Both the guys who rode my bike said the same thing. I feel like my bike lays down into corners easier, although I'd say both those bikes feel more stable in a straight line. It's a compromise, but particularly for what we do, I prefer my bike. This is one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to stick to a Honda. There is an intrinsic handling characteristic that's rooted in frame geometry that I prefer.
Another thing I noticed is how the bike stays planted under acceleration. The front tire doesn't lift up as easily when getting in it hard. It just explodes forward like nothing I've felt before, almost as if I had a long swingarm on it. This is clearly a benefit of having a lower center of mass and whatever they do to the frame/suspension geometry. I feel like this is what really seperates it from other bikes.
I read a review about the frame "blackening" easily after use. This is because they apply a heavy bead blast texture around the lower part of the frame to provide a sticky surface for your boot (or improve adhesion to gripper tape). It's the exact same alloy as in my '08. The "blackening" is from the rubber on my boot.
Engine and transmission:
My '08 had beryllium-copper valve seats, a heavier flywheel, 12/48 gearing, and a Magura hydraulic clutch. The only change to the RX is the 12/50 gearing. The bike is more powerful and smoother everywhere. The power feels extremely linear, almost electric like.
The engine revs really quickly. Twisting the throttle in neutral gives you the impression the flywheel mass is next to nothing. This made me nervous since I tend to stay low in the revs, and it can get very technical in areas. However, it was never an issue. You can really lug it easily. It does idle high which helps. I did stall once or twice but this was from braking before getting on the clutch. The e-start got me going immediately though. Its awesome btw. I never touched the kick start. It was 25 degrees out in the morning, and it fired right up cold with the lithium battery without an issue. All the KTM guys kick start their bike when its cold out. This bike definitely doesn't need it.
The clutch feels great. Clutch pull is on the heavy side, but the engagement travel is short. I'm used to the Magura hydraulic clutch which requires you to pull it in more to fully disengage, but with a lighter pull. It took some time getting used to but I was happy with it. It engages and disengages smoothly with a lot of feedback. I don't think I'll get a hydraulic clutch for this bike, I'm really liking the feedback it provides.
I gambled a bit with the 12/50 gearing I started with. I figured I'd be better off being geared a little low than a little high. I think this is perfect gearing for the woods. I stuck to 2nd gear most of the day, with a handful of sections in 3rd. I really didn't need first, even when hitting a rutted, tight 180 around a tree. Only a little feathering of the clutch was needed. With this gearing, first works well in really slow stuff. It is definitely a bit lower than the 12/48 set up I had in the '08, not sure what I prefer. I am really happy Honda stuck with a close ratio, I don't like wide ratio boxes in the woods.
My only issue is the cam profile on the throttle tube feels a bit aggressive. This was my biggest learning curve on the new bike, took me a solid 20 minutes to get used to the delivery. I think I'll end up liking it since it's much easier to blip the throttle to get the front tire up when needed. We'll see. I could also try the mellow map, buts it's only that first mm of travel that I need to be careful of.
I finally figured out why Honda does dual exhausts. You can warm up and dry both hands AT THE SAME TIME!!! Seriously though, I love the way these look, even if the benefits are unclear.
The suspension is a little too stiff for the riding I do. There are a lot of roots and rocks, and it lacks the plushness on the initial part of the stroke, which was very noticeable when I hoped on the KTMs I rode, as well as the 300 XC-W I'm familiar with. The rest of the stroke is great. It floats well over whoops and resists bottoming over g-outs well. No big jumps or drops yesterday but it feels like it'll do just fine in those cases. I'm not yet convinced I'll need to change the spring rates even though I'm a heavier rider. It never sunk into the stroke, but this may be because its over damped for this kind of riding. I'm going to start with adjusting the clickers on the next ride and go from there. I may have to send them out for a revalve and new springs, we'll see. I'll post more once I start playing with changes.
How the KTM guys felt:
Eric (on the 250 XC-F): Bike feels great, very light, clutch is nice, the suspension is definitely set-up for the morning. I'd consider one if it was a 250 or 350.
Mark (on the 350 XC-F): You need to sit more forward to get that front end planted feeling that I have on my bike, but it really corners great. It's too powerful. I like it otherwise. Best looking bike out there.
It's a well engineered, cohesively designed bike. I run the engineering department at my company and act as the chief engineer on complicated equipment for homeland security markets. The best way to maximize performance and value while minimizing waste and bloat is to get a tightknit group of talented guys who are ultra focused on the same underlying goal and not their immediate tasks, even if it means sacrificing on their on contribution for the benefit of the whole. You can tell this bike was designed with that mentality. It's not about the horsepower , or how light it is. It's how well it functions as a complete package. I absolutely love the bike. Honda hit it out of the park.
Bottom line, it was probably the best day of riding I had.
Link to picture gallery: https://www.dropbox.com/sc/vl1sbjcp0hr6h8o/AACQX1ySiMWUqbHVBANAKubLa
If you guys feel this was useful, I'll post more updates as I get familiar with the bike.
If you own an XR250, many of these tips will apply, however, the carburator jet sizes will be different.
PLEASE ADD YOUR BIKE (eg. XR400) and LOCATION TO YOUR PROFILE.
It really helps others answer your questions.
ALL OF THE LINKS ARE BROKEN!!!
I will fix them as time allows.
Until then the Search Feature and enter "kevin's xr400 mods".
The results will bring up most of the links.
Here are some frequently asked questions I have answered before.
Which XR should I buy?
The longer the straights, the taller the hills, the deeper the sand; the bigger XR you want. The tighter the trail, the smaller hills, firmer terrain; the smaller XR you want.
The XR400 has a great motor that will pull you almost anywhere. You can be sloppy on a hill climb on an XR400, where you have to keep the 250 singing. The XR400 weight is most noticable when you drop it or try to stop it going down a long downhill. (Moooomentum!)
The XR250 feels like a mtn bike compared to the XR400. My friend rode his XR250 for years before decided he needed more power. Even then you can add a 300 kit and get good power.
If you were heading to ride fireroads in Baja, I'd tell you to get the 600/650.
To the tight woods, get the 250.
A lot of both, the 400.
Dual-sporting? Go bigger for more freeway, but don't show up at the trailhead with too big of a bike.
All of the XR's are great. Pick the one that fits your needs.
Gordon's Mods for XR400 (Uncorking the bottle up performance)
Gordon's Mods for XR400
The changes to the XR400 have been listed here several times. This list appears to be complete.
In addition, HairyScary discusses how to tell if a part has been updated by the part number. Good tip!
Getting the Spark plug out
It seems the MotionPro spark plug socket does not work on the XR400R, but works on the XR250R.
There is an OEM tool kit being sold on eBay that seems to work.
717448 XR400 oil change
Here is a way to make changing the oil much cleaner.
This tips is really handy if you have a skid plate.
XR400 oil change
XR400 FAQ by Paul Gortmaker
Paul usually has very good info.
BE CAREFULL with the bolts on the oil filter cover!
An oil covered bolt will not torque at the same rate as a dry bolt.
The friction doesn't build up, the force simply builds until the threads strip.
This is the reason many people strip out these bolts.
Here is an execllent website on bolts, oil, and misc values.
Did you ever wonder why a 8mm box wrench is half as long as a 18mm box wrench?
It is shorter as most 8mm bolts cannot take very much torque.
I highly recommend getting getting an 1/4" socket set.
I bought the Craftsman set at Orchard (owned by Sears), which tends to sell them for less.
What is the Snorkle?
This place has a description and pic, it's easy after you pull the seat. I siliconed a piece of coarse screen (fiberglass) over mine to keep bugs and stuff out. - NORTEXT
717439 XR400/250 Pre-Filter
After pulling the snorkle, there is a big hole on the top of your XR400. My friend showed me this prefilter trick.
767409 XR400 Engine Bog, Pilot jet, and the Fuel Screw
On XR400's twisting the throttle from fully closed to wide open will cause the engine to "bog" or in some cases die.
Engine Bog, Pilot jet, and the Fuel Screw
831305 Valve adjustment (Am I retarded...)
Inspect and adjust valve clearance while the engine is cold (35C, 95F).
389095 bigger jets (Lists stock jet sizes.)
96-97 XR400's were jetted assuming you would remove the intake and exhaust snorkel.
98 and later XR's were jetted assuming you would leave them in.
739907 Cheap Tool for Setting the Fork Oil Height
There are some really nice tools out there for doing this job.
This tool costs $4.49 at Kragen.
392932 high altitude jetting
There are two big factors for jetting, elevation and temperature.
high altitude jetting
Allen screws for the XR400 carb
This lists the screws you need to convert the XR400 carb to use allen screws.
Screws for the brake and clutch after removing the stock handguards
TBD - There is a post with the shorter screw part numbers for after the stock handguards are removed. Use search.
Very quick engine hop up
This is a very minimal change that should take less than an hour.
Most of that time is removing the float bowl (3 screws).
If you decide to do the full "Gordon's Mods" later, you will need to replace the jets again.
o Pull the intake snorkle.
o Add a UniFilter.
o Pilot jet to 55, main jet to 155. (Assuming sea level and moderate air temps.)
Source: Motocross Action magazine.
Quick engine hop up
Baja Designs Baja Baffle with 96' spark arrestor.
Pull the intake snorkle, UniFilter, 60 pilot jet, 162 main jet.
(Depending on altitude and temp.)
What to add to a new XR400 or XR250?
Acerbis wrap around style handguards (saves levers and bars as they don't dig in)
Baja Designs skid plate (Made by Utah Sports Cycle)
Acerbis fork/disc protector
Grease headset and rear linkage
Spend you money on the suspension, not a pipe!
First get some stiffer fork springs (96-97, 98-99 years)
Fork revalve (cost: 2 qts of oil & time)
Shock revalve (cost: oil, nitrogen, shim stack, friend who knows shocks)
Jetting for Altitude (XR400)
Assuming at sea level and 68 degrees, you would use a 60 pilot and 162 main.
At 5000 feet and 68 degrees.
5000 feet and 68 degrees.
Main 0.96 * 162 = 155 -> 155 main
Pilot 0.92 * 60 = 50.6 -> 55 pilot
Due to your elevation, you have less air and less fuel.
Your bike will not behave the same as a bike at sealevel.
First, check the fuel screw. If it does not affect the idle speed, you have the wrong one.
kevin's xr400 mods
Jetting the 230F
By: Phil Vieira
This project takes no less than 2 hours if you have never done jetting to a bike before. It took me 1.5 hours, to take my bike apart, take out the needle, change my pilot jet and the main, and take pictures along the way, but I have seen the inside of my carb 3 times, so I know my way around it pretty well…
You should be jetting this bike right when you get it home. This bike comes lean from the factory. If you don’t know what that means, it means that the bike is getting too much air, in terms, a hotter engine, and your plugs will get hotter, and a decrease in HP. To make your engine last longer, do this.
These jetting combos are for a 2000 feet and below scenario. Any altitudes higher, you should do a search on the forum. If it cannot be found, post on the forum. Please don’t post on the forum “How do I do this…” You have all the answers here.
This project comes to a grand total of less than 30 dollars. The needle is 20, the main jet is about 3 dollars, and the pilot is 5 dollars. You may not need to do the pilot jet depending on your situation, but again, if you’re riding 2000 feet and below, it’s a good idea to get a pilot jet.
The jets I used consist of a 132 main, 45 pilot and the power up needle with the clip on the 4th position.
16012-KPS-921 – Needle (Includes Power up needle, Clip, and needle jet)
99113-GHB-XXX0 – Main jet (Where XXX is the size)
99103-MT2-0XX0 – Pilot jet (Where XX is the size)
For the Jets, just tell them you need jets for a regular Keihn carb, (also known as a Keihn Long Hex) main jet size XXX, pilot jet size XX. They should know the part numbers. For the needle, bring the number along. If you are lazy, they should have a fiche and they can look up the numbers. Then again you can take in the old jets, and make sure they match up to the new ones.
Now, the tools you will need are as follows:
~A collecting cup of some sort. I used a peanut butter jar.
~Ratchets for the following sizes:
- 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm
- Extension for the sockets needed
~Phillips and Flathead screwdriver (Be sure these are in perfect condition. A badly worn screwdriver will strip the screws)
~Needle nose pliers
~”Vise grips” or known as locking pliers (Two)
~Open end wrench 7mm and 12mm
~ It’s a good idea to have a extra hand around
(Not needed, but I highly recommend tiny Phillips and flathead screwdrivers (Pictured next to the jar and the ¼” extension) I recommend these for removing a couple things since you can put pressure with your thumb on the end and unscrew it with the other hand. This insures that you will not over tighten any parts, and ensure that you will not strip the heads of the bolts.
Ok, now that you have the tools, let’s start by putting the bike on a bike stand. I put it on the stand rather than the kickstand because it’s more stable and sits higher. I hate working on my knees. Start by taking the number plates off. Yes, both of them. The right side, you take off one bolt and the top comes off of its rubber grommets, pull the top off, and the plate comes right off. The left hand side, use the 10mm socket to take the battery bolts off, and then take the Phillips bolt near the back. Again, rubber grommets are used to hold the top in place. Take the seat off. There are two mounting bolts on the back:
Those two bolts are both a 12mm socket. Use the open end wrench on the inside, and use the socket on the outside. You may need to use an extension if you don’t have a deep socket. Once you have the two bolts off, slide the seat back, and lift it up. This is what you have. Notice there is a hook in the middle and a knob on the tank. That is what you are sliding the seat off of.
Now that the seat is off, you must take the gas tank off. Don’t worry, you won’t spill any gas any where, I promise. On the left hand side of the bike where the valve is, slide down the metal clip holding the tube in place. Turn off the gas supply, and slip the tube off slowly. Now take off the two bolts in the front of the take. This is on the lowest part of the gas tank in the front, behind the tank shrouds. The socket you will use is an 8mm socket. Take the bolts all the way off and set them aside. Now look back at the last picture posted. On the back of the tank, there is a rubber piece connected to the knob and the frame. Slip that rubber piece off of the frame. Pull the vent tube out of the steering stem and lift the tank up. Don’t tip it, and lay the tank aside where you won’t trip on it. This is what you’ll end up with:
It may be a good idea to take a rag, and wipe all the dirt off the top of the bike if any. You don’t want anything dropping down into the carb. If you do, engine damage is the result. A clean bike is always a good thing! Now we must drain the gas out into that container. This is very easy. Make sure you open the garage door, windows, whatever, to let the fumes out. Breathing this crap is bad. Here is where the drain screw is:
(Don’t worry about removing the carb, that comes later) This is on the right side of the carb, on the float bowl. The vent tube that goes down to the bottom of the bike is where the gas drains to. Put the jar under that tube and start to unscrew that screw, enough so that the gas leaks into that jar. Once the gas doesn’t drip anymore, close the screw all the way. Now on to the top of the carb. We are going to take this cover off:
This cover comes off by removing the two screws. Once removed, the lid comes off as well as the gasket. Flip it over and set it aside. Do not set the gasket side down on the ground, as it will get contaminants! Here is what you are facing:
The angle of the camera cannot show the two screws. But one is visible. It has a red dot, and opposite of that side is a darker red dot. I made it darker because it’s not visible, but that is where it is. This is where I use the miniature screw drivers to get the screws. I magnetize the screwdrivers, and use care to make sure I don’t strip the heads. Metal pieces in a piston are not good! Remove the two screws. Put these screws on a clean surface so they do not get contaminants. Now get your vise grips and set it so that it will lock onto the throttle, not too tight, not too loose. Set the vise grips on the seat. Start to open the throttle slowly as you guide that “plunger holder” (as I call it) up to the top. Once you have the throttle all the way open, take the vise grips, and lock it so that the throttle does not go back any more. What I do is I hold it pinned and lock it up against the brake so it doesn’t rewind on me. If you don’t have locking grips, a friend will do, just have them hold the throttle open all the way until you are finished. How fold the plunger holder to the back of the carb and pull the piece up to the top. Take care not to remove it, as it is a pain to get back together! If it came apart on you, this is what it should be assembled to:
Once you get the holder out of the slider, set it back like this:
As you can see, the bar is back 45 degrees, while the holder is forward 45 degrees to make a S. Here is what you are faced with when you look down on the carb:
Where the red dot is where the needle lies. Grab needle nose pliers and carefully pull up the needle out of its slot. This is what the needle looks like once it is out.
Now we must move the carb to take the bowl off. Untie the two straps on the front and back of the carb. Don’t take them off; just loosen them until the threads are at the end. Take the front of the carb off the boot and twist the bowl as much as you can towards you. Tie the back tie down to that it does not rewind back on you. This is what you have:
Now we must take off the bowl. Some people take that hex nut off to change the main jet, which you can, but you cannot access the pilot jet, and you can’t take out the needle jet (a piece the needle slides into), so we need to take it off. It’s just three bolts. As we look at the underside of the carb, this is what you will see:
The bolts with the red square dots are the bolts you will be removing. These are Phillips head bolts, and the bolt with the blue dot is your fuel screw. This is what you will adjust when the time comes, but keep in mind where that bolt is. You need a small flat blade to adjust it.
Well, take those screws off, and you are faced with this:
The blue dot is for cross reference, which is the fuel screw once again. The green dot is the pilot jet. You can remove this using a flat blade screwdriver. Just unscrew it and pull it out. Once you pull it out, set it aside and put in the 45 pilot jet you got. The red dot is the main. You remove this by using a 6mm socket. Just unscrew it. If the whole thing turns, not just the jet, but the 7mm sized socket under it, don’t worry, that piece has to come out as well. If it doesn’t, use a 7mm to unscrew it off. Here is what the jets look like:
Main jet attached to the tube. Take the main jet off by using an open end wrench and a socket on the jet. Again, it screws right off.
Here is what you are faced with if you look form the bottom up.
From left to right: Main jet, Pilot Jet, Fuel screw. Now in the main jet’s hole, if you look closely, you see a bronze piece in the middle of that hole. We are going to take this off. Since I did not do this part (I only changed my pilot jet when I took these pictures) there are no pictures taken for this section but this is really simple to do if you’ve been a good student and know where things go. You should know anyways, you have to put the bike back together!
(Notice: There have been discussions about these needle jets being the same. Only change this needle jet if the one you have is worn out. If you do not have the old needle, a older drill bit bigger than 3/20ths (.150), and smaller than 11/100 (.11") Use the tapered side of the bit, set it down in the hole and tap it out carefully.)
Now take your OLD needle, I repeat, the OLD needle because what you are going to do next will ruin it. Pull the clip off with your needle nose pliers, or a tiny screwdriver to pry it off. Then put the needle back in the hole where it goes. That’s right, just to clarify, you took off the needle, and you put the needle back in the hole with no clip. Slide the point side first, just as it would go normally. Now if you look at the bottom of the carb, the needle is protruding past the main jets hole. Grab another pair of locking pliers (vise grips as I call them) and lock it as tight as you can on the needle. Pull with all your might on the needle. Use two hands. Have a friend hold the carb so you don’t pull it off the boot. Tell them to stick their fingers in the hole that goes to the engine, and pull up. After pulling hard, the needle jet should slip right off. Then notice which side goes towards the top of the carb. There is one side that is a smaller diameter than the other. Take the new needle jet, and push it up into the hole the way the old one was set. Just get it straight. Take the tube the main jet goes into, and start threading it in. Once you can’t tie it down anymore with a ratchet, unscrew it and look at the needle jet to make sure it’s set. That’s it for the needle jet. Now let’s start putting the carb back together.
(Notice: Many people have destroyed jets and such by overtighting them! Use the thumb on the head of the wrench and two fingers on the wrench to tighten it down.)
Thread the main jet into the tube it goes into, and then start putting it back on the carb. Thread the pilot jet in as well if you haven’t done so already. Remember these carburetor metals are soft as cheese, so don’t over tighten the jets very much. What I do is I put my thumb on the top of my ratchet, and use two fingers closest to the head of the ratchet to tighten the jet. That’s how tight I go when I tie them back in.
Now before we put the carb back together, let’s adjust the fuel screw. Take a small screwdriver, and start screwing in the fuel screw until it sets. Again, do not over tighten, just let it set. Then count back your turns. Count back 1.75 turns.
Now we must put the bowl back on. The white piece that came off with the bowl goes back as followed:
If you look directly under the carb, the round hole is aligned with the pilot jet. Take the float bowl, and put it back on.
Untie the rear clamp and the front clamp as well. Slip the carb back the way it used to. Make sure that it is straight up and down with the rest of the bike. The notch on the front boot should be aligned with the notch on the carburetor, and the notch on the carburetor should be in that slot. Tie the clamps down securely.
Let’s put the needle in. These are how the needle numbers go:
The top clip position is #1, the lowest one, closest to the bottom, is #5. (The picture says six but it is five in this case) For reference #1 is the leanest position, while 5 is the richest. I put the clip in the 4th position. Read at the bottom of the page and you can know what conditions I ride in, and you can adjust them to your preference.
Put the clip in the new needle, slip it in. Take the vise grips off your grips and start guiding the plunger holder down to the bottom. Remember not to let that assembly come apart because it is a pain in the ass to get it back together! Once you get it to the bottom, put the two screws on, and then put the cover on.
Now that you have done the carburetor mods, there is still one thing you want to do to complete the process. Don’t worry, this takes less than a minute! On the top of the air box there is a snorkel:
As you can see, you can slip your fingers in and pull it out. Do that. This lets more air in to the air box. Don’t worry about water getting in. There is a lip that is about 1/8” high that doesn’t let water in. When you wash, don’t spray a lot under the seat, but don’t worry about it too much.
The next thing you must do is remove the exhaust baffle. The screw is a torx type, or you can carefully use an allen wrench and take care not to strip it:
The screw is at the 5 o’clock position and all you do is unscrew it, reach in, and yank it out. This setup still passes the dB test. The bike runs 92 dB per AMA standards, which is acceptable. Just carry this baffle in your gear bag if the ranger is a jerk off. I’ve never had a problem, but don’t take chances.
That’s it! Start putting your tank on, seat, and covers. After you put the seat on, pull up on the front, and the middle of the seat to make sure the hooks set in place.
Turn on the bike, and take a can of WD-40. Spray the WD-40 around the boot where it meets the carburetor. If the RPM rises, you know you have a leak, and the leak must be stopped. You must do this to make sure there are no leaks!
Here is my configuration:
Uni Air filter
132 Main Jet
45 Pilot Jet
Power up needle, 4th clip position
Fuel screw 1.75 turns out
Riding elevation: 2000ft - Sea level
Temperature – Around 60-90 degrees
Spark Plug Tips
When you jet your carb, a spark plug is a best friend. Make sure your spark plug is gapped correctly, (.035) but that’s not all that matters. You want to make sure the electrode is over the center, and you want the electrode to be parallel, not like a wave of a sea. Put in the plug, and run the bike for 15 mins, ride it around too then turn it off. Then take off the spark plug after letting the bike cool. The ceramic insulator should be tan, like a paper bag. If it is black, it is running rich, if it is white, it is running lean. The fuel screw should be turned out if it is running lean, and turned in if it is running rich. Go ¼ turns at a time until your plug is a nice tan color.
Making sure your bike is jetted correctly
While you are running the bike for those 15 mins to check the plug color, you want to make sure it’s jetted correctly now. Here is what the jets/needle/screw control:
0- 3/8 throttle – Pilot jet
¼ to ¾ throttle – Needle
5/8 – full throttle – Main jet
0-Full – Fuel screw
Pin the gas, does it bog much? Just put around, is it responsive? When you’re coming down a hill, the rpm’s are high and you have no hand on the throttle, does it pop? If it pops, it is lean and the pilot jet should be bigger. If it’s responsive your needle is set perfectly. You shouldn’t have to go any leaner than the 3rd position, but I put mine in the 4th position to get the most response. Your bike shouldn’t bog much when you have it pinned. If it does it is too rich of a main jet.
Determining the plug color, you will have to mess with the fuel screw.
That’s it, have fun jetting, and any questions, post on the forum, but remember to do a search first.
Also, if your bike requires different jets due to alititude, humidity, or temperature, please post the following so we can better assist you:
Altitude (If you do not know this, there is a link in the Jetting forum that you can look up your alititude)
What jets you are currently running
What the problem is (If there is one)
Just do that and we'll help you out the best we can.
EDIT: The girl using this login name is my girlfriend. You can reach me on my new login name at 250Thumpher
Then again, you're more than welcome to say hi to her!
JUst curious of how many bikes,quads,trikes people owned over the years and what they were?
78 honda atc 70
85 honda atc 110
?? handa trail 70
78 yamaha mx 80
85 yamaha yz 60
82 yamaha it 125
85 kawasaki kxt 250 tecate
79 yamaha yz 400
86 yamaha yz 125
85 yamaha yz 80 (playbike)
92 kawasaki kx 250
93 yamaha xt 350
and last but not least a 99 kawasaki kx 250